Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Celje, Slovenia: Be anxiously engaged


We had an awesome week and MISSIONARY WORK IS AMAZING!!! I felt so many times this week, the importance of missionary work. It is SO important! President and Sister Grant invited us to memorize all the articles of faith in Slovene, as well as the standard of truth. I had not ever heard of the standard of truth until I came on my mission, but it is such a powerful statement given by Joseph Smith. 

"The standard of truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the TRUTH OF GOD will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say, THE WORK IS DONE." 

I am so thankful to be here. How powerful is that? The word of God will go forth BOLDLY and NOBLY until everyone hears it. And nothing can stop the work from progressing. I am so grateful that I am apart of this work... and what is more amazing, is that everyone can do it. Missionary name tag or not. We had district conference this week with all the members here in Slovenia!  Elder Dryden from the Quorum of the Seventy came. The theme for the meeting was "strengthening the work of salvation." The Eastern European plan this year is for every member to find one person to share the gospel with... because then we would double in size!! So we are focusing a lot on every member being a missionary. 

We must all be ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED IN A GOOD CAUSE.... Not just the full time missionaries.. but all of us! In D&C 88:73 it says, "I will hasten my work in its time." And President Monson has recently said, "Now is the time for hastening!" The standard of truth has been erected, and it is now our time to share it! We must all serve with all of our might, mind, and strength and help accomplish this great work. 

Elder Neil L. Andersen says, "Names and faces will come to your mind. Words to speak will come the moment you need them, opportunity will be given to you, faith will overcome doubt. And the Lord will bless you." What a wonderful promise - I witness that promise every day. I have lots of conversations with people on the street.. and every time I open my mouth... words come out and the Spirit works through me, to help testify to people what they need to hear. 

In Ljubljana
This week we were contacting around town center before we had district meeting. It was SO SUNNY!!!!! The sun and warm weather made contacting ten times more fun :) Sister Brown and I were walking around and I saw a young teenage boy sitting on a bench with headphones on. He was smoking and on his phone. I felt very strongly that I needed to go talk to him... But I kept walking because I knew it would be an awkward encounter. I saw two old ladies and thought I would go contact them - they are much easier and more likely to listen, than teenagers.. and less scary to contact :) But the spirit then told me again, to go talk to the teenage boy. I walked over to him and he was confused to why I was trying to talk to him... He took his headphones out and was starring at me very strangely. I told him that we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He told me he did not understand my Slovene.. and started speaking English to me. I asked him where he finds happiness in this life, which opened up to a conversation about the restoration of the gospel. I asked if he had time right now for us to teach him, and he agreed. We talked with him for about 30 minutes about the Book of Mormon and the message of happiness we have to offer. He agreed to meet again this week to talk more, so we will see what happens :)

I walked off, feeling grateful that I listened to the promptings of the spirit. I also felt so HAPPY!!! Sharing the gospel is a commandment, and that is because God wants us to be happy!! And missionary work brings happiness. And as we open our mouths and let the spirit work through us, I testify that we will be strengthened and find greater happiness than we could ever imagine. 

At District Conference, for the intermediate hymn, we stood up all together to sing "O potrebujem te." (I need thee every hour) I am usually playing the piano, so it was so nice to sing and ponder on the words. I felt the spirit so strongly as I sang, looking around at all the amazing strong members here, in this beautiful country of Slovenia. Tears filled my eyes with gratitude for my mission... and gratitude for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  We truly need him every hour. I feel so grateful for Slovenia and the people here.

As we lose ourselves for the sake of our Savior, we find true joy. I am grateful that Heavenly Father gives us the power to do His work!! Let us be anxiously engaged and open our mouths!!

Imam te rada!!! Sestra Nydegger :) 

Sestra Brown's Birthday with Slovene Missionaries!

Making strudel with Darinka!

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