Monday, August 17, 2009

De zomer komt ook hier tot een eind

From e-mail dated August 17, 2009.

It sounds like things have been going well in Utah. Keeping yourselves busy as usual. Today has been a bit of a rough day-- we went outside this morning to find that I had a flat tire-- and things have just kind of gone from there-- that's why we're emailing so late today--we've cancelled a lot of our other p-day plans and are just hoping to get everything in that we HAVE to do. As we were trying to find an open bike shop today so that we could buy an inner tube for my bike (a lot of places in the Netherlands are closed on Monday) I just got to thinking how if I were home and there was a problem with my car or whatever the first person I would call is dad. Thanks for always being there for me mom and dad. You really are the best!
As for the talk in church last week--since Amsterdam is such a mixed culture ward, they actually have translation that is done by the missionaries--so they knew what I was saying thanks to Elder Spurrier. And we've heard a lot about the conference in Amsterdam--a lot of the members went to help translate.
Elder Nelson actually did a lot of things while he was here in the Netherlands--he spoke at the Family Conference, he held a fireside for the members, and he actually also came and spoke to us missionaries. The whole mission (French and Dutch) came together on Thursday for a special mission conference with Elder Nelson. This is the first time on my mission (and probably the last) that the whole mission has been together. It was a great experience. We heard from Elder Nelson and his wife, as well as the Seventies who are over our area. It was wonderful. We learned a lot about working with the members, letting our light as missionaries shine, and the love of God for us all. Wow. But, one of the most inspiring parts for me was right at the beginning--every one of the missionaries got to come up and shake their hands. It made me think of 3 Nephi 11 when Christ invites all of the Nephites to come and touch his hands and side. The spirit by our mission conference was strong. I know that Elder Nelson is called of God to help guide the church today--I know that he holds the power to act in God's name--and he used that power to bestow on us an apostolic blessing, which was also really special. I don't have my notes with me, but he blessed us that our families would be blessed as we are serving with all our hearts and that we would be prepared to share the gospel throughout our lives. The gospel really is so important--I can't stress that enough! God loves us so much, and the purpose of this life is to return to Him--the way to do that is to choose Christ--and we choose Christ by living the gospel.
You mentioned that the kids are going back to school. Summer is also coming to an end here. The kids started school in Amsterdam today--it's fun to ride past the playgrounds and hear noise again. The tourists are also starting to disappear--it's definitely easier to ride through the centrum without so many tourists standing confusedly in the middle of the bike paths and not moving, even when you use your bell to warn them that you are coming.
I've been able to make good use of my piano skills here in Amsterdam. I end up playing the piano every week for Relief Society (that was the same in Haarlem), but also Zr. Miller and I switch off playing the organ in Sacrament meeting. Good times. However, even better, a couple of people have asked for piano lessons--and these people are not members! So, we do piano lessons as our service for the week and then after a half an hour piano lesson we do a half an hour gospel lesson--they are reading from the Book of Mormon and coming to church--we've actually gotten two new investigators through giving piano lessons. I'm glad that I can use one of my favorite talents to build up my Heavenly Father's kingdom.
I don't have a whole ton of time left, but I also want to update you on Melvin. Things with him are going well. We have been teaching him about the commandments, and Friday night he called us freaking out--he told us that he just wants to be good and follow God, but he didn't think he had enough faith. We gave him some scriptures to read and made an appointment to come by the next afternoon. We prayed for him and had everyone we talked to praying for him. When we came by on Saturday, he was completely calm--he told us that he knew that he could live the commandment and the God would give him the strength he needs. He is now praying about a baptismal date!...

I've gotta go. I love you!

Zuster Chantelle Fowler

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