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Monday, February 24, 2014

Tender Mercies

This has been a great week! We have had so many fun and amazing experiences and I am so grateful to be able to be here and see people grow and change. We had interviews with our mission president, which are always so nice. I love President and his wife and I am grateful for their service. We had a couple of wonderful experiences this week with meeting new people! We knocked on someone's door and this woman came out to talk with us. She has been going through some really hard times and opened up to us so much. She even got emotional at one point. It still amazes me how much people will open up to these 20 year old girls they've never met before. It really shows me that we are called by God and that we do have this authority to represent Jesus Christ and teach people His gospel. There's no other explanation. But she was very sweet and told us we were like angels on her doorstep. We said a prayer together and will meet again this week! We also had a couple of great and really fun lessons this week with families! One involved using dirt pudding to discuss the gospel and the others involved games and activities that got them all involved. They were fun and everyone involved was able to learn more and feel the Spirit. I love being able to teach people more and see their families grow closer together as they accept the restored gospel.

Something I have realized this week is how simple the plan is, yet how important it is to keep following it! We have to continually exercise our faith in Christ, repent of our sins, renew our baptismal covenants (promises), and be worthy of the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout our entire lives. Life is hard and so many unexpected things happen that don't make sense. But, I know that God loves all of us and that He is there to help us learn. Everything that happens is for a reason, even if we don't know what that reason is yet. We just have to have faith and trust that whatever God wants to happen will help us in the end. I am grateful for the gospel in my life and I know that as we keep the commandments, we find true happiness!

Sister Dieter


Look what we found on our GPS this week! :O

The Gospel through Dirt Pudding :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Life is Funny Sometimes

This week has been quite interesting -- full of strange, wonderful, and great experiences! It snowed AGAIN, about 6 inches! Also, a couple of quotes of the week...

We were teaching our 9 year old investigator and his family, who are trying to come back to church. We were talking about the importance of setting goals and planning how to reach them. His older brother related it to cross country and how he has to set goals and practice to get better. The 9 year old then proceeded to say..."This man (pointing to his brother) has got a hundred dollar body, and a MILLION dollar legs!!" It was so incredibly random and we all were in tears! He's such a funny and good little kid. :) Also, while biking around town we stopped to talk to some men who were outside. After a few minutes, one of them interrupted us and said, "Well, honey, we sure love y'all, but we are drunk on liquor right now!" I'm glad they gave us some warning...they then continued on to dig up a small tree and re-plant it a foot away in the middle of the driveway...it was interesting to say the least.

We also had some really wonderful experiences this week! We were finally able to meet a less-active woman who we have been trying to get in contact with for the past 5 months! She is so sweet and told us several times how glad she was that we stopped by. It was amazing to see her open up and really just light up. We also had dinner with a less-active sister who is starting to come back to church again. She had us over for Valentine's day and we were able to share more with her friend who was there as well. It is amazing to see this woman change! She woke up one Sunday and knew that God wanted her back at church. So, she just got up and did it! She is so excited to be learning again and growing in her testimony and faith.

We had several experiences this week in which we got to talk with some very religious people and discuss our faith. It is neat to hear their beliefs and to be able to share ours and add upon them. I know that the things we have to teach bless lives. I have seen how living the gospel of Jesus Christ changes people. As we have faith, repent of our mistakes, are baptized, and strive to follow the Holy Spirit and be obedient to God's commandments for the rest of our lives, we will find strength and peace. I know that God is always there for us. He is never far away, but He also will never force us to come to Him. He loves us so much that He has allowed us the freedom to choose our path. Every day, we are given experiences and opportunities to learn from. Though we may not be able to choose our circumstances, we can decide how to react to them. I have been trying to reflect throughout each day by asking myself, "What can I learn from this experience?" As I have done so, it has helped me to appreciate the little things more and to find miracles in each day. I know that God loves me, and that we are all special to Him. He has a plan for us to follow, and it is up to us to choose if we will or not. I know that it is hard, and I certainly am a witness that we are not perfect. But, as we show God that we are trying, He will work through us to make miracles happen!

Love,
Sister Dieter



More snow!

Sister Lewis and I

Biking :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Valentine's Week!

Hi everyone! Hope you are all doing well! This week has been pretty interesting, definitely some unexpected things, but that's how life goes! Winter is definitely here in North Carolina, but I'm told it won't last much longer. 
This week we had some pretty great miracles! We were out biking one day, and planned on stopping by a few people to visit. None of them were home. As we rode past one man's house that we have talked to in the past, I felt like we should just stop and see how he was doing. He came outside and we were able to talk with him for about 40 minutes! It started pouring, but that didn't even matter, it was so great! He has a ton of questions about Jesus Christ and about faith, our purpose in life, etc etc. It was wonderful to be able to share my testimony with him and the things that I know because of the gospel. I just felt so much concern for him and knew that God loves Him a lot! Another neat experience...we stopped by a less-active member's home, but they weren't there. We stopped to talk with her neighbor who was outside, but busy and had to go. Before we left, we asked her if she knew anyone that needed a message about Christ. She referred us to a house down the street, and the man there happens to be the son of a less-active member! He is willing to meet with us! It goes to show that if you follow the guidance of the Spirit and work hard, great things will happen! This past Sunday, a lot of people were at church that hadn't been there in a while! It was great to see them and that they are doing well. What was even better was to see the other members welcoming them so openly and striving to get to know them. 
This week, in honor of the holiday I suppose, I am working on learning how to love people more and to show that through kindness. I know that everyone we see is a child of God and that they are important to Him. We have the ability to change their lives through small acts, whether it be sharing our testimonies, or even just a smile or an encouraging word. People need love and as we strive to develop that charity for others, we will be happier, they will be happier, and the world will be a much better place. Everyone has trials, weaknesses, and setbacks. But as we are patient with one another and do our best to be kind, we all change experience change and become better! I'm so grateful for the opportunity that Christ gives me to learn, to improve, and to change. I can't imagine not being able to do so...I would just feel so stuck and pointless. I'm grateful to know that we all have the potential to be better. What can you do this week to show others that you love them?

Sister Dieter

Monday, February 3, 2014

Snow!

Hello everyone! This was definitely a different sort of week. We got a few inches of snow and freezing rain on Tuesday, and as a result pretty much all of our appointments for the week were cancelled. They don't have the funds for plowing down here, since it usually doesn't snow much. So basically everyone just stays inside for a few days until the ice melts off the roads. I definitely learned a lot about patience this week! Despite the weather, some really great things happened this week! We had a wonderful lesson with a less-active man in another member family's home. They just reached out to him in love and support, and it was a very special experience. I can testify that a little love and charity goes a long way in changing someone's life. We can all reach out to those who are struggling and bring them comfort. We were also able to go on base to meet with an investigator's sister who was in the naval hospital because of an traumatic miscarriage. We were able to share more with her about the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us and that there is a way for her to be with that child one day. She was also able to receive a blessing of comfort and she told us she felt much better afterwards. It was a very special experience and I am so glad that we were able to help her in some way. Also, this week we have been really hoping and praying for someone that we can teach who is committed to learn and to change their life. Well, we got a text from some other missionaries in Arizona telling us that their investigator will be moving here to work for the Marine Corps and that we will be finishing teaching him! He is excited to be baptized and his member fiancĂ©e and he are planning on being married in the temple next year! Although things are not always easy, it is so worth it! Heavenly Father blesses us daily in so many ways!
Something I have been thinking about this week is the analogy of faith being like a seed. The seed itself is great; it has all the components necessary to become a strong, tall tree. But, that seed requires some nourishment and care to grow. We have to pray, read the scriptures, attend church, and strive to be obedient to the Lord's commandments in order to "water" our seed of faith and help it grow stronger and bigger. If we neglect that plant and it begins to wilt and die, it isn't because the gospel and the truth we believe in (the seed) was bad or wrong, it's because we weren't working to take care of that testimony. If we won't water our plant, the heat of the sun can scorch it so much easier. I know that no matter what point your "seed" is at in it's development, there is always opportunity for it to grow again and even more. What will you do this week to nourish that seed? :)



Sister Dieter




This is what two inches of pure ice and snow without any plowing or salting looks like!