Monday, December 30, 2013


December 30, 2013
Dearest Familie,
Oh how wonderful it was to see you on skype just a few days ago!!! I hope the rest of your Christmas was wonderful and that you are getting all ready to party for the New Year.  
Something that has really been on my mind this week is endurance.  If we endure well, we shall earn a great reward.  I have truly witnessed this principle this week, and literally seen the blessings pour into my life.  
As far as appointments go, this week we didn't have that many.  But we did have member appointments for each of the days of Christmas (24, 25, 26) and Sister Darrington and I felt like we were welcomed in like family members!

I told you a little bit about how Alej** and I had to say good bye to each other last week . . . What a sad but wonderful day.  Sad, because she is moving to England and I am not sure we will ever see each other in person.  But happy, because I was able to once again learn from her charitable and loving Spirit.  In the midst of a crazy move she took the time to drive down to the church to see us, give us each a wrapped gift and hand written letter, then drive to the hospital, thank the hospital staff again for taking care of her when she was there two months ago, and then come and sing to Schwester N** whose health seems to be rapidly declining in her old age.  Alej** has truly touched my life for the better.  She has such a big, loving heart, always smiling, and always ready to serve when she is needed.  I got her address and we plan on staying in contact!  Perhaps someday I can go and visit her just outside of London :) And we are referring her to the missionaries in London which she is very happy about.  
Sister Darrington has also titled this week: Sister Shelley's roller coaster week.
On the 26th talking to you all on skype was absolutely wonderful.  I apologize for all of my emotions, but I hope through my tears you were really able to see how much I love, care about, and appreciate you all.  And I hope you could see the joy I feel as a missionary through the apparent pain that I am sure you saw. That really helped me a lot seeing all of your faces and knowing that you are all doing well. 
This night after skyping I actually had a really scary experience.  My emotions were all running very high still, but I just broke down again and I think I had an anxiety attack.  I just felt so weak and incapable of going on.  Sister Darrington was there for me the whole time, but even after I thought I had re-gained my composure I just lost it all over again.  She went into the kitchen to make me a cup of tea and I just curled up in a ball on my chair and started bawling.  But she just listened to me and helped me calm down.  Once again it was turning to my Father in prayer, reading in the scriptures, and practicing ENDURANCE. 

Heidi and her missionary companion, Sister Darrington, who has stood by her side through good and bad times...and even carried her at times..

At district meeting that morning I felt impressed to ask for a priesthood blessing.  When Elder Gibson asked me if it was for comfort or for sickness I felt impressed to ask for a blessing for sickness.  It hit me as I said that that I have really just been emotionally sick the past several weeks, afflicted by ongoing stress, worry, anxiety, and depression.  So Elder Gibson applied a small drop of consecrated oil to my head, and Elder Schmidt gave me a blessing. 
It was the shortest blessing I have ever received, but one of the most powerful.
There were two things that were said that really helped me
One, a promise that my family would be safe and protected. 
Two, that the Lord needed ME.  Even though this day ended up being the hardest of my mission yet, I endured through a few more trials, but I have seen a miracle occur the past few days since this blessing.  It's like the worry, the stress, the fear, the anxiety, EVERYTHING was lifted off my chest.  
Moroni 8:16.  "Perfect love casteth out all fear."  That is my scripture.  You know how much love I have for the people here, you know how much love I have for you, for the Lord, for my companion, for my friends.  I know how much the Lord loves me, I know how much you love me, and I can't even number all the people who have just poured out their love to me over the past several days and throughout my mission service.  I have a testimony of love.  Pure love can overcome anything and everything.  Light in the darkness.  The power to overcome. 
I also have an increased testimony of the priesthood power.  Dad, brothers, all men in my life…  Don't neglect this wonderful opportunity and privilege to be a vessel and servant of the Lord's power here on the earth.  I experienced a miraculous healing this week through the priesthood power and that is only the beginning of the extent of God's priesthood power.  
I was reminded at the Krankenhaus (hospital) by my wise Langenhorn Grandmother Schwester Neilsen the necessity of trials.  "The Lord has seen it fit to put me through just about everything.  Because I know that he loves me.  I needed to learn tolerance and patience.  I just wish I was a better pupil.  I'm not the fastest learner."  Our time on earth really is a time to learn and grow, a time to truly become.  
We met with J** on Saturday and talked about baptism.  The thing that marvels me every time we talk with him is that he always says, "We believe . . ." "We believe . . ." as he includes himself with "Us."  It is incredible to hear somebody develop a testimony of the restored gospel in such a way.  He spoke about the special spirit he feels in the church, about how he knows that it is the right place to be.  He wants to be baptized but he has some concerns that we will work through together.  He is seriously being welcomed in by our ward so much and it makes me smile seeing the reality of a ward "family."  He came to church yesterday and stayed for all three hours and then set up his cello after the third meeting and played in the chapel for those who wanted to hear and were still there. 
President Kosak has a couple quotes that he likes to throw around a lot.  One of them "Abraham had to learn a little bit about Abraham." and one from Joseph Smith, "I have figured out for myself." 
For me personally it is really cool how much my eyes have been opened up this week to changes and sacrifices that I can personally make that will help the work here change for the better.
 It's like all the things that I have ever learned in the MTC, in district meetings and zone meetings are all just starting to click.
This week has been one of a lot of thinking and self analysis. I have learned so much just by going to work each day and from my personal studies. Every day is really only what we make it. And I can choose that :)
I love you all!  Have a great week.

Sister Heidi Elaine :)   

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