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.


Monday, May 5, 2014


May 5, 2014

Well, Saturday morning was a pretty exciting time for Sister Bronson and I . . . I hadn't even given a second thought to the fact that we would be getting transfer calls . . . But guess what?  We are going to be getting a third sister!  Yayay for dritts.  Elder Breitenstein came up with the great analogy that being in a dritt (or a tri companionship) is like a mullet.  It is a party in the off time, but in all work situations it is horribly awkward.  Bring it on.  We can rock this mullett!!

This week we met with a man from India, who Sister Hansen and I actually met when we were together.  We met at the church, and it was an adventure.  Two words:  Language barrier.  This is probably one of the hardest things that we have to deal with.  It will be so weird coming home again when everybody just speaks English, and when we can communicate with such ease.  Even though it is frustrating though, it has truly taught me how important the role of the Holy Ghost is.  I really recognize how dependent I am on God and on the Holy Ghost.  If these people can't understand the words that we speak, we hope that they will at least understand in their hearts.  There is a large painting of Jesus in the foyer of the church, and I pointed at it several times as we were together.  "Lal, Jesus Christus ist der Sohn Gottes.  Jesus ist der Erlöser und Erretter der Welt.'' "Gott lebt.  Jesus Christus lebt. Gott liebt Sie."  He could respond with the name of the Savior in his own language.  Understanding.  Remembering this experience kinda gives me goose bumps.  We can give our testimony, we can help him all that we can.  It seriously breaks my heart that we can't give him more or help him more.  

This week I had a "Lord, I believe" moment. One day I started getting a really bad headache again and it lasted the whole day.  It was so exhausting and by the time I layed down in bed I just felt like crying.  The next day, I woke up feeling much the same way, and I just felt like I was in the darkest place.  I honestly didnt' know what I could do.  My mind felt so fragile and my body weak.  And I just felt so alone.  I finally opened up to Sister Bronson about how I was feeling, and she was willing to do anything she could to help.  Seriously, temptation is a scary thing.  My companion bore her testimony to me, and just as she spoke simple statements of truth, I could feel it.  I don't even know how I came to be in this place in the first place, why I was so low, but I know that I was missing the feeling of the Holy Ghost.  All I could do was rest my own head on my clasped hands and plead with God to help me.  I knew that my faith was the most powerful thing that I had in the moment. I spoke audibly, "I know that God lives.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  I know that God is there."  It was kind of like with Lal.  There is so much power in statements of truth.  I made my faith manifest.  I still felt like a prisoner to my own doubt though, and even to the temptations that had overcome me.  I asked Sister Bronson if she would sing with me.  So we sang a song that has always had a special meaning for me.

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev'ry child's prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
"Suffer the children to come to me."
Father, in prayer I'm coming now to thee.

Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list'ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav'n.   

As a young girl I used to go to sleep at night with these words going through my mind.  It brought me peace then just as it does now.  I even remember one night in Langenhorn when it was particularly hard and Sister had sung this to me as we had both layed down at night after a dark, cold winter day. There is power in prayer and there is power in song.  Both invite the Spirit.  Both bring peace.  

The days passed this week and we continued to talk to people on the street and talk to people in their homes.  After every day and every experience whether it is easy or hard I am just so grateful.  Often it is so hard in the moment, but there will always be a way out.  There is always hope and there is always faith.  And there is always light when we turn to God.  As I reflected on my experience from earlier this week I had the line come to my head, "Lord, I believe."  We will experience the power of faith when we make it manifest.  "Help thou mine unbelief."  In my personal study this week I came to chapter 9 in the book of Mark.  the story where the man actually comes to Jesus with his son almost dead in his arms, and begs that Jesus heal him.  

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are apossible to him that bbelieveth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine aunbelief.
 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he arebuked the bfoul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
 26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and alifted him up; and he arose.

  No matter where we are or who we are I really believe that God's hand is extended to each one of us.  We can be lifted if we want to.  There is a call to everyone to arise. 

Another cool experience we had this week was when we were on the street and just talking to people.  We started talking to a man and he immediately recognized us as missionaries from the church.  He had been in the church one time several months ago, after he had been invited by two other sisters.  He is a professor and is really busy with work and everything, but he still remembered the names of the missionaries who he met.  He spoke of the strength of one of the Sisters in particular, and how powerful her testimony was.  This one sister had made such a difference in this man's life and she didn't even know it.  He had remembered her and her testimony even after several months.  I am determined that every effort on our part to serve others and to serve God makes a different.  By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.  This has pretty much been the story of my mission.  we meet people, some just briefly, some for extended periods of time, but something happens and it appears that all of our efforts have been for nothing. But the little things do matter.  This is the work of the Lord, and it will be done.

I am so excited to see you all this coming Sunday.on Skype. Wow, I can't believe the time is already here again.  I love you all.  Bis dann :)

Ich liebe euch.
Sister Heidi Shelley