Monday, April 28, 2014


April 28, 2014

Liebe Familie

This week I have continued my studying of Jesus Christ and the Atonement.  I just decided to start at the beginning of the New Testament and read through it from beginning to end.  I know I talked about my feelings last week that I had studying, and I can say that it has continued to be so.  I just feel so much peace while I read.  I am actually feeling sad and experiencing a little bit of regret that I haven't studied that much in the Bible up until now.  I have mostly read in the Book of Mormon, but wow, let us not forget that the Bible is also the word of God. 

I am so amazed by Jesus's character.  He was so selfless.  He had such compassion.  He healed people and he blessed people.  He just loved with a pure love--what we know is charity.  And all I want is to be more like that. 

In life it is true that we can't see everything.  There isn't solid evidence that we can hold and handle for every truth.  We learn to accept  truth , we learn to believe in things that we can't see.  And when we actually choose to ACT because of things that we believe, something really amazing happens.  Our ability to believe gets stronger, our inner awareness as well as awareness of the world gets stronger.  Faith!!  It can be kind of complicated, but really faith is simple.  Faith founded in Jesus Christ provides an anchor for the soul in a world of shifting values.   It brings hope, because we know through the influence of the Spirit that there is more to come.  It will all be okay.  And I do believe that it is by faith that miracles come about.

Just like how Jesus always asked the people if they had faith.  Once they made their faith manifested, Jesus healed them.  I know that God really is there.  I can't deny that.  It is the times that I really humble myself, realize my dependency on God, and learn to recognize the Spirit in my life, and make my faith MANIFEST, that I truly experience the power of God.  I experience miracles. 

This week I have continued along with my streak of happiness.  We had a ward activity on Saturday-- A "Kulturnachmittag" or "Culture Afternoon."  You know how much I love the diversity here in Berlin.  We had about six different groups from our ward present something.  Here we were meeting as a congregation of people from Germany, Austria, South Africa, Congo, China, Thailand, Peru, Russia, Finnland, America, and many more . . . It just simply doesn’t' matter where we are from or who the world makes us out to be.  It all comes down to the fact that we are all sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters.  We inhabit this world and we live, work, and love each other.  I love how the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power of connecting people of all nations, cultures, and tongues. 

…I seriously laughed non stop for the three hours we were together.  EVERYONE laughed and had a good time.  And the best part was that there was food represented from all the cultures as well . . . Om nom nom.  Really though, I love the aspect of gathering.  We gather on Sunday.  We gather during the week.  Whether it is for the purpose of praising God or playing games together, it just reminds us that we are loved and have a place together.  It strengthens my faith, and it brings me peace knowing that I am not alone.

As believers we will always face opposition.  We will be tried, tempted, and teased.  But guess what?  If we  build upon a foundation of FAITH, upon a foundation of JESUS CHRIST, we will have the strength we need to stand strong.  We will be able to do all things :)

We went to a baptism with J*** after the activity.  It was for another Chinese man….It really hit me how hard it really is for him and for all Chinese people to learn about God and Jesus Christ, to learn about baptism. …and I can't even imagine how frustrating it must be to be learning from the beginning…

Yesterday after church we met with J*** in a classroom briefly. .. In that moment I just felt so overcome with the most powerful sensation.  I testified of the existence of all things.  I testified of God, of Jesus Christ, of the Holy Ghost.  And I know that it is true.  There is power in faith.  There is power in prayer.  In obedience.  There is power in the Spirit.  I promised him as a missionary called of God, that he can know the truth of all things through the Holy Ghost.  I believe in the conversion process with my whole heart.  I apologized to him for my own weaknesses as a missionary, and as I did so my eyes started tearing up.

The last thing I want to do is be manipulative or convince someone to do something just because of me.  I want people to come to know the TRUTH for themselves.  And then ACT on that knowledge.  I told J*** that when he comes to know the truth, he will actually desire to be baptized.  It won't be a push and pull effort.  When he is ready he will know it.   

Today I had a little visit with President.  As I sat down at his desk I was a little bit uneasy, but then I looked at the  block sitting right there in the middle of his desk.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I almost started crying.  Because to be honest, I didn't really want to be there.  I was a little bit bitter because of misunderstandings that had come up for the second time on my mission and I knew that I needed to explain again. I was mad at Sister Darrington for loving me too much and going out of her way.  For suggesting that I talk with President and just trust him.  But as I sat there I just took a deep breath and I knew that it was okay.  And it really was.  I am happy on my mission, I am confident, and I feel like my “painting” is coming along.  But we all have weaknesses and problems, and unfortunately must experience temptations even though they even too are for our own good.  Because these things all give us opportunities to overcome what is hard in life, to learn and progress.  It was for an eating disorder scare for the second time.  Everything is okay, and I don't have an eating disorder.  But I know that I am tempted as to things pertaining to the world.  It is a battle living in the world, and for me I am sure it will continue that I worry about my image too much.  I worry too much about what I look like on the outside and I know that.  But what I know really is that, God loves us for who we are.  What is important is who we really are.  Who we are on the inside.  Who is to say what is beautiful?  What is perfect?  Especially in a world with such shifting values.  The world changes.  God is unchanging.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  I choose to put my trust in HIM.  I am a disciple of Christ. More than anything, I want to become more like Jesus Christ.  And do you know what?  Christ is the real example of perfection.  He was perfect in nature.

I could go on and on about my mission experiences.  How pathetically easy it is to be selfish.  How easy it is to be the "natural man."  I am trying to battle my pride and selfishness and become someone better.  And I am determined that it is easier to follow God than not.  It is easier to be a daughter of God because that is who I am in divine nature.  It feels right to do what is right and to cleave unto all good things. 

I just have such a testimony that that God really does live.  He gives us our weaknesses to humble us.  And I can tell you, that I know that I need God.  I know that weaknesses can be overcome and become strengths.  Everything is possible through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.  He can strengthen all of us.  It comes when we choose to accept him, and to use his atonement.  When we choose to have faith even though we can't see.  When we choose to repent, even though it is hard.  Repenting, so coming to the point where we see ourselves, the world, and God differently.  We want to do what is right.   

I hope you all have a wonderful week.


Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley  

A few pictures J*** sent us. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Zone Training Meeting

                                         April 2014 Berlin South Zone Training Meeting


April 22, 2014


his hands
tools of creation
stronger than nations
power without end
and yet through them we find our truest friend

his hands
sermons of kindness
healing men's blindness
halting years of pain
children waiting to be held again

his hands would serve his whole life through
showing man what his hands might do
giving, ever giving, endlessly
each day was filled with selflessness
and I'll not rest until I make of my hands what they could be
'til these hands become like those from galilee

 his hands
lifting a leper
warming a beggar
calling back the dead
breaking bread, five thousand fed

his hands
hushing contention
pointing to heaven
ever free of sin
then bidding man to follow him

his hands would serve his whole life through
showing man what his hands might do
giving, ever giving, endlessly
each day was filled with selflessness
and I'll not rest until I make of my hands what they could be
'til these hands become like those from galilee

his hands
clasped in agony
as he lay pleading, bleeding in the garten
while just moments away
other hands betray him
out of greed, shameful greed

and then his hands
are trembling
straining to carry the beam that they've been nailed to
as he stumbles through the streets
heading for the hill on which he'd die
he would die
they take his hands, his might hands, those gentle hands
and then they pierce them, they pierce them
he lets them, because of love
from birth to death was selflessness
and clearly now I see him with his hands
calling to me
and though I'm not yet as I would be
he has shown me how I could be
I'll make my hands like those from galilee

It was in Hamburg that Sister Darrington shared this song with me.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table on Christmas morning as she read the words aloud for our district.  Something special.  She had read and had sobbed simultaneously. 

This Easter week I pulled out this song again. I know God lives.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. Really for me, I think a lot about 'Sister' and how she really touched my life and changed my life.  She is an example.  A friend.  Above all, a disciple of Christ. ( **  I love that Heidi refers to Sister Darrington as "Sister"..just shows the closeness of their relationship)

I can say that my tausch ( exchange ) with her this past week was one of the best days of my mission.  We have both grown since Hamburg.  Do you know that she served me every second she was with me.  I didn't know that I was broken at all or in need of anything, until she found all of my cracks and then filled them.  I find that she understands me and my experiences better than almost anyone.  So pretty much we stayed up until almost 3 in the morning talking.  But it wasn't what President would call ''Babylonisch''.  It wasn't about boys, or after mission life, or whatever.  It was about the Spirit, it was about our testimonies, it was about our experiences.  People.  Us.  Life.  I can say that one of the most wonderful blessings in life is having the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  I can’t go without the guidance, the peace, the comfort, the inner peace.  The whole time we were together we marveled at how strong the Spirit was.  It feels so good.  I am so grateful for love and friendship.  That strengthens my belief in God.


Me and meine liebe "Sister". Love this girl SO MUCH.
Tausch (exchange)with Sister Darrington..

Tausch! Mensch, probably one of the best days of my mission being with "Sister" again

I studied more about the Atonement this week.  Jesus Christ and His Atonement is central to EVERYTHING.  It was the greatest manifestation of love.  Do you know why I claim to believe in Jesus Christ?? Why I say, Ich WEIß, I KNOW.  Because I have learned that God testifies of truth through the Holy Ghost.  And I believe that I have experienced that. The Holy Ghost speaks peace to the soul.  Love, joy, peace. Longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance.  As I have studied this week, I have FELT and EXPERIENCED that.  When I was out on the street this week I just went up to everybody and started sharing my testimony of Christ.  I felt kind of like I was on fire.  I just felt so empowered, so good, so full of light and I was so HAPPY, and all I wanted to do was share it with everyone. When I read in the scriptures and wrote my thoughts, I received silent confirmations as I felt in my heart the workings of the Spirit.  It's just all good.  My thoughts were uplifting, my understanding enlightened.  All I know is that I feel a tangible energy around me that seems to comfort me and guide me, and I don’t want to lose that. I can only trust that it is the Holy Ghost, and that God is really there, he loves me, and He is pleased with what I am doing. 

I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE. I love being a missionary. 

Monday 21 April ( excerpt from Heidi’s journal)
''. . .Whenever we talk about Jesus Christ I get a good feeling in my heart.  I feel peace.  I feel empowered.  I really do believe that I have experienced the Holy Ghost testify to me the truthfulness of Christ.  I believe that God is making truth known to me.  I was very grateful to be at the Beesley's yesterday, and that for Easter Sunday we could spend it together. All believers.  There was a very tangible energy in the room-and I know the Spirit was there with us.  I spontaneously bore my testimony and with everything I said it really felt like my heart was burning.  Everyone else opened up as well, and the testimonies shared were some of the most sincere testimonies I have ever heard.

''We also met with R** and L** . . . I love them so much.  I still have the image of R** and L** standing outside the 181 bus window.  Smiling and waving.  L** with his pink bicycle.  His nose running.  Natürlich!  Sister Bronson and I are smiling and waving back. My heart was so full and is so full.''

Seriously, it is the most natural thing to want to share the gospel with people when you sincerely love and care about them.  ''Love is something very important to me.  It's so powerful.  Feeling and experiencing love makes me want to believe in God.  It makes me want to live.  It makes me happy.''

Even yesterday, we got time to meet with J**.  Earlier in the week he announced to us that he was really preparing for baptism.  His desire may still be small, but when it is founded upon truth and righteousness it is destined to grow.  I have already watched his faith grow, and I believe in the power of God.  I believe that God makes truth known to us.  He can touch hearts, because I have experienced it myself.  J** invited one of his friends to meet with us the other day.  We met once and J** gave us some missionary advice before she came.  Ha ha.  Actually though, he is a really good missionary, and it is actually helpful getting some teaching advice from one of your own investigators,  just saying . . . But his advice was this.  1)  Be a friend.  2)  Be an Example.  3)  Teach them. 

Meeting with the two of them together was really amazing.  I really felt the Spirit.  Especially when J** shared his own experiences of why he believed in God.  He invited D** to do the same.  Missionary work is a little bit contagious I think!  So after we left, D** didn't really seem too enthusiastic about learning more, but J** did about four hours more of missionary work after we left. . .

We met up for Chinese food yesterday and then went to Tiergarten for Family Home evening.  We gave her a book of Mormon and she was grateful for the gift and wants us to help her understand it.  Yesterday I think I laughed more than I have in a long time.  It felt so good.  I have made a new good friend in D**!  And I can’t wait to get to know her better.  Apparently J** already taught her about the word of wisdom because yesterday at the restaurant somebody walked passed with some beer. . .
''Do you like beer? Oh! Me neither!''
''Do you like coffee?  Oh!  Me neither!''
''Do you like tea?  Oh!  Me neither!''
Ha ha it only took a few seconds and some laughs to realize where this was coming from.

Anyway, it has been an INCREDIBLE week.  I am happy.  I am grateful.  I am enjoying the warm weather.  I love you all!!


Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley

Easter Eggs :D 

And me and my bunny that Rachel gave me.
I was already for bed...So enjoy the fresh no makeup shots :)

                             Haha, you can totes see how tired I am! Mensch,working hard!



                                                                  ASIAN!! :D

Chinese food with " Hu Bruder " and his friend D**. Mensch, i love this girl so much. J** the best missionary.

                              Yes, I did taste a fish eyeball just in case you were wondering.

Monday, April 14, 2014

LOTS of PICTURES!! :D and a letter soon to come!

April 14, 2014

Hey :)
I am sorry I wont have any time to send an actual email today.  I really wanted to share photos with you from the past several weeks because I dont get the opportunity very often.  But I PROMISE I will finish my letter from last week and send a new one from the week with everything that I experienced.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.  I am so grateful to have you as my mother and for our family.  I know that God lives.  I know that he loves us.  If we know that and remember that it will give us strength to go forward every day, even when its hard.  Remember that we are here on the earth to experience joy and adversity.  We are here to enjoy life!!  I pray you will all have a good week.  You will hear from me soon--written in my own hand.  Love you :)
I cant wait to see all your faces in less than a month!!!!  ( On Mother's Day when we get to skype!! ) :D :D :D

Eating at Dolores' Mexican food...You have no idea how much I have missed this. 

General Conference district meeting. We all gave talks!


Tschuss! Papa!! Ich liebe dich

The original dritt! :) At the trains station saying goodbye to meine Liebe.

My new comp! Seconds after she got off the train. Surprise! Flash! :D

More of the city. 

                                                                    Well hi!!

                                         So much art in Berlin..and so much graffiti.

                                              I found another TALL companion!! :D

                       These boots are made for walking..A little bit of the Berlin Wall.

                                                 More adventuring on P.Day!! :D

In the city. ...A little bit of exploring... our first P.Day together.

SCHRITT FÜR SCHRITT. ( Step by step ) Best advice you could ever get from the stairs in the bahn station.

A little rain never hurt anyone right? Life isn't fun unless we learn how to dance in it :) Egal if we don't know how to dance...

                                    Zone Training Meeting. REUNION : Sister and Me!!

 (excerpt from Heidi's recent letter..." Guess what? Sister Darrington is coming to Berlin. AND SHE WILL BE MY SISTER TRAINING LEADER!!!! I am so excited!!!!   Seriously..I have been thinking about her so much lately . I'm so grateful for her, who she is, and who she helped me to become. We talked about the day we would see each other again- we both agreed it would be a long hug and probably lot's of tears. I just know I am so happy to see her again. I took so much of what I learned from her and with her and applied it to my companionship here. Really, I wish we could serve together again before our missions are up. but we will see. " )