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Monday, March 24, 2014

Change

This has definitely been a week full of excitement and change! Ashley got baptized this week!! I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to teach her and her family and to help them grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that they are becoming closer and happier as a family because of their choices to follow God's commandments. We also taught someone else this week about the Restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon. It is amazing to see her entire countenance change as she learns more about the truth of Christ's church and how to follow Him. She has so much more hope and joy, and I know it is a result of feeling the Holy Spirit. The love of God truly changes people, and it is such a privilege to be able to see that.

One of the biggest changes this week is that I, along with 2 other missionaries in my district, will be getting transferred tomorrow! I am excited to find out where I will be going now, and to be able to meet and serve among the people there. I know that God has a plan for me and that I am needed somewhere else now. It is such a blessing to be able to serve as an instrument in God's hands and to be able to do His will. I know that He will not lead me astray, and that wherever I need to be is where I will go. It was definitely a hard couple of days, saying goodbye to people whom I have grown to know and love so much for the past 6 1/2 months. I have been able to see so many miracles occur here in Jacksonville, and I am forever grateful for all the love that I have felt here. I know that Heavenly Father blesses us with talents, abilities, and skills to be able to serve others and help them. While these gifts do bless us as well, they are most effectively used when in the service of others, which in turn is in the service of God (Mosiah 2:17, Book of Mormon). As we serve others and strive to be less selfish, we can become the kind of person that Heavenly Father needs us to be. We can overcome our weaknesses little by little and fulfill our potential as children of God. What will you do this week to serve someone else? :)

I love you all and pray for you often!

Love,
Sister Dieter

The Senior Missionary Couples and I

Definitely in the South!

Bacon-wrapped steak that a member made for us! (aka heart attack in bite-size form :) )

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Oi, tudo bem?
I hope everyone has had a great week. This week was full of lots of service opportunities, which was great! We were able to help a few people in their yard as well as cleaning the church. I love being able to do service for people and play a small part in helping to ease a burden. We had a couple of funny moments this week. At dinner with some members, their 10 year old daughter was telling us all about her upcoming choir concert. She was so excited that she decided to give us a mini concert right there at the dinner table! It was pretty cute and funny. Also, we asked a member and her 8 year old son if they knew anyone that we should stop by and might be in need of uplifting. The boy said, "Hold on a minute!" and then ran over to the window to see who he could find :) He then told us about his neighbor who could "use a long teach" about Christ. We also got some left over Girl Scout cookies from a member, which was much appreciated!
We had stake conference this weekend, which was great! (Congregations are called "wards" and a "stake" is a group of wards put together, so stake conference is basically a regional conference of members of the church). It was so inspiring and the Spirit was very strong! I loved the messages about sharing our knowledge with others and how we can be good examples to those around us simply by living the things that we believe. It is so important to not only believe in Jesus Christ and have faith in Him, but to ACT on that faith and show it by becoming a better person. As we strive to follow His commandments, we are purified and become more and more Christlike. Others will see the influence that He has in our lives and desire to have that for themselves. I know that as we pray for help, Heavenly Father will guide us to those people whom we can touch and to experiences where we can learn how to be like Him. I'm grateful for the knowledge that can be found in prayer and scripture study. I know that as we exercise our faith in Christ, He can help us to change and lead by example.
Com amor, 
Sister Dieter


Girl Scout Cookies!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Southern Comfort Food, Miracles, and Sick Days

Such an interesting week! We had a dinner at this place called Smithfield's with Sister Henderson. Goodness, such Southern food! Fried chicken, hush puppies, and Brunswick stew! Yum! Also, we had zone meeting in Wilmington and we went on exchanges with some other sisters in our zone. I went to Hampstead, which is a cute beach town on the coast. It was a great day and we were able to teach some wonderful people!
It rained a lot at the beginning of the week, which made it a little harder to talk with people. But we still had a great week! We had a wonderful dinner at a member's home and talked with them a lot about the Holy Spirit and how it guides their family. I'm so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and the guidance that I receive from Heavenly Father. It was so cute, their little boys wanted to bear their testimonies to us and tell us about what they believe in. One is 7 and the other is 5 and they had such powerful, simple testimonies of God and Jesus Christ!
We also went to talk to a woman that one of our investigators referred us to. Around here, most people we talk to have some sort of belief in God and Jesus Christ, so we typically just ask them "Do you have a belief in Christ?" expecting a "Yes". We were both caught off guard to have her say no! She proceeded to explain that she is actually a Wiccan! It was very interesting and a new experience for me. She was very curious about the Book of Mormon though and asked for a copy to read. I really hope she does read it and is able to learn more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
On Saturday, we had such a great lesson with Tracy! Before now, she had been curious to learn more and liked talking to us, but wasn't very committed to it. She had asked us about her purpose in life and if there was anything in the Book of Mormon that could answer her questions about it. Yes there is!! :) We gave her a chapter to read in Alma 34 and a couple of pamphlets with some further study questions and scriptures to read. She absorbed everything and was so excited to meet and talk more about it! It was so amazing to see her face light up with joy as she learned about God's plan for her and her purpose in being on Earth. She is so humble and eager to learn and I am so grateful for the opportunity to help her understand and find peace. It ended up being an interesting lesson because Sister Lewis got sick during it...but the Spirit prevailed and we were able to finish the lesson! After that, we went home so Sister Lewis could sleep and recover for the rest of the day. But it was wonderful knowing that we had helped Tracy and that she is excited to learn more! I love being able to serve and help other people and teach them the simple truths that I know. It's so important that we share this knowledge and hope found through Jesus Christ with all we come in contact with!
Com amor,
Sister Dieter