Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner!!! :) 

Sorry I don't have a ton of time to email today!!! but I did want to leave this little Christmas thought with you all. 

Merry Christmas!!!!!!
love you all
Sister Shurts

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 1 in Friedrichsdorf!

I traveled all by myself to Friedrichsdorf... which I will not lie- I quite enjoyed :) There were a lot of nice people on the train who helped  me with my luggage so that was not even a struggle. I left so much stuff in Heidelberg- that is always a nice thing when sisters change apartments- we leave a ton of clothes in the next apartment for the next sister to sort through. Sister Bundersons next companion will be blessed haha.
My new companion is sister Meyer- she is from California as well!! Love that! (but she is from northern california not LA) She has been here for about 3 months already and now the two of us are going to kill it this transfer! We did a lot of contacting this week since we have like no investigators but so it is anytime someone gets transfered. We were able to find a lot of cool people though! on thursday we had time to contact a little, so we said a prayer and went for it. We talked to two young girls around our age and end up getting there number and setting up an appointment with them! We continued down the Fuß when we heard someone shout out, "SISTERS!"  The man told us he was a former mission president in new zealand and had been here for a week. He then said, "Would you like a referal?" ...uh yes!  After that we tried to find someone we had met took us a bit to find it. WE saw 132 and 128, buuut not 130. After going a little ways in the back of the cornerstreet we found the apartment. It was a little sketch, but not too bad. We couldnt find the name of the lady, so we rang the name that sounded the closest. It wasnt her, it was a polish woman named Vera and she let us in to share our message. It was a tiny room- and very humble circumstances- but it was beautiful to see how Vera was willing to listen to our message and accept a return appointment.
Saturday we had the privledge of having a helper, Sister Lymer (wife of the area seventy, elder lymer). This is actually the second time that I have spent the day with her. She went around with us and helped us with appointments. We had Stake Conference that evening and Sister Lymer brought 8 refugees from Iran. (she volunteers at one of the camps)
They are all very excited to learn more. they left Iran because being Christian was so dangerous. And now they are interested in the gospel. We were able to get them a book of mormon in their language and organize someone to help translate for them. It was amazing to see the bishop, stake president, mission president, area 70 and countless others come up to these men and make them feel welcome.... I am hoping we will have a white christmas! ;)
I love you all

Sister Shurts

Sister Meyer and I- our first day together

Lunch with sister Lymer before we head out on our day together!

Monday, December 7, 2015

From Heidelberg to Friedrichsdorf

So, I have been officially transferred to a new area. I am going to Friedrichsdorf. Which is just north of Frankfurt. I will be right next door to the temple, sadly it is under construction right now, but it
will be special to still be close by. It is going to be hard to say goodbye to Heidelberg this week. And
hard to say goodbye to sister Bunderson. I can't believe that I have been here for over 7 months! and on my mission for 15!!! (GAHHH!!) Wow, time has really flown by. I think back on all the people that I have met and all the miracles that I have seen. I think about Frau kocher, and her good heart, and Patrick- with his soap opera life story (he is doing well in his new city btw) and about special cute old ladies that we visited each week, and all the sisters that we went on splits with.  And yesterday I was able to be a part of another miracle. Ericsson, one of our investigators was baptized yesterday!!! :) 
Wow- where to even begin with him. He is a refugee from Nigeria, he has been in Germany for about 5 months. His story is amazing. He traveled from his war torn country in Nigeria and made his way through the Sahara Desert with other refugees. He saw his friends suffering and as he took a boat across the Mediterranean and was a survivor although many of his friends lost their lives. As he came to Europe he knew that God has saved his life- and he wanted to find him. He was raised Muslim but learned about Christ in Europe. As we met with him the first time he said- He would go wherever the truth is. As we have taught him these last couple weeks he has made a lot of progress. It has been amazing to watch him grow. I will be perfectly honest at first when we met him I was less than excited to meet with him. Something about him just annoyed me- However learning about more about his life, and praying to understand him more has helped me grow to love him. He is a great young man. My favorite thing is every time we leave- he says, "Sisters, I wish you a very blessfull evening." Wow- he is just the coolest. 

I am soo sad to leave heidelberg- but it has been a lot of fun here- while it has lasted. I am excited to go to my next area and see what sort of adventures await me there. 

Talk to you all next week!!!! 
with love

Sister Shurts

Ericsson's Baptism:

Saying Goodbye to Heidelberg

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Lord is the Master of Simplicity

Well this week was crazy- I am pretty sure that sister Bunderson and I were out of our area more than we were in it!  
It started off with the amazing opportunity we had to go to Offenbach and listen to the Europe Area Presidency and Elder Ballard speak to us. It was mainly directed towards the wards and congregations but also included the missionaries. There was one thing in the whole evening that really stood out to me- at one point- elder Ballard said, "the Lord is the Master of Simplicity" We need to simplify our lives. Magnifying our calling does not mean adding bells and whistles- or making things a bigger deal than they are. On the contrary it is like a magnifying glass- honing in- or focusing up close on the core or center. Magnifying our calling means that we get to the point. Remember the whole purpose of why we even have a calling. We are here to serve Christ- and to lift others. 

This week we also visited schwester Breitenhuber, a dear sweet old lady in our ward... and I was chastised. hahah man- this little old lady- can see right through me. haha I was talking about improvement and progression. And how I have far to go (which I do) and she just looked at me- and said. Sister, How old are you? You are young! You haven't even had the chance to do anything wrong! Why are you never at peace!? You are Missionary! You are doing hard work- recognize the good that you do!... anyways- I was feeling the flames as this old Austrian lady yelled at me- but it did remind me that all too often we are a little bit too hard on ourselves- We need to take a step back and allow the Lord to tell us the good that we have done. 

We also introduced the Christmas initiative this week at the Kaiserslautern Zone Training. It is going to be a pretty amazing Christmas! To do that sister bunderson and I dressed up in ugly Christmas sweaters- and I wrapped her up in Christmas twinkle lights- and she got in a box- then I burst into the room at the appropriate moment and started shouting Who's excited for Christmas??- And then- after an embarrassingly long struggle with the door I opened it *behind which sister Bunderson was lying in wait in a box) and I kicked the box- and sister Bunderson popped out and shouted merry Christmas! Yeah... we kind of enjoy having awkward moments like that..... Stay tuned for the Heidelberg Zone Training coming up next week :)

As for people that we are working with- I am very excited for our investigator Eric. He is from Nigeria and has been to church for over a month now. He really loves the Gospel and this week he told us that after a lot of thought and prayer he wants to be baptized on the 6th of December! :) I am so excited for him. He is a pretty amazing young man. Another Miracle from this week is that we were able to meet with Family Kwiek again. She took a book of mormon and has more interests in learning about the gospel. The big trick now will be staying in contact with them- since they don't have a working phone.  

Anyways :) I just have thought a lot about what elder Ballard said, "the Lord is the Master of Simplicity" and I want to simplify my life and focus this Christmas season on the Savior- and get down to the core of his gospel
I love you all

Sister Shurts

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekly Update

Dear Everyone!!
This week has been a blur of amazingness... if that is a word... not really sure. :) 
But we saw quite a few miracles this week. I think one of my favorite moments this week was in Walldorf. We went by on someone that I had met a couple months ago- and they ended up being home and the whole family was interested in hearing more about the gospel!!!! :):) 
seriously it was a little miracle. 
I didn't get to write last week but we had our mini missionary- which was an absolute blast. Sister Fragapane is such a sweet heart. We were able to do so much together and able to enjoy the spirit of missionary work. In all honesty it reminded me a little bit about how I was at the beginning of my mission. I think it is important to try and hold the wonder that we have of new things. Whether it is a new experience or a new truth or anything. And also to be reminded that compared to God we are all beginners. We all have a long way to go and a lot to learn. 
This week we worked a lot with Eric. Eric is a man from Nigeria that we have been teaching. He is such a cool man! He has a baptismal date for the 6th of December! which I am very excited about. He has a great love for God- and understands Gods great role in his life. He was a refugee from a war torn country and experienced a lot during his flight across the Sahara and the Mediterranean- but he knows in whom he has trusted. A lot of people in Germany are shaken because of what happened in Paris. And as we speak with people that is often a topic that comes up. Sometimes it is hard to understand why certain things happen. Why people hurt, why there is war or disease or hate. And I am still pondering the question quite a bit. I don't know the answer. But I know that God knows the answer- and it all comes down to trust. To trust that we are truly all in Gods hands. 
I love you all

Sister Shurts

Monday, November 2, 2015

Great Week!

Dear friends and family,
This week was full of some wonderful adventures. First off we had transfers this week, which means that we have a lot of new sisters in our area that we get to know better. We went to the Mannheim appartment to split- and in our spontaneous way... sister bunderson and I decided to dye our hair red. So we bought some dye.... and did the whole thing... and then comes the worst disapointment of our lives!!! our hair came out the exact same color!!!!! bahahaha 
I am super excited. Now we have sister petite, sister sister Nilsson, sister Helmick! (Again! She headed up to Herne, and now she in Mannheim, and I am still here as her sister training leader!!!) I think it will be way good to start working with these sisters more.
We have a mini missionary now! Which is epic! A mini missionary, is a youth who stays with the missionaries for a whole week, to experience
missionary life.  Basically it means that there are miracles wait it's happen. Stay tuned for next week.  She's the best! Sister fragapane
will be with us till next Saturday, experiencing every part of missionary life!! Last night we got some free food from our favorite
Turkish kiosk man. And on Saturday we were out in the city, and we met this lady on the street whose father is in a home right now, and may pass away soon. We stopped in a cafe and taught her the plan of salvation. Sometimes I think about things I will be able to do when I go home- but at moments like this I remember that I will only be able to experience moments like this once in my life. I guess I'll be able to sleep in later. 

One of my favorite people here in Heidelberg is Frau Kocher. I have worked with her for the past 3 months now- on and off because she has been in the hospital. She loves the gospel and wants to get baptized as soon as she is able. However because of physical illness she has not been able to. I just found out this week that the doctors want to put her into a temporary 2 week sleep coma. I am praying and fasting that everything goes well. It would be heartbreaking if something happened to her. She is one of those people who are just easy to love. Her family needs prayers. 
With that in mind, I read this quote on my wall, that my mother sent me, from President Henry B. Eyring, "In the hardest trials, as long as you have the power to pray, you canask a loving God: “Please let me serve, this day. It doesn’t matter to me how few things I may be able to do. Just let me know what I can do. I will obey this day. I know that I can, with Thy help.” 
That has been my motto, and I want it to continue to be my motto for as long as I can! I would encourage you all to ask the lord as well, "Please let me serve this day."

Love you all

Sister Shurts!

a REAL hobbit hole!

Our mini-missionary companion

Horst Klemm and Michaela (Horst is a friend of the family)

Fun with our mini-missionary

Monday, October 26, 2015

Another 6 weeks with sister Bunderson!! and Heidelberg!!!!

So sister Bunderson and I have been stressing all week, because we were going to find out on Saturday wether or not if the two of us are staying together another transfer.... We even tried to get inside info from the assistants, and zone leaders, but to no avail! We have a mission wide conference call for transfers where they announce who is going and staying, and when they got to Heidelberg sisters, he assistants to the president took a ridiculously long pause before announcing that we were staying together!!! :) :) we are so excited! We have already started a bit of our planning and goal setting for
this transfer. We want to work hard and do our absolute best!! It's not every day that you get to stay another six weeks in the beautiful city of Heidelberg doing the Lords work with someone as motivated and excited about missionary work as you. :)
To celebrate sister Bunderson and I have literally not stopped smiling! :) Also we have just had a fantastic week. (other than we were a little bit sick at the beginning of this week) Sister Bunderson and I were on a split in Kaiserslautern- I was with the amazing sister Whicker in Heidelberg- we had a great time together. Sometimes a woman just needs change in her life- so during our lunch break we chopped off like a good 6 inches of her hair! (I don't think people should trust me with scissors... but yeah... haha so that was a party!) We also contacted so way cool people from Kenya as well.
Oh other random moment of the week.
We were walking home one night- through the altstadt.... and of course we wanted to buy some icecream- so we stopped and got ourselves a couple delicious scoops of italien gelato (Can't complain there!) And as we were sitting down this deaf man came up and sold us an GSL alphabet! Plus a picture of a baby kitten and a frog.

We had the wonderful opportunity this week to take part in a musical fireside that one of the sisters in Mannheim organized. It was amazing. The theme was the grace of Jesus Christ. I am always amazed at what talent people have when it comes to singing... (Especially Kandra and Kiana... I got a video of them singing absolutely beautiful
Anyways, this musical fireside was absolutley amazing. One of our investigators was able to come even though it was in a different city- and he loved it. His name is Eric and he is from Nigeria. We have been meeting with him quite a bit- His story is amazing as well. He traveled across the Sahera desert in order to get to Italy. He said that he was able to recognize God in his life because with out God- he would not have survived.
Today I have so much to be grateful for. I am grateful that I can be here in Germany- that I can be here with Sister Bunderson and that I can teach this gospel here in the beautiful city of Heidelberg!

Liebe Grüße

Sister Shurts

Monday, October 19, 2015

"Do you want to do some finding?"

Well this week there are officially two Shurts' out on missions again!
Let the good times roll. Dal is in the Provo MTC starting his own crazy journey. He is going to be an amazing missionary. :) sister Bunderson and I had two back to back zone trainings again this week.
It was so much fun though. In one of our zones sister Bunderson and I sang a song! Like really it was our own little mini musical. haha we took other songs and made them missionary parodies... Haha it was a focus on finding. We got some frozen and les mins in there as well...
It was fantastic.
"Knock knock... Do you want to do some finding? We have a street display! Etc" (to do you want to build a snowman from frozen) I thought it would be super embarrassing, but when has that ever been a problem for me? Haha anyways it was just fun to get everyone pumped for finding. As a missionary in Germany we do a lot of street displays, and also door to door. Which can be really hard for a lot of missionaries. But it is important to keep your spirits up. Zone trainings are really good for that. I love going on splits with all the sisters and being able to work with them all one on one. Because that is where real missionary work takes place. I learn so much from our spirits together. Whether it is somethings small as how to by a cheaper train ticket or how to testify of he Book of Mormon better.

We found out this week that Patrick was transferred to a new refugee camp three hours away. Which was way sad. We contacted the missionaries over there so he can still get to church, but it will be weird not being able to teach him anymore. He sent us a text that just made everything worth it though, "hi sisters, I bear my testimony that the spiritual light and truth will not only bless us and our posterity here in mortality, but throughout all eternity, and worlds without end. I testify that God cares about us. He listens, and answers our prayers in his own way. I know that prophet Thomas S Monson is a true prophet of God, that will lead us back to God true Jesus Christ. Love Patrick. "
I love sharing the gospel
I love being a missionary
There is nothing that brings me more joy.
I know that God loves each of us.
All the best

Sister Shurts

Monday, October 12, 2015

This was our week!

Sister Bunderson and I are sitting on a train writing our emails as we head towards Kaiserslautern. It is a beautiful train ride- I love seeing all the cute little German villages and castles and old buildings as we speed by. :) someday I'm gonna come back here (anyone want to join me?) This week was jam packed with miracles. The week started off a little bit rough, but it got rolling. And didn't stop. I think I realized the importance of planning this week. This is just how sister Bunderson and I are. We love to be outside talking to people. And if we are inside doing anything else we feel unproductive... So last week we opted out of our weekly planning session because we just had so many appointments... And because of that this week we didn't have our best game plan. However once we took the time to plan a little bit our time was so much more effective. No brainier right... Yeah, still working on it! So highlight of the week was probably meeting two cute students from China. They came to church and looooved it. Their names are Vicky and Jenny! And in the first lesson we were able to set baptismal dates with them!!!  :):) they are so cute. Also this week we met with Patrick and he is writing a pop song about the Book of Mormon, there is a shout out in it to Bunderson and Shurts during the rap. So someday when that song is famous you will all know it is us!!
Little moments of missionary work are what make it fun. Like when I get to meet people from all over the world. Yesterday I met someone from Croatia! Or making silly music videos with sister Bunderson, Or when we are running down the old cobblestones streets to catch a train, or pausing for a moment to enjoy some hot chocolate in a cafe.
But I think out of all the little moments that happen, what I enjoy the most is sitting down with a complete stranger and teaching about gods plan for them personally, and then standing up again as friends.
God loves each of his children. I am so proud of my brother Dallin for choosing to serve a mission. Dal I love you- you are going to be an amazing missionary- just serve God before all else, enjoy he MTC!
All the best

Sister Shurts

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cut Hair

You know that moment you are up late talking to your companion and discussing deep life questions and you both just decide to cut your hair? Yeah that was our week. :) we had the pleasure of going on three splits this week. Where we were able to help the sisters make new goals for their areas and learn knew ways of taking to people about the gospel. Although it was a little bit exhausting it was still worth it, because we learned so much from each of the sisters. We ride a train for about 2 hours to get to a lot of the sisters so it does take allot of time, but heavenly father helps us out in our area. Lot. And it seems like he makes the little time that we do have in our area that much more effective!

Small story, :) we had planned on doing a small street display in Heidelberg early this week, but once we got there it started pouring... Logic tells you to pack up camp and go somewhere else, at no one would want to talk to you anyways.... But we decided to stay anyways. We even brought Patrick along and he helped us talk to people. As we talked to people in the pourin rain we stopped many many people who were legitimately interested in learning more. The next few days we had all the appointments that we set up... And one man who we actually thought was pretty flakey ended up showing up with his girlfriend!!! And the lesson was fantastic. He ended up asking us question after question and later in the week as we were meeting with his girlfriend, we committed her to be baptized on the 8th of November!!! Anyways that just showed me not to try and judge myself who is ready for the gospel.

This week we had our zone conference as well, which was fantastic, I was able to lead a discussion about baptism, and it just hit home to me today, why baptism with the correct authority is so important. It is the first step to a host of blessings that Heavenly Father is waiting tongue us!
Anyways, I hope that you all have a great week Love you all Sister Shurts

I got the package....FINALLY!! Thank you!!

Zone Conference
Cutting hair!!??

Monday, September 28, 2015

Church Tours

Being a missionary is always an adventure! This week was so exciting. On Wednesday we met a family from Africa and on Thursday we met with them. We went to the church and gave them a church tour- I've got to take just a moment and say how much I LOOOVE giving church tours. We gave like 4 this week. We walk through all the rooms and talk about what we believe. We end the tour in the chapel, and every time the spirit is so strong. It is so powerful to explain the power and grace of the atonement and the sanctity of the sacrament. 

Anyways after this church tour with Jean and Rebecca and their two kids we taught the restoration. At the end of the lesson we invited them to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. And they said yes! :):)
This week I want to focus on the little things, and find joy in them.  Especially as we approach conference weekend and remember the joy that comes from learning about the truth of the gospel! 
I love being a missionary!! 

Sister Shurts!

This picture doesn't do it justice, but the moon was shining so brightly over the castle Last night I just had to take a picture. :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

I just decided, I needed to let it go.

I will not lie, this week sister Bunderson and I were cute little stress cases. Everything seemed to go wrong. Plus. We were sitting on a bench teaching someone this week... And this random man from Pakistan... Just like came up and gave me a flower. It was the most comic conversation with someone I have ever had. Mostly because he was like 50 and couldnt speak English or German. No my friend, I will not go on a date with you! I just need to be like Patrick. Hahah when we taught him the law of chastity it hit him so hard, he asked us for extra pamphlets and has been giving them out to people on the buses.
This is how he starts the conversations, "hello- my name is Patrick, have you ever heard about the law of chastity? Read this! And look at how God will bless you!" I just need to keep extra chastity pamphlets in my bag!

I have never had so many appointments fall out before! And on top of that Patrick was being weird. He has had a really hard week too. It has just proven to me how much we are tried and tested after we make a good decision. We were so worried that Patrick was going to throw in the towel. I cannot even begin to put myself in his shoes. He has lost basically everything that was important to him, his career, his family, his friends his home. And he came to us and asked us why it was so hard. He had made the decision to be baptized and he expected God to bless him right away. That everything wrong in his life would be made right. The question "why" was just all he could wrap his brain around. He called us up and said, "sisters... I don't know if I can do this. I think I made a mistake"

We went to see him as soon as we could. And just sat on a bench outside the refugee home and listened to him. Before my mission I might have just talked and tried to fix things. But I have learned that often the most healing words are the ones at were never said.
The most beautiful part of this story is that literally sister Bunderson and I had nothing to do with his change of heart. After several appointments with him, where he was giving up. And after many prayers... Saturday night we gave him a call and with a quiet voice he said. "I'm so sorry." He apologized for how he had acted and without wasting words told us that he would be at church the next day.
We decided to wake up early and meet him at his tram stop (he was late... And we were cold, which is why I have a picture of sister Bunderson being a hobo.) There was a light in his eyes again. I was amazed. I told him that he looked different, happy again. And he just looked at me and said, "I just decided, I needed to let it go"
In the end the little efforts of two sister missionaries didn't do too much. In the end every change of heart is between us and God. We need to learn to let go of what we think we can control. God knows us, he loves us. Sometimes he allows us to go through hard times so that we learn. So that we live up to our potential.
I love you all and feel your prayers!
Liebe Grüße

Sister Shurts

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sisters, I'm now a member of the true church of Christ

Dear friends and family :) 
This was one of the most memorable weeks of my mission. Can I just take a moment and tell you all that after one year on a mission I still have no idea what I am doing here! Haha seriously, I think with each passing month I realize that I am less and less in control and that Heavenly Father was in control the whole time :) 
Before someone is baptized they are interviewed by another missionary, to see if they have truly repented and are ready and willing to make that binding promise with God. So Friday night was when this interview was scheduled, but Patrick was late... Like three hours late, which is ok, because the man doing the interview was late as well... But Patrick was like somewhere lost in the city and when it is later in the evening the buses and trams don't run nearly as often so we had to run all the way into the city to find him, and then once we found him we ran all the way back- sister Bunderson decided that it was a good 3 miles!! I just smiled as we were running though- like these are the moments we will remember forever. Patrick was so nervous and excited he just said, "sisters I just want to get baptized!!!"
And then the big day was on Saturday! It was such a great day :) Patrick showed up and got in his white outfit. He was just shining- I wish that I could write more but, I am running out of time :) 
I just know that I am here in Heidelberg for a reason. Patrick was baptized and came up out of the water smiling and laughing and thanking everybody. He came up to me all smiling and said, "Sisters I'm now a member of the true church of Christ!" He said that this was the best decision he ever made... And it reminded me that going on a mission was the best decision that I ever made as well :) 
Love you all

More stories coming next week!