Monday, December 8, 2014

Celje, Slovenia: The smallest person can change the course of the future - or whatever that Lord of the rings quote is

HI EVERYONE- Happy December!!! Hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying winter... Mom THANK YOU for the Christmas package!! I got it a few days ago, so I was very happy :) And thank you to the 18th ward for the HUGE banner!!! I hung that above my bed and feel so loved when I look at it each night.

I cannot believe it is already December. And I cannot believe EMILY comes home TOMORROW. That blows my mind!! I am so excited for her though. I am so grateful for her and that she decided to serve, because she is a strong influence of why I came on a mission! Whether it was getting my mission call, my farewell talk, leaving the MTC, or arriving in Slovenia - she has sent me long emails giving me advice and telling me that she is praying for me. I am so grateful for the love and the support that I feel from her. I hope to be able to serve as well and as diligently as she did!! I wish I could be there, but give her a big hug for me and I will be there in spirit!!! Good luck Hermana Nydegger, I am praying for you and that you adjust well!! 

This week has consisted of LOTS and LOTS of rain... Even though we are wet and cold, we are working hard - I don't think I have ever been so wet before in my life.. It rains and we sorta just stay out in the rain.. and keep working..  On Tuesday after we were wet from walking around in the rain, Sestra Cuthbert and I were really wanting a warm shower.. (Our water is usually cold, because it has been broken) So when the Elders told us that they always have hot water, we decided that we would try to fix it ourselves!! That was not the greatest idea we have had...We turned some of the knobs which caused one of the pipes to shoot out gross black water all over our bathroom and all over us- we just sat there for a second.  We could not stop laughing. We cleaned it up and threw our clothes in the wash.. And GUESS WHAT. We had warm water!!! That was a tender mercy from the Lord :) We called our landlord the next day, and he came and helped us fix it. He says he fixed it.. but the water is still cold so I am not sure what's happening.. We keep calling him and telling him it is still cold, but he says "You silly americans, it is warm!" hmmmmmm not sure how long this will last.. 

I am learning to embrace the awkward and embarrassing moments and just laugh!! Whether it is when I go up to someone and they just walk away without even looking at me, or when we slip and fall down on the wet stairs, or ice.. or when one of our creative ideas to find a new investigator fails, or when I try to communicate with someone and cannot understand anything they are saying back, or when our water heater sprays us with yucky stuff - I am learning to LAUGH. It helps lighten the mood and reminds us that we are here on earth to be HAPPY, and to find joy. 

We teach English class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.. There used to be a lot of people that came, but lately our class has only had two people coming. So we are trying to find more people so we can teach them English and get to know them a little better!! This week I was talking with one of the men that came, about religion a little. He told me that he was curious why our church says "Of Latter-Day Saints." I told him a little about the restoration, and he said he would rather just look it up on Google.. But he told me that it was interesting, even a little amazing, that our church sends out missionaries to try to convert the world - just by us missionaries. His English was a little choppy but what he was implying was sort of like a "good luck with just you few missionaries!!" I was thinking about that comment later that night and how easy it is to feel small sometimes. It is easy as people and missionaries to feel weak and sometimes like our efforts are useless!! My companion loves Lord of the Rings so she compared this situation to it. In Lord of the Rings, there is a quote...

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." 

Ok here is some of the inner Lord of the rings fan in me but - we are like Frodo, who is small - yet courageous. He stands up in front of the crowd, and even though he is small, he says "I will take the ring to Mordor, although I do not know the way." We sometimes face battles and think that we cannot face it, accomplish it, or are inadequate- but as we learn in Isaiah 60:22, "A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in His time."- we can find strength in the Lord! Even though there are just four of us here in Celje, we can change the course of the future by sharing our light and happiness! As we heard in this recent conference, Joseph Smith was too just one "small" person. But with the strength and help of the Lord, he RESTORED the church. We too, because of the Lord, are never to small nor not strong enough. I love how Elder Anderson said, "No force in the world, can stop the work of God... Go forward with COURAGE!" It does not say anything about size or our strength.. It just says that NOTHING can stop the work of the Lord. I love that.

I love you all and am thankful for you. I love the people I am meeting here everyday, and the beautiful place I get to live. I love the gospel and the message of HOPE. I love my Savior, and I love that we have this whole month to truly reflect on HIM and His teachings. I am so grateful to be a missionary!! So many "small people" right now are working together to build up His kingdom, and I am thankful that He is allowing me to be apart of his army!!! 

Sister Nydegger

Favorite food so far - delicious pancake type things

Our P-Day, we got to go to the Celje castle. 

View of the castle from our apartment

Jack and rose 

Celje town in the background

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