Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Celje, Slovenia: Make a Difference!

Hi everyone - this was such an AMAZING week - I LOVE being a missionary. I am so happy. I cannot believe Sister Clyde is home!!! I am so grateful for all of my cousins out serving and the inspiration they give me. She emailed me a little ago and said something to me that really meant a lot to me. She told me how blessed I was to be in a place where the church is so new. She said I am so lucky that I can plant seeds and know that I will effect many people years from now!!! And she reminded me that I should be happy every time I have a conversation with someone on the street, to know that I helped plant a seed that will one day grow :)  That put a new perspective on my mission. I am grateful for her and her example. And also speaking of cousins - GOOD LUCK TO ELDER DIEDERICH COMING HOME THIS WEEK. Time goes so fast!!! Wow - YAY for slavic langauges -  Ti si Ĩudovit misijionar!!! 

We had zone conference this week in Ljubljana which was amazing. Sister Brown and I taught the zone about church attendance. We were praying all week about what we should teach the zone and we were not receiving much clarity on what was needed. And then the day before zone conference we changed all of our plans and felt very strongly we needed to talk about how we can get more people to come to church! I am grateful for the power of receiving revelation. God does answer our prayers if we are willing to listen. We talked a lot about the barriers of why people do not come to church, and also why sacrament is so important. We then committed the zone to tell every single person about church this week. Every contact, member, less active - EVERYONE! And yesterday was the most AMAZING day! We had about 8 people, about 5 minutes before church started and were feeling a little bummed with all of our efforts of inviting people. But slowly more people started coming in - and somehow by the time church started had 31 people in our little room! (including 6 missionaries, 4 visitors, and 4 non-members, and the rest members!) That is the most they have ever had in Celje! We felt so blessed for our efforts of talking about church with everyone. And we had the most amazing sacrament meeting. It was the Lambert's (senior couple) farewell, and the spirit was so strong. CHURCH IS AMAZING!!

We had exchanges with the Maribor sister's this week. I went to Maribor to work with Sister Christensen. She is cute - all throughout the day she would ask me gospel related questions in Slovene. Our thoughts were very focused on the work. We did not have any lessons planned so we literally just contacted and tracted for 3 days straight, but it was so great. We had soooo many wonderful conversations with people about the gospel!


Maribor

Sister Christensen
​(Yes we got ice cream and it was freezing outside but it was SO good. Slovenia has the BEST desserts.)

This week I have been thinking a lot about the scripture, "How great is the worth of one soul." In the letter I received from Mary last week, she quoted Sister Dalton.. "We first need to believe we can make a difference, and then make a commitment and do it!!" It made me think of one of my favorite poems. 

"There once was a wise man, who would often go to the ocean to write. As he was walking along the shore one day, he saw a man picking up little objects and throwing them into the ocean. As he got closer, he saw the man was picking up starfish! He approached the man and said, "Good morning! May I ask what you are doing?" The other man paused, looked up and said, "Throwing starfish into the ocean." The man feeling confused responded, "May I ask why you are doing that?" The other man smiled and replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I do not throw them in, they will die." Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "Do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach... and starfish all along the shore!! You could not possibly make a difference because there are so many." At this point, the other man smiled, bent down, and picked up another starfish and threw it in the ocean. As it met the water, he looked at the man and said. "Well, I made a difference to that one."

No matter how big or small we all have the ability to make a difference! Every soul is truly great in the sight of God and we can help make a difference in everyone's life if we choose to do what Sister Dalton says - believe and then make a commitment and do it!

Mom reminded me of a quote last week by President Monson - "I believe one of the greatest lessons we are to learn of while on this earth, is to distinguish between what is important and what is not. And what is most important almost always involves the people around us - and the importance of small acts of kindness... remembering the one."

As Joseph Smith says, "Shall we not go in so great a cause?" Let us all strive to care more for the one and make a difference in this world. In Alma 26:24 there is a profound lesson we can all learn from it. "For they said unto us: Do ye supposed that ye can bring the Lamanites to the knowledge of truth?" Do you suppose that you can really make a difference in this world?? And then in verse 27.. "Bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give thee success." YES WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. YES - it may seem hard and sometimes seem impossible.. but with the Lord on our side, we can do all things :) 

Choose this day whom ye will serve, a make a difference to someone around you. That is what I am striving to do EVERYDAY!!! 

I LOVE YOU!!!! Be happy.. Let your light SHINE and make a difference!!! 

Sestra Nydegger

Supposedly the oldest grapevine in the world?!




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