Monday, June 27, 2011
This last week will forever be remembered my me as "The Miracle Week", for that is what it was! Not only did the Lord help us to reach our goals, but to exceed them. Not only did the Lord allow us to get in contact with some who we haven't beein in contact with for a while, He led us to 8 new people who are ready and prepared to learn of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only did the Lord send out His spirit in great abundance at Church on Sunday, He gave us a Sunday Spirit every day- one of hope and love, peace and joy. Not only did the Lord help us to work with our Ward Mission Leader in a way that has never been done before to make plans for the next months, but the Lord allowed us to form a relationship with the ward and some specific families that is boosting the excitement and attitutes in the members. Not only did the Lord bless us, He opened the flood gates of Heaven and let the miracles flow!
One of these very special miracles happened in the NATO base... yes, we decided to brave going out to the NATO base again! We had a great plan for Wednesday afternoon, and a solid alternate-backup plan... but then in the course of about 15 minutes, both these plans fell out, and the thunderstorms came in... quite literally! So we looked at out map on the wall, and both felt to go out to the NATO base again and check one last time on Holly Crompton, to see if she was at home and had interest in the Gospel. With the amount of time it takes to get there and our...exciting... and adventurous history with the NATO base, we decided that this would be the last time we went out to check on her. So we got on the bus, with our passports and went through the proper entrance, not sneaking in, and got to her house. She was there! She looked at us and started getting teary eyed- from what she told us, she had met the church in the United Kingdom and went to church for about a year with her friend. Her parents (she is 18) are extremely opposed to the Church and refuse to allow her any connection to it...if they know about it. She said that she wants to be baptized, and will wait until she moves out and goes back to England. The miracles were that she was at school and felt sick, so they sent her home, and she got home and felt completely better. Her mother had just left to go shopping, and we had English materials to give her. She has strong faith and conviction to follow our Savior. The Lord is in charge of this work... there are too many miracles every day and things work out too good to have this be the work or opperation of a person or a group of people or even a church. This is the work of the Lord, and He is quite literally holding Mönchengladbach in His hands.
One aspect of Germany that has a little hinderance on missionary work is the fact that there are so many holidays! They have holiday all the time, especially the last few months with Easter and Pentacost and other Catholic/Evangelisch holidays. And on these holidays, everything is closed... everything! And nobody is on the streets, walking or driving. And then the strange phenomenon happens... nobody is at home either. It is amazing! I can't quite figure it out, but it is what happens! But I love how the Germans celebrate their past- the culture and tradition is still alive and they recognize that with these holidays. One time we were making out a return appointment with Michael, who likes speaking English with us to practice. He said "I cannot meet this Wednesday becasue of the celebration day." I loved that! A celebration day- a day to celebrate! It got me to thinking about what we celebrate and why. Then the thoughts came that every Sunday, we celebrate too. Every Sunday is a Celebration Day as we remember the atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ and His triumph over pain and death so that we can live, and have life more abundantly. Of course, we do not have parties and festivals like at other celebrations, but I have come to celebrate Sundays in my heart and in my thoughts. I am more excited to go to church and sing together, pray together, learn and grow, to feel the actual power and effect of the Sacrament and the Priesthood. I have found myself sometimes getting into the "Sunday Routine" and just doing all that we do at church just because that is what we do. But to celebrate the atonement, it is so much more the attitude, the focus, the appreciation, and the service that come, stay, and continue as we remember Christ's sacrifice for us, and the opportunity we have to repent and become better. I celebrate and rejoice that I can repent, that I can be chastised from the Lord, that I can become purified, that I can become what He wants me to be. And this can happen every day of our lives. Have we not great cause to rejoice? Should there not be a happier people on the whole face of the earth than the faithful followers of Christ? Can every day of our lives not be filled with rejoicing, celebrating, and praising of our Lord Jesus Christ and the blessings and miracles He sends to us, even when we don't really deserve them? We do have cause to rejoice and celebrate, we do have reason to be happy, and we do have every reason in the world to count our blessings and return the thanks to Him who gives them. I love Celebration Days!
This week President Ninow returns home, and we get President Schwartz. He comes from the Nurmburg area, which is actually in the Frankfurt mission! He was a former Stake Patriarch and was serving with his wife in the Berlin mission when he received the call to serve as president in Frankfurt. Our Zone gets to meet him this Thursday and then have interviews next week. I look forward to working with him and learning how to better receive revelation- for he is truly one that knows how to receive and act on revelation.
What a blessing to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. I am more humbled every day at His greatness and glory, His interest and intervention, and His love and mercy. He lives- He does. I know it. If He didn't live, there wouldn't be any hope of a better world or a future to look forward to. But that hope is in me- it is in you. Sometimes we are too busy- stuck in the thick of thin things- to feel and recognize that hope. But it is there. It comes from Him, in whom we hope. His course is the straight and narrow way to a better now, a better tomorrow, an eternity. His love is so great, we can't truly understand or comprehend it. But we feel it as we come to know Him, we recognize it as a child is born or we go through the temple or see the wonders of this world, and we show it as we do as He did, going about doing good.
Have a wonderful week! I love you all. Remember: If you go a day without making someone's day, it's been a day wasted.
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22
Monday, June 20, 2011
Liebe Familie und Freunde:
What a truly blessed week! Elder Hogan is a great companion, very different from Elder Forsyth, but that's good! He is from Draper, Utah, and has been here in Germany a few months longer than I. So neither of us is really senior companion, and it has been real neat to have to figure things out together, for neither of us are fluent in German, and I am still learning this city!
I have heard people say that Germany is such a difficult place to preach the gospel, and that the people are thick and hard-headed and will never listen... that German missions are seed-planting missions with a very rare convert or success. Well, I wonder what Germany they are talking about, because in the Germany I know, the success is never-ending, the blessings are overflowing, and the people are ready. We really saw this this last week, as our investigators showed more progress than we have ever seen before, and we had great experiences of people on the street actually contacting us and starting conversations. Like our new Bulgarian couple, Stephan and Nashi. It was an adventure yesterday trying to meet with them to give them a Bulgarian Book of Mormon, because of the Sunday bus schedule, and it was StadtFest is Rheydt. We walked around a little bit, and there was this Elvis impersonator among other crazy and exciting things going on. He had 6 foot stilts and riding a bicycle... and waving a Confederate Flag from the back... and singing :-) Then pirates started fighting and boxing. But after bus rides and waiting, then bus rides and eating, then returning bus rides, we finally met with them! He is a Muslim, but has been disappointed by Islam, similar to Brother Gashi. She is Christian, but cannot speak a word in German. We gave them the Bulgarian Book of Mormon, and before we could even begin explaining, he opened to the title page and began reading out loud! Then he went on to the introduction and just kep reading! As he read, we couldn't understang the Bulgarian, but she did, and her eyes were filled with light! He finished reading and said they had to go, but she held that book like is was gold and worth a million dollars- because it is. She recognized the Spirit bear witness that the Book of Mormon is so much more than just a novel, adventure story, or history book. It is the word of God. They do not have a job and don't have an apartment, but they were filled with the Book of Mormon. She recognized it's eternal worth- a price totalling more than any amount of gold or silver. I know it's true. I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. I can't explain much more than that... it is like trying to explain how salt tastes like. So if you haven't tried it, experiement, test it, see what happens when you read the Book of Mormon. I testify it will fill you with light. For light is that which is good, and all good things come from God. The Book of Mormon comes from God.
Br. Gashi is still in the search for a job, and has until the end of August to do so, before he gets sent back to his homeland. One of the big gospel principles we have been teaching his is stated in 2 Nephi 25:23, "...for we know that it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do." We can pray and pray and read and read and hope and hope, but it is only after ALL we can do, that the blessings are received and miracles realized. As President Uchtdorf says: "Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us. Selfless acts of service and consecration refine our spirits, remove the scales from our spiritual eyes, and open the windows of heaven. By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answer to our own" (General Conference, April 2011).
I love Br. Rainer Hörsken. His faith is strong and his desire even greater. But it was heart-breaking yesterday as the hours of church went by and he wasn't there... It is really tough to know that he knows he needs to come, and to know of the blessings that he will receive by coming to church, but then doesn't do the required action to recieve the blessing. For we never receive a blessing until we are obedient to the law from which the blessing was promised (D&C 130). Martin has also had the similar difficulty. Satan will do anything he can to stop progress and keep people from receiving blessings. In the early days of the church, he used persecution and suffering to drive some people from the faith. Today, here in Mönchengladbach, we have found that he uses apartments and jobs to stop people's progress. Some people work so much that they can't come to church or meet with us, and others don't have work so they can't buy a bus pass or have a possibility of being deported. Martin is looking for a new apartment and has appointments with landlords on Sundays, because his work takes all his time during the week. Satan is sly and cunning, using life's necessities- house, families, jobs- to pull people away from the necessities of eternal nature- remission of sin through the sacrament, entering the gate of the path toward eternal life through baptism, and the eternal hope and perspective of forever families. But we go on, step by step. Even though we have dissapointing things happen, we aren't dissapointed in ourselves... we try and work, and even though we are far from perfect, the Lord qualifies us for His work and makes up all the difference.
I have been more and more appreciative of the Priesthood recently. The Priesthood is the power and authority of God given to man to further His work on the earth. Given to the Prophet Joseph Smith from the hands of John the Baptist, then Peter, James, and John, it has been given in an unbroken line to me through my father and grandfather. What a great blessing, one that I have taken for granted before. The actual power of God- the power that was used to create the earth, part the Red Sea, heal the lepers, perform the Atonement- is on the earth again. What a great blessing! I know Joseph Smith received the Priesthood directly from the hands of these resurrected apostles, after years of Apostasy. The power of God to bless, lift, serve, and save is once again on the earth!
I know Jesus Christ lives. Some people we talk to say they can't belive in Christ any more, after past experiences or seeing all the horror going on in the world. Our invitation is simple: Come and See. Come and see if by accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ your life doesn't improve. Come and see if by reading the Book of Mormon your knowledge and faith and testimony of Christ isn't increased. Come and see if by attending the Church of Jesus Christ your eternal persepctive isn't expanded. For by our faithful acts, sometimes in dark, as a step of blind faith, the Lord will manifest Himself unto us- and we will feel and know that it's true. It is now my pleasure to go forth and share this knowledge and joy with the children of our Father in Germany. It's true! He lives! He will come again.
Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. There is a power that comes from faithful friends and family, a real and tangible power. I love you all!
All my best and as always,
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I get to stay in Mönchengladbach for another transfer cycle!! I am very excited! Elder Forsyth will be serving as a Zone Leader in Erfurt, in eastern Germany. Elder Hogan will be my new companion, currently serving in Wesel, which is in our district, so I already know him pretty well. It will be a great "new start" and another great learning experience. This summer is going to be a fantastic one! Rainer, Martin, and Br. Gashi are so close to baptism dates and we have some real promissing other investigators that could make large progress towards baptism in July or early August. And the Women's World Cup is here in Gladbach, and starts up in a few days- I love summer time! With Elder Forsyth leaving, Brother Fowler in the Ward took us to an Argentean stake house last night... I have never before seen a platter with so much meat on it! Steak and ribs, pork and lamb chops, brats and bacon...We ate, and ate, and ate. I don't think I will need to eat for a couple more days. I am pretty sure we broke the Word of Wisdom... but we ate the beans and the broccoli and the tomatoes, so all is well! ...even though the beans were wrapped in bacon, the broccoli covered in cheese, and the tomatoes boiled..... :-)
Please continue to pray for these investigators and the wonderful people in Germany. They are amazing people, and I learn so much from them each time I am with them. They have great faith and greater hope, with a desire and will to do good. Satan knows that too, and does all he can to stop them. These, my dear German brothers and sisters, are faithful and true, bold, and sincere. I love them. I am honored to serve them. I would serve them for the rest of my life. And in that, I would rejoice!
I love reading through the accounts of Alma and the sons of Mosiah and their missionary experiences. Over and over again, their joy and rejoicing covers over the difficulties and problems they encountered. I too rejoice in this work! Have we not great cause to rejoice? We have a prophet of God on the earth. A Prophet of God! We have the gift of the Holy Ghost, the very Comforter and Teacher that the Lord promised His disciples. A member of the Godhead to always be with us! We have the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Not only do we love and use the Bible which testifies and prophecies of Christ, but we have another witness of His role in our lives, His divinity, and His love for us. Another evidence, witness, and testiment of Jesus Christ! We have the ability to repent and receive forgiveness. Chances over and over again to become clean and worthy to stand before God! We have the Priesthood Power of God on the earth, held by those worth and authorized to use it. The Power of God! We have the knowledge that our families can live for eternity together, a forever marriage, never to be separated by death. Eternal Families! Have we not great reason to rejoice?!
I have been understanding more the importance of coming to church recently. In order for our investigators, members, and anyone to progress and come closer to Christ, we must do three very basic fundamental things: Pray, Scripture Study, and Come to Church. In Sunday School and other times, we gives these three steps as the answer to every question asking how we develop faith or show Christ our love or become His disciples, and, sadly, even sometimes as a joke. But it is 100% true that prayer, scripture study, and attending church meetings has a power beyond our comprehension. It truly is these three things, consitently practiced over a long period of time, a life-time, that will lead to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and the ability to live with confidence before God, earning His trust. But we need all three all the time- for they truly are the three legs of the stool of testimony. Rainer is such a great example of the importance of these three things: He has been reading in the Book of Mormon every day, and praying several times a day. He has come to recognize the spirit and how the Lord has helped him in his life. But he has great difficulty coming to church. And because of that, he has reached a stand-still in his progression. Once he comes to church, that simple act alone will boost him to new spiritual heights that he has never before seen! And so it is with us. Prayer, scripture study and church attendance are the ways we show the Lord our willingness to follow Him. He will bless us with spiritual experiences to strengthen and grow our testimonies. For those who have followed this pattern for a long period of time, we need to make sure that each leg of the stool of testimony is strong and solid...a half-hearted prayer or a glancing at the scriptures or a disracted or negative attitude while at church will not add any to our ever-delicate testimonies. In the scriptures we read about "real intent" and "full purpose of heart" and in Preach My Gospel, "pure intent". Our attitude truly does affect our ability to receive the Spirit and to receive the blessings that the Lord is so willing and ready to give us. I am working on making my prayers more sincere, with an eternal perspective; studying and pondering the holy scriptures, for they are so much more than just a novel; and making church worship the highlight of my week, a time when heaven and earth can meet as convenants are renewed, earthly and heavenly relationships strengthened. This is a part of "Live the Faith!" that the Lord has been blessing me to experience and grow in. I know that prayer, scripture study, and church attendance have the power to change lives, tearing down walls and barriers that Satan tries to put in our way and opening the windows of heaven. I know it.
The three bolded ideas have been what the Lord is so lovingly allowing me to understand and develop as a part of me: Live the Faith!, Eternal Perspective, and Rejoice!.
Live the Faith! and Rejoice! and some of my thoughts were explained above, with the testimony that I have been gaining of them, and love to share. For eternal perspective, the Lord truly has been allowing thoughts and understanding to come to me, almost as they "distill upon my soul as the dews from heaven." A few nights ago, I asked Father to help me with some things, and I was kind of suprised at one of the requests, as it just came out.. I prayed to be able to pray with an eternal perspective. Then, thoughts started coming about prayer and how the actual act of praying, done with real-intent and sincerity, is an eternal perspective. We are communicating with our Heavenly Father. We are His children. He will help us, because He knows what we need better than we do. He will lead us by the hand, and rejoice and cry with us. The next thought came, and maybe you can help me with understanding it more! It was clear and powerful: Yesterday helps today become a better tomorrow. Trusting in the Lord's promises, and remembering what He has done in the past strengthens me today. As I work today to act to see those promises fulfilled, my ability to recognize His hand in the future will become more natural. Today, I am trying to do better than I did yesterday. Today will soon be a 'yesterday', and tomorrow I will be trying to do better than I am today. Yesterday helps today become a better tomorrow. Elder Scott put it as "We become what we want to be by consistenly being what we want to become." I know those thoughts are jumbled, but I can feel the power and truthfulness of it, and hope that I can develop the eternal perspective enough to trust more in the Lord, to act quicker on the promptings of the Holy Ghost, to do a lot more forgiving, and to have hope that "the future is a bright as your faith" (President Monson). For the future truly is bright, and has so much in store for those faithful followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I testify that He was, is and will be. He is the very Jehovah of the Old Testament, and the Messiah of the New. His perspective was always eternal, His faith always lived. I rejoice in the knowledge I have that He lives and will come again. For that day I look forward, and for that time I work for now.
With all my love and as always,
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22
This weekend was Pfingston... Day of Pentacost. So Monday was a holiday and EVERYTHING was closed... it was really quite like a ghost town here! That's why Preparation day is today.
Kaleb enters the MTC on June 29, right? That's the same day as Mark, both speaking Russian- that would be so neat if they were in the same district or companions!
Love you all so much! Have such a fun time in Utah and give my love to everyone!
Monday, June 6, 2011
So to start off, I thought that there may be people who read this email and have no idea what some of the things are that I talk about- there definitely is a "culture" to the Latter-day Saint world! So here is "The Missionary Dictionary" or "Das Wörterbuch des Missionares":
1. Mission- a period of 2 years for males or 18 months for females where they accept a call from the Prophet of God to go to an area in the world and serve our Lord. The main responsibility of missionaries on our missions is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.
2. MTC- the Missionary Training Center. This is where missionaries go for their first 3-12 weeks of serving a mission. Here, we learn the lessons, the language, and get into the mindset and lifestyle of the mission. I was in the MTC in Provo for 9 weeks, and loved every minute of it! It was truly a great blessing to be with so many righteous followers of Christ, all united on a similar purpose. And I made some great wonderful friends!
3. Companion- the other missionary I am assigned to work with.
4. Investigator- an investigator is a person who allows the missionaries to meet with them and teach them about The Restoration of the Gospel, The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Laws and Ordinances. The name "investigator" means exactly what it sounds like- missionaries invite people to literally investigate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon, the history and experiences of Joseph Smith and others, and decide for themselves if it is true. We do not force, überzeugen, or try to convice. The Investigator investigates, and like a prospector or investigator digging for gold, if they work for it and really desire to find something, they will. I see it every day as people decide to investigate the church because of good feelings they receive as we talk to them on the street, as current investigators make progress because they have developed a desire to learn more and want to find out answers to their questions, and as investigators receive answers to their big life questions, all found in the Book of Mormon and through modern Prophets, and become members of the Church of Jesus Christ.
5. Ward- a geographical area in a city or region that determines what time you will meet at church on Sunday, basically. Here in Mönchengladbach, our ward is HUGE area wise, incorperating several cities, some 45 minutes away. In College Station, there are 3 wards, because there are too many members to meet at one time. The Ward is led by a Bishop, one of the members called to that position, receiving no money for his service. The ward members meet together on Sundays to teach each other, edify one another, help each other, worship together. This last week in church, I had a wonderful realization. Before serving here, I had always felt that the Ward was a bunch of people coming together to listen to those that were speaking or teaching, to partake of the sacrament, and to enjoy friendship of another. But really, the Ward is families coming together to do so. There was such a great feeling of family at the meetings yesterday- it was truly amazing! My perspective is different now- all that our Sunday meetings and worship services really are, are families coming together to worship the Lord. No one is higher or more important than another, and all of us can learn and grow from another. That should eliminate any anxiety about inviting people to come worship with us or coming to church or activities during the week- "Would your family like to come worship the Lord with our family and several of our friends families this Sunday?" or "Would your family like to come be with our family this Monday night and strengthen each other's faith in Jesus Christ and play some games and eat some treats?" or "Our family and many of our friend's families are going to be meeting in the park this weekend to have a barbeque, and we would love your family to come join us!" As opposed to "Church", "Family Home Evening" and "Ward Activity". The Church is nothing more than families coming together to strengthen, help, and edify one another. The ordinances and laws of the Gospel are to help and bless the family. And it really is just that simple! That's why we call each other "Brother" and "Sister" in the Church- we really are one big familie.
6. Stake- a larger geographical area made up of many wards. We are in the Düsseldorf Stake, and we are led by a Stake President.
7. Germany Frankfurt Mission organization- The mission is divided up into areas, where normally each ward is a missionary area, and usually one companionship per area. 3 or 4 areas make up a district, and 3 or 4 districts make up a Zone, where the stake boundary is normally the Zone boundary. The Germany Frankfurt Mission has 6 Zones: Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Erfurt, and Nürnberg. Each district has a district leader, and each Zone has a companionship as Zone Leaders.There are 2 or 3 assistants to the President, who are a companionship in Frankfurt, and we are all led and guided by our Mission President. President Ninow and his wife are great examples of hard work and diligent effort. Their time will be through at the end of June, and we will get our new Mission President, President Schwarz, and his wife. They are from Germany and we are very excited to work with them!
8. Transfer cycle- a six-week period. At the end of the cylce, we receive transfer calls, telling us if we will be staying in the area as a companionship for the next cycle, or if one or both of us will be transfered to a new area to work with a new companion. All these changes are made by the mission president under the direction of the Spirit of the Lord. Transfer calls are this Saturday, and we all look forward to going where the Lord wants us to go.
9. Preparation Day, or P-Day- Mondays until 6pm, where we send emails to family, write letters, go food shopping, clean the apartment, shine shoes, and anything else to prepart for the week. We can also go see cultural things and enjoy being in Germany!
If there are any other words that people don't understand, please let me know, and I can keep adding to "The Missionary Dictionary"!
Sunday was truly the great highlight of the week, but it is really tough to decide, because every day, every event, every moment is absolutely fantastic as a missionary! There is no reason to choose to have a bad day, especially as a representative of Jesus Christ, doing His work to prepare the world for His second coming. But Sunday was just really special. It was Fast Sunday, and with the together fast for the work to progress, we really saw the blessing of fasting. People we haven't seen in a long time came back to church, and joined with our big ward family. One of those families was the Degenhardts. She is from Texas, and has not been able to come to church since January, because of new born twins and they live 40 minutes from the church, and her husband is not a member of the Church. We really felt the need to get in contact with them, and especially me, because she is from Texas! We got in contact with them and had a wonderful appointment with them, Mexican food included! We tried to show love and concern and gave them the love and best wishes of the ward. Then they were at church the next day. The Spirit is what does all the work, but the Lord puts us in our specific places at specific times to help those people who will respond the Spirit that we help to bring. We also ate American Oreos, which was a wonderful treat :-)
Brother Gashi is getting a job! That means he will be able to stay in Germany and can become a member of the Church! He is so excited, and we are too! His time of investigating the church has been very short, but he feels the truthfulness of the message, and has found out for himself that it really is the true church and gospel on the earth. We met with Herr Herdt on Friday, who we talked to on the street and he wanted a Russian Book of Mormon. We brought it over and began talking to him and explaining it. A few minutes later, his wife and granddaughter came around the corner into the kitchen and said, quite literally, "Hey, we really have interest on what you are talking about too!" What a great witness that the Spirit testifies of truth, even if you are in an adjascent room- and it urges us to act and to find out more. What a great blessing! Brother Hörsken decided he wants to be baptized on June 25! We are so happy for him and know that his life will be forever changed for good! Martin has some questions about whether the Lord would accept him being baptized a second time. It is not for us to say what the Lord would accept, but if a sacred ordinance is done be someone who does not hold the proper Priesthood authority of God, it is invalid. That Priesthood Power is held and kept by the Prophet and President of the Church os Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He gives that authority to others, who pass it on to other worthy males in the Church. I hold that authority. My father holds that authority. It all comes in a direct unbroken line from Jesus Christ Himself. It is real. It is really real!
The weather this last week was absolutely gorgeous! Summer in Germany is such a neat time! It is warm, blue skies, white puffy clouds, and the people are just a good! Zugehörenkeitsgefühl- that's the word that describes how I feel right now with Germany and these people- the feeling of belonging. How grateful I am for a Prophet of God, President Monson, who approved and assigned me to serve here in the Germany Frankfurt Mission. It is where the Lord needs me, it is where I need me to be. This work is the work of the Lord. I know He lives and directs it- both personally and through His prophet. Angels are always around us, bearing us up and protecting us. The Atonment of Jesus Christ is central to the Plan of Salvation and to our eternal potential. For without it, we would have no hope of being saved from physical or spiritual death, and all hopes of becomming "perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect" would be destroyed. I am so grateful for eternal perspective. That perspecitve makes my priorities centered on Christ and eliminates the things that have no meaning or simply waste time. And there really is no time to waste. Christ is coming, and we need to be ready. That is what this work is for, to prepare the world for His majestic and triumphant return. I hope and pray I will be worthy to stand with Him and further His work as He rules and reigns in righteousness:
"That glorious rest will then commence which prophets did fortell, when Saints will reign with Christ on earth and in His presence dwell a thousand years, oh glorious day! Dear Lord, prepare my heart to stand with Thee on Zion's mount and nevermore to part." (Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise, hymn #41).
Eternal Perspective. I could go on and on of how my life has been completely changed by continuing to develop an eternal persepctive, but there isn't enough room on the internet, let alone the blog page, to hold it all! I know that when we center our priorities on Christ, and do those things that have eternal consequences, and make sure to pray with an eternal perspective, then our lifes here and now will be so greatly blessed. We will be able to do all the other things we want and need to do. But this earthlife really is only a blink in the eternities of time. Forgiveness, gentleness, charity, faith, hope, cheerfullness = Eternal Perspective. I testify that the glorious day will come when Christ returns and redeems us all. I testify that it will happen in majesty and power and will be a time when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that it is He, who the Prophets have testified would return, the Source of salvation and exaltation.
He lives! He will return! Let us do our part to prepare ourselves and as many others as possible, so that we too can stand with the angels and prophets of ages past, to raise our voices in praise to our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ. Let us lay aside those things that keep our perspecitve limited or blocked from seeing the eternal light, power, and glory that will be His and ours in that Millenial Day.
With the hope of a bright and glorious tomorrow, let us help somebody today.
All my love and best,
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22