"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, January 2, 2012

2012: My Year of Faith

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

Frohes Neues!! Happy New Year! It was a great week of ending the year, and already a great start to the new! President Monson asked that all missionaries be in at 6pm on New Years Eve, and take that time to sit and ponder and pray and reflect. I am so grateful for this 3 hour pause that we had, to sit and think and feel. In the course of my thoughts and feelings, the topic of FAITH kept coming back, and I was able to read about faith a little in the scriptures and wrote my thoughts down. I felt the great need to increase my faith- to develop and exercise and LIVE true faith, that centered on Jesus Christ, and shown in the living and doing and being. Thus came my goal/theme for 2012: My Year of Faith! I felt the spirit confirm my plans, and I am excited to have a greater faithful focus on everything I do in 2012- This week marks the exact one year mark until my time is up here in Germany (there were some cycle changes in there, making my time 2 weeks shorter than planned). And this is the time to GO and DO! This is the time to LIVE my FAITH! I have learned so much this last year, I can't even begin to explain! But how grateful I am for the fastest year of my entire life... It seems like yesterday, really, that we were eating barbeque and that amazing chocolate raspberry cake for my 19th birthday and then drove to Huntsville to be set apart as a missionary. How can time go by so fast?! The work of the Lord knows no earthly bounds, and I testify of that- I have seen that, I have lived that.

Saturday was also our DEEP CLEAN day... when we purged our apartment and cleaned every nook and crany. There is a "Mission Legend" about the Wiesbaden Missionary Apartment. Kinder Egg Toys are little plastic figures that are inside of chocolate eggs, that you can buy at the store. The Suprise inside is a small figure or put-it-together toy, many of which make large sets- elephant families, under water life, hippo companies... fun quirky toys to collect. Well, aparently, there are hundreds and hundreds of these kinder egg toys here. We weren't quite sure what to think, but decided to venture down into the cellar to see what we could find. This cellar was definitely build before any wars came to Europe, and it was like we were treasure hunters of pirates in these dark damp stone caverns beneath our apartment. We have a locked cellar room that belongs to us, and we opened it up, and found a bunch of junk, like old couches and chairs and such. We started cleaning it out, and looked down on the ground of what we wre walking on- there were THOUSANDS of these little plastic toys! Each in their own plastic wrapper, some sorted, some dating back to 1994, full sets, THOUSANDS of Kinder Egg Toys! It was crazy! We went back up stairs and got a huge bag and filled it up... then we got the laundry basket and filled that up too! Then, just when we thought we had found them all, we cleared away some more rubbish and found stacks and stacks of these collector boxes full of full sets of these Kinder Egg Toys, all organized and categorized! It was completely Bizarre! Just look at the pictures! We have no idea what to do with them, and we have no clue how they all got to be here... but the legend is true! I took a set of these German bears wearing Lederhosen and playing in a band - What a fun find! It was quite an adventure!

Rabekka came to church, even after going to the YSA dance in Frankfurt and the time change to 9am! She loves this Gospel- we can just tell! She is so busy, but really wants to keep meeting and learning about the Gospel. We will teach her the Plan of Salvation next- and answer her questions about why we are here, where we came from, and where we are going. It is such a humbling experience to see someone accept the gospel of Jesus Christ! Also, we will be meeting with al lot more investigatore from the German ward now, and it will be exciting to get to know many new people and help them all come closer to Christ. Please keep praying for Rabekka!

The "Missionary Merge" as we call it with the sisters and the wards is going so well! At church, we were able to talk with both wards about our thoughts and plans- they were so excited! The Americans meet from 9-12, and the Germans from 2-5, so it makes for a big Sunday, full of the Spirit, members, and missionary work! I love it! There is an excitement that is deep and driving- somthing real and tangible, that confirms to me that the work is picking up speed, that it really is like the rock King Nebakudnezzar saw in a dream that grew to fill the whole earth. A marvelous work is about to come forth- even greater and bigger than we have ever seen or experienced before! And we really are just at the beginning, just scratching the surface!! I can't wait! I'm not going to wait! We can't wait! P-Day is always good to take the needed mental and physical break, but I am so excited for Tuesday! and Wednesday! and Thursday! Each day, more faithful than the one before, add up to a year of Faith, a year of Miralces. There is so much work to do! Let's do it!

Light and Love and Life- three beautiful things that the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers, and for which everyone yearns. Jesus Christ is the Light we share, the light we reflect, the light we have in our eyes. His is the Love that is shown through His atoning sacrifice, which offers us the opportunity of becoming clean and pure and which He freely offers to us all. His Life then was one of perfection and service, His Life now is one of reality and faith and hope, signifying that we, too, will live again. He lives! He loves me! He lights my path every moment I allow Him to! I am so grateful to wear the nametag which bears His name and that of His restored Church. I know it is true.

This is just the beginning! The beginning of a new year, a new commitment, a new resolve to smile and make someone's day, to lift the tired and weary arms that hang down, to BE followers of Jesus Christ. Let's do it- together!

Danke schön für euer Liebe und Gebete. Es hilft mir so viel! Alles Gute!

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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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