Thursday, March 5, 2015

Celje, Slovenia: Put the umbrella down and let the blessings flow!


This week we had exchanges with the Ljubljana sisters again and I got to go serve in Ljubljana with Sister Dutton. It rained for four days straight this week. We got to the Ljub train station on Tuesday, and then I was walking with Sestra Dutton to go get a bus - when I experienced the most cliche missionary rejection story... We were walking in the rain - and I said 'hi' to someone. The girl said 'hi' back, but quickly kept walking after glancing at our tags.  I tried to turn around and say another thing to her, but then a bus turned the corner, going right through a huge puddle... completely splashing the whole left side of me. Hahaha, I was wet and we could not stop laughing at how much that seemed to be like a movie or something. It is REAL! 

Sister Dutton and I had a lesson with their investigator at the Ljubljana church on Wednesday. And as we were walking out of the church, it was still pouring rain and we saw three teenage boys struggling trying to fix a bike. We watched them for a few minutes. I decided we should ask them if they were okay. I noticed that their bike chain had come off and they were struggling to get it back on. So I introduced myself and asked them if they needed help. The three boys looked at me and laughed because of my awful American accent. One of them looked down at my dress and nice sweater on, laughed and rolled his eyes as he said 'no.' Sestra Dutton and I still stood there and figured we would at least get them some paper towels so that they could clean their hands off. So we went back inside and got some paper towels and went back out, ten minutes later, and they were still struggling to get that chain on! I asked them once again if they wanted help and they laughed and ignored us. AFter five more minutes of watching them struggle, I sorta just moved my way in, and finally grabbed the bike and Sister Dutton and I knelt down in the rain and quickly put the chain back on the bike within 5 seconds. We then smiled and walked away. Those three boys just sat there quietly, as two young american girls, in skirts just got all dirty and fixed their bikes in about 5 seconds when they were struggling with it for about 15 minutes. Sestra Dutton and I walked away, with greasy hands and laughed as we thought of Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk called, "Ask the missionaries, they can help you!!"  SHOUT OUT TO DAD for always making me learn how to do those sorts of things and not doing it for me!!!!! 

Sestra Dutton and I are very similar and like blurting out songs when funny things or situations happen... As we were both walking in the rain, I looked over at Sestra Dutton just embracing the rain singing, "Let the rain fall down!!!" I laughed and decided to put my umbrella down as well and just enjoy the rain... It made me think of Elder Uchtdorf's talk in the women's conference, about the "umbrellas" that we sometimes put up as humans. He said, "Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings on us - but we sometimes put up umbrella's with doubts, questions, and sins." He goes on to say how Heavenly Father is just waiting to give us those blessings, but all we need to do is put away our umbrellas! So although it was physically raining that day and I decided to not hold up my umbrella, I was thinking about the other "umbrella" that I might sometimes put up. Some of those "umbrellas" include my pride. I tend to think a lot that I can do things by myself, but in reality - if I put my umbrella down and let Heavenly Father lead and guide me, I will receive the blessings that He has to offer me. Or another umbrella/barrier I have, is thinking that people will not understand me or listen to me as a missionary. So I keep my umbrella up and assume... when in reality, if I would put my umbrella down, and let the Lord work through me, I could find the blessings that the Lord offers me for just trying. So I am now really focusing on putting my umbrella away, and letting the Lord's blessings flow!

When I got back to Celje this week, we had a group finding activity with the Elders here. The four of us went to center for about 5 hours, dedicating all of our time just talking about the Book of Mormon with people. We wanted to see how many we could pass out!

We ended up having a really good activity. W were able to give out 4 copies of the Book of Mormon and we talked with so many people about what this book means to us. I had a cool experience as I was able to communicate with an Albanian, speaking Albanian mixed with broken Slovene. We somehow were able to understand each other and he gave me his number so that I can give him an Albanian Book of Mormon this week. Miracles really do happen!! GIFT OF TONGUES!!!!!!! Although the majority of the people I talked with, declined taking the book - I was grateful for the opportunity I had to testify to them of the power of this book. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. I know that through reading it, we can gain a testimony of the gospel. Because I know the Book of Mormon is true, my testimony is strengthened in so many ways. The Book of Mormon proves that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It proves that we can receive modern day revelation from God. It proves that we can receive answers to our questions. And it proves that Christ lives! Because of the Book of Mormon, we have the fullness of the gospel.

THE CHURCH IS TRUE, THE BOOK IS BLUE!!! One of my favorite things about missionary work, well jk there are way to many things to say that this is my favorite haha(and you all know I struggle with saying my favorites) but one thing I love is how much I study from the Book of Mormon!!!! I feel so immersed in the stories and it is strengthening my testimony in so many ways. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. I know that through reading it and pondering it and praying about it, we can all gain stronger testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the word of God. 

I love you all!!!!! Have a wonderful week. S. NYDEGGER 

Love all the Slovene statues!

Celje Castle was so beautiful after a rainstorm.

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