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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Moments

So many joyful events this week! We had a great family night at a member's home with a family that we are teaching. It was so fun to see them interact and support one another in trying to live the gospel. We also had a great Relief Society activity. We watched a talk from General Conference about sisterhood (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/sisterhood-oh-how-we-need-each-other?lang=eng) and discussed how important it is that we all love and support one another. Everyone goes through different struggles and challenges in life, and we need the love, understanding, and help of those around us to get us through. God often works through the people around us to bless our lives. A great example of this happened this week. We took a sister who started coming back to church about 4 months ago with us to visit a different sister who is just starting to come back. Neither has really felt like they have friends in the ward to connect with. It was amazing to see how these two women so immediately became friends. They were so excited to have found someone to connect with and it was amazing to see the joy on their faces at church the next day as they spent it together with a new-found sister. I know how powerful the love of a good friend is and how important it is to try and show that kind of love and concern for everyone around us. We can serve others in ways that we might not even recognize just by being kind and sincerely caring about how they are doing.

I also had a few fun experiences this week with Portuguese, which were both such great blessings! We exchanged for a day with the sister leaders, and I was able to go with another sister to teach someone who is originally from Brazil! It was so fun to talk with her and to teach her more about the gospel. The love that I already have for the Brazilian culture and people was just brought out as I was able to pray for her in Portuguese as well. It was amazing! Also, I found out that one of the members in the ward that we had dinner with knows Portuguese, so I was able to talk with him for a bit. I'm so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord and the little ways that He blesses me each and every day. I know that He loves me and has a plan for my life. This knowledge is strengthened every day as I study the words of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I know that whatever the Lord wants for us is ultimately what is best, even if we have to go through some hard times to get there. 

:)
Sister Dieter

Monday, May 12, 2014

Eternal Perspective

I learned a lot this week about the importance of having an eternal perspective and trusting in the Lord. We had so many experiences this week of plans falling through and changing that show to me that our lives are truly directed by God. One amazing experience we had was when we visited one of our investigators who just had a tough hip surgery. We brought by some cookies and shared a quick message about Christ's sacrifice and Atonement for us. We talked about how because of Him, we are not only saved from the effects of sin, but we can find comfort, consolation, and strength. We explained how the Atonement has both a redeeming power, in that it washes away our guilt and sin as we repent and change, and also an enabling power to help us do things we never thought that we could do. We also explained how Christ suffered all of our pains, sorrows, worries, stresses, weaknesses, EVERYTHING when He suffered, died and was resurrected for us. She and her husband were dumbfounded. They never had heard that before and were so grateful to know that. It made me realize how grateful I am to have that knowledge as well. Christ knows exactly how we feel and because He has felt our suffering, He can sympathize with us and help us to overcome it. It makes that relationship so much more meaningful and personal to me. I love Him and am so thankful to know that no matter how many times I may falter and mess up, He is always there to catch me, brush me off, and help me get better. 

So on to a topic y'all may be wondering about...this week I also had some issues arise with my fingerprints for my visa (yes, again). At first, I wanted to just be so upset. My thoughts were something along the lines of "Why me? I haven't done anything wrong, I'm trying my best, why can't I just have this?" etc. I quickly realized that that was not right though, and through the help of a blessing I was reminded of the importance of having an eternal perspective. Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us that is way better than our own. As we do our best to let go of those things in life that we have no power over, we will be able to find so much more happiness. I know that everything happens for a reason, and that God is shaping me to become a better person and to be able to help others more through this experience. I won't lie and say that I have been super excited to be waiting on a visa for the past 9 months. But I will testify for sure that there is a purpose behind everything that God allows to happen in our lives. Heavenly Father knows what I will face in my future and He loves me enough to provide a way to prepare me for it. Of course I still want to go to Brazil and serve the people there. Of course I still get frustrated when visa issues happen. But deep down, I trust that it will all work out for the best. This quote gives me a lot of peace, and I know that it is true: "As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better." I know that as we truly let go and allow God to do His work, we will become the kind of people He needs us to be. Love you all!

Sister Dieter

Crazy Week

Hi everyone! This has been such a crazy week. We had some fun walking around historic Raleigh last preparation day, it is so beautiful here. We also had an amazing meeting with Neil L. Andersen this weekend! He came here to do a special stake conference in Raleigh and he also wanted to meet specifically will the missionaries here! He was so happy and inspiring and his message was all about how Christ is the center of everything that we do. It was so great to see some of my old companions and friends at the conference as well! I am so grateful to have such amazing people to serve alongside and for the hard work and dedication that they have to helping others and serving God. I love seeing them and the joy that the gospel brings to our lives.

Just a random FYI for anyone at home, I have started a different blog that I directly will be working on while I am here. It is gloryinplainness.blogspot.comand is basically just a bunch of real stories of people that I meet on my mission and how they are teaching me principles of the gospel. Check it out! :)

Anyways, we had some really great miracles with finding new investigators this week! We found 5 of them, which is absolutely AMAZING! We got requests from the Gladys Knight fireside from people who went and were interested in learning more about the church. It was so amazing to meet these people and share with them how the gospel can change their lives. I know that although it doesn't make life easy, the gospel of Jesus Christ allows us to enjoy life and to have a fulfilling life because we are doing what God would have us do. He has given us commandments to follow that will help us become better people. I know that obedience to these commandments is not restrictive, but instead allows us to be more free and self-reliant. I love the gospel and am grateful for it in my life.

Love, Sister Dieter