Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Maribor, Slovenia: The Voice of the Spirit

Zdravo in dobro jutro!!! It sounds like everyone had a fun new year.. I could not find any lobsters here in Slovenia, but we still did have a good day :) This new years eve was something I will never ever forget. As I knelt down that night to pray, the thought came to me about how a year ago, I was in our little Celje apartment. I remember I knelt down and prayed with such excitement, knowing that 2015 would be the one year in my life, where I am in complete service to my Savior. I remember sitting there so excited to see what would happen this next year. And I remember telling Heavenly Father I was ready to give my all, so that I could always remember 2015 as my year as a full time representative of Christ. This year as I was praying and pondering about a year ago, tears filled my eyes as I thought of how grateful I am for the year 2015. I thought of everything I have experienced... All of the friendships I have made.. The new culture and language I have learned and adapted to.. The heartbreaks and joys I have felt.. The personal struggles.. the testimony I have gained.. the person I have become. As I sat there thinking about this last year, I started to feel sad thinking about this year coming to an end. I was not quite ready for this year to be over. I felt surprised how fast it came and went.. but the spirit soon reminded me that what is so great about the gospel, is that we know we can progress for eternity - and that is what gives me hope.. knowing that I will still experience greater happiness and greater growth in this next year as well. But still to say, I will never forget the year 2015.. one of the greatest years for my life. 

Anywhoooo this week was great!! Truthfully a rollar coaster of emotions.. Some random things that happened..

I bought some classy Slovene leather gloves, my hands have never been soo warm....

I have nooo idea what follow up lessons are.. hahaha urgghh this week we went tracting and met a family of four kids (IN SLOVENIA THIS IS A MIRACLE) and we taught them a few gospel principles and they said we could come back in a few days.. we went back.. and we sat down, started talking about what they believe. They told us they were Muslims but really loved God and somehow the conversation completely switched and the lady asked me to help her DYE HER HAIR??? Me, thinking.. ok sure we will help, and just still try to teach at the same time... long story short.. It ended up with me combing out knots of long long black hair.. and putting bleach blonde dye in her hair.. she wanted two bottles to go in.. I kept telling her I think that this was a little too intense and that it would ruin her hair, but she insisted that I kept going... they ended up saying they weren't too interested to learn more.. THANKFULLY because I dont know if I could go back and see what happened to her hair..... but hopefully one day when missionaries knock on their door again, they will remember the service she received from missionaries in the past, so that one day they can accept the gospel. 

I did handstands during our lunch hour to see if I could still do them.. after failing the first time, decided to try again.. and was able to stay up for 20 seconds.. which gave me too much confidence and when I tried the third time, I feel completely over and may or may not have broken an apartment chair.. 

I live in the land of FROZEN.... The fountains are freezing and it looks so cooooool. It has been awfully windy and cold lately, finally feels more like winter..

Sometimes we do group contacting with the Elders in center and we have made a friend with a cute chinese little 6 year old girl, who is also trying to learn slovene... and she hangs out with us and will walk around right next to us, trying to pass out mormon.org cards.. she thinks it is a big game.... doesnt quite understand missionary work.. 

President Grant let us skype in for Urška's boyfriends baptism!!!!!!!! It was sooo incredible to see how much he has changed... And Urška was just glowing with excitement.. It was a reminder to me of how the gospel really does change us... visably and spiritually. It is incredible and I felt the spirit soo strongly watching it. What was also so cool, was seeing on the other screen, so many of the members in Ljubljana gathered together with the missionaries there, to support him and watch him be baptized. His parents watched in Ljubljana as well too, which was so cool! 

They were both just glowing!!!! 

This week I have really been praying to recognize promptings better. In every single prayer this week, I prayed to recognize the Lord's voice throughout the day. Yesterday, we were walking home after a meeting... It was snowing and cold, so hardly anyone was out. And Sister Higgins and I were planning on just walking home to go do area book work, or call formers because we still had an hour left of proselyting. As we were about to turn up our street, the thought came to me, "How is this showing God you have faith people are prepared, if you are just resorting to go inside?" We kept walking towards home and I finally turned to Sister Higgins told her that I felt we should just try to walk around center a few more times... to show God that we do have faith for someone to be put in our path.  As we started walking we ran into a couple and they agreed to let us teach them on the street for about 10 minutes right then, so we taught them about how we are different. As we were teaching them about that, I felt so strongly that what we were saying was not even close to what THEY personally needed right now... We ended up talking about how we can find out that God exists and they both opened up saying how they were baptized in the catholic church but still dont know if God exists.. We continued walking and ran into 2 boys who were the same age as us. Again we started talking about prophets and they were not showing any interest in talking to us,  but as we listened to the spirit, I felt prompted to tell them that I am the exact same age and I know exactly why I am here on this earth, what my purpose is, and what I want to accomplish in the future. They both ended up saying, that was really interesting because they still feel a little lost with the future. Sister Higgins and I then shared a strong testimony about how we can know our purpose and have faith towards the future. It was really cool to see them touched by that.. 

Sorry this is so long.. I just want to end with that there are so many voices in the world that compete for our attention.. But the most important voice we can EVER come to recognize is the voice of the spirit. We must heed to that voice and listen, and then follow the quiet, peaceful, subtle promptings we feel. It is so easy to drown out spiritual impressions if we are not careful, and that is why we are told to SEEK after the spirit. I hope to always be worthy to hear the voice of the spirit, because when we do that, we can be sure that we are in align with what God desires.. 

Have a wonderful week! I sure love you all. 
Love, Sister Nydegger 

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