Monday, February 9, 2015

Celje, Slovenia: ... it's cold outside!

Good Morning family and friends!! I am so happy to be emailing all of you today. So much happened this week, and I have so many thoughts so... HERE WE GO!!!!

This week started off with WARM weather, blue skies and SUN! It was windy, but I did not need my coat.  Fun! I got to drive us down to Croatia for mission leadership conference. It was a bit scary without GPS and dealing with the European insane drivers. But we eventually made it there safely. MLC was a wonderful experience. I always love sharing ideas with those around me, and I learned a lot! Zone conference was on Wednesday which went great. This is when the crazy weather started happening. We woke up to snow again and quickly got on the train early that morning to Kranj.  I think there is nothing more magical and beautiful than a snowy train through the villages of Slovenia. Its long rolling hills of fluffy snow, with cute churches and villages everywhere.. it is MAGICAL!!  Sister Brown and I taught our zone about contacting and tracting and having FAITH. It was a cheesy and silly lesson as we made everyone stand up and yell with a fist pump that "The Lord can do this. We can be an instrument!" a few times in a row.. but I think it helped motivate us to have more faith.. because that is what I feel like I could really be better at. 

That night after zone conference, the Celje and Maribor missionaries all went to the train station to head home. We realized we had missed our scheduled train, so we had about an hour of just waiting there. We started off by building a snowman.. It turned out a little creepy because we did not have materials or anything.. but we tried.

And then after as we sat there waiting for our train to come... we decided to sing some hymns in Slovene. The spirit soon filled that dark cold night in the train station, as we shared our testimony to those around us through music. People soon started filming us and clapping whenever we would finish a song. I started passing out cards and explained why we were here. When our train finally came, Sister Brown and I sat down in a little cart with this man, and two of the Maribor elders. And when we started trying to communicate with him, we realized he was speaking Croatian and could not understand us. With a lot of patience and laughing we slowly started finding ways to communicate with each other despite the language differences. He asked me how many moms I had, and when I responded "one."  He would shake his head and say "Nah nah nah" and roll his eyes.. He then asked us who our boss was. We pulled out a picture of President Grant and he said, "Tvoj čef je OBAMA!!!!!" Bless his heart. He literally thought President Grant was Obama.. ummm no sir.. 

And now it has been snowing the past few days!! Not too much in Celje, but apparently some places in Slovenia got about 4 feet! It has been FREEZING. We don't have a thermometer, but our friend told us that a few days ago is was -21 degrees Celsius!! (about -6 F). When dressing for the cold, I look like this huge marshmellow thing with all my layers, and a permanent red nose.. Now it is just about -8 degrees C, which with lots of layers, I am warm :)

Lots of layers help keep me warm!
Besides mission leadership conference, and zone conference, we did not  really have any other lessons or meetings. So we decided that a good reasonable goal would be to find 3 new investigators this week, seeing how much time we have for finding! Well Saturday evening came around, and we had spent the whole day finding.. and still did not have one investigator from this week. (also side note - investigators for us also count as someone who commits to listen to us for a little on the street. Progressing investigators are those who will set up with us for another time!) We decided to stop and pray right there just to find one person who would be interested. We continued talking with people, but somehow whenever religion gets brought up, they quickly seem to run out of time to talk. It is hard because Slovenia has an awful history of religion, and it scares them because they do not want a war again. We smile and tell them we understand and move on and try another person. Long story short - we still did not find any new people who would be interested, but it is okay. I am learning what it means to exercise faith. I am glad this week I choose to focus on the Christ-like attribute of humility. Because I was studying it and focusing on it each day, it helped me feel happy even though people were not wanting to listen to us. I was happy and felt peaceful with my efforts because I knew that I was doing my part and as I humbly keep trying, I know that is all I can do :) 

This week I finished the book of Mosiah, and I was amazed once again how strong Abinadi and Alma were. They were such courageous missionaries and so strong with the things they know. Each day on my mission, I try to do something that challenges me. Something that stretches me to a higher level. And sometimes it is hard!!I remember someone once giving me the advice, NEVER BE COMFORTABLE.  But through it, I am growing. I am developing better. And I am contributing more good! I think it is amazing that we really have no idea who we are and what we can accomplish in this life. We truly have great potential far beyond what we can imagine today. As we look to Christ, our greatest example and friend, our life will reflect our Heavenly Father's will, to grow and learn and become examples of righteousness. 

I LOVE YOU.. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY THIS WEEK - I am so grateful for the love that I feel from you.. and the love I get to offer to the people here in Slovenia.. You make me smile and make my heart happy!!! Thank you for your love. 

Sister Nydegger 

On our way to Zagreb!

Sister Richardson

Dog, wolf or bear?

Holiday this week with a Yak that will pick you up if you don't wave a handkerchief at it.

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