JOE GOT HIS MISSION CALL!!!!!??!!?! AHHHH CONGRATS TO SOON TO BE ELDER NYDEGGER!!!!! I am so excited for you Joe.. Brazil will be such an incredible mission - I have to admit, I am a little envious of the shoes you are in.. The adventures that are ahead of you the next few years are life-changing, and I would be lying if I said that I was not wishing I could be in that position again! After I heard , that you received your call, I pulled out my call letter.. and re-read those words which are so sacred and special to me. I love in the last paragraph when it says, "greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among his children." I know that is true with my whole heart.. Many times when I receive blessings I am constantly told that the happiest I will ever be, is when I am serving those around me - and I know it is true - I have felt it. And I love that it is a LABOR OF LOVE. It all revolves around the fact that Heavenly Father is our loving father, and as missionaries we truly do proclaim that love; through bringing someone to the knowledge of a Savior, of repentance, of relief, of HOPE - and it truly is the happiest I have ever been.
Well we had a great week!! I had exchanges in Celje - which was so great and also so sad, but I am grateful that I was able to come and say goodbye to my dear friends there. I sure love these people with my whole heart! And I had the amazing experience to work with Sestra Arsenjuk. She is from Slovenija and is currently doing a mini mission in hopes that maybe she will go on her own mission in a few years - and I LOVED WORKING WITH HER!!!!! It was so fun to have a native companion for a few days.. I learned so much from her example.. It was incredible to see her being a missionary in her homeland.. boldly testifying to her peers in her native language - she taught me much about being brave.
This week I feel like I was reminded once again about how this is THE LORD'S work - he is in charge. Sister Arsenjuk and I made the goal to find one new really sincere investigator during our time together.. And for the three days we were together, that is basically all we did! We walked around and talked to EVERYONE we could. Well the night before our exchange was over, we were walking home. We knew we tried our best, and found peace in not reaching our goal because we did everything we could. We walked home, and we turned into our alley way right where our door is. Right when we turned I heard someone yelling from behind "excuse me, excuse me!! Are you the people from America who talk to people about Christ?" I laughed and told him yes, but I actually had a slovenjka as a companion! We did some small chat and he eventually told us that he wanted to know where the thought of God existing all began. We taught him for a few minutes on the street, and then exchanged numbers and he is going to meet with the Celje Sisters again this week. It was such a simple reminder to me, that although we had tried all day to find a new investigator, Heavenly Father ended up bringing someone into our paths - without us really doing anything. HE IS AT THE HELM OF THIS WORK.
When we were setting goals for March about a month ago, as a zone we made a goal for 1-2 baptisms, even though none of us really had anyone even close for baptism. We even did a fast with all of the members in Slovenia to somehow still baptize someone this month. At zone conference this week, we talked about how we did not achieve that goal and what we needed to do to try to achieve it next month. . BUT ONCE AGAIN God is at the helm!!!!! During zone conference, the Maribor Elders received a text from someone asking to meet. And it turns out she is from Slovenia, but was living in Germany for the last little while.. where she met the missionaries there, investigated for 8 months, and passed her baptismal interview.. but in an emergency had to come back to Slovenia. And she called up the elders right away, asking if she could still be baptized here in Slovenia. They met with her and got in contact with the German missionaries, and she will be baptized this week in Maribor!!!!! It really shows that no matter what we do, Heavenly Father will provide a way - he is in charge, and we are just instruments in his hands.
Well, I am out of time and still have so many things I wish I could tell you but I will just end with an incredible scripture from Alma 26, which seems to describe how I have been feeling lately.. - "I cannot say at least the smallest part which I feel." So much gratitude.. and I am not quite sure how to express it.
Church is true, the book is blueeeeeee!!!!
LOVE YOU all so so much.
LOVE YOU all so so much.