Dearest Family and Friends,
FIrst things first.......WIR. SIND. WELTMEISTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(.....and for those of you who need translation or who slept through the tsunami-size excitement of this entire nation: WE ARE THE WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!)
|Jumping for Joy!!! "I love being a missionary!"|
What a great day it is to be a missionary in the beautiful land of GERMANY. It's always been that way, BUT whoa...... what an even MORE amazing time it is at this moment! Pretty neat to live here and to experience what it feels to have Das beste Team der Welt win the World Cup!! It was pretty insane last night around 12:45 AM when horns, whistles, drums, pots and pans, fireworks, car horns, shouts, screams, cheers left no possibility for anyone or anything to sleep. Admist our confusion of being startled awake, Sister Pentz leaned over the bunkbed and asked me "Is this the Sleeping Giant everyone talks about happening in Germany?" Perhaps not quite......but it was still an awaking of gigantic proportions, that's for sure. Wow, the Germans --and many throughout the world--are pretty excited about this...so we are too:)
This week was another surprising and crazy adventure. It started off last Monday as Sister Pentz and I decided to go visit Schloß Lichtenstein near the city of Reutlingen. We got off the bus and asked a farmer which pathway we needed to take to get to the Schloß. What he told us sounded a little bit like "gruff gruff gruff gruff gruff", so we thanked him and then followed the path that said "Schloß Lichtenstein, 2 km". We rationalized it not to be a bad walk, only about 1.5 miles, so Sister Pentz and I began our walk.
We don't need to get into too much detail........ but I can tell you that our "short hike" ended up taking 3 hours, getting lost, and walking 10 km. But we did eventually reach the castle (AMAZING by the way), took pictures, and even got to talk for 20 minutes with 4 British motorcyclists about the Church! I guess you could say it was worth it, until we realized we were completely stranded at this castle with no way of getting home. There was no bus system that went up that far that late in the day, and we didn't want to risk hiking back down the hill and get lost again. After praying, a few tears, and then calling our GML (ward mission leader), a member came and picked us up. (And just in time too! Later that night this area got hit really hard with heavy rain and incredible lightening.) Lesson learned on triple and quadruple checking plans? CHECK.
Sister Pentz and I met with Marion again this week, our cute investigator we found dooring on Finding Day a couple weeks ago. When we showed up at our appointment, Marion's friend Christina was there. Christina is a stereotypical "rough edged/no-nonesense/I-have-my-religion" German, and she was almost accusatory as we began our lesson with Marion. After 45 minutes of explaining her beliefs and thoughts on God, during which we couldn't manage to get a word in, Christina said "Ok. Your turn. Convert me." I was personally a little caught off guard but Sister Pentz chimed right in and was an example of patience as we began our lesson with God is Our Loving Heavenly Father. We talked about the gift of the Book of Mormon, of living prophets, and of families. After the lesson we prayed and set up another appointment for this week, and then walked with Christina to the bus stop. For the next 25 minutes between waiting for the bus and getting to the Train Station, Christina had a complete change of heart. Sister Pentz and I witnessed a modern day Alma right before our eyes! This woman was so cold, so hard, loud, and unreceptive, and by the time we got off the bus (after getting her number and Information) to someone who was soft, gentle, quiet, and submissive and wanting to learn. We got off the bus, and Sister Pentz and I looked at each other in a way worthy of a movie, with big eyes and surprised expressions. Never before have I witnessed the Spirit work in such a way. It was simply beautiful. (We're meeting once again with Christina this week as well.)
This week we went to Munich and were able to enjoy time with President and Sister Kohler at Mission Leadership Council. It was a neat opportunity to get to know them a little bit better on a more personal level. We discussed a lot of the policies and rules of the mission, and talked about the various qualities of the missionaries of our mission, the "personality" of our mission, so to say. I got a little teary eyed as missionaries kept raising their hands and expressed their thoughts, describing our missionaries as diligent, obedient, hard working, caring, personable, humble, positive, humorous, loving, kind, thoughtful, impressive, dedicated, focused. I am sure it was just as powerful for President Kohler, because he then shared his testimony of how blessed HE feels to be here, and that meant a lot, especially as he is our new President. It is always, always important to know you are loved, and President Kohler expresses his love so perfectly. He is what this mission needs!
I too am so grateful to be here!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And in my imperfections as His servant, I have gone about my mission, and learned experience after experience, I have recognized and learned that perfection is a process. The very element of PROGRESSION is PERFECTION. As we focus on prayer--oh, how we need the healing and strengthening power of prayer--and as we focus on becoming more like the Savior, we are well on our way to perfection. The Lord commands us to be perfect, and He does not give us any commandment by which it is impossible to achieve. Joy is just a small and miniscule blessing of perfection. Can you even begin to imagine the flood of blessings awaiting us who strive for perfection each day we live? A mission is refining, because we are about doing His work. In my heart, I know there is no better way to become more like the Savior than to be about doing His work. And what an incredible, humbling, and incomprehensible thought that is......that I am numbered, and called to help gather and number His sheep.
I love you all dearly. I hope you know that. I hope you also know that I am praying for you.....I know I say that each week, but I mean it. Prayer is powerful. Prove the Lord's blessings and PRAY.
"6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."
3 Nephi 13:6 (Also Matthew 6:6)
I love you all. Have the most wonderful week.
Sister Natalie Hannah Motto