Monday, October 27, 2014

"To Nourish Starving Souls"

Dearest Family and Friends,

Its getting coooollldddd.......:)  

It's been a wonderful week here in the beautiful, fairytale like land of Bavaria!! Sister Ahlm and I are attempting to adapt to the ever growing colder weather here in Munich, but we are warm in our hearts as we go about sharing the message of the Gospel.  I feel SO blessed to be able to stay in this incredible city and ward for my last transfer.  I have LOVED serving in Bavaria and it feels right to end in a place which has grown so near and dear to my heart.  I am also grateful to continue serving as STL and as a trainer with Sis Ahlm, who by the way, doesn't really need a trainer, she is incredible.  We have so much fun together and are working hard! 

FINALLY found a hedgehog~
We had a pretty successful week. We met with Sparks throughout the week, being able to teach him about the Restoration, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Priesthood. On Thursday Sister Ahlm and I took a beautiful S-bahn ride down to Tutzing, which is the most south we can go on our Munich train card, and met Sparks there. We taught him at a friend's home because it was so cold outside, and had an incredible lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each time I teach this lesson, I recognize the power in it's simple points. Faith leads to repentance, which will help our desires grow to follow the Savior to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and as we continually strive after this pattern week after week taking the sacrament, we can better and stronger endure to the end. We talked a lot about priesthood authority during the lesson, and priesthood blessings. We also extended the invitation for Sparks to be baptized on November 29 and he said YES! We called Kai afterward, and he was so happy he got emotional. Kai thanked us for leading his friend to the Gospel, and right then I corrected him and said, "No Kai, we didn't do anything. It was YOU who brought your friend to the Gospel, and we are just here to help you teach him." Even up through Church yesterday, afterwhich Sparks got his first priesthood blessing, Kai radiated such a glow of happiness and excitement for his friend. Member missionary work is the most powerful way to go about laboring in the Lord's vineyard.

We visited the Göb's again this week with Bishop Sneddon. Although it wasn't a terrible lesson, we didn't teach what we had planned. We'll be visiting the Göb's on Thursday this week, and after much prayer decided the best way to teach them, at this point in time, is through simple, clear points. Once we have a foundation of simple but powerful teachings, then we can build up from there.

On Wednesday we went to Lenggries and contacted our referrals. Our trip down there was grey and rainy, and Sister Ahlm asked "why is it always grey and rainy when we go to Lenggries?"  Ten minutes later the sun came out and Lenggries showed us her true colors of Bavarian beauty.

On Friday Sister Ahlm and I got to spend with cute Erika Kohler, the mission presidents daughter! It was almost like having my little sister Isabelle along. I forget how fun it is to have a 14 year old with you, and Erika reminded me in even the smallest ways of what great things come from the smallest amounts of faith. When we were with Erika we met with Tenzin, and Tenzin was thoroughly impressed with her spiritual maturity. Tashi (Tenzin's wife) was also very impressed about Erika's knowledge about the Bible. Sister Ahlm and I agree that bringing Erika more often might be the key to softening Tashi's heart to listen to the message of the Gospel.

Oh so get this! Sister Ahlm and I had a unique opportunity to attend a worship service for the 7 Day Adventists. This small congregation of about 10 people asked Bishop Sneddon a while back if they could use our Church building for their worship service, and he complied. We helped these really nice and really faithful people set up the Relief Society room for their service, and in return they invited us to stay for a time. So we did! And it was really neat! The time we spent with them, praying and reading in the Bible for their "Sabbath school" was an experience in which the Spirit testified to me the goodness of these people's hearts. They are such GOOD people and even though they are of different faiths, I know the Lord loves them and their efforts to learn more of the Bible.   We hope to have the opportunity soon to teach them what we believe so that they might enjoy the fullness of the Gospel. 

We met with Herr Muanza this week after such a long time, and taught him about priesthood authority. He LOVED it, especially the scriptures we shared from the Bible and the Book of Mormon in partnership. Muanza is loving his daily Book of Mormon reading, and he said he now knows that Joseph Smith IS a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon cannot be anything but the Word of God. We asked him to be baptized and he said no......because he was already baptized. Even after our entire lesson on priesthood authority, he still didn't get it. So back to basics and hopefully in the next lesson we're hoping to maybe clarify a little bit better with our Portuguese speaking member who can help translate/clarify a couple of things:)

Today I set the goal for myself to read the Book of Mormon one more time through before coming home. With the time I have left, that means I need to read 14 pages each day. I'm reading the Book of Mormon after Elder Bendar's challenge, to read with a perspective of the Atonement. Today when I studied, I read about Nephi and his brothers going to get the brass plates from Laban. Each time I read, I am astounded by Nephi's faith and unwavering obedience. Today when I read however, something else clicked in my understanding. The reason Nephi is so strong is because he simply gets the Atonement. He GETS it. The reason Laman and Lemuel mumble and grumble around is because they don't. They see angels, they witness miracles, and they still don't get it. Nephi understands the power of repentance, and the incredible power that comes from being grateful. I am really eager and excited to see what treasures of hidden knowledge await as I continue to read the Book of Mormon again with this new perspective. How grateful I am for this book of scripture! How grateful I am for the healing power it has to nourish starving souls (quoted by President Boyd K Packer).

I love my mission. I love being a missionary. I love my Savior, and I am forever grateful for this opportunity to be His representative.

Love always, 

Your Missionary

Sister Natalie Hannah Motto

1 comment:

  1. So many great stories this week! And aww a hedgehog, she looks so happy! Love hearing about the miracles and the work going forward with progressing investigators on track to meet the mission goals. She looks beautiful--and ah that rainbow photo!