Well, life as a missionary goes on here in Singen Germany. I unfortunately have no exciting pictures from a crazy p-day today, but living in the land of castles is not always a fairy tale. Or maybe it actually is, just not the part that you would like to read about. 🙂 Every fairy tale has to have it’s lack of dramatic moments doesn’t it? Or have I just been living life wrong?
The highlight of this week include that we managed to get a couple of appointments with Marina-finally! The only problem is that she believes she was baptized by Jesus…I think it was a great oversight of whomever put Preach My Gospel that they left out the section titled What to do if Your Investigator Thinks They Were Baptized by Jesus in a Previous Life. A great oversight indeed. But if any of you lovely folks have any suggestions on how to deal with that, please, let us know. We’re kind of at a loss…
We also got a new investigator, Christel, she’s HYSTERICAL! She has a beard and has a TERRIBLE Schwäbisch dialect. It’s almost impossible to understand! This is what happens when you travel to small towns near the boarder of Switzerland. It’s a troublesome place…
That’s pretty much it for all the excitement, things are about to pick up these next couple of weeks with Austausch, interviews, Mission Tour (with Timothy J. Dyches) in Zürich, and then the end of a very short five week transfer.
Yesterday, in Sacrament meeting the Choir (which the missionaries in every ward are ALWAYS a part of) sang ‘Ein Armer Wanderer’ in Englisch: ‘A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief’. I remember the last time I sang that song was on January 13th 2013, the day of my farewell talk. I believe this is my favorite hymn simply because of the story it tells. (And many of you know how much I love stories!)
Don’t worry, I’ve got the lyrics all ready to go for you!
1. A poor, wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not pow’r to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.
2. Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel’s portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.
3. I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst;
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the suff’rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o’er;
I drank and never thirsted more.
4. ‘Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest,
Then made the earth my bed and seemed
In Eden’s garden while I dreamed.
5. Stript, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment–he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.
6. In pris’n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor’s doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him ‘mid shame and scorn.
My friendship’s utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, “I will!”
7. Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
“Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto me.”
I think this song is one of the most descriptive and most beautiful hymns that we all know and all love, but are afraid to sing because of how long it is. This song has spoken peace to my soul more than once on my mission and throughout my life as I’ve gone through difficult times. I am not the only person who enjoyed this song or who used it in times of comfort. This hymn was sung shortly before the martyrdom of Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail. It was the Prophet’s favorite song and it held several parallels to the Prophet’s life.
But I have no intention of comparing the Prophet Joseph’s life to this song, instead, I have every intention of comparing our lives to this song. I would venture a guess that we all have many opportunities presented to us throughout the week to help others, to help them to be better, to be lifted up and to be brought a little closer to our Heavenly Father. This moments will likely be small, likely insignificant and unnoticed by those of the world, but there is someone who will always see the good deeds we do, however small they may be.
The last verse of this song does me in every time, “Of me thou hast not been ashamed, These deeds shall thy memorial be; Fear not, thou didst them unto me.”
When, in the last day, our judgement day, we stand before the great Creater of the Universe, the Almighty God, the Redeemer of the world, what will He say to us? “Well done, thou hast served me all thy days?” I would like that to be the words that come from Him on that mighty day. We should follow the wise words of King Benjamin when he said, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God.”
Every good deed we do, is unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the flip side of this coin, every bad deed we do is also unto Jesus Christ.
I am convinced that the greatest reason the Lord sent me on a mission is because I needed to learn charity toward my fellow men. And I can promise you that you will find that charity is not an action, it’s a lifestyle. Charity infuses your body and your mind and you desire to help others to be happier and to do better. I can promise you that as you seek out ways to serve others, selflessly, then you will find the richness in the words of the Savior in Matthew 10:
“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
I promise you, that as you seek to selflessly serve others you will find greater peace, happiness, joy, and love in your life. As you lose yourself in the service of others, those people that need it most (cause let’s be honest, the person you would be willing to take a bullet for is usually the one standing behind the gun), those who are struggling, you will find your life. I ask you all to spend a little time today, or even tonight and ask the Lord to give you someone to serve.
Though this promise was extended in the spirit of tithing, I would like to ‘redress’ it a little bit. I believe that if you go to the Lord today, in honest, sincere, and humble prayer to find someone to serve, the Lord will pour out the blessings of heaven upon you. As it says in Malachi 3: “…prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Try the Lord. Prove Him.
Test your faith and ask the Lord to give you this opportunity to serve and it shall be well with you at the last day.
I love you all!