Monday, January 25, 2016

Imagine If...

E and V  (not putting their names out on the internet) were baptized this week. How to even begin with that story? Picture this. You have left your family, your career, your country... Everything that is familiar to you. You spend a month traveling on foot through the desert, for a week you don't even take off your shoes, and you barely survive off the food you receive. You even go days without food and water, and then you come into a country where you can't speak the language were you stay in a gym, with sheets hung up to make makeshift private living spaces for over a hundred people. And you endured all of this because you were searching for something. Something that you were not able to find in your home country, because of dictatorship and terrorism. Now imagine that you were invited to a church service where the things taught were totally different from what you were familiar with. There you learned about a son of man, who was also the son of God. You felt the light of Christ touch your heart for the first time. You then met the sister missionaries and they began to teach you about this man, Jesus Christ and about his restored gospel. And as you read the Book of Mormon you began to feel the truth in its words. You meet other people of your same nationality who help translate the message of the restoration.
Then you decide to accept the invitation to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority. This is a huge step for you, your life will forever be different. In fact by doing this you lose one of the things that means the most to you. Your whole culture, your history, your family. You gather your courage and tell your father that you have decided to choose to follow Jesus Christ, and he then tells you that if you ever return home you are not welcome and that you would be killed. You then gather up all he faith that you can muster and trust God and decide to be baptized anyways. And it becomes one of the most beautiful and amazing moments of your life. And then you realize that this was the right path for you all along, and that God has a great plan in store for you.

I believe that God has touched the hearts of these men. There is a divine dance on the earth as we speak. And beautiful choreography of people and cultures and races... And as we dance among one another we have the chance to share this good news of the gospel with those who never would have had the chance to hear it before... The world is changing and the dance steps are picking up speed.

Liebe Grüße

Sister Shurts

Little Miracles

Well.... this week, :) where to begin?
I think I'll just cut to the chase and tell you all about our amazing investigators. 
So we are teaching 4 men from Iran who are here as refugees in a camp. They are learning the language and the gospel at the same time. I am amazed at their willingness and excitement to learn about Jesus Christ. It is dangerous for them but they have such a strong desire they are basically teaching themselves. We have been juggling lessons and translators for the past 4 weeks. And this week they are going to be baptized. 
I am really excited. It is a miracle and blessing that I did not expect. These men, have such strong faith. They are teaching me more than I am teaching them. When we taught about the laws and commandments they accepted them without hesitation. saying that if God says it is important they will follow. Their testimony of the book of mormon and Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ grows more each day.
But I think for me one of the biggest miracles is the kindness and love that the German members show them. They have been welcomed with open arms in our congregation. They have been invited over to homes, offered rides home from church, been given meals, people have been teaching them german. Seriously... I brings me to tears when I think of all the selfless love and charity that people here are showing these refugees. Of course there are always those who oppose it. But on the most part they are doing their best to follow christs example and serve the homeless, hungry, naked. 

I am excited to tell you all about the baptism next week. 
all my love

Sister Shurts

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hello again!

Well hello everyone, this is me sister shurts. Wow! It has been a while since I've written a weekly... I would apologize, but I'm not really that sorry sooooo.... Yeah. :) life has been an interesting roller coaster of transition for me... I am actually still trying to decide how much I am going to write in this letter. Meh! We'll see what happens!
Anyways, my life. So I am in Friedrichsdorf now, and I am about a 6 minute walk away from the temple which is awesome.... Except that it is closed for renovation. But hey that is cool, I'm not bitter- ;) actually a lot of people ask us questions about what kind of construction is going on- and that opens a lot of doors to sharing the gospel.
My companions name is sister Meyer. She is awesome- from California and this is her second area on her mission. We have already had quite a few adventures together, which include but are not limited to...
Getting stuck in a tram underground in Frankfurt, being invited to an African over 21 party, ugly dancing in the apartment, opening Christmas presents, and burning countless meals... Yep. Life is a party.

We have had a lot of miracles happen though as we have served together this month. One of the biggest of those is that we have been teaching some of the most amazing people. 3-4 men from Iran. Who came here to Germany for religious freedom, who are look for God, and have found him through the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. :) they have their baptism scheduled on the 23rd of January! I am so excited for them. I am also learning a little bit of Persian on the side!
Other cool thing that happened,  So we take trains trams and busses everywhere in Germany... and they fall out a lot. Like it is ridiculous... And except for zone leaders no one has a car... So it is pretty easy to get stranded at a train station for a solid 2 hours.
Anyways... During one of these incidents we decided to go out and door a neighborhood near by, and my whole mission I have had a silly little  tick of knocking on yellow houses.  Even if it is super inconvenient, haha my companions love me ;) but it has to be a certain shade of yellow. Anyways... I saw this yellow house and I was like, oh yes! So we knocked... Nothing happened, started to walk away, then someone called out- and this German lady invited us in, and then her husband walked in! And then her daughter. and they are all super interested in learning about the gospel! :)

Anyways! Hope you all have a good week. I would appreciate your prayers :) Love Sister Shurts