Monday, July 12, 2010

Veilig Terug

Well... my full-time mission has come to an end. I came home Thursday evening and since then it has been a roller-coaster of emotions. I miss the Netherlands and missionary work like crazy. But it's also nice to be home with my family. One thing is for sure--missionary work will always be a part of my life. I LOVE the gospel with all my heart! I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. My testimony is stronger than ever before. It has been an amazing experience to see others learn about the gospel and feel the love of their Savior. I hope you all get the chance to experience that someway in your lives. I finished reading the Book of Mormon at 5:40 in the morning in the mission home--and it was a beautiful experience to pray about it in the quiet hours of the early morning. I know that it is true. I've seen the Book of Mormon be a catalyst to change people's lives over the last 18 months--and always for the better. I encourage you all to continue reading in the Book of Mormon. If you don't already know for yourself that it is true, pray about it! I know you will get an answer and feel the Savior's arms around you. If you do already know it is true, pray about it anyway! It's such a wonderful personal experience every time that I would love you all to be able to have again. If you haven't studied Preach My Gospel yet, I encourage you to do so. It is pure revelation. I've seen the miracles that come from study and application of PMG in the last 18 months--and it's not just for full-time missionaries! Every member is a missionary. Thanks for all of your support, prayers, and letters over the last 18 months. I've appreciated it all. There is a lot more work to be done in the spreading forth in the kingdom of God, so let's all continue working with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (D&C 4:2). I love you all! I hope to see you soon.

I'll be reporting on my mission on July 18 at 9:00 am at 1030 S 900 W, Tooele, Utah. Afterwards there will be wat lekkers (refreshments) at my house. If you can't make it at 9:00, feel free to stop by anytime on the 18th and say hello.

Love ya! But more importantly, don't forget that there is a Heavenly Father who loves you so much more!
Chantelle Fowler

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Final e-mail

From e-mail dated July 5, 2010.

Note: Sorry for posting this so late. I've been at scout camp for the last few days. Chantelle get home tomorrow! - GRF
Well, this is it. Crazy, huh. A year and a half has FLOWN by. At the beginning it didn't feel like it went so fast, but now I look back and I still feel like a greenie. It's been hard saying goodbye--and yet it's so surreal-- I don't really feel like I'm leaving-- I keep telling people goodbye, but feel like I'll just be seeing them again next week Sunday.
Well, let's see-- what has happened this week?
This week has been full of cancelled appointments and lots of finding in really hot weather. It's been a challenge ..., but it's been good.
We actually had a lot of excitement this week though. Wednesday to Friday we went on exchanges. Zr. Cranford came back here to work with me. It was really fun to work with her again. She is such a wonderful missionary with an amazing positive attitude. We had super funny experiences together--especially while waiting 45 minutes for a tram with two old women from Indonesia who bickered with each other about whose children were better.
We also had a mini-missionary this week. Maaike from Apeldoorn came again on mini-mission (she's the same mini-missionary that came in February). It was so fun to get to work with her again. She's a super funny girl. It's so neat to see someone overcome fears of talking with people on the street or on the door. Then, when she was in the tram by herself on the way back, she totally had a super conversation with a woman about the gospel and the woman wants to learn what she believes in!
We went chalk finding again yesterday with a couple of members and drew the story of Samuel the Lamanite. It was fun. Quincy came with us--only one week baptized and the missionaries have got him out finding already. He really enjoyed it. The Elders were telling us that he almost convinced an atheist that he should start believing in God. That boy is going to make a super missionary someday!
On Friday, we were going to exchanges, and we almost missed our train, so we ran and jumped on just before the doors closed. We went and sat down and the train conductor who had closed the doors came to us and asked if we were from a church. He said that he'd seen a lot of people with our name tags before and said he wanted to know a little about what we believed in. We talked to him briefly before he had to move on and continue his work. We gave him a card and he went back to work. Just before we reached Haarlem, he came back and sat across the aisle from us and said he wanted to know more. We were able to talk with him about the Book of Mormon and he wanted a copy. He said he believes in God and Christ and is looking for truth. He was happy to receive a copy of the Book of Mormon, but was a little hesitant about giving us his number to give the missionaries in his area—however, he now has their number and he will surely see more missionaries riding the train in the near future.
I'm not sure if you've been following the world cup at all, but it has been madness here in Den Haag. Nederland beat Brazil on Friday and it was CRAZY! I'm hoping to be able to see one of the games after I come home. They are now in the Quarter Finals (I think). The streets are decorated in Orange and when the team is playing, the Dutch people are dressed in orange with all sorts of crazy accessories (hats that make noise, sunglasses that have footballs [or soccer balls if you speak American] on them, etc.)
But the most exciting thing of the week is that Brigitte got baptized! It was AWESOME! The ward mission leader worked really hard to be sure that almost everything was in French for the service. President Brubaker also came up so that he could give her the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday in French. The friend who introduced her to the church is the one who baptized her--the first time he has ever performed a baptism. It was all so wonderful. I was actually able to follow almost all of what was said during the service and confirmation. So, it's only my speaking ability that has disappeared. Maybe someday I'll be able to speak French again.
The bishop asked me to bear my testimony in church on Sunday for the last time, and I'd like to share a simply testimony now with you. I know that God lives. I know He loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He is my personal Savior. I've felt His redeeming grace many times in the last year and half. He is my strength. I love Him with all my heart. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It testifies of Christ and stands as a witness of the restored gospel. I know that there is a prophet on the earth and that the gospel was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. My mission has been a wonderful experience, and these next couple of days are going to continue rocking.
I love you all! See you soon.
Veel liefs,
Zuster Fowler