"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 20, 2012

'tis the season! ...but first, Thanksgiving!

Liebe Familie und Freunde:

The seasons are changing... the Christmas Market is getting set up... the Stollenbrot is on the shelves in the store... Christmas is coming! 

But to stay true to the family tradition, I'm not going to express my love and excitement and joy for Christmas until after Thanksgiving... There is just too much to be thankful for...

Ich bin dafür so dankbar, dass ich ein Missionar Jesu Christi bin. Ich bin dankbar für das Evangelium, und für mein Zeugnis. Ich bin so dankbar für alle die wunderbare deutsche Leute! Ich liebe sie. Ich bin dankbar für meine Familie, so wie auch meine Freunde und Bekannte. Ich bin dankbar, dass ich lernen darf, dass ich Fortschritt machen darf, und dass ich zweite Chancen haben darf. Ich bin dankbar für diese Welt. Ich bin dankbar für die Gaben des Geistes. Ich bin dankbar für dich. Ich bin dankbar für Elder Penfold, und alle die tolle Mitarbeitern die ich auf Mission hatte. Ich bin dankbar für Präsident Schwartz, und alle die Missionare die mir so gute Freunde sind. Ich bin dankbar für Jesus Christus, der Retter der Welt. Ich bin dankbar, dass er das Fundament ist, worauf ich mich bauen darf. Ich bin dankbar hier zu sein. Ich bin dankbar für die Güte Gottes, und für seine Hand in meinem täglichen Leben. 

Now on to Christmas! Just kidding... it will come soon enough!

Transfer calls were this week: I get to stay in Dortmund with Elder Penfold for my last six weeks! The Sisters are also staying... AND we are getting two more Elders! Elder Sheppard and a Golden will be coming up on Thursday. I was with Elder Sheppard last year at this exact same time in Wiesbaden! It will be fun with all 6 of us and the McPhersons in Dortmund, but definitely present new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow, furthering the work of the Lord. With the huge increase in Missionaries coming into service, Präsident said that our mission will be getting an additional 80 missionaries by Spring 2013! .. so Ali,  wir müssen Deutsch zusammen üben :-) It is exciting to be here at this time when the Lord is hastening His work, and getting the foundation laid for an even greater harvest and progress to come in the Kingdom of God.

I look back on my mission, and it is so interesting how every missionary has the perfect mission for him... I have been blessed to serve in 3 areas with 8 companions. I have been blessed to serve in the same city with sister missionaries for 14 months of my mission, when all is done. I have been blessed to see a broad spectrum of missionary work, from the doors and streets, to the American Military ward, to the strong German wards. I know the Lord knows each of His missionaries and gives each of us the experience we need to do as much good as we can in His work, as well as learn just what we need to in each stage. I have learned so much, and I look forward to what the next 6 weeks will bring!

Stefan Bond is such a great man! He came to the Stake Welfare Fair on Saturday, and stayed the whole time, came to church for all hours, and then was with us with a huge family meal with members. His path into the church hasn't been through us, the missionaries, rather through the members who have reached out and made him one of their good friends. And that is just the way it should be! He decided to be baptized on 22. December, but we feel he is ready, and we will discuss with him about the beginning of December. 

We met with all the Romanian Men again this week. They all love the gospel and know this is the true church! They want to be baptized, but want to wait until their families are over here, and they have solved some issues first with living here. It is so neat to see people really grasp the Gospel and love it. Gristi is the member that invited all these men to church. He is such a great missionary! Sis. Böning has also been helping to translate. She is from Argentinia and has been very sick for a while. We were able to give here a blessing a while back, and she came to Hamburg to President Monson, and ever since has been on the rise! She doesn't use a walker any more and can drive on her own. That is a miracle! And she has been invaluable in the help of teaching these great men, who want all the best for their families, and felt they have found it in the Church of Jesus Christ. 

This work is the work of Almighty God. I love that title for Him. We had a Zone Training Meeting this last week, and focused solely on the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End, with short thoughts on each from missionaries, and Mormon Messages and Bible videos in between. It was the most powerful meeting I have been in on my mission, and I felt a similar spirit as in the temple. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way God wants us to live. The Church is given to us as a mean of properly living that Gospel, and to gain the strength and support from others who are just as imperfect as us, all trying to do our best in living our covenants. The power of truth is real. Knowledge is Power, Testimony is knowledge and understanding gained by the Holy Ghost, and Power is had and used as we bear testimony and act upon the promptings of the Holy Ghost to do something. 

All my best,

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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