Monday, November 25, 2013

District Meeting with Pres. Kosak - LANGENHORN [ HAMBURG ]

                                         November 13- District Meeting interviews with President Kosak (Hamburg in Wartenau)

The JOY of Missionary Work!! - LANGENHORN [ HAMBURG ]

                                                                                                                                                                      25 November, 2013

Salut Familie! Ü (Don't want to forget my French now do I??)

I have decided that I love Asian People.  They can be so cute.  We now have two Asian investigators out of China.  L*** has come to church the last two Sundays and stayed for all three hours!  And he even came to a church activity.  It is a pretty big deal for him because he has  no Christian background . . . Just picture a 22 year old chinese man in a plaid shirt with a backpack on, and glasses.  And there you have Linpaung Ü.  He has lived here for 2 and a half years as a student but his German is still not perfect . . . ''Wie bitte!  Ich habe nicht verstanden . . .''  Looking all confused but so cute at the same time.  

S***--My other Asian friend Ü.  We had the best lesson with her and showed her the restoration video of Joseph Smith.  We watched it in Chinese and she was mesmerized by it.  I was able to testify after which was really incredible.  Often times she thinks of the gospel as a big fairy tale, but the second one of us bears a sincere testimony she softens a little bit and seems to understand on a spiritual level.  

I really love teaching both of them though.  We have found our testimonies as the strongest teaching source.  If we can testify by the spirit, then they will feel the truthfulness of our words by the power of the Spirit.  

The most amazing thing of the week was inviting the O*** Familie to be BAPTIZED.  We were on our way to our appointment and Herr O*** actually cancelled the appointment.  We had felt inspired to bring a couple more Albanisch Buch Mormon's so we asked if we could still just bring them over.  So we went to our appointment, and Herr O***had actually managed to get off work in time so that we could meet!  We taught the third lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ--Faith, Repentence, Baptism, Recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.  Once again the Spirit was so strong in the lesson and the family was just so prepared for our message.  We talked a lot about Jesus Christ, and very soon we heard Herr O*** give his own testimony on Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  (Remember that they were formally non - Christian and were unsure about their own beliefs when we first began meeting together).  It just really touched me.  I asked Herr O*** if it was important to him to follow the example of Jesus Christ?  Following his thoughts I asked him if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized with his family?  He said yes!  We still have work to do and lessons to teach, but this family is solid.  He had read even more in the Book of Mormon and shared it with his family once again.  They were so grateful for the extra Buch Mormon's that we brought too.  The youngest daughter who is 7 grabbed one and asked excitedly if it was hers.  Herr O*** pointed to the three books then on the table with a big smile on his face and said that one was for him, one was for his wife, and one was for her and her sisters to share.  It was so sweet.  We set a baptism date with them as well and we will be working with them a lot in the next few weeks.  

As far as I go... I am doing well.  I AM SO HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO STAY IN LANGENHORN ANOTHER TRANSFER :))))))))))))),  

I love you all.  I will try to send photos soon.

Have a fabulous week!


Heidi Ü

Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley

Monday, November 18, 2013


Here comes the cold…..

                                                                                                    18 November, 2013

Yeah, so pretty much the cold is hitting Germany!  And I am about to turn into an icicle . . . 

This week was filled with so many hilariously funny moments I just have to start with a couple of them . . .

 Our apartment has had a really bad mold problem since I came here.  We finally got most everything cleaned up, but then the great young men in our ward got volunteered to finish it for us.

 So Tuesday evening after a long and wonderful day we returned home to welcome the young men into our tiny little wohnung!  On my miracle calendar for this day I wrote, "Young men came to the rescue, and DESTROYED our apartment!" :D Haha…
We now have paint all over our light fixture in the bathroom . . . and all over random things all over the apartment . . . and they also re-wallpapered in our bedroom and in the bathroom.  It looks like somebody took a big roll of craft paper and taped it on our wall.  It is all bubbly, all uneven, and just stuck down in random places.  haha, let's just say it adds character. We also had prepared a little dessert for them for helping us . . . And we are still discovering plates, forks, and napkins randomly stuffed in crevices in our apartment . . . Haha.  

Second thing!  Last night we went to an area and decided to knock on some doors . . . We saw so much success! Pretty much everybody we talked to invited us to come back! And we set up  three really solid appointments to bring by a book of Mormon next week.

 As we started walking back to our apartment we were surprised to see a POLIZEI car pull up right next to us, and then another follow right behind.

Before we knew it there were six police men surrounding us, who divided us up and began interrogating us.  (I am pleased to say that the man asked if we spoke German and we both said yes, so we were interrogated in ENGLISH :D).

But anyway . . . I had my bag searched . . . Yeah for scriptures and church magazines!  Ha ha... and then the policeman asked if I would carefully open up my pocket so that he could look inside.  I almost busted up laughing because we had just come from another appointment with a woman in our ward and she had given us each a Clementine and an egg for the road (raw egg ;)).  Ha ha I explained that to the police man and it made him smile... hehe.  Anyway, the story behind all this: when we were going door to door at some  apartments and Sister Darrington  had written on a couple of the bricks with her pencil as we waited.  "Jesus Loves You."and "God Lives".  Apparently somebody was a little suspicious that we were talking to people about God, and then saw her writing on the bricks, so they called the police . . . Only in Germany would they send 6 cops and two police cars for two sister missionaries who were targeted for talking about God and writing on a brick with an erasable pencil . . . They took it so serious though!  We had to pull out all of our information and documents so that they could make a report for everything.  EEk!  It wasn't really a big deal because technically we didn't do anything wrong.  

Also, who would have thought that I would be calling all the way over to Italy to trying to contact an Italian bishop?  Italian missionaries?  Italian members?  Italian everybody… trying to track down missing information about a baptism?  Definitely not me!  But it really makes me love this new member of our ward who got baptized there four months ago, went to Iran and almost got killed, and is now here desperately needing proof of his baptism . . ..This has seriously been stressing me out, but I think we got everything taken care of! 

Also, apparently I look Russian . . . We went to this apartment with pretty much all Russian people and just about everybody asked me if I was from Russia . . . Ha ha maybe I'm trying so hard to get rid of my American accent that I am sounding a little Russian :D.  It was pretty funny though, because this one guy that we were trying to tell about the Book of Mormon just stopped about every minute to ask me if I was sure I wasn't from Russia . . .

We have continued to meet with J***  a couple times this past week! (The 19 year old young man we are teaching) He is awesome!!  On Tuesday we taught him about the restoration, about Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon.

 At first he just said that it could very likely be true, but by the end of our visit he just kept on expressing more and more that he did in fact believe what we had told him.

Sister Darrington and I  both bore very sincere testimonies of the Book of Mormon and how it has personally helped us in our lives to feel peace and comfort, and to find questions to answers that we have had.  He was under the belief that the Book of Mormon couldn't really do much, but he agreed that he would read it.  Then we sent him on his way!

 We didn't talk to him for a few days and then we received a text message from him!

He told us that he had "found us" in a specific verse he had read in Moroni 7. It was a verse about angels preaching the gospel to people on earth.  (Maybe verse 30?). 

I don't know what brought more excitement, knowing that we were now being compared to angels or the fact THAT HE HAD READ IN THE BOOK OF MORMON. 

Haha definitely the second fact . . .  I was so happy for him that I was dancing around the house singing very obnoxiously . . . :)  And J***'s messages showed excitement and happiness as well.  I also told him that Moroni 10 was one of my favorite chapters as well, and he said that he would read that one as well!  

We invited J** to come to a lunch appointment with a member family on Saturday as well. He ended up canceling about an hour before but we ended up convincing him to come eventually . . .We had to wait in the freezing cold and postpone our appointment for about 45 minutes but it was OKAY.  He came!!!! :) 

When he showed up we could tell he had had a really rough time because his eyes were all swollen like he had been crying . . . and you could tell he hadn't slept very well the night before.  Poor kid.  But within seconds we got him smiling!

We had him say with us:  I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME.  It is something that I shared with Sister Darrington the day before, and something that had really helped me get through the week when I was having a rough time.

We said it a few times together as we walked to the appointment, and it really helped lighten the mood.  Ha ha, he was probably laughing because we were being such dorks.  We just walked together, smiling, laughing, and saying hi to everybody that we passed.  The appointment went really well!  ...and  the family treated him very warmly.  Afterwards we shared a video from

In reality we are all just like Joseph Smith.  We all have the same question to ask ourselves.  What is truth?  Was ist die Wahrheit?  Both Bruder and Schwester Wolf are converts to the church so they both shared their conversion stories with us.  They both spoke about the "good feelings" that they felt as they directed their lives to the Savior and were baptized members of the church.

It is such a testimony to me, that it is the SPIRIT that converts people to the gospel.  The Spirit testifies of truth and leads people to the truth.  It is these good feelings, these feelings of peace and happiness that we can identify rightfully with the Spirit.  I really can't explain it other than, I have felt the Spirit, and it is what fortifies my testimony.  That I really am a representative of Jesus Christ, and I really am doing His work here.

We met with the O*** family again!  (The Albanian family we began teaching last week) We taught the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit was so strong--there was such a peace there. This family is seriously incredible. Herr O*** had read through all of 1 Nephi and had just started 2 Nephi . . . That's almost 70 pages!  And he had shared what he had read with his family as well.  We invited them to read together every day as  a family and pray and they agreed. They are sooooooo sweet.  

Sunday, we had Herr O*** come to church as well as a young Asian man we met on the street a couple weeks ago.  Herr O*** was so cute!  He even brought his Albanisch Buch Mormon!! :)  Everybody was so welcoming to him and it really made me happy. Even L***  was excited  to be at church and  stayed for all three hours!  He has pretty much no Christian background which made it interesting . . . As we were in Sunday school talking about Families we ended up having to take a major detour to explain to him who Adam and Eve were . . . And during the sacrament we were trying to explain the meaning of the bread and the water . . . Thank goodness I brought our picture book so I could show some pictures of Christ praying and on the cross. . . I definitely take my gospel knowledge for granted . . .

Our entire mission has miracle calendars that we have been using, writing miracles every day.  Sister Darrington and I have seen so many miracles between the two of us every day and it has been incredible writing them all down.  We are seriously on fire.  We really can't explain our success other than the fact that we are just being obedient and working hard and the Lord is leading us to prepared people . . .

I am started to feel like I am in the "best two years"or something though . . . We are just having such a good time together and working so hard!  We have definitely had some challenges to work through in our companionship but these challenges have actually made us a lot stronger.  And we have definitely learned a lot from each other and with each other.  

Remember, We can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us. 

I LOVE YOU ALL.  Thank you for your prayers and all that you do.  


Sister HEIDI Elaine Shelley

Monday, November 11, 2013


Guten Tag!                                                                       11 November, 2013

Last Monday at the end of our Preparation  Day Sister Darrington and I both felt prompted that we needed to go back to Dennis's apartment in Heidberg.  We knew that he didn’t live there anymore, but we went there anyway.  Nobody was there, but we knew we were there for a reason, so we went and klingled the other apartments in the area.

We ended up talking to a man from Albania and we told him about the Book of Mormon . . . a couple days later we brought the book by and shared a 5 minute explanation of the book using the photos in the front.

We bore our testimonies of the book, and told him about how it had personally strengthened our own families and brought us together.

We then made an appointment to come back.  Unfortunately we were unable to make it to our appointment and we had no way of calling them . . . but we made our way back there last night, and so many things occurred that helped us meet again with this family (missing our bus, having to walk weird paths, running into certain people which took time, dropping by on another contact, deciding to walk in certain directions, needing to stop and get out our umbrellas . . .)

 We were just supposed to visit this family, and the Lord helped make it possible.

 We were invited in and we were able to sit with the entire family.

I have not yet had the opportunity to teach a family yet so my heart was feeling pretty big ÜÜ.  Father, Mother, and three daughters!!

The man had already begun reading in the Book of Mormon, and his family out of curiosity had asked him about it.  So he had shared some of the stories that he had begun reading, including the introduction and testimony of Joseph Smith at the front.

We taught the lesson of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith’s vision as he saw God and Jesus Christ.

Every time we asked the father if he believed he responded, 'Ja, Klar!!'  Kinda like, 'Ja, of course!'  and the entire family was captivated as we spoke.

The wife didn’t speak very good German so every once in a while we would wait for the husband to explain things to her in Albanian.  She would just look at us afterward with such a sincere look on her face and thank us.

It was so incredible.  we were there for such a short time but the spirit was so strong.  
The family just understood perfectly why we were there and what our purpose was

--to invite them to come closer to Christ.

They said that they would be baptized as they came to increase their knowledge more--they said they already know it is true.  

We have also been teaching another woman named S*** who is from China.  She is the sweetest woman!

She comes from a Buddhist background and sometimes her comments are just too cute . . . she refers to baptism as a 'bath' and the plan of salvation as 'a fairy tale' and so many other things that I just can’t help but smile about.

 She is scared about joining the church because she worries it will limit her freedom.

 She likes straddling the line between Buddhism and Christianity.  but as we have met with her the last few times she has shed tears as we have taught and testified of the reality of God and Jesus Christ.  She wants to change.  She has a desire.

 I see such a difference between her and other people I have taught; because she diligently reads the chapters we invite her to read.  She makes notes in her scriptures to better understand, and she always has questions for us.

 She came to church yesterday too.  JAWOHL!!!! ÜÜ

Also, I have to share the story about J**!!

He volunteered at Tafel several weeks ago when Sister Nilson and I were there.  He is 19 and GERMAN.

 Ha ha sometimes I question if I am really in Germany because most of the people I meet are auslanders (foreigners) . . Anyways,  we ran into him on the bahn and started talking to him!

 We didn’t have much time to talk, but we briefly told him about institute and about all of the young people that gather together for activities during the week.

 He was really excited about it.  He gave us his number and then he came with us on Wednesday.    hahaha oh my goodness he almost died.

 We didn’t really think about how it would be for somebody when they hadn’t had any previous exposure to the church or anything.  All of the other young people were so nice to him though and really made him feel welcome.  We went to the Book of Mormon class, but we discussed topics such as the Law of Chastity, pride and the world, missionary obligation, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, pornography, the commandments . . . It was a little too much and he felt very overwhelmed.

 But despite all of this he was still willing to meet with us again.  We met with him a couple days later at the church and he surprised us by bringing his cello to play for us.

He has been feeling like he doesn’t understand what the point in life is; he feels like it is a test or something but can’t see where the end is. 

He relies on his feelings a lot, and he told us in our appointment that he decided to meet with us again because he just has a 'good feeling' about us and about what we have to say.

He believes that we have something that can help him.  We had a good talk about God and Jesus Christ, and he opened up to us about his own beliefs.  This kid has the strongest faith.

He is very interested in the Book of Mormon and we will be giving him one the next time we meet.  (he didn’t  have a bag with him so he asked us to wait).

He is awesome though!

 And he came to church yesterday!!!!!

 Also, you would smile if you saw him . . . He’s got good style.  He's got the classic RL (Ralph Lauren)  look all down . . . He even wore suspenders buttoned to his pants . . . none of the tacky clip on nonsense!!

We really see how prepared he is for the gospel at this time though.

 Especially now when he is asking questions about life and really looking for a stable direction.  He is a good kid Ü. 

 E*** is trying to find a  new place to live, busy trying to work crazy hours and provide for his kids, and spend time with his kids . . . Last lesson we taught him was the law of tithing and he was so ready and willing to follow it. We are just praying for him and trying to help him as we can, but it there’s only so much that we can do.  E*** is so prepared and ready to be baptized but we still need to wait until things are more stable in his life. 

Ab*** has been really busy the last couple weeks and I have missed seeing him.  We also found out that he is technically not living in our ward boundaries anymore.  Sister Darrington started planning on passing him over to the other Elders in the other ward. 

When we were at church and our former bishop asked him why he was still coming to our ward he just looked over at me and said, "because this is where my family is!" 

 All day I had a lump in my throat.

I don’t really know what is going to happen, but hopefully we can still just keep A***as one of our own at least until I leave . . .

Missionary work is so full of ups and downs...


We got invited to Thanksgiving Dinner at a member’s house this week also!!  Sister Wittkopp lived in the U.S.A. for three years and it has been a family tradition ever since.  I WAS IN HEAVEN.  Of course it was Germanized a little bit because we had rotkohl!  And we had no mashed potatoes or cranberries . ..  but holy crow it was yummy!!!  I was almost going to cry.  It brought back many memories of cooking during the holidays with you Mommy and it made me homesick a little bit . . .

 Just know that we are in good hands here ÜÜÜÜ.  We even had pumpkin pie!!!!  

So many miracles.

Love you.

Heidi Elaine Shelley     

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


                                                                                                                                                    November 4, 2013

MOIN :)                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Greetings from Langenhorn!

Starting on a low note . . .

The first several days of this past week I had a really bad headache and I was just feeling down.  I was irritable, stressed, and tired.. . . (Normally I am pretty happy and bubbly . . .)  But one morning after we had had personal study and companionship study, we began our hour of "sprach studium" for the day. 

 Sister Darrington was busy writing away on a piece of paper and before I knew it, it was lying on my desk before me.  She went back to her study and I picked up the paper to see what she had written. 

 It was such a small thing to do, but it made such a difference.

She just reminded me of who I was. 

Something that is sometimes hard to remember. . . I am a daughter of God.  Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the world's eyes, but all we need to do is slow down and look through God's eyes. 

My frown turned into a smile, and I even laughed as I read some of the things she had written. 

Sister Darrington is amazing.  I am learning much from her.  

We met with a less active/part member family this past week. I absolutely LOVE coming here. They are from Honduras and they are the most humble, fun-loving, and sweet people. 

We shared the story of Helaman's stripling warriors.  Helaman's 2000 sons.  The faith of these young men was so strong.  They doubted not because their mothers knew it.  They were obedient in all things, and they attributed their strength to their mothers.

It was so sweet because little S*** who is only about 10 started talking about serving a mission one day.  He was saying that it would be hard to leave because he loves his Mom so much. . 

The mother of this family has to have so much strength since her husband is not a member, and it was such a perfect lesson for her.

  We are working with them to help her and her other daughter be able to go the temple together.  Even though this family has really struggled to make it to church every Sunday, the mother has taught her children to have strong faith.  Whenever we visit them, we kneel down for our prayers, we read together from the scriptures, and the children and the mother always mark verses that they like.

 It just made me think about my own parents. . . Mom and Dad, you have both taught me so much throughout the years.  My faith is strong now, and I do not have doubt because of the way you taught me.  So thank you :)  I have made me own decisions that have got me here, but I have acted upon what I was taught by you.

We met with a referral this past week also.  It was a referral from a young man in our ward (the one now serving in Ukraine).  His Dad excitedly volunteered to come to the lesson since he knows the family so well. 

 We went there and had one of the most powerful lessons I have ever experienced.

The family lost the Father/Husband three years ago, but we were able to talk about the Plan of Salvation, the hope we have through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the Resurrection.  The Brother from our ward who was present really took the lead in teaching everything which was wonderful.  He naturally spoke from his heart to this family (Mother and Son) that he has had a long time connection to.

 We invited the family to personally pray to God to ask if He was there. (Mother is very bitter about the fact that her husband was taken from her and says she does not believe in God).

We invited them to pray with real intent--what it means to me is that we decide before we pray that if we do get an answer that we will act on the answer that we receive. 

We bore testimony in this meeting, The brother from our ward bore testimony, and the feeling in the room was unbelievable.  We all had tears in our eyes, and Sister Darrington had tears running down her cheeks.

We were there for quite a while, but in the end, the Mother had a whole new look on her face.  She even hugged us goodbye, and said that she would see us in the future.  Then, yesterday in church, this same brother got up in Sacrament meeting to bear his testimony and he shared this experience.

I love working with members, and I love the spirit of missionary work.

Also, yesterday in Sacrament meeting another man got up and bore his testimony, again on missionary work.  We had met with him earlier this week and we had talked about missionary work.  (Most of the time this makes members not too excited--unless it is the Roggow familie-- because most of them have already talked to their friends and acquaintances about the church and been rejected).  This has happened with this man and his wife earlier, but we decided to try a different approach.

We connected missionary work to our baptismal covenant and we read in Mosiah 18. 

Do you realize what it is that we covenant when we are baptized?  

8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the  fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
 9 Yea, and are  willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the  first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

We covenant to stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places.  As we do missionary work we are fulfilling this covenant. 

This brother related his experience he had had that week of being in the barber shop, getting his hair cut, and then having an opportunity to speak about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  . . . ."AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL THINGS, AND IN ALL PLACES . . ."

There were many people that got up in sacrament meeting and almost every one of the people spoke specifically to or about Sister Darrington and me.  It really just made my heart swell . . .

 It brings me joy that members are enjoying the same love for this work as I am.

 A woman in our ward brought a bag full of food for us to enjoy later that day . . . She made us a really good asian sweet and sour recipe and some noodles with vegetables . . . Yeah, pretty much our ward is great. :)

Exciting news!  All of the prayers have really helped with H*** . . He is BACK!  

Interesting point!  We taught a lesson earlier this week in three languages . . . we taught in German, Norman translated in Spanish, and then a Vietnamese woman came in the room, and we ended up teaching her in English.  Yaya for the gift of tongues!

Well, I better be going.  Time is up.  But, I want you all to know how much I love you.  Enjoy the time with the family around this holiday season.  Oh my goodness, I have been choosing Christmas songs every morning to start companionship study with . . . and we have been listening to Sister Darrington's Christmas playlist.  Ahahahahaha :D :D :D  I love the holidays.  And a family in our ward invited us to come to an American thanksgiving dinner this coming Friday.  wooo hoo.

Well ta ta for now!

Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley 

                                  In front of a cute German yard. that was decorated with  lots of animal statues! :D