Monday, August 31, 2015

1 Year Down!!

Friday morning came and I looked at the date... Thought about it for a moment, August 28th... I was pretty sure that August 28th meant something. I shrugged it off, and sister Bunderson and I went running, and then got ready, and then I sat down for some personal study. Halfway through reading something I realized that a year ago today I entered the MTC!!! That was a weird moment. I really does not feel like a year ago, but there you have it, I've only got 6 more months left :) gotta make em count! 

First off I have to take a moment to tell you all about Patrick! This man has so much faith and is so willing to change his life. Ok, get this, he walks into our appointment and he shows us his phone. And as his screen saver he has a selfie with himself and the Book of Mormon, so that he "remembers to read at least 2 chapters a day, so that he can know what it is and be able to tell his friends all about it." Sister Bunderson and I were floored. We love this man! We moved his baptismal date up to the 12th of September. Which he is excited and very ready for. I have never meant anyone this prepared for the gospel before. I am just humbled when I see his desire to know and to learn and to come unto God. He comes to us with questions about the Book of Mormon, which he is marking all up. I am so grateful that God allows me to teach this man- and to be a part of his story. 

This week we had our missionary leadership council. It is such an amazing experience to go there and to learn from zeal the other leaders in the mission. Sister Bunderson and I were asked to lead a discussion and a role play about baptism. 
Random thankful note for the week. I am so glad that I am not a bus driver in Germany. We take the bus and tram and train everywhere we go, but the way these buss drivers navigate these ridiculously long buses through such tiny streets is insane. 
I have studies this week a lot about prayer, and how amazing it is at we can communicate with the God of the heavens and the earth. And it made me think a lot about what we pray for, and how. I came across this poem that I wanted to share with you all, 

I wish you all a fantastic week, and know that you are in my prayers
Liebe Grüße 

Sister shurts 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Best Street Contact EVER!

This morning sister Bunderson and I went on a jog to the grocery store and then hopped on a street car, let me rephrase, we hopped onto the wrong street car (you would think after 4 months here I would have figured it out) oh well haha we went shopping and then caught the next train home. :) this was one crazy week. Sister Bunderson and I helped plan two zone trainings and we had a split. It was all a lot of fun, but I would say exhausting as well. :) The coolest thing happened this week. Sister Bunderson and I were talking a lot about how to be more bold, and show more love for the people that we are teaching. We wanted to do something more to show Heavenly Father that we are willing to do our best. We both had the feeling to be more bold as we contact people, (since we are both kinda beat around the bush kind of people)

On Saturday as we were walking around the city talking to people we both saw a man sitting on a bench and went over to talk to him. We explained that we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and asked him if he would be interested in learning more about the hope that Christ brings us. He stared at us and then laughed and said, "who wouldn't want to learn more!" Haha so we just sat down right there and started talking to him. His name is Patrick and he is from Nigeria. And basically we are friends. The best part was when he opened up his arms and said, "preach to me, sisters" As we were teaching, he asked us if God forgives sins and we were able to teach him about the atonement and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And what it means to be washed clean from sin. Then right there on that park bench I invited him to be baptized he thought about it for a while and then said yes. I felt so good, and I knew that the spirit of the lord was there.
We were ecstatic. We set the day for his baptism for the 18 of October and planned to meet up for church the next day. And oh my goodness he looooved church. And he called us last night to tell us that he had been reading in the Book of Mormon and that he had a bunch of questions and just how grateful he was that we had met each other.

This week I also gave Gisselle a call, she is still on vacation but has been able to share the Book of Mormon with her family and they are warming up to it quite a bit. The joy that this message brings is incomprehensible. Sister Bunderson and I were on cloud nine. I don't have much more time to tell about the rest of the week. But it was full of adventures :) we knocked on a lot of doors, our kitchen flooded again (dishes in the tub) , visited monice (my favorite black
man!) and basically loved every moment!!!

With love
Sister Shurts

 Dishes in the tuuuub

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Week 2 With Sister Bunderson :)

Sister Bunderson and I have been together for about 2 weeks now... And we are loving it. She loves Heidelberg and missionary work and elephants. So basically we are going to be friends. She and I are getting geared up for this week. We are planning two zone trainings for this week and a split. It is going to be a bit crazy, but a good kind of crazy.
Sister Bunderson and I had so many fun moments together. Last P-day we bought some matching donut shirts just for he heck of it and hung out with the other missionaries in our district at a park on the river. We had an epic game of ultimate frisbee which my team won of course.

We met with Solomon again this week. And invited him to pray and read once again to receive a specific answer about the Book of Mormon. He told us that he had felt the truth of our message but wasn't convinced that what we taught was true... Yeah, we were confused as well.  I was amazed at how easy it is to ignore the message the lord is trying to send to us. Sometimes we are all like that. We are scared or unsure and try and rationalize our way out of doing what is right.

I had a lot of fun this week planning a couple surprise parties. There is a senior couple in our ward who had their 50th anniversary this week. So me and a sweet lady in our ward planned a get together. Let's just say that I had a little bit too much cake :) but on top of that my companion  had a birthday as well, so sister Herr and I and another missionary put together another little surprise party for her. It was a lot of fun to see her face when she walked in the door.

We went to the temple today which took a bit of time so I don't have very much time to email today. But I was reminded once again at how special the house of the lord is.

I sure love you all and appreciate your support and your prayers.

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Transfer, New Companion

I just asked my new companion what I should write this week and she
said, "well just tell them that you got the best companion ever,"
hahah but really sister Bunderson is amazing, she is super fun and
happy and ready and willing to work. But also quick to laugh. I can
tell that we are going to have a lot of fun together!! It has only
been a short amount of time and we have already seen so many miracles, 

 I met a lady from China not too long ago who said she would be interested in reading the Book of Mormon. To our disappointment, the woman called us and told us there was no need to come by because she had decided she was comfortable staying Buddhist. Well. We had already left the house and were out for the day and we were carrying around this Chinese Book of Mormon so obviously we had to give it out! At the very end if he day in our way back to the apartment, we meet a lady from China named Flora who knew about the church because her English teachers in China were Mormons who positively impacted her life. She said they were people who taught their students to go after their dreams and she will always remember that. We bore our testimonies about the Book of Mormon and she was so touched when we gave her her copy. Wooohoooo!! 

This week we also meet with a man sister wahlquist and I had challenged to
read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Our last appointment with him
consisted of him bringing a list of questions for us and then at the
end he accepted the challenge to "experiment upon our words" and to
read in the book and pray. This week Solomon was a completely
different person. We sat down and he looked at us, and awestruck
asked, "what was it like when you prayed?" He then with quivering
hands proceeded to describe to us how he had prayed and felt something
stronger and more real than he had ever felt before. He was at a loss
for words- but he knew it was from God. We then told him that it was
the power of God through the Holy Ghost that he felt. And that it was
that spirit that testifies of truth. We committed him to take the next
step to meet with us, learn more and eventually take the steps to be
baptized. The power of God is so real. This experience taught me so
much about how great and magnificent the power of God is. I would like
to invite each of you to think about the question that Solomon asked
us, "what was it like when you prayed?"

All my love
Sister Shurts

Saying goodbye to good friends
Sister brown, elder Von wallwitz sister wahlquist, sister megli, me, elder Roberts, elder ostler and elder butler

Monday, August 3, 2015

Little Box of Sunshine

This week I got a package from the young women in my ward back home and it brightened my whole week. It was a little box of sunshine- and it sure brought some sunshine into my day.
There were a lot of things hat happened this week. The biggest news is that transfers happened.... Aaaaaaanndd I'll be getting a new companion this week!!!
Sister wahlquist will be heading over to Kaiserslautern. So we will still be able to see each other often and go on splits together which is good. I am sure going to miss her though. She has taught me a lot about how to be a dedicated missionary- and to do my best and how to turn to Christ :)

So, the other exciting news is that sister Helmick... Got transferd to my old area.. Dear sweet Herne!! I can't even describe how happy I am about that. I was on the phone with sister Helmick last night and I was telling her all the people she had to visit. And I told her that there was a family that had traveled all the way back to Romania to get married so that they can get baptized. And I started crying- I did not realize how much I love those people. But sister Helmick is going to do amazing things there- she is an amazing missionary (I am going to miss not being able to go on splits with her) and she is going to touch the hearts of those people in Herne. :)

But I think what made me the absolute happiest this week was that we were able to set a baptismal date with Schwester Giselle.
We met with her this week and she told me a story that penetrated my heart. She explained a little bit of her childhood to me, I won't go into unnecessary details, but it was full of loneliness, emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect. She told me how one day she ran away from home and snuck into the backdoor of a church and sat in the back pew. The pastor saw her come in and walked back to see her. He asked her where her mother and father were. She didn't say a word. She just stared up at the paintings of Christ on the church wall. The pastor took the opportunity to take her hand and say, "do you know that you have a papa and mama in heaven?" She stared up at him wide eyed and shook her head. She then asked him, "do they love me?"  The pastor nodded and said yes, then little Giselle said, "my mama und papa don't love me"
As I spoke with Schwester Giselle she told me that although she was very young she will never forget how after she said those words the pastor wept. And from that moment on she knew that she had a papa in heaven who loved her.
Seeing this womans desire to change and come unto Christ has amazed me. This week we talked to her about baptism. And invited her to be baptized on the 18th of October. She was so happy she had to jump up and dance!! I had to think of a verse in the Book of Mormon, in the 18th chapter of mosiah, verse 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"
I have to admit that I jumped up and danced as well :) Liebe Grüße Sister shurts

Ps the pictures are from the historical bergbahn of Heidelberg. We rode it all the way to königstuhl. The "mountain" overlooking Heidelberg