Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 18 "A wonderful week of miracles! The Lord loves His Missionaries!"

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

Hello from the land of Oktoberfest!  The holiday is in full swing here in Stuttgart Zone, and things sure are getting a little crazy!....It reminds me of...the Utah State Fair, Christmas shopping, tail-gating parties and Halloween rolled up into one massive, unruly, crazy, and yep...yummy event.  Hello gigantic Bretzlen (very large and delicious pretzel bread) and Bratwursts galore!

This week went so fast!  We were so busy the entire time and all of a sudden it was Monday again!  So for last weeks PDay as a district we climbed the MUNSTER, the tallest church in the entire world. We had gorgeous weather that day, which ended up being a huge tender mercy. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Alps!  We were able to see the majority of Baden-Würtemmburg, as well as a good deal of Bayern. Germany is so beautiful and the scenery was breathtaking! One day Eltern, I look forward climbing it with you!  All 768 steps!

Last week I also had the opportunity to go on Austausch (sister exchange or split)  to Lahr, Germany, a darling dorf just outside of Offenburg, near the border of France. Lahr is right smack in the middle of the Schwarzwald: it is absolutely breathtaking there. I went on Austausch with Sister Jencks again, who was in Stuttgart with Sister Green. The Sister Training Leaders in Lahr cover Stuttgart Zone and Freiburg Zone, because we have only 4 sisters areas between the two.  After District Meeting in Ulm, we rode on the train for an hour to Stuttgart, and then up to Karlsruhe in the Frankfurt Mission....well, um...oops.....We went outside of the mission!!!  Just representing you MOM!!! :)   No worries, it was with permission, because Karlsruhe is the fastest and easiest way for the sisters in Stuttgart to tausch with Freiburg. The only time I had to get a picture was one of the Bahnhof sign: I said hi to your ol' mission for you!

Austausch was a huge learning experience for me. Sister Jencks and I had the goal to find 15 potentials Wednesday, and so all day long we doored and contacted. Lahr just opened this transfer, so Sister Jencks and her companion Sister Drury (who not only tausched with Sister Woods, but also was her trainer!) are starting completely spanking fresh in that area. They already have a few investigators, and we had the opportunity to meet all of them.  Sister Jencks was really good at encouraging me and complimenting me on my German. Sister Jencks showed me how being brave, bold, and friendly are the keys of contacting: don't be aggressive, but you have an important message to share, and so share it with a smile! :)   We were able to reach our goal with finding potentials, and out of it Lahr has a few new investigators!   We may or may not have ALMOST gone into the France Lyon Mission on the way to an appointment, but that's because we got on the wrong bus. Thankfully we got off the bus before we crossed the border into France. Phew!! (So is that 2 mission boundary breaches in the same week?)  It was really neat to work with Sister Jencks again (we tausched in my first transfer together) and to see how each other has grown and changed, and how we have become better missionaries than before.  And it was kind of a plus that I was in one of the most beautiful areas in our mission. (I'm so sorry Mom....I left my camera in Göppingen!!!!!!!! :( )

Going on Austausch was really beneficial for both Sister Woods and me. We learned a LOT and how we can help Göppingen grow. On Friday we went back to Schwäbisch Gmünd...we got a text from the Edelmann's granddaughter (and Julee from Utah's relative) saying she wanted to meet.  Yay!!!  We went Friday afternoon and met her and her brother. She is wonderful and DARLING.  (She added me on Facebook....can you take care of that for me Mom? Danke.)  She's 24, and is a student in Innsbrook. What was planned to be only a 45 minute meeting ended up being 2 hours long! We talked to them about the Book of Mormon, and both of them were very, very interessted. They asked us questions about the Restoration, and what makes our church different. That's when we introduced the Book of Mormon more fully. As we talked about Joseph Smith, she kept saying "how beautiful!". The Spirit was so tenderly sweet and warm, and we gave both them a copy to begin reading. We exchanged numbers so we can keep in touch with her as she goes back to Innsbrook to study, and also her address so she can meet with the sisters there in Brixen. We will be going back next week to meet with him and his mother.

We had our first Ausstellung (street display) on Saturday! It was a great success!!! Our whole district was there, and we had about 7 members show up. We were able to have our elders do splits with our GML, and Sister Woods and I would do splits with the Jungen Damen (young women) and older women that came. We found 10 potentials that day, gave away 7 Bücher Mormons, and out of those 10 potentials we have 3 new investigators!! One of them, Herr Ilmi, from Italy, came to church yesterday. He only stayed for a short while because he had to go to work, but he said he felt so good inside that he wanted to come back again next week. We invited him to General Conference, as well as his son, and gave him an Italian Book of Mormon. We have an appointment with Herr Ilmi this week. Our other 2 investigators are 2 very nice gentleman from Iraq, living here in Deustchland as refugees because of their Christian faith. They approached us at the Ausstellung, noticing a picture of the Savior and with tears said "Jesus Christus." Sister Hofer (a lady in our ward) and myself talked with these men, and they asked when they could come to a worship service. We got their information and told them we could have an appointment and give them both an Arabic Book of Mormon this week. We meet this Wednesday!

After our Ausstellung, we made a quick trip to Geislingen to take brownies to a less active who has been sick. We had to wait for about 20 minutes for our bus, when a cute lady came up to us and asked us if we were by chance going to Wiesensteig: about 3 stops after ours. As we replied, we began talking with her, and she asked us how we had such good German. Explaining that we were the missionaries, this lady, R, excitedly exclaimed that she and her husband are familiar with our faith and have been impressed with our people and religion. The four of us got on the bus together, and for 40 minutes (missing our bus stop by one, but this time stayed in mission boundaries :) ) we taught R and her husband about the Gospel. We hurriedly exchanged information as we exited, and went to our appointment. Our appointment with Sister M and her children was wonderful, and we were able to set up another lesson for next week. Sister M can then be progressing, and her 2 children who are not baptized will become our new investigators.

The story doesn't end there!

When we got off the bus, back at the Bahnhof to go back to Göppingen, we heard a squeal from behind us. It was R!!!!  She waited for us so that she could talk to us again.  Can you believe that?   She ran over to us and embraced us, telling us she and her husband could not stop talking about how impressed they were with two young women, who have left everything they love and hold dear at home, to come and talk to stubborn German people about Christ! R and her husband Igor offered us a ride home to Göppingen (In the opposite direction they needed to go!) so we could talk more. We got to talk with Herr and Frau B for another 30 minutes and answer their questions about the Church. When R dropped us off at the Bahnhof in Göppingen, she gave both Sister Woods and I a great big hug and said "Sisters, I know we will meet again. This relationship and friendship was meant to happen!" And it definitely was. I know we were supposed to meet the B's and introduce, in more fullness, the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them. We called our district leader, and hopefully we have permission soon to begin teaching them before handing them off to the Ulm elders.  Just so that you know ----Miracles happen!!!

Another miracle: We finally got a hold of D. We will be meeting with him on Wednesday again (first meeting since his challenge to baptism in August), and hopefully can figure out what is going on. Please keep him, as well as our other new investigators, in your prayers! I have felt and seen the power of prayer in my life this past week: the Lord truly loves us and is there to support us in absolutely everything we do.

This week was so exhausting, but so full of miracles and the Spirit. I am so grateful to be where I am, and I can see the work of Göppingen pressing forward. There are many miracles and much success to be brought forth: so stay tuned!!

Have a wonderful week my loved ones! Bis nächste Woche, gel?

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Natalie Motto

At the tallest cathedral in the world…the Muster in Ulm

Street Display with the Göppingen Ward

Me and Sister Woods in front of the Muster

District Göppingen getting our "muster" to climb up the Muster!
I made Swiss "Rösti"!

Doesn't matter that we are on opposite teams…we love each other anyway:)

At the top of the Munster Cathedral in Ulm (Tallest cathedral in the world)

1 comment:

  1. That is an amazing, miraculous, beautiful report! I want some of that delicious Rosti, oh meine gute! It is so cute when they get to go through Karlsruhe, it's so sehr schwarz for them! haha