6 October, 2013
Moin moin Familie :)
Can you believe it's already been another week?!
This week was just like Christmas for us missionaries. GENERAL KONFERENZ!!!
Hearing the Prophet, Apostles, and other leaders of the church speak has never been such an exciting time!!
1) It gets members super stoked for missionary work!! (Guess who gets to work with the members??? ;))
2) I also love the GATHERING aspect of Conference. We all gathered at the Hamburg stake center-- members who are natively from all over the world. And there were many missionaries there too. I love the thought that in America you were all sitting together listening/watching the same thing that I was. People in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, etc. Such a cool thought.
3) Inviting people to come to conference for the first time, actually seeing their responses, and watching and listening as if I was in their shoes. Watching and listening with such a new perspective was pretty incredible. What is she feeling right now? What is he thinking? What does that mean to them?
I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ! I love teaching people of Christ, and inviting them unto Him.
This week started out with an amazing experience for me as I was on exchange with the Bergedorf Sisters. (Mom, you would love this place. It is a lot older than Langenhorn, with old buildings, and some cobble stone streets. Even buildings right on the side of the water).
We met with a new convert of their ward and he didn't speak any German at all. (He only speaks Spanish).
Somehow as we met with him though, I could understand him! He was speaking to us in Spanish just expecting us to understand . .
The Sister I was on exchange with was doing her best to use the three years of Spanish she studied in school (she natively speaks German), but he was still really struggling to understand. Huge language barrier!
As I was just sitting there though, it was so strange. I just knew what he was talking about! So I ended up translating what he said to the other sister throughout the evening.
And it was really interesting because when I would speak to him I spoke in German (definitely not as good as the other sisters) he understood just fine.
I know that I have said this before, but...
the gift of tongues is REAL.
The gift of discernment is REAL.
The influence of the Spirit is REAL.
The language of man is not the tool, the language of the Spirit is the only way we can really overcome all barriers.
Sister Nilson and I have been praying very specifically for a woman in our area.. I love this woman so much!!
On Wednesday, she came up to us and told us that she was ready to officially start taking the lessons.
We excitedly told her about General Conference as well, and she was so excited!
She insisted on coming to the church as opposed to just watching it on the internet, because she loves the feeling she has every time she comes into our church, and she wanted to be a part of the gathering. It was very important to her that she come with her fiance and her daughter as well. Before she left us she said something that really touched me.
She said that she knew that she had been inspired to talk to us that day so that she could come to General conference with her family and hear the prophet and apostles speak. She did end up coming, and she LOVED it.
We met again with E*** earlier this week, and he is still working toward his baptism date.
We taught the Word of Wisdom and he accepted it so easily! ... he can really sense the wisdom of God behind it.
He brought up the story again of his brother and how he became a complete victim to a drug and alcohol addiction.
The thing that really got through to E***, was that
as we avoid the substances of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, tea, and coffee, we allow ourselves to feel of the Spirit more fully in our life.
On one hand we can turn to the numbing affects of alcohol to solve our problems, or we can turn to Jesus Christ, who understands our situations perfectly and is waiting to offer us strength.
He had had a few concerns in our last lesson about repentance and about baptism in general, but he now has a new contentment about him.
In his own words he said that he had no hesitation whatsoever of being baptized.
This man is inspiring me!
Also, I have got to say that A*** is seriously like my best friend here!
We met this week as well and he brought up our fun adventure of making fufu the other day. He said that he had felt so at home.
He told us that back in the Ivory Coast he had many experiences with his family just laughing, talking, and cooking together. It really touched me as he compared feelings of being with his own family to being with us.
He lives with so many trials and challenges facing him every day, and our meetings strengthen him a lot.
He also told us of the problems he had had with the Word of Wisdom during his time when his faith was so low. (That's when I got here).
But now, as we have been meeting with him and helping him commit himself to read in the scriptures and pray, he is so different. So much happier.
He came to conference and sat with us ... I still think it is super cool how I have been able to connect with him. Sister Nilson worked with him for two months before I came here and he was always just the same.
I just know I am where I'm meant to be :)
H*** is in a difficult situation right now.
He is backing away from us and away from the church, and we haven't really been able to get through to him. It's hard knowing that all we can do is just pray for him, and share our testimonies with him.
I understand the power of both prayer and testimony, but... he too has to have the desire and the faith to act on the impressions of the Spirit that he feels.
One more week of this transfer and we will make it count!!!
Love you all!!
Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley
I also loved what they said in conference of working as one with the missionaries ...
...of knowing the investigators and missionaries and praying for them by name. I invite you to pray for Sister Nilson and me by name and also our investigators.
Pray for the missionaries in your ward and also the people investigating the church.