"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)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frankfurt Germany Temple

Zone Conference

Zone Conference, I trained Elder Crosby, who is now training!


At FHE on Mondays, we sometimes have a culture night in connection with a spiritual thought, where someone shares about their country, with a short presentation and food. I presented on Texas :-) We made some barbeque sandwiches, complete with pickles and onions and a big loaf of bread! We had delicious cream corn, and Texas sheet cake. It was such a fun evening! I love Texas :-) And I love Germany :-)

Schön, Schön!

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

meine Güte, was für eine schöne Woche! Schön kalt!

This was a really neat week... and it is getting very cold! I am grateful for the change of season, reminding me that it is good to change, it is good to go through different stages and phases in life. Change is the catalyst for growth. ...if we let it.

I have learned that a lot recently. How grateful I am for the opportunities the Lord has given me to grow these last weeks... and all from bringing some kind of change in my life, in the work, in a mindset, in a way of seeing things. Es ist einfach schön!

One of the greatest experiences was this weekend. I promise, that every week is so wonderful and full of miracles, but I seem to only report on the weekends! Don't worry, the middle days of the week are just a good :-)

Our ward planned a ward tempel trip on Saturday, doing a baptism session. The brother in charge of the trip came to us and asked if we were planning on going. He said they needed some more endowed Melchezidek Priesthood holders to do the baptisms and confirmaitons. Normally, the missionaries in the Frankfurt area can go to the tempel once a cycle, but way up here in Dortmund, only with a good reason would we be allowed to travel down to Frankfurt. We weren't sure if Kathir or Christian or others would be koming to show them the tempel, so we didn't say yes or no. We talked with President Schwartz, and he left it into our hands to decide if it was worth our time to go with the ward all day down to the Tempel. We felt that we should go, but hesitated, because neither Kathir nor Christian would be going, so it felt a bit like we were just leaving the area to go to the temple for the day without a real better reason than staying in Dortmund and working in our area. Well, we decided to go, and drove down very early with the McPhersons to Friedrichsdorf. IT SNOWED on the way!! I couldn't believe it.... but that's beside the point... we got to the tempel, and it was beautiful! We went into the tempel and got changed into white, and waited for the 9am session to start. The tempel workers came and said that we probably wouldn't be doing the 9am session because of not enough tempel workers at the time to do the session. we waited in the chapel, and planned to stay there until the 10am session started. It ws nice sitting in the chapel and listnening to the organ music soflty playing. Mom, it reminded me of all those Saturday morning when you would go and play the organ in the Timpanogas Tempel. Thanks for your example of going to the tempel often! It was recorded organ music, but it was still beautiful and peaceful. Right before 9am, they came and said that we actually were going to do the session after all! It was wonderful! I love German and the tempel even more now when they are both put together! I felt some very personal and sacred impressions during the session, and I am so grateful for the tempel and the peace and direction it offers. We were in the celestial room, sitting quietly, and admiring the beautiful chandeliers and flowers and mirrors, when a member of the Tempel Presidency came over to us. He asked if we were "those two missionaries"... my first thought was..."oh no! what did we do?!" We followed him out the other side of the celestial room, where the sealing rooms were. I had never seen them in the Frankfurt tempel before, and was impressed by their simple beauty. The Presidency members explained to us that there was a couple that came to the tempel to be sealed, without any family or anyone else, and asked if we would be willing to be the witnesses for their sealing. He was smiling broadly, and I looked at Elder Penfold, and we just smiled and said "Ja!" I was even more suprised and couldn't believe it when he asked us to sign the sealing certificate! We followed him up a large gold staircase to the highest and largest sealing room in the tempel. On the was up, Elder Penfold whispered to me, "Well, I know how I saw the hand of the Lord today!" We sat on either side of the sealer, and the couple came in. They looked so happy! They also seemed a bit older than a young couple getting married... and I thought I recognised the man... but that has happened so often recently, I didn't really think much of it. The sealing was beautiful, and the sealer gave some very nice counsel and teachings to the couple. They were sealed, for time and for all eternity, and the Spirit was so strong! I was so grateful to be at there at that time to be a witness for this sealing. Then the sealer said, "Ok, let's bring the daughter in." A 5 year old girl was brought into the sealing room, and she was then sealed to her parents, for time and for all eternity. It was such a special sacred feeling, seeing this family come to the temple to be sealed. We were so full of joy, and felt the Spirit and angels very near. We left the sealing room, back down the staircases, just smiling, full of thanks for the experience and blessings from the Lord to have had this special opportunity. We left and went back downstairs. This couple and their daughter were there in the waiting room.... and I kept looking over, trying to think of if I really did know him.... They stood up to leave and walked over to us. I knew I knew him from somewhere, and from the look on his face, I knew he knew that he knew me from somewhere! He came over, and we found out that they were in my ward in Wiesbaden, and he did all the technology and building operations. We talked to him often then whenever we had the chance. I don't remember them coming to church very often, but recognized his face when I saw him. It was such a miracle, that of all the people that could have been in the temple on that day, they went to get sealed, we decided to go there, we were able to be the witnesses, and we could reconnect after nearly a year. This is what the work of the Lord is about, people making progress, changing, growing, and it all leading a family to the temple to be sealed for time and for all eternity. What a blessing! What power, and spirit! 

Zone Conference was also this week. I was able to translate for most of it, German to English. I really like translating. Language is so cool! I remember back to my setting apart from President Prier, who blessed me with the Gift of Tongues. I know that gift is real. It is truly a blessing from God, and I am grateful every day for the opportunity the Lord has given me to learn German, and for the blessing it has been to teach the Gospel in this wonderful language to these wonderful people. The next Zone Conference will be in the end of January, so this was my last Zone Konferenz. President asked those missionaries who are going home in three weeks to bear their testimonies at the end, and then asked me to bear mine. I was so grateful for the opportunity to stand and bear my testimony in the language I learned in order to preach the Gospel, and which I love so much. I bore my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and of the change that has come into my life becuase of it. I am so grateful that I still have time left to bear my testimony and serve as much as I can. The mission has come to mean more and more to me as time has gone on. 

Called to know the richness of His blessings,
Sons and Daughter, children of a King.
Glad of heart HIs holy name confessing,
Praises unto HIm we'll sing.

Onward, ever onward, as we glory in His name. 
Forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing.
God our strength will be, 
Press forwad ever, 
Called to Serve our King

Of that I bear witness, that it so is in the service of the Lord. 

Ich hab' euch alle so viel Lieb! Danke sehr für eure Gebete und Unterstützung. Das schönste im Leben ist im Dienst an Andere. Das weiß ich bestimmt.

Alles Gute!
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
Deutschland Frankfurt Mission
"Sollen wir in einer so großen Sache nicht vorwärtsgehen?" LuB 128:22

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

There is Goodness Here Today!

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

I feel so spoiled... Yesterday, President Monson was in Frankfurt, and they broadcasted the Meeting to all the churches in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland! 15 days, President Monson 3 times! He spoke to us about Love- the love we have for God and for our fellow men, and how we can show it. Christ taught compassion by being compassionate, forgiveness by forgiving, and so forth. It was such a simple, heartfelt talk, yet powerful and impactful. He blessed us all with peace in our hearts, and contentment in our souls. It was a real special blessing- he talked about the Joy that comes from loving and serving, and that peace and contentment come from knowing we are in good standing with the Lord and with others. Service and Love- there is nothing more noble and inspiring, and nothing else that will bring more happiness and joy to life. I love, also, what Elder Tixiera said, our Area President. he spoke right before President Monson, and is so happy and full of light! he said: "There is Goodness here today." And goodness there was! I have really felt the guiding hand of the Lord in my life recently, especially with teaching me the things I need to know. It has been a long time since I was in Mönchengladbach in my first months as a missionary, but I honestly feel that I am still learning so much, and the Lord just keeps giving me that which I need. That is goodness. The little witnesses from Him that show that He loves and is there, that He knows me and watches out for me. 

A great tender mercy of the Lord: After the meeting, we had some things to plan and organise for this week, but a Romainian brother was at church and asked us to come visit later that day. We had a bunch to do, and weren't sure if we could make it, but felt that it was what we should do. We went by, and he wasn't there, but his friend, who is also a member, but wasn't at church, let us in, and was very sick. I think I have told you about him before, he whose family is still in Romania, he was baptised 4 years ago, lost his job as a preacher and professor, and needs to work now in Germany to support his whole family. He was at such a low point yesterday. We asked him if he would like a blessing. He was so grateful, and the spirit was very strong. Through him, we blessed his family in Romania, and that meant the world to him. He began feeling much better, and is excited to come to church again on Sunday- we are going to use Google Translate, so he can explain everything to us :-) It was a short, but powerful and sweet experience, of following the Spirit and being able to bless a man and his family who so greatly needed that help. What a blessing to be able to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and have the opportunity to follow the promptings we receive. That action is the only way that we can be of real help and service to God and our fellow men.

During the day, three people approached us and asked us who we were, and want to learn more about the gospel and the Book of Mormon! The Lord will bring His children to His church and to His truth. It is such an amazing experience to be on both ends of this process... the Lord teaching me and me learning so much, and feeling of His Spirit, and then seeing other people being led by His spirit to ask what it is that we are doing, and then decide to learn more. It is just the greatest, to be a missionary!

Elder Penfold is such a great companion! We have been able to hit the ground running, and are having so much fun along the way! He is smart and willing to do anything he can to support the missionaries and the members with whom we are working. It just keeps getting better! We feel the changes coming in the Zone and area, and I wish I could accurately explain all that we feel and see happening! Just know it's Good! There is goodness here today! and tomorrow... and there will always be! For this is the work of the Lord.

This work is true. Jesus Christ is the Way, as He always has and always will be. There is something deep and sublime to the Savior's words, "Come, Follow Me." It is in our emulating of Him that we can truly be used as an instrument in His hands to bless and touch the lives of many of God's children. And the joy we receive is the greatest blessing He could give us! The world today seeks much to much for something tangible or visible to show off or prove that they are better than someone else or that they did this big great thing. As President Monson said, "These actions to show that we love God will rarely be recognized by the world. Rather, they will be shown through our daily interactions with others." How true that is. How true that is.

Ich liebe euch! Danke für eure Gebete und Unterstützung. 
Alles Güte,
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

With all the honesty of my heart, I have to say that this previous week was the most spiritual, uplifting, exciting, happy, joyful week of my mission... and there have been some really good weeks so far!! I feel confident in saying that- the Spirit of the Lord was felt, miracles were experienced, and my testimony of the Gospel was strengthened so much, and I still feel so happy and uplifted!

There is not enough time in the world to describe all that happened... I wish there was an APP that could connect to my brain and write down all my thoughts and feelings... but the next best things would be pictures! Here is a picture email, hopefully capturing all that we experienced this week: