"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, September 26, 2011


Monchengladbach Transportation!


Liebe Familie und Freunde:

First, mix 4 eggs together with 500mL of milk. Add a tablespoon of Sugar and a little vanilla. Then add flour until it is a thick batter. Pour a half cup into a small skillet and bake the most amazing German pancakes ever! If you are feeling a little fancy, you can cut up fruit (banana and peach are great!) in thin slices and put them on the top doughy side, then flip it, let it brown, and you have a wonderful German Breakfast- Pfankochen! Somehow, this month with all the traveling and reimbursements, we were stretched for money. A woman in our ward made these pancakes last weeks for us, and we have basically been living on those. And let me tell you, it's not a bad life! Experiment, put cheese and meat on it, make a pizza, the possibilites are endless!

It's kind of like the Gospel of Jesus Christ: With a solid base of Faith and daily repentance, tasting the sweetness of the Atonement through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, a faithful follower of Christ really can enjoy enduring to the end! We have enjoyed enduring these last few days of the month until October comes around!

But what is enduring, though? From what President Uchtdorf and President Monson have taught, it definitely is not just sitting around hoping things will get better. Enduring, tied with patience, is not just closing your eyes and seeing how long you can "hold out". Enduring and Patience are so much more of a proactive action of doing the things to achieve the change, the result, the success desired. Patience is a hope, a diligence, a positive and joyful attitude. Enduring is active patience, consistency and continuation of doing those things that matter most. This is what I have learned the last few weeks, and I am so grateful for it. It has been about a month of hard work, and hard in several senses of the word. Elder Van Camp and I discussed and knew that the Lord was doing what He wanted with the area- we just needed to submit to Him and go forward- that also could be a definition of patience and enduring. So we did. And Yesterday at Church was the climaxing culmination of weeks of patience and enduring, hard work and hope. Brother Peeters drove 45 minutes to church and brought a friend with him! The ward was so excited to see them. They are really interested in investigating the church. Three less active members were at church, some I have never seen at church since my time here in March, and some not for a long long time. We had met with them earlier in the week, and didn't even talk about gospel things- we helped move a kitchen of one family, and talked about England with the other. At Zone Conference President Scwartz had us set goals and make plans for baptisms and new members from now until Christmas- three was revealed to us. We presented it to our Ward Mission Leader and Bishop, and everyone is on board. It is the Ward being excited, it is the people that remember what the spirit feels like and come back, it is the hope and excitement that comes as we work together for a goal, it is giving a spur-of-the-moment talk in sacrament meeting, it is it is the genuine interest that investigators have to understand the gospel, it is the complete exhaustion at 9pm, and knowing that with the fallenout train we won't be home for a few hours, it is the joy we feel as we discuss how we saw the hand of the Lord in our life that day, it is the lessons I am learning, the perspective I am gaining that make this work so worth it. There is no where else on earth I would rather be, doing any of a thousand other different things. This is eternity.

I am so excited for General Conference this weekend!! What a great opportunity to hear from living Prophets and Apostles. I have been preparing for this conference for the last few weeks, with questions to answer and counsel with things. The neat thing is that I have already received some answeres and understanding to these questions and concerns- it's neat how it works out that way! My second week in Germany was the April General Conference- that is a crazy thought to have. This Saturday is also transfer calls- we'll see what happens. Elder Van Camp has been singing "Gott sei mit dir bis aufwiedersehen", God Be With You, every morning to me for the past few days. I told him that God has a better sense of humor than he does! And we laughed- come what may and love it!

Zone Conference was Tuesday, and that was a great expereince! I love getting together with the other missionaries and especially President and Sister Schwartz! Elder Forsyth is an Assistant to the President now, so it was good to see him again after a while and talk about Mönchengladbach. The Düsseldorf missionaries, 2 sisters and 2 elders, asked me to accompany them on a musical number, and they sang so beautifully! "I Need Thee Every Hour"- through playing that then, and then later that week at a baptism in Düsseldorf later that week with them, I came to understand more just how much I need Him every hour- every minute, every moment. I am so grateful for the precious gift of the Holy Ghost, the ability to have Him by us all the time. I have changed so much since January, and I know that a big part of that is due to the influence of the gift of the Holy Ghost- not just using that gift to bear testimony or feel the Spirit, but making the gift of the Holy Ghost a constant, daily, prayerful part of my life. That has made all the difference. His power is manifest through His Spirit. His love is manifest through His Spirit. His reality is manifest through His Spirit. And when we have that Spirit with us, we become His messangers of truth, effective bearers of the ensign to the nations, even ministering angels.

It is my testimony and witness that it is true. All of it.

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

P.S. Last night, Elder Van Camp hid Rotkohl in one of my pancakes... Rotkohl is basically purple Saurkraut... mercy! I wouldn't suggest it- almost as bad as the Saurkraut Juice!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fish and Book

Liebe Familie und Freunde:
It really is the small things in life that make it so worth living: Walking out of your way to step on a really crunchy-looking leaf; the full moon; wearing short sleeves in the morning and then changing to long sleeves right before you go outside because of sudden freezing; not being able to open a pickle jar; new mailboxes; changing back into short sleeves at lunch because the weather changed back to summer; seeing stars in the night sky for the first time since February; pictures of a beautiful sister and her fiance'; peaches and cream; eating another full serving of food after already eating two because the host wants you to; tripping of flat ground; smiling and nodding in conversations you have no clue of what's being said; the sound of the pages of the scriptures turning; turning the heater on before going to bed because the summer weather left and fall came back...all in the same day; and the list could go on and on!

I don't normally like keeping track of the time that goes by out here, but today, September 19, is the exact 1/3 mark of my mission here in Germany- 8 months. Where does the time go?! I have really enjoyed going back through my journal and remembering all the good times, the spiritual highs, the physically difficult lows, the subtle change that has come into my life, and the huge changes that are seen in investigators and children of our Father as they recognize truth. This life is really made up of a lot of little things that make it just worth living! As a missionary, I have found that mastering the little things is crucial in order to conquer the big ones. Like with Brother Peeters. He has some great questions and genuine interest to find our our view and understanding. He has questions of Sunday being the Sabbath day, why church is so long, the name of God, Prophets; these things that are of so much importance to him. These "little" individual things, once understood will really help him to embrace the fullness of the gospel. Our job is to bring the Spirit to be with him and allow him the opportunity and experience of finding out these answers for himself. Teaching somebody to fish is a small thing, but can make all the difference in the world. And I have found in these wonderful 8 months that that is how the Holy Spirit works as well- it is the consistant following of the small, quiet promptings that add up to create a period of time of huge spiritual feast! The Spirit it a teacher- He teaches us to fish, just like Christ did when He invited His disciples to come and "I will make you fishers of men". I am so grateful for the learning from this period of time- the time of trying to figure things out, the times of not knowing what to do, the times of trial and disappointment. But in these times, I have learned the most, especially concerning the love of God, the reality of my Savior, and the ways and means of the Holy Ghost.

We were able to have some real neat experiences this week finding and making appointments out with Melinda, Senen, and Bulimbu. It is such a wonderful experience to have bearing testimony and introducing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With all these experiences, the Book of Mormon was the common thread. If the Book of Mormon is true, everything is true. We are trying to help Brother Peeters understand and take that challenge. For his concerns, if he can feel the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, he will know that Joseph Smith and his predecessors are prophets of God, revealing to us the word of God. These new people we found were also touched by the Book of Mormon, just feeling the power of it by seeing it- I know that they felt somthing, somthing indescribable. I love the Book of Mormon! I love the truth I learn and the Spirit I feel every time I read it.

It was just a great week! Tomorrow is Zone Konferenz, which is always a real exciting and enjoyable time!

I know that God knows and understands the little things in our lives. He rejoices when we rejoice and is excited about what makes us excited and happy. He is our Father, in every sense of the word.

The little things just make everything so good!

Viele Liebe,

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

P.S.... my English grammar and correctness abilities are fading fast.. sorry!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Check out this loaf of BREAD!

Sunshine, Futball and Volleyball!

Learning, Teaching, Serbia, and Netherlands

LIebe Familie und Freunde:
So ich dachte dass ich ein bisschon mehr auf Deutsch schrieben kann- nur für Spaß! Diese vergangene Woche war wirklich wunderbar! Und es fängt mit Elder Bednar an!

Tuesday was such a neat experience, to meet with all the missionaries in Frankfurt and then listen to Elder and Sister Bednar. What stuck out to me was not what he talked about, but HOW he did what he did and the interaction we all had. Let me explain-- A few weeks ago, Präsident Sschwartz emailed us two talks given by Elder Bednar: Ask in Faith and Learning my the Spirit. We were to read through and study these talks in preparation for Elder Bednar's visit. At the conference with Elder Bednar, he didn't give a talk or a speach or lecture or anything... he said "Alright, are you ready to get to work?" In the way of starting a workshop or hands-on course. It was really neat- he asked us to share our thoughts and impressions, what stood out to us, from these two talks. Many missionaries were able to stand and share what stuck out to them. Then, Elder BEdnar would have a little discussion with that missionary, teaching simple principles and allowing the missionary to think a little bit further than before. He called on me, and I was able to share my thoughts from the talk, that learning by the Spirit really does help us to put off the natural man and become a Saint through the blood of Christ. I can't really remember what he taught after ward, but it was neat to have such an interation. The purpose of this exercise what explained in his teaching us through example: the best teaching is not coming in with a note pad full of notes and then makng sure to say all you, the teacher, wants to. That is treating the learners as objects. Everbody, because of the Atonement of Christ, is an agent unto themselves, and as and AGENT not and object, should be allowed to use their moral agency. It goes further to incorperate the ideas that having people regurgitate information or play "guess what the teacher is thinking" is not teaching. Teaching, rather, is allowing the Spirit to guide a discussion, guided by the teacher, and allowing ALL to be edified and use their God-given identity as Agents to lear by the Spirit. I have really come to understand and see that I, as a missionary, am definitely NOT the teacher- If I think that my German and knowledge of the gospel- then trying to combine those two things together- has any power to teach well enough to convince somebody of the truthfulness of the gospel... well, Elder Bednar called that priestcraft and unrighteous dominion of the Priesthood authority I have been given. SO I have really made an increased effort to let the Spirit be the teacher- but not just that... to use every teaching opportunity to allow the investigator to use their agency, to act as an agent, to learn by the spirit. Sorry that these thoughts are all over... I just wish everybody could have been there to see and feel and experience this. It truly has changed my thoughts of teaching and actually every interaction with people, in every case. We didn't get to meet with him after the conference, but that doesn't matter- I don't need to meet him to know that he is an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. He left us with a very speical witness of the reality of Jesus Christ and our Father, and also bestowed a powerful Apostolic blessing upon us, that I am working to achieve and realize in my life, espeically at this time on my mission. What a truly blessed experience!!

The meeting with Elder Bednar was a great boost for the week. We saw some really neat miracles and expereinces with the hand of the Lord working overtime to prepare people for us and to further His work. Two examples won't suffice, but will have to do today!

1. We went back out to the dwelling boxes in Serbia-ville, as we named it, to meet with family Emin. They were becomming more and more uniterested in learning more about the gospel, because of difficulties with work and housing. We tried to explain to them how important faith AND works are, otherwise nothing will happen for them. We felt we needed to go, sad that we wouldn't be able to teach them much more anymore. As we were leaving, a woman stood at the other housing place, calling to us and waving us to come in. We did, and there were two men there, one already set up as a translator and they both wanted to learn of what we had. Before we had gone very far, they asked about church and really want to come! Over the course of the 20 minutes, eight other people came in, introduced themselves, and listnened to us teach, then the translator translate. It was such a neat experience! I don't know if all of them will stay on and keep meeting with us, but they felt something- the Lord brought them to that room, and the Spirit kept them there.

2. We went down to HEinsberg on Saturday. The Luchs family lives there, so we have lunch with them and talked with them about Alma 13:24, how angles are here preparing people to receive the gospel. We had a map of the area and prayed with them to know where to go. Their 17 year old daughter almost immediately pointed to an area, so off we went! With sincereity and great humility, I say that the time spent in this area on these streets in the greatest amount of consentrated success I have experienced since being here in Germany. House after house, person after person, we talked to SO many people, bearing testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ and the restoration of His gospel and His church. It was truly a blessed time! We were exhausted at the end, but felt the love of Christ and the power of this work. The neatest experience of this time in Heinsberg was meeting Herr Peeters. He is an older man from the Netherlands, and has the coolest accent you have ever heard! We came to his door and introduced ourselves and what we were doing- he said "Oh, sind sie die Mormonen?" We smiled and said we sure are! He had met with missionaries before a few years, and moved and lost contact. He invited us in and we had the neatest time with him, learning of him and his past, and being a part of the miracle that is the Lor preparing him and leading him to this time in his life to when he can accep the Gospel. We worked it out with a member in Heinsberg to bring Brother Peeters to church the next day, and it all worked out perfectly- he came and loved it. He has so many questions, but he is finding and receiving answers. It was truly a humbling experience to live this and be a part of finding and helping Brother Peeters learn the gospel. The neat thing is that we have not even taught him a real "lesson" yet- but he feels it, he knows it. It goes back to my thoughts from Elder Bednar- the Spirit is the real teacher, and as we do as we schould, and live worthily of the spirit, great miracles will happen-- nt many words required!

I am truly so humbled to be in the middle of so many miralces and witnesses that prove that God is, that Jesus Christ lives, and that They love me. Faith is the evidence of things which are not seen but which are true- The evidence around me every day strengthens my faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God; that I am a child of God, of a Father who loves and knows me; and that is is only through the plan of God, with Jesus Christ at the center, that I can fulfill my eternal and divine destiny: an eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom with God and with my family. That is truth. That is reality.

Have a wonderful and blessed week! I sure appreciate your prayers, love, and support. It's all about prayer- strengthening our relationship with our Father, and receiving His help and blessings. It's all about love- Christ gave us the higher law, one of love for God, ourselves, and for othes. It's all about support- we cannot do this alone. A huge tent with stakes and poles and tarps is not very well or easily put up by one person- and neither is Zion. Her stakes are expanding, her beauty is rising, and we are all playing and individual and important part of the cause of establishing the kingdom of God again on the earth. Shall we not go on?!

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

Monday, September 5, 2011

Water, Wonders, Ward- What a Wonderful Week!

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

What a week! Istill haven't figured out mission time yet... I woke up this morning thinking it couldn't be Monday again so soon, but also that it seems like last week Monday was so far away! This was a week of great Summer fun and finding new people and Ward relationships and miracles. Here are a few highlights:

Monday: WATER FIGHT! The young men invited us for their water fight, and I thought it was going to be like a Burton reunion water fight or something fun and classic like that... then I saw the shields and the water pistol holsters and the bazookas and the barricades and the hats and the paper-devices to show if you are "out"...it took longer to set up than to actually play our round of capture the flag! This was THE most intense and serious water fight ever! It was a blast! I thought of all the fun times at past family reunions that could have all been meshed into this one grand game: Burton water fights at Forth of July, Blake capture the flag with Alan, and Garlick capture the flag at Bangerters... it was so much fun to remember all these good times, and take on all the young men. Needless to say, we were very wet. And it was the middle part of our P-day, so we had to so shopping after that... we got some fun looks!

Tuesday: Brother Fowler took us out to a pizza cafe... there were potatoes and Hollandaise Sause on the pizza... but it was mighty grand! It was good to talk with him about his 10-year conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ- it gave me comfort to know that some of the work we do know will have fruitition in the future.

But Wednesday and Thursday showed that we will have fruitition now! We had a lot of finding time, and were able to continue to use our new Key-Indicator of Kontakts to find some really neat new people- especially families! Familie Aziz with five young adopted girls of many nationalities from Iraq and Familie Long from China who were so excited that we called back to set up an appointment, and more of the Serbian families at these city-refugee-housing. It is real interesting to meet with the Serbian people at this place. We did so on Thursday, and after the lesson with familie Emin and them explaining all their issues with us with health and need for a new house, we felt it may be best to use our time elsewhere. This happened similarly on Tuesday and Thursday. On both days, we had the same thoughts of possible focusing elsewhere, but every time we were walking out of the complex, a person would come up to us and ask when we would be coming back and if we could come meet with him. It is truly amazing, and we can see and feel that the Lord wants us to continue going back there. There are people that are ready and just waiting for the Gospel, but haven't had it because they just don't know where to find it. We have it, we share it. What a beautiful work!

Friday: I love the Elders in the Duisburg District! Me, Elder Peterson, and Elder Stephens are in our second half of training the new missionaries, and Edler Birth just started this cycle training Elder Hall, (who knew Caitlin Rowden from UNT!)- so our district is half goldens and half missionaries under the year mark- I love it! Elder Peterson asked me to give a spiritual thought on obedience, and it was a real neat expereince to prepare and share with the Elders in the district.To start, I found that "obed-" means "servant". So obedience is really the act of being a servant. That was neat, because from Preach My Gospel and study in the scriptures, we learn that obedience is so much more than just doing as we're told: it is using our agency to choose to conform our will to that of the Father, as directed by the spirit- in order to become a servant of the Father. We are told commandments to live and things to DO, and will be blessed for checking the boxes in the check list. But we are really obedient as we develop the habit and pattern or BEING and LIVING as the Lord wants us to be and live. Willingly, Exactly, Faithfully, Sacrifice- these are all words that describe the type of obedience that Jesus Christ showed to the will of the Father, the sacrifice He gave. As in everything, He showed the type of obedient living I am working to develop. It is true that in almost every case of obedience, we must sacrifice something to conform our will to the will of the Father, as guided by the Spirit. But, I have found that when all is said and done, the blessings received so greatly outweigh the sacrifice given, that I will gladly sacrifice in the same way agian to receive the greater blessings. As President Packer said, "As we give what we have, there is a replacement, with increase." He was speaking of testimony here. But it applies also to our using our agency to conform to the Father's will, for that is really the only thing we have that we can give Him, and then will He make us into His servants to further His work here. I love the gospel!

Saturday: Gemeinde Sommer Fest!! We received permission to go with the Ward to Eyleer See for their annual barbeque and sommer party- it was so much fun! Like Monday, it reminded me of all the great 4th of July barbeques and sommer reunions and trips with the greatest familie and friends who the Lord has blessed me with. To mine und Elder VanCamp's great suprise, Michael showed up with his daughter! First off, we had no clue he had a daughter, but he said that he wanted her to be around "ganz tolle Leute!" It was a real neat day, full of strengthening relationships, eating, and sports... On the topic of sports, I knew that Fußball was really big here in Germany, but I didn't thing it anything when the youth asked us to come play soccer... how hard could it be? I played soccer when I was little, and have watched it during the world cup... mercy. They were amazing! I had no clue that human beings could actually run and kick and do all these trick moves so well... So after the burtal beating on the soccer field, we decided to do sand volleyball- there Elder VanCamp and I gained some of our athletic dignity back. I love this ward! It was so neat to be there with everyone and enjoy the beautiful weather and the creations of God. It was super hot and there was a little lake, but missionaries are not to go swimming, so they filled up water guns and sprayed us down! But the greatest part was that Michael and his daughter so thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and the ward seemed to accept them right in and include them! The Church is so much more that just a church- it is people of all sorts of backgrounds being bound together in ties of love through the teachings and doctines of Jesus Christ- Strengthening, helping, and supporting one another to keep the sacred covenants of which the gospel is made. We can't do it alone. It is impossible.

Sunday: What a blessed and holy Sabbath Day. We had some miracles with finding people in the afternoon, who loved the idea of Prophets and Apostles on the earth today- they loved it because it is true. What's not to love about the truth? Also, I was able to play the organ agian in the Sacrament service and felt the spirit so strong while playing the hymns of Zion. Music truly is a power that connects Heaven and earth, a language that everyone can understand, a source of peace and pure joy. No wonder there were angels singing at the birth of Christ, at the dedication of the Kirtland temple, and will be at the second coming of our Lord. I am so grateful for the talents the Lord has given me, learned and taught by my mother, used and expanded through sweet tender mercies of experiences and opportunities.

Tomorrow we are going down to Frankfurt to listen to Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who is coming just to meet with us of the Frankfurt Mission. What a blessing to be led by prophets and Apostles today! It is such a witness to me of God's love that He has called leaders for us to tell us exactly what we need to do in the year 2011 to live the gospel of Jesus Christ to return to live with our Father in Heaven. I know they are spokesmen for God. The scriptures of old also tell us of God's word. The Spirit tells us personally God's word for us. These three great keys or revelation- the scriptures, modern prophets, and personal revelation- are three of the greatest blessings and gifts from God. I am so grateful for all of them, all bringing me closer to Him of whom they testify. I know that Jesus Christ lives. Through these three great keys of revelation, I am coming to know Him better: not just knowing things about Him, but coming to know Him. His obedient sacrifice was the greatest act of love when it happened, and is the greatest act of love today, as I use the Atonement of Jesus Christ to repent and become more like Him, He allowing me to get another chance. This plan is full of grace and mercy, love and patience. How grateful I am for my Savior Jesus Christ. He truly is "Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." (and yes, I am so excited for Christmas!)

How can you tell what your life is worth or where your value lies? You can never see with your eyes on earth: look through heaven's eyes!

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