Liebe Familie und Freunde:
Meine Gute! What an amazing weekend! I know that President Monson is a prophet of God, and that the voice of God was heard this weekend through President Monson, the Apostles and the other leaders of the church.
I am so excited for all the new missionaries that will be coming to the field in the next few years! The young, excited 18 and 19 year olds will change the whole face of the work. Trusting in the Lord to make up the difference of experience, the work of the Lord will move forward with greater power and effectiveness than ever before! I can feel it.
I really loved what President Monson taught this conference. In Priesthood, he testified that people can change. He encouraged us to see people as what they could become. That is an eternal perspective. I have experienced that recently with a few people that have been through some very difficult times, and not viewing themselves as God sees them. As I have prayed for and have been blessed with a small view of them as God sees them, it has been neat to see how feelings change, and the Lord can work through us to meet their needs. I also loved President Monson's experiences from Sunday Morning where we learned about the workings of the Spirit and the miracles that can happen through following those promptings. I really felt the Spirit testify to me that this is the way for me to live my life: starting the day praying for opportunities to serve, and being spiritually prepared for them; to go throughout the day enjoying the moment, listening to the prompings, and courageously following them; and then expressing gratitude and thanks to Heavenly Father at the end of the day for all of the blessings, miracles, and for His hand in my life. In short, make someone's day! I am excited for these next two cycles, and for doing all I can to listen to His voice through His spirit, and courageously following His voice, regardless of how inconvinient or obscure it may be!
The music was amazing! My favorite songs were: Hope of Israel, If the Savior Stood beside me, Does the Journey Seem Long, and Weary Not. There is a great power to music. Many times, I feel I can express my testimony of the Gospel better through music than I can speaking.
And one of the neatest miracles of the weekend happened as I was playing the piano in one of the broadcast rooms between sessions. A young adult moved into the ward recently, Jonathan Dannenberg and I hadn't had a chance to get to know him, so when he walked into the room, I took that as my chance! Come to find out, he just got back from his mission in Moscow West- That is Elder Mark Harris's Mission! I asked him if he knew Mark, and he said absolutely! He knew him well from being fellow missionaries and he praised Elder Harris for his hard work and said he was notorious in the mission for talking with everyone and for just loving everyone! I knew we were talking about the same Elder Harris! We were instantly friends, and had a great time talking all about the mission and what he experienced, and what a great job Elder Harris and the other missionaries are doing in Russia. There was a neat Spirit there, one of unifying and friendship. I know the people in our lives are not put there on accident. Rather, the Lord knows each of us personally and intimately, and knows exactly how to lead and guide our lives. Alma 17:2-3.
Ana Castro was baptised on Saturday before conference! It was so powerful! She is the sweetest, gentlest, nicest people ever! She asked me to confirm her this coming Sunday.
And the greatest anticipation of this week is to go to Hamburg! We are allowed to go with the ward to Hamburg to see President Monson! I am so excited! Jonathan comes from Hamburg, so it will be fun to go with him and the ward. What a huge blessing- General Conference this weekend, and then to see the Prophet live in Hamburg this coming Saturday! This is a miracle, and I am so humbled and grateful to be blessed to attend. Maybe Elder Bangerter will be there, too!
On Thursday, Elder Walker will leave for Frankfurt and then to Australia, and my new companion, Elder Penfold will come up to Dortmund. He is from England! I have officially had more non-American companions that Americans! I love all these great people from all these different countries! I look forward to these next two cycles and all that the Lord has in store for us... and maybe I will get a slight Englisch accent along the ways :-) Our main focuses are on Reaching Goals and recognizing opportunities in the ward to support and serve, to really help the momentum and direction of missionary work come from the members.
This work is true. This work is the work of the Lord. I know that He leads this church through His chosen Prophet, President Monson. It's the work of salvation for all those that want it.
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22