This one will be a bit short, but just want to say first off that I am safe and we are just doing what we normally have been doing, and that is missionary work. It has been a bit of a scary week with the bombings and such, but this week I have felt the help of angels more than ever my entire mission, and not just with safety but with being led by the spirit to the right people. Last Tuesday I was on exchanges with a new sister in Dordrecht and we met this girl on the street who is 19 and super positive, wants to learn more and sent us to her friend down the street who also wants to learn more. We are also going to start teaching one of our investigator's daughters who is also 19 so hopefully the ysa in this ward will finally start goin :) we are happy and are seeing miracles and are working our hinys off haha each and every night we lay in our beds exhausted, but satisfied, and before we know it, the alarm goes off and we get to do the same, but very different things again that day and i am so blessed for that. I really enjoy this work so much. I want to thank each and every one of you for the support, whether is has been through emails, prayers, fasting, financial support, whatever it is I want to thank you and know that God loves you and has a specific plan for you. this week has been better as far as emotionalness goes, haha. I am just enjoying and working hard, and when the time comes to go home, it will be ok. I will be ok because I know God has more things in store for me and the people I will continue to share the gospel with after my mission. I love the Lord, and I am so grateful I get to testify of Him everyday, and think about Him every day, even when it's not Easter, and that is my invitation to each and every one of you, is to keep Him in your thoughts and hearts, and try to be like him. I know that the problems of the world would be solved with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but I also know that God is the Master Planner and has His purposes. the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is coming closer and closer so we need not fear if we are doing all we can to follow Him! Find Him and leave your nets, and don't ever go back to your nets. He has something else in mind.
Well, this week was terrible, because I cried for the first time that I am coming home in 2 months. But other than that this week was amazing :) It was filled with zone training, exchanges, contacting, biking, giving out a Book of Mormon to a Muslim man and having a great conversationg with him on the street (have I ever said that I love missionary work?), teaching Daan (our investigator who was athiest when he was found) and him realizing that he has felt the spirit as he prays each day (we read Galations 5:26 to him and he understood finally), taught him the law of chastity with a wonderful joint teach and it was great. it's been fun watching a lot of sister black's "firsts" in the land, and she was a bit awkwarded out with this lesson but it went actually really well haha bless her heart. we also had stake conference this past weekend and an area 70 from england, elder charles, came and spoke and basically singed our eyebrows haha it was the best talk I have ever heard. He spoke and testified with power. his main topic was "NEVER stop inviting someone to partake of the gospel." and to always be bold and never choose if someone qualifies for the gospel because everyone does. It was a wake up call to all of us. sorry that this email is so scattered, don't have much time to make it all fancy. Just know that I am doing well and loving the work, almost a little too much haha. My emotions have been pretty close to the surface lately because I don't have much time left on my mission. a returned sister missionary from this mission emailed me this "the moment they took my nametag off me something happened, and i realized just how very closely we get to work with Our Savior and Redeemer. how our nametags, and the calling, the mantel, the spirit that goes with it, entitles us to legions upon legions of guardian angels, headed by Jesus Christ. how surrounded we are, as missionaries, by heaven. day and night. i want to tell you guys that the moment i felt that leave, i knew that they were leaving me to go and continue protecting and guiding all of you. and how grateful i was to just have been able to experience that for 18 months. to be able to experience it with all of you." this moment will be one of the hardest moments of my life I think but I know these legions will be with the other missionaries and I can't be selfish and want it for myself. The work goes on, and life will go on. Just trying to soak up every moment of this. I love you all and hope you are having personal experiences with the Savior and are cherishing those moments. Remember how much He loves you and wants you to be happy and successful. Have a wonderful week.
I am having my greenie teach me Irish slang because she comes from NORTHERN IRELAND!! super cool, huh?
okayokayokay so this week was a good'ne.
we biked/water bussed over to a place called Kinderdijk, a beautiful place of land with a lot of windmills. that was superb! It's crazy how I've lived here in this land for more than a year now and my breath gets taken away at the sight of beautiful windmills or small european streets with the uneven buildings. I love this place. It was also Sister Cowles' last week in the land so I witnessed a lot of someone's "lasts" of a mission and that was weird as I will be going through that in less than 3 months....then I got to witness someone's "firsts" of a mission, as I am training this new greenie of mine :) anyways...
had district meeting in Gouda and taught Peter after. was a good appointment, pretty much told him straight up that he can't listen to Hilter speeches anymore and only 1 horror film per day....(he's a great person don't worry :)) so crap went down at his house, in a good way. that evening at our dinner appointment I had the biggest Loempia's known to man. our lovely member who had us over for dinner had no idea how huge they were haha they were as big as this keyboard sitting in front of me and one of the elders ate his whole loempia :0 (loempias are basically just really big egg rolls). That evening we taught Farhad, reviewing the restoration with him and committing him to teach it to us the next time. We wer lucky to teach Farhad 3 times this past week!
went to Leiden to drop off my companion and pick up my brand spankin new greenie! as I said she is from Northern Ireland, and her name is Zr. Black. She is such a sweetheart and loves missionary work already. That evening we kick started her first night of missionary work by teaching someone we found a few weeks ago the Restoration of the gospel. And while she couldn't understand one thing being said (bless her heart) she still did a great job. Sadly the lady doesn't want to convert to any other religion, but she did give us 8+ cook books to take home hahah, what a sweetie.
went to Rotterdam to plan for Zone Training which will be this Wednesday. I will be giving a presentation and so will the zone leaders...pray for me, it has to be 25 min long...don't think i have ever given a talk or anything like that for that long haha but yeah so wo planned for that, got some Surinaamse eten, and headed back home. did some missionary things, ate at the Bishop's home, and did some 12 week that night... (sadly for my greenie I never did 12 week so...we're both learning it :))
had District Leader Council again in Rotterdam, looked for a bike for Zr. Black and didn't find one, taught Farhad and got him back on date for the 17th of April, went to a dinner appointment, and then had a cool/funny experience at our appointment that evening with Daan. We had a Joint teach lined up for that appointment with Daan, but she couldn't come last minute and I felt like we shouldn't go inside to teach him and just stand on his doorstep and teach. Well after awkwardly telling him about the rule that we need another woman with us (that he should have already known about...our fault) we stood and taught him a lesson about obedience and halfway through the lesson I realized...this is why we needed to keep this rule, especially tonight because we are teaching about OBEDIENCE and we ourselves must be OBEDIENT as well. How terrible would it have been had we taught him inside his house about obedience without a Joint Teach, and later down the road he finds out about this rule we have as missionaries? The spirit really helped us out that evening.
so every year in the Netherlands there is a country wide day of service called "NL Doet Dag" so our whole district went to Rotterdam to a place where you can rent a garden basically and cleaned that place up, painted, and lots of other fun things. It was a great day and the old people there loved us and at the end of the day a guy pulls out his accordion and starts playing it like it's completely normal and all the old people there are singing along a dutch tune haha cutest thing ever. Then he started playing the tune of "Praise to the Man" and we missionaries started singing the words along as he played and they loved it. that was a special moment hehe.
had a lovely day of church, Zr. Black's first day of church completely in dutch. that night we had dinner at a member's house and he invited Farhad to come too! So we were able to teach Farhad in a member's home. They are pals now :) Farhad is making so much progress lately. He just doesn't want to be pressured into being baptized when we want him to, he wants to be converted and completely off koffie before he takes that step. Het komt goed! Hij is geweldig :)
I love being a missionary and a trainer and i love this land. Remember that "in order to make a difference in the world, you must be different than the world" - Elaine S. Dalton
Have a great week everyone! I will send pictures later. Love you all
GOEDE DAG DAMES EN HEREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will go through my week J
Climbed the tallest church in Nederland!! I will send pics next week as we are emailing at the library this week and can’t send pics here. That evening we had a lesson fall through but luckily when we went to look Leroy up he was home and we were able to share with him the good word of God J
We blitzed Sliedrecht, the elders city in the Dordrecht ward. Even President and Sister Bunnel came to knock doors!!! It was sick. All together our district was able to find some good potentials for the Elders te Sliedrecht. It was good and very rainy J That night we taught Sidney the first lesson, we found him our first day together but awkward because he wasn’t able to meet with us until the last week of the transfer lol. It was good though. He looks like and sounds like Michael Jackson.
Went on exchanges again to Gouda!! This time both sister cowles and I went. It was a good time! I love that city and we were able to eat dinner at a member’s home whom I just love! Familie de Jonge J
This day was a bit of a bummer the first part because 3 of our lessons fell through L but we did however plan with the Zone leaders for Mission leader council which would be held the next day. After that was awesome J we had an hour until our dinner hour so we decided to hit a street up and after we were walking away from locking up our bikes we stopped to talk to this lady walking by and were able to teach the first lessons there with her on the street! She was pretty positive and we’re pretty sure she felt the spirit when zr. Cowles recited the first vision because she had tears running down her cheeks but her explantion of why she was crying was because there is so much bad in the world and to come across something so good, what we share as missionaries, was so special to her. The church is true, people J That night we met with Farhad and had a member come and it was great. We committed him to fasting to prepare himself for baptism and to not have problems with coffee anymore. He was pumped! We are praying he will get baptized this next transfer. Doing everything we can to help him.All in the Lord’s timing.
Went to the mission home in Leiden and had Mission Leader Council and counciled things and stuff haha it was good. Was able to see some good friends/companions who are going home this week! Also President Bunnell pulled me aside and pretty much told me I was training lol. I’ll let you know when I talk about Saturday ;)
Did some work in and around the city for most of the day, and were finally able to teach Doris because she was home!!! That woman. Love her J that night we went to familie Westerlaken for the last time for Zr. Cowles. They are the part member family we visit every week with the elders. The mom was baptized 8 months ago and her daughter of 21 years about a month ago. We are hoping and praying the other 6 kids will be baptized J I love that family and I feel like home everytime we go there.Oh P.S. on the train ride to their house President Bunnell called and told me I am expecting!!! Hahaha I will be training a greenie (my baby) and will still be sister training leader but will be a sole sister training leader. We also are getting 2 new sisters in our district so that will be great! 6 sisters to take care of, I am so lucky J Exciting things up in here, folks. I am so excited to train!!!!!
Fast Sunday!! I love fast Sunday. Farhad fasted with us and it was great. It was Zr. Cowles last time giving her testimony in dutch to people who understand what she is saying. Weird. And her last church service in dutch. I don’t want to get to that point :/ but it’s ok. I still got time J later that day we taught Lissandro, a new investigator who is making steps towards baptism. Hoping I get to see a baptism while I am out here but I know the Lord’s hand is in everything. It is better that it is in His time than mine.
Just been reflecting on how much it means to me to be able to be a representative of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I love having His name on my nametag and my lips at all times. I love this work with a fiery passion and I am so grateful I am able to be a part of it. I love the people of the Netherlands and the many foreigners. I love this land. I love the Lord and I love my God.
Have a great week lieverts! If y'all have the time look up the new easter video that the church just launched titled "Hallelujah". Hopefully it's been launched on the internet...our mission pres just showed it to us.