Monday, February 17, 2014


17 February, 2014
I remember so well, when my Mother would sing to me the words of a song before I would go to bed at night.  "I Am A Child of God."  Now, years later the words come back to me and they mean something so special.  Such comfort and peace comes from such a simple phrase.  A phrase of truth.  Ich bin ein Kind von Gott.  I am a Child of God.  Do we really know that?  Do we really believe that?  If we do, what does it cause us to do?  How does this knowledge affect our lives?  
Gospel--Good news.
Yesterday a young man spoke in our ward.  He was baptized just a couple years ago, and he is the only member in his family.  He looked out at the group of us sitting there in the chapel.  "You really don't know how lucky you are to have the gospel in your life, unless you have had to live without it."  I know that my own testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my knowledge of God, is one of the most dear things that I have.  I cannot take that for granted.  And yet, for the majority of my life I feel like I have taken it for granted.  It has been a journey of now over eight months, away from friends, family, and all that I knew.  To see suffering, to see that the world is just not a fair place, to see that the world is a diverse place.  Love is powerful.  Human pain and joy is the color of humanity.  I know how precious a knowledge of God is.  And I cannot ever take it for granted again.  The Gospel.  The Good news that this world needs. 
Enthusiasm--from the Greek Enthousiasmos.  "GOD IN US."
To be happy, to be enthusiastic.  That is a choice we make.  Just as it is to recognize that God is with us.  And with that recognitition it makes a difference in our life.  Like recognizing the light in the dark.  Recognizing the warmth in the cold.  Recognizing the joy that can always be in us.  
As missionaries the first lesson that we normally give begins with this basic point:  God is our Heavenly Father. our Heavenly FATHER.  Gott ist unser himmlischer Vater.  Another statement of truth that brings such comfort and such peace. I think about how remarkable it is that we have the ability as children of God, that we can communicate with him in prayer.  We can communicate with our Father.

"As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. . .Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent His mind but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart" (Bible Dictionary, Prayer).
Prayer is a way for us to speak with God.
Earlier this week I was caught up with many thoughts. I had been studying in the scriptures, and studying personally about the qualities of Christ.  I found myself writing, "I want to be like Christ."  I am sure that I have vocally expressed this thought on many occasions, as well as written it in ink on paper . . . But in this moment it meant so much more.  I am so fascinated by words and the meaning we give to them when they are reflections of our own hearts.  The desires of our own hearts. I found myself in my bedroom where I knelt down and just cried unto my God.  My heart felt so full of gratitude, of love, of feeling.  I really just felt like my Father in Heaven was there listening to me.  Like he really cared about me and loved me.  I prayed for all the people that I know need a special blessing at this time.  And it felt so good that I wasn't praying for me, I was praying for THEM.

It made me think a little bit about Enos in the Book of Mormon.

2 And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens. 
 5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
 6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
I testify from my own experience that God lives.  He loves us.  Faith has a healing power to it, as we turn to Christ.  True repentance brings us to joy.    

I think about Jus*** this week who has been praying every day and putting forth the effort to read in the Book of Mormon.  He still doesn't feel like he has felt anything?  
The thought came to me this morning as I was praying in my personal study.  I can't really pray and ask specifically that somebody will do something, for to do so would be disrespecting their god-given agency.  But I can pray for my companion and I that we might have the ability given to us from God to say what these people need or invite them to act in ways that will help them to feel.  I can also pray that they might feel the Spirit as they act on what we invite them to do.
I reached my 8 month point this past week.  Crazy how that happens.
I love you all!


Sister Heidi Shelley

                                                                     Lankwitz district

Zone Training Meeting Berlin South 02-14

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