Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 17 "Am I really in Germany -- Pinch me"

Hallo Familie und Freunde!!

Here in Göppingen GERMANY the weather is still welcoming and warm, but with a cool breeze and a slight bite-- especially in the morning, we are soon approaching real autumn. The colors are changing and our surrounding area is just spectacular!! Seriously, pinch me. 

This week in terms of missionary work was AMAZING! We saw so many miracles and tender mercies and blessings come to pass. We were on our toes and go-go-go! :-)

We had our first meeting with Barbara in a long time.  Yay!!!  She has been really busy with work, and it was a tender mercy she even had time to meet. We had a great conversation, and gave a lesson on Enos 1:1-8.  The Spirit flooded the room, and it was beautiful to witness Barbara recognize it. There is so much power in talking about prayer and faith, especially when talking about the testimony of the Holy Ghost revealing to us simple truths.  We are slowly and surely working with Barbara, and she is making progress!  It's all about finding what her concerns are, and answering that perhaps ONE critical question that is causing her to hold back from fully and whole-heartedly accepting the Gospel.

This week, we were also able to begin contacting our wonderful referrals from Julee!!  Our district finding day got canceled, but we weren't going to let that defer us from what we knew needed to be done!  So we decided to go to Schwäbish Gmund anyway and contact Julee's relatives. (We are a very determined little pair of sister missionaries!)  The sooner the better, right?!  We had to take a bus pretty early in the morning to get to Schwäbisch Gmund, because the bus schedule doesn't go very often from Göppingen. Driving through the hills in the morning gave me another "Am I really in Germany-PINCH-ME?" moment.   This region of Germany is so unique, and just breathtaking. We made it to Schwäbisch Gmund one hour later, and set off on our trek!  We did what missionaries do best .........Walked!!!   About 45 minutes of cobblestone and puddle jumping, we found the street  where the Wamslers and Edelmann's live.   We contacted Herr und Frau Edelmann, the parents of Susi Wamsler (who was not home at the time).    As cute Frau Edelmann answered the door, we were lightening fast to make the connection of who we were, that we knew Julee and Heidi!!   Frau Edelmann said "Heidi? You know Heidi? From America?" and very excitedly let us in! This was my first time being let in! Herr und Frau Edelmann were very, very sweet. They are about 80 years old and live in a home that's over 100 years old!    We talked about their family, and how everyone is related to one another, and the history of Schwäbisch Gmund. Can you believe that?  Herr Edelmann told us some really neat stories about D-day, what it was like during WWII there in Schwäbisch Gmund, and what it was like having that area controlled by the US Soldiers.  We were in awe and amazement.  Best history lesson I've heard....and I understood it all....for the most part.  His accent is pretty thick Schwäbish.   After about 20 minutes, Frau Edelmann offered to make us lunch, because we had come so far to say hello. We had spaghetti with homemade (from her personal garden, I must clarify ;- ) tomato "soße" and salad. It was delicious, and so very kind of Frau Edelmann to make it for us. We even had homemade lebkuchen for dessert! Tis the season...well not quite, but I'm glad nonetheless because it tasted delish!  

The subject soon came up about our work as missionaries. We told Herr and Frau Edelmann about us and exactly what we do, and shared our testimonies about what a blessing the Gospel has been in our lives. The Spirit was present, as we gave our testimonies. We had a lesson planned out, but for some reason it did not feel right to share at that moment.   Following our meeting with the Edelmann's, Sister Woods and I talked about it, and we both feel that we need to wait until we can meet with the Edelmann's again (in 2 weeks!), so we can meet with their daughter as well, to share our message.

Sister Woods is such a great companion! I love her so much. She is so full of energy and brings a great spunk from big-city life in Vienna to little-town Göppingen. We did some good-old streeting the other day, and talked to so many people! It was a blast! We talked with "Herr Athiest" about evolution, "Herr Muslim" who believes in the Bible and wanted to read the Book of Mormon, and then a group of teenage girls who thought we looked super cute in our skirts! These girls, 15 years old about, asked us why we always look so nicely dressed, and why we had "süß" (sweet) nametags. We explained to them we were the Mormon missionaries, and they got really excited that we were Mormons. They asked us lots of questions, and we were able to talk with them and clarify those many, silly misconceptions about our religion (one of my favorite parts of talking with people, by the way). They loved the fact we were from America, and wanted to speak English with us, so we had some fun and talked with them for about 10 minutes in English. When these girls asked what exactly our beliefs were, we gave them a 3 minute version of the most fundamental, important truths of our Church, that namely: God is our loving Father in Heaven. Because He loves us, He sent His Son to die for us, so that we can repent and return to live with Him. We know this because of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and because of him we have the restored Church, that was on the Earth when Christ was. We gave these girls each a card to look on, and gave them our telephone numbers.  Funnest day of contacting yet!  I LOVE preaching the Gospel!

We have also begun teaching 7 year old Jakob Kindermann, a young boy in our ward, the missionary lessons before his baptism in October. We LOVE the Kindermann family: they are excellent member missionaries and do a lot for us and for missionary work. Bruder Kindermann is also our go-to guy when it comes to needing things fixed or done in the apartment, or to give us a ride to an appointment if we get stranded 3 Dorfs over from our planned destination---OOPS....(That's what you get when you have a blonde, still-should-be-golden taking over an area.......;-)

This week I've been studying in Mosiah 4, and at the end of the speech that King Benjamin gives, about "watch yourselves" in verse 30. I've cross-referenced this topic with the Christlike attribute of virtue as found in Preach My Gospel. Virtue is truly priceless, and is worth far more than rubies (Proverbs 31:10). It is so important that we do guard ourselves in our thoughts and our deeds, from the dark and twisted ways of the adversary. Being on a mission, and being in the world, I have seen a lot of things. I've seen things that make me truly sad, upset, and ever more eager to fight against Satan's attacks on light. This world is so evil, and my fervor and desire to be more diligent as a missionary grows each day. This work is not easy, because salvation isn't easy. Salvation does not come cheap. Because of our Savior, who paid the ultimate price of the Atonement, we can repent, renew our commitment to do better, and move on. I am so grateful for this Gospel, and to be the Lord's missionary. Geh immer vorwärts! Das Evangelium is wahr!

Hiking the tallest cathedral in Europe today -- the MUNSTER for District Pday! So excited!  I'll send lots of pictures :) We are also tausching with the Sister Training Leaders in LAHR, near Freiburg. I'm headed down south while Sister Woods takes over Göppingen. I'm so excited!! (We have to cross into Frankfurt mission a little to make our train connection, though. That will be interesting!  I will have to let Elder Motto know:))  Many, many pictures to come next week.

I love you all!! My prayers and thoughts are always with you. Find someone to serve today!

Liebe grüße, Much love always...

Sister Natalie Hannah Motto

Sister Woods and Sister Djentar (a member from our branch)

It's what for lunch!

Mitbelehrung lesson with Sister Djentar!

Me with little Mia Fingerle from our branch

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