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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!