"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, August 29, 2011

Shoes, Dwelling Boxes and Ships

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

So Saturday night was transfer calls... drum roll.... I am staying here in Mönchengladbach with Elder VanCamp! I know there is more work to do here, and the Lord needs Elder Van Camp and I to be the ones to do it, for which I am humbled and grateful. But before I tell you the great and the amazing miracles and expereinces from this week, the sad and terrible... do you remember the shoes that Brother Lenknerite gave me? Yeah, well, after a day of walking in them, I had to accept the fact that they were too small... like a size and a half too small. So I gave them to Elder Van Camp, and he was very happy! Those are some klasse shoes! (Don't worry mom... I'm not risking in-grown toenails again!)

This week was truly one big happy blessing and miracle! From the great blessings of finding so many new people last week, we had the opportunity to meet with them this week- The familie Emin and Luishi especially! On Tuesday, we went to the appointment with the familie Emin and got to the correct address, but it was these small run-down dwelling boxes...two long housings full of about 20 "apartments" each. It was touching to go there and see these people's humility and hard work to have a good life. Most of them are refugees from Serbia or Macedonia- it is such a great blessing that the Church has all her material in every language, especially Serbian- if our German and their German would have been the only basis of communication, terrible things would have happened! But Luishi is such a great blessing- he walked in on our appointment with the Familie Emin and we invited him to stay, and he can speak German fairly well, so we were using him as a translator. In the course of his translating, he too became interestied in the Gospel and wanted to learn more! We set up a schedule with them for every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to meet- they and us are very excited! We were walking out, and we talked a little more with Luishi, and he said that he really has interest in this gospel and church! On Thursday we taught the Restoration and introduced the Book of Mormon- Luishi and Erdzan, the teenagers, 17 and 18 years old, are the most interested and progressing. On Saturday, we returned to find that Luishi had read in the Book of Mormon, and his response was so neat: "Es fällt mir! Dieses Buch ist gut- alles darin ist gut!" basically, that he really enjoied what he had read and that it is all good- it was so neat! We were going through the Plan of Salvation pamphlet in Serbian and German with them and had a great spirit. Then we opened the Book of Mormon and read in 2 Nephi 2 about Adam and Eve, the Fall, and how we are here because of the fall and we are here to have joy. The Pamphlets were nice to read, but the Book of Mormon, when read and discussed, brought the spirit is such great amount! The feeling became deeper, more real, even tangible. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know it! It is a record of God's dealing with His children, it is a testemony of Jesus Christ. It is evidence of God's love to us by calling a prophet and establishing His church again on the earth- what a great blessing we have! The Book of Mormon truly is the greatest tool in conversion- for if the Book of Mormon is true, so is everything else. Everything. It is such a neat expereince to see the converting power of the Spirit through the Book of Mormon come into the lives of Luishi and Erdzan, the parents and Juchan and Mario. And this is just the beginning!

This morning I was studying in 1 Nephi 18, and some neat application to our lives- Nephi is building a ship after the manner which the Lord is showing him, not after the manner of men. It is of curious workmanship, exceedingly fine, and "it was good". I thought of my life as the ship. The Lord is building me and building you- He is the Master Craftsman, the Polisher and Stonecutter. He gives us experiences to shape and build us. He gives us commandment to protect us and guide us, and He gives us opposition so that we can progress. The end result for Nephi was a ship worthy of sailing the seas, able to withstand storms and tempests and reach the promised land. The end result for us will be a disciple of Christ worthy to enter into the rest of our Lord, even Eternal Life with our families. People will mock, doubters will scorn, some may even call us foolish. There is nothing foolish in the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing to mock in the covenants we make, in the ordinances we perform, and the faith we live, in order to allow the Lord to build us after His manner, to be taught in His ways. Everything that was created in the beginning had the description from God as "good", and all good things do come of God. I am grateful to be counted among the peculiar people, even those of a holy nation and of a royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9).

We also found out that Elder David A. Bednar will be coming to visit the mission in a few weeks- it was going to be just for the missionaries in the Frankfurt area, but President Schwartz wants us all to come! What a great experience it will be to listen to and be with an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and be instructed from him!

I know that Jesus lives and that He loves me. I know a prophet leads this Church and guides me. I know the Book of Mormon is a witness of Jesus Christ. I know the gospel is true. The gospel is true.

The simple things just make sense!

Viele Liebe,

Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22

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