Monday, November 30, 2015

Ljubljana, Slovenia: Never Be The Same

THIS WAS THE HAPPIEST WEEK OF MY WHOLE MISSION - AND I AM SOOO GRATEFUL....  

OK FIRST- thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

It sounds like everyone had a great Thanksgiving.. I am so grateful for all of you.. For thanksgiving, we got to get together with the Kranj and Ljubljana missionaries to all have a thanksgiving meal here.. And in Ljubljana, there is a cute American family in our branch who works at the embassy here, so they invited us over for a big dinner.. We all were laughing at the end when all of the missionaries plates were completely empty and scraped clean - compared to the kids who still had leftovers all around it.. #MISSIONARYLIFE. Once we finished dinner, we all went and had a little turkey bowl together and played some American football all together.. Once that finished, we continued on with work. Sister Vanwagoner and I really tried to focus on gratitude as we worked that day.. Showing gratitude to those we try to teach, and testifying of the things we are grateful for.. Thursday night as I was writing in my journal, I was thinking of all the things I am grateful for - turkey, mashed potatoes, American embassy food shops, fun missionaries, and football.. But my mind slowly started forgetting about those things.. And I started reflecting on the things that REALLY matter in life.. Which all reduces to the gospel. I am grateful for my family, because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.. I am so grateful for my mission, and the personal relationship I have developed with my Savior while out here.. I am grateful for challenges, and I am grateful that this gospel is all about PROGRESSING. 

Turkey Bowl with the Ringgers
Christmas lights in town center creates opportunity for street contacting!
But the HAPPIEST part of this week and the reason I am sooo grateful is for my sweet friend Urska. I seriously think the happiest day of my whole life happened this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The most beautiful part of this week was watching Urska be baptized - I have tears in my eyes writing about it right now... this is something that has forever changed me and I am truly so grateful for her and the opportunity I had to teach her. She is such an example to me..This week seemed to be the craziest week for Sister VanWagoner and I, and when doubts and everything would come into our head, I would call Urska to make sure she was doing ok.. I called her multiple times this week and every time she would say, "Satan is working hard.. but I won't let him get to me.. Don't worry Sister Nydegger." She is such an example to me of faith.. 

Clayton Christensen said, "every time you take someone figuratively by the hand and introduce him or her to the gospel of Jesus Christ, you feel how deeply our Savior loves you and loves the person whose hand is in yours." It is so true... Throughout teaching Urska, seeing the change take place in her as she faithfully turned her life to Christ, and watching her make a sacred covenant with our Heavenly Father, I felt so strongly the love that our Heavenly Father has for her.. which caused me to reflect how much he must love me and ALL OF US.. The love is indescribable. 

Saturday was a beautiful experience.. Everything was perfect and I was overwhelmed with the Spirit when I saw how many members came to support her. Finally seeing someone you love so much make such a special covenant with our Heavenly Father is the MOST REWARDING SIGHT TO SEE. I cannot even come close to describing it. I just kept thinking of that first contact we had with Urska.. and how far she has come in the last six months.

 My favorite part of the day, was after she was baptized, when she shared her testimony. She was just glowing - her countenance was filled with light. She bore a sweet simple testimony, and then said that she expresses herself better through music... And then Sister Duffy and I went up to sing with her, an EFY song which means so much to her - Never be the same. Sister Duffy, myself, and Urska struggled to sing, as we just cried.. as all three of us did what we love so much - sharing our testimony through music. 
"And I'll never be the same.. 
I have felt His love, 
and there is no looking back.
There's a fire that will remain, 
it is written on my soul, is a witness of my own.
My faith has taken root, and I've tasted the truth...
My heart's forever changed, and Ill never be the same."

I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.. I am so grateful that it changes us to become who God wants us to be. I am so grateful for His love, and that as missionaries we get to feel part of that perfect love he has for everyone. I am so grateful for this special week on my mission, and I know I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. 

I am soooooo happy.. Thank you for all your love and prayers - I FEEL THEM EVERY SINGLE DAY.

SERIOUSLY I AM SO HAPPY. I know I say this all the time, but I will say it over and over again. I have never felt so happy. I love this gospel so so much. I love missionary work so much. I love you guys and all and miss you, but not really cause I am just so happy!!!!! 

THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME AND INSPIRING ME TO SERVE

LOVE, SESTRA NYDEGGER 













Last P-Day - I had the opportunity to go to an optical illusion museum in Zagreb!



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