Monday, March 10, 2014

"There IS Safety for the Soul"

Hallo Meine Lieben!

Greetings from a bright, blue-skied Vienna Austria! We were able to enjoy a beautiful Sunday yesterday at Church. Sundays have become my favorite day because we get to take the Sacrament! Each Sunday during the Sacrament prayer I love being able to sit quietly and contemplate and really think about the words being used. Pretty great stuff.

This week we saw many little miracles, which has been a testimony to me that the Lord really does work in the small and simple things, line upon line and precept upon precept. On Wednesday Sister Green and I did something we have never before done in Vienna: we went DOORING, or tracking and we did it for over three hours. We would "klingel" until somebody buzzed us in (doorbells are on the outside of apartment buildings, and you wait until the person you klingeled lets you in) and then we would run up to the top of the stairs and do missionary work the old fashioned way.  The joke in our mission is that you need to klingel 1000 doors to find one person who will let you in. At least in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, that's the norm.  Well, Sister Green and I klingled only about 31 (31???!!!)  before a cute young woman answered the door. She had long brown hair and it was apparent she was getting ready for something. We introduced ourselves as LDS missionaries and that we had a message for her about how her Heavenly Father loves her. This girl looked us up and down, gave us a funny look, and then laughed and said she was getting ready for work. She's a flight attendant and doesn't have a lot of time, and when she does she likes to spend it with family and reading. Sister Green then asked if she would like a free book, a book that meant so much it has become priceless, and that she would like to share it. We then shared testimony that if she read the book, we promised she would know God and how much He loves her. Not wanting to take up too much more of her time, we gave the book to the girl as well as our contact information, and she told us to come back in a week or two when she would be back in town on one of her longer breaks! Not even 45 seconds after, President Miles called us, and we were able to tell him our small but neat success story.

As a missionary it's always the little things that add up and make your work most rewarding. Even when you go an entire day without getting a single telephone number or having a single appointment, if you talked with everyone near you and gave your best to share your testimony about the Gospel, you go home feeling GOOD. Missionary work is exhausting, tiring, discouraging, stressful, maddening, frustrating and yet....we are able to love it because you lose yourself in His service AND when we are in the service of others..guess what?  WE ARE HAPPY!    It has been my experience and now I have such a strong testimony of it, that when we press forward and simple KEEP GOING, the Lord blesses us and will support us in our work..........We saw this with our miracle woman Natasha this past week.   

Former missionary sisters contacted Natasha in the early spring of last year. Not having any record of how much contact she has had, we decided to give her a call. When I called and after I explained who we were, Natasha got really excited and asked if we still had a book for her. The note written by Natasha's name was that she wanted a Book of Mormon. Thursday we went to her house and were able to give it to her. Natasha is a super cute and classy lady, is about 55, and comes originally from Bosnia. At the moment she was on her way to meet a friend, so we couldn't teach a lesson, but we were able to walk with Natasha to the strassenbahn and tell her more about our message and about the Book of Mormon. Natasha got SO EXCITED and her voice got higher and higher with excitement when we made our appointment. We made it for tomorrow, Tuesday, because Natasha wants her husband to be home as well. We were SO joyful to hear that and are preparing to teach her and her husband.

We were not able to meet with Nicole this week, but we keep daily contact through text messages and phone calls to discuss what Nicole is learning in her reading. We send her texts with quotes from prophets and notable speakers like Sheri Dew and Marjorie Hinckley, and she just LOVES it! We are meeting again Friday. I always look forward to appointments with Nicole. There is always such a special and unique Spirit there.

I have taken upon myself the great project of translating my patriarchal blessing into German. And man, is it HARD. But through it all (I've only translated the first 3 paragraphs) I have gained an ever stronger and more powerful than ever testimony that I am truly a Daughter of God. In translating my blessing, I have had to really focus on word choice, which has also led me to pay attention to what my blessing says. New details have been sticking out and I have begun to understand specific precautions or blessings, that I have never noticed before. There is no better gift than the scriptures, and think of having your very own personalized revelation directly from Heavenly Father!

I am so grateful to be a missionary. This work is hard, and exhausting!!! There have been many moments on my mission where I felt like I wouldn't make it one more step. Emotionally and mentally this work is draining. Just as muscles need to be worked out each day to be strengthened, my testimony has undergone the exact same endurance. Each day is a new marathon to run, but each day the marathons get easier, because we have done it before. As we nourish our aching souls with precious knowledge from the scriptures, the personal armor of prayer, and the soul-saving gift of the Atonement and sacrament, we will be given the energy to push forward, even when the storms come our way.

One of my very most favorite talks is by our dear Elder Holland...."Safety For The Soul".  I encourage you all to read or watch it.  Read these AMAZING quotes from that talk and enjoy this godly truth... for which I also testify: 

"Love. Healing. Help. Hope. The power of Christ to counter all troubles in all times—including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair. That is the message with which the Book of Mormon begins, and that is the message with which it ends, calling all to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.” -- Elder Jeffrey R Holland


"I ask that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and all that it implies, given today under my own oath and office, be recorded by men on earth and angels in heaven. I hope I have a few years left in my “last days,” but whether I do or do not, I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the latter days."  --Elder Holland

I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful special week.

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Natalie Hannah Motto

Beautiful stunning Vienna and her  "Volksoper"

SOOO tired today…...


  1. Yep, pretty great stuff! That quote from Holland about the B o M is such a powerful quote...what a testimony from them both!

  2. Really loved the marathon analogy, its so true and just as I see my marathon running friends empowered by their work, as are these great missionaries empowered by their hard work even when the fruit of their labors is not visible to them!