"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, November 21, 2011

Count Your Many Blessings!

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

Schöne Grüße aus Wiesbaden! What a neat place this is! There is just so much to say from the last few days, you may get it all over the course of the next few weeks! But first off, I got to see Sister Garlick at the Frankfurt Bahnhof!!!! It was so great and we had a great time talking and catching up. She is serving up in Dortmund area I believe. It was such a great blessing to see her and feel the whole familie's love! We went to Frankfurt super early on Wednesday and I met up with Elder Sheppard there. He is so British! I love it :-) We were able to get our Bahn Cards and traveled out to Wiesbaden from Frankfurt. The two Elders that were here in Wiesbaden before us both went home, so they met us at Bahnhof and gave us some information and keys. We got to Wiesbaden and had a fun time trying to find the right bus to take us to our apartment. We found it, and it is in a real nice place- right in down town and so close to everything! One of the first things I thought of when we walked in was what you told me, dad, about your mission- about how you would spend some time cleaning...especially the bathroom... first thing in a new place. Well, needless to say we had to do a little more than just the bathroom.. but now it looks real nice! We only had a half a bed... the one we had was half broken and the other was a stack of matresses. So we called the office, and since we are so close to Frankfurt, they brought us some brand new beds from IKEA. We had some great bed building bonding time... who knew it would take 4 hours to put one of those beds together?! IKEA pulled out all the stops on these beds .-) But it was great, and after going through the papers and binders of the area records, we are now able to go full speed ahead with the work of the Lord in Wiesbaden and Mainz!!

There are two wards here, the German ward and the American Military Ward. The Sisters are assigned to the German ward, and we are assigned to the American Military ward. So we have been practicing our English teaching and speaking skills :-) It is so neat to be here- it was just like being at a ward in College Station! And our diet the last few days is as follows: Tacos, Pizza, Lasagna, Beef pot roast, Peanut Butter, Brownies and Ice Cream, and Gummy Life Savers... where am I?! The ward likes feeding the missionaries here, so we don't go shopping very often. We have appointments set up for Thanksgiving and the whole week of Christmas already... mercy! Präsident Schwartz came to the German ward yesterday, so we went to both, and it was a real interesting feeling. In the German ward, I felt "Oh, yeah, this is neat, it's such a huge German ward, I like it here", but the Military Ward was a feeling of "Yes, I belong here, this is my ward". It is interesting how assignments do that to us. The Lord has called me to serve in the English Ward, and that is where I belong. The members are amazing, they are full of the spirit and focused on serving others and doing missionary work together. I love it here! And not becase of the American food or the hard r's and k's of the English language- I love it because this is where the Lord needs me to be. I love it because I trust His planning and His plan for me. I love it because it's Wiesbaden- the place where I am to serve Him and learn and grow and become.

It is also really interesting to switch cities and work with brand new people. Bob is one of the investigators here in Wiesbaden, and instantly upon meeting him I felt a love for him and a desire to help him progress toward baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is such a neat experience to feel a connection of love, just by seeing him across the room, and knowing that he was Bob without even meeting him. We are hoping for his baptism in the next few weeks.

And what a great time of year! I love this fall transition into winter. Thanksgiving is this week, and there is so much to be thankful for. I am so thankful for my life. I and thankful for knowledge and understanding. I am thankful for the whisperings of the Spirit and blessings of obedience. I am grateful for the hand of the Lord in my life. I am grateful for Germany, these people, this langauge, the people in my new English ward, and the hope of the future. I am thankful for an eternal perspective and the hope and joy that come from that. I am so thankful for my family. I am thankful for our daily family prayer and scripture study, for our family trips, and especially for our family meals together every day. I am thankful to be one worthy and able to wear the name tag that bears the name of the Lord's Church, and His name itself. I am so thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to whom I owe all thanks and adoration for His sacrifice in my behalf and His help in my life. I am so thankful for the Priesthood of God, His power and authority, His permission, to do His work on the earth. I am so thankful for prayer. I am so grateful that Joseph Smith offered that simple prayer in the year 1820- I am grateful that he had questions. I am grateful for all the other Spiritual examples in my life. I am thankful for all my friends and leaders. I am thankful for temples, for the eternal saving ordinances and covenants of the restored gospel. I am so thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am thankful that the Lord has blessed me with so much that I could go on and on and on!

In short, I am thankful or my life, my faith, my family, and I am eternally grateful to and for Him who has given me all of that.

I am so humbled every day at the beauties of this earth, the peace and joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the blessings that He so freely gives. This is His work. I can't believe the time goes by so fast. This is a time of rededication for me, a time of deeper and firmer commitment to serve the Lord by serving others. It's time to forget me and forget all the little things that Satan is so good at throwing in the way. It's time for me to stand a little taller, to lengthen my stride. The work of the Lord is rolling on- let's get it going even more! It's the season of miracles- let's make those happen and prepare the way for the Lord to further His great and marvelous work. Angels are with us, the heavens are on our side. Let's go on!

Have a wonderful week! I sure love you all!

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Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
Kirche Jesu Christ der Heiligen der letzten Tage
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22

P.S. sorry sorry sorry for no pictures... we need to find a place/way to be able to send pictures...
PSS the members have access to the American commissary, and said they will take our shopping list and buy us whatever we want... Life and Peanut Butter will be stocking our shelves soon :-)

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