Monday, March 10, 2014

SUNNY DAYS IN BERLIN..:D In more ways than one... LANKWITZ [ BERLIN ]

Heidi's latest email..:D

March 10, 2104

Another sunny day here in Berlin!
Yesterday I was sitting in the small chapel here during sacrament meeting and there was so much light coming in through the windows.  Spring is here, JAWOHL!! :)
Something that has been on my mind a lot this week is replacing fear with faith.
Faith is power.

We met with J*** this week and at a part of the lesson we invited him to simply tell us what he believed.  Just like all of us, he has some doubts, he has some fears, he has some questions.  But then again, that's only part of being human.

"I believe in God, and I believe that He loves me."  As he spoke those words I was really touched by them.

Sister Clark was there and she shared one of the most powerful testimonies of Jesus Christ, and she began to cry as she read from 3rd Nephi as Christ ministered among the people.  I believe in God and I believe that He loves me as well.  I believe that God is love.

I remember back in Hamburg how I felt as I read these chapters on my own in 3rd Nephi and how they had touched me in a similar way.  I may not be able to meet Christ in person, but I can get to know him through the scriptures, get to know his character and love. We are lucky to have this available to us, but even so there are some people who have not yet had this opportunity.  How well do we take advantage of it?  How well do we know the Savior and His teachings?  How grateful are we for the gospel and the knowledge that we do have? As a missionary my faith has grown immensely.  But even so there are days that I fall down.  I doubt, I fear, I question.  But there is power that comes from the Atonement.  There is power in prayer.  And there is power in the truth.

A quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard really meant a lot to me as I read it in my personal study this week:

"Always remember that Jesus Christ--the Creator of the universe, the architect of our salvation, and the head of this church is in control.  He will not permit His work to fail.  He will be victorious over all darkness and evil."

Lately, I have just felt such an overwhelming sense of the Spirit, and I felt this again as we were praying with J*** at the end of the lesson.  He prayed out loud in his native tongue for what seemed like minutes.  I couldn't understand but I felt the sincerity behind his plea, at times it was almost like a whisper.  I know that God answers our prayers.  I really do believe that.  And I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father.

It's kind of hard to explain how I have really been feeling the last several days . . .
but I like this part of the 13th article of faith.  Personalized to me:  "[I] believe all things, [I] hope all things, [I] have endured many things, and [I] hope to be able to endure all things."

Something that has really been on my mind a lot this week is the importance of studying and praying specifically for the needs of investigators.   I have really been led to specific chapters and verses that have been such specific answers to what our investigators need.  I feel like it has been easier for me to relate to them as I constantly am praying for them.

J*** has told us that he believes that everything is right and true that we have taught him, but he has made the decision to  not be baptized at this time.  This week I have been praying with my whole heart in his behalf and I really do have faith that He will change his heart and make the right decision.  I know that the Lord can touch hearts.  I know that He can confirm truth through the Spirit.  I really do believe that.

I feel like I've really felt the Spirit a lot this week, and it has really helped me to evaluate so many of my actions, decisions, and desires.  I feel like I have become better at accepting and acting on divine help.  I feel like my will is becoming more aligned with what God wants.

Conversion really is a long, hard process but it is so worth it. I am working on my own deep conversion here, but let me tell you, it is not easy. But just like many things that don't come easily, it is so worth it. I loved this quote from the bible dictionary that Sister Hansen shared with me.  Under conversion it says:  "To labor for the conversion of yourself and others is a noble task."

Oh my goodness mother there is so much that I wish that I could tell you and share with you about the work and the miracles here but I just can't because I don't have the time :(  I will try to send another letter home.

, I love you all, SO MUCH. 
Please pray for me and I will pray for you.  We can stand together even though we are so far away. 
Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley

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