Monday, November 10, 2014

"What more is required, Lord?"

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

Everyone should have more faith in pass along cards, and to give them out more often. You know why? Because they WORK! Sister Ahlm and I got a phonecall yesterday afternoon from a man by the name of Gerhard, an older German gentleman we met at our U-bahn station on the way home one evening. We had a very simple, brief chat with him, gave him a card, and didn't think anything of it. Yesterday right before church started we got a call from a number we didn't know, and it was Gerhard, and he explained that after we met in the Ubahn station he went home, looked on, and now wants to learn everything about the Church! 

For Pday last week Sister Ahlm and I went with Jürgen and his friend from his church congregation, Ursula, down to Garmsich-Partenkirchen and the famous Oberammergau!!! It was BEAUTIFUL. The sun was brighter than it had been all week, the sky was startling blue, and we were really able to enjoy running around in these beautiful mountain villages. It was probably my favorite Pday that we've had in a while :)  I couldn't get over the brilliance of the colors of the trees, the clearness of the Bavarian mountain lakes and the crisp clean smell in the air.  It was perfectly picturesque and heavenly.  Every day, I grow more in love with Bayern, Munich and what this area has to offer.  The people are charming and warm and fully embody "Gemütlichkeit".  I feel so blessed. 

Sister Ahlm and I met up with our Tibetian threesome this week in a coffee shop to enjoy donuts (German donuts, sogar) and a discussion on the Word of Wisdom. Namdul asked us if we put milk in the black tea, if then it would be okay to drink. He and Ngawang kept asking if putting sugar, or milk, or more water, or many other random things would make the black tea "ok" to drink. After laughing at us and trying to get past the language barrier, Tenzin stepped in and translated everything nicely. We found out that Namdul has a problem with smoking, and he wants to give our Stop Smoking Program a try! He's really determined to stop, and that's all the motivation he needs.

Confession: I'm a really bad trainer...or just a little blonde.:)  Sister Ahlm and I got a ticket for riding the Sbahns without a valid monthly ticket!  (Lesson number one to Sister Ahlm...never ride "schwarz"!)  We got charged 40 Euro. Yikes!  Fortunately, the controllers told us that we could go to Hauptbahnhof, show our valid ticket, and get a slight deduction off our "strafe" price. You can imagine my relief when I found out our ticket strafe was only 7 Euro!!! I'm still a little embarrassed that we got a ticket, but all's well that ends well, and we learned from our mistake! Whew.  (I have to say how grateful I am for my awesome and very patient companion!)

I had the opportunity this week to Austausch again with Sister Smiley, but instead of being in Tübingen we were in Munich! We had a lot of fun talking about Wien, because she got to serve there for 1 transfer: it was so good to hear how everyone there is doing. We met with Sparks and were able to answer a lot of questions he has about the creation, repentance, the Atonement, and the meaning of the Sacrament. He's always so nervous to ask questions because he says he knows as he learns he'll find answers, but that being said he wants to be as ready as possible for his baptism soon. One thing I have noticed teaching Sparks is kind of like that when I taught Ainhoa back in Göppingen: teach simply and powerfully. Sparks, although 27 years old, is still like a child in the Gospel, and line upon line we as missionaries have the opportunity to help him grow and mature spiritually as he continues to learn. Teaching people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and in many cases the teachings to them are so new, is something that will forever amaze me. I love this chance to teach, because whether or not the investigator/less active/member knows it, I grow right along with them.

Me and Sister Smiley!

There was a train strike in Germany this week that lasted somewhere around 75 hours, which is supposedly the longest strike in Deutsche Bahn history (so everyone is saying). It was really dumb, but thankfully we serve in the city where the buses and Ubahns still ran. Sadly, we had to cancel many of our appointments for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday due to the strike, but we were still able to make those hours productive.  For Germans, the trains are a necessity, so you can imagine how a train strike can paralyze a country.

We met with Armando this week for the first time in a real lesson, and cute Rachel Sneddon, our bishops daughter, came with us! Armando was so kind and made us REAL Italian food, and we were able to teach him about the Restoration. He's been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon and each thing we taught him about the Restoration he said "made perfect sense". That's what the Gospel does: make sense!!

Hashim,the Göb's, Muanza, Klaus, and the Muntean's are all doing well, even though we didn't get to meet with them because of the strike. We have regular phone contact with them all, and they are all doing well.

One thing I learned about this week in my personal study, and something that we talked about at district meeting, was the principle of Accountability. The Lord expects us to be accountable for all our actions, and to report back to Him at the end of each day, although He is very well aware of all we do. The very act of kneeling in prayer and giving an account of our day's actions shows our Father in Heaven that we know He is there, that He watches over us, that He is aware of us, and that we are grateful for the time He gives us each day. It also helps us personally to recognize what we are doing with His time, if it happens to be better instead of good, or even the best instead of a better usage. My thought process in my prayers lately has been "What more is required, Lord?" What more can I do? What can I do better the next time? What can I say the next time? Help me become who THOU wouldst like me to become. And it has made such a wonderful difference.

Elders Jensen and Abbott at MLC

Seeing my sweetest friend from Lindon.....and saying goodbye until 10 weeks:)

Me and Sister Erdentsegsogt

The Tübingen and München 2 sisters at MLC

Have a marvelous week my friends and family! I pray for you, I think of you, and I hope you know I love you!

All the best,

Sister Natalie Hannah Motto

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