What a fantastic week! I guess it really is possible for each week to be better than the last! The Spirit has been so strong; the language has been spoken, butchered, and then re-spoken; and heaven has surely been close at hand. [My funny phrase this week was asking an investigator if we could give him a bike to church....]
One of the neat things we do every week is an hour of service. our district is assinged the bathrooms in a building. So Elder Johnson and I clean 5 bathrooms everyweek, and have a grand time doing so! Thanks for teaching us how to clean bathrooms while growing up- so I wasn't scared to clean the toilets or floor! This last week, I was mopping the floor and was reminded of what Elder Hales talked about in Conference about painting yourself into a corner. I hadn't mopped myself into a corner, but when I squoze out the water from the mop, all of it didn't come out, so a trail of water was left by my feet. I didn't realize it, and after mopping, saw a bunch of muddy footprints on my clean floor! It made me think that we need to clean up as we go, and not ignore muddy footprints left in our lives. For if left behind, we will have to re-mop the entire floor, not just take a couple extra sweeps to clean up as we see the need to.
I accompanied for two Sisters and an Elder this morning in their auditions for musical numbers in auditions- and all three were accepted to perform! I am very excited and look forward to performing in front of 2,000+ missionaires and feel of their tremendous spirit!
Our district has started a tradition that we are all so excited about- every evening after our daily planning, we go around the room and share how we saw the hand of the Lord in our life that day. The spirit is always tremendous!! We have grown so close over the last few weeks, and this event every night is truly strengthening us even more, and allowing the Lord to make us into the missionaries He needs us to be.
And a crazy and quite humnourous experience gives the title to my email this week. We were coming in from gym one day and somebody said "Elder Garlick!" So I turned and said "jawohl!" I had no clue who this Elder was, and he obviously didn't know who I was... He asked with suprise if my name was Garlick. I said yes and he started laughing and hooting and hollering (they were the Tongan missionaries! :-) They took my up to their part of the residence hall and said that one of their roommates was Elder Garlick. So I met him, and he is going to Tonga...with a roomfull of big Polynesians! I asked about any common relatives, but we couldn't come up with any on the spot. Then I thought to ask his first name. To my great suprise, it is Nathan; and he goes by Nate! So this got all the Tongans rolling on the floor. Good thing we have different middle names, otherwise some great confusion could happen. So that was all fun, but the spiritual experience happened the next day. We picked up mail, and I got one from dad (Thank you for your scriptures and insights!) and at the bottom, was the beginning of another letter, and continuted on the next page (DearElder formats some interesting ways). I had no Idea who this second letter was from! I definitely don't know a Julie Garlick from Cedar City, Utah... then I though about this other Elder Nate Garlick and knew it must be his letter. So I went over to his room and told him of the mix up with mail. [Meanwhile, the Tongan Elders went downstairs and brought the other Elder Matthew Garlick up to us... he is somthing like my second cousin removed a couple of times, and I knew this Elder Garlick was here... we got a fun triple-Garlick picture! And the other Elders rolled about our Garlick reunion!] He confirmed that this letter was from his mother, and we laughed about the mix up, and said if we got each other's mail we would correct it! I got to thinking about this, and realized that two people with the same name had been completely mistaken for the other.. and we even look a bit alike too! The mail services and DearElder website couldn't distinguish between us. Then I thought about our missions and our mission calls. Me Elder Nate Garlick was called to Germany, and him Elder Nate Garlick was called to Tonga. He has his companion and district, and I have mine. So why didn't the Lord mix up our mail, our mission calls, when they were given? Because the Lord knows us by so much more than just our names. He knows us by our faith and works, by our hopes and desires, by our strengths and weaknesses, our needs and yearnings, our successes and failures, our follies and griefs, and our happiness and joy. He know what I need in my life to help me the most, and what the other Elder Garlick needs to help him. Lord knows me Elder Nate Garlick and him Elder Nate Garlick as two completely different people, and has two completely different plans for us for our missions and in life. And these plans won't get mixed up just because we have the same name; for the Lord makes no mistakes with delivering mail.
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He knows each of us as individuals, and has a perfect plan for each of us. This is shown in the first words spoken to begin this great and marvelous work: "Joseph, this is my Beloved Son. Hear Him." How greatful I am that the Lord knew Joseph Smith and prepared him for the work I am now involved in: bringing souls unto Christ. This work is true. This work is His whose name it bears.
All my best and much Love,