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.
We ate Schnitzel with noodles again this Sunday at the Luch's house... It is steadily rising on my Favorite Things list :-) AND I got the recipie for it!
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!