Monday, June 30, 2014

Whirlwind of A Week…Life as a Missionary for the Lord in Germany

Dearest Family and Friends,

What a whirlwind of a was also kind of a weird week. Sister Pentz and I just can't seem to have one normal day!! But it definitely makes for a lot of way hilarious conversations with people on the bus and trains, and we feel so blessed to see even the smallest of miracles in our every day lives.

This week was one of the more exhausting ones on my mission......and you would think we get used to the fast paced life of missionary work? Noooope! Sister Pentz and I were everywhere and anywhere this week. We were able to meet with another "miracle-that-we-have-contact" less active by the name of Valeria. She is from Hungary, and it's kind of sad that Sister Wunderli and I could never make contact, but our prayers and attempts to get in touch with Valeria payed off. She called Sister Pentz and I and asked that we meet. We headed out to a little dorf called Sirchingen and had a wonderful appointment with Valeria. Yesterday she called us (she thought it was fast sunday) and bore her testimony to us because she felt bad she wasn't at church! Valeria even gave us a referral for a family of 5 that we will got with her next week to visit. Miracles, and God's perfect timing. That's all I gotta say :)

This week we also had cleaning day and spent our day from 9 am to 9:30 pm DEEP CLEANING Tübingen apartment. (Deep cleaning day in the mission) We were SO EXHAUSTED!  We scrubbed, dusted, scrubbed again, threw out, and did some more scrubbing until we collapsed with fatigue. Our goal was "Sanitize, Organize, Reorganize, and Feminize" our apartment. It felt so good and I am grateful to have learned wonderful cleaning habits from my mom....And it worked! There is a noticeable difference in the Spirit when our surrounding area is clean and tidy as opposed to disorganized and messy. Our apartment was never super bad, but even in the reorganizing and throwing old furniture out has made the biggest difference in the Spirit in our apartment.

Thursday was exciting!! We have permission to watch 2 World Cup games, and as a district we were invited by a member to watch the USA-Germany game. It was AWESOME. We had so much fun!!!! Although the US lost (I must also admit I was cheering for Germany..........everyone called me Sister Benedict Arnold) I am happy that both Germany and the US can play forward in the tournament. 

We had wonderful Finding Day this week as well. We spent our time in nearby Reutlingen-Betzingen, a really cute and family oriented village from neighboring Reutlingen. Sister Pentz and I had prayed to find one new investigator that day, and it happened! We will be getting to know Marion a little bit better on Tuesday this week. We left with her a copy of the Book of Mormon, and she was eager to begin reading in 1 Nephi 1. As a district we had the goal of 25 potentials and to give away 16 copies of the Book of Mormon, and we surpassed that with 28 potentials and 25 copies of the Book of Mormon. We are BLESSED!

Yesterday at church we met a really cute and hilarious lady named Simona, a friend of our Relief Society President's. I went to introduce myself and we began to talk, and then I realized she had super funny German. Come to found out she is true blue, through and through from Saxony, and spoke with the craziest Sächsisch accent!! Mom....I wish you were there to hear her. Her dialect was super, super thick. I understood her fine, but I must admit that I prefer the flowy, lazy speech of Schwäbisch compared to that of the long vowel-led Sächsisch dialect. Naja :)

This week at District Meeting we had a wonderful conversation on Accountability, and how accountability is an attribute that is a catalyst for all others. Accountability is something that I have really been trying to develop more on my mission. It is an important skill to have, and what no better place than a mission to learn it? When we hold ourselves accountable to the Lord each day for the work we did, we become more obedient and focused on the work. Developing the attribute of accountability (most importantly accountability to the LORD) is what our missionaries this month in particular will be focusing on. 

When I go out each day after I pray and tell the Lord exactly what I am going to do, I feel more obligated to hold to that responsibility. It pains me at the end of the day sometimes when I recount to the Lord my works, and if I fulfilled exactly what He asked me to do. My heart only hurts and aches because of the guilt I feel, and through the Atonement that hurt is taken away. It's in those moments that we apologize and promise to be better when the Spirit encouragingly whispers, "Get off of your knees and get to work." My Father in Heaven expects me to communicate regularly through efficient prayer, recount to Him my works, and then to get off my knees and work harder to be a little better. And it makes all the difference. No matter where we are in the world, what stage of life we are in, or whether we be full time missionary or not.....I KNOW that being accountable to the Lord brings thousands more blessings than we could imagine.

Sorry this is short...gotta run, work, find, teach and preach!  
I love you all and am so grateful for you!! Thank you for your support and encouragement and words of advice :) Have a marvelous week my loved ones, and know that you are in my heart and prayers!

Your little Alpine Missionary,

Sister Natalie Motto

Monday, June 23, 2014

"New Beginnings…a Lesson in Starting Over"

Dearest Family and Friends,

I love new grateful for them. And this new transfer will be another great beginning!

With the beginning of summer, comes lots of birds chirping, green rolling hills, picturesque and quaint warm evenings on cobblestone streets in small Swabian villages, a few bugs here and there, the air feeling sometimes so heavy with humidity that you want to wring the clouds out for a good shower....less clothing for the locals, ah hem...and eating a bit of gelato now and then. 

This transfer, I have the privilege of working with Sister Pentz from Colorado. She is 5 foot 10, blonde (another tall companion with 5'3" Sister Motto), blue-eyed, half Swiss, and super fun!! She's on her 3rd transfer, fresh from training, and I feel so lucky to work with such an enthusiastic missionary.  Already we have really connected well, haven't stopped laughing and are off to a fabulous start!  

This week was wonderful!!  We had a really inspiring district meeting Tuesday with the theme "Today We Do It the Lord's Way", and had time to reflect inwardly with "how often do I do missionary work HIS way?" Am I spending each and every second I breathe here on the mission, going about each act and saying each word with the exactness and precision in which He commands me? My new motto and mindset for my mission is simply that: Today (and each day for the rest of my life) I will do it His way. I will do things the Lord's way. I need to continually repent and try harder and give more. I cannot afford to NOT do things His way.

Avo, (our investigator Maria), will be leaving for Portugal tomorrow for the next two to three months. It was really hard saying goodbye, for both me and Sister Wunderli, and it's even harder to explain how hard it was for Avo. She waved from her front door step in the apartment building as we walked away from our appointment Wednesday evening. We were able to share one last lesson on the Plan of Salvation, and bear our testimonies to Maria about the blessings of the Gospel. She promised us to continue to pray and read in the Book of Mormon, and that she would visit church while in Portugal. She said if missionaries come to see her, she wanted them to be sisters. WELL.... since missionaries are pretty well connected ;) ;)...we figured we'd contact the Lisbon mission and found sister missionaries in her exact area to continue teaching her the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ!  We can't wait to follow up with them and see how it goes with Avo.

Thursday I picked up my awesome new companion from Stuttgart Bahnhof after spending the afternoon with the Ludwigsburg sister missionaries. It was way fun spending the day in Ludwigsburg and working with both Sister Powell and SIster Smiley at once, not just one of them from an Austausch :) They are great and fired up and we did some wonderful contacting and appointment gathering while waiting for Sister Pentz to arrive. 

Saturday we spent the afternoon teaching Lian with the Elders, her family, and some other members of our ward in a beautiful place near Nagold in the BLACK FOREST. We enjoyed some delicious German/Filipino style BBQ.  It was important for us to keep busy and working that day so we incorporated some valuable contacting and preaching in the area.  We ran into an older couple hiking and we had the prompting to stop and talk to them. We talked for about 20 minutes, and nothing much came out of it.  But you never know:)  We walked back to the BBQ platz when Bruder Rudloff, Lian's dad, came over to us and said, "Sisters, I have to say I am very impressed. Thank you so much for your small yet powerful example of missionary work just now." That was great.  Maybe by simply acting on the prompting to talk with the couple, we were an answer to Bruder Rudloff's prayers.

I have gained such a testimony of new beginnings. When I speak of new beginnings I, of course, think of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I most recently studied the talk Elder Bednar gave from this last conference, "Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease". I love what he says as he explains the Atonement. 

"Not only does the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgressions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities....It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to the earth to die for us. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to enliven us not only to guide but also to strengthen and heal us."

I leave my testimony with Elder Bednar. It is through the Atonement that we find sweet, unbelievable, heavenly relief from the pains of the world, and where we are quickened and encouraged and inspired to grow and become better individuals. How eternally grateful I am for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that I can, in small and simple words, BE MADE BETTER.

I love you all so much. Thank you again for your incredible support and encouragement.  Now I got to get off this computer and get back to finding ALL the Lord's wonderful sheep!

All my love,
Your little Alpine Missionary
Sister Natalie Motto

Sister Natalie Hannah Motto

I learned to make Zopf!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Old Ways Really Do Work Sometimes…a lesson in Humility

 Hello my wonderful Familie und Freunde!!!

Transfer news: I'm staying in Tübingen, remaining as this zones Sister Training Leader, and will be working with Sister Pentz coming from Linz. I'm so excited!!! (This will be Sister Pentz's 3rd transfer so she is still relatively new. She will be great!)

Tuesday was Zone Training and Zone Conference Held at the JAE (Young Adult) Center in Stuttgart. President and Sister Miles were our guests, and during our Zone Conference Portion our beloved MIles' spent the time sharing testimony and memories from their Mission. Following their remarks, they went around and hugged each and every missionary. I get emotional just writing this!! To receive that gesture of love from my beloved Mission presidents was something I will never forget. This I know is reason #1000 why I came to this mission. I feel so blessed to have had mission presidents such as the Miles'. They are such special people.........I feel so blessed. So, so, so blessed!

Saying good-byes to my beloved mission parents President and Sister Miles…very hard to bid farewell!

Due to our busy week with trainings and conferences, unfortunately there are no updates with Theresa, Michael, or Maria. This week was a hard week for all of them to meet, although we have been keeping in good contact with each of them. Thank you for your prayers in their behalf. I have such a testimony that prayer is truly power!!

I went on Austausch with cute Sister Smiley here in Tübingen this week!! Yep, that's her name, and she is indeed one very sweet and super cheery individual. We ate the best gelato, went door-ing for her first time (I had to take her, just even for a few minutes :) ), played Volleyball with the youth, and survived a hailstorm. For a brand new missionary I am deeply impressed with the maturity, enthusiasm, and drive Sister Smiley has. Her German is also excellent, and my split with her was a great learning experience for me.

ME with Sister Smiley!

This book is AWESOME!!!

And our miracle for the week...(I'm entitling this part..."The Old Ways Really Do Work Sometimes")

It all started off with our pretty depressing Pday last week. I was grateful to read all your letters but the city was barren because it was a Holiday, and even our reliable Turkish Internet shop was closed. Not to mention it was 36 degrees HOT plus humidity. Sister Wunderli and I resorted to riding the bus to our church building where we shared one computer, splitting our time, and watching old church VHS's while the other companion did emails. We were there for FIVE HOURS. It was long, slow and painfully I thought at the time.  I was able to enjoy an hour or two of practicing piano, but I must admit following our emails I ventured into a pretty selfish mood. We weren't able to accomplish anything that day. Worse feeling for missionaries!  About 30 minutes before we were supposed to be there our appointment fell out, and with no practical and timely mode of getting anywhere to go by on less actives etc,, Sister Wunderli and I resorted to some old fashion door to door tracking.   We doored not far from our own apartment, just up the street and up into a beautiful, wealthy area of Tübingen. We doored everyone......except one building. The first person we "klingeled" let us in and we walked up 3 flights of stairs to find exactly who it was. At the entry way stood a cute, fit older woman, about my height. She asked who we were and we told her we were the Mormon missionaries, and that we had a message about living prophets. Very nicely she told us she didn't have interest, and right before she closed the door I asked the woman if she knew of anyone who needed a message about Jesus Christ. Then something very out of the ordinary happened......the woman thought about it! Most of the time people say "NO!" and then slam the door. This cute woman thought and contemplated for about 30 seconds and then said "Well, the problem is most of the pPeople I'm thinking of live in the States. Ich bin eigentlich Amerikanerin ("Actually I am an American")  Without another pause I switched into English and said "I am too!!" This woman was pleasantly suprised and asked, "Well, where are you from? Wait, let me guess. Salt Lake City!" This woman, Carolyn, has been living in Germany for 40 years, and teaches English and German at the University here in Tübingen. We talked for another 5 or so minutes on her doorstep and then she asked, "I know you don't have much time, but would you two like to come in and get something to drink?" Of course we graciously accepted. :)

Within the next hour and a half, we were able to get to know Carolyn better, I had the opportunity to play piano for her and her husband Christoph, and most importantly Sister Wunderli and I told more about who we were as missionaries, and  were able to give a lesson on the Book of Mormon as another Testament of Jesus Christ. We told of Lehi and his sons, and their journey to the promised land. We taught about the Bible and how the Book of Mormon was written gleichzeitig, just on a different continent, and both bore testimony that the Book of Mormon is a testament for the Bible and a witness of Jesus Christ. We talked about answers to prayers and the promise that we will receive answers through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Christoph was not as open, but we gave Carolyn a Book of Mormon with our number and told her to call us if she ever had questions, respecting the fact she told us she, initially, did not have interest. Before we left Carolyn paused and asked, "Actually........if it's ok, can I just invite you over again?" We have an appointment with Carolyn and her husband next week after they return home from Berlin.

After returning to our apartment, following Carolyn and Christoph, I immediately went to my bed and got on my knees and prayed for forgiveness. I had been so prideful and ignorant. Yes, door-ing is not my first choice of missionary contacting, but one can still see blessings. Especially after Sister Wunderli's prayer of faith that we would find someone to give a Book of Mormon to, in my heart and in my head I was not in tune with the Spirit. I learned a great deal of humility and gratitude from my companion that day, and am very grateful that the Lord gave us the opportunity to teach Carolyn. We knocked probably 50 doors, but I guess it takes 50, and just as in the scriptures maybe 90 and 9 to find the 1. Just a lesson on humble enough to acknowledge and TRUST the Lord in everything, and have the faith that He really will place people in your path. Sometimes we just have to bite the bit and work a little bit harder for it then perhaps expected. Let this be a lesson to everyone who is planning on serving a mission that the old ways do really work sometimes!

This week, especially after our experience with Carolyn, I have studied more intently the Christlike Attribute of humility.:) Humility is indeed strength.  In humility we are strong, not weak as the world would have us think.  When we show gratitude, we express humility in recognizing the Lord's Hand in our life, for the thousands upon thousands of blessings He gives us each day.

I am so grateful to be a missionary, and for this prominent time in my life where I have the chance to learn and grow, to recognize mistakes and weaknesses of the past and, together with the Lord, repent and make things right, and then turn them into strengths.

I love being a missionary. I can't wait to find out what the Lord wants to teach me this week!!!! ;-D 

I love you all!!! Alles gute diese Woche!!

Your Little Schwes
Sister Natalie Hannah Motto

Monday, June 9, 2014

Don't You Love How This All Works?

Hello Family and Friends!!

Greetings from Tübingen!! Today is a holiday, and everything is closed. No one is on the street...but us, almost no buses are running, and Sister Wunderli and I are trying everything to try and not feel "stranded" on Tübingen Island. :) Germans take their holidays VERY seriously I have come to find out.

Furthermore my wonderful Germany has been acting a lot like Utah lately and decided that it was bored of last week's cold rainy weather, and the past few days have spiked from 15 degrees C to 35 and 36. Today is supposed to be somewhere around 35 I was told.....and right now it's 34 (That's 95F!!). This dry-climated Utah girl isn't used to the 92% humidity.......tis HOT HOT HOT here in Schwabenland and I'm melting!  

Naja sonst, otherwise, geht's mir sehr gut. This week was a little bit crazy and for a short while we were running around like chickens with our heads chopped off, but because we are determined sister missionaries we eventually got things under control. :)

Tuesday we met with a really sweet less active by the name of Schwester Prein. Missionaries have been having a really hard time getting a hold of her in the past, and one day Sister Wunderli and I tried calling and guess what?  She answered!  We set up an appointment and headed out to beautiful Bad Urach following District Meeting. Schwester Prein was a little, timid and cautious of us when we first arrived, and it was initially a little awkward trying to talk with her. We began asking her about her family, her hobbies, and soon enough she opened up to us. Our one hour scheduled appointment ended up being 2 hours! We began a discussion on the scriptures and the importance of prayer, and Schwester Prein told us about her conversion story when she met some of the first missionaries to be in East Germany.  She talked, and talked, and talked, (to make it all better it was all in Sächsisch-- you would have loved that Mom!) and she needed to, so it was A.O.K with us! 

Personally I have been always amazed at the faith and stalwart dedication the early German Saints had, especially those born in East Germany....and that makes me much more grateful to have been born in a time and in a land where religious freedom is given.  I used to hear stories from my parents about many of the early East German saints sacrifices -- in order to be able to worship how they chose.  What a blessing the ending of the cold war was for thousands and thousands of LDS saints who were able to see a temple built in Freiberg and to be able to see their once very small congregations grow with the flood of missionaries.  At the end of our appointment a happy, bubbly Schwester Prein asked us "now my lieblings. When will you come back?"  Well...nothing short of a MIRACLE!  This woman has wanted no contact from anyone in the past few years, and now wants to start meeting with us regularly and wants to eventually come back to church.  This was no credit to us...we are simply His humble servants who desire to bring Christ's message of hope and faith to the world.  She felt the Spirt from a loving Heavenly Father.  Don't you just love how this all works?

Wednesday we had an eating appointment with Schwester Anders, the mother of Britta Weilguni in Göppingen Branch, who I know very well. Schwester Anders' husband is not a member of the Church, and has been investigating the Church for 40 years. It's a long and somewhat complicated story, and he has a desire to be baptized, he just wants to feel the Spirit first..... Anyway, Bruder Anders is WAY cool. And guess where he is from?......That's right. VIENNA!  Because both the Elders and Sister Wunderli and I have all served in Austria, that's all we talked about during lunch. We ate schniztel and kartoffelsalat, and enjoyed for dessert fresh strawberry shakes. The food is awesome in Germany-- have I mentioned that before?  At the end of our lesson Sister Wunderli and I went to go by on a few former investigators and less actives in the area. The first lady we choose to go by on lives right by Schwester Anders, and after talking with Frau Braun (the lady who lives there currently), she has been dead for 15 years, and our ward list simply hasn't been properly updated. Frau Braun started speaking to us in German, and after I told her I was from America she began speaking in very poor English to me to make sure we knew where Frau Anders lived. "You's Mormone missionaries, yes? Frau corner." It was really sweet that she was so helpful to direct us back to Schwester Anders. We met with Schwester Anders, laughed about the embarassing situation, and then went on. Schwester Anders told us that she had wanted to talk to this neighbor about the Church for some time, but just never knew how to begin.....another small miracle that we happened to go by on the wrong address!! Schwester Anders began a conversation with Frau Braun and we hope to maybe meet with her again soon.  Once again.....Don't you just love how this all works?

I had an amazing Austausch, exchange, with Sister Beth Winters this week in Stuttgart. Oh I love her!  It was so wonderful being reunited with my cute Lindon and elementary school friend!! We had a lot of fun together, including meeting a woman and having an appointment in a Psych ward......and that was a fun, laughable experience that I will have to share with you later. My computer time is running short.....

Love sister missionary exchanges with this sister!! 

Thanks Sister Winters for your hard work and great attitude!

I wanted to share what I learned this week during my personal study. I was reading in my "personal revelation journal" and was reflecting on the gift of personal revelation. What a special thing it is that our Heavenly Father answers our prayers, and so directly and personally. I have had a question in the past while, and through scripture study and prayer I have been hunting for my answer. Ofttimes, most of the time, we do not get our answers right away, and sometimes we have to act "blindly", using our best judgement. But because God cares about us SO MUCH, He will always answer. Pertaining to my concern, I was sitting on our couch one evening before bed listening to some quiet peaceful church music. It was then, in perfect stillness the thought came clearly, albeit softly to my mind "Give me your time now, and I promise I will make it worthwhile." And then the thought was gone. I can testify I know it was as in the scriptures, that as I was still, God would let me know my answer. I found that to be true with my mission as well. I got a "kind of, sort of, halfway" type answer, and as I acted upon my very small amount of knowledge, using my best judgement, Heavenly Father directed me to letting me know that yes, indeed, this was the right decision.  Don't you just love how this all works?

"Learn from the past, Dream of the future but live in the present"

I am so grateful to be a missionary. Sometimes, a lot of times, it is really hard. It is such a daily growing experience. And it's personal -- everyone faces challenges and its designed for each of us to figure it out for ourselves. How are we going to grow from this? What am I going to learn because of this? No one else could have, can, or ever will be able to learn and grow the same way I am learning and growing, even if they were in my exact position.....because my mission is personal and was made for me. Bottom line....... How grateful I am to be the Lord's servant here in the amazing Alpine German Speaking Mission. It is the most incredible gift I have ever been given.  I am just amazed how this all works. 

Me with Rachel from Goppingen.  It was so fun to see her again!

I love you all! I pray for you, and I hope you all have an amazing week!!!

Your little Missionary

Sister Natalie Motto

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fortune Favors the Bold

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

WHAT A WEEK!!!!  It all started with a super fun District Pday at the one and only Rittersport factory, here in the Tübingen area. It's the only place in the entire world Rittersport chocolate is made, that's why it is often so expensive outside of Germany. We were able to walk through the Museum and purchase chocolate bars for 30 cents each!!! (I bought about 30 bars for 10 Euro. I'm so proud. :) Now my problem is WHAT to do with that chocolate come transfer day.....)

Elder Badders and Elder Byers, our Elders here in Tübingen, joined us at our appointment visiting Maria. We talked last time about priesthood blessings, and this time we discussed the restoration a little bit more in joint with the priesthood. It was a very, very good lesson. Elder Byers was the one who gave Maria a blessing of comfort. Just like  a warm bucket of water, the Spirit flowed softly and sweetly into the room. Maria began to weep, and after the blessing she said she felt more whole. She expressed that she didn't feel anything extra powerful or overwhelming, but she felt just a Little more "whole". We talked more about the Book of Mormon and gave Maria a brand new Portuguese Book of Mormon for her to read, having lost her other one. I also gave her a  copy of "The Master", the new Lyceum Philharmonic CD. When we called Maria Saturday after we returned from Munich she said she had been listening to the CD all day. She said it made her feel so peaceful and good inside that she began to hum along while cleaning her apartment for fun.....something she hasn't done in a long, long time! I have such a testimony that positive, good, uplifting music heals the aching Spirit in ways that words cannot. We meet again with Maria on Tuesday.....this time to talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost and commit her to baptism. Fortune Favors the Bold!! (That's for you, my wonderful MTC district.)

We also met with Theresa, our investigator from Ghana. We found out she is meeting with Jehova's Witnesses, and a couple other religious groups, simply because she wants to obtain a better understanding of the Bible and who Jesus Christ is.  I have been reassured by the Spirit that He will do His job of testifying of Truth, as I continue to do my part of being prepared to teach to His promptings. Theresa had a lot of questions about Adam and Eve, and doesn't fully understand that we are NOT responsible for Adam's Transgression, and that we will be punished for OUR own sins. Because of that, she does not understand how Mary the Mother of Christ was a "pure and Chosen vessel", and in domino effect does not understand the role of Jesus Christ. It's been a road block, but we encouraged Theresa to keep reading in the Book of Mormon, which she has done so well! We asked her to read 1 Nephi 1, and in one week she read to chapter 5! She loves Nephi and admires his Courage. Our next lesson we will be really focusing on 2 Nephi 2, and the articles of faith. Theresa is a very, very intelligent individual who loves God and just wishes to find His true Church.

Etwas lustiges, we had a super funny run in with a man in our neighboring City of Reutlingen. Sister Wunderli and I got off the Train and a random man came up to us and said, "Hey are you Mormons???!!!"  He was SO EXCITED!! Before even getting in a word this man, Otto (ha! Otto-Motto), gave us a 5 Minute spiel of how he loves Ronald Regan, how he disagrees with a lot of things Obama is doing (like I know what he's doing? Im a missionary!) and also how he really likes Mitt Romney. Otto was in SLC quite a few years ago, and that's how he was introduced to the Church. Sister Wunderli and I got a total of maybe 5 words in before Otto grabbed our hands and said "God bless you, God's missionaries, God bless you!" And then he walked away. It was really cool and quite encouraging, I guess. I was just really disappointment and a little bit annoyed we couldn't give him the Book of Mormon that was in my hands!

This week we were also able to go to Mission Leadership Council!! Outside of having to take a bus to Munich this time, getting stuck in traffic for 2 hours, and being 1 hour late and the last ones into the Meeting, the travels went well. We sat next to a really neat greek lady who had just moved to Germany and was also going to Munich. She spoke a little bit of English, and we were able to talk with her the majority of the way about the Church. I was kicking myself a little because that morning before we left I had taken out of my bag a Greek Book of Mormon. This woman didn't have anything to read on the bus ride, and she didn't know enough English to read my English Book of Mormon. I felt so guilty and promised Heavenly Father to carry this Greek Book of Mormon around with me so that I am always prepared, and that the next Greek person I meet will be the posessor of  this precious gift. This Greek woman lives in nearby Pfullingen next to Maria, and so we are planning to simply go by one day and see how she is!! And, of course, bring a member who can translate Greek for us. :)

Mission Leadership Council was absolutely spectacular. Being a Sister Training Leader is really just about organizing transfers with the other sisters in the zone and helping them when needed, but I was so grateful for the opportunity to go to Munich again. Last time was a little different with Mission Tour Because the Miles are leaving soon, this particular Mission Leadership Council was SO spiritual and uplifting and tender. Sitting at the feet of President Miles, I was able to hear him bear the most powerful testimony of missionary work. The two days we were able to be with President and Sister Miles, to be under their instruction and hear their inspired Messages, was one of the greatest gift I have been given so far here on my Mission. It was THAT incredible. These two individuals have come to mean the world to me, and I feel so immensely blessed to have been under their care here in the Alpine German-speaking Mission. 

I just read in my personal scripture study 3 Nephi 11 and 12, the chapters where Jesus Christ appears on the American continent. I have the goal by June 12, my year mark in the field, to finish the Book of Mormon in German. For some reason, as I read these chapters in German, took on a completely different and powerful meaning for me. These chapters play such an important role in my testimony of the Book of Mormon. The very fact that Jesus Christ DID appear to the people in the Americas, that He ministered unto them and taught them and blessed heart swells with such gratitude. Truly, no man could have written the Book of Mormon alone. I am so grateful for the prophets and inspired and humbled men, who simply wrote down their testimonies, and for the Prophet Joseph Smith who through the power of God translated that book. It's hard to describe, but the Book of Mormon has come to mean the world to me here on my Mission. I KNOW without a doubt the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, that it truly is another testament of Jesus Christ, and that in partnership and in perfect harmony with the Bible, contains the fullness of gifts, blessings, and truth of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am so grateful to be a missionary--I love you all so much! Have the most magnificent week!!!

Love your Little German-Austrian-Swiss Missionary,

Sister Natalie Hannah Motto