Liebe Familie and Friends,
Here's to week two at the MTC! What an amazing week it was! It went really fast after Sunday: guess the rumors were true when "if you can get through Sunday you can get through your whole MTC stay." I can't believe I fly out to Germany in FOUR DAYS! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for helping me with my passport issue. I'm so grateful that I get to fly out with my group, instead of needing to wait. Thanks for taking care of me; I'll always be your little girl! :)
This week I learned a lot! Sister Green and I began teaching three investigators; Hartmut Heller, Ana Castro, and Rachel Everett. Rachel is our "TRC" investigator, and we teach her in English. Hartmut and Ana are taught in German, and are portrayed by our teachers, Sister Garlick and Bruder Hodges. Hartmut and Ana are two actual individuals that our teachers taught on their missions in Frankfurt. It's been a really unique experience practicing teaching in German; actually, it's been the hardest thing I've done. I can testify to you now the power and blessings that come through faith. Sister Green and I have been able to share our testimonies and teach Ana and Hartmut, with words coming to our mind that we didn't even know before hand. I said it before and I'll say it again: the gift of tounges is real! My German, although still poor, is coming back slowly and surely.
My district is wonderful. We've grown really close and have a great time together. We love sharing our favorite scriptures, singing hymns, and reading out of the Book of Mormon together in German. We spend our gym time playing volleyball against Sister Norton's and Elder Savage's district -- so fun! (Of course we always win, if you're wondering.) Sister Green and I have grown really close as well this past week. She is such an amazing girl! I've picked up on your nickname, Mom, and now we call each other "Schwes." I love hearing Sister Green say it in her slight Southern accent - she's a doll. It's been an interesting experience learning to live with someone 24/7. We communicate really easily, and I know I have definitely benefited from that. I hope we have the opportunity to maybe be companions in the field! I see Elder Church, Elder Corbridge, Sister Penrod, and Sister Godfrey frequently -- it's so great having some of my best friends here at the MTC with me.
The days go by weeks and the weeks go by days...no truer statement has been said! Out of our 16 hour days, we spend a good 10 hours in the classroom. We are taught how to teach in German, and because our district is unique in the advanced program, and has all German speakers, we have the opportunity to have some language instruction. Frau Lindsay and Herr Embley would be proud that I taught my district the preposition songs (an, auf, hinter, in, neben etc etc). I've put those 10 hours to good use and have the missionary purpose and First Vision memorized, all auf Deutsch. I recited the First Vision, in German, with Ana, during our second meeting with her on Tuesday. I can't describe the powerful, warm Spirit that flooded the room. It's experiences like these that make me recognize why I'm serving a mission: I want the German people to know how much their Heavenly Father loves them, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the Gospel has been restored to this Earth. Hurrah for Israel!!
This morning (Friday) we had the opportunity to go to the temple. It was bittersweet as I recognized that this could very well be the last time I go to the temple for 18 months. The Spirit was particularly strong in the temple, as I too realized that I would be leaving home, America, for a year and a half. There definitely is no place like home. Then again.....the power, peace, blessings that come from the temple bring me such joy every time I attend, that I wouldn't want it any other way than to teach people about the Gospel and to give them the opportunity to go to the temple themselves. I'm so grateful to be a missionary.
WOW. Thank you for sharing the story of Elder Haddock with me. My heart swelled with complete joy as I heard that he found his family. It is my firm testimony that we have witnessed a modern day miracle. I was so touched that I shared it with my district, and they too are in awe of the majesty and Omniscience of God. *great big hug to Sister Haddock!*
Time is short! 60 minutes isn't enough to tell you all I want to. Remember that I love you and pray for you. Thank you for your letters!! I LOVE hearing from you! (Shout out to Grandma and Papa, my family, Devan Bursey, Chris Hatch, and Carly Davis: thanks for the letters and packages! I've never recieved so many cookies and candy in the space of 2 days, ever.) There is nothing like a long, exhausting day and recieving mail. Please write! Usedearelder.com while you can -- I fly out Tuesday morning. I would love to hear from you!
The Church is true!
3 Nephi 11:39, 41
Sister Natalie Motto(Sister Natalie Motto, Unit 227, June 11, ALP-GER)
Natalie with some of her PGHS friends who are also in the MTC....Sister Norton, Penrod, Elder Nate Church
Natalie receiving her FIRST goody package from Mom and Dad -- STARBURSTS (to help with the saliva production....best way to help someone speak German:)