Monday, December 22, 2014

Celje, Slovenia: Vesel Božič

Vesel Božič!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Christmas in Slovenia has been filled with lots of lights, live singers in town center each night, open markets on the streets, and a lot of people out and about.. PERFECT for missionary work :) I would say Celje is right beneath temple square on how many lights they put up.. It is BEAUTIFUL!!

This week I went on exchanges with Sestra Brown. She came down to Celje to work with me and we had a really good time together!! Sestra Brown is an awesome example to me. She is helping me figure out what "MY" way of missionary work is. She is a strong believer in making missionary work your own, according to your talents and strengths.We had a lot of success talking with people, when we took our strengths together! She helped me notice that I am not scared to go up to random people and just say 'hello', and try to get them to stop and talk with us. And I helped her realize that she is really good at coming up with things that cause people to ponder and think- which means they are more likely to talk with us for a few minutes! So I would go up to people and say, "Zdravo imam uprašanje za te!" And then I would look at Sestra Brown and she would ask a question. We were able to talk with a few people and we got one guy to talk with us for 10 minutes about Christ. We asked if we could meet with him again, and he said he didn't have time but that he was grateful for what we told him.

Exchanges with Sestra Brown

Our Christmas dinner with our branch was a success!! An interesting experience.. but it turned out great.. The power went out three different times and on the third time the church needed a new fuse - I spilled soup on a less active member.. Our program went well and the spirit was felt. We were very grateful for the members and everything they did to plan a fun Christmas Party.

Some members in Celje.  On the left is the newest convert last June.

Church is at the back of the alley.

ELDER HUGHES - I nearly started crying when I saw him!!!!!!!!!!!! Your mtc pals literally become your fam out here 

I am sure most of you have seen the "He is the Gift" video on That is something we have been sharing with a lot of our members here in Celje. This week I decided to study each morning a gift Christ has given me. I have studied a lot about love, eternal life, light, families, joys- and much more.. But one that has really meant a lot to me, is the gift of peace. In John 14:27, it reads "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  So many Christmas hymns say the phrase "Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth good will towards men." Christmas is a time to reflect on our Savior, Jesus Christ and the peace that He offers us. 

We went to Zagreb this week for our Christmas mission conference. It was so fun to see everyone from the MTC!! I miss them, but am grateful for the friendships that I made with them. At the mission conference, we had all 60 missionaries in the Adriatic North Mission there, along with the senior couples. We had lunch, President and Sister Grant spoke to us, and had another little Christmas program. President Grant focused his talk on PEACE as well. How we can find peace, how we should offer peace as missionaries, what peace means to him, and why peace is important. I thought it was really interesting because right after he spoke, the Slovene missionaries had a musical number called "Peace, Heavenly Peace." It was a really tender experience and the spirit was there. I am grateful for the gift of peace- and that I was able to study about it all week. 

On Saturday, some things had happened in the morning and I was a little grumpy and upset. I wanted to be happy and keep working hard, but I was struggling to understand the people around me and then someone told me that I would be a good missionary once I could speak Slovene. A member also pointed out to me that I had a zit on my face - WHO DOES THAT?! Hahaha and my skirt ended up ripping after I slipped on some ice. And I was feeling a little sad and lonely. That night I knelt down and prayed and just asked to feel loved and feel better. I sat there and waited to feel something and then a CLEAR thought came to my mind and it was what I had been studying all week. The gift of PEACE. I remembered a scripture I had been studying that morning and I felt warmth and love. The thought came to my mind, of what I had been testifying to people all week about the peace Christ offers to us, and now I was truly experiencing it for myself. I was testifying to people that when things are hard they can pray and feel peace. It was a really tender moment for me and I am grateful that I had a hard day so that I could come to understand the peace that Christ offers us at a deeper level. 

I received a few Christmas cards and packages in the mail this week from some friends and relatives.  Thank you for the treats and pictures!! I also got a letter from Mom about Christmas and I would like to end on some of the things she shared with me. She shared with me the lyrics of the Little Drummer Boy. It is about a poor boy who is taking a gift to the Savior. And although he does not have much, he takes his drum and plays his drum for him. It says that he played his best, and then Christ SMILED at him. I love that story. Even if our gift is little, it will make Christ smile. I know that as we give, the Lord is looking down upon us and smiling. During this Christmas season, as I have been remembering the gifts God has given me, I want to do my best to share a gift back so that I can make Christ smile, just like the little drummer boy. And the greatest gift I have to offer right now is the witness of my Savior. He lives and he LOVES us. He is aware of us and his tender mercies are around us each and everyday. 

Have a very Merry Christmas!! And FAMILY - I cannot wait to Skype with you in FOUR DAYS!!!! Enjoy your lovely american food.. As I sit here and enjoy my pig.. kidding.. but not really..!

Love, Sestra Nydegger

I dont really ever know what I am eating but it tastes good! 

Pretty sure they breed dogs and bears in Slovenia!

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