This past week has been so great. Seriously so happy to be able to testify of Christ and be His missionary in this day.
To start off, Monday we had a pretty chill p-day. We went to the Stedelijk Museum, which is a very modern artsy museum...a little bit too abstract and hipster for me but nonetheless it was chill. Then we went and walked around at a HUGE park called Vondell Park. It was so pretty. The leaves on trees are starting to turn red and orange and I love it. I love being in Amsterdam during the fall season! Because I love fall and I love Amsterdam. Ha!
Tuesday, we did service at the Hermelijn in Haarlem again where we paint the brick walls of a mentally challenged school for little kids. They are really so cute. I love serving there. we then went back to Diemen and looked up a few potentials and gave a book of mormon to one american lady who loves family history...we talked a lot about the importance of doing our family history. it was cool. Later that night, 4 belgium sisters came and slept at our apartment for Temple Conference the next day. and one of the sisters was the lovely Sister Johanson!!!! It was so great to catch up with her and reminisce on the ole' Assen days. Love her. We practiced a last minute musical arrangement of The Army of Helaman medley that we sang with the Amsterdam elders. It went pretty well for being put together last minute... :) Then, THE TEMPLE!!!!! I can't believe that the last time I went was 6 months ago. I loved it and cherished every moment I was there. This temple trip really gave me a bigger perspective of how much the Atonement of Jesus Christ is totally the center of every thing we do in the temple and of the Gospel. I really felt close to Him there and the veil was thin. It's been a while since I've had an experience like that.
Later that night we came home and had dinner then looked up a man we gave the first lesson to a few weeks ago that we lost contact with for a while. We showed him the restoration video and testified of the book of mormon and the truth therein. We talked about baptism with him and he told us he was already baptized but we taught him more about the priesthood and he seemed to understand a little bit more about the authority needed to perform baptism. We invited him to pray about it. I have really come to love the story of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith. each time we testify of it or watch the Restoration, my conviction becomes stronger and stronger of the truthfulness of it. It feels so good.
Thursday we had a lesson with our investigator, Gerard. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the steps that are needed to be taken in this life which are faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We talked more about baptism and he mentioned he'd already been baptized and explained the importance of the right authority and again, he seemed to understand but was still not fully willing to say yes. I realized how much more bold we needed to be. I asked him, "Gerard, is this something you want? I mean we come and teach you and you came to church and you're a good man, how much do you want this or do you even want it?" and he said "yes. but there is so much I need to change about my own life. I don't know how I can do it." and at that moment I realized how releasing and freeing the Atonement is. I had never testified so boldly that through repentance and prayer and faith and living the gospel, that Christ would free him of his problems and provide a way for him to do it. we committed him to praying about it and he said yes. we are excited about him and we are believing and having faith that Christ will help him.
Yesterday, Friday, we weekly planned and set a lot of goals that are pretty high, but reachable. The mission has a new standard of reaching 23 hours of proselyting a week...sounds easy, but it's hard. It requires talking with people about the gospel 4 hours every day...so we are contacting on trains, buses, trams, metros, stopping people while biking, and always on the way to lessons. We set a goal of reaching 30 hours this week. we have faith that the Lord will provide miracles for our hard work.
Pray for the success of us in Amsterdam!