Sunday, July 26, 2015

Praying at all times

On Friday afternoon, we had the privilege of meeting with two different stake presidents in the greater Frankfurt area.  We went with our German Self-Reliance Services manager, Günter.  Both stake presidents spoke very good English, so the communication was clear.  We wanted to understand their challenges, especially as they related to Self-Reliance, so our main goal was to listen and understand.  We must say that the meetings went very well, we were well received and the stake presidents were very kind and sincere.

The first stake president is the president of the stake where we live and is the managing partner of a large law firm.  We started our meeting with a prayer.  The stake has very little temporal self-reliance needs, but he recognizes the needs for spiritual self-reliance.  It was a great meeting with the conclusion that the My Foundation course could be used with small groups during the Sunday school portion of the meeting block.  As we finished our meeting, the stake president asked if we could finish the meeting with a prayer, which of course we agreed.

The second stake president is an airline pilot and had just come from the airport, after returning from one of the flights that he had piloted.  His stake surrounds the Frankfurt temple and the stake center is adjacent to the temple grounds.  Again we had a wonderful meeting.  We once again started with a prayer.  The needs in his stake include more temporal needs, especially as it relates to managing finances in the home.  He was very supportive and very interested in some of the results that we have seen throughout the world.  He would like to involve more members and has a very active Stake Self-Reliance Committee and Self-Reliance specialist.  They are talking about getting their first Self-Reliance groups started.  Hopefully our meeting helped accelerate this process.  We felt genuine love and leadership from this stake president as he seeks to help his members become temporally and spiritually self-reliant.  Once again, as we were about to finish the meeting, he asked if we could finish with a prayer.  I thanked him for reminding us to pray and then he taught us a lesson:

He said that when Elder Kopischke was the Area President in Europe, he noted that a certain region was growing spiritually in an incredible way and asked some of the leaders to visit them and understand what was causing this wonderful growth.  As they went to this region, they found that they did the same things as other regions with one exception.  They found that the members and leaders were always praying.  They would stop in the middle of meetings and pray about the items they were discussing, they would not wait to only begin and end meetings in prayer.  This constant emphasis on prayer, on understanding the will of the Lord and seeking his constant guidance and assistance made all of the difference.  It is clear that that message has been heard by these two great stake presidents and now it was heard by Tom and Debbie Rueckert.  We pray that we can follow this same example and be much more diligent in praying about all that we are doing, on a constant basis.  As I have thought back about it, I don't believe that I offered a prayer, while being lost in Frankfurt earlier in the day.  Perhaps that is why it took so long to find my location.

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