Monday, June 14, 2010

Crazy busy, and Wonderful

From e-mail dated June 14, 2010.

Things here are CRAZY busy! And it is WONDERFUL! But we do have some sad news. One of the sisters is going home because of health problems and Zr. Cranford is being emergency transferred to Amsterdam. President called us yesterday morning to let us know. He wanted to talk with me first and he told me the whole situation and I thought he was going to transfer me back to Amsterdam--I'm not going to lie that a part of me was excited-- I'd love to go back!--but then he said that Zr. Cranford would be going. I'm going to miss her. She has such a positive attitude and is an extremely hard worker. She truly does her best to follow the spirit and to make people happy. I'm going to miss working with her. However, because things are so busy for us sisters here and not so busy right now in Amsterdam because of all of the illness and such, the Amsterdam sisters will be coming to Den Haag to work a couple of days in the week. I'm not really sure how it's all going to work out, but it should be a good time.
Quincy has been taught everything this week and is so excited for his baptism! He has become an integrated part of the ward and everyone in Den Haag is excited to attend his baptism. His parents have turned a neutral head to the church and don’t really want anything personally to do with the church, but are supportive of him in his decision. We had a lesson with him yesterday after church and then he stayed and had lunch with us and the Elders. It was quite the time. Man, those Elders can get someone going! They were having towel fights--you know, whipping each other with dish towels. Eventually we had to say tell them not to kill our investigator before he was baptized!
Isatu and Mary are doing so well. We had dinner at a member’s home this week and Isatu just talked about how she can’t wait to be baptized. She is so excited! She wants to be able to dedicate her life to God. She has had quite the life. She is from Sierra Leone and told us about how she lived during all of the wars there for blood diamonds. She lived 8 months in the jungle, just trying to survive. She got captured and was in line in a camp to have her arms or legs cut off because she didn't know where any diamonds were. There were only 20 people ahead of her when the Red Cross helicopters came in and rescued her and brought her to the Netherlands. When talking about tithing and fasting this week she said, "I have to do it—God and Christ have done so much for me."
Brigitte is also doing pretty well. We will probably need to move her baptismal date because she can only meet once a week and we haven’t been able to get through things as quickly as we had expected. But she is excited about her baptism and has been inviting friends to all of our lessons so that they can also hear about the gospel.
Bisou is one of the friends that Brigitte invited and she is doing okay. We had a wonderful lesson this week with a member who had also been baptized before and Bisou felt a special connection with her. It was an amazing appointment! Members make all the difference for investigators. But then the next appointment was a little different—she wasn’t so open. I’m pretty sure she has depression and her reaction to the gospel is also dependent on her depressive episodes. We are trying to find a way to help her feel the spirit in every lesson.
Brother James is doing well. He feels like he is learning more than he ever knew before. We need to get him integrated with the ward, so we are going to be having the Elders teach him after this week so that they can bring men from the ward over to help him have the desire to come to church every single week.
One cool experience this week was on Friday. Zr. Reber had a feeling to go to a specific street for a consecrated hour and because she felt so strong about it she was super diligent in talking to everyone. No one wanted to talk to us and there were a lot of Muslims. However, as the hour was coming to a close, a woman from Bulgaria invited us in and is interested in the Book of Mormon. She also felt a really strong connection with Zr. Reber. It was awesome to see how the Lord worked through Zr. Reber and I feel like this woman is one of the reasons Zr. Reber was sent to the Netherlands. I hope that Zr. Reber is able to recognize more and more her worth as a missionary as she continues having experiences like this.
We had a really-- interesting-- experience during finding the other day. We were in a park and went to talk with a man who was sitting on a bench. We had a good talk with him about God, but he is from Yugoslavia and was in the wars there and was really worried about us because he said there are way too many Muslims here and he is worried that they will try to kill us because we are preaching Christ. At the end of our conversation he told us that if he ever sees us again, he will always protect us. It was quite the time.
Well, I also attended my last Zone Conference this week-- sad day. The assistants called us up a couple of days before to do a role play on baptismal calendars because we've been seeing so much success with them since I went to Zone Leader Council. I also played the musical number and was asked to bear my testimony since this is my last Zone Conference. It felt a little like the Zr. Fowler show. It was weird to think that this is my last one. Zone Conference has always been at the end of the transfer, but since we are doing things on a monthly basis now, it fell in this week. I've been trying to push all thoughts of going home out of my head, but I had to think about it a little so that I could give my closing testimony. I talked about the ability we have to choose every day to follow our Savior Jesus Christ--and that we can choose our attitude as missionaries. I think my mission became such a wonderful time for me when I began to choose to always be positive and love my mission. I shared 2 Nephi 10:23--we have the chance every day to choose eternal life. I hope that you all choose eternal life every day in the many different choices you have to make. I love you! Only a few more weeks to finish the Book of Mormon if you are joining in the challenge! Keep reading :)
Love you!
Zuster Fowler
P.S. Yes, that is an African Dress :)

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