Monday, November 24, 2014

Walking In The Sunlight

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

This week was SO GOOD!  Being a missionary is simply the greatest! I love each and every day. I've learned to even enjoy the hard moments, because I know the Lord provides a way for us to be refined and made something new. 

Last Monday Sister Ahlm and I had the opportunity to go to Dachau Concentration Camp for Pday. Even though I had been there a couple of times before, this was an experience to remember. The day was kind of grey and cloudy and cold, which for me brought a little more reverence to the memorial site. Walking around the camp, looking in the bunkers, and staring at the vast, empty plot where prisoners were called for roll call each day was a sobering, humbling, and peaceful experience. The events that took place at Dachau were tragic and unjustified, but I left that place with special sense of peace in my heart and mind that I knew came from my knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, recognizing in many ways that the grounds we had just walked are very hallowed and almost sacred. 

We met with Spacs a couple times this week, and were able to teach him a lot. Yes, his name is Spacs. Because of his thick African accent Sister Ahlm and I assumed that his name was Sparks. Well, he never noticed, or never bothered to correct us, but now we feel really silly for calling our investigator and soon to be new member by the wrong name for the past 2 months! (Can't blame it on a rookie mistake)  We finished teaching Spacs about the Plan of Salvation, talking about where we go after this life, judgement, resurrection, and the kingdoms of glory. Spacs posed the question, "so what happens to the people who don't hear about the Gospel in this life?"  We are going to be talking about temple work later this week, and help make a plan for the next year to prepare Spacs to go to the temple! 

On Thursday evening we went to the Sneddon's (Our lovely Bishop and his family) with Spacs and our district leader companionship for Spacs' baptismal interview. We had a delicious Swiss raclette for dinner and watched a Mormon Message. Spacs said he totally related to the man in the short video, because he also had to go on his own search for the truth. When he shared his testimony, I felt the Spirit wrap me up in a warm blanket, and I was immediately filled with gratitude for the opportunity to teach such a neat man the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Spacs' baptism is on Saturday (my 18 month mark, I also just noticed) and we are SO EXCITED!

We met with Juergen and Baigal again this week after a little while, and it went very well. We read in 2 Nephi 31 about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In this lesson, Juergen and Baigal asked so many questions that were good and relevant to what we were teaching. I was a little surprised of how involved they were!! We encouraged them to begin/continue reading in the Book of Mormon together as a family. In return they invited us to go bowling for Mathias' (their son) birthday on Friday. 

Because next Sunday will be the Primary program in our ward, I had the opportunity to give my closing testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday. That was sort of a surreal moment for me. I saw a lot of familiar and unfamiliar faces in the congregation, but it didn't matter to me. I loved each individual who was sitting in that chapel. Afterward, I was still so full of that joy. During that Sacrament Meeting, I just couldn't help but feel peaceful, happy, and grateful. Being a missionary has brought me a fullness of joy, like it talks about in Doctrine and Covenants 18. Now I'm most definitely not a perfect person, nor a perfect missionary, and it's more incredible for me to think of that joy being magnified when I one day am perfect!! That is something beyond my comprehension. 

Having the Gospel of Jesus Christ I have noticed is like walking in sunlight everywhere I go. Especially as a missionary, I have been more aware of this "light" given to me (meaning the Gift of the Holy Ghost received after my baptism) than I ever have before in my life. I see so many sad, disheartened individuals everywhere I go, and all I want to do is give them just a little taste of this light, of the warmth that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we act upon the principles and commandments taught in the Gospel, we receive blessings beyond our understanding or imagination.  At the very least, when we are obedient and strive to obey the commandments and keep true to our covenants, it really is like walking in sunshine, even on the cloudiest day.

I love you all!! Have a marvelous week.

Your Bavarian/Alpine missionary

Sister Natalie Motto

Gift from the McCormick's! 

Munich Hauptbahnhof decorated for Christmas!

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