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Monday, June 30, 2014

Softening Hearts

Happy almost 4th of July! I hope everyone has a great week, wherever you are! This past week has been so good. Funny moment of the week: At the end of a lesson we asked our 66 year old investigator what we could pray for for her. She promptly responded, "Pray that I will find me Mr. Righteous." We almost died of laughter, but we complied and prayed for it. I hope she gets what she's looking for :)
Anyways, we also had two amazing experiences that show to me the power of love and how it can soften even the hardest hearts. We started meeting with a different one of our neighbors and she has a ton of questions! It was neat to see her view of the church change and her growing testimony. She tells us repeatedly that she's not interested in joining the church (or any church, for that matter), but each time we meet she has found something new that she loves about the gospel! She's so sweet and I am glad to know her and see her relationship with Heavenly Father growing stronger.
Secondly, we had a very interesting experience when we stopped by to visit one of our investigators, Britney. She was outside when we got there at her apartment complex, so we just went up and talked with her for a bit. There was another woman there standing by just kind of listening. She eventually asked us "Who are y'all?? The Mormons???" When we replied, "Yes" she immediately responded "Oh, I can't talk to y'all. I can't talk to y'all." She yelled and yelled at us about how we "don't believe in Jesus" and that she can't talk to us because we're Mormon. Britney defended us and told her "They believe in Jesus Christ!!" This angry woman continued to yell, scream, and cuss at us for a few minutes, and we just stood there and listened. Eventually, her yelling at us turned into her yelling about her life and about her daughter's problems and how upset, scared, and frustrated they were making her. She started to break down and told us there was nothing we could tell her that would help. We just told her that we were sorry for her and that everything would be ok. We then gave her a hug and she told us we needed to come back and talk to her the next day. Wow!! It was just so amazing to see a situation go from anger and hatred to love and support that quickly. It made me realize that people are going through things that we have no idea about and it isn't our place to judge or get defensive, because you never really know what the true cause of their emotions is. I am glad we were able to end that situation in a spirit of love and I know it is because the Spirit was with us. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows us and is infinitely patient!
Love, Sister Dieter

Monday, June 23, 2014

Great week!

Oi, tudo mundo! :)

This has been a really great week. Transfers happened and now I am in a trio with two fantastic sisters. Sister Crane and I are co-training and it is so much fun! We have already been seeing miracles together and I am grateful for their desire to serve God. This week, we met with one of our investigators, Sonja,  who is preparing for baptism a few times. She has basically learned everything that she needs to and is just working on quitting smoking! She has already cut down from smoking a pack and a half a day to just 8 cigarettes a day, so that is major improvement! It is amazing to see how the gospel is changing her life for the better. 

We also had a really fun day of thunderstorms and down pouring rain, but that didn't stop us! We were out talking to some people during a dry spell, and it was so great --- every time that Sister Crane mentioned anything about Jesus Christ, SUPER loud thunder and lightning went off nearby. I think the people we were talking to were a little freaked out, but it was fun. :) I am so grateful to know that God is with us in this work and that He will help us to overcome any challenges that we may face. I love it here and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve. 

Sister Dieter

Monday, June 16, 2014

Change of Plans!

Hey everyone! So MAJOR news of the week...I found out that my visa finally came through!!!!!!!! I will be leaving on July 8th It doesn't feel real. I still don't know if I believe it yet :) I am so excited, but also very mixed feelings! I have loved it here in North Carolina and have met so many amazing people here. I know that God needed me here for all this time and I am so grateful that He made it possible. I really am going to miss everyone here so much. It seems like once you finally accept God's will completely and start to really be happy with it, He changes things up on you again so that you can rely on Him more! It is going to be like leaving home again, but I am excited to see what God has in store for me in Brazil!! I know that He has a plan and that everything will work out how it needs to be. 

So since I am still here for the next 3 weeks, I will still be training a new sister! But, another sister missionary who has been out for a little while will also be helping me train her, so that she can finish the training when I leave. So we will be in a trio for a couple of weeks! Then I think I will be going to the Brazil MTC for a week or so before I go to Porto Alegre. Wow. Life is so crazy, but also so so great. We are seeing so many miracles here with the people we are teaching and I know that the gospel is changing their lives. I love all of you and am so grateful for your love and support! 

Sister Dieter




What a Whirlwind!

This week has been full of surprises and crazy experiences!! I'm happy to say I've finished reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese :) I know that that book is true, even in another language! It is so powerful and such a great witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This week I also got a blessing and had a very personal and powerful experience. I can't even fully explain it, but I can say for certain that I know that God is real and that my Savior knows who I am and what I am going through. I don't just believe it anymore, I know it. I know that He has a plan for each and every one of us and that as we follow His will, He will lead us to what we need. He knows our potential and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be an instrument in His hands. We found out transfer news this week too! My companion is getting transferred to her second area and I will be staying here in Raleigh. My new companion will be a new missionary coming into the mission this transfer. So in other words, I will be training! I am humbled to know that the Lord trusts me enough to do that, and I am grateful for all the preparation He has given me and the help He will continue to give me.

We had an amazing Sunday at church! Someone we have been teaching for over a month now was finally able to recover from surgery enough to come to church! She loved it and had a really powerful experience. A different sister who got baptized last year and quickly fell away came to church too and bore her testimony of how the gospel has changed her life. Our investigator identified so well with her and they both were able to celebrate together how God has been working in their lives to bring them to the fullness of His truth. I am so grateful to be a witness to these changes in their lives. The gospel is true and it changes people. Change is possible because of Jesus Christ. He enables us to overcome our weaknesses and fulfill our potential. He believes in us. Something I learned this week: We need to not only believe in Christ, but believe Christ. He will help us as we trust in Him.

Sister Dieter

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Patterns of Light

Oi, tudo mundo! 
This week was fun! Had a great Memorial Day at the Science Museum of Raleigh. I love the city! Also, a couple of really great miracles happened this week. We were able to get in contact with a woman we had met about a month ago to share more with her! We realized that she's not actually in the area that we cover, but she is still wanting to learn about the gospel so that's great! We were also able to get in contact with one of the less-active members who we haven't seen in a long time and get to know her better! And, the husband of someone we are teaching decided that he wants to learn more too! And they have a friend who wants to come to the next lesson!! :) Also, I realized that my 10 month mark is already coming...this Saturday! Time flies so fast, but it's great to look back on all the things you've been able to experience and all the miracles that have happened.

This week I just wanted to share something that we talked about in church yesterday. We watched 3 videos called "Patterns of Light" ( ). They talk about the influence of the Spirit of God and how to discern that guidance. Watch them, love them! :) It really helped me to realize how God often very subtly guides us and though we may feel like we are alone, He always is leading us. Even if it's only one step at a time. As we trust in His will and takes those steps forward in faith, we will be able to see how much He really is in the details of our lives. 

Love you all!
Sister Dieter





Monday, June 2, 2014

Instruments in the Lord's Hands

Hi everyone! Happy Memorial Day! Neat moment of the week: We knocked on someone's door and it turned out that he only spoke Spanish. We could have easily just said sorry and kept going, but for some reason I felt prompted to attempt to speak to him in Spanish. Though it was really jumbled and probably mixed with lots of Portuguese, we were able to communicate and he accepted to have Spanish-speaking missionaries come by! I know that the Lord blessed me because after the fact I realized that I completely understood what he was saying...wow!
This week, we have seen some pretty miraculous things happen! Things that prove to me that the Lord will guide our path as long as we are willing to take a few steps into the dark. On Tuesday, we noticed a name and address in Sister Slade's planner who we had no idea who she was or how it got there. We decided that we needed to stop by and see if we could get to know her. We went to the address only to find that no one was home. We decided to knock on one of the neighbor's doors before we left. To our surprise, a kind old woman opened up to us, said hello and let us right in. We had no idea who she was, but she seemed to know us. Come to find out, she was actually the woman who we were looking for! She had just moved to the apartment next door. We had a good talk and found out that she had looked into the church previously and even came to church a few times. Though she wasn't interested right then, I know that God wanted us to see her yesterday and He made it possible for us to find her. After that, we headed off to our next appointment. She wasn't home, so we decided to go knock on the neighbor's doors in the apartments upstairs. The very first door we knocked on ended up being someone we had met before! We had talked with her at a bus stop almost 2 months ago but weren't able to meet with her because she was in between housing at that point in time. Apparently, she had just moved into that apartment, which we had absolutely no clue about! It was amazing to see that. I just had this overwhelming feeling that God loves her so much that He was willing to give her multiple opportunities to learn more about His gospel.

Also, for the past 2 months we have been trying and trying to get to know one of our neighbors. We would see her in passing often, but never had the chance to get to know her. For some reason, we really felt like we needed to reach out to her and bring her some cookies. We went over several times, never getting an answer at the door. Finally, one day we saw her sitting in her car when we came home from getting some groceries. Although it felt a bit awkward, we decided to go back outside and talk to her. We told her how we felt like we needed to get to know her better and asked if we could come by in a few days and bring her some cookies. She said, "Of course!" and we set up a time to come over. We weren't sure what she thought of it, but were excited to get to know her. We went over...and she didn't answer the door. A little disheartened, we decided to just leave a note. As we were writing, she drove right up and was so apologetic! Apparently she had been looking forward to it all day, but was running late from work. She welcomed us in and we just sat and got to know one another. I was surprised at how quickly the conversation turned to topics of faith, prayer, and struggles she is having with her faith. We were able to share with her our beliefs and testimonies of God's love and how He is willing and ready to hear and answer our prayers. She told us how it was weird that she felt so comfortable with us and sharing personal experiences, but that she was so grateful we came over to talk with her. I just had this great feeling of love and concern for someone who I had barely known 10 minutes before. This experience showed me how important it is to reach out to those around us and love our neighbors as God does, even if it is out of the way and a bit uncomfortable at first. You never know when someone is in need spiritually or otherwise and how much a little bit of love and concern can really make someone's day better. :)
I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve. Though I don't always understand the Lord's will, I know that if I trust in it, He will provide a way. It is so important to just have faith and believe that everything that happens in your life is for your good in the end. Wonderful quote I heard this week: "You haven't failed until you quit trying." - Gordon B. Hinckley. All that God expects of us is that we keep moving forward and keep trying to be a little better each day. I've been thinking about that a lot lately and I'm curious to hear anyone else's experiences with following God's will even when it was challenging! Send me some stories, I'd love to hear!
Love you all, 
Sister Dieter