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 boring....so 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 pride......be 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