Hello my dearest Family and Friends!!
Sister Ahlm and I have seen more missionary miracles in magnificent Munich this week!! (Say that 3 times fast:) I wish I had time to go into even more detail about EVERYTHING that happened this week, there was so much going on...great MLC meetings, Pres interviews, General Conference, an amazing Oktoberfest P-Day, service projects.....however, there are people to talk to and teach so, ja...here are the highlights! Such. A. Great. Week!
Oktoberfest was super festive, cultural and kind of crazy! I'm grateful that I had been "fore-warned" by my parents because it really is a bit overwhelming. It was sad to see where the world places its priorities and fascinating how much the Germans LOVE their beer! The food was really good, we both thought as we gobbled up some really tasty wurst. Ja, I'm glad we could go and witness what all the fuss was about:)
We found the joy in service as we helped paint the wonderful Sneddon's back yard shed. They are in our Munich ward and DO SO MUCH for the missionaries and this ward. We love them so it was a honor to help them in this small way.
Our first miracle was the Muntean family, our wonderful Romanians....... Remember how I said that their regression after coming back from Romania was super discouraging? The Zone Leaders came with us on Tuesday for an appointment, so that Elder Vitel, a Romanian Elder, could translate for us. We wanted the Muntean's to know exactly what we expected of them, and we wanted to know exactly what their concerns were. When they were in Romania, because of some difficulties completing some renovations on their house, the Muntean's were stressed and had that as their only focus, pushing aside daily prayer and scripture study that they had done so habitually the weeks previous. Adrian also began smoking again, and took up drinking, and Nikolina became discouraged that our Stop Smoking Program was only a temporary fix. This, among other questions, caused the Muntean's to think twice about meeting with us when they got home from Romania.
With the help of our wonderful Romanian speaking Elder Vitel, we were able to clarify to the Muntean's what our purpose was, and to share testimony of how much we know the Gospel would bless their life. We reviewed the Restoration, and after a while the family became more engaged in the conversation as Elder Vitel explained what it means that we missionaries are here. And at the end of the appointment we made a return appointment for Thursday, having committed them to read the Living Christ, and to begin praying and reading in the scriptures again.
Thursday as Sister Ahlm and I showed up to our follow up appointment, Nikolina rushed to the door and embraced us, inviting us in excitedly like a little kid. Adrian yelled out the door and told us to hurry into the apartment, where we were greeted by food laid out on the table! They surprised us with a traditional Romanian dinner. Nikolina and Adrian and Adele were all so happy, and the Spirit in the room was stronger, sweeter, and warmer than I have ever felt before at the Muntean's. Sister Ahlm and I still can't figure out what was different, but we have an idea that the Lord is blessing the Muntean's with understanding, and a desire to learn about the Church. Adrian and Nikolina told us they know that they need to come to Church, and not only that they need to, but they want to. Nikolina told us that only good has come from our visits, and even though they haven't been always doing their part, that she still feels love and good inside when we teach. Nikolina and Adrian also asked us what is required for baptism into our church. As we explained that process, I couldn't help but get butterflies in my stomach in that moment recognizing the Muntean's true progression. When we left Nikolina gave Sister Ahlm and I kisses on both cheeks, and the whole family invited us to come more often during the week, so they can continue to learn about the Gospel and gain a better understanding of what the Gospel has to offer them personally.
(MLC...meeting with my wonderful "sisters")
Another tender mercy/mini-miracle this week was when Sister Ahlm and I were visiting the Goeb family. We smiled at a woman on the Sbahn, who then smiled back. When we both got off at the same stop, Sister Ahlm and all her golden fire went to the woman and fearlessly gave her a Book of Mormon. The woman replied with the most gratitude, saying that she knew we were sent from God, and that she knew we had something to offer her. She quickly rushed off before we could get her information, but she called from down the platform "I promise I will read! I promise I will read and call you!"
I also gave away my personal copy of the Book of Mormon I was using to study the Atonement to a really overbearing and somewhat rude American man with a cute border collie puppy. It was another one of those Alma the younger moments, watching this man go from hard and crude to soft and genuinely curious. He said he would read the Book of Mormon, and naja, I figured my personal, marked up copy will do him more good than me.
The Goeb's came to General Conference! Juergen, the husband, talked with us afterward, and told us the spiritual experience he had at Conference was only the second time he has ever felt that in his life. He was extremely moved by the speakers, especially President Uchtdorf from the Saturday morning session. Sister Ahlm and I are amazed at the progress and understanding Juergen is coming to in the Gospel.
Didn't you just LOVE General Conference? My spiritual bucket is overflowing! I feel like each time I watch General Conference on my mission the time goes faster and faster. I absolutely loved the "trend" of talking about living prophets. I would have to say my favorite talk was from President Henry B Eyring from the Sunday morning session. I love the topic of personal revelation, especially because I have the strongest testimony and also a sure knowledge that God speaks to His people, and that through His prophet, we will never be lead astray. It gives me a lot of peace and comfort to know as well that my loving, just, gracious Father in Heaven can speak to me on a personal level, and that the questions of my heart can also be answered when I seek Him. The Lord teaches this principle very clearly and understandably when He appeared to the Nephites after His resurrection. He said,
" 19 Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; 20 And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you."
Ask and it shall be given, seek and will be found, knock, and it will be opened.
I have this testimony. I KNOW my Savior lives, and that He speaks through His servant and living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. How grateful I am to be His servant, laboring in His field, to help prepare the way for Him to come again.
I love you all! May your days be filled with the love of the Savior and appreciation for the Atonement and ALL that He has blessed us with.
Your little Alpine-Bavarian Missionary,
Sister Natalie Hannah Motto