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 them.....my 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