November 4, 2013
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