"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:19-20)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Street in Monchengladbach

"Texas-Stange"...A Kolache!

It's true- It really is!

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

I have always heard from returned missionaries about how fast the time goes on a mission. And I always believed them... partly. In my mind, I thought "How could 2 years feel like they go by faster than eny other two years?" And I thought of two years of high school and how long it took to go through those...mercy! But then I actually came out here to Germany, and am serving the Lord every day, and time does not even exist! Well, it exists, but in a very strange way: yesterday seems like months ago, but my first day here seems and feels like yesterday. This week is June, next week we find out where we are tranferring, and then we get our new mission president, and it's almost Christms! ...yes, I have begun to sing Christmas songs... It is truly amazing how time just flies by. That's probably why Preach My Gospel and the Missionary Handbook put such an emphasis on time, and how it is our most precious resource, and how there is no time to waste time. I am beginning to see that now. The scriptures always say how Christ is coming "on the morrow" or "tomorrow I come" und so weiter. It's true! It's about time we used our time to the best that we can, in the way the Lord wants us to use it. For the time is almost here where how we have used our time will be accounted for. Elder Christofferson said, quoting Elder Richard L. Evans, that "Life offers you two precious gifts—one is time, the other freedom of choice, the freedom to buy with your time what you will....Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for. And it is in this life that you walk by faith and prove yourself able to choose good over evil, right over wrong, enduring happiness over mere amusement. And your eternal reward will be according to your choosing." I like that! It is especially pertenant to missionaries, as we really don't have a lot of time... 6, maybe 12, weeks in a city, with people to teach and invite to come to Christ, then on to others, and before time is up, we are back home continuing with school. That is why member missionary work is SO important- time is less of a factor. Members are always there, and when the missionaries help the members with their missionary work, and not the other way around, Zion can truly be established. For the members will make sure that the new members are of one heart and mind with them, they are not poor physically or spiritualls and dwell with them in righteousness. I fear sometimes that when missionaries bring people into the church, they go immediately inactive, because the missionaries leave, and so do the feelings of support, belonging, and friendship. But all these things need to be attended to sith much earnestness, for the time of Christ's coming is truly coming nearer each day. And all of us together, do the little things we can each day, help to prepare the world for that majestic event. President Ninow taught at our last Zone Konferenz that the best missionaries, and let me say 'Latter-day Saints', aren't the ones that can do the big things often- baptisms, re-activate families, set up a service program to eliminate hunger- but the best and most effective missionaries/Latter-day Saints are the ones that can master doing the little things consistently and well, for the duration of their mission/lives. That's what I am really focusing on. For small and simple things really do bring great things to pass!

And we have seen that this week. Our efforts were "small" last week, but consistent and heart-felt. In the middle of the week, we weren't quite sure what the end result of the week would look like, from an investigator standpoint. We truly were amazed! Rainer, Yvette, Br. Stephania and Roza (our gypsi couple), Martin, Br. Gahsi (who is working with a ward member to get a job!!!), and Rosa are all progressing and every one is within a few months of becoming members of the Church of Jesus Christ! Seven! The Lord is blessing this work so much! I don't know what we have done to deserve these great blessings, but I am so grateful for each of these individuals and their desires to repent and come unto Christ, and take upon them the commitment to serve Him for the rest of their lives. This is going to be a powerful and monumental Summer for Mönchengladbach! But this is just the beginning! Every ward and branch in Europe read a letter from the Area Presidency on Sunday about the focus of the June fast and every Sunday thereafter to be for growing the church here. Each family is asked to bring a friend, less active, a family und so weiter each Sunday in June to church. In the letter they said 'We are convinced and testify that it is time that the church in the Europe area grows". Just imagine what can happen... if each family in Europe brought one person to church for each Sunday in June, the work would exponentially increase- and not just because of more people coming to church. These individuals would see, feel, and know the goodness and truthfulness of Jesus Christ's Church and Gospel. They will recognize the feelings and teachings, for they learned them in our pre-mortal life. And miracles will happen. And joy will be full. And salvation will be offered to more children of our Father than ever before. This is going to be a powerful and monumnetal Sommer for Germany and all of Europe! It is so exciting to be serving here at this time, when the people are ready, when the Lord's promises are being fulfilled, and when the work of the Master is going forth "boldly, nobly and independent", penetrating ever continent, visiting every country, and sounding in every ear. It is true that no unhallowed hand can stop this work from progressing, egal the persecutions and efforts of men. For it is His work, and will be done in His way, with His timing, and with His power. That's why I am focusing my efforts to use my time and the Priesthood Power He has given me in the way He needs me to. What an exciting time to be a missionary for the Lord Jesus Christ!

Today is Memorial Day in America, and I am so grateful for those who have given their lives so that we might be able to enjoy freedoms, especially the freedom of religion. They did acts of service for us that we couldn't do for ourselves, but those that if were not done would eliminate all thoughts and opportunities for freedom. Thank you to all the service men and women who we remember this day. I think they and their families understand a little more than others about the Atonement and how important that was.

I am so grateful that I printed off picture of our family and put them in my wallet! It is always fun for me to look at them and remember all the good times we had together! But it is also a great blessing to many of our investigators. I will bring my wallet out and ask if I had alread shown them a picture of my family. I do so, and every time, they are SO excited!! They just light up with the biggest smiles! I am to pass on "schöne Grüßen" from Rainer and Maja :-) They love you, really! And their testimonies of the Gospel, Jesus Christ, and families, has been strengthened just because of a picture of our family. There is something very real and noticeable about the Light of Christ, noticeable even in a still picture. It is in all things and is that which gives all things life. The other day we were walking down the street, and this woman came up and asked us if we "had a light", referring to a cigarette lighter. We said no, and she walked away. A few seconds later, I was hoping I could re-do that whole scenario- We do have a light to give! Well, more of a way for each individual to find the light and recognize it in their own lives. That is what bring people to Christ- their internal, God-given, senses that recognize good from evil and respond positively to the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This woman could have benefited from a light that won't go out, from a light that gives life and doesn't fuels a cigarette. For "He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death." Mosiah 16:9. What a statement, that Jesus Christ is One that is endless, can never be darkened, gives eternal life, and one without death. Is that true? Can there really be one individual that can offer that to every person who has been, is, and will live on the earth? Is it possible for one individual to claim to offer all that to all of us? I testify and bear witness that Jesus Christ is the actual Son of the Living Father. He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He is the One who offers us life, but not just any life, a more abundant life; one that doesn't end or become dark, a life which is eternal and full of progress, and a life that is full of joy, peace, and hope; for that is who He is.
It's true. Every bit of it. From modern-day prophets to eternal families. From Priesthood Power to the gift of the Holy Ghost. From the Atonement to the Sacrament. From joy to eternal perspective. From Heavenly Father to eternal potential. From forgiveness to prayers. From the Book of Mormon to the Prophet Joseph Smith. I testify that it is true. Every single bit of it. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be spending two years of my life furthering a cause that wasn't worth anything. But it is. It is worth everything. Every bit of it.

Enjoy this week! There is absolutely nothing that cannot be enjoyed, for that is our purpose here on this earth, "...and men are that they might have joy". The sky is always blue, no matter how thick the layer of clouds. Remember who you are, remember the promises of who you can become.

All my love and best,
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" Doctrine and Covenants 128:22

Monday, May 23, 2011

"I guess I know what I will be doing this weekend!"

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

First, I have to tell you about my food experience for the week: We went to our favorite bakery to get a loaf of bread. They have a case full of Puddingbretzels and Berliners and other great things in front... but I looked on the top shelf... "TEXAS-Stange"!! So we just had to buy two of them! "Stange" means 'rod' or 'stick', and bakeries use it a lot. So this Texas-stange was a Bratwurst cooked in bread and smothered in cheese with peppers. It was basically a German kolache! It was fantastic! And it even tasted a little bit like Texas :-)

The Lord is truly blessing this work! I am amazed ever day at the miracles and successes that the Lord gives us. Martin is one of those miracles. He is about 25 years old from Romania and speaks Romanian and English. We met him on the street, and he liked "the idea" of the Book of Mormon, and says he has been looking for some direction in life. Through some talking, he said that he doesn't have any friends or family here and thinks that God sent us to him- I think so too! We brought him a Romanian Book of Mormon a few days later, and he just lit up! We gave a little background on it, and he said "I guess I know what I will be doing this weekend!" And that is exaclt what he did: on Sunday, he was waiting outside the church for us, and he had read, in two days, from the introduction through 1 Nephi 13! His English is very simple, and fun to listen to! He said he loves the Book and feels that is is true, and that Joseph Smith really did and experienced all he said he did. What a great power in his simple testimony! We translated a little bit for him through the meetings, and from some more comversation, we found out that he was raised pretty religious, but said that 'He had been going all over the path' and felt similar to Joseph Smith at not knowing what church or belief was true. I smiled and said, "Well, here is your answer", pointing at the Book of Mormon, and he smiled. Through sacrament meeting, I would turn to a scripture in my German Book of Mormon, and he knew how to do the book-chapter-verse system and would look it up in his Romanian copy- it was actually a lot of fun! We went through some of 2 Nephi, Alma, Helaman, 3 Nephi, Moroni, not saying anything, just him turning and reading the scripture I turned to and pointed at. viel Spaß! That is, until I was called upon by Bishop to give a 10 minute talk on missionary work! That was a great oppotrunity to bear my testimony that "the field IS white already to harvest" and that we should rejoice at the many opportunities to share the gospel and help others in their lives. And I thought of Martin the whole time. People really are ready, and have been preapared to listen to and accept the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ- even if they don't know it. But when they hear it, it will be a familiar sound to them- it may be something they haven't heard before or been taught in this life, but it will definitely have a familiar ring to it. That is what I feel with Martin. His Spirit is recognizing that he is a son of God, that there is a set pattern of living to be followed given by the Savior, and that there is one way back to our Father in Heaven, and he wants to embark on that journey!

This experience with Martin got me thinking of the international view of missionary work. There was one lesson where we, two Elders from America, were teaching with Guo, a chinese member, to a woman from Italy... and all speaking in German! This gospel truly is going forth to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people... and sometimes, all those four groups in one lesson! And then I got to thinking about my Garlick cousins, and how I am so blessed to be experiencing a little bit of what each of them experienced: Martin is Romanian, and Adam served the people in Romania faithfully, and Kaleb is getting ready to. We have several Italian investigators, who we have come to love just as Spencer did the people in Milan. I have been able to bear my testimony twice in Spanish, feeling the goodness of those that Matthew and Quinn served. We have an investigator who lived in Pennsylvania for a couple years, connecting to Anne. One of our members that loves to teach with us went to Norway on his mission, but was there a few years before Amy was. And then I get the privilege of loving the Germans- an experience Andrew and Lauren have had, and for which Seth gets to do very soon! What a great blessing to have such a broad scope of people that have been blessed by the gospel, and it is fun to get a little taste of all those people that have been blessed by my cousins. Don't worry, Jessica... I will keep my eyes out for some people from Canada!

I am so grateful for the sunrises here. The light shines right in through our windows, and it is a glorious sight ever morning to wake up to! I am grateful for the wonderful food here and the fun we have with making and eating it. I am grateful for the members here in the Ward, who are willing to help and serve, and even though there aren't very many, they are hopeful and optimistic about the future. I am grateful for the busses and trains we take aorund the city and area, and the bikes we have to get to more people faster. I am grateful that I get to study the Gospel and German for three hours every morning before starting the day. I am grateful that I can email and write letters every Monday, to share my experiences and feel of your love. I am grateful for Elder Forsyth, who teaches me by example and has allowed for some great habits to develop in me. I am grateful for the people we are teaching, who are trying to live right and to follow Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the power of prayer and the ability and opportunity we have to speak and communicate with our Heavenly Father. I am grateful for music, especially the hymns of Zion. There is a real power and influence of righteous music, and people recognize it. I am thankful for my nametag- the visual message of Who has sent me and authorizes me to speak and act for Him. I am grateful that Joseph Smith read the Bible and prayed to find out an answer to a question. I am grateful for my ancestors who kept their faith and built a legacy that I hope to continue. I am so grateful for my family and the hope and joy that comes from knowing that we can realy be together forever. I am grateful for Jesus Christ- The Son of God. I am grateful for who He is and for what He did, so that I can become more than I am and do what He wants me to do. I am grateful for His words in the scriptures, many witnesses that He lives and that His gospel is the only way to return. I am grateful for seeing His hand in my life every day- leading, guiding, and walking right beside me.

This Gospel is true: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. It is beautifully simple; and simply beautiful. The Gospel's purpose to to allow us all the ability to accept and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ is our lives. Without it, we would be helplessly lost in a world that really doesn't know which side is up. The Gospel gives clarity, direction, and support. Peace, joy, and hope are the results of those that follow and live the Gospel. It is His Gospel- therefore, it is the way. Therefore, it is the truth. Therefore, it is the life. Therefore, it is the only way that we can come unto the Father. The gospel really does give us direction on our way, clarifies truth, and gives life, all so that we can copme to know Christ. His second coming is near- and it's about time this world get some direction on what to do, get the truth straight and pure, and give the people a new life, a life of peace, joy, and hope. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?!

Let us all do a little more to help this work progress and prepare the world for His return: Let us smile a little more, or say a couple more 'hello's. Let us forget ourselves and help those whose heads and hands hang hopelessly down. Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power. Let us make somebody's day. Let us so a small act of service. Let us Live the Faith!

All my love and best,


I am so blessed! I got letters from all my sisters and my mom this week! Thanks so much :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Remembering His Name

Liebe Familie und Freunde!

I love the time I get to spend each week writing to you! This week the mission leaders had training on Monday and Tuesday, so I get to write today, and then this coming Monday as normal. What a blessing to write two times so close together!

The work has been going well here, but just in a different way than the last few weeks. Antonia and Jürgen have had some real difficulties in their relationship and in life with places to live, jobs, and cars. Antonia decided to stay and live in Solingen, which is definitely a wise choice. We gave her information to the Elders in Solingen, but neither they or us have been able to get in contact with her. Jürgen pulled up out of a low rut he was in, but a couple of days later, he texted us and said that he didn't want anything to do with us anymore. We pray that as things settle down, that he will remember the times we met and read and prayed together. There is power in remembering; that's one reason I believe the prophets in the Bible and Book of Mormon recount stories and events from other prophets so much. Remembering the past gives strength for the future. Simple as that! That strength comes, most often, in the form of Hope. It is the idea that the Lord has done so great and marvelous things before, that why wouldn't he do so now and in the future? He truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He freed the Israelites from bondage, he led them through the Red Sea, He provided manna for them in the wilderness, he allowed them to triumph over their enemies and inherit the land of promise: these events gave Nephi and his family strength to leave Jerusalem and travel in the wilderness, only to come to the ocean and have to build a ship to cross it. Through their faith and the hope gained be remembering their Fathers with Moses, they were able to do so and sail accross the sea and settle into Central America, and the rest of the civilizations of the Book of Mormon came forth.

"Now ye know that the children of Israel were in bondage; and ye know that they were laden with tasks, which were grievous to be borne; wherefore, ye know that it must needs be a good thing for them, that they should be brought out of bondage. Now ye know that Moses was commanded of the Lord to do that great work; and ye know that by his word the waters of the Red Sea were divided hither and thither, and they passed through on dry ground....And ye also know that they were fed with manna in the wilderness.Yea, and ye also know that Moses, by his word according to the power of God which was in him, smote the rock, and there came forth water, that the children of Israel might quench their thirst....If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?" (1 Nephi 17: 25-51)

I love this scripture! Remembering brings strength, power, and hope. I think that is why it is so important that one of the covenants we make at baptism is to always remember Jesus Christ. For in the remembering of His love, His Atonement, His death and resurrection, and the promises and prophecies of His Second Coming, I feel a hope of better things to come, and power and strength to perservere and endure what terrible things are happening in the world. President Monson has said "Fear not; Be of Good Cheer. The Future is as bright as your faith." And that faith is greatly strengthened by remembering the mercies and miracles of the Lord in the past, giving assurance that He will be there just the same in the future. Jürgen will remember. I know he will.

Herr Gashi is still in a difficult situation without a job. His baptism date is 28.Mai and he really wants it to work out. From our first lesson with him, he said that he was given the Book of Mormon a few years ago, read through it, and wants to be a member of whichever religion has it. And that is still his intention. He loves the Book of Mormon. He love the purity and simpleness of the doctrine of Jesus Christ found in it. He loves the adventure of the prophets and the groups of people as the account of their wars and history are given. He loves the account of Joseph Smith and can feel the power and truthfullness of it as we talk about the First Vision, the appearances of Moroni and other messangers. He loves it because his Spirit remembers it. He learned all this in the pre-earth life. His spirit has remembered the truthfulness of it all, and wants it. We are praying and hoping that he finds a job. He has such a good heart, and knows that if it puts his family in danger, than he won't be allowed to be baptized. So we hope. We have faith. And we smile.

The biggest change between this transfer cycle and last, is that Elder Forsyth is our District Leader. That means he goes on companion exchanges with all the elders in our District (6 others).. and that means I go on exchanges with the other one! I love companion exchanges! This last week, we went on three! I stayed in Mönchengladbach all three times, so that really helped me to solidify my knowledge and understanding of this city! But the over-arching thing I took away from these exchanges is this: As long as you are obedient, there is no one right way to do missionary work. From working with 6 other elders, I have found 6 different ways of doing the same work: and guess what? They all work! It is truly a blessing to learn from so many great missionaries and work on becomming a better servant of God myself. Obedience is so important. Following the commandments is one way that we are obedient. We are also obedient as we follow promtings from the Holy Spirit, recognize a need and help to fill it, and love others. "If you love me, keep my commandments." We love Him, so we are obedient. And as we are obedient, we receive the blessings. Therefore allowing us to help others more, increasing our love for them, allthewhile increasing our love for the Savior. I like that!

This last Training Meeting exchange was especially fun, because some elders were late at meeting in Düsseldorf, so we had to go to Duisburg and meet up. So I got off the train with my exchange companion and walked down the Gleiss. Then I felt my pocket and realized I didn't have the cell phone! So we ran back on the train, got the phone and went to the door. The lady at the door couldn't open it, because the train was leaving, so we had to stay on... without tickets... but she was super nice and let us get off in Essen without buying a ticket or paying a fine. So now these two very new Missionaries are alone in Essen! It was a lot of fun! We eventually got back to Düsseldorf and met the other missionaries and were able to get back to Gladbach without getting lost in any other large city- Every day is just so much fun!!

We have heard a lot about the prophecies for Germany and the growth of the Church over here recently: "Germany will be the next Brazil," "Temples will dot the Rhine, and there will be hundreds of stakes and thousands of wards," und so weiter. Well, I think it's about time these prophecies are fulfilled! Please pray for the people here in Germany- pray that we will find the elect that are ready to accept the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and live by it's teachings, pray that people will be accepting of the truths that they already learned as Spirits in the presence of the Father in the Pre-Earth life, and pray that they will feel the Love of God and want to find out how they can have it more. And that's the message and purpose for missionary work: Remind those of truths they already know, teach how to use and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in life, and to allow everyone the opportunity to feel the Love of God in a greater measure. In our efforts to fulfill these prophecies from prophets of God, we have increased our efforts in talking to people. On the way back from Düsseldorf, we talked to this woman who had great interest in the message of the Gospel and Plan of Salvation. We got her address and came the next day to bring her a Book of Mormon. We biked through the rain, which was a lot of fun!, and got to her door. The first few floors were a Catholic Indian Nun Convent, and she apparently lived on on of the upper floors. We klingled, but nothing happened. We came back a little bit later, and klingled, and this nun answered the door... we weren't exactly sure what to do... whether to start talking and teaching and testifying, or just ask if Simbolon was in the building. She said she didn't know her, and said good bye... we were walking away, and Elder Forsyth said, "Um, I think your contact is a nun...I don't even know if we are allowed to teach nuns...at a convent..." It was so funny! We decided to come back some other time and contact Simbolon. This work is so much fun! It is not hard, it is not difficult, for it is the Lord's. If it was up to us to do this work, then it would be the most difficult and greuling thing anyone could do; but it's not. The Lord puts people in our way, those who are ready, we talk to them, teach them, and prepare them to make and keep sacred covenants. And even if we are unable to contact one of those, like Simbolon, it is still so rewarding, and overall... fun! Keep us in your prayers, keep these people in your prayers, and let's all do a little more to help the Lord in peparing the world for His triumphant and majestic return!

Jesus of Nazareth, Jehovah, the Messiah, Christ, The Lamb of God: many names belong to Him who was born in a humble stable in Bethlehem, and walked the streets of Gallilee and Jerusalem and on top of the water; He who healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and raised the dead; He who suffered everything for everybody, and gave Himself as a sacrifice so that we might live and have life more abundantly; He whose name has been praised by the hosts of Heaven and the multitudes of people as He, as a resurrected Being, appeared to the Apostles in Jerusalem and to the people of the American Continent. Many names belong to Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, whithout whom there is no hope, no peace, no joy, no eternal salvation. Praise, honor, and glory be to Him whose name we take upon ourselves at the waters of baptism and commit to serve our whole lives through. How great He is and how blessed I am to serve Him; He whose name is the name of His Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and who is its cornerstone and sits at its head. He lives- all glory to His name! Let us never take it in vain, trample it under our feet, or not be appreciative for it. Let us always hold in respect the name of Him who did all He did to fulfill the will of the Father, and allow us the chance to be heirs of all that the Father has to offer.

This work is amazing, fantastic, and wonderful. It is truly the only work on earth that affects both past, present, and future generations of families and individuals, for the eternities to come. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?!

All my love and best,
Thank you for the package! Es war wirchlich wunderbar, um Amerikanishe Shockolade zu essen...und auch euer Liebe zu spüren!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Another Wonderful Week!

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

What a great time I had talking with you all yesterday afternoon! It truly felt like we were all right there in the same room and talking just like old times! Thanks for your words of love and encouragement; it really helped to rejouviante and refresh me. That is the power of families: the ability to help each member become better and better. That's why the Gospel of Jesus Christ focuses on families- because the family truly is the best place to learn how to "become perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect"- the family is His ordained orgtanization used to help each member help each other member, all the while growing stronger and stronger together as a unit. So thank you Dad, Mom, Jessica, Alison, Makell, Jared, and Dallin for making me want to be more and do better in following the example of the Master, to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Ich liebe euch!

I have had some realizations/connections with missionary work lately. In the words of one of my favorite hymns, "Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise", which sadly is not in the German hymnbook, the second verse says this: Ye heralds, sound the golden trump to earth's remotest bound. Go spread the news from pole to pole in all the nations round: That Jesus in the clouds above, with hosts of Angels too, will soon appear, His saints to save, His enemies subdue.
From this and from Elder Anderson's talk in conference, the purpose of missionary work is to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The world gets prepared for this majestic and sacred event by the individuals preparing themselves for His Coming. This happens through them coming unto Him, and becoming clean from their sins. That's why we do missionary work; not to get numbers, or to get enough members to split a ward, oder so weiter. We do missionary work so that we can allow individuals the opportunity to be part of the grand Second Coming of our Savior, being able to stand blameless, without spot, before Him, and abide His coming. Everything else is just a side effect. That's why I am so excited to go on in this great cause- having the faith enough to exercise that faith to invite others to have the faith enough to exercise it unto accepting and applying the infinite and eternal Atonement of Jesus Christ. What a personal and intimate work this is. One-by-one they come: one life changed at a time, one heart healed at a time, one soul able to be eternally saved at a time. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?!

Herr Gashi is the greatest man, and our voices have been lifted up in prayer to our Father to help him find a job. He found out yesterday evening that if he doesn't find a job in two months, he will be sent back to Cosavo. If he is returns there as a Christian, they will kill him and his family. He is such a good man- he wants this Gospel with his heart, and says it every appointment. Last appointment, he said his first reason for wanting a job was so that he would be able to pay tithing. He is such a great example to me of pure faith, of simple hope, and willingness to do what the Lord asks. "If church is at 5am, I will be there. Where ever, whenever, I will be ready" was his response to when we said that a member would be by his house a little bit early to pick him up for Stake Conference. If he finds a job that will allow him to securely stay in Germany, then he will be able to get baptized. If not, we won't be able to allow him to make these covenants, and put himself and his family in danger. I pray the Lord grants his desires and allows this wonderful man to come into the fold of God, and partake of all the great blessings that are waiting here for him. But if not, it is the Lord's will, and that is always best! We pray as if everything depends on the Lord, and then work as if everything depends on us- I like that. I have found that to be the source of many blessings in my life, and escpecially here on the Lord's mission.

Ich weiß, dass Jesus der Christus ist. Er is der Eretter und Elöser der ganze Welt. Ohne ihm, können wir in Gegenwart Gottes nicht zuruckkehren. Ich bin sehr dankbar für sein Sühnopfer. Er hat wircklich für uns gelitten, und is wircklich für uns gestorben; aber er hat für mich personlich gelitten, und ist für mich personlich gestorben. Und die wunderbare Wahrheit ist dass er auferstanden ist! Er lebt!

As always and with all my love and best,


Monday, May 2, 2011

In Haupt Bahnhof

Water Tower (Wasser Turm)

Mini train set in Krefeld Bahnhof

'Tis a Simple Gift to Be

Liebe Familie und Freunde:
This week ended the first transfer cycle! What a great six weeks it has been- new investigators, progressing investigators, and helping people develop faith in Jesus Christ- what better cause can we be involved in?! Transfer calls came Saturday night, and both Elder Forsyth and I are staying in Mönchengladbach, and he is the new district leader! We are very excited for this next transfer cycle, and look forward to seeing what miracles the Lord is waiting for us to uncover!

This week, we were able to set a baptism date with Herr Gashi. He is from Albania, but speaks very good German. He met with the missionaries several years ago, and loved the Book of Mormon. He wanted one in Albanian, so he called the office in Frankfurt, and they called us. When we met with him, he said he loved the Book and wanted to be a member of whatever religion it was that promotes it. He is such an amazing person! He is so willing to learn and is understanding and accepting more and more. He actually gave his copies of the Book of Mormon away to his friends, so we brought him some more! He was in church yesterday, and loved it! The Lord is truly blessing this work- for it is His!

On the topic of amazing people, Brother Fowler became a member in 2004 and is such an amazing help to us- he said he promised the Lord that he would never say 'No' when we asked him to come teach with us. He also likes taking us to eat and shopping- for which we are very appreciative! Also, he is a verxy serious chess-player. We were at his house for lunch this week and he showed us some of his chess books... hundreds of them! I had no idea that there was a science to chess- theory books and methods, procedure and strategy...and it basically has it's own language. That is probably why I have never been too good at playing chess! He memorizes and learns games of the best chess players in the world, and he has become one of the best in Europe. So I asked him if he wanted to see how fast he could beat me... so we played, and I was 'check-mated' in about 5 moves... incredible! And then he set the board back, and replayed every single move we did and analyzed it, saying what I should have done and strategy to get out and so forth... it totally blew my mind away! That's kind of the way it is with us. Heavenly Father knows each and every move we make in life, and is willing to help us with the strategy and method to come out victorious. Granted, we don't have to study hundreds of strategy books to become masters of a foreign languages. All we need to master is how to follow the proptings of the Master, and He will guide every move we make. That's the language of the Spirit- as my German becomes more fluent, so does my fluency in the Spirit- there is absolutely a strong correllation between the two!

So this week is Mother's Day! With that, I have been thinking a lot about my wonderful mother, and I am so excited to talk on Sunday! I do not doubt, my mother knows it: she knows that Jesus is the Christ, she knows that faith and prayer bring hope and miracles, she knows that families can be together forever, and she knows how to follow the Spirit. Thanks, mom- your example truly blesses my life every day. And of course I think of my wonderful grandmothers- the other day I was listening to my Mormon Tabernacle Choir music and the song 'I Often Go Walking in Meadows of Clover' came on, and it made me really appreciate my grandmothers. This song, talking about the beauties of nature, made me reflect on how my grandmothers have shown me how to appreciate nature- the flowers and the trees, and the grass and the water. "I learned how to love them, dear Grandma, from you." So, thanks to my Grandmothers, for teaching me to appreciate the beautiful creations of this earth!

And with these feelings of appreciation, I feel so greatly blessed! The blessings are gifts from God, and it really is a gift to be here on the earth at this time, with knowledge about eternal families, with the peace and strength that the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives, and with the assurance that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father. "Tis a gift to be joyful, tis a gift to be free. Tis a gift, tis a gift, tis a simple gift to be." It truly is a simple gift, so mercifully given to us by our Father, to be here, to be in families, to simply be.

I am so grateful to be a missionary- a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. And the greatest thing is that people notice! It is fun to see how many people look at us when we walk down the Fußganger Zone or get on a bus. The best is when we are walking and people give the non-subtle "nametag stare" where their heads extend a little bit and their eyebrows furrow a bit- and they don't even try to hide the fact that they are staring at our nametags trying to figure out what is is about us. I love it, because it shows they feel something different. Their spirits are connected to ours- to Christ and the Church and the truth- they just don't know it yet. It shows in the curiosity to do a nametag stare. They feel something different and they like it. It is so true that so many people are looking for the truth, but they just don't know where to find it. And many, when they do find it, realize that it is filling a hole they didn't even know they had. So nametag stares are good- it shows that spirits are connecting, to further prepare that person to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ lives! His Father is our Father too. Our Father created us and gave us the blessing, gift, and privilege to be; and not just to be, but to enjoy being!
Thank you for your love, prayers, and support.

As Always,