Monday, February 1, 2010

Een jaar is op

From e-mail dated February 1, 2010.

So, I'm actually sitting in the Amsterdam library emailing you-- we had a Zone P-day in Volendam today (where we go take the pictures in the traditional clothing)-- this is my third time going-- and this time was super expensive considering we had to come all the way from Den Haag-- sometimes I get all stressed about spending money here, especially on frivolous things-- and then I think about how I'll never have this experience again-- but still the whole money thing has always been a stress for me--I don't like spending money, but I like having the experiences.
Anyway, this week has been a good one. I hit my year point--and I got a little depressed for a couple of minutes-- but then I realized that if I'm depressed about it, I can't give my best work, so I just need to work even harder these next few months. I can't believe how quickly it has all gone.
So, I forgot to tell you about what happened my first day in Den Haag. It was CRAZY! We decided to do a consecrated hour of finding in a park nearby the church, and as we walked into the park, we saw a man walking toward us. I stopped him and began to talk to him about what his view on religion is. He said that he believes in Christ, but that no one else in the Netherlands does and that it is awful in the Netherlands. Zr. Robbins asked him, "Why do you think it is that way?" and he took it completely wrong and got all mad--he said that now he doesn't trust us either, and he actually tried to knock off her ear warmers and hit her on the head! It was CRAZY! Between that and getting hit on 3 times in 20 minutes in a tram that day, if I hadn't heard good things about Den Haag, I would have wanted to cry and go back to Amsterdam.
We had some pretty great finding this week. I really love finding with Zr. Robbins because she likes it as much as I do... On Tuesday we planned to do a consecrated hour right after an appointment with our investigator, Brother Dahoe. During weekly planning we had talked about maybe doing it in a market area close to his house, and we felt good about it when we prayed about it that day. As soon as we walked out of our appointment, we talked with a man who was locking up his bike. He told us that there was just something about us and that he definitely wanted to learn more. Sadly, he didn't show up to his appointment-- But, in the rest of that hour, we found 2 other people who set up appointments and 2 more who gave us their number. It was just great! I think it was really good to have talked about a place to go finding during weekly planning, because I think the Lord was able to place more people in our path that way. We haven't had appointments with the other people from that hour yet, but we have them this next week.
We are really excited about this transfer and this whole year in Den Haag. We set a goal this week for how many baptisms Den Haag will see the whole year. There are 3 companionships here, and so we set a goal for 25. We just found out that the church building is going to be renovated beginning in June-- but we are praying that the work of the Lord will still be able to go forth with all its might here. The Lord has big plans for Den Haag--you can just feel it. We are going to do our best to bring them forth...
We had a dinner appointment earlier this week with a family that we had had a dinner appointment with when I was here one time on exchanges. It was a lot of fun to be with them again. They are really excited that I'm serving here, and we were able to talk about their conversion and everything. The members here have wonderful conversion stories. I love hearing about them--it always gives me so much hope! We also got to hear about the Elders and their lives before their missions--which was super interesting. Seeing some pictures of them before their missions and seeing who they are now always gives me hope for the future.
Oh, super funny experience. It was so cold here on Tuesday that the brakes on our bikes froze. Luckily for me, I was able to get them working pretty quickly, but Zr. Robbins didn't realize that her brakes were frozen. We came up to a light and she couldn't get her bike to stop, so she just ended up jumping off and her bike went flying. The woman in front of her thought it was her fault and started apologizing, so Zr. Robbins had to explain. But it was hilarious to see! I'm just glad she's safe. Oh, the adventures of being on a mission in the Netherlands.
We also had a really great experience finding on Thursday. We were going langs de deuren and started talking to a girl who was 19. She was pretty open and we gave her a card and she laughed and said, "No way! You're from the mormons?!" Her mom's last name is Mormon and the mother met with missionaries a number of years ago because she was interested to see what the church was about. We have an appointment with the girl (Jaleesa) this next week.
We also got to watch Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration on Saturday. It was AMAZING. I love the spirit and how he testifies to me during that movie. I received another witness that the church is true, and that what I am doing here is of infinite importance. I love what I do.
In my studies this week, I've been studying a lot about enduring to the end, and read in Mosiah 5:15. It really touched me. Learning to be steadfast and immovable is one of the tasks of this life--steadfast and immovable in the Lord. I think I learn more and more about that every day on my mission. And I hope that as I work on being more and more grounded in Him, that I can really be sealed His. I'm grateful that through the plan of God and His restored gospel that we can all be sealed together as a family. I love you so much!

Tot volgende week!
Veel liefs,
Zuster Fowler

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