"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, November 27, 2012

"Sie müssen leben wollen"

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

This was a huge week of service! Called to serve, it's what we love! I saw reports about the missionaries in New York and New Jersey who are helping so much with the clean up after the hurricane. I don't think there is a better way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of the Church than by living the gospel through service to others. Through  these big planned service projects, as well as, and even better, through small acts of kindness, people get to see the Gospel of Christ in action- it being used for the purpose for which it was given us: to serve and help others come closer to Christ. 

It was also a crazy week of organizing all the missionaries going down to Frankfurt, and those coming back up to Dortmund for transfers. We now have the two new Elders living with us until we find them a new apartment. Change is fun! But it also takes a lot of organizing :-) Many new missionaries straight from the MTC came to the Zone, some from Utah, and one from Finland! 

Stefan is so great! We taught the Word of Wisdom, Tithing, and Fasting... of course, he said we would live them all! Stefan is one of those that has been prepared his whole life for the Gospel, and was led by the Lord to accept it at this time. 

We are still waiting for Romania to come to Dortmund... The fathers went back this week to pick up their families and should be getting here soon. 

There was a huge Stake Ball this week, and three people were in charge of all the decorations... over 6,000 balloons! Our schedule was such, that we were at the church quite a bit this week, and everything worked out just right so we had the time and availability to help out, where these three people really needed it! It all turned out really nice, and it felt great to be able to be in the right place at the right time to help... even though this "interruption" took us from other things we planned on doing that day. Dad, thanks for that quote from C.S. Lewis. These interruptions are no interruptions at all. Rather, it is the influence of the Lord, to use us for His purposes in His way to bless the children of the  Father. It is the hand of the Lord, turning us into His hands to serve and help and make light the burdens of others. We were there on Friday night when people were coming to the dance, and made sure friends and members were together and taken care of for the evening... then we ate some food from the buffet... and just a side note, I think Germans are the best at doing buffets... there are buffets for every event... and they are great! 

Anyways... we left, and went back to our apartment. We had a lot to organize for the Zone in the coming weeks, and needed the time before the weekend came. Right on the corner of our house was a very old woman with a walker, looking quite confused and lost. I looked at her as we walked up to turn the corner, took one more step, then had to turn back and go ask if we could help. She thought it was the afternoon, and was going to her appointment at the doctors. It was 8:30pm, and the doctors was definitely not open. So we asked if we could walk with her back to her house. She was very grateful... and for the first time in my life, I actually helped an old lady cross the road! :-) Frau Koch is her name, and she is 97! As we were walking, about 20 minutes, very slowly, she told us all about her life and family. She and her brother had a construction business and actually helped to build the church building in Düsseldorf many years ago! She knew right away that we were the Mormon Missionaries. We kept going, and I remembered back to the days when Grandma Burton lived behind Grandpa and Grandma Blake, and Ali and Makell and I would go over and help Grandma Burton walk over to the Blakes. Those were great times, and I really feel I learned a lot from my Great Grandparents. I feel really close to my great grandparents that I knew, and still feel great love for the older generation. I remembered the love for my own relatives, and felt love for Frau Koch. This older generation went through so much and have so much to offer, especially on counsel to the youngsters growing up. I asked, "What would you counsel us, as we are growing up through life?" She stopped walking, shook her hands forward as she talked, like Pr. Uchtdorf does, and said "Sie müssen leben wollen", or "You need to want to live." She shared some more about her life and all that she experiences. I learned so much about doing those things that make life worth living. 

Frau Koch focused a lot on the family, and how having and raising a family is one of the greatest things that make life worth living. I agree. But what is it about the family that makes life so worth living? It's the family counsels, and the family singing at the piano, it's the boys vs. girls football game, it's the laughing and not being able to stop when dad sits by you in Stake Conference, it's the road trips with movies with the commentary and no remote to turn it off, it's the trips to places where Spanish is the main language. It's the dwelling boxes and Rex, it's the family videos and dancing to Lawrence Welk, it's the swing dancing and the Christmas eve letters, it's the pulling weeds, and the morning song. It's the "Oh what a beautiful morning" to wake up for scriptures, it's the fried pickles and doughy caramel cake. It's the late night talks, it's the early morning Aggie Flags, it's the games and the treats, the surprise snacks, and the family picture-taking shoot bonanza... that makes life worth living! 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ makes life worth living. Seeing people accept the gospel, read the Book of Mormon and change their lives, and become more happy than they ever thought, makes life worth living. Seeing personal progress and change makes life worth living. Seeing the hand of the Lord each day, and the many miracles that He does each day, makes life worth living. A hope of the next life and the Resurrection make life worth living. The hope of an eternal family and eternal progression makes life worth living. Knowing that the Church of Jesus Christ is again restored on the earth makes life worth living. There is so many reasons to live, and innumerable things that make life worth living! How grateful I am to live at this time in the history of the world! And the best is yet to come. I know that. 

Ich hab' euch alle Lieb!

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

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