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

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