Liebe Familie und Freunde:
Guess what today is? Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve!! I love this time of year! Yesterday we were driving home from Wetzlar, and it started to snow!! But it didn't stick... I guess there is still time. And it's Christmas week... anything is possible!
And the miracles of the season just keep happening! Amo and his mother came to church yesterday! They are living in real humble conditions, as refugees from Syria. They enjoyed church, and even though he seems to focus on the negatives in his life and hopes for the biggest and grandest, as any 18 year old can do, when we talk about coming to church, he gets real serious, even somber, and figures out how to come to church. After he came last week, we asked him how he felt when he left church. He said "terrible." We were a little confused... that's not the normal feeling after attending church! Then he explained, "I felt terrible because I wasn't in church." He recognized the power or the love and peace that come from the Church of Jesus Christ, and he wanted it all the time. Well, that's just we teach people as missionaries: how to keep the joy and peace and happiness at all times. It starts with faith, continues with repentance, it makes a milestone with baptism, and it getes capped by receiveing the gift of the Holy Ghost... and then the faith is increased! It is a beautiful cylce of enduring and enjoying!
But what about Bob? Well, we have been meeting with Bob since we got here to Wiesbaden- he met missionaries in June. We didn't really have much of a record of what has been taught, and he came to church several times, and the members really like him. We just weren't sure where he was. His uncle passed away a few weeks ago, and with some financial problems, it is a tough time for him, but he is so positive and one of the greatest people I know. We called him a few days ago, and asked how everything was going. He responded. "Small. Everything is small." ..... I love Bob! We weren't quite sure what that meant, probably a lanuage thing, and actually had to call him back a little later... Sometimes you don't mean to laugh, and you try so hard to keep it in, but that just makes things worse... oh mercy, we were crying! But we were able to make out an appointment for Saturday afternoon. We printed out the Baptismal Interview questions in French- he is from the Camaroon- and started going through them. Bob proceeded to bear his testimony about these questions: "Yes, of course I know that God is my Father. Yes, Jesus is my Savior. Thomas Monson is a Prophet. I haven't read the whole Book of Mormon yet, but I feel it is true. Joseph Smith has to be a prophet." He wasn't quite sure about some of the commandement, but that gave us a place to work with, knowing now what we need to teach. It was such a beautiful time with him! we had a member there who spoke French and was able to bear testimony of the gospel and of baptism. We set a baptism date for January 7! Please pray for him!
Last Tuesday we went to the temple in Friedrichsdorf! It was powerful and amazing! I went to the temple last in Provo in the MTC, so it was really neat to remember the covenants and blessings of the temple. It was all in German, which was a great experience. The Church is still true in German! Sie wirklich ist!
It was just a fantastic week! This week is going to be even better! Christmas is coming, and the world is turning to Him. I love that scene of a manger and oxen, sheep and shepherds, a Baby and His mother, a star shinig. That is Christmas to me! The stress and the anxiety of Christmas comes from trying to do it all perfectly. Christmas isn't about doing it perfect- it's about doing it right. And the right way, even the More Excellent way, is Jesus Christ. If your haven't seen these videos of Christ's early life, please watch them! They are brilliant! Full of the Spirit, they capture the Reason for the season, even in His most humble beginnings. <http://lds.org/bible-videos?
Have a wonderful Christmas! I will see you on Sunday :-) I love Skype!
Alles Gute, und Frohe Weihnachten!
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22