Monday, August 18, 2014

How Sweet is His Work!

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

Man......I just love being a missionary. The fact my whole life is enveloped in the opportunity to teach people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, devoting each minute to this work......I cannot imagine my life WITHOUT my mission. These 18 months have become engraved on my soul and have forever changed my perspective of eternity. For these precious moments--whether they be incredibly difficult or incredibly rewarding--are moments I will never, ever take back.

Der Glockenspiel in Munich

Sister Peterson is just the best! I LOVE working with her! We have so much fun together, but at the same time we both know how to buckle down and "get work done". I've learned a lot from Sister Peterson in the past few weeks, and I am really grateful for her example of patience, love, and sincerity.

Planning Day….playing a game to motivate us to plan better and speak better German…:)

Last Monday we were able to go see the beautiful Starnberger See with Schwester Djantar. Although a little rainy and cloudy, it was still breathtaking!! Following such an eventful Pday, Sister Peterson and I went by on a referral we got from Italy a few weeks ago for a man named Klaus. Klaus has been in Italy and Russia getting leg surgeries, and after a month of waiting, we thought we would go by to see if he was back in Munich. We arrived at the address, found Klaus' name on the klingel, rang, and were let in!! "Yes!!" we thought, but then we quickly realized we didn't know what level Klaus lived on in this HUGE apartment building. So what did we do? We tag-teamed it, and SIster Peterson and I checked ALL the doors on ALL the floors for Klaus' name on the door.....and we didn't find it. After 15 frustrating and quite humorous minutes, we went back outside to klingel Klaus one more time to make sure us being let in wasn't an accident. We rang a second time and we were once again let in, and right when we walked through the door I noticed a small white "3" next to Klaus' name. I asked Sister Peterson if we checked the 3rd floor, and realizing we didn't, we rushed to the elevator, only to be greeted in the elevator by none other than KLAUS. On crutches and completely puzzled, we quickly explained who we were and that we wanted to see how he had been doing, all while the elevator doors kept opening and closing during our conversation. Klaus found the situation only semi-humorous (wouldn't blame the guy), and thankfully still agreed to meet with us later on this coming week. It was probably the most awkward contacting a potential moment on my mission so far.......

We had a great Zone Training this week and following I was able to have a fantastic exchange with the darling Sister Arnold in Passau! Sister Arnold is the most tender hearted and thoughtful missionary I know. I had the priviledge of knowing her in Stuttgart when she was getting trained by my good friend Sister Winters, and I am so impressed with how much she has already grown as a missionary. In her third transfer, it already seems like she's in her 6th or 7th. She's confident, loving, and fearless to do missionary work. I'm so grateful that I have the chance to do exchanges with the Sisters in the Zone and get to knwo them better!! :)

After we changed back from exchanges, Sister Peterson and I helped an Italian family who were lost find their way back to their hotel. They recognzied our nametags and knew they could trust us, because they've been taking English classes from the missionaries in Italy!! So neat!! Gibt's keine Zufälle in diesem Werk, ge? (Translation: There are no coincidences in missionary work)

We met with T this week and helped him put a gigantic rug into an attic, and he showed us a Tibetian temple here in Munich....which happens to be on the top floor of an apartment building. It was really beautiful! T also came to a baptism for a woman in Munich 4 ward this weekend, and he's all the more excited for his baptism at the end of this year!!

We met with my favorite Romanian family again this week. Adrian has NOT SMOKED in the 2 weeks since he completed the Stop Smoking Program. As a family, Adrian, Nikolina, and 15 year old Adele are all reading the Book of Mormon together, and this weekend we taught them about prayer. Nikolina said a half Romanian-half German verbal prayer, and it was one of the most spiritual and sweetest experiences on my mission so far. This family is SO prepared, but has a lot of questions and doubts that are preventing them from progressing at the speed they are capable.,...could you dear friends and family please, please pray for them?

Last of all, we met with the hilarious Nigerian less active family in our ward with lots of kids, attitude, and who love God. 16 year old Regina, who just came back from EFY (called FSY here in Germany) told us how much she loved her experience there, and wants to go on splits with us more often! She came and played football (soccer) with us and the other missionaries Saturday afternoon, and is going to start inviting her friends and her less active brother. Yay for missionary work!! :)

This week has been one of those weeks that I just think to myself of how BLESSED I am to be here. I live in one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, and I have these daily "am I really here?" moments. The surreality of being here I had as a golden has not left, and I am so grateful for it. It makes each moment a little bit sweeter to recognize that I have the blessing of being in a land among a people that are so dear to me and my family. It's one of those "now I know EXACTLY what Mom and Dad mean" things. I am so grateful to be a missionary.

Wonderful members and friends from Tübingen Ward visiting in Munich

I think that's one of the great blessings here in this life, that we don't remember exactly what our trials were, we just know that we had them and that we learned from them. So it is with a mission. When I look back on the past time I have been on my mission, I see where I grew, where I was made stronger, and in vivid colors remember each joyful moment. I am so grateful to be a missionary. This is truly the Lord's work, and I feel HONORED to be a servant in His vineyard.

I love you all dearly, and wish you all the best week!!

Your Alpine Missionary,

Sister Natalie Hannah Motto

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