Monday, October 5, 2009
Monday, October 4, 2009: What an Amazing Week!
How are you all!? This has been such an amazing week for me! Lots has happened so I will do my best to fill you in. Thanks Mom, Dad, Carli, and Corbin for the e-mails. I can't wait to read them when I am done e-mailing! Well, first of all, I lost one of my companions last Tuesday. Kind of crazy, huh?! Zuster Erickson got a phone call from the President on Monday and he told her to pack her bags because she was going to be transferred to Belgium to work in the mission office with a Zuster who needs help learning english. She was so excited and we were excited for her too, but sad that she had to leave us! We know that she will do great there though and that everything is falling into place the way that the Lord wants it to. I am seeing more and more how it is turning into a great blessing that I had 2 companions for the first 2 weeks to help me adjust to mission life and have a great example to look at, and now it is good that I just have one where I have a little more responsibility and ability to participate more in the teaching of lessons. Zuster Baxter and I are having a great time and I just love her so much! She is the perfect trainer for me and I feel so blessed for all of the wonderful things she is teaching me. But, it didn't hit me until two days ago, that I will be taking over the city of Zwolle when Zuster Baxter leaves in 3 1/2 weeks to go home! I am terrified but excited at the same time. I know that I will receive another senior companion but I am responsible for knowing my way around the city and really knowing what is going on with the ward and with the investigators. I am really working hard to get everything down and be prepared to get another companion. I am even taking a lot of time and cleaning out the apartment to make sure it will be ready to get to work! This will really push me...which is a good thing! This week was the first time that I experienced the rain in Holland and just as soon as I feel comfortable with the bike, I have to put a bike and an umbrella together...get the picture! I ran into a couple of things last week with the umbrella in the way of my vision but I haven't done any serious damage. Mom, maybe if you can find one of those old umbrella hats that would be helpful! Just kidding! I am sure I will get it down soon enough! Mehrdad is progressing so well! We met with him on Friday night and had a great discussion! He said, in his broken English, that he thinks that we (including him) have a lot of work to do to share the Book of Mormon with all of the other churches! He wants to come on joint teaches with us and he is just loving reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church. As we were teaching him I got so excited and felt such a strong spiritual prompting to invite him to be baptized. I extended the baptismal commitment and he kind of had a hard time understanding why he needed to be baptized again but he said that he would think about it. We asked him if he would be willing to pray about and he said, "Can we pray right now?" AMAZING! We prayed with him and he said that he felt good, but needed some more time to let it settle in. He came to 3 sessions of conference with us on Sunday and enjoyed it so much! I think it was hard for him to understand a lot of the English but I talked to him afterwards and he said that he received a lot of answers to the questions that he had. The branch members were so good to him and made him feel welcomed and it was such a great experience. He will be out of town this week but hopes to be to church on Sunday! Friday we had interviews with the mission president in Appeldoorn and it was a great day! I love President and Sister Brubaker so much and I am so thankful for the counsel of the President. He is all about love and charity, and is such a great example to me. He said that the mission goal is to double the members in our mission by 2019, meaning that we have to get 330 baptisms per year! We can do it! I know that there will be many miracles happening! Saturday we went to the temple and that was such a tender mercy of the Lord! The Den Hague temple is so beautiful! It is almost just like the Medford, Oregon temple and that brought back such sweet memories of going to the Medford temple with Grandma Sharp, Mom, Monte and Deanne, and Brett and Barb. I am so thankful for that opportunity! Saturday night we went to a session of conference and then stayed with Familie Vels in Appeldoorn. Sunday was powerful and I loved conference so much! Along with having Mehrdad there, we also had another investigator, Willeka, and a less-active member, Rhoda! I was so uplifted by the talks and I can hardly wait til next Sunday to see the last session of conference! I love the prophet and the counsel he gave! My time is about out but I want you to know that I love you and will be writing more...30 minutes is just too short! Mom, a few things that I thought might be good for a package are spaghetti, taco, and ranch mix! THank you so much! You can send packages to my apartment...it is actually better that way! I know that I have a package from someone that got sent to Charleoi that is still at the mission office until Zone conference so sending it to my apartment is better! I love you and hope that you are doing so well! The gospel is true!Love,Lauren