Mormon Mission World

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Passing the Trial of Faith

One of the sweet elders here was informed recently that his 15 year old sister may have a brain tumor.  For many weeks she had been experiencing severe headaches for which the doctors could find no cause.  After many tests it was suggested that she see a psychologist since most likely it was all in her head (please excuse the pun.)  The family mentioned her situation to a friend who also had some medical knowledge.  She asked if her braces had been removed for the MRI.  They had not; which she said could make abnormalities impossible to detect.  They returned to the doctor armed with this new information and requested a new MRI without the braces.
As the mother and daughter sat in the doctor’s office waiting for the results the doctor began to explain the discovery of a tumor on the young girl’s brain. The mother quickly wondered how she could be a support to her young daughter when she herself was feeling so devastated.  Before she had a chance to collect her thoughts she heard her daughter say, “I am a daughter of God.  I have hopes and dreams for my life and I know that He has hopes and dreams for my life too.  I pray that these dreams as the same; but if not I will be happy with His plan for me.” 
She had learned well the lessons taught in her home and as well as in her Young Women’s classes. As a reminder each Sunday the girls recite the Young Women Theme:
“We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.”
We do not know this young lady personally but her faith, courage, and strength are amazing. As we encounter trials and challenges in life may we all have the faith to rely on our Father in Heaven and submit our will to His plan for us is our hope and prayer.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Little Snow Before Spring Hits

Greeting from Eastern Europe!  We have been delighted to be experiencing a mild winter this year.  After -33C last year in Riga this winter has been only slightly troublesome. There were only a few snow storms and never did we get more than 3-4 inches, usually less.  The trouble came when it froze unevenly on the already treacherous sidewalks and streets.  We have experienced a fall or two but no significant damage luckily! Recently it seemed that spring was in the air.  Often the temperature has hovered around 48°-50°F.  Although we have not experience much bitter cold weather we were happy to anticipate spring with slightly less treacherous sidewalks to navigate.  We have missed being able to get out and explore.  Today we unexpectedly woke up to the scenes that we have included this week.  Generally the first thing I do in the morning is check the weather app on my iPad.  I was shocked to see snow in the picture.  Often it will show rain and when I look outside there is none to be seen.  It seems that accuracy in forecasting is universal! Today I peeked out of the window and was surprised to see a coating of wet snow on the trees and rooftops! It is very picturesque but it looks as though the boots will have to come back out of the closet!

 We spent the first several months catching up on all that had fallen behind due to the lack of a senior coupe for many months.  And then there was the change in mission presidents; one wanted to get everything in order for his replacement and the other wanted to get things organized his way.  All of these things kept us very busy.  Just as we were beginning to relax and coast a little with time for the projects that never seem to bubble to the top, we realize that our time is passing quickly.  Now we are busy cleaning up and cleaning out.  As the reins change from one couple to another, things accumulate and no one dares to throw anything away.  We have been disposing of outdated material and instructions with reckless abandon!  Also we have been up dating written procedures and making long lists of our individual responsibilities.  As yet we have not been notified of a new couple coming to take our place which is troublesome for our dear president as well as for us.  Fortunately, we have a local service missionary who helps in the office a couple of times a week.  She is furiously taking notes as we attempt to teach her as much as we can before we leave.  We are happy that we continue to be busy!  We pray that all is well with our loved ones far away! 
Elder and Sister Segeberg

Monday, February 4, 2013

Area Presidency Mission Tour

Last week we participated in a special Zone Conference.  A member of the Area Presidency came to the Bulgaria Sofia Mission.  After visiting the branches and members in Turkey he arrived in Sofia.  Sunday evening we picked him up with his wife and the Wilsteads at the airport. 

On Monday we were treated a special experience as he instructed us. He suggested that we should rename meetings to be revelatory experiences.  He emphasized that we all live up to expectations.  During his education he had a class in which his grade at the end was much lower than when he went into the class. He hinted that this was partially because of his instructor’s lack of expectations.  The moral of the story is that those around us will live up to our expectations.

On Monday evening there was a special dinner held for the senior couples, the President, his wife, and our visitors.  It was a wonderful experience to be able to interact with them on a more personal basis.  Both he and his wife were delightful and very kind.
Elder Segeberg and I were responsible for dinner on Wednesday evening for our visitors and the mission presidency with their wives.  Being the Italians at heart that we are, we prepared lasagna and garlic bread. The sometimes contrary ovens cooperated this time and it turned out very well.

After dinner a fireside was held for all of the members in Sofia.  Just moments before the meeting began he requested that one of the Elders preform a special musical number, in Bulgarian of course. Having no advance notice, the Elder chose ‘How Great Thou Art.’  There was no time to practice with the pianist.  Their performance was their original run-through! In spite of that they did an amazing job!  Our special visitor then began his remarks by focusing on the theme of the hymn that the Elder had chosen.  His message was just as amazing as the music even though he had no idea what would be chosen. 

These special occasions are a great boost to the members and missionaries alike.  Only occasionally are we treated to the visit of a General Authority.  The people that we have met, members, leaders and missionaries, will be the highlight of our mission!

Elder and Sister Segeberg