Monday, January 11, 2016

Maribor, Slovenia: Woohoo!

It's cold... especially when we walk around in this all day hahaha

zone conference was this week - these are the Slovene sisters currently.. I've served with all of them except Sestra Elmore who is being trained right now

WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH CONGRATS EMILY AND LANDON!!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED FOR BOTH OF YOU!!!!! I met two people this week from Madrid and tried to impress them with the spanish I once knew.. but sadly did not work too well.. but it made me think of the two of you! Congratulations.. 

Well, we had a good week here in Slovenia!!! For some reason I feel like our week consisted of a lot more people out running.. (thank you New Years) and multiple responses when  contacting, along the lines of "don't. even. try." (we literally had THREE different people say that to us in deep serious slow voices while glaring at us)  and a broken water heater spurting out nasty smells in our house.................... but hey we keep going!

On Tuesday we had the opportunity to help out at a funeral for an older Slovene lady, who was living in Austria now.. they wanted a Slovene funeral though as well, so we agreed to help. It was in a tiny old church at the top of a hill. They asked Elder Davis and I to speak.. he spoke about the plan of Salvation, and I spoke about eternal families. Besides the fact that it was already -9 degrees that day, it did not help to be sitting in a church without any heat for a few hours - I could see my breath while speaking, and I made the mistake of taking off my scarf and hat and leaving it in the car - but nonetheless it ended up being a really great experience. They had a catholic "choir" come participate for a musical number. The opening song was I am a Child of God, and as I was conducting the music, and listening to the choir help sing, I was overcome with the spirit so strongly. My heart started to ache looking out at all of the people aching and mourning for the lost of their sweet friend. It made me come to feel so grateful for the knowledge that we have that "the grave hath no victory." As I sat there looking at all of these people, I was wishing so badly I could just give them the knowledge that I have, that familes are forever.. that these relationships don't end. 

Elder Davis gave an awesome talk, and simply taught the Plan of Salvation... explaining why we are here, and what our purpose is. I got up and explained that as a missionary I live away from my family for 18 months, to teach people about how they can live with their families for eternity.. (cheesy but true) I felt so much power and truth when I was speaking, and it was a testimony builder to me that families really are eternal. Elder Eyring once said, "Just as Jesus used a child in His mortal ministry as an example for the people of the pure love they must and could have to be like him, He has offered us the family as an example of an ideal setting in which we can learn how to love as He loves. That is because the greatest joys and the greatest sorrows we experience are in family relationships. The joys come from putting the welfare of others above our own. That is what LOVE is." I am so grateful for my family.. I am grateful for the example you have all taught me on what LOVE really is. And I am SO thankful that because of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we can live with our families forever. 

While we both were speaking, we noticed one younger man who was really showing interest in the things we were saying. Elder Davis and I were making bets whether or not he was a member.. we figured he wasn't because neither of us recognized him, but the light of Christ was SO apparent in him. After at the lunch in, we quickly went and sat down by him and long story short.. we worked our missionary magic and now the Elders are teaching him and his girlfriend! We are all really hopeful they will progress!

Also this week I had exchanges with Sister Robertson, BACK HOME IN CELJE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just for 2 days but ahhhh I was just glowing and so excited to be back there. I loved walking in the little tiny town and seeing so many of my good friends from there again. An old friend from english class came up to me, and enveloped me in the biggest hug and said "I knew you were back in Celje! My friend told me that she talked with missionaries last night and that "one had really big pretty teeth and a huge smile" and I just KNEW it was you!" I was laughing so hard that I am remembered in Celje for my teeth.. shout out to all my previous dentists and orthodontists hahaha but Sister Robertson and I saw sooo many great miracles as we walked around and talked with people.. we saw people really pondering the things we taught them in quick conversations, and that is one of the coolest things for me to see. 

I love you all! I love being a missionary and I love the people I meet everyday. There is something so special about always having the mindset of bringing someone closer to christ in every conversation, and I love it. It is bringing me closer to Christ than I ever thought possible. Have the best week. 
Z ljubeznijo, Sestra Nydegger 

Men in Black? or elders?

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