Monday, June 22, 2015

"Well, at least there's always that pink butterfly"

Dearest familie

This week had some highs and some lows. We had a cool appointment with a man named Gerlof that we found knocking doors a few weeks ago. He is a young husband and father of two adorable kids...We taught him de Herstelling (the Restoration) and it was a great lesson. He seemed pretty positive! We are excited to teach him again. He is excited to read the Book of Mormon. He is a Christian and loves God and Jesus. What more could you ask for? After that we went to a super expensive restaurant for dinner with a member and ate delicious food...that was the first time for me in 6 months to eat in a restaurant, let alone a was weird. #missionarylife

Well, other than getting door after door slammed in our faces, and having a lady tell us we could just "go ahead and put that card in the recycle bin right there" and walk away (at least she recycles), and having 90% of our appointments fall through, we are still feeling God's love. Sometimes it's easy to think that God has abandoned you. I have felt that many a times on my mission. But He is really always right there. He just wants us to hold on, just a little longer. I know this work is the work of the Lord and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else with my life right now. I know I am where I am meant to be. I know the Lord's hand is in everything. 

Well, some good news! Aurora, a 17 year old girl that me and Sister Fredrickson found in Gouda a few transfers ago is (hopefully) getting baptized this Saturday! She still has to get permission from her mother to be able to be baptized but if that doesn't happen, she turns 18 in September and she will get baptized then. She has a testimony and she knows this church is true! As long as she is converted, which she is, I know she will make that covenant with Heavenly Father and be baptized.

Saturday we got to go to Amersfoort and work with some other missionaries and members of that ward there for a cool thing called "kerk nacht" (church night) where they did a tour of our church and other churches. Our church was basically an open house and we sang a hymn and talked with people about the gospel and ate good food and handed out copies of the Book of Mormon. it was super cool. The Spirit was really strong. This church is true, guys We are SO lucky to have the knowledge of our Lord and Redeemer and His restored church on earth.  

And to address the Subject line "well, at least there's always that pink butterfly", a few days ago we had to fall back on our backup plan because our investigator wasn't home and see if some people who we lost contact with were home so we could make new appointments with them. we were ringing the doorbell of this guy that never answers and we just stood there in the pouring rain, after 3 appointments had fallen through that day, trying to muster motivation to keep being positive, and Sister Johanson looks at the doorbell where there was a pink butterfly sticker on it that is always there and says "well, at least there's always that pink butterfly" maybe that doesn't sound funny, but for 2 missionaries who are struggling to see the good in sad situations, that was all we needed to laugh and be happy again. It's the small things, guys. It really is. I have learned that on my mission. You don't have to always be witnessing amazing miracles everyday to know that God is there. Sometimes it's just your attitude and ability to see the small things as blessings and miracles that counts. 

So go look for the small things in life and turn them into big things. Share your small experiences with people; it will get them thinking more about the little miracles in their own lives. Why are we here if not to make the lives of other people better?

also I had my second Belgium trip last Friday. I had to pick up my Belgian ID. Sister Johanson got to work in Gouda (my baby city!!) for the day with other sisters and I got to go to Belgium with the lovely Sister Romney, my MTC comp! Oh how I love her. She is in my baby city and is teaching Aurora! Missionary work is SO cool. I love being a missionary!!!

Have a great week and look for the small miracles!!!! and remember Alma 37:37
This was me in Brussels, Belgium!

Monday, June 15, 2015

fixing bikes, zone training, and exchanges with my mom

Goede morgen, middag, avond, of wat dan ook...ik hou van jullie heel veel.

The work goes on. The Lord's hand is in everything. Trials bring forth blessings, if we endure them well. And I know if we just keep trying...just keep going, whether or not it is hard, out of your comfort zone, the same thing over and over again, with no results, eventually the Lord will bless you. I know that to be true.

This transfer has been one weird/ blessed one. But nonetheless, the work goes on. Zuster Jo's bike tire last week was shredded and completely flat one the next day, luckily our district leaders were coming to work with us and they were abe to fix it. Yay! also like almost every one of our appointments fell through this week... which is really quite frustrating...but the work goes on. then we heard someone tell us they are a victim of a crime and we had to call the cops to report was a messy situation that missionaries should never have to deal with, but alas, crap happens. but hopefully the rest of this transfer will go smoothly...

I went on exchanges last week with my mom (my trainer, Zr. Fredrickson) and it was a BLAST!!!!!! I love that woman. We taught our investigator, Dewi the plan of Salvation. But before that, when we were following up with her book of mormon reading, she told us that she had a super cool, spiritual experience with the book of mormon...I felt pretty Lucky to hear about it. She is a super cool person...and I love being a missionary.

Last monday for p-day we went to a concentration camp called westerbork. it was sweet. then today we went and saw these huge boulders that are graves from like 12,000 years ago...super cool haha #rocks

Well, last week at zone training was the last time I would see our mission president and his wife before they are released...we get our new president in a few weeks. It was bitter sweet....change is good, but they are amazing at what they do. But I know the new president and his wife will do great! I love you guys and remember that sometimes the Lord has you swim through deep waters for a while before He will pull you out...He does this because He trusts us and He has a plan for you and hard times are for our benefit. 

D&C 127: 2 "And as for the perils‍ which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy‍ and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was ordained‍ from before the foundation of the world for some good end, or bad, as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves. God knoweth‍ all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it."

love you guys.
This was at the concentration camp. Each stick represents one person who was at the camp.

Monday, June 8, 2015

One does not simply get locked out of one's apartment.

Dear lovely people whom I love dearly

well, I usually start out each email with "wow, this week has been crazy" well, this has been another one of those weeks. Last Tuesday, me and Sister Johanson got locked out of our apartment for 24 hours. 

Last Monday we had a lesson with one of our investigators, Jeffrey. we taught him the plan of salvation and committed him to reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church the next week. Well, we stopped by Saturday night to remind him about church and to tell him we wanted to see him there and he said he would try..well, he didn't come. We think that when we teach him that he's always on drugs or something...he never blinks (hahah welcome to the Netherlands :) :) ) anyways, Thursday we had a first lesson with a cute lady named Dewi who we found knocking doors one day. We taught her the Restoration and committed her to reading the Book of Mormon. she is so cool! she said she would have to think about getting baptized; but I know she will make the choice. she is looking for the truth! OH ALSO that same day we were biking home from knocking some doors and we decided to contact while biking. So we saw someone just walking on the sidewalk and rolled up right next to them and contacted him and it was pretty positive. then we contacted our next person. it was a couple pushing an elderly person in a wheel chair and we pulled up and said hi we are misisonaries and this is our card and everything and the guy said "wait are you guys christian?''and we said yes and he said "well my girlfriend is muslim (she wasn't dressed like a muslim) and she wants to become part of a Christian church. can you guys help her with that?"and we were so calm on the outside and were like "yeah we can totally help" while on the inside we were totally freaking out hahaha so we got their information and we are going to bring a book of mormon over in Arabic ( doesn't speak dutch) and we are going to teach her! so we called them the next day and they said they were busy that week but to try again the next week. So we are super excited about this! Baptizing a muslim isn't that easy but it's gonna happen here in assen!!!!!! Sometimes it is so hard not to get discouraged; I hear about other friends in other parts of the world on missions who commit like 9 people  in a week to get baptized. it's hard not comparing yourself and not feeling like a terrible missionary but I know the Lord sends us where we are supposed to go and that although it is a tough mission, it isn't impossible without the Lord's help. He is guiding His missionaries with His work. 

well, you are probably wondering what happened when we got locked out. we went running tuesday morning and came back and I stuck the key back in the door, just hanging there. well, we were in a hurry and rushing to catch a train to our district meeting in zwolle and I totally forgot to pull the key out of the lock so when we came back that night at 9 pm the other key we had would not turn. we had no idea that there was a key on the other side of the door (dutch doors are weird and if there is a key on one side, you can't open the door and there isn't a door knob on the outside, only a key slot) so we called members in assen to see if they had a spare key (we thought it was maybe a problem with our key) and no one did but they are supposed we called our zone leaders who had an extra key and they had to travel a while to get here and they weren't here until like 12:30 am so we chilled at a member's home. oh also, we had our neighbors over trying to help us, one of them is a police woman and she tried some oil stuff but it didn't work. well the Zone leaders finally got here and...their key didn't work. We honestly just thought the lock was broken. so the only logical thing for us was to travel back to their city with them in their car and sleep at the sisters apartment there for the night then come back the next day to have a lock smith let us in. well that morning the thought came to left the key in the door on the other side. So we finally get back into Assen after a 1.5 hour train ride and a lock smith comes and lots of other drama happens but we were finally left in and 15 min later we had to leave to another appointment hahaha we were so hungry and so un-showered...but we have figured out even more that the Lord works in mysterious ways. I was able to talk to a man from Dubai on the train for 40 min about the gospel (my comp was asleep...) and he was really interested...we also met our super cool neighbors who we never see!!!!! we brought them brownies and they will have to return the boxes...we are trying to think of how to start up a better conversation about the gospel with them. I know the Lord uses my weaknesses and blonde moments to do His work...through Him my weaknesses are made strong. Ether 12:27

today we are going to a concentration camp. should be super cool. I can't find my camera cord so I can't send pics again this week... :( sorry!!

I Hope you all have a SPLENDID week and look for small ways that the Lord brings about His work. He loves each and every one of you so much!!! and I do too!!! 


Zuster Harris

Monday, June 1, 2015

De beproevingen zijn de zegeningen :)


wow. I love you guys. I am so grateful for the family and friends that I have!

This week has been CRAZY. to be leading in a city is fun but it is also stressful. YOU are the only one who really knows how to run the are the only one who knows how to get places, what the investigator needs, blah blah blah. But luckily the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit so I  am blessed to have him as my constant guide and I have my wonderful, lovely new companion, Sister Johanson.

Sister Johanson is so great. She is 21, so I feel like a baby compared to her (she has already done 2 years of school....hi high school? haha?). she is a dancer. She is a singer. She has big brown eyes. She is a hard worker. and she loves missionary work. We are diferent people, but that is what I love about her. We are BEYOND PUMPED for this transfer. We are so ready to work hard, to find more people to teach, and to strengthen our little assen gemeente (branch). Assen didn't know what was coming for them when we became companions. My last transfer was a little ring of fire for me...but because of it, I have learned the kind of missionary I want to be. I have learned that I CAN do this. I can do this because of the Lord. Through my weaknesses, Christ can strengthen me. I know I wouldn't be able to do this without help from my Heavenly Father and the Lord.

Well sadly, because this week was so crazy full of appointment after appointment, I have no new pictures.....our investigators are doing well, we have yet to get one to come to church but it's going to happen. Through faith and hard work and diligence, the Lord will make it happen! I love being a missionary!!!!!

Also, ps...I hit my 6 month mark next week....what????? that is 1/3 of my mission, already gone. I only have a year left. weird. I hope I can be what the Lord wants me to be and do what the Lord wants me to do with my year left here!!!!!

I love you guys. Have an awesome week.

alma 26:12


Zuster Harris :)