Monday, April 28, 2014

The Atonement Soothes All Aches

Hello Family and Friends!! 

Greetings from cold, wet, but nevertheless beautiful Tübingen Germany! I feel like the song from the Prince of Egypt, "When You Believe", fits perfectly for this week. Perhaps Alma 32 does even better….to have the faith of a little seed…. Either way, when we pray for miracles and put forth the effort-- they happen!

Last week as Sister Wunderli and I were going by on a less active sister, we came across a really neat American style RV (somewhat uncommon here). We decided to leave a note and some extra cookies as an Easter surprise, not forgetting our cell phone number. On Monday evening we got a phonecall from Familie Linke, the owners of the RV and proud enjoyers of our snickerdoodle cookies. I talked with Frau Linke for about 15 minutes about their travels in their RV, and how they ended up in Utah. For one year Frau Linke and her husband traveled around the states in their RV, and one of their favorite places was Salt Lake City. They loved the "beautiful cathedral" there, even though they weren't allowed to see the inside. When I told Frau Linke about who Sister Wunderli and I were, she was  excited to know that we were "the cute girls with black nametags." They are currently living in their RV somewhere near Stuttgart, but will be home within the next few weeks. When they get home they want us to come over and get to know them better.  Never underestimate the power of prayer, faith and homemade cookies. 

I was able to go on exchange/Austausch again this week, this time in Stuttgart with Sister Gilmour. SIster Gilmour is great and enthusiastic. She is from AF and we know lots of the same people.  We had such a fun time together!  I love this opportunity to serve as Sister Training Leader, simply for the chance to get to know the other sisters in the zone. Wonderful day!

One small miracle that really made this week a powerful one was that when we found Kim. Sister W and I had been out the entire day, and nobody we went by on was home, or completely rejected us. Discouraged, tired, hungry, and frustrated, we went back to Rottenburg Bahnhof to wait for our train. As we sat and waited, I saw a really cute little mutt, and talked with his owner. The guy named Kim told me that his dog was his best friend. I continued a conversation with Kim about my little Panda. As every conversation goes, Kim asked what Sister W and I were studying, assuming we were students. We told him that we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and that we have a message about Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and how His Atonement can heal any ache, soothe any hurting soul, and help each person who ever was, is, and will be, to turn around and have a better life. We told Kim that it is alone through Jesus Christ that we can return to our Heavenly Father and live with our families forever. Kim told us about his Family: he has a two year old son and a wife. Kim has been caught in drugs since he was about 18, and at age 24 was released from jail 3 years ago, after spending 4 years there. He has had a hard life, and Kim told us how he has been praying to God for a way to escape this vicious cycle of addiction and pain. We rode the train with Kim back to Tübingen, and were able to get his email to keep in touch that way. We are hoping to meet him next week with our Bishop after we get back from Munich. Sister Wunderli's and my prayer was answered that we would be able to find someone that day, and it was definitely no "Zufall" that we met Kim when we did. Please keep Kim in your prayers!

Saturday we met with Martin, a really neat guy we talked to on the bus a couple weeks ago. Martin was previously in the Catholic ministery, and grew up strong Catholic, but always felt like something was missing. We brought up the Book of Mormon and he was "sold". We talked about the Atonement and how through it, Martin can stop smoking. He, just like Kim, wants to start his life new. Martin even said that "you two missionaries are an answer to my long said prayers." Pretty amazing, huh?

We had a wonderful eating appointment with our Bishop yesterday. Outside of having to be driven to the airport, take an S-bahn, train, bus, and walk 15 minutes to get home, it was a great appointment and I really got to better know my Bishop and his wife. We talked a lot about the ward mission plan and what we can do personally as sisters, to help build the members here in Tübingen. (Mom and Dad, does the Name Oliver Dobin ring a bell? he was a missionary serving in your Frankfurt ward when you were there at the Marriott.)
The atonement has played a really big role in my studies the past week or two, and that is probably why we have met so many people who have needed to hear it's message. I think, also, because I am more understanding the role of the atonement in my life. I have always had faith in the atonement, and have had a testimony of it, but it has been after time and testing that I have the smallest part of understanding. Faith, testimony, Trial of that faith and testimony, and then a firmer and stronger knowledge: that's the way the Lord works. I now feel the power of the atonement in my life, how it is a gift in which we can rejoice! The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes us happy. We can find peace, assurance, and comfort. The Atonement soothes the deepest and harshest aches of the human soul. It gives us strength to forgive, and shows us the importance of humility when asking forgiveness. 

I am so grateful to be here on a mission. It is the greatest gift Heavenly Father has given me so far in my mortal life. He has given me the opportunity to grow, learn, make mistakes, be humbled, and of course, given the chance to really know my Savior. I know Him better now than I ever have in my life. That's why I am here! To preach, testify, and rejoice in Christ. (2 Nephi 25:26).

I wish you all the best week yet, and never forget how much I love you, and how much I love this work!!!

Your missionary,
Sister Natalie Motto

1 comment:

  1. She is really grateful in all things - like we've been commanded to be. Maybe that is why there is such a reverence about her. Loved reading about all her miracles this week!