Monday, August 24, 2009

Twee nieuwe doop datums!

From e-mail dated August 24, 2009.

What a week!...
How are the kids enjoying their first days of school? Crazy that BYU is starting up again, too-- crazy that I'm not there-- maar goed :)
Yes, I did see Elder and Sister Pankratz at the mission conference. They are doing well. They are actually working some of the time in the mission office, so whenever I get something from the mission office there is usually a little note from them on it--it's sweet.
Today for p-day we are headed to a castle! It should be a good time. But because of that, I may not get a letter off to Michelle this week--I'll do my best, but I may have to double up and write her and Chris next week.
So, this week has been full of ups and downs and absolute craziness in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is definitely full of everything--good and bad--and we've seen a lot of both this week. So, I'll tell you about the good things we've seen :)
Last week on Sunday we were going to look up a referral we had received. We were going to park our bikes on the sidewalk when a woman who was taking a smoke break in her achtertuin (sort of like a back yard in the Netherlands-- but not really--) told us that we shouldn't park our bikes there because they'd most likely get stolen. We started talking to her, and the conversation came around to the gospel. She wasn't sure what she believed because she felt like there was a God, but she'd seen so many bad things happen in her life (her life really was pretty awful from the stories she has told us). We testified to her about Christ and about how He could help her. At the end of our 45 minute conversation we had an appointment with her at the church for Wednesday. On Wednesday she met us at the church and we taught her about the restored gospel. We especially testified of how Christ could help her release her pain from her life. To make a long story short, she accepted a commitment to be baptized on September 26 (which is also her birthday). We met with her again on Friday and she had read all of 1 Nephi and loved it--she told us that she has a feeling that her life is going to change for the better. She came to church yesterday and absolutely loved it! It is so great! So, keep Marijke in your prayers :)
Another wonderful thing this week: MELVIN SET A BAPTISMAL DATE!!! He is also getting baptized on September 26. He is doing so much better from last week and is really excited about the direction the gospel is taking him. He keeps telling us about how he'll pray about something and then as he is reading in the Book of Mormon, he gets an answer. It's so great to see the changes that have happened in his life since we found him about a month and a half ago. He told me yesterday that he feels happier than ever before in his life. I love the happiness that comes through the gospel! Please also keep him in your prayers.
Other exciting news:
Interviews with President Brubaker are tomorrow--I'm pretty stoked. I love getting to talk with the President and getting his inspired counsel about my role as a missionary.We get 2 exchanges this transfer--the first one is on Thursday--and I get to go to-- HAARLEM!!! I'm SO stoked to go back to Haarlem, even for a day. I love it there SO much! I'll be working for the day with Zuster Robbins--she and I were in the same ward last spring and summer terms at BYU when I lived in the Regency. I'm so excited because we have an appointment with Azelea, and I hope that we will be able to commit her to baptism.
The second exchange is next week, and Zuster Erickson will be coming to spend the day with me in Amsterdam.
Oh, another awesome experience of the week happened on a pont (a boat that takes us from one side of the IJ--a river--to the other side, so that we can get to North Amsterdam). I was standing there with my bike and started talking to the woman next to me. The ride is only a couple of minutes, but I've really been working on making the most of every minute and I really felt like I should talk to her. She told me that she is from Poland and she was going back to Poland this week to see her brother who is dying from cancer. She told me that she thinks this will be the last time she will see him. I testified to her of how Christ can give her peace and then asked if I could give her a card with a picture of Christ. She took one look at the card and started to cry. I know that I was supposed to talk with her. She doesn't live in our area, but after she gets back from her trip to Poland, I'm hoping the Elders will be able to make contact with her.
The gospel is wonderful. I love it so much! It's so great to share what I love with the people here. Yes, it's hard--but it is SO worth it. That's what I keep telling Melvin when he mentions how hard it can be sometimes--that it's the moite ward (worth it).

I've gotta jet. I love you!
Zuster Fowler

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