"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, May 21, 2012

Waiting for a train and a few scenic shots...

I Love it Here!

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

What a whirlwind of a week.. I can't believe it is Monday again! I am so grateful to be here in the Dortmund Zone! Elder Walker and I visited all the district meetings in the Zone thís week- there really are great missionaries here, all trying to do their best to serve the Lord by serving others. I was in Müsnter on a split, too. It is a beautiful old city, and full of people ready for the Gospel. I was with Elder Lewis, and our appointment fell out for that evening, so we thought we would go to the city center and talk with people. It is neat to notice how every city has a different feel to it, people-wise. Münster felt really educated, but real open. We had some great discussions with people on the street. Then we talked with Nick. He is from Iowa and in Germany for a few months for school. He was really interested to learn about our beliefs, and what we think about the time after Christ's death and the reformers- he is Lutheran, so he thought it was interesting how we feel Martin Luther played a huge role in preparing the world for the Restoration of the Gospel. We were standing in the middle of the Fußgangerzone, so we walked off to the side in the shade. We talked a little more, and asked what kind of time he had that evening. He said that the only reason he was outside was because he was writing a huge paper and couldn't think any more and was walking around taking a break. We mentioned that we had a church building real close to where we were- he said he had never been in an LDS church building and would love to go there! We walked and chatted all along the way- he is a real cool guy! We got to the church and showed him around the rooms and the chapel, and he was completely and totally fascinated! It was like a little kid going to the aquarium or the zoo for the first time! He was so intrigued! We mentioned that there were some specific and special things that separated us from the rest of Christianity and religion as a whole. He knew that the Church is worldwide and spreading and growing. Then he asked that beautiful question: "What is it about your church that makes so many people want to join and it spread accross the whole earth?" I smiled and asked if he had 15 minutes that we could explain it. He said absolutely! We sat in a room and began with God, with His Plan, with Pophets, with Priesthood authority, with the year 1820, with "a pillar of light", with a prophet again on the earth today. I haven't seen someone so touched by the message of the Restoration, especially the First Vision as was Nick. I could see it in his eyes that he felt something different. OUr 15 minutes were up.. and he said "well, I think we can go another 15 minutes!" Then we introduced the Book of Mormon. Right before we left the apartment, it wasn't a huge impression or spiritual prompting, but I just had the thought "eh, I'll bring an English Book of Mormon just for fun." We pulled out the Book of Mormon and gave it to him. It was a copy that a missionary over a year ago had written his testimony in, and worked so hard to get Münser progressing again. Nick felt uncomfortable taking the Book of Mormon for free, and especially since it was "so personal". We said that we have hundreds of copies of the Book of Mormon in every language at the apartment... but this one was for him. He was really touched. He just absorebed everything we said. He loved it! And, most importantly, I think he found out the answer to his question... not from what we said, but what he felt. People join the churcha nd the church spreads to all the world because of the Spirit of truth that people feel. It is a deeper feeling of understanding.. one of "I already know this" and "It just feels right". No matter how great the programs and organizations of the church are, they will never produce a conversion to the truth. The Book of Mormon will. The reality of open communication between heaven and earth will. The testimony of a living prophet on the earth today will. The Doctrine of the Gospel is what opens us up to the Spirit, which is the converting power. So Nick left that appointment with his Book of Mormon clutched tightly in his hands, a card with our number and website on it, a huge smile and a change in his eyes, and the way to contact the missionaries in Iowa when he returns next week. I left the appointment with a stronger conviction that there is no such things as coincidences, that people, events, and situations are arranged so that the Lord can reach out and find the one: the one who is searching, the one who is hurting, the one who needs a smile, and the one who might be taking a break from writing a big paper and needed that boost of the Spirit that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring. I love this work!

We have also been working with the Petzold family. He is not a member, and she was baptized 12 years ago, but completely cut contact with the church after some dissapointing experiences. We have been going slowly through the gospel with them, answering questions. ...and they just appeared at church yesterday! Morty and Sister Glückner also brought friends to church, and there was a baptism of an 8 year old where many friends came and participated. I love what this gospel does to people.. and to me... it is all about change! It is all about someone coming to church with low expectations and questions, and going away with a smile and the spirit in their heart... regardless of the loud kids in the sacrament meeting... there is somthing more that everyone feels, or can feel if they want it.

SO, in short...life is great! Germany is beautiful this time of year, and there is a great excited feeling in the air! We are doing a tri-mission fast day and finding day this week. All of the missionaries in the Berlin, Frankfurt, and Alpine missions will be joining forces to really reach out and find those people who are searching for the Gospel.

I sure love you all! This mission has taught me so much.. but mostly about love.

Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day was the greatest!


It was so great to see you all yesterday! I can't believe how old you are all getting! Especially Jared... wow! I sure love you all. It was also great to make it in for the end of Sister Garlick's skype home. I was able to see the other Garlick family and Grandpa!

What a great mother's day! I was able to play the piano for the choir, who sang "Each life that touches ours for good". It was great to think about you, mom, and how you have touched my life so much for good. And I was able to use my talents at the piano yesterday to say thanks for all that! The Primary kids sang "I often go walking" and the one about having the greatest grandma in the whole wide world! I do have the greatest mother and grandmothers in the whole wide world! I felt the love of Grandma Garlick, especially, as I remembered singing " I often go walking" at her funeral. She is here with us, I could feel her love especially yesterday. There war some real pretty flowers all along the streets and houses here, and it reminded me of planting flowers with Grandma Blake! We pulled weeds with Sister McPherson the other day, and it was great to remember the good times with both my grandmothers!

There has been some great things going on as of late! We have been going through our phones the last few days, organizing and deleting and figuring out who all these people are. We have two phones with the same numbers, so I started at z and went up through the alphabet, calling those we didn't know, and asking how they met the missionaries and if they wanted to learn more. There were a ton of people who did! We met with Mattias, Stephanie came to institute, and we are meeting with more today and tomorrow and setting up more appointments. Who would have known that all these great people with interest in the gospel were just sitting there in the phone! But then there were some numbers that were pretty funny to call... I called one, and the older man answered with the most American accent ever... I gave my spiel of being new in Dortmund and wanting to know if he had interest to meet with us. He was a senior couple missionary in the Berlin Mission Office! It was great! And we laughed :-) He said he would say hi to Elder Bangerter for me next time he saw him! I guess I should have used my context clues a bit more to figure out who I was talking to! Fun times.

So at the McPhersons's house, we, the sisters, and the Elders out of Unna came throughout the afternoon for Skype. It was way fun to be there, have lunch, and Br. McPherson taught us a real neat dominoes game, and Elder Walker taught us a great dice game. Elder McPherson reminds me so much of Grandpa Garlick- he had a bucket of vanilla pudding and was walking around the table offering it to us all :-) 

I can't remember what all I explained on the phone to yous, but I think that was all I didn't tall yet! 
Keep up those smiles! love you lots!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Teaching in Dortmond

Dortmund!! what more can I say?


Time is flying by! I can't believe it's Monday again... and this week is Mother's Day! It seems like yesterday we were talking at Christmas time. This last week has been go go go, and it feels like we are on the top of the world here! So many great things going on! One crazy experience was this last weekend. The Stake had a Music Day planned and somehow word got out that I can play music, specifically percussion... I love having a cousin up here! One of the workshops fell out so the woman in charge of it asked me to do a body percussion workshop for a half hour. Elder Walker and I had a lot of fun getting it read. With the group we did the rain storm with our hands and feet and then did dad's Arabian Caravan... with the camels and all! It was so fun! And then the Stake YM President came up to us and wants us to do something similar for the young men in a few weeks. It was a lot of fun! But it doesn't stop there... so BYU Wind Symphony is on tour here in Europe.. and they came to Dortmund this weekend! They played a concert and came to institute, but we weren't able to make it to either. I wondered if I would have known anyone that was in the symphony. On Saturday morning we came to the church for the Music Day and all the BYU students were there waiting for their buses! It was the strangest mixing of the worlds... There were people from the percussion department there, Chelsea from my BYU ward, others that called out "Nate Garlick!" when I walked by and we were in the same classes at BYU... it was so bizarre! They asked how long I have been out, and I really haven't realized how long ago it was when I was at BYU... And Br. Peterson says hi to mom and dad :-) He remembers the American Fork Band days well! So yeah, it was a really fun and exciting Saturday with the music and people and all that jazz... ha, get it... music... jazz... mercy. 

But the real highlight of the week was meeting with Kathir! He came to church last week and loved it, especially the people. Tuesday was a holiday so we were able to meet together. We gave him a church tour in combination with teaching the restoration and showing him pictures of Christ ans Joseph Smith and others. He is from India and was semi-Hindi. I say "semi" because he was raised as it in his family, but noticed several things that just didn't sit well with him and felt weren't correct. After teaching him about the restoration, we gave him a Book of Mormon and he got way excited! He loved it! We came to a picture of Christ being baptized by John the Baptist and invited him to follow Christ's example. He said "Oh yes, I would like that very very much!" He read much in the Book of Mormon this week, loved it, came to church, and is on his way to making his first covenants to return home. 

I have never experienced this before, but we spent a little bit of time on the streets talking with people... nearly everyone we spoke to either wanted to learn more, gave us their phone numbers, or had a real good discussion with desire to learn more. I don't know what it was, but we love it! I am so grateful that the Lord has led these people to us, and us to them. And if they don't go any farther than listening to us on the street and having that interaction, then good. At least they felt the spirit and heard testimony of eternal truths. And they definitely went away happier and better people, smiling. That's success. Nothing that we did or could do, but the power of the spirit touching the lives of God's children. We have so many new people to work with, and they all happen to be in the 20-30 age group- just what Elder Perry has prophesied as the future of the church in Europe. We have been given some pretty grand prophecies for Germany and Europe recently... and they are all coming true! It is an exciting time to be on a mission, especially in Germany and Europe and everywhere! 

Love you all, see you Sunday!
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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