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