Well, I am officially over the hump of my stay at the MTC! Next week we get 19 new Deutschers in, the week after that we get our travel plans, and then two weeks after that, Guten Tag Deutschlad! Life is so great- the Lord's hand has truly been "unplugged" so to speak in regard to Him blessing my life.
First off, I should have expected it, but I didn't really realize that a language would be LEARNED here... not just obtaining the basics and then figuring it all out once I got to Germany. The last few days have been amazing with the Spirit of the Lord so greatly blessing me with the Gift of Tongues- it is a real thing. An actual power. A gift from God. I would speak of teach in lessons, and I had to think back and ask, "Wait, did I say that in English or German?" It came so naturaly I didn't have to think of it in English first, translate, and then speak- it is all simultaneous. I am beginning to udnerstand what the Lord was talking about when he said to treasure up in our minds all that we can, and it will be given to us in the very moment that we need it; and the idea of opening my mouth and it will be filled. To help our German, we have 2 hours a day (zwei Stunden täglich) of only German (nur Deutsch). [[By the way... I have this problem of mixing up the word "Stunden" and the word "sterben".... one means "hours" one means "to die"........ oh mercy! [oh Barmherzigkeit!]] That is always a lot of fun and we play games in our district to learn conversational German vocab. We also have nur Deutsch Tag.. only German Days.. this week is on Saturday- so hopefully I won't speak any English on that day!
Second, all the senior companions were switched, so Elder Johnson is now senior companion. It is great to see him rise to the occasion and help our companionship even more. President Dunn called me in to an interview and extended the call for me to serve as District Leader. What a great honor and privlidge to serve in this capacity on top of being a missionary! It's actually very similar to Elders Quorum President, but with only 9 brethren, and we talk about missionary stuff all day long! I have really enjoyed it and am greatful for this opportunity from the Lord. I will serve in this capacity until I get to Germany.
Third, I have been singing with some other Elders in my district in the MTC Choir- what a great experience! We have found the perfect seats so when General Authorities come on Tuesday nights, we are sitting with at eye level... Dad, it reminds me of what you did on your mission when President Monson called you up! So far, we have had 5 members of the Sevenety come, and they have given wonderful devotionals... but we are all anxiously awaiting a visit from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve or First Presidency! One day at choir, right before it started, I heard a voice behind me, and I turned and I knew I knew this Elder, but couldn't quite figure it out. He turned a little bit- Brett Gau! One of my great friends from my elementary years in American Fork! I couldn't believe it, and neither could he. It was great to catch up and I have seen him several times since. Then last night, we knew that we had some new elders move in to our floor at the residence halls. I was talking to Elder Johson as we were walking up the stairs to our room about who he thought moved in (which mission). Some of the new elders were walking out, and one stopped and said, "Nate Garlick!" I turned and instantly recognized him- Dave Browning! Also from my elementary years in American Fork! It was so great to see him and be reminded of all the great times we had in cub scouts and everything. And even more, he is in the residence hall room right next to me; so I will be around him for the next 4ish weeks. Brett is going to Japan, and Dave is going to Ivory Coast. What a miracle, for us three to be reunited over the course of our stay in the MTC, and all happen to live in the SAME residence hall. The Lord is so great!
Fourth, the Lord's hand has been so prevelant in my life as I receive notes and letters and packages and prayers from all my family and friends. There truly is somthing tangeable to the receiving of uplifting and inspiring notes; not just a piece of paper, but a feeling of the Spirit that helps me go forward, have strength, and further the work of the Lord. So thank you, for being an answer to my prayers, everyone: from my family in College Station and the Ward family there; my great friends from College Station and the family you have all become; my ward family at BYU and my best friends who the Lord truly has blessed me with having; my extended family and grandparents; and my great friends and loved ones all over the country- I think I am the luckiest guy in the world! You have all blessed my life greater than I could ever express thanks for.
So I ask: Have the days of miracles ceased? NO! There are more miracles happening today than ever before in the history of the world; all we have to do is recognize them, and more will come. Not only will the windows of heaven open and pour out blessings and miracles, but in the German bible the interpretation is that "the floodgates of Heaven will open and pour out blessings." The floodgates of heaven have truly opened up in my life, for which I am so grateful.
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He truly came to this earth to atone for our sins, becoming the Savoir and Redeemer of all mankind. He did in actuality appear to the people on the American continent, of which The Book of Mormon is a record of, and He and the Father did appear to the Prophet Joseph, and because of that we have this great work and cause to spread to the four corners of the earth.
Have the days of miracles ceased? No, the days of miracles are only beginning!
All my best and with much love,