Monday, September 29, 2014

9/29/14 So... this week I learned that it is smart to know the emergency 911 number for the country you are in

So... this week I learned that it is smart to know the emergency 911 number for the country you are in. I'll spoil the ending and say that everything turned out ok, but Sister Blackhurst and I were pretty freaked out! We had an appointment with a lady who had recently gotten baptized but was in a wheel chair and could not get around that well. As we were teaching her all of a sudden she began to have seizures and was shaking uncontrollably, her head was tilted back and her lips started turning blue. I jumped up and grabbed the phone and then realized that I didn't know the 911 number!! So while Sister Blackhurst stayed with her I jumped outside to shout for the gardener- but right as I did Marlies stopped convulsing and went limp- I was so worried because I thought that she had just died right there! Sister Blackhurst checked her pulse as I dialed the Emergency number that the gardener gave me. Thankfully her sister Ulla came around the corner right then and I gave her the phone so that she could explain the situation. Marlies was breathing but she was not doing well at all. The ambulance came a minute or two later and took control and zipped her back to the hospital. We stayed with Ulla to help her calm down for quite a while and despite all the scary things that happened I couldn't help but feel calm. As we sat with her, Ulla (who had no previous interest in the gospel) asked us to say a prayer and we spent a long time talking about the love of our heavenly father and the blessing of having a savior who knows all of our struggles. I think that that is one of the greatest blessings of of the Gospel and of being a missionary- because despite the trials and hardships that we may be facing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help everyone individually. I learned a lot about Faith this week. If heavenly Father had not prompted us to visit Marlies that day, she would have been all alone while she was having her epileptic attack. It has given me more determination to act in such a way that I will always have the spirit with me- so that I can be a tool for good in the Lords hands.

We have several people that we met with who are really interested in learning more- I am soo excited for them- I didn't realize how quickly you can learn to love someone you've only known for a few weeks. Wolfgang is an old German Doctor and we have been teaching him since I got here, but he is so open and ready to learn, we took him on a temple tour this week and he really is starting to see that this is the path for him! :D

Our week has been pretty eventful, we have been all over the Wetzlar area and also around Frankfurt. This week I have had a personal goal to contact more people on buses and trains. I just want to start up conversations with people and as our Mission President said, 'Teach when you Find, Find when you teach' Bear testimony in casual conversations- leave our number and invite them to learn more. It seems so easy but in reality it is hard to just talk to people who really don't want to have any part of you! The other day we ran into an old baptized man who scolded us for wearing finger nail polish! But we also were able to talk to people about family and the Book of Mormon! The more I think about it- the more excited I get haha, idk, I am just excited to be here and work hard in Wetzlar!

Love Sister Shurts

Monday, September 22, 2014

9/22/14 Loving the Missionary Life! Loving Germany!!

Soo.... 2 weeks in germany down... it doesn't feel like it- Everyday we are on the move and doing something different. My companions are always laughing at me because any time we get on a train I am just staring out the window in awe. I still can't believe I am here. I think growing up in a tiny one blinking light town is not helping me figure out how to run through large cities to catch trains and busses to get to appointments, but it has been fun to always be on the move. I can't think of any other time in my life when going to bed sounded so nice (and i've only been here 2 weeks!) 
We have a lot of investigators and my companions are awesome and always working hard to do their best. I am really excited to build up the church in Wetzlar we have 5 missionaries in our ward, 2 elders, 3 sisters. I just really feel like now is the time to grow! and I think that the Members in the area feel that too. I have learned a lot about trust in the last couple weeks. Trust in myself, trust in my companions, but most of all trust in the Lord. I was really nervous at first to talk to people on busses or trains or on the street- which probably doesn't sound characteristic of me- but honestly it was pretty hard. But then earlier this week, I felt like the nervousness of being here began to wear off, and I was just able to be myself a little bit more. And that meant being able to talk to people all the time, and when you talk to people and are interested in them- then they become interested in you! And it is in moments like that, that I can explain why I am here in Germany, and that I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints! I seriously LOVE saying that- I can't keep the smile off my face when i do! 

On Friday we had a meeting with a single mom in Giessen, she was having a hard time and her 5 year old son was crazy hyper. Before the appointment my companions told me that this little boy was litterally insane and there was no way to have a good lesson because he was jumping and yelling and screaming the whole time. I thought about it a lot before we went in, because I wanted this mom to feel like she was loved- so I said a quiet prayer in my heart to be able to find a way to calm little Jamie. We went in and he was there - first of all he was way cute- but also a little crazy- not that bad honsetly (but maybe thats because I have experience with crazy children haha) anyways- as we started the lesson I had the thought to tell jamie cool stories from the book of mormon. So I called him over to the table and we drew and talked about Nephi and Samuel the Lamanite and Jeus coming to the America's. Afterwards the mother and my companions were so surprised at how calm he was- they just had never seen him that quiet! I thought it was really special (even though it made me miss my siblings) it was a bit of a Tender Mercy. 

I love Germany so far! It is a little bit of a different culture- as we ring doorbells, I have decided I have seen my fair share of old men in their underwear and the cigarette smoke is a bit annoying- but the people are down to earth and so fun to talk to! I have talked to people from Russia, California, Bavaria and many parts of Germany- Everyone has their own story to tell- I think that is why I love this so much- because you can learn so much about people. I think there is a speacial spirit as a missionary that really helps you feel how much Heavenly Father loves each and every one of his children. 

anyways- love you all! 

Sister Shurts! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

9/14/14 - First Update from Germany!!

With Sister Jaursch, Michaela's MTC companion, in front of
Preston England Temple
Michaela and Sister Jaursch

So... I'm like in Freaking Germany! I really don't know exactly what I expected, but I do know that I didn't expect to be quite so tired. I finished my MTC training- but I don't feel at all ready- I guess that is where faith comes in. If I press forward in faith then I know that the Lord will provide a way, and make up the difference. I learned so much from my companion in the MTC, Sister Jaursch was an absolute Angel who didn't speak a lick of English- ok i lied, she could say 'how are you doink' but that was it. I learned so much from her about listening and how to communicate and also how to understand her thick accent! We may not have understood eachother all the time, but we learned to love eachother. Can I just say right now, that I'm in love with all the Germans? I don't know if that is allowed but they are awesome! So if I don't come back it is because I married a German and decided to stay in Germany! It was so fun speaking just german for 2 weeks and really learning how to teach the gospel in German. 
In all honesty it was a fun but tough 2 weeks. I have never used my brain so much! But I really just felt so good while at the MTC, it was an amazing experience to be able to learn and grow- and speak SO MUCH German! 
I flew alone from Manchester to Frankfurt and after being forgotten for a couple hours at the airport, running to catch a few busses and not eating for like 12 hours I arrived in GERMANY! Now for the news you have all been waiting for... My first zone in Germany is in Friedrichsdorf, and my area or town is in Wetzlar! My trainer is sister Blackhurst out of American Fork Utah, and I actually have another compaion (we're a trio) and she is also from Utah.. surprise! 
We stayed at a Hotel the first couple nights as all the new missionaries or 'goldens' as they're called went through an orientation.
We went to Frankfurt and did street contacting! It was a glorious sunny day and I was exhausted (but I think I was too excited to really act tired) I think the highlight of the week has been that I have been able to listen to Elder Ballard twice since getting here in Germany! It is so cool to listen to an apostle of the Lord. The first time was a Frankfurt Mission Conference and the second was double stake conference. It was such a great way to start off my mission right and really make goals to do the best that I can for the next 18 months. Wow, that is a daunting thought- I can't believe that I am already here on my mission living in a tiny apartment taking buses to foreign cities and getting lost. haha but it isn't too bad!

I'm really excited to jump into this next week and really get my feet on the ground and understand what it means to be a missionary! :) LOVE IT!!

from the scribbled notes of a sister missionary 

Michaela and Sister Mittleman on the temple grounds
at MTC in England before flying to Germany.

Michaela's first apartment

Michaela's first comapnions: Sis. Peterson and Sis. Blackhurst

Thursday, September 11, 2014

 Thursday, 11 September 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Karl Shurts,

 We are happy to report that Sister Michaela Ann Shurts arrived safely today.  Sister Stoddard and I met all the new missionaries at the Frankfurt airport, and your daughter looked good and was happy to be here.  We are always grateful to have new missionaries come into the field as they bring a sense of excitement and a spirit of great faith.  It inspires and energizes the whole mission.

 After their arrival in Frankfurt, the missionaries were transported to the Frankfurt Stake Center, where they completed paperwork so they could register and obtain their Visas to stay in Germany.  They also received their debit cards. This allows them to access their missionary support funds.  They also learned about mission transportation and apartments.   Later, Sister Stoddard and I both spent some time getting acquainted with your daughter.  I also took a few minutes to conduct a brief interview with her.  She is a wonderful young woman; and, we are so grateful to have her here.  After a light meal, the missionaries were taken to a nearby hotel for the night.  On Thursday, Sister Shurts will spend the morning in a meeting with the other new missionaries, where they will be introduced to their new companions.  They will have some more training and then head off to their first areas of assignment.

There is a blogspot at Shortly, photos will be posted and updated periodically.  Please refer to it throughout the mission and feel free to distribute it to family and friends.  A map of the mission, so you can see where your daughter will be serving, can also be located on the blog.

The mission office address is up above in the header.  Please send ALL packages to the mission office address; and, please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.  When sending Christmas packages, post them before Thanksgiving.  For special packages to arrive in a timely manner, please allow 4-6 weeks.

Letter mail can be sent to the address where your missionary is serving.  However, we recommend that you send packages to the mission office; and, we will deliver them as soon as possible.  It is easier for the mailman to deliver packages to the office because there is always someone there to receive the mail.  The missionaries email their families on their Preparation Day, which is Monday in our mission. Make sure when addressing envelopes or packages to your missionary that you include Elder or Sister, their first name, and their last name, because sometimes we have multiple missionaries with the same last name. There are a lot of these at this time.

Sister Shurts entered this mission at an especially important time. We pledge to do all we can to insure that she  has a chance to grow spiritually and develop a strong testimony.  We feel confident that she will be effective in this important work of teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have been prepared by our Father in Heaven.  We know that your family will be richly blessed for your sacrifice (D & C 31:3-7).  Thank you for sharing your daughter with us.  We will keep her constantly in our prayers; and, we promise to do all we can to help her fulfill a successful mission.


 President Ronald A. Stoddard

Germany Frankfurt Mission President

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

9/9/14 On My Way!!

I have like 3 minutes to email, we had to get up at 3 this morning to leave for our flight. Everyone is on a really early flight together, I'm going on one a couple hours later, but i've gotta go now! let everyone know I'll be able to email more on monday... i think! I'm done though with the MTC! and Flying to Frankfurt now! I'll be spending the night tonight in frankfurt and then meeting my trainer and everything the next day. It is going to be busy- but mom! I AM SO EXCITED!!! :D I don't feel ready but I can't wait to hit the pavement running! :)
send my love to everyone! :)
talk to you all soon!!!!!!! to give you more updates on everything in Frankfurt! :)

Sister Shurts
Michaela's MTC Zone
This photo just came in the mail this morning. Michaela arrived in
Frankfurt and is pictured here with her mission president and wife,
President and Sister Stoddard.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

9/3/14 My first week!!

Sister Shurts and her district at the England Missionary Training Center

Sooo... most exciting sentence of the whole week?? It was a sweet little lady handing me a bag and saying, "Here Sister Shurts, this is your name tag". I politely said thank you- but in my head I was screaming and jumping up and down for excitement. As we sat in the orientation I put the tag on and man.. that was cool. Sister Shurts, Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage. (it says sister not schwester, because apperently otherwise germans think we are nuns or something) This week has been insane, I've been in England 6 days now and no blue box has showed up, Ive met lots of muggles and too many Downton Abbey fans!
But, really, I was so nervous about coming here, and it has been hard but I am learning so much. I'm in a room with 3 German sisters and one other girl from America. In the entire MTC I am the only person going to Frankfurt Germany, though!!! I thought I'd at least have one other person. But the sweet German sisters said that there would be lots coming from Germany in September. Oh My Goodness! the Germans are sooo awesome!! Seriously they are hilarious. I've found that we are really on the same wave length, and that I can actually communicate pretty well, and I understand pretty much everything they are saying!! I think right now what I am struggling the most with is teaching. It is hard for me to form sentances in German about the gospel because I've never really used that before. But the Elders and Sisters, and Teachers are helping me a lot. The food here is delicious, and it is a lot more personal than the Provo MTC so I've really gotten to know the president and his wife quite well. I don't know how to do pictures.... maybe i'll figure it our more next time... :) But we really don't have that much time to write today! I just wanted you all to know that I miss you all So much , but that I am also at the same time soo excited to go out and serve! Heavenly Father really does care about his missionaries- I can feel his love for us all here in the MTC, and I know without his help I would really be lost here. There is absolutly no way I could have learned this much german in a week without his help! I can't wait to go out and serve!!!!
love you all!!! 

From the scribbled notes of a sister missionary