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!