Monday, October 27, 2014

Simply Listen

Dearest family and friends,

Yes, it's been another wonderful week of missionary work.....full of learning opportunities, service, teaching and enjoying some pretty amazing fall weather here in southern Germany.

We started off our week visiting Sister Franz in the hospital, an older sister in our ward because it was her birthday. The Elders and we sang to her, enjoyed cake with one another, and Sister Franz claimed  that we made her entire day. Little does she know how much it made OUR day as missionaries to visit her and perform that act of service for her. It did bestimmt (certainly) a lot more good for me than for her, to see this sweet elderly sister smile and tell us of her love for us and for the Lord.  

We met with the Goeb's this week. It was very, very good. We began talking about the nature of God, and what it exactly means to us individually that we have a loving Father in Heaven. They are making progress and even though there are stumbling blocks, we are doing our best putting faith in the Lord, praying that through our teaching of His truth, that the Goebs hearts will be softened and that they will listen.  The listening part has been tricky.  It took longer than normal to teach them this week but missing 2 train times was worth it.  We wanted them to fully understand the truth and be very specific what we believe and why. 

We then recommitted them to continue to read in the Book of Mormon, and to fully, 100% listen to what we have to say and teach, and then they can decide for themselves if what we teach as representatives of Jesus Christ is true or not. The Goeb's sincerely promised to listen, as well as wholeheartedly promising us--because of their own desire, not out of commitment-- to begin reading the Book of Mormon again.

After that appointment, I was so exhausted, and I couldn't remember what I had even said. Sister Ahlm didn't either.  We were so pleasantly surprised and grateful to see that the Spirit really had guided our thoughts and words during that appointment. We are looking forward to our appointment with them on Wednesday!

This past week we also had the privilege of attending the funeral service for Simon Auras, the 11 year old son of our stake president, who died suddenly last week playing soccer. It was a beautiful memorial service, and there was so much love and peace in the room. How grateful I am for the knowledge and blessing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that we may be with our families forever.

I went on Austausch this week, and got to work with Sister Packer and Sister Smith in a dritt in the Munich 3 ward! It was really neat! I almost accomplished my mission goal of chasing down a biker, but the sweet older man stopped to talk to us even before I got two feet running. It was a neat experience working with both Sister Packer and Sister Smith again. I"m always so amazed of how much I learn on Austausch!  We were also able to see Dachau.  I remember going with my parents before my mission and feeling so overwhelmed and my emotions were guarded.  This time however, as a missionary who is called to preach hope and faith and to teach about a loving Heavenly Father and His plan, my eyes saw it differently.  I said a silent prayer that those who were so deeply affected by the Holocaust may have peace and the everlasting blessings through the Atonement.  

Sister Ahlm and I went back down south to visit Lenggries again, but instead of contacting our referrals again, we got to speak to Leandro, who is from Chile. He's lived in Germany for 15 years and knows a little about the Church, and we talked to him for an hour and twenty minutes right on the train platform where we had gotten off!  We are excited to meet with him again tomorrow to give him a Spanish Book of Mormon, and to continue helping him understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how it plays a role for him personally. It's always a wonder to me to look back and see the Lord's hand in absolutely everything we do, and that we are always in the place he needs us to be.

We met with the Muntean's again and had the chance to teach Nikolina the Plan of Salvation, which was good review for Adrian and Adele. They are reading in the Book of Mormon a little more frequently now, and are praying also a little more often. They have lots of good, deep questions, which shows Sister Ahlm and I that the Muntean's really think about what we teach! They are progressing so well.....we're working really hard right now to get them to church some Sunday. That's their biggest struggle right now, but we're hoping to set a goal to get them to come this week. 

I am so grateful for the Spirit. One of the greatest blessings, and yet challenges of a mission, is the opportunity to have the Spirit with you 100% of the time. As servants of the Lord, the Spirit guides us as to with whom we should speak, and to whom the Lord has prepared to hear the message of the Restored Gospel. Sometimes that's hard. Especially when you are really good at thinking twice like me! :) One thing I learned this week from Sister Ahlm was that you should just simply act upon those promptings, and to not think twice. Out of that, Sister Ahlm and I have met some of the neatest people, and have had special opportunities to serve others. I love President Uchtdorf's quote from two conferences ago, to "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." I like to think of it as doubting my second thoughts before doubting the Spirit! When we trust the Lord, and act upon that faith, the Lord blesses us tremendously. Listen to the Spirit! Listen to His gentle promptings, no matter how small. You never know what miracle is about to come your way. Simply Listen.

I love you, my dear family and friends.  I must be off, but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your incredible support and love!

Your Missionary,
Sister Natalie Motto

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