Bands are Getting Jazzier…
“And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.
“And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace, they did publish good tidings of good, and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.”
I feel blessed this week. I feel blessed because of the people I am so privileged to know and serve and love. I am truly glad to be an instrument in the hand of the lord. I hope I provide the right sort of blare when I play the trumpet part, or the sweet sincere sort of slide when I am called to be his violin. I try to be a piccolo in the morning when I want to be a deflated bag-pipe, and a harp even when the thoughts inside of me want to go shooting out with an electric guitar. I try to follow the conductor. I try to follow my Heavenly Father to create the music that he wants me to make.
I think the most important thing is that I do play my part, even if my part is a small little ding of a triangle on a bus or while waiting for a train, that little chime could be the first chime in the start of the music, or at the start of a beautiful serenade.
I don´t know exactly what my efforts will mean today. I don´t know the whole plan, the whole musical score that my Father in Heaven has so beautifully composed. I can only trust that I am an important part of this grand symphony of the plan of salvation. I can trust that as I try to be the best instrument I can, the Lord who is the master musician can play whatever I can give as beautifully as possible.
I am sure I have already mentioned it in a letter and you already know about it but I think again on that poem the touch of a masters hand….
The Touch of the Masters Hand
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile; “What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?” “A dollar, a dollar”; then two!” “Only
two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three? Three dollars, once; three
dollars twice; going for three..” But no, from the room, far back, a
gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust
from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody
pure and sweet as caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
said; “What am I bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make
it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, and going and
gone,” said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not
quite understnad what changed its worth.” Swift came the reply: “The touch
of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin, A
“mess of pottage,” a glass of wine; a game – and he travels on. “He is
going” once, and “going twice, He’s going and almost gone.” But the Master
comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul
and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.
-Myra ‘Brooks’ Welch
Why may you ask are things getting jazzier, I think that would be because of our five new investigators we got to know this week, for that feeling that there is always something, or someone new around the corner.. sometimes literally.
This work is exciting, it is a big band with shiny brass and a big finish, It is a lullaby, and few simple cords, It is an art song in the lazy afternoon, and satisfied round of applause at the end of the concerto.
I am glad to be part of this symphony. … ( it´s like a symphony… just keep listening…. ) common, you know you started to sing that in your head.
and pretty soon you´ll start to figure out your part…… oh it´s glorious.
Love you all,
Answers to some questions I (her mother) asked: (I had to share her great stories.)
1.How are your investigators doing? We pray for them.
We have about 19 investigators right now, and those are people we have met with in the last week or the week before. It is awesome.
J we were not able to meet this week. that made us a little sad. But he has finished the book of Mormon. He is trying really hard to just be able to stay here, so he is still making great progress, but this week was a bit of a pause.
S and M and J: I called president and he is totally in support that the kids can get baptized. J is so excited. we are going to set a date next appointment. the really good part is that because we talked with S she is really committed to helping them prepare for the baptism, so when we teach them, we get to teach all of them. and of course they come to church each week. J is so cute and loooooves primary. M is also so, so sweet. S has been doing family prayer with her family. She is so perfect. So ready to accept the gospel. We are on the way to eternal families.
L had her test for her German certificate, she said it was really hard. She is still so sweet and our relationship with her is growing but she is not reading and not coming to church. She needs members at her appointments, but it is very discouraging when we try so hard for a joint teach even a week in advance and no one has time for us. In this area we are more on fire than ever before and yet, I am feeling the biggest struggle to get the ward to work with our efforts. We have investigators in church every week and yet we are not always able to get joint teaches. But I know everyone has their own busy lives. It is just sometimes I wish they where paper dolls and I could pick them up and put them where I need them and make them play nice with the new kids. Don’t get me wrong I love this ward.
D and G: she was supposed to come to the relief society activity for sewing but she got sick. Hopefully it works to meet with them this week. I love them so much. They also really need members.
Y: he has gotten busy. But he is still really nice.
T: These Chinese students study, study, study. But I think he is considering coming to church again.
We have a lot of new investigators this week. I will let you know if they start progressing a lot.
2.Stand out moment of the week?
Probably meeting the little family on the street that was trying to find a hotel out in the middle of Betzingen at the Asylheim when we were going to teach O. The elders where already inside and we were going to be coming in just a bit. But this dad stopped us and asked us in English if we could help him. He was there with his wife and little girl. They were standing with bags on the ground around them. He explained that they had just come from Stuttgart and that they were supposed to be in a home but it was not yet ready so they had to stay here. ( mom note: the Asylheim is a refugee center from what I was able to find out). It is not the best conditions and he did not want his wife and daughter to have to stay there. So he asked for our help to find a hotel. Of course we have no idea where one would be. I find two on my i-pad map. But of course we think of R. He is our go to guy when we need something goggled or a train time and we have no internet access. Of course he is extremely excited to help. The family is from Syria. Cool. They are journalists and used to be working for television before everything started going wrong in the middle east, and they had to flee. We got a plan and then the elders came out. Turns out the lesson only went 20 minutes because O had to go early. So we felt bad that we had missed our lesson, but It was ok because the elders where able to teach it, and I had really the strong feeling that we needed to help them.
We end up riding the train with them and helping them find a hotel and then the next one when that one was full already. I tried to talk with the mom who spoke little English. The cute little daughter is 8. She was kind of cold and tired so I was trying to make her smile as we walked to the train station. I was trying to ask if she liked to dance she did a little ballet plié and then I just took her hand and did some little slide skips. She suddenly is just so happy and we are dancing with each other. I show her the picture of Breesa and say my little sister. She is excited and shows her mom and then points to me. I take the photo back and she just hugs me as we are walking. We are pantomiming different instruments and then she is just really happy and says, “I love you” she was singing anything she could in English. It was so sweet. We were with them for probably about an hour. At one point she sticks her arm through my elbow with my hand in my pocket, we are singing the Frozen songs. Goodness she is a cutie. I was just glad that there happened to be one little child that did not hate me. (Sister Gardner thinks children don’t like her. Ha Ha It is not true. It is kind of our joke.) That was good. She is sweet. Sister Strihavka had a good conversation with the dad, and eventually we helped them find the hotel. The hotel man was nice enough to take off twenty euro.
We met with them that next Wednesday. The mom and dad. They told us their whole story. They have been wondering where God is, they are excited to learn everything and have invited us over for two times this week. Wahooo!
3. Favorite thing about riding the train?
Really easy to contact people. and they cannot leave you because they need to ride all the way to the next destination. Muwahaha. Also earlier on my mission I liked looking out the window. now I am usually just focused on the people inside.