Liebe Familie und Freunde!
It snowed this morning... that is all...
Elder Crosby is my new companion! He is so awesome! He is from Pasadena, California, and can speak Chinese! His mother is from Taiwan, and it was so cool to meet with Guang on Thursday and Saturday this last week. I have come to see that there is something real speacial about hearing the Gospel in your own language. Even though I couldn't understand a word, it was so neat to see the light in Guang's eyes as he talked with Elder Crosby in Chinese. So Elder Friedrichs was German, Elder Sheppard was British, Elder Crosby now teaching me Chinese... I am going to come home with an awesome accent!
It was so great to go to Frankfurt this week and get some leadership training from President Schwartz about being a trainer. He emphasized three main points, that I have really tried to emphasize and live: 1. Obedience 2. Hard Work 3. Anchored in the Scriptures. I love these three points! I have felt the spirit even more in my life this last week as I have made a concious effort be be more exactly obedient, to work harder than before, and to focus more deeply on the scriptures. It hasn't been huge or drastic changes, just more obedient today than I was yesterday, a little harder working now than earlier today, and using the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, more centrally in study and in teaching. I can already feel a subtle, quite change in my life, and I like it! I look forward to being more obedient to what I know, to working harder than before, and focusing more on using the scriptures.
So Fasching starts up this week... imagine Mardi Gras and Carnival mixed with German Bratwursts and Halloween Costumes... that's Fasching! Köln and Mainz are two of the biggest locations in Germany for this 5 day party, so we will be doing most of our work in Wiesbaden this week! One of the traditions they do on Thursday, is that women wear red clown noses and go around and will cut off mens' ties, and then kiss them... President told us to wear an old ugly tie that day :-) We will be doing some tactful strategic avoidance of the tie-cutter-red-nose-kissers on Thursday!
I just got a call from a man that has been here in Wiesbaden for several months and hasn't been to church for a time much longer. I'm not sure how he got our number, but he wants to come back to church and "follow the right path again!" How neat is that- when we do what is right, miracles just happen- we can't stop them from happening!!
I am grateful that I believe in a God of miracles, a God who is my Father and loves me like any righteous parents loves their children. I am grateful I believe in a God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, continually speaking to us and helping us on our wary back to Him, especially through prophets and continued scripture.
One of the neatest miracles was with Guang this week- we were able to meet with him on Thursday, like I said. We talked a lot about church and how he will find what he is searching for when he feels the spirit of church. He is in the middle of finals time right now, and is so stressed that he doesn't feel like he can make it to church and such. A few weeks ago, he was interested in the Gospel, and wanted to learn more when he comes back from China. Now, he wants to meet as much as he can before going to China! He really wants to come to church and meet the members. At the end of the lesson, we had the thought to go to the LDS website and look at the maps to see if there were meetinghouses in Beijing. We were at the institute, so we pulled it up, and there are 3 branches that meet in Beijing, right next to a school that he knows and where his friend lives! He was so excited! We were too! He wrote doen all the information and he will be going to church in China! He was extremely shocked, because of the governament regulations of religion of China, and we were suprised as well that there was that much information online about it, but we are so gratedul we found it all! It is a miracle that China has allowed the church to have buildings and meet together. It is a miracle that we were able to meet with Guang and find this information so he can continue his gospel study and spiritual growing when he is gone. It is a miracle to see the excitement of someone say they want to be baptized because they feel that this is right- not becuase it makes sense or everything is explained perfectly. It's a miracle!
Thanks for your love and prayers. They are helping this work to go forward! I love being here! It is going by way too fast!
Alles Gute, bis nächste Woche!
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22