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Monday, December 30, 2013

Feliz Ano Novo!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you were able to feel and remember Christ's love for you. We had a great Christmas eve visiting a less-active woman in the ward and then having dinner at a member's house. We were surprised to come home to an infestation of termites in our kitchen, but it's been taken care of! Anyways, it was nice to spend Christmas day at a couple of member's homes and then being able to talk with my family for a little while. Seeing my family reminded me of my purpose of being on a mission. I want to help others learn how to have strong, happy, united families that can be together forever, just like mine. Dinner on Christmas sure was interesting...we went to a member's home and they had a couple other ward members over too. We had a "crab boil" for dinner. The man who was cooking had a big pot and he put crab legs, shrimp, potatoes, sausage, and corn on the cob in it and then boiled it. The tables were covered with newspaper and then he just dumped it all out and we ate with our hands! It was fun and actually quite tasty!
This week, one of our investigators Sara got baptized!! She is 11 and her parents are members, but less active. It was such a sweet service. Her older brother baptized her, and the whole family was getting emotional. It is so great to see them growing stronger as a family in the gospel. And now her younger sister, Ashley, wants to take the lessons! I'm so excited for all of them and am grateful for the opportunity I've had to witness them changing their lives and coming closer to Jesus Christ. 
This week I have been focusing a lot on the hope that Jesus Christ gives us. I have been striving to remember that He suffered all things so that we may change, become better, and be happy. Every single thing that happens is for a reason and a purpose, and there is something to learn from all of our experiences. As long as you are following God's will for you, you should not have any concerns or worries. As long as you do as He asks, He can take care of you and pull you through any challenges. A lot of times, we worry too much and try to handle everything on our own. But, Christ came to Earth to help us and give us support. We don't have to do it alone. I am grateful for this opportunity I have to learn how to rely on Jesus Christ for strength and exercise my faith, and I know as we all strive to act on our faith, miracles will occur. 
Best wishes for the new year! 
Love, 
Sister Dieter



Christmas Eve

Termites!

Christmas Morning

Crab boil!

Sara's Baptism



Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas! (Feliz Natal!)

This has been a wonderful week! It's been a wintry 70 degrees and sunny :) I found out my companion will be getting transferred to a new area in North Carolina on December 31st. I will miss her a lot, but am excited for her to go touch lives somewhere else! We had our Christmas Zone Conference this week with the Bernhisels in Fayetteville. Half of the mission was there and we were taught by President and Sister Bernhisel. Also, we got to hear musical numbers for Christmas and had a delicious ham and turkey meal with all the works for lunch. We also had our ward Christmas party on Saturday night, and a lot of people came! Several of the people we have been working with came and really enjoyed it. It was great to see everyone come together to enjoy this Christmas season and to remember their Savior, Jesus Christ. I love that I have the opportunity to focus on serving others and helping them to understand their purpose in life and the sacrifice that Christ made for them. It gives me hope to see the power of this sacrifice enabling others to change their lives for good. Christmas is about serving others and recognizing the opportunity we have to become better because of Jesus Christ. I know that the Bible and the Book of Mormon help us to reach our full potential, and if we will read them and apply their teachings into our lives, we will find true happiness.

I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the gospel. I know that life has a purpose and that Heavenly Father provided a Savior for us so that we can grow and become better each day. Everyone, no matter what, has the ability and the choice to change their life around and this is done through faith in Jesus Christ and following His commandments. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon and for the knowledge that I can find answers to my prayers. I know that God loves each of us individually and He has a plan for all of us. He sees our full potential and is always there to help us reach it. Families are central to God's plan for us, and they are very sacred. As we strive to become closer to God, our families are strengthened and enriched. The sorrow and regret of sin can be washed away through repentance and forgiveness can be found through fervent prayer. I invite all to find out for yourself the truth. Whether you are a member of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon with the intent of finding out if it is true. Have an open mind and sincerely ask God to tell you if it is true. When you find it to be true, your life will be changed and you will be able to find even more happiness. There is nothing lost in searching out the truth for yourself. Only knowledge is to be gained, and I promise that God will answer your prayers. I know that Heavenly Father loves us, and He wants to guide us if we will but ask Him for that direction. 

Com muito amor, 
Sister Dieter


Jacksonville District

A Day in the Life of a Missionary :)





Monday, December 16, 2013

Yes, I'm still here!

Hello everyone!
In case anyone is wondering, my visa has not yet come, and I am still here in NC for I don't know how long! But it's great! Everyone is really starting to get into the Christmas spirit and I love it! This week we had our wonderful church tour! It went great! All of the plans went off without a hitch and it was very well organized. The turnout wasn't super huge, but the people that did come were very interested. We gave out 3 copies of the Book of Mormon, and one man on the tour even committed to be baptized! The members that came through the tour loved it, and they said they really felt the Spirit and gained a new appreciation for the church building. They wished they had invited others to come, because it was such a spiritual experience. One thing I found interesting is that every single non-member that came to the tour came with a member friend. We had advertised, passed out fliers, and put signs up. But, the people that came were there because a friend loved them enough to invite them and take them. It truly shows how vital members are to sharing the gospel. When members and missionaries work together, miracles can happen. As we live our lives in a Christlike manner, others will see that light and want to learn more about Him.

This week we also got to attend a baptism! A woman we had been working with, who was less-active for quite some time, had the baptism of her 8 year old daughter! We didn't really teach her, but it was great to see how much they have grown as a family and the good choices they are making to change their lives! I felt the Spirit very strong and I know that God loves that family so much. It gives me hope to feel that and to see the changes that the teachings of Jesus Christ make in others' lives. Something I have been focusing on more lately is keeping my thoughts and actions focused on Jesus Christ and trying to be the kind of person He knows I can be. This Christmas season has helped me to appreciate the sacrifices that He made for all of us, and the things He teaches us. I know that as we do our best to follow Christ, our lives will change and we will find a higher quality of happiness. Life is full of wonderful experiences and some of the best come in service of others and trying to love other people. I hope we can all keep the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts and actions these next couple of weeks. 

Sister Dieter


Church tour decorations




Less active sister in the ward

Juliana's baptism!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Surprises

Ola!
This has been a pretty great week. We had our zone training meeting on Wednesday, and then we also had a special sister meeting on Thursday! All of the sisters in the mission met in Raleigh with the mission president and his wife. They shared some insights with us and it was a great day! There are over 70 sisters in the mission now, apparently in just January there were only 8! We learned a lot about staying positive and only trying to worry about our "circle of influence", or those things in your life that you have control over. We also got to go Christmas caroling this week with the youth, and we delivered stockings to people in an assisted living home. It is so nice to do service and help bring some joy to people during the Christmas season. That's really what it should be about, is serving others and helping them to feel Christ's love. We also watched the Christmas devotional last night! It was great! (http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/archive/christmas-devotional/2013/12?lang=eng).

Miracle story of the week: We were biking all day on Tuesday, visiting less-active members and talking with people along the way. We stopped to talk to a man on his porch for a few minutes. He really wasn't interested in learning more, but was nice and talked with us. As we were talking, I kind of starting feeling like we should just keep going since he wasn't interested anyways. But, when we asked if anyone he knew would be interested, he pointed us to his neighbors to try. We knocked on the door, and a little girl opened. Before we could even explain who we were, the mother just said "Come on in!" and talked with us for a little. We came back a few days later to teach her, and she committed to be baptized in January! It showed me that the Lord really does know what He is doing, and that as long as we are obedient, He will provide a way. Although we can't foresee how something is going to work out or why a certain thing happened, He knows exactly how it will be. We can trust in Him to take care of us and as long as we follow Him, we will be fine. We may certainly have to go through struggles along the way, but if we have the right attitude, we can learn from those and have some pretty neat experiences. I know that the gospel is for imperfect people. Jesus Christ teaches us how to change our very natures and become the best version of ourselves. Though it is a difficult process sometimes, we truly become better as we are obedient and faithful.

Com amor,
Sister Dieter


Stockings!

Our Little Christmas Tree :)

Us and the tree

Sister Dieter and Sister Cowley outside the Raleigh, NC temple








Monday, December 2, 2013

December!

Hello all!
It's hard to believe it is already December and that I have been a missionary for almost 4 months now. Time really does fly by! This week was good, it was a little harder to get appointments with people because of the Thanksgiving holiday, but we stayed busy! One day, we tried to go out biking around, but about 5 minutes in it started down pouring!! That was certainly interesting, we had to immediately turn back and just drive of course. We also did some "service" this week that was fun. An older woman in the ward asked us to come over and decorate her Christmas tree for her, since she couldn't do it anymore. So it was service, but we were more than glad to do it! It was nice to be able to help her and have fun at the same time!
This week we had some great opportunities to teach the Plan of Salvation, or Heavenly Father's plan for us to be able to get back to Him and be happy. As I taught this to others who are unfamiliar with it, it helped me to realize how grateful I am to know that there is a purpose in life. We are here for a short time to learn, grow, and become more like Jesus Christ. We can learn from our mistakes and our troubles, and become better people. Through the Atonement and suffering of Jesus Christ, our guilt can be taken away and we can prepare to return to the presence of God. When we keep this eternal perspective in mind, the little trials seem so insignificant. As a result, I've been trying to notice the positive in all things, and it's made me a lot happier! Even when things fall through or don't work out as we had hoped, there is a lesson to be learned and growth of character that comes out of it. Most of the time, God's plans for us are way different than what we expect. But, I'd rather follow His plans for me than my own, that's for sure. I know that as we strive to learn what His plan is for us and to our best to follow it, true and eternal happiness is found. Our families are meant to be together eternally, and as we follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, this is possible for everyone! I love being able to help others learn how to increase their happiness and follow Jesus Christ. As we turn our will over to Heavenly Father, He will guide us to do what is right. Sometimes it is really hard to let go of control like that, but I know that we can trust in God to watch over us. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and will help us as long as we are willing to accept it. My motto has become: "Things will work out." And I know they will.
Love,
Sister Dieter


Biking in the rain

Christmas tree!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear everyone, 

This week I have truly learned the importance of gratitude. It sounds cliche, as this week is Thanksgiving and all, but gratitude seriously is so crucial to being happy. I have experienced that as we allow ourselves to become ungrateful, we stop noticing all the wonderful, positive things that are happening in our lives. If we look for the negative in life, we will surely find it, because it is always there. There is always something to complain about, but where does that get you? It just brings sorrow and discouragement. Optimism, hope, and gratitude, however, bring joy, love, and hope for the future. In the Book of Mormon it says, "Behold, this is joy which none receiveth, save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness" (Alma 27: 18). Happiness does not always just come to us, we have to look for it. As we take the time to notice the blessings that we receive and the things we are thankful for, the things that we do not have or are upset about will seem less important. 

We had a really special lesson this week with a less-active man we've been teaching regularly for the past 2 months. He struggles with a lot of things, including depression and anxiety, and he truly has been growing and changing so much. We had the lesson in a member's home, and it was so powerful. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ, or the path that we have been given to follow in order to return to our Heavenly Father. As we were teaching, I felt such inexplicable love for this person. Someone who, if I had seen on the street, would have probably immediately judged and not thought much of. But, I really have been able to learn to see him as a child of God, as someone who is special and needs to feel that Jesus Christ is there for him. His faith is amazing, and I'm grateful for the time I've had to get to see that. During the lesson, the Spirit was very strong and everyone could feel it. God loves us all so much and He wants nothing more than to bless us. But, because He loves us so much, He gives us our freedom to make our own decisions. As we turn to Him, we become happier and understand our purpose. Heavenly Father is loving and simply asks us to do our best to change and become better each day. He is perfectly patient with our frailties and gave us Jesus Christ in order to be able to overcome them. I am grateful for the knowledge that I am a daughter of God, and that He knows me individually and personally. I can talk to Him through prayer whenever and wherever I want and He answers. It may not always be in the ways or at the times I expect, but He does answer. I hope we all can strive to come closer to Him each day and thank Him for all the many blessings we have received. I'm grateful for the continued support of friends and family and hope you are all doing well! 

Love, 
Sister Dieter


We got some Eggnog to kick off the Holidays!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sheds, Snow, and Sweet Miracles

Oi, minha familia e amigos!

This has been a packed week full of some great things! On Tuesday, we had a member of the seventy (a leader in the church) come and do training for us. He was great, and really helped me to improve! His focus was teaching people with love and the Spirit. Funny experience of that night...so Sister Cowley and the other sister training leader had to stay longer at the meeting for leadership training. The other sister's companion and I rode back to my place with some other people and they were going to drive back once their meeting was over. But, being silly, we totally forgot to get the house keys from them! So Sister Bush and I resorted to waiting in the back shed, since it was about 35 degrees outside and windy. It was exciting to say the least! Luckily, we were only in there for like 45 min until the other sisters came, but it was pretty funny! Also, the next morning we actually got some snow! It was about a sixteenth of an inch, but it was still snow! We had some really great lessons this week! We have been focusing on helping families to come to the gospel together, since the gospel really is all about having happy and eternal families! One of our investigators' older brother is a less-active member of the church. Now that he is seeing his little brother make changes and wanting to be baptized, he decided he would like to be able to baptize his brother! So we're really excited for him to prepare to do that. We also taught a less-active man's two daughters, who are so sweet and have such a strong desire to learn the truth. Another really exciting thing this week: we were biking to visit some less-active members. We stopped at a trailer where one of them lived and they were outside. We were a little nervous, until one of them said "Hi Sisters!! We were just saying how we really want to come back to church!!" and then her son (?) said how he was baptized when he was a child but doesn't remember much, so he wants us to teach him again! We were just like, "Alright!" It was a nice breath of fresh air to have people welcome us like that and really want to meet with us! I know that the message we have to share blesses families so much, and it's exciting to see people recognize that! This week at church I also learned a lot about charity. One thing I really liked is that "charity is being a friend to everyone you meet". So true! If we would only just treat everyone around us like our friends, life would be so much happier and the world would be so much more pleasant! I am definitely striving to develop that Christlike love for everyone, though it is hard! This has been a great week and it is exciting to see such good progress in this area and people who are changing their lives!

Com amor, Sister Dieter


Stuck in a shed!

Snow (sort of)

Matching!

The Jacksonville District

Sisters!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Fall Y'all! :)

That's the saying around here...I promise I'm not becoming too country though. This has been a great week here in North Carolina. Lots of great progress and some exciting things are happening here. We found out Sister Cowley and I are not getting transferred, so we'll probably be together until I get my visa! We found out our district leader and a sister in the district are getting transferred though. Sister Cowley turned 21 this week, so that was exciting. It was also the Marines' birthday, and everyone had to make sure to let her know that. It's really interesting living in a military town, I've learned a lot here.  This week at church was the Primary program, so all the children ran the service. They gave little talks and testimonies and sang songs. It is always so special to see these pure and innocent children talk about Jesus Christ. I love feeling the Spirit that they bring to life. 

This week we found a good amount of new investigators to teach, so that is really exciting! A few of them are married to members of the church, so we're really excited to help them bring their families closer together. We also have a couple of investigators who really don't have any solid belief in God or Jesus Christ, and are a bit confused about the whole thing. It's been wonderful to be able to teach them the simple truths that I know. Seeing them receive answers to their questions and recognizing the Holy Ghost for the first time in their lives is absolutely wonderful. I know that we have a Heavenly Father who knows and loves each of us individually. He has a plan for us to be happy and to be able to get back to live with Him again. Jesus Christ is central to this plan, without Christ we cannot change and become better. It is through Him that we receive all the blessings of God. I know that we are all children of God, and because of this, we have divine potential. I love being able to share this with people who are starving for knowledge and purpose. They are so eager to learn, and the Spirit really touches their hearts. 

Also, this week I read a scripture I really liked in 1 Peter 3:13-15. It says, "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you." We had someone ask us this week, "Why are y'all so happy?" I know that we have this lasting happiness because of the gospel. The teachings of Jesus Christ and the truths that were restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon bring true happiness and strengthen individuals and families. I am grateful for the time I have to share it with others with no other distractions. 

Love you all!
Sister Dieter

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Oi, minha familia e amigos!
This has been a packed week full of some great things! On Tuesday, we had a member of the seventy (a leader in the church) come and do training for us. He was great, and really helped me to improve! His focus was teaching people with love and the Spirit. Funny experience of that night...so Sister Cowley and the other sister training leader had to stay longer at the meeting for leadership training. The other sister's companion and I rode back to my place with some other people and they were going to drive back once their meeting was over. But, being silly, we totally forgot to get the house keys from them! So Sister Bush and I resorted to waiting in the back shed, since it was about 35 degrees outside and windy. It was exciting to say the least! Luckily, we were only in there for like 45 min until the other sisters came, but it was pretty funny! Also, the next morning we actually got some snow! It was about a sixteenth of an inch, but it was still snow!
We had some really great lessons this week! We have been focusing on helping families to come to the gospel together, since the gospel really is all about having happy and eternal families! One of our investigators' older brother is a less-active member of the church. Now that he is seeing his little brother make changes and wanting to be baptized, he decided he would like to be able to baptize his brother! So we're really excited for him to prepare to do that. We also taught a less-active man's two daughters, who are so sweet and have such a strong desire to learn the truth. Another really exciting thing this week: we were biking to visit some less-active members. We stopped at a trailer where one of them lived and they were outside. We were a little nervous, until one of them said "Hi Sisters!! We were just saying how we really want to come back to church!!" and then her son (?) said how he was baptized when he was a child but doesn't remember much, so he wants us to teach him again! We were just like, "Alright!" It was a nice breath of fresh air to have people welcome us like that and really want to meet with us! I know that the message we have to share blesses families so much, and it's exciting to see people recognize that! This week at church I also learned a lot about charity. One thing I really liked is that "charity is being a friend to everyone you meet". So true! If we would only just treat everyone around us like our friends, life would be so much happier and the world would be so much more pleasant! I am definitely striving to develop that Christlike love for everyone, though it is hard! This has been a great week and it is exciting to see such good progress in this area and people who are changing their lives!
Com amor, 
Sister Dieter


North Carolina Sunset

Happy Halloween!

Cotton fields

Ferret's at a members house!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Happiness

Hello everyone!

This has been a crazy week with a lot of unexpected things! One of which is that I finally was able to finish my visa application this week!! As far as I know, I probably won't get it for another month or two still, but it's getting there! As I look back on the past 6 weeks or so in North Carolina, I know that I needed to come here first. There have been so many experiences and things I have learned here that I know the Lord needed me to learn. I have been able to help teach amazing people and have learned a lot about the importance of this work. It is truly helping people to change their lives and come closer to their Savior, Jesus Christ. No matter where that is done or what language you speak, it is important and necessary. I am so privileged to be a missionary and to share this message with others. 


A funny experience we had this week...we tried to contact a less-active man. When we went to the address, a man was taking the trash out. He said that that family had moved a few months ago and he had just moved in. We talked to him a little and set up a time to teach him more. We were so excited, a new investigator! When we get to talking to him later at the appointment, he tells us he had a confession to make. We were a little nervous, but come to find out that he actually was the less-active man! He was scared when he saw us and immediately made up a fake name and story. But, he said he knew there was a reason God put us in his life. We're excited to meet with him again tomorrow. We also taught a lesson at a member's home around the campfire, that was pretty fun!


On Saturday, we had a special mission conference in Fayetteville. Two members of the Seventy (part of the leadership of the Church) came to speak to all the missionaries in our mission. It was great! One of them just came to America from Argentina and so he gave his talk in Spanish, with an elder interpreting to English for him. I understood a lot of it though! Even more importantly, I learned so much from what they said. The biggest take-away message I got is that we often limit ourselves far too much. They told us "don't limit yourself. Instead, allow God to expand your capacities, because He will." I know as we are optimistic, hopeful, and trust in God, He can make our lives much better than we could on our own. Part of this includes ALLOWING yourself to be happy and to enjoy life, even when it is hard. The bad things in life are inevitable, so we might as well enjoy life anyways! An analogy I really like is that we shouldn't be like the people in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, always stressing out about searching for that mysterious golden ticket, which may never even come. Instead, enjoy all the chocolate you get to eat along the way! I know that life has a purpose, and it is to be happy and to learn from our experiences. Never let discouragement last, it eats your faith faster than anything else. Fique firme na fe!


Sister Dieter

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Little Things

Hi everyone! 
It's been a crazy good/hard week! But a lot has been happening down here in North Carolina! We had zone conference this week, which is where the missionaries in our little region of the mission meet together for training with the mission president. It was fantastic and I learned a lot! We had a lot of great lessons this week as well, and did a ton of biking! That was fun, but hard one day because we came to find out that the back tire on my bike was crooked, so it was rubbing and slowing me down a ton. We got it fixed by someone in the ward though, so it's all good! The ward also had their Fall Festival/Trunk or Treat this week! It was very fun and we had a great turnout. A lot of the people we are working with came, and it was just a great night. A less-active woman who hasn't been to church for a long long time and has been promising us she would come finally came this week! She loved it and was so happy to be back. We've learned a lot this week about patience and understanding that things work in the Lord's time. One of our investigators who really wants to be baptized just found out that her husband won't allow it. That's really hard on her and we are so sad for her. But, it will all work out how and when it is supposed to!! I know that God loves us and He watches over us in our times of hardship and happiness. He wants us to follow Him and do the best we can each day. I love being a missionary and am learning so much! Thank you for all your love and support and I hope you are doing well!

Sister Dieter



Trunk or Treat!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Interesting week for sure!

Oi!
This has been a great week, but also a really interesting one! We rode our bikes for the first time this week! If you've never ridden a bicycle in a skirt before, well, you just don't know what fun is! I was a sight to see, that's for sure. We've also had some great meetings this week with less-active members, and seeing them remember the faith that they have and striving to come back is so inspiring. We also met quite a few new people that we are beginning to teach! It's so amazing to me how God always puts us in the right places at the right time. We will go to try and contact one person, and then meet someone completely random and have it be amazing. Our plans almost inevitably change all the time, and it always seems to work out better than we could have hoped for. Today, for example, we went shopping at Walmart. No big deal, right? We're not even trying to teach people or anything, just shopping. As we are bringing our groceries to the car, this man says "Hello Sisters!". What? Turns out he is a less-active member of the Church. We stopped and talked to him for a bit, and he was great! He told us how much he loves the Church and how it has blessed him in his life. Then, he says, "And you know if you ever want to come by and share the gospel with me, I'd love you to!" We were more than happy to plan on that! :) I guess what I'm saying is it is just the little miracles each day that we have to search for. The little things that go right, the plans that get changed, and how they work out for the better. I have seen God's hand in my life so much, and I am grateful that He is watching over me. Though I feel so incredibly inadequate as a missionary sometimes, I know that God makes up the difference for my weaknesses. In 2 Nephi 25:23 it says, "we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do". So, after we have done our very best and tried our hardest to be obedient and follow God, the power of Christ and His Atonement allow miracles to happen. We had a wonderful lesson with one of our investigators, and she is so sweet. She is so excited to be baptized and eager to learn more. Her faith inspires me, and her perseverance through the hardest trials I could ever imagine is amazing. She came to church this week, and loved it! In our lesson, she told us that she had come to know for herself that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith truly is a prophet of God. I love her and love the effects the gospel is having on her life. I'm so grateful to be here and I know that even though it is hard and I'm certainly not a perfect missionary, God will help me as I am obedient. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!

Tchau!

Sister Dieter
After a long day of biking!

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Tudo bem!
This has been a fantastic week! We got to go to the temple in Raleigh on Friday, which was beautiful! Then, General Conference was all weekend! For those who don't know, General Conference is a semi-annual broadcast for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The prophet, who is the leader of the church and the representative of God on Earth today, speaks, as well as his counselors and other leaders in the church. They give inspired messages from God that teach, guide, and help us. I LOVED it! I would invite all to watch even just a few of the talks from Conference online at lds.org! My favorite one was by Dieter F. Uctdorf, one of the counselors to the prophet. Please watch his talk if you can!

I learned a lot this week about "blooming where you are planted". Basically, make the best out of the situation you are in and do what God would want you to do. I love teaching and helping people to come closer to their Savior, Jesus Christ. I love seeing how the gospel changes their lives and inspires them to become better versions of themselves. My favorite part of the gospel is that God does not want us to be lead astray. If we have questions, we can ask Him through prayer and receive answers. He wants us to know the truth, and He wants to hear from us daily. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to teach others about the truth and help them to discover it for themselves. I know as I strive to lose my selfishness and serve God with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, miracles can be done through me for God. I love Him and I know He loves me. I know He loves you too. We are all His children and He is there for  us at all times, even if we are wandering far from Him. I love you all and hope you are doing well!


Sister Dieter



Me and the Temple!

My District!

Raleigh Temple!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Country Lanes and Fall Weather!

Hello everyone!

I hope all your weeks are going well! I am doing just great out here in North Carolina. We moved this week to a new apartment more in the country. There are horses, donkeys, and roosters down the street and we live on a dirt road. It is so beautiful and I love looking up at the wide open sky! It makes me so grateful for the Creation and this beautiful world we have been given. I think sometimes we just take for granted how perfect it is.

This week, we did this thing called "exchanges." My companion went to a different area close by with another sister, and then that sister's companion came to my area to work with me for a day. It was a great learning experience because I kind of had to be more responsible and lead out in teaching and everything. It stretched me a lot, but was good! I also got to drive during that, thank goodness for a GPS!!

Something I have learned a lot about this week is the importance of sticking to your commitments in the gospel and enduring tough times with faith. We work with a lot of less-active members of the church in the area trying to help them resolve their concerns and come back to church. I have learned how crucial it is to read and STUDY your scriptures daily, pray sincerely, and keep the commandments. These things are what keep us learning and improving, and if we stop them, it becomes so easy to fall to temptation or to lose sight of what we know to be true. So many of the people we talk to haven't been to church in years. But not because they don't believe it is true. Most of them have just gotten caught up in life and forgotten the little things that keep us strong. I know that life is hard, but it is made so much easier to handle as we exercise our faith in God and trust that if we obey His commandments, He will bless us! As we invite these people to begin to study the scriptures again and to pray, you can really see them remember their testimony and strive to be better and come back to church. I am learning so much how important it is that we love each other and reach out to those that are struggling. As we forget our own selfishness and try to help others, it makes our lives so much more fulfilling and we truly have the power to save people. I know that as we strive to do our best and to be more like Jesus Christ, our lives are blessed and we can do things we never thought possible. Believe me, I never thought I could be a missionary. If you had asked me just a few years ago, I would have said no way! But, as I have tried to learn more for myself and to discover if it was true, and as I have tried my best to read, pray, and be obedient, I have been able to do this. It is so hard, but so so worth it and I know that God is helping me so much to do what He needs me to do and to help His children come back to Him. I am so grateful to be here and I know that the gospel is true. I love you all!

Tchau,
Sister Dieter



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First full week in North Carolina!

Bom dia!

This week has been great. I am catching on a lot more to how everything works, and my trainer is helping me to learn a lot. We are moving to a new apartment this week in Richlands, which is a lot closer to most of the people in our area, so that will help us a lot. It's also apparently really country, with horses and fields surrounding it. I'm excited! We had zone conference this week, and it was all about using the new Facebook, mormon.org, and Family History resources in our proselyting efforts. The work is so much more focused on getting the members involved, which is great. We also had stake conference, and I learned a lot about how faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement will help us to get through any hard thing that we experience. We had an investigator come with us to stake conference and she loved it! We helped a new member in the ward move into their home, since her husband is deployed and she has young children/is pregnant. She really appreciated our help and it felt great to give service. I'm learning a lot about the military family lifestyle here, it sounds so hard. I definitely appreciate those who are willing to sacrifice so much for our country.

A lot of our efforts this week have been in visiting less active members in the area and helping them to come back to church. There are about 600 less active people in the ward, so we have a lot to do here. I love visiting people and discussing how their lives have been affected by the gospel. Even though they haven't been to church in a long time, they all have great feelings about the Book of Mormon and that it is true. They just need some encouragement to get back to church. Our biggest message to them is that God loves them, and He will never leave your side. Even though life is really hard sometimes, He will always be there to help us. Everyone needs the gospel in their lives and the Book of Mormon can answer any of our questions about life. How great is that! We have to have the faith and willingness to do our part though. 

I love the people here, and we are doing well. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary and to be able to share the gospel with everyone we meet. It is such a blessing to know the truth and be able to share it with others! 

Love you all, 
Sister Dieter

Monday, September 16, 2013

Welcome to North Carolina!

Hello everyone! So here I am, in North Carolina! It has been a crazy couple of days with traveling and adjusting, but I think I have finally caught up on sleep and am learning a lot. My companion, Sister Cowley is great! She's from Utah and has been out here for 8 months. She's really nice and helps me learn a lot!

It was kind of bittersweet leaving the MTC this week. My district and teachers were amazing and we became so close after 6 weeks together. I learned a lot there and I am so grateful for all of my experiences. I'm excited to finally be out teaching and meeting real people though, it just shows how worth it the MTC really is!

My first area is in Jacksonville, NC. It's a fairly rural area, but we have two wards (congregations) that meet at our church building. There are two sets of elders and two sets of sisters in the area, and one set of sisters and elders of that group are assigned to each ward. There is a lot for us to do here. Since Sister Cowley and I both just transferred into this area, we are kind of starting fresh with getting to know people, but we've already made some good progress! We attended a baptism on Saturday night for someone the elders were teaching. It was so special. We've mostly been meeting with less active members and trying to find new investigators this weekend. So far we have met a few potential new investigators! I am working hard on being more personable and not so shy with new people. Everyone here is so friendly and hospitable though, so it is a really good environment to share our message with people. Almost everyone is Christian of some kind. It's not too "Southern" of a town mostly because there are some military bases here, so a lot of the people who live here aren't actually from here originally. I met someone from Massachusetts yesterday! :) People love that I'm from the East Coast. The weather and climate aren't too much of a change from MA, it's humid and lots of trees. There are a ton of bugs here, especially spiders, so that's no fun. Also, it's really flat with lots of wide open space. So far I love the people and am learning a lot. I am trying to study Portuguese an hour a day so that I can keep learning, and then the rest of the time we are just focused on the people here! I'm excited to get working and learn a lot!

Sister Dieter

Friday, September 13, 2013

Last week at the MTC!

This has been a crazy week! First of all, we found out about our temporary assignments! I don't have my visa yet, so I will be serving in the North Carolina Raleigh Mission until my visa comes! I'm super excited!!

On a less happy note, I sadly didn't make it through the MTC without getting sick. I actually got food poisoning on Wednesday, and spent most of Wednesday night and Thursday asleep in the sick bay. I'm totally better now though, which I'm grateful for. I got a blessing from 2 of the elders in my zone late Thursday night, and it made me so grateful for their worthiness to hold and use the priesthood. I have been spending most of today packing and getting ready to leave tomorrow for North Carolina! Ahh I can't believe today is my last day at the MTC!

This week I learned a lot about the importance of prayer and studying the scriptures. We did a cool activity in our district where we each personally thought of a question that would help our investigators and then a question that would help us. One person then chose a chapter in the Book of Mormon for us to study together. It was so crazy awesome how all of us received answers to completely different questions. It testified to me the truth of the Book of Mormon, how it testifies of Jesus Christ, and can answer any and all of our questions.

Another awesome experience this week was that I got to be a "host missionary" on Wednesday! (before the whole food poisoning incident...). Basically, you meet incoming missionaries and help them get situated at the MTC. We took them to get their name tags, books, and put their stuff in their rooms, and then brought them to meet their district in their classrooms. I helped out three sisters, and it was so fun. I knew exactly how they were feeling and I just so badly wanted to make sure that they had a good first day. I know how hard it is, but I also know that it gets so much better and that they will love the MTC. It helped me to understand service more and I really felt love and compassion for those sisters. I learned about the Atonement and Christ's suffering for us too. As I was thinking about the experience I realized that Christ knows literally exactly what we go through because He has experienced it. He knows how hard it is, has sympathy for us, and loves us a lot. He knows the end too though, and knows that it will all work out. Just like I knew those sisters would end up learning and growing a ton here, Christ knows the same for us and wants to help. Only, He knows us perfectly so this is magnified by like infinity. But yes, it was such an awesome experience.

I have really loved being at the MTC, it almost feels like another home. I will miss my district a lot, but I'm excited to hear everyone's experiences and stories. I know I am going to love being a missionary wherever I am. I am so grateful and excited for this experience.

Sister Dieter

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Week 4.5 :)

So I don't have a ton to talk about since I just e-mailed on Tuesday, but the rest of this week has been good! We got a new teacher, which means we also have a new investigator to teach. Her "name" is Katia, and she is a mom of two little kids. I think it will be fun to teach her. Also, we get to teach people in our district as investigators. It is so awesome! And then we are taught as investigators too. I love it. We did this thing with a teacher this week where we had to teach an investigator as a class. It was so hard, but cool. Each companionship only got 2 minutes to teach (in Portuguese, btw) and then we switched. You had to keep going off of what everyone else was teaching as if nothing had changed. It was cool to see how even though none of us had planned together or anything, our lesson made sense to her and she learned. I know this could only have worked because we were teaching with the help of the Holy Spirit. There's no other way 11 missionaries who have been learning Portuguese for 4 weeks could have understood each other and taught a 30 minute lesson.

Yesterday, we also learned a lot about how important it is to teach PEOPLE and not just memorized lessons. We need to focus on people's needs, concerns, and problems and be able to help them through the power of the gospel. This also requires help from the Spirit because otherwise, we wouldn't be able to discern what their needs are. Our teacher really emphasized to us how important it is to love the people you serve. God loves them, so we should too. He told us how much he loves the people of Brazil and how he needs us to love them too. I am sooo excited to go to Brazil, I already love the culture and people!

Along those lines, I find out next Friday if I have my visa or if I am getting temporarily reassigned. Ahhh it's so exciting! Time has flown by so fast, but I have learned so much here. Thanks for your love and support. Tchau!

Sister Dieter

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 4 at the MTC!

This was a great week. It brought it's own new challenges, but I've come to expect and look forward to that. I love being in a trio with Sister Holden and Sister Nelson, though it is different than just having one companion. They are such good missionaries and so inspiring though. More news this week, since school is starting, all the teachers have to go to half-time schedules. So we lost one of our teachers :( We have a new one, and now we will have one male and one female teacher instead of two men, so that will be cool. We're all going to miss our teacher though. Also, I don't know if I have mentioned this, but all the Brazilian missionaries have been on a wonky schedule since we weren't originally scheduled to be here. Instead of waking up at 6:30 like everyone else, we had breakfast at 6:30, then lunch at 11 and dinner at 4. Well, this week they finally fixed it and I get more sleep/get to eat at normal times! It's the little things. Haha also they moved our classroom to a newer and a lot nicer building, so that will be good.

We made a commitment as a district this week to try to only speak Portuguese during the 6 hours of class we have daily. It's tough, but I'm so grateful we are doing it. I actually would rather try to only speak Portuguese ever, but a lot of people in my district aren't comfortable with that yet. We'll get there. Our teacher told us how sometimes we have to sacrifice what is easy for what is worth it. It is easy for me to just speak English, but I am learning Portuguese so that I can share the gospel with people. So, it is worth it to sacrifice English for the sake of other people's learning. We had a great devotional this week by Neil L. Andersen about this topic. He discussed Sacrifice and Love and how interconnected they are. We sacrifice for the things we love and love the things we sacrifice for. I can totally feel this in my life that as I sacrifice my time, energy, and everything else to bring others unto Jesus Christ, I am growing to love those people so much more. I also realized how much faith really is a principle of action. It is not enough to just believe something is true. True conversion leads to action. It's just like how I have faith that I can learn Portuguese, but if I don't speak it and study it, God can't help me learn it. We have to put in our part by praying, reading the scriptures, and being obedient to the commandments in order to receive help from God. I love this idea so much.

Something I really liked that we discussed this week was being fully committed to following Jesus Christ. In the Bible when Christ tells the apostles to come follow him, they drop their nets, leave their ships, and go. I need to leave behind my old worries and focus on the people I am here to serve. I was so grateful this Sunday to have all the talks be about things I was studying and praying about. I know that as we put our trust in God and do as He commands, He will make our paths straight and guide us. One other cool thing this week; we get time to watch church movies on Sunday. Our district decided to watch Joseph Smith and the Restoration, which outlines the entire story of Joseph Smith restoring the gospel to the Earth. It is such a powerful movie and reminded me why I am here. I would highly recommend watching it, you can find it on lds.org. The early members of the church went through so much heartache, pain, and sorrow for the sake of the gospel. Nobody would do all that Joseph Smith did for the sake of something that was a lie. The Book of Mormon IS the word of God and this is God's true church on the Earth once more. It just makes sense to me, and as I have prayed to know this, it has been confirmed to me countless times. It has changed my life forever. I love you all and hope your weeks are going great.

Tchau!
Sister Dieter



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Week 3 at the MTC!

Wow was this a crazy week! So my companion, Sister Kirk, found out that she got her visa on Wednesday!! She flew off to the Brazil MTC this morning. So now I am in a trio with the two other sisters that I room with. They are so fun, I love them. Four other people in our zone got their visas this week too!! Most of them went through the Houston or Chicago consulate, so we are predicting that a few others will get their visas from those consulates this week too. I have no clue about mine, but I'm starting to get excited about the idea of potentially serving in another state for a little while. We'll see!

We got to do this cool thing this week called TRC. Basically, you get to teach short lessons to volunteers, and they are not pretending to be anyone. You just teach them as themselves, and usually they are members of the church so it is a little easier. It's so awesome and fun though! I am progressing pretty well in Portuguese, but I know it is not me. Without help from Heavenly Father, I would not be able to do any of this. In Alma 26:12 in the Book of Mormon it explains how I am feeling pretty well: Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Lately, we have been learning and teaching our investigators a LOT about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He suffered and died for all of our sins, pains, worries, fears, challenges, EVERYTHING. Because of that, we can repent, forsake our sins, and change. We can become better, and grow and learn. Christ is our closest advocate and best friend because He knows us perfectly. We can learn answers through reading the scriptures, which testify of His life and gospel. The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and His love for us. It clarifies and provides a second witness of the plan of God for His children and of Jesus Christ. I love being able to teach people about this because I can see how that knowledge changes their lives. They have a new hope and desire for good. I love it, and it makes me want to be a better person too.

I am so grateful to be here at this time. I know it is what I need to be doing in my life right now, and even though it is hard, I have been prepared to do it. Through faith in God, and enduring hard times, we can accomplish way more than we think. Prayer is so important because it is how we talk to God. I have been striving to make my prayers more sincere and more like a conversation with God, than just a laundry list of requests and gratitude. Prayers are answered and we are blessed each day way more than we notice. I love the gospel and know that it is true. Without it, I don't know what I would do. I am so grateful for the hope and understanding that I receive from prayer, reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and learning from others. I love you and want to hear from you more! :)

Sister Dieter


Our district's interpretation of the Plan of Salvation. Who said missionaries don't know how to have fun?

District 2A!

Sisters :)