Hello my family and friends!!
Everyone has said it, so I might as well say it too. I'm a mission "mom"! My cute new "golden" companion Sister Ahlm arrived into the mission field running at a full sprint. She's the unbrattiest US Navy "brat" I've met, having lived many places throughout the US and in London. She's determined, excited, and ready to be a missionary. When I met her I thought to myself "am I really going to be training you? You already seem so prepared and ready!" Sister Ahlm is great, and I'm super excited to work with her and get to know her over the course of our time together.
|Sister Motto with her new "Golden" Sister Ahlm|
|At MLC with my "sisters"|
This week was wonderful! It started off with a magical Monday Pday at Neuschwanstein Castle with Sister Peterson (her last pDay was a fun one!) with our Munich ward member, Sister Whaltely. Following our adventure we had Family Home Evening with the Whaltley's, complete with homemade sushi and a great Mormon Message. I am really grateful to be serving in the Munich 2 ward. We have such fantastic, dedicated, diligent members who serve us tirelessly, and who love being engaged in the Work of Salvation just as much as we do.
We had Zone Training this week, where we did some pretty neat role plays with keeping commitments and following up. Following up is about 80% of the commitment! Without following up, the commitment is "würscht" and we keep those we teach from progressing. Following Zone Training I was able to meet with a dear friend of my family's, Mohammed Baioumy! It was so wonderful to see him after 7 or so years! We talked for a little bit about our families, how every one is, how I am liking my time here in Munich, and then shared why I decided to serve a mission. Although our time was brief, it was wonderful to see this old friend again. It's in moments where we are reunited with friends and loved ones, even for a short time, that I get a little taste of the joy and happiness involved with the Plan of Salvation.
We had the special opportunity last Tuesday evening to hear from Elder M Russell Ballard and Elder Bednar in a special Europe-wide Sister's Conference. It was broadcasted from Frankfurt. It was a unique feeling of sitting there, listening to these beloved Apostles speak and to realize that sisters gathered all over Europe were listening and watching. It was quite empowering. There is such a unity that comes from the Relief Society, and I am so grateful for this inspired program in the Church.
This week I got to meet with an investigator family that is half German half Mongolian. They're Moonies. Yep, Moonies! Their form of religion belongs to the "Moon Sect", and since the Sisters were introduced by the a wonderful Munich ward member a few months ago, we have begun to teach them the Message of the Restored Gospel. I have never heard of the Moon Sect before, but they have some very interesting beliefs. Some parts sort of similar, and then also very different, from what we believe in the LDS church. We speak in German in normal conversation, and then English because this family believe it to be the "spiritual" language. Jürgen, Baigal, and Mattaüs are very sweet, and are probably the best commitment keepers out of everyone I've ever taught! We are looking forward to teaching them more!
We met with Tenzin this week, and got another fantastic pep-talk on Inner Beauty. This Tibetan man is so amazing! We also got in touch with Matthew again this week! Matthew is still figuring out the details for his mother's funeral, but he is still reading in the Book of Mormon and hopes to come to Church this week.
Another miracle this week happens to be named Sparks. He's from Nigeria, and a good friend of a new convert in our ward named Kai. Sparks wants to go to the temple one day, so we are going to teach him so that can be possible. He has a Book of Mormon, he came to church yesterday, and he's very excited to learn more about Christ.
We also met with Scott! Scott is another one of our amazing investigators, and we teach him along with the Elders in Hamburg. Scott isn't always at peace with where he is at, so he hops between Hamburg and Munich, meeting with the missionaries along the way. He talks at about 3,000 miles an hour, and has the idea that all Americans are Mormon missionaries, and that all Americans are Mormon period. He's a 24 year old "volcano" so to say.....once we finish teaching everything and really help him keep his commitments, Scott will "explode" and may do many great things as a member of the Church. :)
This morning I had a wonderful personal study. I particularly love what is says in Doctrine and Covenants 121, verses 33-46. (Included 33-34, 41-46)
What a powerful statement in verse 34. Many are called, but few are chosen. In German, the word for chosen is auserwählten. This is what we call people who are "golden" investigators, otherwise known as the prepared. That word choice goes the same way: am I "golden", or am I "prepared", to preach with every ounce of energy in my body the message of the Restored Gospel?
I am so grateful for verse 46, which states,
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
My thoughts were these, that as I strive to be worthy, as I strive to be obedient, and as I strive to give all I can to the work of the Lord, that I will have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. And I know with my whole heart that with His guidance and counsel, I can do ALL THINGS. I love the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 4, which says" I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
I know this with my whole heart. This transfer has some incredible mountains to climb, but I know they will be for my good. I believe it is time for me to stretch again...and I am ready. I am so grateful for the thousands of blessings the Lord gives me each and every day. I am so grateful to be here. I am having the time of my life as a missionary, and I could not feel more whole.
These hills really are alive with the sound of music and the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
I love you all! Have a marvelous week!!
Your Alpine Bavarian Miss (and now "Mom")
Sister Natalie Hannah Motto