Monday, May 17, 2010

Crazy week.

From e-mail dated May 17, 2010.

Wow, it sounds like it's been a crazy week. It's also been pretty crazy here-- but in a lot of different ways.
So, I've got another "getting-hit-on-by-a-Muslim-man" story for you. This one is pretty good. We were biking to an appointment on Monday evening and I stopped at a light. Well, I'm on my third bike of my mission (my other one was about to die, so a member gave me another to use for the last couple of months), and this bike makes a lot of squeaking when you stop. A young man in front of me turned around when he heard the noise and then he did a double take. He said something about my bike making noise and then he saw my name tag and he said, "Jezus Christus?! I love Jezus Christus! And I love Mohammed, and I love Abraham and Jacob and..." And the list went on. Then the light turned green, so I said goodbye and took off-- Well, he followed me and pulled up next to me on his bike and started asking me why I don't wear a hoofdduk (the Muslim woman's head covering). I told him it wasn't part of my faith and he started telling me about how it should be. All of this is happening while a whole bunch of other bikers are starting to get upset because he is taking up the bike lane and not letting them pass. It was ridiculous. Eventually I ended up saying goodbye just before taking a turn to get away from him and he didn't follow. Boy, I'm definitely not going to miss experiences like that--although they do make for some good laughs.
Tuesday we had Zone Conference--we are now doing interviews and Zone Conference every month instead of every transfer. I had a bit of a freak out moment when the missionaries who are going home next week bore their testimonies-- I realized that I'll be in the next group-- Yikes! We talked about ways that we can work with the members better. It's so interesting to think about how missionary work happens in Utah compared with here in the Netherlands. Everything in Utah happens through the members, and when you need a joint teach you can basically knock on the neighbor's door and ask them to come along because they are probably a member of the church. Okay, I'm just kidding--I know it's not THAT easy-- but when you hear of missionaries in Utah getting 40 joint teaches a week and we feel really good if we get 9, then you just kind of realize how different missionary work is in different parts of the world. The BEST way for someone to come to a knowledge of the restored gospel really is through a friend. I've seen it time and time again on my mission. I hope that we are able to focus on that and help the members here to invite their friends to enjoy the wonderful fruit that they have been able to partake of.
Then we had exchanges and I went to Groningen to work with Zr. Sharp. This was my first day working outside of Den Haag Zone in my entire mission. It takes about 3 hours to get from Groningen to Den Haag in the train--good times. But, it was such a wonderful exchange! She is a fabulous missionary and I learned so much from her. We had a lot of fun together. She was also trained by Zr. Baxter and she has a deep love for the work. I really feel like the best times I've had on my mission were when me and my companion had a love for the work and a love for God that exceeded anything else--and Zr. Sharp and I were able to share in that for a couple of days. It was wonderful!
In coming back to Den Haag though, things have been a little rough. Most of our appointments were cancelled on us-- and usually at the last minute-- so we had a joint teach there and everything-- which is also rough on the joint teach because then they sometimes are less likely to come in the future because they just think it will get cancelled again--
But things with our baptismal dates are going well. Mary was actually in the hospital this week (turns out she has sickle cell anemia), so the Elders were able to go and give her a blessing. She came home yesterday. Her mom still came to church though and they are excited about baptism, however their date will probably have to be a little later so that Mary can recover from her hospital stay. Please pray for them!
Brigitte is doing really well and getting super connected with the ward. She has been going to exercise activities with the women of the ward and is loving every minute that she spends with people from the church.
We also had a really interesting conversation with Doralin today-- I talked with him on the phone to try to make an appointment for later this week and he told me he may want to get baptized on Saturday! What?! Well, we had to tell him that in order to be baptized, he can't be living with his girlfriend anymore--they either have to get married or he has to move out-- I'm not sure what's going to happen. He probably won't get baptized on Saturday-- but pray for him that he'll be able to make a decision soon and that he'll have the strength to do all he needs to.
Well, my time is almost up. I love you so much! Next week I'll let you know where I'll be for my last transfer...

Veel liefs,
Zuster Fowler

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