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!

I just want to be like Nephi!

This week has been amazing- truly it has been full of miracles. We did a lot of finding, and taught a lot of people. The other day we were walking down the street and a man was riding his bike towards us, and cute typical sister bunderson whispers to me "I've never stopped a man on a bike before" and then she stands in front of him and waves. Haha he about fell off his bike, but he did stop and talked with us. He was interested in hearing more about our message and we invited him to meet with us this week, as a side noted I chimed in and told him to brain his friends. When he showed up to the appointment at the church he brought five other people as well, and all of em were interested in learning more!

I would say one of the greatest miracles this week has to do with Patrick. We have been meeting with him everyday this week. And all I have to say is that the gospel truly does change people.

On Tuesday we had a great lesson with him at the church, he is so humble and willing to follow all the commandments of God. We had just finished teaching about a living day prophet and invited him to follow the law of tithing after he is baptized, his comment was, "do I need to wait until I am baptized?" That evening both sister Bunderson and I had the impression to give him a call. At once sister Bunderson and I could tell that something was off, and then he said, "she's gone, my mom is gone" my heart just hurt. He told us he had just found out at his mother had passed away, we dropped everything we were doing and caught the next train towards kirchheim. It was pretty late, but sister Bunderson and I knew that we needed to be there. Patrick walked up with his friend. He was so shaken and in pain. We sat down at at that train station as he wept. I didn't know what to say, so I just listened as he told us his tragic story. Which involved a painful childhood, where he had to stand up for his mother against an abusive father. How she was left alone and sick. How he left home and came to Germany in order to earn money so that she could go to a hospital. How every day he fought for her, and for himself- he was homeless for months. And now finally after he had gotten a job and would be able to pay for the medical treatments... He lost her. My heart broke.
Sister Bunderson and I had the same thought (happens quite often
actually) and she asked Patrick of he would like a priesthood blessing, we explained that it was a prayer that someone speaks through the power of God. A way that God can comfort us and tell us what we need. With trembling lips he whispered yes. We called the elders and without any delay they drove to our corner of town. I stood there in awe as The elders gave Patrick a blessing. The power of God is real. I could feel his love for each of us in my heart. After that he just left and walked home, but talking to him afterwards he was able to share with us how much that helped him. It gave him hope.

We had a lesson with him last night and we talked a little bit about missionary work. He then says, "when I'm a missionary, what would my name be?" I said, "elder maphel" he had the biggest grin on his face, and said, "elder maphel... I like the sound of that! I will go wherever the lord sends me... But I would be very happy if he sends me to America." Haha oh Patrick.

I think my favorite thing that he has said though was during a lesson we had with him this week. We were teaching some doctrine, but his mind was not there haha. Out of no where he just looks up and says, "sisters! I just want to be like Nephi! He is faithful, and courageous and obedient"
And I just had to smile. Yes Patrick I want to be like Nephi too. I have never taught someone who has so fully enveloped themselves in the word of God. I am so grateful that I get to be a part of this great work. That I am allowed to share in this great joy. Truly this is what life is all about. Bringing the joy of the gospel to another soul.
Watching the flicker of faith grow to a warm and burning flame!

I love you all
And feel your prayers!
Sister shurts :)