First Reunion

First Reunion

Sunday, August 9, 2015

08-2015 Elder Kyle Kossin's "Remember" - Thank you!

Last August, I started the second to last transfer of my mission in Hof, Germany. Cherishing each day and dreading the fast-approaching end, I searched for ways to better preserve my memory of what it is like to be a full time missionary in the Germany Berlin Mission. On this very day, one year ago, I completed a poem to that end, one that I dedicated to the mission as a whole, filled with the scriptures that meant the most to me at the time and the teachings of my mission president Henry Kosak and his wife Elke Kosak. I named it "Remember". Although I still consider it a work in progress, I'd like to share it now with hope that someone else might also appreciate it.

Remember

Another testing day,
A stride on strait and narrow,
Or will I wane away.
Succumb to whirlwind's arrow?
No, it's better to obey,
Enthused, refusing sorrow,
Than to let my freedom sway
In a sacrificed tomorrow.
Prudently, I've planned
A change to change my doubting:
Crescendo on demand.
Fear veers. I can't hear it's shouting.
I'll fall until I stand,
Forget myself all out
With a friend or two at hand
And angels round about.
Beneath: my steady rock.
Above: my title soaring.
The Shepherd of the flock,
Resilience, restoring.
The words with which I talk
My only weapons of war.
A purpose to my knock
From first to final door.
Sun or storm, I'll sow
The soil under my skin
'Til a field as white as snow
Rises from within.
My diamond far below
Might shine or it might dim
Despite it's gloomy glow,
It's not too hard for Him.
With no tree left unshaken,
I gather scattered sheaves
To a home of sin forsaken.
To a treasure safe from thieves.
I move to make 'mistaken'
A past to brave belief.
Each loyal step that's taken
Will lift another leaf.
No lone regret retracing,
Nor suffocated sense
Can keep me from embracing
The worth of present tense;
For the future that I'm facing
And those prepared depend
On the hope and truth I'm chasing
To every earthly end.
Imperfect, I pursue
His will. I will protect it.
That new joy might ensue.
Lost love... I'll resurrect it.
I know I know it's true
And now my path's directed
To care, become, and do
Much more than was expected.
My strengthened spirit yearns
To learn what I have taught
I'm the answer fervor earns
To the prayers my Father caught.
While the world around me turns
From not so bad to rotten,
My fire forever burns.
When everything's forgotten,
I'll remember.


For the Germany Berlin Mission (2012-2015)

And for those interested, I'll list as many of the references as I can remember.
Stanza 1:
Line 1/8 - "Today's Test is Tomorrow's Testimony"
2 - 1 Nephi 8:20 "And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron..."
4 - Helaman 5:12 "when the devil shall send forth... his shafts in the whirlwind...it shall have no power to drag you down."
5/8 - "To obey is better than to sacrifice." - 1 Samuel 15:22 (and others)
6 - 'Enthusiasm' derives from the Greek 'enthousiasmos', meaning 'God in us'
Stanza 2:
1 - President Kosak stressed three words: loyalty, prudence, resilience
2 - "We will change -- We are changing Germany." - President Kosak
"Nothing changes if nothing changes."
3 - "Discipleship is to be lived in crescendo!" - Neal A. Maxwell
4 - "Never take counsel from your fears." - Stonewall Jackson
6 - "I have only one suggestion: forget yourself and go to work." - Bryant S. Hinckley
8 - D&C 84:88 "I will be on your right hand and on your left... and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."
Stanza 3:
1 - D&C 6:34 "Let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."
2/7 - Alma 46:12 "He rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof and wrote upon it - In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace..."
4 - President Kosak stressed three words: loyalty, prudence, resilience
Stanza 4:
3 - D&C 4:4 "For behold the field is white already to harvest."
Isaiah 1: 18 "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."
5/6 - "Disciples, like diamonds, are developed in a process of time and heavy pressures, and both... reflect the light that comes through them." - Neal A. Maxwell
7 - "Work on your 'Mormon Glow' " - Sister Kosak
8 - "Never ever lose sight that nothing is too hard for the Lord." - M. Russell Ballard
Stanza 5:
1/8 - "First I shake the whole apple, that the ripest might fall. Then I... shake each limb, and then each branch, and then each twig, and then I look under each leaf." - Martin Luther
4 - Matthew 6:20 "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...where thieves do not break through nor steal."
7 - President Kosak stressed three words: loyalty, prudence, resilience
8 - Sister Kosak's 'harvesting strawberries' lesson
Stanza 6:
2 - "Selfishness suffocates spiritual senses." -Robert D. Hales
6 - "God is preparing people to receive your testimony of restored truth." -Henry B. Eyring
7 - "He needs more and more willing and worthy missionaries to spread... the truth and the hope...to an often dark and fearful world." - Jeffrey R. Holland
8 - 3 Nephi 9:22 "come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved."
Stanza 7:
1/2 - "There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done', and those to whom God says, 'All right, then have it your way!" - C.S. Lewis
3 - 2 Nephi 2:25 "Men are that they might have joy."
5 - "It is a grand thing to know--and to know that you know..." - Douglas L. Callister
6: Proverbs 3:6 "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths."
7/8 - "A Leader's Creed: Know/Do/Care/Become more than it is expected of you."
Stanza 8:
1 - Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
2 - "I always know when I am speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost because I always learn something from what I've said." - Marion G. Romney
3 - "To most questions man wants to have an answer. But to the Lord's question man must be an answer." - Dennis Rasmussen
6 - In "Come, Come Ye Saints", the closing line "all is well" is translated in Polish as "not so bad"
7 - "You need to feel your bosom burn." - President Kosak
8/9 - "What will you remember when you've forgotten everything?" - Boyd K. Packer