Monday, March 7, 2016

Ljubljana, Slovenia: The Spirit is the Key.


I love hearing from you all.. It sounds like everyone had an eventful week, we sure did here as well! 

I went on exchanges with a sister who has been out for 3 weeks, and we truly saw miracles. Sister Hilden went to skyline highschool, so we had a fun time talking about the good old highschool rivalry days. I think the greatest thing for me, was to go back and think of where I was almost 17 months ago.. to watch her and learn from her example.. Just to go back to the basics!! The basics of such simplicity in language.. or seeing her not quite adapted to this culture, and her saying as loud and bubbly as she possibly could to every single person, hello!!!! Despite the grey skies and reserved people. She really was a great example to me - but like I said, we did see miracles :) And they were miracles that came from following the spirit. 

On Thursday we had been out contacting in the morning for a few hours and it was rainy and cold, and we both were very hungry so we started heading home for lunch. As we were walking home through center, we were walking pretty fast because we both were really hungry and excited to make a yummy lunch.. As we were walking, this one girl really stood out to me, and I smiled at her and then we kept walking. As we turned the corner, in my head I started thinking "oh I should have talked with her..." and then faced the little inner battle in my head if that was a prompting or not. After telling myself over and over that it probably was not a prompting and I am thinking too hard and I am just hungry... we continued walking. But her face could not go out of my mind, and I realized that it obviously was a prompting and it was dumb of me to be pushing it away - ***HELLO?????? stop thinking about food sister nydegger!!!!***** - anyways, I told Sister Hilden.. and we quickly turned around. We ended up having to run, and finally saw her turning around a different corner. We chased her down and stopped her. And at first she was very disturbed that we stopped her from behind and asked us to get to the point of what we wanted.. I ended up telling her that we were not sure why, but we felt so strongly that we needed to come and talk to her. Her face lit up, she smiled - she felt loved. We testified to her of prayer and of our loving Heavenly Father.. she smiled and we got to know her a little better. We told her what we do as missionaries, and asked if we could exchange numbers and meet again. She said she was not interested, but thanked us anyway. 

We tried talking with her for a little bit longer and ended up explaining the differences between our churches.. she told us it was cold out and asked if we could go to a cafe and sit and talk. We agreed! As we were there we ended up staying with her for an hour and taught her about the restoration, which then lead to the plan of salvation. She explained that what we told her, very well could be true.. but that she did not think it was fair that God allows some people to suffer while they are on the earth. Sister Hilden felt in the morning, during studies to study Alma 14 - which makes sense now :) -and she started to tell her the story in the Book of Mormon, when Alma and Amulek watched people they loved suffer because of their beliefs. We ended up reading with her the story, and when it says "The Lord recievth them in glory" she just smiled.. She said it FINALLY made sense. They will stand blameles before God. She understood. We showed her the promise at the end of the Book of Mormon, that she can know these things are true if she prays. We told her that the copy was for her, and she could not believe it. She insisted to pay us for it. We gave it to her, and she ended up giving us her number and hopefully will meet with the sisters again. As we left she promised that she would read the whole book of mormon.. and could not stop thanking us. 

Sister Duffy and I had a lesson this week with one of our investigators and we taught her about the plan of salvation. It was in a cafe, and I just felt the whole time that there were so many distractions and I just did not feel the best while teaching it. But once we finished, we asked her if that made sense and if she understood. With such sincerity she just said, "It's clear. I understand. It makes perfect sense." The spirit then spoke to me, and reminded me that it is not ME who teaches, but the spirit will touch their hearts. It made me start to ponder and think about how if someone taught me the plan of salvation for the first time, I would probably have so many questions and doubt things and ask how they knew those things. But to see an investigator say she completely understands, and that it was clear and made sense - it reminded me that the spirit will touch them and convert them. And the spirit was completely present to her in that cafe lesson.. I am so grateful for that reminder. We truly cannot teach alone.. the spirit is key. 

On Sunday we woke up and had SO much to do.. We had to make treats for the elder's baptism, make lunch for a meeting, I wanted to catch up in my journal, but also had to write a talk about the Holy Ghost - all before 9:30! And meanwhile one of our investigators dropped us Saturday night and my mind kept thinking about that.. and it was a crazy morning. I was being selfish and thinking of myself and everything I had to do.. Once the sacrament started, I was so grateful for time to just to pause and think for a little.. to slow down.. and I felt the spirit so strongly. It opened my eyes to the crazy morning, and I remembered that I somehow forgot to say my personal prayer that morning. No wonder I felt like I had so much on my plate.. I felt so sad that I forgot, seeing that I really have developed that great and important habit on my mission. Meanwhile, the district president got up and gave a talk. He started off by giving an analogy of coming home from school and how the first thing we would do is take off our heavy backpacks. He looked at the congregation and told everyone to take off their backpacks and give their load to their Savior right now at church. I looked around and saw many members crying or with pain in their eyes. I realized how many of them were facing hard times and personal struggles. And I could not even realize that this morning as I greeted everyone because I was so caught up in myself and my simple struggles. It really touched me and after the meeting I really tried to forget about myself and show a little bit more love and support. I felt happy.. and I felt peace. No wonder we are often told to forget ourselves - it brings greater peace into our lives. Although that was a little painful to learn, I am grateful for the reminder of FORGETTING OURSELVES IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS. 

I am so thankful that the spirit can speak to us personally - I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is SO patient with me. I am so grateful that we can constantly listen to the spirit - I know that He is always trying to speak to us.. sometimes we just have to slow down a little bit. 

ALL IS WELL - despite this cold rainy weather.. we are happy! We attended a slovene work out class this week... which was very humbling...  for slovene seeing we don't know any exercising terms in slovene.. and also for body strength seeing how out of shape we are hahaha but it was SO MUCH FUN. 
Čao!!!! Sestra Nydegger 

found some company out tracting... 

Urska graduated!!!

 exchanges with Sestra Hilden

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