July 7, 2010
World Cup Soccer is crazy here. You could walk your dog on the autobahn during the games. We showed the last one on the big screen in the gym and most of the ward showed up. What a party. Screaming, chanting, face painting, flag wearing and waving and I swear it was 100 degrees and the kids never stopped except maybe to eat. Bigger than the Super Bowl (and there are no commercials) and I can’t believe I’m rooting for Germany. The Fourth of July was fun because the Senior Missionaries had their own picnic and there was American potato salad, chips, baked beans, A&W root beer and KFC. We were all in heaven and then four of the men read the Declaration of Independence and then we sang “American the Beautiful”. We’re all a little homesick and so most of us were a little teary. At family home evening the next evening I put a centerpiece of American flags on the table and I guess the German kids didn’t appreciate that because I found it on the piano, in the corner. One of the girls played the “Star Spangled Banner” for me and then all of the American kids grabbed the flags and we marched around the room, screeching the lyrics. Therapeutic and all in good fun. Then we had some water balloon games outside and everybody got soaked but that was the plan in the first place. There were five investigators and they were right in the middle of everything and then the Sisters and Elders taught them immediately after. It’s amazing how laughter can create immediate friendships and trust.
In our district development meeting this morning we were talking about how blessings come to those who endure and how everything is according to the Lord’s time. We should find joy in the journey and never lose our faith. In Daniel 3, it talks about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and how they were about to be thrust into the fiery furnace because they would not worship the gods of Nebuchadnezzar. He asked them, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” They said, “….. our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” So. . . . maybe we fry, but He is still our God. Things may not all work out the way we want, but they will work out to our advantage if we endure. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. I sure hope so.