Monday, October 7, 2013

Letter from Sister Motto Week 19 "Glorious and Grand"

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

This week was such an amazing week!!! We have 2 new investigators and were able to enjoy a very fulfilling session of General Conference. We had super fun cleaning day, and completely de-junked our whole basement keller and apartment in preparation for 4 missionaries (we found some pretty neat treasures!) It's also the last week of this transfer-- didn't transfer 3 just start? We will find out Friday if the 2 new sisters come this next transfer or not. I feel like time is slipping through my fingers!

Our two new investigators are "I' from Iraq and Jan who is German. We found "I" during our Ausstellung (street display) on the 28 of September. "I"  is a refugee from Iraq, having fled the country under the safety of the American soldiers because of his Christian beliefs. He has been reading th Book of Mormon in both German and Arabic, and absolutely loves it. He loves Joseph Smith and has a beautiful testimony that Christ's church is restored to the earth. He has a problem with smoking, but he said he is willing to give up everything (because in many ways he already has) for Jesus Christ. During our meetings in a nearby park, "I" is very concious to not smoke while we meet, even though sometimes it's hard. He's making so much progress and will be coming to church next Sunday! He watched General Conference online, and we are very excited to meet and talk´about his thoughts of a living prophet! (He would have come to Stuttgart with us, but as a refugee he cannot leave the state of Baden-Württemburg.)

Our other investigator, Jan, is 28 years old and lives in nearby Göppingen. He first became aquainted with the church at age 17 when he met with the elders once. For some reason, we do not have record of his meeting. Jan recieved a Book of Mormon at that first meeting, and has read it pretty regularly since 2002. Jan lost contact with the missionaries and the church, and just a short while ago befriended a member of the Church on Facebook. We will call the member "Brother Fox".  Brother Fox and Jan have communicated and talked about the Church. Brother Fox guided Jan to to request a missionary visit, so Jan did! He referred himself to the Church (so awesome, let me just say!) and asked for a new Book of Mormon, because he lost his old one.

We were let in by Jan's mother when we went to drop off the Book of Mormon, and talked with the two of them about their familiarity and ´knowledge of the Church. Jan expressed to us his desire to find the truth, "just like Joseph Smith", he said. Jan told us that he knows the other churches aren't true, and he has a really good feeling about this church. He loves the way he feels the spirit when he chats with Brother Fox on Facebook about the Church, and wants to know how he can always have that feeling. We talked about baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Jan asked "where can I go to be baptized?" Sister Woods and I explained that it was through us! We told him we need to continue teaching him some things, but that if he already has that goal for baptism, it is something he can begin to work towards. Jan already lives the Word of Wisdom, the law of chastity, and keeps the sabbath day holy. He LOVES the Family Proclamation, and expressed that he wants to marry someone of "his own faith" and would like to live in Salt Lake City one day. Jan is AWESOME! He is so friendly, very open, and asks fantastic questions. His mom is meeting with the Zeuge Jehova's.....but sits in and listens to us anyway. Jan says he knows the Zeuge Jehova's aren't the "right church" because he doesn't have a good feeling when he listens to them. We have another meeting with Jan and his mom this week! Follow up: Book of Mormon reading Challenge: BAPTISMAL DATE!

We also met with "Destiny" this week for the first time since August! He still has the goal to be baptized, and has been reading in the Book of Mormon more than ever, but he says that life is really stressful and he is trying to find time for God. He expressed he still has a desire to be baptized because the Holy Spirit told him that is what he needs to do, and he always keeps his promises. Destiny said that he feels the adversary pulling him, and he is doing all he can to fight against Satan's attacks on distracting Destiny from coming to church. Destiny always very honest with us, and told us straight up he felt rushed into his baptismal date (which is understandable), and he just needs more time to prepare for such a big step. We asked him to set his own baptismal date, and Destiny said sometime in early November. Our meeting Tuesday we will talk about his self-set baptismal date and ways we can better help him prepare. I know the prayers in Destiny's behalf are blessing his life so abundantly!

General Conference......OH MEINE GUTE!!! Absolutely FANTASTIC!! Saturday we drove to Stuttgart with Sister Fingerle (Our Göppingen members are the BEST!) for the Relief Society Broadcast and Saturday morning (live) session of conference, and then overnighted with the Stuttgart sisters. Yesterday, Sunday, we watched Saturday Afternoon re-broadcast and then Sunday morning live. Today for studies we watched Sunday afternoon. Those 9,5 hours were the fastest I can remember. When the Saturday morning was over, I thought we were only at the halfway mark through the session! I DEVOURED conference, and I hope you did too. It was a glorious weekend and I was spiritually fed to the brim!!

There were many moments during conference that the Spirit overcame me, and I knew that you, my loving family, was thinking of me. It is my hope that you felt an outpouring of the Spirit as well, knowing that I was thinking of you through each second of conference. I have a testimony that the Lord answers prayers. Even the "silly ones". Each one of my questions I took to the Lord was answered during conference. There were some pertaining to missionary work, to my personal life, and to life at home next year. Each and every question was answered. They were answered in quotes, in impressions I wrote down, or in beautiful, still, warm, calm feelings of the Spirit. That is why taking notes is so important!!! As far as picking a favorite talk could I do that?  They were all amazing!!!   Some of my absolute favorites moments were:

1. Elder Hale's promise that as we heed to the word's of prophets from conference would protect us from the fiery darts of the advesary
2. Elder Ulisses Soares' talk on meekness, and the importance of this divine, refining Christlike trait
3. Elder Bednar's promise of paying a full tithe being a sanctifying and precious process expressing perfect faith.
4. President Uchtdorf's call "Come, Join With Us". He said "Heed the call of the gentle Christ, here you will find the message beyond price." Also, probably my favorite quote, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."
5. Elder D Todd Christofferson "We need women who are tender....faithful....good....virtuous....pure....and refined." Also, "it is your relationship with your Heavenly Father that matters most."
6 Elder S Gifford Nielsen's talk about exclamation point.The thought came, "Be an EXCLAMATION POINT MISSIONARY!!!!!!"
7. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland "Cherish Priesthood blessings, take advantage of the Sacrament, believe in miracles." I wept through his whole story about Stephanie Nielsen, having had the priviledge of meeting her (coaching her kids swim team!) and talking with her. We must truly cherish the priesthood, take advantage of the weekly process of repentance, and believe in miracles!
8. Elder M Russell Ballard on missionary work "Fear will be replaced with faith and courage, then seek for the opportunity to teach." His promise that if we reach out to just ONE by Christmas that many will come unto Christ was BEAUTIFUL. We truly must talk with EVERYONE!!! :)

There is never a boring week as a missionary IF you work diligently, faithfully, steadfast, and honestly.  "Be an EXCLAMATION POINT MISSIONARY!!!"" LOVE LOVE LOVE THAT!  There is so much work to be done and this week promises to be a glorious one...because, after all, the Lord is in charge of His perfect, eternal, most important work of bringing souls unto Christ!

I love you all so much!! Have a WONDERFUL week full of gratitude, hope, and faith. Always rely on our Savior Jesus Christ, for He is always there, "in sunshine and in sorrow."

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Natalie Motto

In front of a horse meat packing company…disgusting!!

Cleaning out the basement storage in our apartment and found this beauty!

We rewarded ourself after "cleaning day" with Gelato! 

Sometimes you just need a good ol' American PB&J

1 comment:

  1. Loved her letter! What a sweetheart, I melted when she spoke of feeling your love and thoughts for her during Conference. She truly is and will magnify her goal to be an "exclamation point missionary!"