Liebe Familie und Freunde:
This was definitely the fastest week so far of my whole mission! It has come to feel that I am always writing an email telling what we did last week- actually, it always feels like we're always doing what we are doing... if that makes any sense :-)
We were able to go to the temple on Tuesday! It was such a beautiful day, and pretty warm! Spring is coming! I love this time of year: everything starts coming to life again. But then Daylight savings is in the middle... an that's no fun! The October Daylight Savings is one of my favorite holidays- just like Uncle Dave :-) The Spring one is not on the favorites list. But we spring forward on the 25th, so we are closer together timewise for a few weeks! Then General Conference happens- definitely one of my favorite holidays! We will be doing a balloon street display inviting everyone to "Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice!" I loved the March Ensign, all about prophets. I am so grateful that we have prophets and apostles on the earth today, the foundation of the Church of Christ, as we learn in Ephesians 2:19-20. I know President Monson is the true prophet of God for us in 2012. And we get the chance to hear from him in a few weeks! Invite everyone you can! The prophet of God is going to speak- and everyone needs to hear!!
I will always be so grateful for my ancestor, Joseph Stacey Murdock, who as an invitation to a loved one, wrote the words now sung by us:
Come, listen to a prophet's voice, and hear the word of God
And in the way of truth rejoice and sing for joy aloud.
We've found the way the prophets went who lived in days of yore,
Another prophet now is sent this knowledge to restore.
The gloom of sullen darkness spread thru earth's extended space
Is banished by our living Head, And God has shown his face.
Thru erring schemes in days now past the world has gone astray;
Yet Saints of God have found at last the straight and narrow way.
I know Joseph was the prophet that started it all again for us, and President Monson is the one that leads us on today.
We did a youth fireside last night for the American Ward. It was really neat to meet with the youth and talk about strengthening our testimonies to share the gospel and invite others. At the end, we all shared our experiences and testimonies of sharing the Gospel and inviting our friends to FHE, Church, activities, etc. Both Sister Nieman and Sister Tuschling were invited by a friend in college to come to church- and they were baptized and they invited others who were baptized. And that's the way it works. One by One- times a thousand times ten thousand times 15 million. Sometimes we see the direct results of our inviting, like the sisters, but in many cases, we just don't know what will happen because we invited a friend to watch conference with us, or to FHE, or to church. People like being invited and feeling included. That's one of the functions of this church- providing that feeling of belonging in the family of the church. And in a time when the world is falling apart all around us and once strong and secure foundations and governments and organizations are crumbling, everyone needs the safety and refuge found in the Church of Jesus Christ, protected by the Spirit and Priesthood power, living His gospel, enjoying His blessing and protection. I don't think we can truly fathom the significance and importance of one single invitation.
This week, I have come to see more certainly that the song is true: "I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and me in our darkest hour, to show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with the light of love." Well, more like the angels come to us when we are accidentily riding illegally on a train! So our tickets we have are good for all of Mainz and Wiesbaden. We can by and addition ticket that allows us to go to neighboring cities, even over to Frankfurt. After 7pm and on weekends, we can take another person with us. So on Saturday, Elder Crosby and I were going to a city in the Frankfurt area, and because it was Saturday, I brought my ticket, and bought an extra addition ticket for us. Thinking that it would cover us both, we got on the train. We sat down and two 50-ish year old women sat down next to us, going to Frankfurt for a concert. The ticket checker came by, and asked for tickets. I showed him ours, indicating that it was good for both of us. He disagreed! Apparently, I needed to buy addition tickets for us both, even though we were riding on the same ticket. So one of us was legal, the other illegal, meaning he would receive a hefty fine and marks against the visa. I talked to the man, explaining how I thought it was ok for us both on the card because it being Saturday, and that I had no idea of the addition ticket rules- of course, he didn't believe me, probably having heard that story dozens of times. He wasn't budging, so I gave the addition ticket to Elder Crosby and was going to take the fine. The woman next to me started talking to the ticket checker, standing up for us, saying that she trusted us and knew that we wouldn't do it again. The ticket taker looked down at me, and told me that thanks to these two woman, we would get off without getting kicked of the train or getting fined or any charges. And all was well :-) I'm still not sure how it all worked out, but we walked away without and legal problems, the ticket taker left defeated, and the two women became great friends of ours for the rest of our ride! The hand of the Lord is over us every day, in every moment. I wonder how many times things like that have happened to me that I don't ever recognize or realize. How grateful I am for good people and the Lord moving people into our lives to bless and help us. Yes, I do believe there are angels among us!
We are heading to Frankfurt for Zone basketball... I guess in memory of March Maddness! The only maddness we are experiencing isn't madness at all- just miracles and amazing experiences that strengthen my testimony that this is the work of the Lord- It cannot be any other way. Christ lives! In preparation for the Easter week, I have been memorizing "The Living Christ". What a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ. I have felt a special Spirit as I have really tried to focus my study, thoughts, words, everything on Christ- gathering together all things in one in Christ, Ephesians 1:10.
Ich habe euch viel Lieb! Die Zeit geht so schnell vorbei! Ich kann nicht daran glauben, dass es schon März ist! Meine Güte! Sei treu, geh voran, und errinert euch immer daran, dass ihr Kinder Gottes seid! Sollen wir in einen so großen Sache nict vorwärts gehen? Ja, gehen wir doch voran!
Alle meine Liebe,
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22