10 June, 2014
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
I LOVE IT HERE!!!!
Have a good week!
Sister Heidi Elaine Shelley.