Monday, July 7, 2014

Hola from this German "Gringita"….Sister Motto serving in the Alpine Mission

Hola Family and Friends!!

One would think we were in South America --it's been so warm and über-humid here in Germany! We got hit with really heavy rain last night which generally in Utah would have cooled the place in southern Germany it does the opposite! This morning it is like a sauna....HOT and HUMID again!  But that is not going to get us down...we have embraced our South American-like weather and to celebrate the nature of our climate,  Sister Pentz and I had a  really fun appointment with a Chilean family in our ward yesterday for Sunday dinner, where we enjoyed delicious homemade Chilean food. The son of the Apablaza's, Alvaro started calling me "Hermana Gringita", which I guess means "Little white North American Sister Missionary." So that's my new name! And Sister Pentz is Hermana Gringorta.....Big White North American Sister Missionary. :) We had lots of fun and enjoyed the chance to switch cultural settings for an afternoon. I really love these humble sweet people so I can see why so many missionaries who serve in places like Chile and Brazil bond so quickly with them.  I have 4 wonderful and fortunate cousins who are blessed to serve in South America! 

This week was a really good and busy week. For starters, last Pday we decided to experience some of the regional culture. (as there is SO much history and incredible architecture in this part of the world..why wouldn't we?) We discovered an incredible find in the Bebenhausen Monestary, which is just 20 minutes outside of Tübingen. It was really neat!!! Sister P and I had headsets where we were able to listen to narrations of how the monks lived, and about the different locations in the monestary. It was absolutely beautiful!! In some parts there were signatures on the walls with dates, and it was crazy to think that some of the names were written 400 years before America was even founded!!  Founded around the late 1100's, Bebenhausen is one of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries in all of Germany. I enjoyed the beauty of the stunning Gothic architecture in all it's elegant glory....very light and airy and not the least bit dark and dreary.  I could see why so many monks wanted to study there.  Even the manicured gardens were incredible works of art. 

We met with Anni this week, a Finnish lady who just moved into our ward. She served her mission in Frankfurt about 10 years ago, and two weeks ago with her husband moved to Germany for work. Anni's husband is not a member, and through negative experiences has not wanted to learn about the Church. Anni said that when she and her husband got to Germany and saw the brownies Sister Wunderli and I made for them, Anni's husbands heart was softened right away and asked that the Sister missionaries come visit them. The time we set up the appointment sadly was a time when he wasn't home, but it was then we made a "game plan" with Anni. Anni is AWESOME, and we're almost "zu dritt" (a team) with her. Sister Pentz and I have begun a very wonderful friendship with this solid, wonderful Finnish sister. We are hopeful that we can begin to teach her husband very soon so that they both can enjoy the eternal blessings of the Gospel. 

Here is something which doesn't happen every day.... Sister Pentz and I wrote the Royal family this week!! Yep.."THE" in Buckingham Palace. No joke. Valeria, a less active woman in our ward, is an aspiring artist, and after working 3 years on a painting of the late Princess Diana, she wants to sell it. To the royal family. Valeria speaks no English, so she asked Sister Pentz and I to translate. In exchange for our translation, we got to give her a lesson. She loved our deal so much that she wants us to come weekly to teach her the Preach My Gospel lessons, and she is inviting her neighbors across the street to come listen as well. Apparently, they have 5 very musical that will be fun!

Our 4 of July was not as exciting as we had hoped (no fireworks on this day for us...:) , but it was still fun. We "celebrated" by enjoying Burger King for lunch and then did our weekly planning. Not realizing the game between Germany and France that day, Sister Pentz and I wore our patriotic red white and blue!.....BIG OOPS!!! (You should have seen the looks we got..)  We were able to hear the Germany-France game all through our planning session from the crowd watching it at the pub below our apartment, and we were very pleased to hear our beloved Deutschland won!! Onto the semifinals!!!! (I am pretty sure I could hear MY FAMILY screaming and rejoicing of GERMANY's win)

Very early Saturday morning we went with the entire Zone to Munich for a combined Munich-Stuttgart Zone Conference. We were able to greet and get to know President and Sister Kohler in companionship interviews. Change is always a little hard (and we can apply this to all stages of life, wherever we may be) but as we prayerfully approach the Lord with concerns and questions, He always answers. And I got an answer! As I sat in the conference listening to President Kohler, the Spirit softly and gently testified to me that he really is the man called to lead our mission at this time. The Miles' left an incredible legacy, and I know the Kohler's are here to simply build upon the foundation left by missionaries and mission presidents before. I am SO excited to work with such another amazing man and already we LOVE his wonderful family!!!

We're off to Munich (again) in just a few days for Mission Leadership Council. I feel so blessed for the chance to get to know President Kohler on a more personal level while serving as Sister Training Leader!

I love you all!! Have a MARVELOUS week!!!  The Gospel is wonderfully, beautifully, perfectly true and the Lord lives and loves us all! 

Your little "Gringita" missionary,

Sister Natalie Motto

1 comment:

  1. Such a precious sister missionary. Her love for all she meets is truly the example and gift this mission needs. The photo reading to the beautiful little child is darling, and her testimony of the mission presidency change shows her mature understanding of the ways of the Lord's Church. Can't wait to hear the progress of Anni's husband and Valeria! What a fun story, and all of her photos are stunning.