Monday, June 15, 2009

Echt druk

From e-mail dated 15 June, 2009.

Well, this week has been super busy in Haarlem. The life of a missionary is wonderful!
...So, this week we have taught Engelien some pretty rough commandments for her--the Word of Wisdom and Chastity. She has been smoking since she was 22. However, she has had a spiritual confirmation that this comes from God, so she is doing her best to quit. She received a priesthood blessing yesterday, and although she doesn't quite understand the power of the priesthood yet, she really felt the spirit... If you could all pray for her to be able to live both of these commandments, it would make a huge difference.
Tuesday was a pretty good day of missionary work--nothing too out of the ordinary.
Wednesday we had interviews with President Woodland in Den Haag. We will be getting a new mission president next month, so this was our last interview with him. I've really enjoyed getting to know him and he has so much great spiritual insight. He's really helped me as I've entered the mission field and have been working to figure out how Heavenly Father wants me to serve his children. Oh, as I talked to him I asked him if you could send me some of my piano music so that I could keep up and play on P-days and such. He said that would be fine. Would you please send me my Jon Schmidt Hymns? Also, I have another couple of books with hymn or children hymn arrangements and a folder with sheet music for If You Could High to Kolob. They are all on the bottom shelf of my book shelf in my room. You don't have to send them all, because that would probably be too expensive--but if you could pick out a couple and send them, that would be great. Thanks!
Thursday we visited a woman that we had tracted into last week. Her name is Emmy. We had an amazing experience there. Last week we talked to her about her life--she is a widow and has 3 kids and 9 grandchildren and she is always going out of her way to help others. She travels the world to help others as often as she can. However, she has recently stopped traveling because one of her granddaughters has been having major problems lately--she will call up her grandmother and tell her that she wants to kill her mom, or she wants to do something else that is not good. So then Emmy will have the granddaughter come over and they will sit down and meditate and pray together until the girl has calmed down enough to go back. Basically she's having some major mental problems and is making all sorts of really bad decisions right now. Anyway, before we left, we prayed with her and prayed for her granddaughter. When we came back this week, one of the first things Emmy told us when we walked in the door is that almost as soon as we left last week, her granddaughter called. Her granddaughter sounded peaceful and said, "Grandma, I feel calm. I feel peace. I haven't felt this in a long time." She also talked about how she had felt like her grandfather (who passed away almost 20 years ago) told her that she needed to start making better decisions with her life. Emmy then told us that she knows it is because of the prayer we offered on behalf of her granddaughter. Wow! We are meeting with her again this week.
Friday we had exchanges. Zr. Wieland came to Haarlem to spend the day with me and Zr. Baxter went to Amsterdam to spend the day with Zr. Stapleton (my old MTC companion). Zr. Wieland and I were actually in the same ward at BYU for two years, so it was fun to be together and get to work together. We had some great experiences, including running into a woman while we were going langs de deuren. She was packing things in her car to go on vacation and she yelled across the street to us that the people whose door we were knocking on wouldn't come to the door. Then she proceeded to tell us that everyone else on the street either wasn't home or wouldn't come to the door because they didn't want to bother telling us no. Then she said, "However, I don't have a problem saying no." We ended up talking to her for a bit, and actually got into a really good conversation about prayer. In the end, we asked her if we could pray for her, and she invited us inside. She then invited us to come back after she gets back from vacation. Oh, Heavenly Father has a sense of humor!
Saturday the Alkmaar Elders came to Haarlem and we met up with them by the station. We got some sidewalk chalk and drew out the plan of salvation and talked with people who were walking by. It was really interesting to see who would stop to talk to us. There were a lot of almost bike wrecks because people were so curious about what we were doing that they would slow down on their bikes and the person behind them was also not paying attention to the road, so they'd almost crash. It was cool to do some creative finding. We also ran into Didi--the contact from more than a month ago who said she would be gone for 6 weeks who had met with the Elders when she lived in Bolivia (I'm pretty sure I wrote about her)--and she was SO excited to see us! We have an appointment with her for Thursday--I'm pretty stoked.
I also gave a talk yesterday in church. It's pretty crazy that I gave a talk in Dutch. It wasn't perfect by any means, but people could mostly understand what I said-- I hope-- I talked about the pre-mortal existence and that Heavenly Father knows us all personally because he knew us before we were born--He will always be with you and always be able to help you because he knows your deepest dreams.
Okay, well, my time is almost up. This week we have Zone Conference and then next week is transfers. I'll let you know if I'll be transferred or not when I email next week. I have a feeling I will be, but I'm not sure.
I love you all, and I miss you. Thanks for the wedding announcements, talk, and letter. Tell the kids hi.
I know the gospel is true. The way Heavenly Father works is amazing!

Veel liefs,
Zuster Chantelle Fowler

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