Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 5 "Grüßle!"

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

Hello from sunny, bright, Göppingen, Germany! (Or should I say 'grüßle!' -- common way of greeting 'round these parts)

This week was a wonderful one! Started it off last Tuesday with interviews with Presdient Miles! Sister Clark and I spent all day in Stuttgart, spending time with our zone and Sister Miles while Presdient Miles took us out one by one to interview us. My interview was wonderful. Presídent Miles and I talked about Göppingen and how wonderful Sister Clark is as a trainer, and then we talked about the connection with Uncle Tony serving here. President Miles was very intent as I told him about the connections I've made with members and investigators and less actives here. He expressed to me that it was a confirmation of revelation to send me to Göppingen: when he was praying about where to send us new goldens, and with what trainers to match us up with, President said he felt impressed to first send me to Vienna to work with Sister Woods (who was Sister Clark's MTC companion, by the way). About fifteen minutes before our testimony meeting where we would be getting our assignments that Wednesday night, President felt prompted to change my call to Göppingen, and he did. He said 'The Lord works in mysterious ways, Sister Motto; I see now why I had that impression to send you to Göppingen.' I know that this work is not mine; it is the Lord's. But what a blessing and MIRACLE it is to be serving where Uncle Tony did, making the many many connections I have because of his wonderful service here, and how I can help 'reap' the seeds he planted 20 years ago. What a beautiful miracle! I'm so grateful for President and Sister Miles; they are truly incredible people. I love them so dearly and am saddened that they get released next July! They do so much for us missionaries, it means the world to us all that they do. I now understand the love Grandma and Papa have for their missionaries in Chicago and at the MTC, and the love the missionaries have for them! (By the way, President Miles sends his warmest regards and love to Grandma and Papa, and hopes all is well with them.)

Thursday we met with Barbara Reik, Uncle Tony's dear friend. She is one neat lady! It was a little difficult communicating with her, because I'm not very good at conversational German yet, but it was wonderful talking about Uncle Tony and how she met him and the connection he has with her sons. We have an appointment sometime next week when we can meet Andreas and have lunch! I'm really excited. Sister Clark and I didn't really know where to begin in terms about talking about the Gospel with Barbara, but we were able to share our testimonies about prayer and the importance of faith. She's a special individual, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to befriend her and help Barbara come closer to her Savior Jesus Christ. We were also able to get in touch with Monika Buchholz, who has been less active for about 18 years. We have a Termin (meeting) next Thursday! She was THRILLED to hear that I was Tony's niece and immediately complied to a meeting. This is what the missionaries have wanted for a long time now, to get in touch with Monika and her family and here I have the blessing and opportunity to do that! We are praying that all goes well!!

Yesterday, Sunday, we went to Stuttgart to watch the broadcast from last week with the new media announcement. HOW AMAZING WAS THAT?!! Sister Clark and I could not stop taking notes during that devotional. So many prayers on our end were answered as to how we want to do missionary work, and how we can help our little branch get excited about it, and to help us in  this great endevor to find those who are seeking the truth. I loved the emphasis on member-missionary relationships and the importance of working together. When the members work with us as missionaries, there is a different source of strength and power and Spirit. Every member a missionary!

I am so grateful for the branch I serve in, as well as the members darin....within....(I'm already forgetting English words; they should have sent me Danglish speaking instead of German). Our branch is actually really small, but the members are strong. Sister Clark and I have made it our goal this transfer, and next, to build & strengthen this small branch. Yes, we will do our best to find investigators through street contacting and klingeling usw (ringing doors, etc.) , but through a lot of prayer we have both come to the understanding that our calling together, here in Göppingen, is to build our branch. Our biggest focus is the less actives, helping them reignite their testimonies they have. It will be hard, but Sister Clark and I have already seen miracles happen in these short 3 weeks of being in the field, and we know there will be many more to come as long as we continue being obedient and faithful. Sure, it's hard. This work is HARD, and in ways I never thought it would be. But I've developed this desire to constantly be working. I've already been on my mission one full month, and it seems like only a few days. Sometimes it feels like eternity, but it only feels like that when I am being selfish. There is no room for selfishness in the Lord's selfless work!  I'm being humbled every single day. From the time I wake up to the time I lay down to sleep, I am being cleansed, humbled, sanctified in the Lord's work. I have a deeper understanding of His vast, profound, all-consuming love for His children throughout the world, especially here in Germany. I understand the power, majesty, and perfection of Almighty God. I am an imperfect teacher, missionary, human, doing my best in His perfect, eternal and ever-loving gospel. 

To all my friends and family who are preparing to leave, or who are thinking of serving a mission--there is no work like the Lord's. It is hard, and it is definitely not what you are expecting it to be. But it is BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL.. I love every minute; I want to do this the rest of my life.

I am also learning more and more each day to love this quaint, quiet and sleepy, very rustic Göppingen. I'm learning to love the fact that I live in an apartment above a nursing home. I'm learning to love the (actually quite obnoxious) sirens from the ambulance down the street every 20 or so minutes. I'm learning to love the people, seeing them as sons and daughters of God-- my brothers and sisters.  And if you didn't know :)  -- I love the food (shocker!) & culture.  What a wonderful place to serve my Heavenly Father!

Great news!! We have a new investigator! His name is Günter Schall; he just moved to Göppingen as was being taught a little by the Freiburg elders before he moved. We taught him this morning, and spoke about Hoffnung (hope) and faith, and who we are as children of God. Herr Schall was very stuck on the thought of the evil and darkness in the world, and why there is 'no happiness'. We explained to him that, through Jesus Christ, we can find the happiness and peace we seek for. Please keep Herr Schall in your prayers as he begins to read the Book of Mormon and find out for himself about the truth. I know that is it the role of the Holy Ghost, and the agency of the investigator that truly converts them, but I know that prayer and faith in their behalf will soften his heart and help him understand. Thank you for your prayers in Destiny's behalf as well. Our investigators: Frau Seyock, Herr Schall, Destiny, are all incredible souls who I know were among the valiant pre-mortally; Sister Clark and I are simply there to help remind them of that divinity and the enormous love our Heavenly Father and Savior have for each of them.

The language is coming well. I have had many Germans comment on my grammar.....thank you Herr Embley and Frau Lindsay for DRILLING that into me! I understand quite a bit, and am learning more each day! Schwä schwer (hard, tricky) to understand. But I'm getting there -- with lots of patience and prayers! All in preparation for Bäyerisch when I get transfered someday, eh? I've said it before and I'll say it again...I have a firm testimony in the gift of tongues!! I may not understand word-for-word what someone is saying, but I'm able to understand the context and overall message, and respond accordingly.

Thank you, my dear family and friends, for the support and love you give me. I wake up every morning feeling the strength from your prayers and thoughts, and it means the world to me. I am so grateful, as a missionary, to know what kind of support and love I have. Thank you thank you thank you! Thanks to those who have written! I love coming home from a long day to find mail in the mailbox, to hear how things are back home. I'll write back as soon as I can! Time is limited on a mission, because it is not my own, it is the Lord's, but know I appreciate your letters and I will write back!

I love you all!  Remember the basics: faith, prayer, scripture study, obedience, and selfless service make for a happy life. I promise you.

Liebe grüße,

Sister Natalie Motto

Waiting for the bus.....

Waiting for the train.....

Little village of Kuchen (cake!)


Rainy days are awesome

Kuchen in the background

No comments:

Post a Comment