Hello to One, Hello to All.
April 30, 2018
Hello to One, Hello to All,
Hello to One, Hello to All,
Here's the one and only Elder P. Gabriele Antonio Peck. Probably the only one of that kind that you are aware of. ;) I forefront apologize for my recent silence, but, I'm here now, and I am enjoying writing you all and being vicariously in your company. :D
This past week was a doozy. I feel like the time goes slower and slower the longer I'm out. Which is good! :D LOTS of time to learn and grow. For example, you'd think that I'd know how to use a phone to navigate myself around a city by now, but, well... SURPRISE! I am not as talented as I thought I was. XD But that's okay, Elder Jensen is helping me figure out how to find bus stops and figure out subway routes and important things like that.
I went on exchanges this week with an Elder in Neukoelln, and that part of Berlin is beautiful. We were able to visit a fun park for our morning exercise, and him and I tried to help one of his investigators come closer to Christ. It was really sad, because he is a super cool guy, and he has a lot of attributes that pertain to the character of Christ, but he said that He was not looking for Christ, and even though he'd had a lot of good experiences with the church and the missionaries, and he loved being there, he said he felt like he should say goodbye.
I just wanted to continue on this guy for a little bit. We as missionaries think that we have everything that anyone on this earth would ever want, and so it's really sad when we see people who would give all that up because they don't have the desire to find it out themselves. Nevertheless, there are many good people on this earth, who are honorable people, and this is where it becomes very important to have Christlike love in our hearts. Every person must find the way themselves, and they must have a desire to find truth. I have a testimony that God loves AND leads all those who are looking for the truth, and if people look for the truth with a real intent in heart, with the help of God, they will find it.
We also had a picnic in our ward, which was really fun! :D We played sports together, and the one American guy in our ward brought jump ropes. What's american and what's not is starting to become very apparent to me. XD
Elder Jensen and I are also now responsible for two wards here in Berlin, so we have 6 hours of church every Sunday, and two hours in between. Those are long days, but I love the members in both wards. :)
We were in Alexanderplatz, and a man playing the saxophone started talking to me, and he heard that I taught people about Jesus, so he played me a solo rendition of "Amazing Grace" right on the spot in front of hundreds of Germans. It was glorious. XD I love me some gospel music.
Also, Elder Jensen and I went to get food a week ago, and I bought some Mate, which I had not opened, but was in a glass bottle. As we finished our food, I tripped while trying to get out of the table, and I broke the mate bottle on the ground as I fell and got it all over me. I think the people around us saw me dazed on the ground with a shattered bottle in my hand and thought some very contrary things about this person who had Christ's name on his chest. XD It was pretty harmless and funny. Many drinks here in Germany are sold in Glass bottles.
We are busy with investigators from both wards now, which is a really good feeling. :)
I wanted to share a little experience with you all before I sign off until next week. Lately, I've had some really rough challenges, and it's been a struggle for me to work through them. I found myself stressed a lot, and I wasn't happy very often. But, some things I've read, and some things I've heard from friends lately, and some things I've thought have all culminated in my head today, and I realized for the first time this morning, I mean REALLY realized, that I can choose to be happy today. Regardless of circumstances, regardless of whether I were to gain weight or have male pattern balding or have a bad experience, or multiple, I can choose TODAY to be happy and to have a good attitude. That doesn't mean that my attitude won't be challenged throughout the day, because it most definitely will, but it is one of the most freeing decisions to make, and I challenge you all to make that decision for yourself, too. I challenge you all to look yourselves in the mirrors every day and say, "Today, I choose to be HAPPY!" I promise you will see changes.
I realized lately, that the kind of man I wanted to be was a happy man. I heard some wise counsel from a leader of the church lately that said, that if we every day sought out something that we want to start doing today, a good habit, that we haven't been doing, and we sought out something that we want to stop doing, a bad habit, that we want to stop doing, and we wrote them both down and started the one and stopped the other THAT DAY, EVERY SINGLE DAY, we would all see huge improvement in our lives. I know that's true, and that's a challenge I'm taking on myself, that I also extend to you all. Write down something you want to stop. Write down something you want to start. Do it today, and be patient with yourself. Give your best effort, and look for the Lord's help. Like the Potter's Clay, He *will* mend you into more than you could've ever been through your own efforts. I have a testimony of that, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.