Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 22 "A Mission Is A Family Affair"

Servus liebe Familie und Freunde!!

This week was wonderful, but a little long because I was sick for about 3 days with a sore throat and a fever.  I hate being sick:(  So you can imagine how hard it was for me to slow down in any way. Tis the sick season! With my companion's recommendation I had to rest a little and I took some medicine and drank lots of water to speed up the healing process. The other sisters have been healthy, which is good, and we are all taking extra precaution to stay healthy.  It's really hard being sick on the mission, I hate the feeling of not being able to go out and work, so I'm grateful that I am now on the mend and on the way back to my healthy self!

This week was stake conference in Vienna, as well as interviews with President Miles!  We were able to have a sleep over for stake conference: the Graz sisters came and stayed in our apartment Saturday night because of the long train ride to Vienna. It was really fun getting to know Sisters Kervinen (from Finland. She is hilarious and is a very good missionary) and Sister Reginer (from San Fransisco, California, we rode the train together to Vienna. She is so sweet and is a great example of expressing true, genuine charity for everyone.) We had 6 sisters crammed into a small apartment -- needless to say it was a little hectic in the morning getting ready for stake conference, but it all worked out. Yeah for some more sunlight! It helps that it is now the end of daylight savings strange that we start a week before you-- that means we are only 7 hours apart, for one week! :)  (Can you believe that we forgot about the extra hour of I woke up at 5:30 instead of 6:30. Naja....OH WELL...Sleep is overrated, right? :)

Wonderful weekend!  President and Sister Miles spoke at our stake conference, and so we were able to be with them for about 2 days. I love when the Miles' come and visit and spend time with us: they have a really busy schedule but I am very grateful for the time they do take to visit each one of us and remind us of their love.  They told us how much they appreciate our optimism, hard work ethic and desire to be the best missionaries we can be.  I. Love.Them!

The big theme for this stake conference was the temple. It was a little hard, because I became homesick for the temple, but the messages shared were beautiful and definitely something I needed to hear. President Souceck, one of the counselors and Dad's former missionary companion, spoke about the importance of remaining pure and chaste so we can worthily enter the Lord's house. I never really understood the importance of this until I was able to go through the temple last February and recieve my endowment. (What a special experience that was! Sometimes I wish I could go do it all over again.) An outpouring of love from the Spirit testified to my heart the great importance for me to one day marry in the temple, to search after that goal of being sealed to my future eternal companion. I have always been amazed the way the Lord teaches me and gives me revelation, because sometimes it is in ways I least expect it.  President Nally in the MTC once said that "A mission experience is the MTC for the rest of your life, as well as the next."  Now I recognize how serving a mission, when served with full purpose of heart, might, mind, and strength, is a blessing for my future family, and I am forever grateful that I have chosen to serve.

This week we had the opportunity to meet with our investigator "Dory", a mother of 6 with her 2 youngest being 1 year old twins, "P and L."  Dory's husband will not allow her to be baptized at this time, and so we are teaching her continually more and more about the Gospel as we wait in faith for her husband's permission. Dory is a woman of solid faith and firm understanding, just as the Book of Mormon describes we should be. She really wants to be baptized so we are praying that her husbands heart will be softened.  She purchased a kindle to download all the standard works, so she can read them wherever she goes. We just gave her a copy of "Jesus der Christus" and are meeting with her on Wednesday. As I entered her home and began talking with her, I felt such an overhwhelming love for Dory, and I could not deny the impression that I have come to Vienna to meet her.

Interviews were fantastic! President Miles is such an inspired man. My interview was actually quite brief, maybe only 5 or 6 minutes, but President Miles challenged me to do something. He said, "Sister Motto, I want you to find out why you are here in Vienna. By doing so, I want you to study the scriptures. I know you do each and every day, but tonight kneel in prayer and plea to the Lord to see what He expects out of your scripture study, and how you can be better." I have always thought I was really good at my scripture study, but I did exactly what President Miles asked. And the answer came! I need to be studying more and utilizing it in my every day proselyting, the words of modern day prophets. Together with the standard works, talks from the Ensign/Liahona and General Conference are JUST AS POWERFUL in every day missionary work.In my studies I have made the goal to read 15 minutes in the Book of Mormon, 15 from the standard works, 15 from Verkünet mein Evangelium!, and 15 from a conference talk.  

In regards to my language and this new Viennese geht gut!  I am having fewer times of misunderstandings and more confident moments of total understanding-- yay yay YAY! :)   German is not the easiest language to comprehend but my love for it grows every day.  Yet another blessing which comes from serving a foreign speaking mission!  I did have a small "oops" when in visiting with a member family who have 6 kids....I encouraged them to be "fruitful" rather than to say how "terribly" important it is to be a good member missionary.....they reminded me kindly of my "obvious" mistake..."Sister Motto...we are fruitful...we have 6 kids!"

In relation to my new resolution in studies, the impression came to me the other day to read a talk from April 2013 conference by President Monson. In there I found a quote that I could not help but weep as I read. It says,

"A mission is a family affair. Though the expanse of continents or oceans may separate,
hearts are as one."

Simpler truth could not have been better stated. I am so grateful for the mountains of support and love I feel each and every day from home. Sometimes I get homesick, mostly because I wish to share my experiences here on the mission with you at home. I wish you were right beside me! This work is too beautiful and wonderful. It was exactly one year ago this week I  wrestled whether or not I should serve. How clearly I remember the soothing peace of the Holy Ghost as I knelt in prayer and begged for an answer. I remember the feelings of fear and inadequacy I felt as I thought about serving a mission, but there was such a sweet spirit as the Spirit testified to me that the Lord doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies The called. This mission truly has been the greatest blessing to me. No kidding, it has been the most difficult thing I have done, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, but there are so many blessings that come when we simply turn ourselves over to the Lord and let Him take care of the rest. I'm simply striving to be a Werkzeuge, a work tool, in His hands, to help Him bring to pass the great and marvelous work of proclaming the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

How grateful I am to be here! I love being a missionary in Austria at this time of this marvelous dispensation!  "Geh immer Vorwärts", and press on until the work of the Lord is finished!

Have a wonderful week!

Sister Natalie Motto
Elder Pugmire, our DL and Me with Sister Woods at our last district meeting in Göppingen

…..On the Blue Danube!
My awesome Göppingen District…miss them! Elders Rodgers, Durrant, Chapman, Garett, Oviatt, Philips, Pugmire, Carlson and Me and Sister Woods

Me with my new companion, Sister Judd!

The magnificent Stephens Dom Cathedral in WIEN


  1. Three missionaries today have mentioned how much they miss the temple! I loved reading about her decision to go on a mission. Beautiful girl, beautiful faith.

  2. I hope you as parents can see the growth in Sis Motto, because to me she just seems like the model Alpine German-speaking missionary. So grounded, so faithful, so diligent. Her funny mistake auf Deutsch was adorable! And such gorgeous photos, I'm glad she is in Wien so we get to enjoy the beauty along with her each week!

  3. Well, that's not exactly St. Stephan's cathedral :-D (but that's a negligible detail). Still looking forward to meet Sr. Motto. Couldn't spot her at the stake conference ...