Monday, December 28, 2015

Maribor, Slovenia: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

HI EVERYONE - I loved talking with you all this week!! It is by far the greatest gift on Christmas. I am so grateful for you and for your love and support. I hope you all had a happy day!!!!! 

I am so grateful that I got to experience two Christmas's in Slovenia..  My first one I was about three months in, and my second one, about three months left. It is remarkable to see the differences between the first and the second. 

For Christmas eve, we went as a district and delivered oranges to many of the members here in Slovenia, and we went caroling to them. It was a HUGE full moon.. and up in Maribor, it is a lot like Avstrija with looooonnnnngggg fields.. It was so beautiful.

It was also a lot of fun to spread the Christmas spirit to many of them members! President also allowed us to go to Midnight Mass again. My first experience, I could not understand ANYTHING except "molimoooooo" (we pray)... And this year, not only could I understand.. but I also was able to appreciate the catholic church and the many true principles they have. I really have come to appreciate other religions and customs on my mission.. It really does make sense to me why we have so many churches on the earth - which leads me to find gratitude in Christ's restored church today. I am grateful that today on the earth we have the Church filled with all of the rights, truths, and powers that come directly from God.. so that we can make and keep commitments in His name. 

For Christmas my district decided to all do one of our families traditions together! So, I decided on Christmas PJ's!!!! We all felt like little kids again on Christmas, but we had a great time all together. 

Then the rest of the week was the normal missionary work! We did a lot of contacting and tracting, and decided to focus on PROGRESSION and why we make goals. One of my favorite things as a missionary is the goal mindset we have.. It helps us to constantly strive for improvement and to be better. I look forward to making goals for the upcoming year! 

Rada vas imam!!!!! Vesel božič in srečno novo leto!!!!!! 
LOVE, Sestra N 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Maribor, Slovenia: Slike!


I LOVE the feeling of Christmas time.. especially as a missionary. I feel so happy that I get to experience 2 Christmas's here in Slovenia, because they are some of the happiest times of my life. I love being able to focus solely on the birth of our Savior, without any worldly distractions. We witness so many miracles as we spread the good news of the Savior's birth. I think one of the greatest miracles I have seen, is the growth in my personal testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ, as we walk and testify of his birth. Each day this month, I have really been trying to focus on my Savior.. what he would do, what he would say, how he would act, how he would respond. I am so grateful for a perfect example of someone we can constantly strive to be. His invitation to us, is simply to follow him. To follow his teachings, to be more like him. To repent, to love, to forgive, to LIVE the gospel. It is sad to hear how many people do not believe in God, or who celebrate Christmas but don't believe in Christ.. Or those who celebrate Christmas, believe in God and Christ, but have no idea what that means to them personally. But luckily, that is why we can use this time to DISCOVER WHY we need a Savior. And that is why I love the spirit of Christmas time... It is a time to focus on the things that truly matter, to strengthen our testimony of Jesus Christ, and a time to start again and make new goals. It is a sweet spirit of hopefulness and joy, and I am grateful for that. 

This week we went to Croatia for a 2 day conference in Zagreb. It was an uplifting conference with many new things learned. My favorite part was Thursday night, when we went and caroled in groups of 15 missionaries. As the majority of us would sing Christmas songs in Croatian, 2 missionaries would contact the people around us. We had many people stop and listen and take pictures. It is simple things like that, that spread the Christmas spirit. After we caroled we went back to the mission home for a talent show. We ended by all 40 of us missionaries, singing "I believe in Christ." There is something beautiful about singing in our English native tongue, with 40 representatives of Christ, sharing our testimony with each other, through a powerful song like that. It was powerful as we all sung with all of our heart, those profound words, I BELIEVE. "He came to earth to do the will of the Father.. he is God's son. He healed the sick, the dead he raised.. He sets us free from Satan's grasp.." And because of him we can say "I believe in Christ, so come what may."

Sister Grant gave a sweet talk about what gifts we can give to the Savior. She invited us all to pray about it, and focus on one thing to give him this Christmas season.

For our branch christmas party, the four of us missionaries sang the song "In the bleak mid winter." It's final verse, is beautiful and sums up what we can give to Him. "What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would give a lamb. If I were a wise man, I would do my part. But what can I give him? I would give my heart." 

All of us can follow the example of our Savior in giving as He gave... and as we do so, we will see our own power grow as we become more like him.. And the greatest gift we can give this Christmas season is our heart. 

I love my Savior with everything I have, and I hope to give my heart to show him my love, as I invite people to learn more about him. 

Love, Sestra N 

We decorated the chapel / room for a Christmas Party!  We had 6 people (one friend of a member) and the Grants.

Maribor in the SUMMER!

Maribor NOW.

A random man wanted to work on his photography.  We obliged!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Maribor, Slovenia: Cold Shoulder

HI "čuj ti, v mariboru si!" 

Maribor. Slovene. is. a. complete. different. language. 

That could describe my whole week! 

We, again, don't have much time today because the libraries were all closed, so really quickly I will tell you some of the highlights of my week!

Maribor is beautiful.. It is a pretty city.. But the weather has dropped degrees MAJOR TIME and it is SO COLD. I guess you could say we "got the cold shoulder this week." pun intended... But really I honestly don't remember being this cold last winter, and it is difficult to get people to stop in the cold but we are making it work.....

We started free hot chocolate again and we do it for hours and we are actually seeing a lot of success from it! We have been using the senior couples computer, and showing the "Discover Why" video about Christmas, and we have gotten a lot of people to watch it. The sad thing is though, is the church did not get it translated into Slovene, so we have to show it in Croatian or English, but it is working. It is so fun to watch people's heart touched as we remind them the importance of Christmas, and invite them to figure out who their Savior is to them personally. 

This week I was invited to put together a Christmas concert for the follow up crew from the Paul Cardall concert. The coolest thing from that was that the Priest from the Catholic church was there, and after one of the songs 4 of us missionaries sang, he told us he was very touched.. And invited us to go sing in the Catholic Church. So this morning we took a train to Ljubljana and got to sing in one of the oldest churches in Slovenia! 

Also, we are doing this outside Maribor project where we get to leave our area.. It is basically an experiment for the Eastern European mission zone and we get to go tract outside of Maribor. We are currently tracting in this area, on the border of Hungary and Slovenia.. which language is sort of hard there, but what is SO AMAZING is that those people there have literally NEVER seen or heard of our church!!!! They have never met missionaries and are really kind when we knock. And they are ALL FAMILIES! It is incredible. Yesterday a couple let us in and we taught them and their 6 year old daughter.. they said we could come back in a month after the holidays so we are really excited about that. 

This week we get to go to Croatia for a Christmas conference for 2 days!!!!! I am super excited.. We get to meet up with the Bosnian zone so it will be a lot of fun. I love the feeling of Christmas! Yesterday I spoke in church, and I taught about why we celebrate Christmas. I invite you all to DISCOVER WHY you personally need a Savior.. use this time to focus on Christ and the importance of why we need a Savior. 

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
z ljubeznijo, sestra najdeger 

Good bye Ljubljana!

Saying goodbye to my friend Urska!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Maribor, Slovenia: Next on the district...

HI EVERYONE - this will be super short today because of transfers... which speaking of, I packed my bags and next time on the district...... MARIBOR :) And guess who is my companion - I am back with my little baby, Sister Higgins! 

I love change because it always provides growth and is exactly what we need, but I was so sad to leave Ljubljana... I bore my testimony yesterday, and told them that my favorite part of missionary work is being able to feel the love that God has for them - I know that God loves that branch sooooo much because I felt it so strongly as I served there. I shared my testimony that I know when we follow the simple principles of the gospel - praying, reading the scriptures, attending the temple, sharing the gospel, going to church - that we will always find happiness in life... no matter how hard times may seem. 

I loved Ljubljana!!!! I loved the big city... I love the weird smells.. I love the crazy traffic.... I love the members... I love all of my friends and wonderful relationships I have made there..... I love the tourists.....I love the CHAPEL!!!!! The "cute yellow church next to the fire house"..... I love the big sunsets over the castle on the hill..... I love using BIKES..... I love constantly sprinting for buses.... I love meeting so many amazing, crazy, loving, (honestly I can use any adjective here) people on buses...I love all the street performers, who most of them I have sang or danced with before.....hahaha... But most importantly I LOVED SHARING THE GOSPEL WITH THE PEOPLE THERE.... And what is so great about missionary work, is it is the same wherever we go... Missionary tag or not.. It is all about inviting people to come to Christ - by words or actions.. 

SO because of that, I look forward to my time serving in Maribor!!!!!

Love, Sestra Nydegger

p.s I will send lots of cute pictures next week.. I took a bunch with the members and things there but don't have time today to send them. 

this is where we go contacting a lot.. this is our good friend Bianca with us! Also.. look at the swans.. cool huh?