Liebe Familie und Freunde:
What a fantastic week! And this coming week is going to be even better! MEGAN AND ALICIA ARE GETTING BAPTIZED! I love this work! It is so exciting, and the joy I get from doing it every day truly is the greatest blessing!
This last week was Zone Conference in Heidelberg! Sister Nieman served there a few months ago, and wanted to show us all the Heidelberg Castle! So we went a little bit early and climbed up to this gorgeous castle on the side of a mountain! I will send pictures as soon as I can figure out my camera card... Zone Conference was great! The greatest thing that I felt was the confirmation that missionary work is a spiritual work. Yes, we teach and study, and we talk with people and we ride many trains, but it is ALL a spiritual work- all those physical elements are just ways that we act on the promptings of the spirit. Also, one of the greatest things about Zonw conference was that I got to see my cousin! No, not Sister Garlick, but Elder Jardine!! He is a Hicken!! His mom talked with Aunt Marne and figured out that we are second cousins! His Grandpa is Uncle Jay! I love being a Hicken and a Garlick and a Blake and a Burton! It was so neat to be with him and really feel that family connection!
It is great to work with Elder Crosby- he is very relaxed and calm. I admire his humility and desire to become better and learn. He has such a great focus on other people, and definitely one of the most slef-less people I know! I am so grateful to be learning so much from working with Elder Crosby!
Yesterday was a special Stake Conference broadcast for all of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It was so aweseome! Elder Nelson and President Eyring spoke to us. The two greatest points I got from the conference was 1. Prayer of Faith, and 2. Connect with spiritual power by doing the small and simple things. President Eyring spoke a lot about his ancestors from Germany, and their path in life that led them to the church and to marriage, ect., and it was all governed by their prayers of faith. I am so grateful for prayer- it works! Sue Ellen is just discovering the power of prayer. She is middle aged single mother, and came to church yesterday. She has been feeling the spirit recently, and really gained strength from prayer. As we have met with her, we can see the gospel and the church starting to "click". Yesterday, with tears coming down her cheeks, she said that it finally "clicked"! She has some great friends in the ward now, and her testimony of this gospel was started and perpetuated by her prayer of faith. She will be baptized very soon.
Spiritual power is the reason we are able to do all we do as missionaries and members of the church. Prayer, Scriptures, church, covenants, are those little things that, when we do them, connect us to the powers of heaven, and allow us to do the work of the Master on the earth. We have all heard that every answer to any question in the church is "pray, read your scriptures, come to church..." but it is SO true! Those are the means that Heavenly Father has given us to tap in to His spiritual power, to call down angels and revelation, and to do miracles on the earth. The Priesthood is also a means for that, the permission and authority to act in God's name, but it only functions and the powers only useable upon the principles of righteousness- and righteousness begins with "pray, read your scriptures, come to church"... And temple covenants is what everything is aimed at! I love it all so much- I know it's true.
I was able to play the organ for the Stake Conference as we waited for the broadcast to start- I love the organ! I love the piano, too, but there is a special feeling on the organ! It's like the difference between hearing the Tabernacle Choir sing on a TV or CD, versus hearing them live... ooooh yeah!
The Lord's hand is here in Germany. Miracles are happening, and people are flocking to the church. The office sent us information today about a college age young woman who has a real good friend in Colorado and wants to learn more and be baptized. Last week, a couple from Africa just walked into church and stayed for all three hours. When we are obedient, work as hard as we can, and rely on the spirit by becoming rooted in scriptures and live with a prayer of Faith, miracles just happen. We can't stop them from happening! I am so grateful for a God of miracles, a God who speaks, and a Father who loves me. I know He lives. That is why I am here. If God spoke, loved, and did miracles, then that would be all nice and good, and I would probably be at home in College Station, maybe reading about those events in the Bible every once in a while and going on with life. But He speaks, He loves, He listens, He lives and does miracles every single day- and that's why I'm here! And the miracles aren't about to stop any time soon! Hundreds of stakes, thousands of wards, temples dotting the Rhine River- prophets have prophesied it, I believe it, we are experiencing it here, now, today! This work is the greatest of all works to do! Shall we not go on?!