Friday, November 27, 2009

November 16, 2009: Things Are Lookin' Up

Hello! Can you believe that it is Monday again already! Yesterday was my four month mark (sometimes it seems like forever, but for the most part it has gone so fast!) and this week I am half-way done with my second transfer. Holiday time always seems to speed up, right?! Thank you so much for the wonderful e-mails last week, Mom, Brooke, Britt, and Marianne, and thank you for the ones this week, Mom, Dad, and Brooke! You are the most supportive family ever! This week was great and things seem to be picking up here in Zwolle. Lots of miracles took place and I am so thankful to be able to be serving here. I want to catch you up on everything, so here it goes...
We had some great appointments with members and investigators for the first couple of days of the week and we feel like we are really making progress with bringing unity to the branch here in Zwolle. It is a little difficult because the members live so far away from each other but we are definitely building up some strong relationships and getting the members involved in missionary work. We have been doing this awesome lesson with the members where we ask them to write their testimonies in a Book of Mormon the first visit we make and then when we return to pick up the book, we pray with them and pick a street on the map where we can take their Book of Mormon to give away and do an hour of finding. We ask them to pray for the people on the street that they pick out and then we follow-up with them after and tell them of the many miracles we saw as we did finding on the street. It is so cool! The faith of the members really brings about miracles and they get so excited to hear about the successes we have because of their prayers.
On Thursday all of the Elders in our District, along with the Assistants to the President, came here to Zwolle to do some finding in the Centrum for 2 1/2 hours. One of the Assistants, Elder De Mass, played the bagpipes while the rest of us handed out copies of the Book of Mormon and talked to people. It was so awesome and their was so much power that came with the bagpipes and all of us being together! I am so thankful for the willingness of the elders to come and help us out because the work in Zwolle is a little slow right now. We found so many people that are potential investigators and we are going to start contacting them this week. After our 2 1/2 hours of finding we went and looked up an old investigator named Nanda. We showed up at her door right when she was walking out and she was so excited to see us, she almost started crying! She said that she was having a very difficult day and that she would love to have us come in. We only had a few minutes to visit with her before a dinner appointment but we had a great visit with her and we made an appointment to meet with her this Wednesday. She talked about the feeling that she had felt every time she met with the missionaries and she just loved it! I am really excited to meet with her and share with her the love of our Heavenly Father.
On Friday we had interviews again in Apeldoorn and they were just fabulous! We had some wonderful Zone training by the Zone Leaders and we enjoyed being able to be gathered together with each other and President and Sister Brubaker. Sister Brubaker asked us if she could come with us that night to an appointment as a joint teach because the President had a meeting with the Stake President in Zwolle. What a treat and what an amazing experience. We visited Tineke and it was such a spiritual lesson. Sister and President Brubaker are absolutely amazing and I feel so blessed to be able to serve with them!
Saturday we went in to the Centrum with Tineke and her children to watch Sinter Klaas and Zwarte Piet come into town on a big boat. There was a parade and such fun things but my camera broke so I didn't get any pictures. It was so great to get involved in the culture here and feel the excitement of the holidays in the Netherlands.
Willeka came to church again yesterday and we are meeting with Mehrdad again this week. We are praying really hard that they will both continue to progress! We had two dinner appointments yesterday...the members sure take care of us here! Sister Van Andel hid some goodies in our shoes (a Sinter Klaas tradition) while we were eating and it was such a fun surprise! I gave Tineke a few euros to buy some things that I could put in Zuster Wieland's shoes and she even wrapped the little gifts. It will be fun to live in the culture here and join in the festivities!
Well, my time is up! It goes so fast! I love you so much and I hope that Grandpa is doing better. I have really been praying for all of you this past week! Thank you for your prayers...I have really felt them! FAMILIES ARE FOREVER!Love,Zuster Sharp
PS-Could you send me a new camera? There is plenty of money (I think) in my account so if you want to sent me yours, Mom, and buy you a new one with my money that would be so fabulous! Thanks so much!

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