Monday, June 29, 2015

Kranj / Ljubljana, Slovenia: "I Think I can."


Since I just emailed a few days ago, I do not have much to say - But zone conference was incredible! We spent our Friday P-DAY playing volleyball with President Grant and our zone. We also played tennis. And then that night we went up the street and played a soccer game with a bunch of Croatians! We then headed back to the Grants house where our zone had a talent show. We all sang missionary songs together while playing guitars and ukeleles, listened to piano solo numbers, and more singing! 

We then all ended with a bedtime story from President Grant. We all sat around as he read us the story of the "Little Engine that thought it could." It talks about these trains that were all trying to pull this big heavy train over a hill. Many trains rode right pass it, saying "the load is too big, I am not strong enough!" But eventually a little small engine train was requested to try. And as it tries it keeps saying, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!" And then as it reaches the peak of the hill and starts heading down, after successfully pulling the big train over, it says, "I thought I could - I knew I could." President Grant then retold the story using missionary terms. He talked about us as missionaries and our attitudes towards missionary work. Are we constantly telling ourselves that we can be successful? Are we constantly telling ourselves that we can do this, because the Lord is on our side? He then testified to us that if we have faith and tell ourselves that WE THINK WE CAN, we too will SUCCEED. 

After we finished up with our lessons and meetings on Saturday, President told me I would be heading back to Slovenia, to be in a trio with Sister Redding and Sister Christensen. Sister Redding has been out for just 2 months, and Sister Christensen a little over a year. They were both currently serving in Kranj, so now the three of us are covering Ljubljana area and also Kranj area.. So we are figuring it out as we go! We pulled another little mattress into our bedroom and now we are all very squished but it is FUN and we are HAPPY :)

Yesterday after church, we went out to an area for tracting in Ljubljana. We all took our new insight and revelation we received from zone conference and said to each other that "we think we can!" We spent about 4 hours tracting, and within those 4 hours we had three different people let us in! It was amazing! We taught 5 people, including a mother and 12 year old son who agreed that we could come back this week :)

I love the quote by Marvin J. Ashton who says, "We must strive for an ingrained attitude of self-confidence that will make us believers in self. How important it is in all our lives to develop an appropriate balance of confidence and humility. Proper attitude enables us to live in harmony with our potential."  As we think we can, and as we rely on the Lord he will help us find confidence in sharing this perfect message. As we are humble and put our faith in the Lord, He will give us success. 


Z ljubeznijo, 
Sestra Nydegger

P.S MOM, DAD, MARY, AND JOE - HAVE THE BEST TIME ON TREK!!!!! I am so grateful for pioneers and their incredible faith and their amazing stories. I am grateful for their sacrifice. Sacrifice is truly a demonstration of pure love. I am living with modern day pioneers here in Slovenia. About 90% of the members here, all are the first in their families to join this church.. and they are just like the pioneers.. except without handcarts and those other things ;) We may not be called to pull handcarts through snow, or to go miles without shoes.. but we are called to live and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ - just like those pioneers!

Pictures from my last day with Sister Dutton.  I hope she will feel better.

Hump day celebration.  Mexican!
I'm becoming the mission hair stylist!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Zagreb, Croatia: Hump Day!

ZDRAVO - ZIVIJO - BOK everyone!

Well..... I do not even know where to begin! Since I did not get to email last week, life has changed SO much! So remember when I said that Sister Dutton and I made a goal for this transfer to "do hard things"? Well these past two weeks have come to make that goal very possible to achieve! The past 2 weeks have been crazy! So after a few more ultrasounds, blood tests, and a gastroscopy.. they decided it would be best for Sister Dutton to go home for medical treatment. So last Monday we drove down to Zagreb to drop her off at the mission home.. 

And I was told I would be in a trio in Zagreb with Sister Jill Richardson (she went to college with Jordyn and Grace) and Sister Allred (who I was with in the MTC). I did my best to jump into this situation with two feet and it has been great! They even taught me some Croatian so I have been trying to speak it with the people here. I mostly just speak to them in Slovene, except for the few Croatian words I know - but it is working! Although, I think that sometimes it intimidates people when we have three of us together.. we are making it work :) 

This week was a reminder to me that Heavenly Father loves us and will give us little tender mercies so that we can keep going. The first one this week was the package from MOM!!! Thank you so much Mom. It was pouring so hard that day, and opening my package with rain shoes in it was the BEST. And it also came on the 24th so it was perfectly on my half way mark! Which speaking of - that scares me a little.. Luckily I got to celebrate it with Sister Allred as well! But I must keep working hard and give it my all! But we loved the camel and all of the half way treats.. THANK YOU.

A second tender mercy this week was yesterday.. We had planned to go out contacting and that morning I felt prompted to pray and ask to recognize someone I could speak Slovene with... We did a lot of contacting that morning where I usually just listen and do my best to understand.. but then that afternoon, we were standing outside the church, to give church tours.. And we stopped this man and once we started talking with him, he said that he lived in Maribor for 14 years! I immediately told him I live in Slovenia and he switched right away to speak Slovene. It was music to my ears!! I know that the Lord loves us and hears our prayers. 

I am grateful for the tender mercies from the Lord. I know that they are available to all of us if we try to seek them and recognize his hand in our life. We should never overlook His sweet tender mercies - but look for them and turn to him in gratitude. 

Well I am heading up to the mission home right now for the Slovenia zone conference here in Zagreb! I am assuming that I will head back to Slovenia to be in a trio there.. but I will let you know next week :) Thanks for your love, support and prayers!!!! You all mean the world to me!

Imam te rada!! Or how we say it here in Croatia - VOLIM TE!

weekly planning

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ljubljana, Slovenia: I can be perfect in trying!

Hi everyone!!

I do not really have much to say about this week - because most of our time was in doctors appointments and all.. but I have a few cool stories!

This week a member here in Ljubljana set up for Sister Dutton and I to give a tour of the chapel. We got it all cleaned up and ready to go. We said a quick prayer asking for the gift of tongues and that the spirit could be with us. When the doorbell rang, around 50 students walked in to our church! Their ages ranged from 13-15 years. I have never seen so many people in our church! They all kept laughing about our funny accents and thought it was so weird that we knew Slovene... but we continued on and ended up telling them the whole story of the restoration of the gospel. We ended in the chapel and there was a beautiful spirit present. We then opened it up to questions and we got asked wonderful questions that led to discussion. Such as, "How did we pick Slovenia?" "Do we miss our families?" "What is the work like here?" "How did we decide to come on a mission?" As I testified to this group of people about my mission, the spirit testified to me and reminded me that this is where I am meant to be right now. I am grateful for the power of the Holy Ghost. As we finished up the tour I invited those who were interested to take a copy of the Book of Mormon and find out for themselves if these things were true. I was talking with the headmaster and telling him 'thank you for coming' - I looked out the corner of my eye and saw these students looking at our stack of copies of the Book of Mormon. I ran over and started handing them to people telling them that they were free.. and we gave out 38 copies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How wonderful is that?! I invited them to come to church on Sunday as well. Sadly, none of them came to church, but for now at least a seed was planted.. and 38 homes here in Slovenia, now have a Book of Mormon in it for when missionaries find them again :) And hopefully one day all of these people will know the truth. 

Sister Dutton and I love to match!

This morning I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctors office while waiting for Sister Dutton to get her ultrasound.. (we still have not figured out what the problem is sadly..but still hopeful!) But the lady next to me saw my name tag and told me that her daughter many years ago came to our English class. I told her that was wonderful and that we still have one. The man across the room heard me say that, and he asked if it really was a free English class. I laughed and said yes! And then the women who was working at the desk quickly asked how I knew Slovene and how long I have been in Slovenia.. and before I knew it, I was having a conversation with everyone in the waiting room! They were all listening and asking different questions. I told them about our free English class and tried to answer their questions that they had. They all thought it was so amazing that I am away from my family for so long and that I am not getting paid for what I am doing. One man asked if it is hard for me to be away from my family, and I answered that I do miss them - but that the work I am here, set apart, to do right now is SO important to me, that it is okay. I once again felt the spirit testify to me that I am here doing the Lord's work and I am where I need to be. 

I know that the Lord has a plan for us. And I know that He knows our righteous desires. I am grateful for our Savior, who suffered for us so that we can be saved, ultimately by grace. I am grateful for the atonement and the opportunity that we always have to keep trying, even when we fall short. I love the quote from Meet the Mormons that says, "I am not perfect. But I am perfect in one thing - I am perfect in trying." 

Keep on trying and "keep on keepin on!" ILY

Love, Sestra Nydegger 

View from our balcony!
Our landlord installed air-conditioning!

Ljubljana river - goes down to Kranj.

First time for Salmon on my mission!  YUMMY!

Eggs always have feathers stuck to them....

Beautiful lake in the Slovene Alps!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ljubljana, Slovenia: We can do hard things!


Greetings from the "city of love"- Ljubljana! On Monday we got all packed up and on Tuesday Sister Higgins and I left early in the morning to meet up with our new companions. The APs were sooo kind to us and had arranged for us to meet in Trojane, the famous donut town in Slovenia :) So Sister Higgins and I entered the address into our GPS and started heading towards Trojane. After about an hour of driving, the GPS was taking us through these beautiful small villages. Soon it told us to go left up this dirt road... we were confused but kept following it. After about 10 minutes, we were going straight uphill on a dirt rocky road through a forest in the alps. We were SO lost. Of course Sister Higgins and I were laughing and saying "this would happen to us our last hour together.."But when the GPS low battery turned on, that laughing quickly turned into nervousness seeing we had absolutely no idea where we were... So we quickly said a prayer and found the nearest place to turn around. We made it back to the main road and decided to just follow the Slovene signs to find Trojane. About an hour later we finally made it to Trojane and thankfully, still got to eat some donuts :)  Lesson learned.. do not follow a GPS that signals for you to go off-roading!! Anyway, I said a quick goodbye to Sister Higgins and then drove off with Sister Dutton to Ljubljana!

Sister Higgins broke her foot, so I got to take her to the hospital today!
Ljub is so different from Celje. It is loud and noisy. There are so many people everywhere! It is BIG. Lots of tourists walking around.. cars and buses everywhere! Lots of strange Slovene smells.. And it is HOT! I seriously feel sweaty all the time.. It has been around 90 degrees this week with 85-95% humidity! AKA.. DEATH!! Amidst all the differences, it is still the Slovenia I have grown to love with the amazing unique Slovene people :) 

Sister Dutton and I sat down and with weekly planning decided to make some goals for the transfer. Sister Dutton has been out one transfer longer than me, so we are both about in the same point of our mission and we really want to grow a lot this transfer. In order to do that, we made our main goal this transfer to "do hard things!" As we are out contacting or trying to find people, we look and think "what would be hardest for me to do right now?"or "what we be most uncomfortable for me?" and then we go and do it. And I am not going to lie, it is hard! I am constantly reminding myself of one of my favorite quotes from "We bought a zoo"

 "20 seconds of insane courage and something great will come from it."

Sister Dutton and I are being brave and doing hard things and following the promptings we receive.. no matter how awkward or uncomfortable we feel ;) Some of those things this week have consisted of contacting a big group of teenagers our age  who are focused on parties, having fun and not standards or religion. Or Sister Dutton and I go out of our comfort zone and do not sit by each other on the busy buses so that we can talk with the people who come and sit by us..Talking to literally EVERYONE! Or when we realized a man left his credit card on the bus, we got off at the closest next stop.. and sprinted in the blazing heat to try to find him to give it back. We are doing hard, uncomfortable things, that are stretching us to grow. 

I love Sister Dutton!
If we want to grow and change, we must be willing to stretch ourselves and push ourselves. We must give all of us! 

I love Elder Holland's talk about developing the spirit of doing things NOW. He says that we are not just waiting for natural slow growth - we must move rapidly and need to push ourselves and rely on the Lord to help us and be our anchor. He says, "If this is God's work, and if He still lives... then miracles and angels are STILL here. We must live up to our potential. God will bless us with whatever we need, God just wants us to see what He sees, and know what He knows." He continues on by saying, "We have got to take things to the edge. We have to move into the realm of the miraculous. We have to live in such a way that we cannot do it alone anymore, where we resort to the Lord, where we will cry, without thy help I will fall. Help me fly; Go to the edge where miracles happen. Move into the realm of the miraculous. Welcome to the apostolic work." How powerful and true is that? This is the Lord's work and like Elder Holland says, we must start doing hard things NOW. We need not to wait and develop an attitude of being comfortable but do those hard things N-O-W! 

Ljubljana chapel - only one of two in our whole mission - the other is in Zagreb.
I know that because the Lord is on our side, we can do hard things. We can be confident knowing that the Lord is our biggest cheerleader! Like it says in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" He is constantly our support. Through him we can do all things and be stronger than we could ever imagine!

WE CAN DO HARD THINGS! Have a good week and go do something HARD with me :) 

Love, Sestra Nydegger  

I love my new apartment.  This is my study area!
My Apartment.

Sleep over the night before I had to take Sister Higgins to the hospital!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Celje, Slovenia: I love you Celje!

Hi everyone!

What an emotions filled week!! Well.. I am leaving Celje. I am feeling absolutely heart broken, a lot of love, but so excited to start somewhere new. A LOT OF FEELINGS! President Grant came to Celje this week and had an interview with me on Wednesday and told me I would be leaving. It felt right when he told me, and I know that was the Spirit telling me that I have finished my work in Celje - for now at least :) 

Well.. I am being transferred to the big city - Ljubljana! The capital of Slovenia. I will be serving this next transfer with Sister Dutton. As sad as I am to leave a place that I have loved so much for the last 7 months, I am excited to grow and now serve the people in Ljubljana.

Yesterday they invited me in sacrament meeting to bear my testimony. I was very emotional as I looked around at these people I love so much. I watched many of the members also weep which was hard to see, but I mostly felt so grateful for the relationships I have gained. And also for the growth that we all have had together these past 7 months. We closed the meeting with singing "God be with you till we meet again." What a beautiful moment and song. I feel so happy knowing that God loves us enough to give us such a wonderful gift, where we can live with those we love for eternity!! 

An exercise suit gift from one of the members.  Now I will exercise in Slovene style!

Last dinner with Darinka before transfers!

I love Celje! I love the castle always in view.. the rivers and mountains surrounding us everywhere. I love how it dies down and not a soul is out past 7:00. I love the old European feel. I love the accordion player who plays every single morning outside our apartment and wakes us up before our alarm each day. I love the church bells that ring so loudly throughout the day that I no longer have to wear a watch because I have the chime schedule memorized. I love the pigeons we are constantly having to dodge so they do not fly into us. I love the members. I love the "characters of Celje" who have become my dear friends. I love the town drunks who bow down yelling "Hallelujah" every time we pass them. I will miss the windy 62 stairs (yes I counted this morning..) that we have to walk up and down multiple times a day, to get to our apartment.. I will miss our cute little church room at the back of the ghetto alleyway. I will miss running by the river every morning for exercise! And I will miss and 
I love my sweet companion, Sister Higgins - who will be serving here another transfer.. Celje is in good hands :) 

And more importantly, I cannot wait to love the people in Ljubljana!!! Change is a wonderful thing and it stretches us to grow and I am excited to see what this next adventure has to offer.

Se sliĊĦamo! Imam vas rada!
Lp, Sestra Nydegger 

p.s I have maybe a million pictures this week - get excited! AH I LOVE SLOVENIJA

Dog or horse?  Either way, it is terrifying.


Wind on the Adriatic!

I love my Celje district!

Yummy Adriatic mussels!

Piran town center.

Farmer's market in Celje.

My English class.  I will miss them.

Juan from Peru.  Also learning Slovene.

District - Ice Cream run!

I truly love Sister Higgins and will miss her!