Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014

Heidi wasn't feeling well enough to write a family email so I am posting an excerpt from her email she wrote to her mission president. 

Dear President,

Miracle of the week! So, G*** is going to be moving to France at the end of this month. Up until this week he hasn't known where exactly he would go. When we met with him this week he told us that he would be moving to Bayonne, France. He seemed so sure about this, and when we asked him about it, he just responded that he had been praying about it and that it was where he felt God wanted him to go. Lately in our lessons he has really been opening up about his feelings about the church and about all that we have been teaching him. He has felt such love in the church, from us, from the ward members, even just sitting in the church. We have born our testimony of the restoration and the truthfulness of this church, and also that he can find the same church and the same blessings in France. We looked on and there is a ward right in Bayonne! G*** was so happy! I know that he has really had fear of leaving Germany, especially since he is so young and on his own, but at least now he has a little bit of hope for a new beginning. …

With S*** this week we planned to talk about the ten commandments and help him understand that when he lives this way he is acting on faith in God, Jesus Christ, and in prophets. I really feel like we prayerfully prepared for this lesson, and everything that S*** said or asked went along perfectly with what we had planned for. I am so grateful for these powerful teaching opportunities that Sister Nilson and I have together.

Sister Nilson and I have grown so much together these past several weeks. One of our greatest strengths is that we always recognize and acknowledge the centrality of Jesus Christ in all that we do. There is so much power in understanding the WHY behind our actions and also in knowing our motivation. I really know that it was a part of God's plan to send me here to Cottbus. I have wondered and pondered about why I must be so weak at this time. Why in such a high point when I am with such an incredible Sister? And I can't really explain why. All I know is that through my pain and suffering I have learned so much. I know that I have learned a lot with my companions. But it has also really humbled me and really showed me my dependency on God. I have come to know God and Jesus Christ that much more. And even though at times it has really taken all that I have to sit through lessons and talk to people, I have meant every word of what I have said. Because I really do know for myself. Yesterday Sister Nilson and I read a talk by Elder Holland about Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail. I am coming to realize that much of life can be labeled as unfair, cruel, or just tragic. But everything is for our experience. I know I will always cherish the hard times of my mission because looking back they are the most beautiful times....


Sister Shelley


July 7, 2014

Dear family,

Well, this week has officially been the hardest week of my mission.  Never before have I felt so low and so discouraged.  So many people have been concerned about me and my health including myself.  This week I was pretty much told by President Kosak that I should prepare myself to go home.  I was even on the phone with our stake president there in Bountiful during the week.  But as of now, I feel like we have come up with a new plan of action.  Seriously when it was put right before me that I could go home early for a medical release, the stubborn side of me came out and I just kind of snapped.  I am not going home unless I have done absolutely EVERYTHING in my power to get better first.  I have cried so many tears and spent so much time on my knees just praying.  Always a prayer in my heart.  I dont even know how I have come to be in such a low place.  I feel like I have just been broken down completely. 

I am grateful for the small experiences we have had working with other people that have allowed me to feel joy and peace amidst my own pain and suffering. 

On the fourth of July Sister Nilson and I woke up and the first thing we did was say the pledge of allegiance with our hands on our hearts.  We held up a little parade flag in the air.  We sang some songs.  I am proud to be an American!  We made crepes to uphold her family tradition.  That evening we came together at our church with a family in our ward and all of our investigators.  We gave them some of our American patriotism!  It was a fun group and it was cool to be gathered from all over the world. Ha ha I seriously love our little Cottbus family.  We gave a lesson on freedom and faith. Did you know that all of the U.S. currency says ''In God we Trust''?  As we trust in God that leads to freedom.  Stanley made a comment about what freedom means to him.  It is about becoming personally free.  Not being held down by anything.  He alluded to faith and repentance.  That was a reason for me to be happy, to see that he is really understanding and applying the gospel in his life. 

G*** is going to France at the end of this month, and man are we going to miss him!!  He is really our little brother.  In our last lesson he finally understood the priesthood and priesthood authority, and we talked with him again about baptism.  His response really showed us that he understands how big of a commitment it is.  He went on to tell us that he wanted to go without food and water for a time and pray about this decision.  We were able to talk about fasting.  We knellt down and prayed with him at the end, and we all held hands. 

This morning I read this verse in the bible:  ''For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind'' (2 Tim 1:7). 

I just want you all to know that it is really you that is helping me to go on.  This is the hardest thing that I have done in my whole life, and even though at times I wonder if I will even make it another day, I just have to think of you and it helps me to keep on going. I am so grateful for you all.  I really know that God is there and he is mindful of each one of us. I have really felt that he knows me personally and loves me.  I love you all so much and I will keep you in my prayers and close to my heart. 

Love Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


We didn't receive a weekly email from Heidi, but she did send me her weekly email that she wrote to her mission pres. The work is going well in Cottbus. I have included a short excerpt: 

Short excerpt from her email to her mission president:

"We have seen so many miracles this week!!  This past week made such a big impact on me, my life, and on my entire mission.  The most incredible thing is really just feeling the Spirit leading and guiding me and Sister Nilson in just about everything.
For weekly planning each week since we came together we have been so prayerful about preparing for the people we teach and work with.  And we set specific goals for what we want to focus on in helping them prepare for baptism.”

An email I received from  Heidi’s companion, Sister Nilson:

Mamannette! ( I hope that is okay that I called you that! I know that it is a very special name in your family. ) Sister Shelley talks about you every single day!! About what an incredible mother you are and how she always calls you her mamanette. Some things that you have said in letters to Sister Shelley she has shared with me and they have helped me so much! SO I just want to thank you. We as people have such a big effect!!
Ah! I have just heard ooddles and boodles about you and your incredible family!! I feel like I am a part of it... :) Sister Shelley has become my sister. I love her so much!!  I just want to tell you how grateful I am for your daughter. She is the most powerful missionary I have ever served with. Her love for the people and her passion for the work is contagious. I love her so much. She is such a force for good!! We have so much fun together. Already we have seen so much success here in Cottbus. I feel so privilaged to be with her again.
Her headaches have gotten better this week. And DONT worry... I make her rest when she needs it. Even though all she wants to do is go convert the world... it is important for her to STAY healthy so she can do that :) I have no doubt that she will do JUST that. Cottbus is different since she came. I am so so thankful she is my companion!!....
Have a wonderful week!!!!
Much love,

Sister Nilson

                              Picture we received from Jialu. A surprise visit to Cottbus!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014


We finally received the letter Sister Shelley wrote the week she was transferred to Cottbus. 

June 2014

Dear Family,
I am finally getting this letter written…sorry it has taken so long. (**Heidi was only able to send a short email the previous  P.Day as she was being transferred that day to her new area, Cottbus) I have been in Cottbus about five days now and I am so happy. I love it here! I have already met so many new people and they are wonderful. I can’t wait to tell you about everything and everyone. I have so much I want to tell you! And oh my goodness. I am so happy to be together with Sister Nilson again. She is wonderful and I love her so much.

But first-goodbye to Lankwitz.    Wow,saying goodbye was so hard. I can’t believe that was still a part of this week. I absolutely love the opportunity I have had to get to know so many different people and learn with them and form them. There are so many people I love in Lankwitz…and that’s why it was so hard to leave.  There are really just a few people who have had such a big impact on me, and have really changed my life. I know I can’t forget this area or these people.

I knew that I would be leaving Lankwitz at the end of the transfer, so I had told this to J*** awhile before. We were sitting on the bus and he looked so sad but he responded, “ I knew you would have to leave someday.” Then, when I called him Saturday morning to tell him I would be transferred early it really hit me that it was time to say goodbye. It’s really stuck with me, hearing him say, “ Sister Shelley, you changed my life.” I am grateful to have known him and that I could teach him and share with him the things I know. Seriously, I have seen such a change come into his life. He expressed to us one time that before he met us and began learning about our message his life and future were unsure. But it seems that he has really found direction in life- and definitely an abundance of light and love. He’s applying for post doctorate work now that he just finished his Ph.D.  and he’s looking for work in Utah! When I left he was excited that he found an opening at the University of Utah. Crazy to think that so much can change in one’s life just because of one knock on a door. I have so much respect for J*** and his strength to open his mind and heart to new things. He knows I love art, and as a farewell gift he gave me a small piece of Chinese art. It has 8 horses on it- symbolizing success in a new beginning. I’m looking at it right now as I write this- it’s got a place on my desk J

I have come to find that one way that I show love and appreciation to others is through gift giving. I know I have very few personal items that have special significance to me, but the ones I have I cherish. I have also found that the best gifts turn into the ones that are the most painful to give. Painful because it involves sacrifice – when you give up something so special that parting with it is just hard. I ended up giving J** my little angel from Hamburg. The one that my friend J** gave me and Sister Darrington. There is so much connected to that little metal angel. Hamburg. Jan. Sister Darringon. Michaelis Kirche. Sunsets and sunrises. The harbor. People. Buildings. Above everything though, it reminds me of all the times I really felt like there were angels round about me, comforting me and helping me along.

I know I get attached to people and places. One thing I fear is forgetting, or being forgotten. As I was sitting in the church on Sunday though, my last Sunday, I really saw and felt that I will never forget Lankwitz. Everything I have experienced here has become a part of me. And I also saw that I will be missed. I saw that I have really reached people with MY testimony and just with my example and love.

I was so grateful that it was fast and testimony meeting for my last Sunday. That’s what I wanted to leave with- hearing the testimonies of the people that I love. These members are amazing!! They are so strong and they have strengthened me so much!! I got up to bear my testimony and I just had to smile. I am so happy I could get to know so many of these people. I shared my testimony. I know that God lives and loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. My testimony was simple but I felt everything I said in my heart. A testimony might be simple, but if it is said with experience and knowledge suddenly the words have more connotated meanings. I was brought to tears which doesn’t really happen very often. I want these members to remember me for my testimony – that I really KNOW. I have found out for myself.
Because we had some people visiting at church, I ended up on a row separate from my companions. Bruder  K*** saw my isolation and invite me to sit next to him and one of the young men. Bruder K*** is someone I have spoken seldom with at church, but I feel I know him very well. He really had a big impact on me here in Lankwitz- And I know I have reached him with my testimony. I guess I remind him of one of the sisters who converted him to the gospel years before. Really, he just saw me as the missionary I want to be and I try to be.  He saw my testimony and my conviction. He saw my dedication and love for the people and for God. He made a comment about how there weren’t that many sisters who carry around a backpack full of Books of Mormon in so many different languages. …I don’t even know how he knows that. Before leaving I gave him my PRO ring. PRAY, READ  , and OBEY  every day. My middle finger on my left hand is feeling pretty bare. I’ve worn that ring there since I was sixteen!! But I am so grateful that I could meet Bruder K*** and so many others who strengthened me so much with their own testimonies and dedication to the gospel.
So I am hoping it is auf wiedersehen and not just Tschuss. I am going to miss teaching with M***. ( **He was their translator when teaching  the Serbian people and many others) I don’t even think he knows how much I look up to him. He has sacrificed so much for the church, and really just for following and doing what he knows is right. I am going to miss teaching the Serbian multitudes and hearing his conversion story. Keep up the missionary work my friend! Had he been there on my last Sunday I would have left him with some kind of gift as well, but unfortunately I never even got to say a real goodbye because he was out of town.
I could go on and write about each member I the ward, even each one of the people we met with from time to time or regularly, but I don’t have the time. But really, there are so many people who have come into my life and they have all helped me to see the world a little better, even come to know myself better. Goodbye Lankwitz, until  I come back and visit! J
Now that I am in Cottbus. Everything  has shifted again, but I feel so good about being here. In a way it is almost like starting my mission over again…only I know more of who I am and what I want . I understand the missionary purpose better. Invite people unto Christ. I just love the joy that Sister Nilson and I find in the work together. The little things matter. There are always things to laugh about. Always reasons to smile. It is incredible coming back together after so many months and seeing how we have both grown and changed as we have continued I our missionary work. I love her so much. Haha..we even have a bunk bed- ( I got the top bunk..:) ) and every night before  we go to  bed we always end up talking for a while and then saying goodnight…”Guten Nacht! Ich liebe dich!” Meine Gute, I have missed that!
Anyway. It is getting late here, so I should probably get into bed. Not to  mention that the bugs are starting to invade our apartment because I have a light on and the window is open…EEK!!

Well, I love you all!
Love, Sister Heidi Elaine  Shelley

                                     Sister Shelley and Sister Nilson..together again!!

Monday, June 16, 2014


Heidi was not feeling well enough to email today. But she did send several pictures. I have also included excerpts from  her weekly email she sent  to her mission president. 


Goodbye Lankwitz..

                                                               Hello Cottbus!!

Dresden for Zone Conference

Companions reunited!!! Heidi and Sister  Nilson..:D

Dresden! :D


Dear President,

This week was kind of hard, mostly because I was feeling so sick and some of our plans had to get changed. I just felt like I couldn't give it my all. But, we still did have incredible lessons with those we were able to meet with. Yesterday we met with S***, who was an earlier investigator. As we were meeting I felt the spirit so strongly, and I felt like S*** was responding to what he was feeling. He told us that he knew the Book of Mormon was true, and that he wanted to make changes in his life that would lead to more happiness and joy. We had planned well last week during weekly planning, and I felt like we just taught well to his needs. We really wanted to help him redevelop the desire to meet regularly with missionaries again. He said that he would, and he also recommitted himself to read every day in the Book of Mormon this week. I am so happy for him.

This week we had some really great talks with members about missionary work. One day at the church our appointment didn't show up, but there were a couple members there so we ended up talking with them. We talked about preach my gospel and commitments and how it is connected to repentance and why it is so important. One of the members had some concerns about inviting people to commit to things, but as we redirected him to the gospel of Jesus Christ, he really understood better. I think it is crazy how easy it is to get distracted from that sometime. But when we remember why we do everything, we are more effective and we have power in what we do. Also, every Sunday in relief society we share a missionary experience with everyone. One of the young women had shared an experience she had had with us, and we invited her to come up with us. It was great!!

We set such great goals last week in our companionship, but we are still working towards many of them this week. We had some setbacks this week, but we are really determined.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Zone Conference in Dresden June 2014

                                  Mission Tour Zone Conference in Dresden June 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


10 June, 2014

Dear family,

I LOVE COTTBUS.  Everything about this place just makes me happy.  It is so calm compared to Berlin, even Hamburg, and I like how peaceful it is just walking on the streets.  Ha ha Sister Nilson and I are back to singing!  The other morning we were singing for Companionship study and the window was wide open.  A woman in the apartment building across from ours ended up opening up her window and coming outside to hear us.  Even just walking down the street one of us will always break out into song and the other will just join in! Yesterday for study we sat on the windowsill and sang some songs from the hymn book.  Our little gift to the world!  Good morning! ;) 

I have had such a warm welcome here by the members of the ward and also from those who are investigating the church. We teach a music class during the week and also attend ward choir practice afterwards, and it is so wonderful.  I love music!!

Okay, so now I just have to say that being together with Sister Nilson is so wonderful.  I love her so much, and since I came here I have found so much happiness in the work, even in life itself!!  I think the reason why we work so well together is that we both have such love for other people and we have such enthusiasm for the work. I have been here for a week now and I feel like everything has recentered on Jesus Christ.  We are always talking about the people here, our love for them, and how we can help them.  And we so often end up sharing spiritual experiences and insights with each other.  Compared to how things were in Berlin the last transfer, I cant tell you how good it feels to just go out and work.  Sister Nilson and I have both noticed a difference personally as well as in our companionship, that we really feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives.  It is crazy how easy we just jumped back into things after so many months of being apart, but I know it is because we really have the same purpose.  We both trust and love each other, which makes teaching effective and powerful.  Love has to be the motive and the Spirit has to be present. 

One of the first people I met when I came here was G***.  He is from Camaroon and is only sixteen years old.  Wow, have I gotten to know him well in just a week!! He lost his parents when he was really young and his family, so he has been on his own for a long time now.  One of his stories is that he was in a desperate situation and needed to escape, so he determined that his only option was to swim from the tip of Africa to Spain.  So, he entrusted God with his life, prayed, and just jumped in and started swimming.  Well, he made it and he claims that God sent the fishes to help him.  So there is G*** for you.  He really has the strongest faith, and he has a good heart.  It is through him that we have met many other peolple.  Whenever his other friends express their doubts about God or Jesus Christ G*** just laughs because he cant believe people can think that way when God has given them so much.

I wish I could really tell you all that has happened this past transfer, but it has just been really crazy . . .  The morning that I got the call that I would be coming here to Cottbus, I had a really special experience.  I prayed so hard that morning (before the call), and I committed myself to go and do whatever God wanted me to do.  I wouldn't fight against the Spirit, but I would follow.  I would continue trying to overcome my weaknesses, and I prayed for forgiveness for my wrongdoings.  I felt such peace come over me.  I felt in my heart that I would be leaving Lankwitz, and it wasnt even an hour later that I received the call.  And I know that this call to come here to Cottbus was really inspired, because since I have come here I have been a part of so many miracles and I know that I am where I am supposed to be. 

The minute I got here and poked my head out from the train door, I almost started crying.  I saw Sister Nilson running toward me with the biggest smile on her face. She is just one of my greatest friends and we have gotten even closer over the past week.  We have felt the Spirit so strongly in our lessons and we have both been getting so emotional in our lessons, even just talking to one another.  Our investigators can feel it too, because they have made comments about how strongly they have felt the spirit while meeting with us.  It is so real.  It also just means the world to me that we can talk about people that we have met here on our missions and experiences we have had and just relate so well.  We just get talking and sometimes one or both of us just ends up with tears in our eyes.  I am just so happy here.  So so so so so happy. 

Even in our planning, we have received such clear inspiration on what the people need here and how we can help them.  This is especially crazy for me, because I just barely got here and I dont even know them!  But we always receive the same impressions, even down to specific things, and we are always in agreement with everything.  We dont know what will happen the remaining 10 weeks before she goes home, but we are hoping we can spend them together.  We set goals for the area extending into the next two transfers, and I am just so excited to work hard here. 

On top of that the elders in our ward are so fun and great.  Elder Williams is a convert of two years and is incredible.  Elder Conley just lost his Dad a couple months ago, but is back here on his mission. 

And Sister Nilson and I are enjoying making tofu dishes, doing SPORT, and experiementing with green smoothis . . . :P


Have a good week!


Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley.   


June 2, 2014

Holy crow.  I just dont even know where to begin about this past week.  On Saturday morning I got a call from President Kosak.  (I think I am getting immune, because my heart doesnt beat so fast anymore . . . Either that or we are moving up in friend status ;)), and guess what!  I am going to Cottbus!  Today!  It is a city very far East in Germany, almost on the Polish border. And I am going to be companions with Sister Nilson.  MEINE LIEBE SISTER NILSON :D

So I had a couple days to say goodbyes, which was so HARD, but also so wonderful.  When you are actually in a situation where you have to leave loved ones and cut off ties with familiarity you can really appreciate the richness of everything. When I was in Langenhorn I left a changed person.  Changed because of people, situations, and experiences.  How I responded to everything.  And I feel the same thing now.  Life is full of beginnings and ends, but at the same time life is just one big circle.  Without beginning or ends.  And so, it all just comes together, branches becoming a part of a tree trunk that just keeps growing upward.

One of the scariest things about saying goodbye is worrying that you will be forgotten.  I don’t want to forget either. Something I felt yesterday in the church was that I am really going to miss the people here.  I am going to miss Berlin.  And I realized as I said goodbyes that I am going to be missed as well. Yesterday at the church I got up and shared my testimony in sacrament meeting.  I think it was a blessing that on my last Sunday, it was a testimony meeting. The Spirit is so strong, and it is a good way to part.  When I got up to bear my testimony I felt so filled with the Spirit, and I realized that there wasn’t really much I could leave behind except for my testimony.  That I really do know that God lives, that Jesus Christ is the son of God.  I can show my love and hope that they feel it and hold on to it.  I was brought to tears which doesn’t happen all that often.

I think the urge to cry was the strongest was when Jialu walked away in the other direction and I actually had to turn around and put my face up against the door to the bishop’s office.  When I turned around I couldn’t even see him through the window.  I gave him a gift  that I got from  a dear friend  in Hamburg.  Just like the gold star that I gave to Abel, it was another gift that was meant to be passed on.  I can tell it is a good gift when it actually is painful to part with.  Jialu really changed my life, and I will not be able to forget the words he said to me this week.  ''Sister Shelley, you changed my life.''

 ***Heidi's email was short as she had to catch the train to Cottbus. She said she'd  write more about her week when on the train to Cottbus.I'll post her letter when we receive it. 

Homemade sushi and last days in Lankwitz!!

Heidi and Jialu...saying goodbye.

Heidi and Dong

Heidi saying goodbye to Sabina Erdmann and Beatrice

Saying goodbye to a dear friend..Bruder Kleemann.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


26 May, 2014

Well, it has definitely been a crazy week.  Monday Sister Bronson left for Tiergarten and Sister Cameron arrived.  That same night we met with the K***'s and Sister Cluff told little I*** that I was secretly a mermaid, so she ran into the kitchen to get a bottle of water.  Thank goodness she got distracted before she decided to test that out ;)

This past week, things got complicated in our trio. . . I have realized that I just have a hard time adapting to change.  It is hard when you get close to someone, and then they leave.  It was nice this week that we had a surprise party for Sister Kosak and I was able to see Sister Bronson again, Sister Darrington, and SISTER NILSON!  That was a surprise since she came all the way from Cottbus.  It was arranged specially so that she could sing :).  After a few hard days adapting to change, I felt like it had been showing in my countenance.  But after an hour of talking with these wonderful sisters I felt like I had my light back.  I was so happy and laughing.  It was especially good to see Sister Nilson again, the last time was in January and before that it was back in October when she left Hamburg.  Ha ha I think I must have hugged her 50 times and said "I love you" or "Ich liebe dich" just as many times.  President got a photo of us and we told him that he should let us serve together again.  That would seriously be the best thing ever. The past few weeks I have really thought a lot about the beginning of my mission and how lucky I was to serve with her and to have the experiences we did.  It was hard but oh so wonderful.

There were a couple of times this week that I seriously wanted to run away . . . Well, I didn't, and hey there are many lessons I have learned as a result of that.  Everything happens for a reason.  Everything works out with patience, time, and trusting in the Lord.  Differences can be overcome with a common purpose.  I think more than anything, my companions and I have really learned to rely on and trust in each other. I have really been humbled and I am grateful for how it has brought me to my knees in prayer.  I am grateful for the trials and how my patience has been tried.  These hard times only make us stronger.  My companions and I have helped each other come closer to Christ.  And because of such growth and experience, this has been one of the most successful weeks of my mission. 

On one night Sister Cluff and I found ourselves sitting out on our window sill/roof.  It was so quiet and becoming night, but it started to rain.  We stayed out there even when it started pouring, and my gray shorts turned black.  But it was one of the best talks we have had.  "If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place."  That's a quote by Eckhart Tolle that she has on her wall. 

So, really my testimony of God and Jesus Christ have becomed so strengthened this week.  I finished reading Acts in the New Testament and I am now into Romans.  Reading about the ministry of Paul makes me think of Abel from Langenhorn.  Paul was his hero.  I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am alive in Christ and I live through HIM.  It was especially cool reading about the ministry of Paul in Macedonia and Syria among so many places . . . I can list off several people I know from these countries . . . At the beginning these people received the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am a part of this great work now in bringing them the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is incredible.

Last night we were at the H***'s for dinner, and Elder Nelson ended up with the guitar.  We ended up singing all together several songs from  our pocket sized hymn books and the Spirit was so strong.  Especially "Ich Brauch Dich Allezeit" and "Näher mein Gott zu dir."  God lives, Jesus Christ is the son of God.  The Holy Ghost is real.  This church is true.  I love music.  That is all I can say.  I am so grateful to be a missionary.

Love you all,

Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley

Last Day together 

                                             Goodbye to Sister Bronson. I'l miss her!

This is lunch meat! I couldn't bring myself to eat it.

Friday, May 23, 2014


May 19, 2014
Liebe Familie,

Ah, it has seriously been such an amazing week.

I feel like I have found my other half in Sister Cluff.  She is the best thing ever.  Ha ha we seriously are so similar and are always making each other laugh.    It is so wonderful.  We have had such a fun time together and have stayed positive through everything, and I think the people on the streets can really notice the difference.  People notice how happy we are and they are naturally more interested to talk to us.  Really Sister Cluff, Sister Bronson, and I have become great friends.  I LOVE THEM :)

We just got called into a surprise interview with President earlier in the week, eek we were so scared . . . Ha ha bad thing about living so close to the office . . . But we got the news that Sister Bronson will be transferred to Tiergarten and Sister Cameron will be coming here TODAY.  It was a big shock.  But we will make this work.   ( She has been comps with Sister Darrington . She is wonderful. She has a lot of health problems now though and can't continue as sister training leader ;( I really want to help her feel at home here though and serve her the best I can. ) 
Since Sister Bronson is leaving and she is the only other one who knows the area, I will probably stay here for a while longer I guess.  That would honestly be no problem for me though, BECAUSE I LOVE IT HERE :D.

Wow, okay, so miracles and cool things that happened this week.

For the past few months we have met frequently on Monday nights with a family from our ward.  The mother is actually working to get rebaptized and the daughter is not yet baptized, and it is often a little crazy when we go there because Schwester K*** is raising five little kids all on her own now.  But wow, I LOVE THIS FAMILY.  Ha ha there are a couple of photos I sent . . . The young girl and the baby.  I just love how simple everything is when we teach them (We can't hold their attention for very long), and we always sing a primary song with them.  It makes me excited to have a family one day . . . :)

Somedays when Sister Cluff isn't doing well, Sister Bronson and I go out to work and Sister Cluff has other arrangements to be at the office.  On one of these days this past week Sister Bronson and I went to the Auslandersheim.  Ah, I love this place!! We met with the familie T*** and they had a couple friends who were there.  (Also, a plus that the other two women also spoke German even though they also come from Serbia!).  We ended up teaching and testifying of God and Jesus Christ and teaching them about the restoration.  We testified of the Book of Mormon.  I wish you could have been there and just felt the peace that I felt.  It was so cool just watching them gradually come to an understanding of what we said.  The younger of the two women was a little skeptical of what we said, especially of the Book of Mormon, but then M*** T** gave her testimony of the book herself.  She hasn't read that much yet, but she looked at her friends and told them very confidently that she felt something very powerful when she read and she believes the book comes from God.  That was incredible.  We will be going back this Saturday.  Before leaving I went up personally to M*** and I took the little hand of her baby girl.  M*** looked almost like she was in tears, and she asked me when we could come back.  She said that her and her husband had actually talked about us a couple times that week and had missed our visits.  They really help her strengthen her faith, especially when things are so uncertain concerning the future.  I love them so much, and I promised them we would come back. 

We went to do some doors (Tür zu Tür) at a Studentenwohnheim.  We didn't have much time to stay but we decided we would at least start on one of the floors and we could come back later.  Normally we start at the top floor and go down, but we all just went to the ground floor and rang the first door.  The man opened the door, and he is from Vietnam.  He already believes in God and Jesus Christ, but he wants to learn more.  He was so interested when we told him about the Book of Mormon.  Another Testimony of JESUS CHRIST.  I really felt the Spirit as we bore our testimonies.  Ein Neuer Untersucher! A New investigator!

Unfortunately our appointment with P*** fell out, but he called us and wanted to talk to each one of us on the phone to apologize and see how we were doing.  The next day he can meet is in two weeks, but he really appreciates our efforts and wants us to keep in contact with him until then by calling him and sending him periodic texts.  He seems to be really solid, but being away from home now is hard, especially when it comes to his faith.  We will help him out!

We met with M***!  It turns out he is only 17 which was a crazy surprise.  He is such a sweet and sensitive guy and he really just has an innocent desire to find out who he is and what life is all about.  He had already started reading in the Book of Mormon in English but we also gave him one in Arabic.  He was so excited!  I think one of the most admirable things is his open heart and mind.  Even though he was raised Muslim and has his own way of thinking, he is willing to open up his heart and mind to new ideas.  Again, we bore testimony of the things we said and taught, but still encouraged him to go to the source of all truth.  Pray about the things that he reads in the scriptures, pray about what we say.  You can know the truth of all things through the power of the Holy Ghost. 

We met with a woman named  ***  who we met last week.  She has such a kind and warm personality.    She commented on how so many people here in Germany are so closed off to religion and spirituality, but that she was so happy to meet us since we were also believers!  I am a strong believer that it is better to believe in something than to believe in nothing.  And as you seek for truth, be willing to change your beliefs in accordance to what you learn, receive, and experience.  We bore our testimonies of God and of Jesus Christ and then on the Book of Mormon.  She told us, "I want this book!"  And we gave it to her, and she was very grateful.  

Yesterday in the church I was very content to be there.  I love the time I have to think and ponder about things.  I am especially grateful for the sacrament. 

One of my favorite scriptures that I have gone back to several times this week is in Alma 37. 

"cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."

 I love that so much.  I know that that is true that when we really turn to God and really counsel with him about anything and everything, He WILL lead us along.  I experienced that this week.
I love you all!  It sounds like the home repair adventures continue, and I hope everything goes well with that!

Bis nächste Woche!! :)

Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley

                   Greatest thing about being in a threesome...we can get rides with the AP's.

                                                 Tom Sawyer?  or Sister Shelley?!

The adventure begins...

Strawberry vanilla swirl and chocolate vanilla swirl :D   om nom nom


 Obedient sisters apply the white hand book..
                            "always stay within sight and sound of your companions/." Done!

                                                                 Dritt power!

So, it smelled really bad at the bus stop so Sister Cluff gave me some lotion to put under my nose ;D

I love our trio!! :D

Rainy Day

Ampel man! 

Me and my snowman arm! ;D

Trio seat on the bus :D... so perfect!!

 Battle of righteousness...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 11, 2014

It was so wonderful to see you all on Skype yesterday.  I love you all so much! :)

                                                 Skyping with Heidi on Mother's Day

I know I shared a lot of this past weeks experiences already, but I wanted to add a little bit more of what I learn, and write my testimony again here. 

The first couple days with TWO companions was a little bit difficult.  Having three suddenly got a little bit stressful.  I was definitely going into robot mode and not being the most sensitive person.  I knew that I was at wrong with my attitude though, and I had to take a step back from the situation and analyze my own behavior.  What is the most important thing?  Sometimes I think it is so easy to get caught up in the simple, mundane, but also significant responsibilities of life and forget about our relationships with others. Anyway, I just felt like I had been very inpatient with my new situation and I was not being the most loving or sensitive person.  Our relationships with others are important.  One morning I was praying very fervently that I might feel at peace, that I might have patience with myself and my circumstance, and that I might be filled with love for my companions.  I committed myself to action, and because of all of our efforts, our companionship has turned into a great friendship. 

I read something in "True to the Faith" this week under peace. 

"Many people think of peace as the absence of war. But we can feel peace even in times of war, and we can lack peace even when no war is raging. The mere absence of conflict is not enough to bring peace to our hearts. Peace comes through the gospel—through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the ministration of the Holy Ghost, and our own righteousness, sincere repentance, and diligent service."

My testimony is that peace does come as we commit ourselves to living the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we try to live more like He did, it brings happiness.  The gospel blesses individuals and families. Oh, and hey, even companionships!!

One of the common themes we really emphasized this week was on going to the source.  God is the source of all truth.  Go to the source of all truth.  Go to the scriptures.  Study the word of God yourself.  Pray.  Learn to recognize the Holy Ghost and act on the impressions and the light of revelation when it comes. 

I always hear about stories about people who listen to the missionary discussions and by the end of the lesson they have an understanding that leads them to want to act.  I have thought about that a lot.  What do people have to actually feel, think, and understand so that they actually DESIRE to do something. 

It was seriously the coolest thing when we met with P*** earlier this week.  Even meeting him on the street earlier in the week had been a wake up experience for me.  When we had asked him if he had interest to learn more, his face had lit up and he eagerly set up an appointment.  When we went there to our appointment he even had questions written down already that he wanted to find out the answers to.  We taught him about God's pattern of calling prophets, of revealing his plan to them, and of their special role in teaching and testifying of Jesus Christ.  We testified of Jesus Christ as well and of his special mission in coming to the earth to teach doctrine, establish the primitive church, show us THE way, and perform the Atonement.  The same pattern was seen that people rejected the teachings just as they had done with earlier prophets.  Jesus Christ was killed.  The Apostles were killed.  Eventually the priesthood authority and power was taken from off the earth.  Much truth was lost.  A restoration was needed.  The Book of Mormon is another testimony of Jesus Christ, and is a powerful testimony of the restoration of the Church.  By the end of the lesson P*** was really wanting to know how he could also come to know of the truth.  We taught him to go to the source.  We invited him to begin reading in the Book of Mormon himself and to ponder the words that he would read.  Then to pray and to ask God if it was true.  The Holy Ghost can testify of the truth of all things. 

Even when we met with Bel*** a little bit later in the day, I saw the same earnest desire to find and know truth.  Above all, my testimony of the Book of Mormon was strengthened.  He has had no significant contact with Christianity in his life (born and raised muslim in a dominantly muslim country).  When he was talking about the Book of Mormon he talked about how he just felt an overwhelming feeling of happiness, peace, and understanding.  Things just made sense to him.  We helped him understand the role of the Holy Ghost, and helped him recognize that these good feelings are one of God's ways of communicating with us and leading us to truth.  Wow.  Then that other man from Palestine comes walking out asking if he could join.  He had just seen our faces from the end of the hallway and he just felt drawn to us and he didn't really know why.  He felt like we had something that he also wanted and needed.  Bel*** is seriously a different person since the first time I met him, and I really think it is largely because he is studying the word of God and being literally nourished by it.  The Spirit is having a larger part in his life and I think he is acting on that influence.  He was not ashamed to be meeting with us, and he actually was proud to introduce to the other man a little bit of our work.  So now Mo*** also has a desire to know for himself if God is really there, if Jesus Christ is really his son, and more about his purpose here on life. 


Yesterday at the church we met with J*** and the Elders.  One of the hardest things I have ever done.  I have always prayed for him, but I got the impression a while ago that I shouldn't be teaching him anymore, but that he should be taught by the Elders.  I almost started crying.  But it's not about me or even that we have a great friendship.  It's about what is best for him.  Because I do believe that all that I have personally taught him and testified of is indeed truth.  I may not be a perfect person or a perfect teacher, but everything I say I say with sincerity.  I wouldn't lead anybody astray.  And I don't think God would do that either.  I just want to see that he can understand and find the truth himself so that he comes to the point where he naturally has the desire to do something about it.  We read in Mosiah 18 in the Book of Mormon about these people who had come to this point themselves. 

"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—

 10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

 11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts. . .

30 And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever."

One of my observations is that J*** is really fascinated by the displays of emotion he finds in the church.  He has come to find such LOVE, but also witnessed people become completely reduced to tears as they have spoken of their experiences, shared their own beliefs, or even just expressed their own love for others or for God.  I am touched by the same.  I don't want to say that the Holy Ghost has to be connected to tears or displays of such emotion, but I do associate God with love, and naturally a recognition of that love can bring someone to tears at times.  I know that for myself. 
11 months ago today I went into the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.  Oh how the time has gone by. Ha ha honestly, I don't know if I would have actually gotten out of the car and walked through those doors if I knew how hard this was going to be.  But I don't know who or where I would be without my mission.  I am so grateful that I made that decision and that I went through with it.  It is the best decision I ever made in my life yet. 
I love you all.


Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley

Cutest thing ever! I love the random wall art.

Brandenburger tor

Holocaust memorial

The large stone blocks represent numbers of murdered Jews. We also went to the museum underneath.

                                           My companion taught me how to plank

Adventures at the doctors office. Thank goodness my headaches have gotten better! German medical treatment.... :P

Going to a baptism!! :D

Every old German lady has one of these.:D

         I have been blessed in the District leader department. He just finished this last transfer.

It's not every day you see a fox on the roof in downtown Berlin.

Saying goodbye and hello at the transfer.
 Goodbye to a great district leader. Hello Sister Cluff and drit power.

Joke of everyone...
"A red head, a blonde, and a brunette all walk into,,,.. "Hey,it's the Sisters!"

Eating appointment with Schwester erdmann ich liebe sie.

Celebrating Sister Bronson's one year mark. I am only a transfer behind! Eeek!
Arabic food.  Then we taught the guy there about prophets. 

                      Our little pet caterpillar. We named him Jeffrey and then he escaped.