Friday, October 31, 2014

MTC: "I will trust and not be afraid."

This week I have learned so much and my testimony has been strengthened in numerous ways. That is one of my favorite parts of being a missionary - I am learning so much. I was listening to Elder Busche's advice this week and there was something in it that made me start to ponder and think. 

"You cannot communicate with God unless you have first sacrificed your self-oriented natural man and have brought yourself into the lower levels of meekness, to become acceptable for the Light of Christ."

I have decided to focus on a Christ-like attribute every week that I want to better emulate. After hearing this quote I decided that this week I would work on humility and meekness. I decided on Sunday to be more humble with those around me, more humble with things I know, and more humble with my strengths. I have noticed an immense difference in myself. I have never had revelation come so clear and received answers to my prayers in such fast ways. I am working on being more meek and humble so that I can know how I can be a better example to those around me, or how I can know what sisters in my zone are struggling and need to feel loved, or how I can know what to teach my investigators. There is so much that I need help and guidance with and I am learning that as I forget myself, and humble myself before the Lord, He will guide me and give me strength. For example, this week I was teaching Ivan about the restoration. He is very catholic and I had taught three lessons in a row that I felt did not go as I had hoped. I was struggling to help him understand the difference of our churches, the priesthood, and the restoration. I worked hard on planning a simple lesson about the restored priesthood and went into that lesson with a prayer in my heart that I could effectively say and do the things that I needed to say. At the conclusion of my lesson I could tell that it finally made sense, but he just did not believe it completely. I sat there wondering what to say... And within moments I had a CLEAR prompting that I needed to kneel down with him, and together ask if these things were true. When I said that to him, he looked at me with a strange look but said that we could. Ivan prayed and asked God if these things were true, and the spirit was so strong. When we finished praying, I looked up and him and asked what he was feeling. He responded that he wasn't sure, but that he felt as if God was looking down at him now. Tears filled my eyes as I testified to him that I know God heard our prayer and that He loves him. Long story short- he now has a baptismal date and I couldn't be more excited! I love teaching him so much. I know that if we are humble and meek, God can truly communicate with us. I am grateful for prayer. 

This week for devotional, Sister Wixom came and spoke to us. She said something that I have been thinking about all week. 

"Stop relying on yourself, and make Christ your STRENGTH."

It reminded me of how in Moses 1:39 we learn that this is "His work, and His glory..." I am here being a helper and sacrificing my life, but ultimately this is not my mission. This is where God needs me to fulfill His mission and to fulfill what He needs done in Slovenia right now. Each and everyday I am learning that this is not about what I want. It is not about my desires. It is about me learning to serve with a broken heart so that I can submit my will to Him, and accomplish what He would have me accomplish. My favorite hymn is "Lead, Kindly, Light" and I feel as if it adequately describes my thoughts. 

"Lead, Kindly Light, amidst the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on.
Over moor and fen, over crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!"

I am learning what it means to truly rely on my Savior. He is my strength. I pray each and everyday to accomplish what He would have me do... to truly be under his influence and forget myself. I love how in the second verse it says that before I would not pray and ask for guidance, pride ruled my will. I think that is sometimes how the natural man may act. But I know that if we truly come to trust in God's will, we will see miracles in our life. I love in the third verse that it says lead me on, through the thorns and trials and life. I love that it doesn't say remove the problems and the hardships we may face, but lead me through them. I know that God has a plan and that if we trust in him, we will become stronger and better refined. In 2nd Nephi 22:2 it says, "I will trust and not be afraid." I tell myself that every day when I wake up. I am learning to BE BRAVE in the language, to trust in the Lord, to be confident in Him and that he can help me. I am grateful for a Savior who can truly give us the strength to succeed. That is one of the most precious truths I know- that through Christ, we will not fail. 

This week I had the opportunity to finish the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for this book in my life. I had an empowering experience as I knelt down and followed Moroni's exhortation. I told Heavenly Father that I had the faith to know the truth, and that I know He hears my prayers. Within moments of saying that, I felt the spirit in a way I never have before. I don't know how to describe it, but it was amazing. I know that the Book of Mormon truly has the power to answer all questions. I know that it proves that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet. It proves that the restoration is real. I know that we have the restored gospel on this earth. I know that if we have faith and ask, the Holy Ghost will testify to us the truthfulness. I am grateful for this knowledge. I love how in the last chapter of Moroni it says once you "know these truths, arise and strengthen thy stakes. Enlarge thy borders, that the house of Israel may be fulfilled." That is why I am serving a mission. I have a testimony of this gospel and I cannot wait to share this message of happiness, hope, and light with those around me. 

Sorry this is so long - I love you all.. I am so happy and I love being a missionary! Language is still supesssssss crazy but I am happy.. and smiling still..... so that is good 

Sister Nydegger

Nightly Chex Mix

Fall leaves at the temple on P-Day

Slovene and the 7 tenses

Friday, October 24, 2014

MTC: This little light of mine!

Zdravo mvoj druzine!!

To start off... I am so grateful to be in Provo during the fall.. The leaves and the mountains here are beautiful. I think it is what is keeping me sane when I feel like exploding because of this language. But anyway - I love fall weather. I don't know what it has been like for everyone wherever you may be, but this week had the most beautiful sunrises. Whenever I see God's beautiful creations, I feel so much love. I love how in the Bible we learn that WE are God's greatest creation. Whenever I see the fall leaves, mountains, or the earthy beauty around me, it makes me smile to think that those creations aren't even close to his most amazing creations- US. I think that shows just how special we are to our loving heavenly father :) YOU are his greatest creation! 

This week we had inspiring devotionals. I felt like each of them were specifically just for me. On Sunday, the speaker talked about how God does not want us to fail. He asked us the question... "Who do thoughts of discouragement come from? Is it from a LOVING, kind, and genuine Heavenly Father?" Clearly, no. It comes from someone who wants us to fail... who wants us to see our weaknesses and feel sad. He went on to say, every time we vocalize our weaknesses... it is vocalizing them to Satan... it is giving him the power to have strength over us and know our concerns. I walked out of that devotional with knowledge of things that I must improve on. One of those things is my attitude. Sometimes when I walk to class, I dread going... I am often vocalizing that I don't want to go teach a lesson all by myself... or I say "this language is so hard!" - or other things along those lines. I have realized that because I was doing that, those certain things happened to be harder that day. So I have made a goal to only speak positively about Slovene. I am no longer going to complain about it, because that is giving the person who wants me to fail and feel discouraged, power. And amazingly enough, I have seen the biggest difference this past week. On Monday I understood Slovene so well... I was able to go into all four of my lessons this week without notes and speak Slovene according to the spirit... Or when I couldn't understand something perfectly, I was able to be patient with myself and just laugh about it. Those thoughts of discouragement were gone! The Lord truly works miracles if we trust in him. 

Speaking about language... Here are some funny stories for all of you to laugh with me about... I told my investigator Ivan, that God sent us to this 'apple' so that we may live. (zemlia is either apple or earth... to be honest I still don't know the difference... They are very close words. One day!) I told my investigator Bostjan, that I know I am feeling the Holy Ghost because it gives me a cold and chilly feeling in my heart... For some reason I thought warm was "hvlado", but nope... Whoops. I am learning though, and I love it!!! On Wednesday we had two teachers come to class at the same time, so they decided to do a new activity. I was teaching Brat Mills, and Elder Hughes was teaching Brat Johnson. This activity was not for learning how to be a more effective teacher, but more to focus on our language. Because there are so many cases and conjugations in Slovene, they wanted us to speak PERFECT sentences to them, while teaching about the restoration. But if we messed up a word and did the wrong case, they would hold their breath until we got the right conjugation. YIKES. Very first question I asked him, was "Do you believe in God?" And instantly he started holding his breath... I laughed and then started feeling a little worried, seeing that he really was holding his breath, and I had no idea what I did wrong! I started blurting out different cases for the word 'to believe'. It was the funniest, yet most stressful activity- seeing that I killed my investigator twice because he couldn't hold his breath any longer... Four different times... Oh dear. After we were talking about it and laughing about what just happened, Brat Mills laughed and said "I am pretty sure that game was going to make Sestra Nydegger pass out before me!!" It was STRESSFUL!!! .... 

On the Tuesday devotional we talked about the meaning of the scripture, "Let your light so shine." Matthew 5:18. We all have the power, missionaries or not, to change the world when we open our mouths and SHINE. Our speaker told us how on his mission he had a companion who could not speak the language and all he would do is SMILE. And although he couldn't communicate, he still touched the people's heart by letting his light shine. He then went on and said, "Whatever you have... let it shine. If it's all you got, let it shine. Maybe your light is your smile... your voice... your laugh... the way you communicate with others... Whatever it is, let it SHINE." I loved that. I know that as disciples of Christ, we all have the ability to share His light with those around us. We just need to let it shine. Language might be hard for me, but I have a smile with the light of Christ in it and I can share that with others! The Lord will take care of the rest. 

I love you all!! Have a happy week! 

Thanks to whoever sent me these cupcakes!!!!!! 

Sister Morgan - good friend from freshman year 
Love, Sestra Nydegger

With Hermana Van Boerum on her first day!

My teacher puts this flag on me and when it is on, I cannot say a word in english ... 
With Whitney Back at temple again.

With new room-mates.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Mail from Lily!
 HELLO ALL.. This has been a busy, crazy, exciting, amazing, and spiritual week. I love being a missionary and I am very happy here. Thank you to Lily and Nana for sending me letters this week. They both put a smile on my face! I miss  you and love you both. And thank you SO much to Rea Ihkre (my BYU roommate's Mom) for sending me a little package! That was such a surprise and I felt so loved. THANK YOU. 

They are doing a lot of construction at the MTC right now, because they are trying to move all of West Campus up to this main campus.. and because of that, my building was the building that had to move to a new building. So today we had to repack everything, and move across campus to a different building. I am happy though because I am now in the same building as Souer Back!! BUT I no longer get to be selfish with Sister Hassell, because we are now in a room with 4 other sisters! So we have six in our room, and it is TIGHT! But we are all good friends and love each other, so we will have fun. We are with four sisters going to Croatia.
At the temple with Souer Back

Last Friday I got called in to President Melville's office, and got called as the Sister Training Leader - so that is fun. It has been quite a busy week though because all of the older sisters and elders left this week.. And because of flights, visa problems, and other things, I had to get up in the middle of the night, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and help some of the sisters get to the bus, and then to the airport! It has been a blessing though because I haven't felt more tired than usual.. I am doing well! It was sad saying bye to the Pols, Czechs, Slovaks, and Bulgarians. There were about 25 of them who left. They were all so loving and kind to us and we truly became a zone family! We now are trying to do that with the new elders and sisters that came in yesterday. We received 29 new ones yesterday!! Last night the ZLs and STLs were in charge of an orientation and it went very well. I was able to bare my testimony to them in Slovene - which I still feel like I just sound like a minion off of despicable me.. but sometimes I feel the spirit when I speak it. 

With the sisters going to Croatia and Bulgaria

This week I had some discouraging lessons with my investigators. I have been teaching Bostjan, an atheist about God, faith, and prayer. It took me about four lessons with him and then he FINALLY committed to pray. I was so excited!! When I went back the next day and asked him how it went, he spoke really fast Slovene and I couldn't pick out any of the words he was saying. I asked him to write it down for me, because I couldn't understand it. I went on to teach my lesson and once I finished and got back to my classroom, I used a dictionary and found out that he told me, "Sister, I am not going to pray and pretend like something is there when it is not. I see no point." I felt heart broken and so sad. I also felt dumb that I continued on with my lesson when I realized he said that! It did not help when Elder Hughes came back from his lesson and said it went wonderfully. Then the next day I was teaching Ivan, my catholic investigator and had a really great lesson about the restoration and the difference between our church and the catholic church. When I asked him when I could come back again, he told me that he no longer wanted my lessons anymore and that he didn't see a difference between our churches. That was hard to hear and I didn't know how to respond in Slovene... And more than anything I was confused!! I said told him that I would really love to come back one more time just to have one more lesson, and he said that he would be okay with that. I am hoping that I can have a better lesson with him on Saturday and that he will let me come back more! 

(Our investigators are our teachers acting, by the way...) And when we got back to class, I think my teachers could tell I was confused to what just happened. Neither of the investigators had said anything along those lines to Elder Hughes, so I was really confused why they did it to me. My teacher pulled me outside and spoke to me in English (finally- YAY!) And ask me if I was doing okay. I told him that I was, and he told me that they are working hard in my lessons because they want me to grow. He said that he sees where my strengths are, and wants to make it harder for me, so that those strengths can become even stronger. I was reminded of the famous Emily Ripp quote, "You have to stretch to grow!" I put a smile on my face, and said thank you, and realized that I can work harder and become even better. 

Our Tuesday night devotional was one of my tender mercies for the week. The opening hymn was "Come, Come, Ye Saints." We were singing all of the verses and I got teary when I sung the line that says..

"Why should we morn.. and think our lot is hard, tis' not so, ALL IS WELL." 

It almost felt like a slap in the face to me for feeling sorry for myself. I was feeling a little sad because my lesson didn't go well, when I should have realized how much I have to be grateful for- because all is well. I am grateful that the Lord trusts me and gives me strength with my mission.. I am grateful for a supportive family who is active in the church. I am grateful to have the means to be here on a mission. I am grateful that the Lord is helping me communicate in this language. ALL IS TRULY WELL. We are all so blessed. Yesterday we had the opportunity to be hosts, and on Tuesday I had an international girl with me the whole day. She had just arrived from the Marshall Islands and is going to Washington on her mission. I tried to communicate with her to my best ability, and learned that she was the only member in her whole family.. and was paying for all of her mission. She was shy, but expressed to me how happy she was to finally be here. The missionaries found her a year and a half ago. I once again told myself, ALL IS WELL - there is so much to be thankful for. 

I am thankful for a Savior who knows me and has a plan for me. I know that with him, we will not fail. We can do all things! I am grateful for a loving family and for the support I feel from them daily. And I am SO grateful to be a missionary. I love it here. I am so happy and I love the growing and refining I am going through each and everyday! I truly would not want to be anywhere else. I love you all and hope everyone is happy! Have a wonderful week- you are in my prayers. 

ME :) Sister Nydegger 

Katie the Artist

Thursday, October 9, 2014

MTC: Be a Little Better...


My real companion.... It is just the two of us in the classroom.. 


Watching conference in the MTC was one of the greatest experiences! It was so amazing to watch it without phones, talking, food... and all those other distractions. We watched it with the whole MTC. It was incredible to see how questions truly do get answered. I am grateful for the power of modern day revelation. How exciting is it that there are currently 88,340 missionaries currently serving? We received that exact number that night, after statistics were finalized for the week. That is apparently the most the church has ever had out. I am so happy to be apart of that number with my sister Emily and apart of the work of salvation. Some of the talks I really enjoyed in conference were the following...

I love how President Boyd K Packer said that Christ is the way... the ONLY way. I love how he continued on to say, "What difference can I do?? I am only one person." He then compared it to Joseph Smith and how he too was just one boy... but look at what he did. Without Joseph Smith we would not have this gospel here today. I know that there is something we can always do to add to the contribution of goodness in this world. We just need to search for it. That reminds me of Elder Neil L. Anderson's talk about testimony and the Prophet Joseph. It really made me start to ponder when he said "You will not be able to help others, unless you have a strong testimony yourself."  I have made it a goal to work even harder for a stronger testimony of the principles and doctrines I will teach as a missionary. I loved how he said, "No force in the entire world can stop the work of God.. Go forward with COURAGE." This is the Lord's work, and with him we will not fail.  I also loved Elder Klebingat who asked us how we would respond if we were to have an interview with Christ right now. How would we feel? It made me think of the primary song, "If the Savior stood beside me... would I say the things I say? Would I do the things I do?" I could go on and on about conference...BUT I do not have time.. I love the opportunity we have to hear from our prophets, and be spiritually fed for the next six months.

This week I got a letter and cupcake from a friend... She said everything that I needed to hear.  She said "I want you to know how proud your Heavenly Father is of you.. He cares so much for his missionaries. He wants this to be an empowering, fun, spiritual, and wonderful experience. He doesn't want you to feel scared or stressed. Just be patient with yourself- you have ETERNITY to become your full potential. Just give your best each day and that is enough."  I loved that ending part. It reminded me of the theme I got out of this recent conference. President Monson concluded by saying, "Just be a little better each and everyday." I know that sometimes tasks we are given may seem hard. But if we just try each and everyday to become a little better, our Heavenly Father will be proud of us. Whether it is learning just one more word in Slovene each day, or doing one act of kindness to be kinder to those around you, or smiling to just one person to make them feel better about themselves, or being just a little more patient with yourself.. We just need to give our best to try a little better each and everyday. I know that if we do that, we will see blessings.

Slovene is coming... slowly....  Last night while I was teaching my investigator Bostjan about prayer, I felt prompted to share with him the restoration and talk about prayer. I started teaching in my best ability the restoration, and decided to have him read James 1:5. Slight problem though- I had not found it while I was preparing for my lesson and had to find it in the lesson. The Slovene bible though has completely different names because they don't have the same version as us. (I don't really get it?) ANYWAY.. I knew that James in Slovene looked something like the word "Jane". So when I found what I thought was James, we read it. I looked at him. Smiled. And kept teaching. Turns out it wasn't, and instead of him reading James 1:5, I accidentally had him read a scripture in John about polygamy. Ugh. I then went on to say that the Lord will answer our prayers if we just asked... He looked at me in a confused way, but I just figured it was something with my Slovene- so I continued on with my lesson! Once I finished my lesson, he told me what I said in English... And let's just say we definitely had a good laugh last night!! Sometimes I really wish I had a companion teaching with me.. I feel dumb a lot of the time - but I guess that is why we are to learn humility right?
All of the "SOLO" missionaries in my Zone, we are such good friends.

My MTC District

This week I was reading in Exodus 4... verses 10-12 really stuck out to me. It is when the Lord is talking with Moses. Moses had recently said that he was worried to lead the people because he was slow of speech. The Lord responds and says, "Who hath made thy mouth... Have not I the Lord?" Then so simply but powerfully he states, "Now therefore go, and I will be thy mouth." I loved that. Moses was a man who performed one of the most amazing miracles in this world- parting the Red Sea. But I love how he too once felt scared and inadequate, but that the Lord said, "Moses.. I have made thy mouth.. now go ahead, and I will do the rest." I know that the Lord will do the same for us today. He can give us the strength to do AMAZING miracles.. things that may seem impossible at the time. With him we can do hard things, and ALL things. 

Vem da je Jezus Kristus odresink
Vem da je Mormonova Knjiga resnicena
Vem da je evangelij Jezus Kristusa ljubeci
To znanje me pomaga vsak dan
En pomoga imeti upananje

I am grateful for this gospel in my life. It gives me so much happiness, hope, and joy. I love being a missionary and I love learning more about this gospel, myself, and the love that my Savior has for me each and everyday. Have a happy week everyone!!! Try a little harder, to be just a little better 

Love, Sister Nydegger 


With Olympus Sisters Simpson and Back

Thursday, October 2, 2014



It has been a long week, but I am so happy here. I love being a missionary. Thank you MOM for the package of cookies and JOE for the hand written letter. I hope all is well at home.. you are all in my prayers - always... I love being a missionary.. It is the greatest thing! I love waking up every morning and putting on my nametag. I love that it has my family's name on it, and also our Savior. Two of the most important things in this life. And I love that I get to represent them both each and everyday. So I am a SOLO missionary, which means I am currently the only sister learning Slovene in the MTC. My companion is Sister Hassell who is also a solo missionary. She is learning Bulgarian. We get a long very nicely, and she is always so uplifting and inspiring. We wake up at 5:55 and work out in the morning and have a lot of fun together! I am grateful for a wonderful companion. It is just the two of us in a room, with three sets of bunk beds. So we have a lot of space!! Some of the other rooms are filled with 4-6 sisters! We are very blessed :) Our zone consists of the Polish, Slovenes, Bulgarians, Czechs, Croatian, and a few other little ones. 

With companion Sister Hassell (green) and a trio.

I was able to see Elder Mitch Wilson every day for about five days. It was so happy to see family and to share the love that we have for missionary work together. Sister Whitney Back got here yesterday - and we run into each other all the time. She is doing well and also loving the missionary life. They are moving the west campus missionaries back up to the main MTC this next week! So I have seen Hermana Paige Simpson and that means I will see Anika a lot when she comes. I see my friends from the 106th Ward all over the place. It makes me so happy!! I love it here! 

With Elder Wilson

With Sister Back

Slovene is the craziest language. I do not even know how to start trying to describe it to you. I have finally learning how to pronounce the alphabet the right way, which means I can read it. But the cases and the sentence structure is crazy! I honestly do not think I will ever learn this language. I keep trying to speak it and spanish keeps coming out. I am trying my best to love it and to love learning it. It is so different just having myself and one other Elder learning the language, but there are pros to it as well. Everyone always told me that the first day you enter the MTC it will be crazy because they will only speak your language to you.. but no one ever told me that they will NEVER speak any English to you. Let's just say I have become very good at charades :) Our branch president challenged us to find a miracle in everyday. And it has been the greatest thing to do! I challenge you all to try it, because it makes your day so much better- and you see the hand of the Lord in your life, more than you could imagine. Being a solo missionary with one other elder is sometimes difficult, because it is very easy to compare yourself to each other. Which in PMG we learn that that is so important to not do!! I try to remind myself that each and every day. On Friday, I had to teach an investigator in Slovene, (by myself because I don't have a Slovene companion..) and it was very hard. I could understand him vaguely, but it was a struggle for me because I couldn't say anything that I wanted to say. I was feeling a little bummed after and feeling a little discouraged - especially when I heard that the other Slovene elder thought his went really well. I went into my room that night and read my scriptures and said my personal prayers. I then got into bed, and Sister Russell (going to Slovakia) came in to check on us and how we were doing. My companion and I both said we were doing great!! And then she went on to tell us how her first few days were rough, but that this quote meant so much to her... 


That was my tender mercy for the day. I realized that I was so happy being a missionary and learning, but as soon as I compared myself to those around me.. I became upset with myself. I was grateful to hear that quote because it has helped me out a lot on the rough days. One thing I have learned this first week being a missionary is that part of this developmental process on Earth, is showing our weaknesses unto Christ. And if we are submissive and have hope, with His help we can make those weaknesses, STRENGTHS. I bore my testimony on Sunday about that, and explained how sometimes it is hard because we just see weakness after weakness. And I explained how it is difficult when we don't see any of our strengths that we thought we have. But then I explained that it is because Christ doesn't need our strengths right now. He needs our weaknesses- to teach us humility, so that they can one day become strengths. I know that to be true. Ether 12:27

A scripture I have come to love this week is 1 Nephi 9:6. "But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men: For behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of his words." I know that the Lord calls us to our respective missions for a reason. He has known us since before this life and he knows EXACTLY what mission call we needed, to become the type of person He wants us to become. Even though learning a new language is hard, like this scripture says, Heavenly Father always provides us a way to accomplish the worthy tasks we have been given. I know that with the Lord we CANNOT and WILL NOT fail. 

One of my favorite parts of being a missionary is seeing the Lord's hand in my life each and everyday. The spirit at the MTC is powerful. I tear up in almost every song we sing because of the power and the truthfulness that I feel. I am so grateful for this time to be a missionary!! In every prayer I say, I say that I am so grateful to be here, right now, as a missionary for the church. I feel so lucky to be apart of this work. I am learning so much about myself and about my desires!! I have already changed so much in this first week, that I cannot even imagine how changed I will be in 18 months! I love being a missionary. I am so happy. Going to the temple today was so wonderful. I love the sweet spirit that is felt there. What was so amazing though was walking back to the MTC and that spirit not leaving. The MTC is amazing!!! 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!! Thank you for the support and loving me. I feel your prayers each and everyday! 

Love, Sestra Nydegger 

Saying goodbye to Katie - Sister Nydegger!

She couldn't stop smiling - she was excited the time was here!

Good friend - Luke Barton 

Sestra Allred - going to Croatia 

My companion and I both LOVE to work out!!!!! We go running at 5:55 each morning