Monday, April 30, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Bad news: I am being transfered out of Wiesbaden. Good News: I am going up to Dortmund! Better News: I get to serve with Elder Walker as Zone Leaders! Betterer News: Sister Garlick will still be serving up in Dortmund, too! I am so excited!! I have always wanted to serve with Elder Walker since I met him back on the train to Mönchengladbach many many moons ago. He is from Australia and we have become real good friends since being in the same Zone my whole mission, except this last cycle. He is such a hardworking and obedient missionary- I am excited to learn and work! And, of all the slimest of slim chances, two cousins serving in the same mission, with the same name, in the same city, in the same ward. It's not chance at all- the Lord has His hand in it, I know it! And Grandma Garlick must have an influence, too :-) I really am looking forward to this new adventure up in Dortmund. I have loved loved LOVED my time in Wiesbaden and Mainz, but it is funny how ever since President called on Friday, I have felt like I am needed up in Dortmund, and have really felt anxious to get up there and get going. I got the email today about travel- I am the group leader for 8 missionaries from Frankfurt to Dortmund with all our luggage, getting onto trains and connections- what an adventure! I really am so excited! When President called, I missed the call first, and saw he called... I knew that it was a call to be transfered out. I thought "I wonder if I don't call him back, I won't ever get transfered out of Wiesbaden..." Ha, don't worry, I called back and am so excited now! When he said I would be working with Elder Walker, I really couldn't believe it, and had him repeat it, thinking I didn't understand the German correctly! Life is good, life is really very good! And Sister Tuschling, who was here in Mainz with us and Sister Nieman, will be coming up to Dortmund to work with Sister Garlick.
And I thought my mission couldn't get any better.... :-)
Wow, when I think back on the last 6 months here in Wiesbaden, it doesn't seem like 6 months at all... I talked with Elder Sheppard last night for call-ins, and said that I often think "Oh yeah, last week when it was January and freezing cold..." but then I realize that it is almost May, and can't believe how fast time flies! I learned more than I ever have here in Wiesbaden. I learned how to pray, how to really pray. I learned how to use the scriptures as THE source for answering questions. I learned how to have patience with myself. I leared that miracles come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. I learned how success can be had only after a prayer of faith and the work to realize that prayer. I learned that living in downtown means no parking spots, ever. I learned the benefit of smiling. I have learned that no matter how much I try, the Lord will always bless me more that I could ever return to Him. I have become more confident in giving Priesthood blessings and understand more now what it means to speak for the Lord. I learned that my body still rejects Saur Kraut... I learned the importance of church and meetings as a time to come together and teach one another, share our experiences, and learn. I learned that there are no boring meetings in the church. I learned that simplicity is the best. I learned how to trust in the Lord. I learned that the way of the disciple and a missionary if one of service and love. I learned the importance of drycleaning my suits more often. I learned that I discovered my love for teaching, and felt my desire to always keep teaching the gospel.
I was talking with a member in the American ward the other day, and he asked how I liked my mission. I said it was the best thing I have done, the bast part of my life. Then I added, "And I expect the future to get even better." He was real surprised at this, and couldn't quite believe it. I thought about that answer later, and I still stand by it. Sure, the mission is a wonderful experience, the best I have had up to this point in my life, and Wiesbaden the best up to this point in my mission, but I truly do expect the future to be even better and even more full of miracles and joy- for the rest of my mission, and for the rest of my life. I look forward to talking all I have learned and applying it to my life so that my mission doesn't become that one highlight "best two years of my life".... When all is done and through with this earth life, if the best two years of my entire life was when I was 19 and 20 yeras old, I think I would feel like I haven't lived up to what I should be or could have done. No, these two years really are the best two years FOR my life, and the best is yet to come!
Ich weiß, dass Gott mein Vater ist. Er hört meine Gebete, und gib mir Antworten dafür. Manchmal, kommen die Antworten in eine besondere Art und Weise, aber die Antworten kommen! Ich weiß, dass Jesus Christus lebt. Sein Mach ist überaus groß und ändert mich jeden Tag. Ich spüre die Leibe Christ wann ich in der Schriften forschen. Ich habe eine feste Zeugnis, dass die heilige Schriften, nämlich die Bibel, das Buch Mormon, Lehre und Bündnisse, und die Kostliche Perle, wirklich das Wort Gottes sind. Die sind die Wahrheit, und alle die Antworten des Lebens stehen darin! Ich weiß, dass Joseph Smith Gott und Jesus wirklich gesehen hat. Er hat die Kirche, das Priestertum, und die Heilige Handlungen dazu für uns wiederhergestellt. Präsident Monson ist der wahr Prophet Gottes. Ich bin so dankbar und freue mich sehr, dass ich ein Mitglied der Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage bin! Jawohl!
Alle meine Liebe,
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22
Monday, April 16, 2012
Liebe Familie und Freunde:
...and it just keeps getting better! Amo was baptized last night! It was such a great evening! I remember back to the first day we met Amo- he found the sisters back in November and we have been working with him since. He truly has changed. He still has his fun personality, but he knows this gospel is true, and he has changed over the last 5 months. In November, he didn't want to join the church until he got some things in order with his house and Syrian refugee status, etc. and was without hope in life. Last week, he taught a lesson with the sisters, to a woman who is in a similar situation as Amo, and he testified of hope and how the gospel can change you, and how when we trust in the Lord and work as hard as we can, things work out. Amo is awesome! He wants to serve a mission! I wonder when the middle east will be open for missionary work... he will be such a great missionary! He has a lot of friends and family who are in the same situation as him, and he wants to teach them the gospel, give them a Book of Mormon and bring them to church. He was a Christian growing up in Syria, in a small denomination that speaks Kurdish. He has moved around a lot, and can now speak Turkish, Russian, German, and English, too! I have really come to love the people from the Middle East. They are so centered on the family and basic ideals of love and morality and service. And the work goes on!
This week came the Family Gürlet back from their month long vacation with his family to Brazil. She is a member and from Brazil, but has had a hard time coming to church. He come to church nearly every week, and has been waiting for the right time to be baptized. They were all at church yesterday! He told me that he wants to meet with us this week and set a date for his baptism before summer! ...and it just keeps getting better!
Bertram Maus is so close to baptism as well! Everyone in the ward loves him and always asks us when he is getting beptized and becomes an official member of the church- he is basically a member right now! He even pays fast offerings! Elder Sheppard was down for the baptism yesterday and talked to him about baptism, and said "So, Br. Maus, I heard you are super close to being baptized!" Don't worry, we can be that open and direct with him! Br. Maus responded "Yeah, I'm almost there!" Br. Maus saying this is a big deal! ...and it just keeps getting better!
We taught Suellen with the sisters this week about the Plan of Salvation. It was different from every other time we have taught Suellen. She was focused and rivited on what we were saying and about what we were testifying. She felt the spirit of all the parts of the Plan of Salvation, feeling comforted knowing who she is, why she is here, and where she is going. At church yesterday, we watched the German Übertragung of the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference, and all those talks were just perfect for her! After the meeting, we were preparing for Amo's Baptism, and she said, "Well, maye I will just jump in the water with him tonight and be baptized, too!" She is right on her way! ...and it just jeeps getting better!
I love all these people so much! It is such a blessing to get to know them and share my testimony with them. Any learning they do won't be because of anything we could say or read. All that learning comes from the Spirit. We just testify and invite them to do those things that will develop a testimony- incubate it until they can say for themselves, "I know Jesus Christ lives. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I know the Book of Mormon is true." It is so neat to see this development and change in them. I feel it in myself, too, every day we meet and teach and testify. Yesterday, someone asked me how many people I have converted since being here in Germany. I smiled, and I replied with "No one, I have just been blessed to help many come closer to Christ and prepare for baptism." That's true, but not comletely. I have converted someone out here- Myself. I know better today than I did a year and a half ago, that Jesus Christ lives, that His atonement changes us. I know better today that God has again called prophets to lead us and direct us, Joseph Smith down to President Monson. I know with more surety today that the Book of Mormon is true and the word of God, and also that we need both the Bible and the Book of Mormon to know the full truth. I know the Church of Jesus Christ is again on the earth- set up for us to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and to become more like Him, whose name this chruch bears. I am more converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His church than ever before. I guess a big part of that is seeing it in action- seeing people change, seeing a ward rally together to help and serve, to see the miracles and blessings every day that the Lord gives us. And it all began with a prayer of faith. And, in all honesty, the best is yet to come!
I sure love you all! Keep on keeping on!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Liebe Familie und Freunde!
Another wonderful week in the life of a Missionary! I don't think there can be a bad week... or a bad day, or really any bad experiences. It all is just the greatest! This week was just grand! Reza got baptized on Thursday evening! His family was coming from Frankfurt, and they were running late, and had a lot of stress, ect., ect. They arrived at the church and were basically frantically running around trying to get the right clothes and food and so on. Elder Crosby and I took Reza and his cousin, who baptized him, into a small class room and simply talked a little about the spiritual significance of his baptism. All the other stuff of the baptism and the food they brought didn't matter at all. It didn't matter at all that they were a little behind schedule, it mattered that the Priesthood would be used to baptize and make covenants. They smiled and were grateful for those few minutes to collect their thoughts and get the peace of the Spirit back. We prayed together and everything was calm and went much smoother! Prayer has that kind of effect, every time. I came to see how stress and unnecissary complications are ways that Satan can get us out of sync with the Spirit- not far away, and not doing anything bad, just not as focused on the things that matter most. I don't think Christ was ever stressed or frantic or frazzled. The Spirit is that healing power that made it all better- healing of stress, healing of "what if's", healing of unnecissary clamor. Just like Christ said, "Peace I leave with you".
And then Easter came around! Every year I come to love Easter more and more! We taught a lesson to Suellen on Sunday, and I realized, how it is the case with many, that they don't really know what happened in the Garden of Gethsemani. For many, it is the Last Supper, the Betrayal, the Cross. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the events of the Garden of Gethsemani, where Christ truly took upon Himself all the pains, sorrows, and feelings of every individual that has lived or ever will live upon the earth. Yes, the whole experience of the garden and cross and scourging and beating was all together in His suffering for us, but I am grateful for that sacred garden of olive trees, where His blood dripped out of every pore, and where He, the greatest of all, suffered so much that He asked if there was another way. But He succumbed to it all, gave the glory to the Father, and finished the Father's work. He truly expereinced everything we ever have, are and could experience in this earth life. Therefore, He knows how to comfort, consol, and help us. The Atonement works because He has already gone through it. And I feel that also applies to the greatest joy and happiness in life, as well. He knows just how happy we are and rejoices with us! I have learned the Atonement is the source of change- change from bad to good, good to better, and better to best. I used to think that I used the Atonement only to repent. It is truly so much more than that. The enabling and strengthening powers of the Atonement are real, and I have felt them this last week. I feel changed, not from bad to good, but from who I used to be to a little closer to how the Lord needs me; doing and experienceing things I never could have done on my own. I think that's the miracle of the Atonement: Christ did something for us that we could never do for ourselves, redeeming us from both physical and spiritual death, and He now makes us become more than we could ever imagine and help us do more that we could ever do on our own. He did something then that we couldn't do for ourselves, and He continues to do so today. We owe Him so much. I can never repay Him, but I can love Him. I can love my neighbor. I can help someone else to feel His love and change to become better.
I am so thankful for the family- for my family! Dad, Mom, Jessica, Travis, Alison, Makell, Jared, Dallin- I think I love you all more now than I ever have in my life! I feel so blessed to be a member of our family. I truly had the ideal childhood and teenage years. You all helped to make it so. And I think each of us 6 kids could honestly say that about their growing up! So thanks. 2020. Keep the vision, keep it in sight.
Please keep Bertram Maus in your prayers! He is so close to baptism! He now views his concerns as "I need to overcome these so I can be baptized" as opposed to that of a few weeks ago, "I have these concernsso I can't be baptized." That is amazing progress for him! He can do it!
I sure love you all! Keep up the great work you are doing, and thanks for your prayers and support for the work I am doing. It really is great to know who we are and why we are here. It makes all the difference in the world!
Also, ich denke, dass ich mehr Deutsch schreiben soll... was denkt ihr?
Alle meine Liebe!
Monday, April 2, 2012
Liebe Familie und Freunde!
What a great weekend! It started with Luisa's baptism! It was so nice and I felt blessed to have been asked to baptize her. She invited many of her friends, so it was a great opportunity to show others how we baptize and for them to feel the great spirit and power of that sacred ordinance.
And then CONFERENCE! I love conference- It really is my favorite holiday. I thought of you all, watching the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions of conference live when we were also watching them live... just at 6pm! I really felt "filled" with the Spirit, and I felt like the conference overall was very personal- like they weren't speaking to everyone all at once, but like a one on one conversation. I like that. What really hit me the most was President Monson's testimony at the end of the Sunday Morning session. He was speaking of the Easter holiday coming up and of Christ, then said: "As His Special Witness, I ..." and continued to bear testimony of the reality of Christ. "As His special witness". not "As one of His special witnesses" or "I bear my special witness", but "As His special witness." The spirit bore witness to my heart that President Monson truly is the Lord's Prophet on the earth today, even His special witness. THE prophet, the only person on earth who holds all the Priesthood keys and is authorized to use and delegate such. The mouthpiece of the Lord, His special witness. What a great blessing. I think I have taken this too much for granted in my life, that we have prophets and apostles on the earth today. I have always admired them and wished to follow their examples of faith and testimony, of service and love, but recently, I have come to appreciate even more the blessing and doctrinal truth of having prophets on the earth once more. We have prophets on the earth again! Just like the Lord did in times of old, He has called prophets to teach us, lead us, warn us, and be those special witnesses of the reality of Christ on the earth- and it's all because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He called prophets then, He calls them today. It just makes sense! I have heard people trying to give big deep explanations for why we don't need prophets and the confusing ends that are drawn... I trust what the Lord said in section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which was given as instructions for the organization of the church- that great event that we will celebrate this week!:
The Lord gave Joseph Smith "power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also; Which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them— Proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old; Thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. Amen." (D&C 20:8-12)
I love the Book of Mormon! It, too, is a witness that God speaks to us and has called prophets for us today! What a great message of hope and truth for the world! God truly loves us just as much today as He loved those at the time of Adam, or the Children of Israel with Moses, or His disciples in Jersalem. I look forward to studying this conference in the next 6 months, preparing for the October conference :-)
I am grateful for this Easter week. It is neat how the Easter week and the week of the organization of the church and passover all line up this year! Cool.
This week was really great of meeting more with Reza and Amo, helping them both prepare for baptism. Reza will be getting baptized this Thursday evening, and Amo in a week or two!! This work is so great. It is a simple work, a non-complicated work that just makes sense, to both the mind and the heart. Reza's father is still with the Book of Mormon busy and feels that it really is true. It is such a blessing to work with so many wonderful people and feel their strength and desire more to learn.
I just felt so uplifted from this last week- conference and baptism and lifing heavy cabinets out of a basement and balloons on a windy day and Berliners... life is so great! I am so grateful to be here!
I sure love you all! Keep smiling!