Liebe Familie und Freunde:
Isn't life just so good? Just think about it for a minute.... ja, Leben ist wunderbar! Jawohl!
Why is life so good? Well, I have been thinking about it for a while, and here is what has impressed me: I know where I came from, I know why I'm here, and I know where I am going; and the answers aren't just the general, broad overview answers that could be filled with any sort of random distorted truth...The answers are simple and profound, beautiful and eternal. I won't spend the time explaining the answers, but the point is, life is good because we know. Purpose, potential, perspective, and promise: all given to us from a loving Heavenly Father who wants, more than anything, to have us return to Him and to enjoy all the blessings that He has. Knowledge is so important; true knowledge, might I add. Elder Van Camp and I have been working on teaching the Plan of Salvation the last few days, and my knowledge has grown, understanding deepened. The purpose of our earth life is to keep the eternal perspective to see the fulfillment of the Lord's promises and reach our potential. He truly has given us knowledge of eternal significance: "Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High" (Ps. 82:6). I have thought a lot about this knowledge and eternal truth lately- and it truly makes life good. All good things come from God and testify and witness that He is- life, the basic essence of life and the knowledge we attain in it, is evidence that God is. It is so neat to talk with people and explain to them this truth: "You are a child of God, and He loves you." "God has prepared a plan for us all to return and live with Him." "This life will test and try us, but through the Atonement of Christ, we can become clean, receive strength, and be prepared to return to our Father." The cool thing is that they already know it- their spirit, anyways. Some try to cover it up, or hide their interest or agreement, but we can tell. And when they walk away with a smile, it makes it all worth it. This is a happy knowledge- this is a small taste of eternal joy that is our potential to have.
Also, life is even more amazing when you add a little bit of Quark to it...iwth bananas or berries and some sugar...well, a lot of sugar... Sorry everybody in America, Quark isn't allowed to be sold for some reason... just enjoy the pictures!
There are a lot of trains here in Germany- a LOT! It is amazing how they coordinate it all and make sure everything goes smoothly. Recently, I have noticed that when the train starts, we can feel it vibrate a little bit, then jolt, then slowly pick up speed, and then steadies off. So it is, I have found, in missionary work in Mönchengladbach. The first few weeks were the vibrate of the train- we could feel things coming, and saw that the train was about to start. Then the jolt came, and it was actually lasted a few months- a time when a lot of things were going, a lot of stuff happening. But after some clean up, the stuff was elimiated, and a constant accelleration happened. One of the interesting things about trains is that they change tracks, and change a lot especially right at the beginning of the ride, getting out of the Bahnhof and onto the correct track to the destination. Elder Van Camp and I have seen some real neat things the last few weeks with changing tracks, and getting onto the correct track to our destination. Of course, when the train changes tracks, there is a lot of bumping around, and sometimes it feels like the train simple drove off the tracks, and there are loud noises and screeching. But then it calms down, and then the train gets up to it's proper and correct speed. For us it meant a lot of growing and bumping, pulling back then progressing.We are excited for the next few weeks! The last few weeks were, honestly said, the track-changing weeks. But it is neat to see how after reorganizing, re-prioritizing, and re-focusing, that the work is a lot more steady and consistant, just like a train after getting on the correct track to Düsseldorf or Duisburg. The prophecies for Germany are being fulfilled today, not tomorrow or in a few years.
Hope is a topic that we have been discussing a lot in District Meeting and as a companionship. I love hope! We have been trying to have a lot more hope the last few weeks, and it is neat to see how our hope for investigators encourages them and changes their and our attitudes for doing what we do. Hope is such a happy, joyful feeling- even when the hopes aren't realized, like investigators coming to church or appointments falling out, the feelings of disappointment don't last, but rather the hope fills me with a joy and optimism. I really can't explain it, it's just really neat to experience! So hope! ...Moroni 7.
I have so enjoyed the last few weeks of being a trainer- like learning German helped me re-learn the principles of the gospel, being a trainer has help to re-learn how to be a missionary, especially the basics. I am so grateful for this opportunity- and just like I thought from the beginning, Elder VanCamp has trained me more that I could ever train him.
This message we share is one of hope! It is a gospel of joy, and message of optimism and perspective. We were talking in district meeting about why the restored gospel means so much to us. I thought about it, and the gospel of Jesus Christ, as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, means so much to me becuase it is a witness that God is, not was; that Christ lives, not lived; and that They love, not loved.
Isn't life just so good? Just think about it for a minute...
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22