Monday, December 20, 2010

It was not quite the week I was planning on...this one has GOT to be better!

Monday, December 20, 2010
Hello Family! Time is ticking and getting closer and closer to Christmas...and that means that we get to talk to each other! I am so looking forward to hearing all of your voices and feeling the love! We have a pretty crazy Christmas day schedule so I was wondering if you want to call at 12:30 Utah time, 8:30 here. I am getting giddy just thinking about it! I look forward to it!
Well this week was a week like none other that I have experienced! It was pretty emotional from the minute that Zuster Pierson had it confirmed that she was going to be going home on Saturday. The members were really great and made sure that she had a really special week before going home. Our family home evening was fabulous with Familie Broekman and we really enjoyed the last little bit of our time together. Well, just before our last appointment together, I got hit hard with something! I had a sore throat, fever, ear pain; aches and chills and that put me in bed! I remained there the whole night on Thursday and was just praying that I would be ready to go on Friday to take Zuster Pierson to the station and pick up my greenie. Friday morning I was not feeling any better but I had no choice to stay home so me and Zuster Pierson headed out at 5:30 in the morning to be where we needed to be on time. There was a huge snow storm so getting around was almost impossible! After sending Zuster Pierson off at11:30, I just couldn't stand at the station any longer, so two of the Elders escorted me to Zuster Navarro's, the RS president here. She was so sweet and took such good care of me! I actually ended up lying on her couch until 9:00 that night because the greenies all got stranded in Brussels at the mission home because of the big storm. Zuster Garvin made it up to Den Haag from Rotterdam and stayed the night with me in my apartment. Saturday wasn't any better and I stayed in bed the whole day again. My greenie showed up at about 1:30and she is so sweet! I wasn't very chipper but tried to give her a warm welcome! Her name is Zuster Hill and she is from Portland, Oregon. I really love her!!! The Elders gave me a blessing and I was really grateful for that. Poor Zuster Hill stayed in the whole day but I just felt so guilty about it so I arranged that she would get picked up by Familie Peschier that night to go to the baptism and I would go and stay with Familie Navarro again. Members were so good and we got showered with everything I could possibly need to get feeling better. On Sunday I got up and took a shower but just had no strength to get ready and make it to we spent another whole day inside! Concetta and Jessie, two of the Jovos here, showed up at 4:30 and went on splits with Zuster Hill so that she could do something. I was finally able to eat something last night, a little bowl of chicken broth and a half of a banana. I still haven't eaten or had anything to drink today. I actually stepped on the scale this morning and saw that I've lost 9 pounds in the last 4 days. I think that I really am getting better though and now I am just working on getting my strength back. I just wanted you so bad Mom! I am just so thankful for prayer and that Heavenly Father was always close by me. I think that physically and emotionally I was just worn out! I think that Zuster Pierson going home really played a bigger role on me than I had imagined. But I am excited to start a new week, especially the week of Christmas, and have it go better! I feel really blessed and I am so thankful for all of your prayers and the prayers of the members here. You don't ever have to worry about me because they take such good care of me!
So I have no information about the work here...we weren't able to do any! I will keep you posted on the investigators next week!
I wish you all the Merriest Christmas ever! I can't wait to talk to you! I love you so much!
Love, Zuster Sharp

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Monday, December 13, 2010
Hey Family! I hope that you have had a great week and are enjoying the countdown until Christmas! I received e-mails from you except I don't think that the one got sent from your iPad Mom. I didn't get too many details about Grandma and Grandpa but enough to know that they aren't doing too well. They are in my prayers as well as all of you. It's hard to know that you have all had a rocky week but I hope that this week is better. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of all of us and that brings so much peace.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD (on the 15th)! I hope that you have a special day and get to do something memorable together!
This week has been quite an emotional one...kind of a roller coaster! There have been both the ups and the downs but overall I am thankful for all that has taken place. The Zone Conference and Christmas Concert were absolutely fabulous! We had about 200 guests(members and nonmembers) show up for the concert and the spirit of Christmas was so strong! It was a lot of fun to come together as missionaries and, through singing, bear testimony of the Savior. The Brubakers made the day really special by providing us with a Brubaker tradition fondue lunch. It was delicious! The whole day was one that I will never forget!
On Saturday we actually found out that Zuster Pierson will be leaving her mission this Friday due to health problems. I could just cry! It's been quite emotional over the past couple of days but she really feels like it is what Heavenly Father wants, although it is not what she would want. It's hard to know that she is going home when I should be and I am staying. But I am thankful that I chose to stay a couple more transfers because if I didn't they would have to close one of the sister cities. So with transfers this week I am almost positive that I will be staying in Den Haag a 5th transfer (Wahoo!) and President let me know at the Zone Conference that I will be getting a greenie and training again. President will be calling tonight about transfers so I will know for sure but I think I will be in Den Haag for Christmas...that's a blessing! It's a little bittersweet! I am definitely excited to be training but I just wish that Zuster Pierson wasn't ending this transfer the way she will be. I am just so thankful that we have been able to serve together for the past 4 1/2months and I really look forward to ending this transfer with a bang with her!
Investigators and members are doing great! Suleyka is still praying about tithing but tea is no more a problem. Florence came to the centrum again and she is now an official investigator. We had 2 lessons with her and she is reading in the Book of Mormon! She is really doing great! And Mary is also doing well, and Cevesta, and Eric. We are just really being blessed! We have had a lot of great Christmas-based lessons with the members this past week but I am pretty sure that tonight will be my favorite! We are going to Familie Broekman's tonight and we are going to act the nativity out with them and make sugar cookies! A Sharp family special taking place here in the Netherlands! Zuster Pierson spent all of last night gathering things for the costumes and I think it will be a hit! I will take lots of pictures so that you can see how it goes. And the member chain is going great! Yesterday at church many members shared their experiences with us of the miracles they have seen happen since they began doing the chain. It is really uniting us!
Thank you so much for your prayers in behalf of OUR investigators! I love you so much and I hope that you have a great Christmas filled week! You are always in my thoughts and prayers!
Love, Zuster Sharp

It'll be a white Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010
Hello Family! How are you doing?! I hope that you are enjoying every moment of this Christmas season! We have sure got the Christmas weather here in the Netherlands! We got hit with quite a bit of snow this past week and have experienced a couple days of extreme cold weather but my heart is warm with the joy of the reason of the season...Jesus Christ!
I just want to apologize now for not being so good at letter writing as I would like to be! We haven't had a normal preparation day for the past month with the church move and preparing for the missionary Christmas concert we will be putting on this week and so I have been so behind on replying to your love and motivation filled letters! I just want you to know that I appreciate them and I will be sending a letter back as soon as possible. Just know that I am thinking of you and praying for you and that you will get a letter soon!
We have seen so many miracles this week! We were asked by the Relief Society President to come up with some kind of Christmas/missionary activity for the ward to do during the month of December and present yesterday at church. Knowing that members are very busy, especially in December, we wanted to come up with something that was achievable but also motivating. After much prayer and consideration we decided to do a Christmas countdown chain (a little tacky, I know!). We spent most of the day on Saturday making 100 chains for every household in the ward. On each chain link there is a small assignment with a relating scripture (ex:read the Christmas story in the Bible, Luke 2,etc.). Some of the assignments are a little more difficult than others, such as giving a Book of Mormon away as a Christmas gift, but will really encourage missionary miracles to happen. As we passed the chains out yesterday, the members were so excited and really committed to do it! I can't wait to be able to see the small results that come from all of the members doing these small and simple things...because they are the things that produce great miracles!
We lost contact with Suleyka most of the week and we were really worried about her. After fasting with her last week we thought things were going really well but then we couldn't reach her. We were just devastated! Last night we had a little extra time so we texted her to ask if we could drop by. She explained in her text back that she would love it if we would come and that she was sorry for the lost contact throughout the week....she was out of town visiting her aunt and her phone had died and she didn't have her charger with her. We couldn't have been more relieved! We went by and it was the most amazing appointment! She has changed so much. She explained different situations she had throughout last week with prayer and reading and then she dropped the best surprise on us of all..."I really would like to be baptized. Do you feel like I am ready?" We were speechless! An overwhelming feeling of love flooded over me and Zuster Pierson and we both felt like we received a small glimpse of the love Heavenly Father has for her. We assured her that she is ready. She still has a few concerns with tithing and tea...she's not unwilling to pay tithing but she just needs the faith to do it. We are going to take her some tea tonight that she can drink and we are going to pray and decide with her if she will be baptized on the 18thor 30th of December. It is so exciting and such a blessing! Thanks for your prayers in her behalf!
We also are teaching Florence and Eric now, two amazing and promising investigators! Florence is the niece of Isatu, one of the members that was baptized in June. She just moved here to live with Isatu and when we were there last week teaching Isatu and her children we invited Florence, who is now 17, to come to the JOVO Centrum with us. She agreed! She came on Thursday night and loved it and asked if she could attend every Monday and Thursday! Of course! She also came to church yesterday and she is just the cutest thing ever! We feel really good about her, especially because she is in the perfect environment right now to learn about the Restored Gospel. Eric is a 50 year old man that we met a couple of weeks ago and we taught for the first time yesterday. He accepted a baptismal date for the 30thof December! We had an amazing joint-teach with us and he is really what I would call "Golden". Mary and Cevesta and Rose are also doing well. Thanks for your faith and prayers for all of them!
I want you to know that I love you and I am so excited to talk to you in 20 days! It's a little harder than I thought, knowing that I could be going home in a week and a half but I have faith and trust in the Lord and I absolutely love the work! God lives, Christ is His son, and this is His gospel! I love you!
Love, Zuster Sharp

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Sinter Klaas on December 5!!!

Monday, Nov. 29, 2010
Hey Family! How was your Thanksgiving?! I have been thinking about you and how thankful I am for you all week! I had a FABULOUS Thanksgiving! I started the day out bright and early (3:50 to be exact) by putting the pumpkin in the oven. Yeah, I had another one of my crazy ideas! I decided on Wednesday night that I just couldn't go another Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie! The only problem is that in the Netherlands you cannot buy pumpkin in a can. We have a pretty great "Better Homes and Gardens" recipe book in our apartment and it tells how to use a real pumpkin for making pies and different pumpkin desserts. So Wednesday night I got started by cleaning the pumpkin out and cutting it into bakeable pieces and then I finished it off onThursday morning. We went over to the church at 9 on Thursday and we took our pumpkin pie and other Thanksgiving treats with. We went there to help the Primary presidency clean up and pack up all of their materials in preparation for the church renovation. After a few hours of working, we surprised the presidency with fresh pumpkin pie and whipped cream, along with a vegetable and cracker platter with ranch dip. We had a fun little pre-Thanksgiving feast for lunch! Afterwards we did some finding and had a few appointments before going to Familie Koot's for the real feast. They had everything you could imagine! The whole table was filled and their home was filled with warmth and love. Along with us and the Elders being there, another young couple and little girl from the ward came and another young couple who are not members plus Br. and Sis. Koot and their 4 little kids. I think that it was the closest I could get to really feeling at home for the holiday and it was wonderful! We were stuffed by the time we left there to go to institute at the church and then we had to stop by one more member on the way home because she had made us something special for Thanksgiving. We were treated like royalty! I haven't wanted to eat for the past couple of days because I have been so stuffed! But I will never forget the wonderful memories of this last Thanksgiving of my mission!
This week was a week of member work! We spent a lot of our time serving and helping those in need in the ward and it has really helped me to feel the spirit of this Christmas season! On Saturday we went to Jolanda and Jeroen's house because Jeroen (a non member) wanted to teach us how to make Speculaas and Kruidennoten, two of the most famous treats baked for Sinter Klaas. It was so great to be able to learn from him! He is not investigating yet but I feel like every time we see him he gets closer and closer to Christ. After we baked many cookies we packaged them up to give to investigators this week. It will be fun to share something with them for this holiday season! And as we were headed from Jolanda's and Jeroen's we even found a surprise stuffed in our shoes from "Sinter Klaas"! The members make sure that we are taken care of!
We taught Iteke this week and she had read the pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation and she began with the Book of Mormon. She really is worried about changing her beliefs but she feels the spirit as she reads and I know that God is aware of her and will help her. We didn't have any appointments with Cevesta this week which is just too bad! He was just really busy. Suleyka is doing awesome! We had a few appointments, she came to institute and dinner with a member, she came to church, and she fasted with us yesterday to know if she should be baptized on December 18! She is really progressing! She'll be coming with us to a couple more members this week so it will be really good! Rose and her two grandchildren came to church yesterday too! We hope to teach them tonight!
Thank you so much for your love and support! I love this season that we have to celebrate the birth of Christ. Even though we will be far apart for the holidays, my thoughts and prayers are always with you! I can feel your warmth and love all of the way over here in the Netherlands! I love you!


Monday, November 22, 2010
Hey Family! I can't believe that you have had so much snow in the past couple of days! The winter season has finally hit! It is pretty chilly here but at least we have no snow...yet! Are you getting excited about all of the holidays coming up? I just can't believe that Thanksgiving is this week! We were invited to go to a Thanksgiving with Familie Koot and the four elders here in Den Haag which I am sure will be a lot of fun! Sister Koot's mom is from America so she knows how to make a real Thanksgiving dinner with all of the fixins’ so I am sure that we will be spoiled! I will be thinking of you and especially how THANKFUL I am for all of you! I hope that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving full of love and gratitude!
We had a week of miracles again...I don't think I will ever not have one on my mission! Our teaching pool has been filled and we are busier than ever! Cevesta still has a baptismal date for the 18th of December and he is working towards that. He is keeping his commitments to read and he really hungers for the truth as we teach him. We are hoping to give him a church tour this week! Mary is also getting so much more interested in the gospel and what the Restoration means to her personally. She came to church yesterday and the ward members are receiving her very well. She is planning on attending allof the holiday festivities with the ward and we can see that her desires and testimony are growing and changing. Suleyka, an investigator that the elders were teaching that they passed to us, is on the verge of having a baptismal date too! She is 22 and so amazing! She has been taught all of the lessons but now needs to develop a testimony and receive a confirmation that the things that we are teaching are true. She's coming right along! Rose came to a church tour on Saturday with her 2 grandchildren! We were so excited that she actually showed up! You know, I think I let myself get so casual with the church buildings that we have and that we are blessed to be able to use but during the church tour I was reminded that the church buildings are dedicated buildings and that the Spirit is present there. I could feel it as we walked with Rose through the building! When we entered the chapel there was a special peace and warmth that flooded over all of us. She committed to come to church this next Sunday! And do you remember Kimberly? The one who never wanted to come to the church again? Well, every once in a while we get a feeling that we need to just call her up. I got that feeling on Friday and after the conversation on the phone I knew exactly why! She made an appointment to meet with us the next day, Saturday, and we had an excellent appointment! She has been reading in the Book of Mormon on her own and she said that she would come to the YSA center this coming Thursday and that she will definitely come back to church! I have such a special and deep love for her and I know that Heavenly Father's love for her is even stronger. I know that she feels the Spirit but all of the changes that would come with becoming a member of the church seem so overwhelming to her. Her family is really active in their Methodist faith and I think that she is scared with how they would react to her joining another church. I hope that she'll have the strength and faith to do it! We also have a new woman that we are teaching, Iteke Blauwer. She is 61 and her husband passed away from cancer 2 years ago. When we knocked on her door she told us that she had a Book of Mormon sitting on her shelf in her living room. She invited us in and sure enough she had one there! It was one of the older versions that her husband had received when he had investigated over 20 years ago. It is really wonderful because she is open to the gospel because it was something important to her husband. She wants to learn more about the Plan of Salvation, especially life after this life, and we can't wait to teach her this week!
We also had a Zone Training Meeting this week and we talked about extending commitments to people as well as ways we can reach our goal of 150 baptisms for the year 2010! We have already had 111 so we are really close! Please pray that we can reach our goal!
Thanks so much for all of your love and support and prayers! I am so thankful for all of you and for my Savior Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for the plan that Heavenly Father created for us that brings us so much joy, happiness and hope! Have a great week! I love you!!!!
Love, Lauren

Monday, November 8, 2010

I am pullin a 4th transfer in Den Haag with Zuster Pierson!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010
Hey Fam! How was your week?! Can you believe we are already well into the month of November? Crazy, huh! Well, a lot happened this week so I will fill you right in! But before I get started I just wanted to thank you for the AWESOME package! I finally got it on Wednesday and it was like Christmas! Me and Zuster Pierson were both dying about how cute the boots are! And they are so warm too! I also love having my brown boots and the Temple Ensign and the notes! THANKYOU SO MUCH!
Well, Ronald's baptism didn't end up going through. It was a sad couple of days but we definitely had the confirmation that it was the right thing. He was so excited and so set on getting baptized on November 6 and his baptismal interview went well on Tuesday but we had an appointment with him on Wednesday morning and he told us that he had slipped and smoked one time the night before. He didn't want to admit or think that that would stop his baptism from going through and I didn't really know how to address the situation right there in our appointment with our joint-teach member so I just went on with the lesson. Turns out that Zuster Pierson didn't catch the part in Dutch when he said he had smoked so it was a test of my integrity as to whether I was going to call the baptism off or just go through with it and hope that everything worked out. But I knew that I could not lie to my Heavenly Father and I knew that it would be best for Ronald if he wasn't baptized until he was fully living the Word of Wisdom. I called President Brubaker up and explained the situation and he got back to us really quickly. He had one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Wells get in contact with Ronald to try to work things out. It was a little intense and I have never prayed so hard in my life that Ronald's heart would be soft to receive the news. Ronald was pretty persistent and he and Elder Wells finally made an appointment to meet together so they could talk face to face and come to an agreement about what the will of the Lord was. They met together on Friday morning, right before we had an appointment set with Ronald. They prayed together and Ronald said that he still felt really good about it all, but Elder Wells knew it wasn't the right thing. Since Ronald just wouldn't take no for an answer, and our appointment was supposed to be starting, Elder Wells sent him into us and he went out to call President to ask for further advice. That appointment was difficult! I could see that Ronald was not open for the spirit and was not humble to be taught and we all knew that his baptism just couldn't go through. At the end of the appointment Elder Wells pulled him into a separate room to tell him that he could not get baptized on Saturday. I am so thankful that Elder Wells was so willing to do all of that! Ronald was really upset and without saying goodbye he rushed out of the church to work. We didn't know what was going to happen! When we got home we saw that we had missed a call from him so I called him back. He said that he was quite disappointed but that he felt that it was right. We felt such a sense of relief and were so thankful! He said that he was willing to work towards baptism the next week. WAHOO! We went further with our day and when we got out of another appointment we saw that we had a new message from Ronald. When I listened to the message I was in pure shock. He told us that he never wanted to meet with us again and that he would never join the church! I just wanted to cry! I called back and talked to him and he was not open for anything. After that he sent a lot of unkind texts and it ended in such a sad way. I am still hoping and praying, along with all of the ward members here, that he will come back around. He can do it!
So we are pretty much back at square one with missionary work, everyone has dropped us or lost interest. It is great though! The Lord has a plan for us and we continue to see miracles! Thank you for your prayers and support! THEY HELP! I love you all so much and I hope that you have a wonderful week! These are the last days and Satan’s influence is strong but as we continue reading the scriptures and praying we will have the Lord's power to overcome all temptations. I know that is true! I LOVE YOU!
Love, Lauren

Ronald is getting baptized this week!!!

Ronald is getting baptized this week!!!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Hey Family! Thanks so much for your words of love and support in your e-mails this week! I have felt your prayers in my behalf and I am so stoked to be able to serve the Lord for an extra 6 weeks. That's not something that very many missionaries get to experience so I consider myself very blessed!!! I think that it is so funny that you thought that it was Glen part 2...with the way that it all happened I don’t blame you! I called President last Monday and he was certainly surprised that I already knew and that you knew too. I think that that e-mail was definitely not supposed to be sent but I figure that the way that it happened was the way it was meant to be! President assured me that it is definitely the will of the Lord that it all happened and that he is grateful that I will be here for another 6 weeks. I am so grateful too! I am just excited to keep serving and trying to fulfill the things that the Lord expects of me.
Going to the temple on Tuesday was a huge blessing to be able to think about things, especially the extension, and get the confirmation again that it is right. Being in the temple two times in one month was absolutely incredible! It was also great to get together for Zone Conference again. By the way, we are having a special sister’s conference today and that is why my e-mail is so late. This is a onetime only thing and all of the sisters in the mission are all here in the mission home right now. We left Den Haag this morning at 7 and we arrived in Brussels at 10. We got to spend a couple of hours together at the Grand Plaza shopping and enjoying a Belgian Waffle. We then went to the mission office for lunch and training from President and Sister Brubaker about the Book of Mormon. It was really powerful! I am so thankful for that book and I know that it is a witness of the divinity of Christ and the evidence that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored. I love it so much! After the training we came to the mission home, had dinner, and now we are e-mailing and having a movie night watching the "Preach My Gospel" DVDs and eating popcorn. We will have a short council after the movie and then hit the hay. In the morning we will get up at 6:30 and then head to Antw erpen for a special outing. It is so great to be in the mission home all together as sisters and we are certainly building each other up! It's a once in a mission moment!
So Ronald is getting so close to his baptism! He has been struggling with the Word of Wisdom but on Friday we called him up and let him know that he had to start living it for good on Saturday to be able to be baptized this Saturday. We were nervous to see what his reaction would be but he was so excited and had full faith that he could do it. I have never prayed so hard for anyone in my life! I know that stopping smoking, drinking, and cocaine is harder than anything that I have done in my life but I know that he can do it! So many members have really gotten involved in his conversion process and they are all praying for him. It is amazing to see how missionary work brings so much unity! Familie Scherf invited us and Ronald to come to their home for dinner on Saturday night. We had a wonderful meal and then Ronald asked Brother Scherf to give him a blessing to help him prepare for baptism. The spirit was so strong as he received a blessing and Heavenly Father's love for him was really apparent. It was awesome! Then, out of so much love, Brother Scherf offered to start fasting at that moment with Ronald that he would have the strength that he needs to overcome his addictions. He went home that night and threw all that he had away and has just been praying and fasting! His faith amazes me. Keep him in your prayers, just like I know you already do! I can't wait to tell you about his baptism next week!
Bisou and Mary are still doing great! And we found two new investigators, Cevesta and Tamara! We are being so blessed. I will know about transfers next week. I would love to stay here in Den Haag but I know that I will be wherever I need to be. It's always exciting with transfers!
Thanks so much for your little Dutch blurb! That was so cute and did you do that?! I looooove you and I hope that you have a wonderful week! I never stop praying for you and thinking about you! Thanks for EVERYTHING!!!
Love, Laur

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am just as shocked as you are!!! I found out from you that I am staying until March 16th!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
My hands are all sweaty and a little shaky from the news that I received from you. As I prepare to print my e-mails I quickly scan through your e-mails to check and see if there is anything that I really need to be aware of before I start e-mailing you. There were a couple of sentences in Dad's e-mail that really caught my the date March 16th! I just don't know how that all happened but I will share the side of the story with you that I know. I almost want to cry right now...tears of joy and sadness! So a couple of weeks ago one of the sisters, Zuster Garvin, found out that she got an extension to stay for an extra transfer because she came one transfer late due to visa problems. All of the sudden I had something within me start to say, "You should think about asking to stay another transfer." I thought it was ridiculous! I had already gone through the whole process of deciding between coming home in December and February and I didn't want to go through the process again. I already felt blessed that I would be able to stay 12 transfers instead of 11 and I was content with that decision. But the thought stayed with me and I finally turned to Heavenly Father in prayer to ask him to either take the thought away so that I could focus on the work or bless me to know what to do with the thought if it came from him. I finally had the prompting to call President up and share with him my feelings. I told him that it was not something that I really was desiring but that if it was the Lord's will I would be willing to stay. He said that we could continue to think about it and pray about it and that he would make a decision of whether or not he would submit it to the Area Presidency for reviewing. Because it is VERY rare for any missionary to get an extension anymore, especially sisters, he didn't know if it would pass. A couple of weeks went by and at interviews the same prompting returned, "You should think about staying another transfer."But I didn't want to mention it to President again so I tried to push it out of my head. But it stayed in my head until that night when I finally was moved upon to call President one more time. Once again he said that we would pray about it and that he wanted me to explain to him in my next President's letter why I would want to. As I sat down to write the President's letter all I could think to write was, "I had a feeling and so I called you." It wasn't that I was really wishing to stay but I felt that the Spirit was telling me to act. I explained to him that it didn't matter to me what happened but that if it was the will of the Lord, I was willing to stay and serve another 6 weeks. I sent him the letter and received in return that he submitted a request to the Area Presidency to make the decision. I thought that I would hear from President the final decision, but somehow you got it first! I still don't know how I feel about it. It is hard to know that I won't be coming home for another 6 weeks, meaning that I will be on my mission a total of 20 months. But I know that this just must be the will of the Lord or it wouldn't have happened. I am willing to follow His command and plan. I don't know why he wants me here for another 6weeks but I have learned that to everything there is a reason. I really need your prayers and support as I accept this extra little calling from the Lord! I can't imagine what a shock it must have been for you. I don't want you to think that this was a plan that I was not sharing with you. I actually didn't think that anything would come of it and I didn't want to create a big deal out of nothing...but now it really is a big deal! I hope that it doesn't interfere with any plans that you have already made. Thank you for your constant love and support. I think that I will be calling President up in a little bit and asking about how things did end up working out. I can't believe it all. It is going to take some time to settle in. I feel very humbled.
Well, now that I am almost out time, I will share a couple of things from the week! Ronald is doing AWESOME!!! Bisou is also keeping commitments and we are still teaching Mary. I got really sick with a cold on Thursday and Friday and then a member told me that I should ask for a priesthood blessing. I thought that for a cold it wasn't that necessary but realized also that it wouldn't hurt. On Saturday I asked Elder Matthews for one and you wouldn't believe how I am feeling now! It was one of those colds that you know would linger for weeks but I am almost totally better! I am so thankful for the blessings and power of the priesthood. I was also reading in Mark last week about how the Lord performed miracles according to prayer and fasting. The idea came to my head to fast together with Zuster Pierson in behalf of health problems she is having. I called Zuster Brubaker up to ask if we could do that and also invite other sisters to join. She said that she would talk with president and decide if that was a good idea. She called back and she felt really inspired to have a fast with all of the sisters in behalf of all of the sisters. We fasted together yesterday and it was so awesome. And tomorrow is Zone Conference at the temple!
I got to go! I love you soooo much! 6 weeks isn't that much longer (I am trying to convince myself)! I hope you have a great week!
Love, Zuster Sharp

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Family,
How are you doing!? I know that my subject heading for my e-mail was a really bold statement but I am pretty sure that this last week was the best week of my whole mission! The Lord has just opened the windows of heaven and poured out blessings upon us here in Den Haag! We are definitely so undeserving of what we have received, but so thankful! Here are a few of the miracles that we saw every second of every day this past week:
On Tuesday we went and taught Ronald the Word of Wisdom. We knew that he had problems with smoking and drinking so we weren't sure what their action would be but it couldn't have gone better! It was amazing to see how the Holy Ghost worked with him during the lesson and let him know that the W of W is a commandment from Heavenly Father to bless us. By the end of the lesson he had a plan to keep that commandment. He is so excited for his baptism on November 6th! On Wednesday night we got a text from him that he had had dinner with one of the members (he had just arranged it himself) and that he had read 2 Nephi 31 and32. He was so excited about the Book of Mormon and could hardly put it down! We also taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ on Thursday and he was sharing scriptures with us and pretty much ended teaching us out of the Book of Mormon. On Saturday he came to the baptism of an 8 year old boy in the ward. By the end of the baptismal service he pretty much had his own baptismal service planned out. He actually doesn't quite understand who has the priesthood quite yet so after explaining to him that I couldn't be one of the witnesses at his baptism he asked me if I could give him the Holy Ghost. It was hard to keep a straight face as I explained that I also couldn't do that but I directed him to a few people that could! Anyway, Brother Scheltinga will be baptizing him, Brother Oddens will be giving him the Holy Ghost, Elder Robinson and Brother Oddens will be witnesses, and Zuster Scherf and I will be giving talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost. I know that November 6th will be a very special morning! He is so ready! The Lord prepared him to receive the restored gospel. He even called us this morning to ask us how much a triple would be, with the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, so that he can really study and prepare for the lessons that we have with him and the lessons that will take place in the church on Sunday!
In a normal week in Den Haag we usually have about 5 lessons with a member present but this week members were working with us like crazy! We had a total of 11 member present lessons and we found 5 new investigators! The members are getting so excited and pumped about the work. On Saturday at the baptism one of the members came up to us and asked us if we would have time to come to her house this coming Friday because she wants us to begin teaching her friend! Another member who had us over on Saturday afternoon invited a friend to join the lesson and he is also a new investigator. Every time with thought that it just couldn't get better, it did!
On Friday night we went with Bro. and Sis. Jansen to teach the mother of a young boy who was baptized two years ago at the age of 10. She is not a member but investigated with her son when the missionaries were teaching him. For some reason after the boy was baptized, he and the mom lost contact with the church. The ward council actually asked us to stop by a few weeks ago to check on them. They were not home so I wrote a quick note and threw it in their mailbox. We got a call at the end of last week from the mom, Mary, who had found our note and said she would come to church. She came to church last week and we set up an appointment for Friday. Anyway, when we went on Friday we asked her about her background with the church and what made her decide to call us up and invite us to come and teach her. She said that she hadn't noticed our note until a few days after she had gotten the mail. She was sorting through the mail and the handwriting on the note really caught her attention (I think that it is only because American and European handwriting is so different). She just couldn't throw the note away and she finally decided to give us a call. We are going to start meeting with her weekly! I just was amazed that something so small as a little note would have so much of an impact!
I am out of time but I just want you to know that I know that Jesus is the Christ! I love you and pray for you! Have a great week!
Love, Laur

What an amazing week!

Monday, October 11, 2010
Dear Family!
I am so sorry but the time is extremely short and I have so much that I want to share with you! Thanks for your letters! I am going to jump right in!
The temple was AMAZING!!! I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to go to the temple and see Sue-Haina experience the blessings of the temple! Zuster Spijkerman, Tineke, and Zuster Walle were there as well and it was such a sweet and tender experience. We were able to do the 2:30 session and it was amazing to feel the Spirit so strongly and feel so close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I had a realization that the saying "Families are Forever" is not exclusively for immediate families, but all of our family members in the gospel. I am so thankful that the gospel links us together so that we can be with all of our brothers and sisters forever! I was sure thinking of all of you as I was in the Celestial Room...can't wait for that moment again!
We set another Baptismal Date! Victoria, one of the members here, gave us a referral for her friend Bisou. We went and taught Bisou on Friday at Victoria's house and she committed to be baptized! We set up a calendar with her and we will be teaching her every Monday and Wednesday at Victoria's! Roland is also doing great! He just eats up everything that we teach him. We even called him Saturday and invited him to fast on Sunday if he wanted to with the rest of the ward. He accepted and came to church yesterday fasting and so happy to be there. We will also be teaching him 3 times this week. The members are so excited about both of them and love to go on joint-teach with us. I am so thankful for their willingness to serve!
We were able to go with Sister Brubaker on Tuesday night and that was a special treat! We went and taught
The computer is having problems. I will write a letter. Sorry! I love you!!!
Love, Zuster Sharp

Monday, October 4, 2010

My prayers are with you!

Monday, October 4, 2010
Dear Family,
I am so thankful for the blessings of the gospel! As I scanned over your e-mails today as I was preparing them to print I read the news about David Dockendorf. My heart goes out to each one of you, especially Brandt and Kelly and the whole Dockendorf family. I can’t imagine the many things that you have all felt this week as you have gone through this experience but I can imagine that it has been difficult and trying. It is hard to hear such news and to be able to deal with the difficult emotions that it brings, but harder to know that I am not with you to comfort and help in any way I could during this difficult time, although there is not much that I could do to help. However, I have faith in times like these that this is where I am supposed to be and that I couldn't be doing anything better there than I am doing here. I am so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope that it brings, especially when something like this occurs in our lives. I am so thankful for the Savior and that He atoned for our sins, felt every pain that we feel, knows how to succor us, and overcame death so that we may have the hope of living again. I love Him so much and am so thankful that His gospel has been restored to the earth and that I am blessed to be a member of His church. I am thankful to be one of His missionaries at this time, to share His love and teachings with others and invite them to partake of the joy and peace that He offers. I am so thankful for all of my many blessings and especially for prayer, that I can communicate personally with my Heavenly Father. I will be praying for each of you as you continue in faith and hope, relying on the Atonement of the Savior and the wonderful Plan of Salvation that our Father in Heaven prepared for us. I know that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are always waiting with open arms to hear from us and to welcome us when we need peace and comfort. They love us so much and they will help us overcome every difficult thing in our lives. Although they are not here with us, we each have the gift of the Holy Ghost to comfort us and help us. We also have the blessings of the Priesthood which brings incredible power and strength as we cope with difficult trials and experiences.
We have been extremely blessed here in Den Haag! We had our first appointment with Roland and it went so well! We invited him to be baptized on November 6th and he accepted!!! We also had an appointment with him on Friday and we will be having another one today. It should be exciting since he is so enthusiastic about the Restored Gospel and since he is keeping every commitment that we extend to him. He is a little difficult to keep on track during our lesson because he jumps from eternal families to tithing to the premortal life and he has a lot of questions but it is great that he is hungering for truth. Thanks for your prayers in his behalf!
Our other investigators aren't making too much progress. Vitalis has just about fallen off of the face ot the earth this week...sadly enough he didn't show up to conference! But Esra came to conference with one of her little friends and loved it! I am just floored that two little girls, ages 6 and 8, who aren't members of the church and have never attended a church in their whole lives up until now, think that it is so great to come and listen to General Conference! It is awesome! They must have felt the Spirit and they are just hungering for more!
Conference was wonderful! I loved all of the messages and wished it could have lasted just a little bit longer but I am so thankful for the words of the apostles and prophet. The Spirit was so strong during the whole thing and I feel lifted up and energized, re-committed to live the gospel even better. It was great!
This week will be very eventful! On Tuesday night Zuster Brubaker will be coming to work with us here in Den Haag. Wednesday morning we will have interviews in Leiden. Thursday we will be going to the temple with Sue Haina! I am so excited to be able to go to the temple again, especially for this special occasion. It will be AWESOME! And then we will be working like crazy all of the time in-between! I am looking forward to all of it!
I hope that you had a wonderful conference weekend and that you will have a great week! I am praying for you and I know that the Lord is watching over all of us! I love you so much! FAMILIES ARE FOREVER!
Love, Zuster Sharp

It is almost General Conference weekend! That's almost as good as Christmas!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hello Family! Thanks so much for the e-mails! Dad, I got both today and that was an extra special treat! I am really looking forward to reading all of them and catching up with the things that are going on at home! How are you all doing? Are you excited for October to begin? The leaves sure are getting beautiful! By the way, it is transfers this week...yeah, that means that I have already been with Zuster Pierson for a whole six weeks and...we will be staying together for another six! We are really looking forward to having another transfer together here in Den Haag!
This week was totally awesome! We had some amazing miracles and we were also spiritually fed. We had Zone Conference on Friday in Leiden and Elder Sterri, a member of the third quorum of the seventy and area presidency, was with us all of the way from Norway. He was great! After the Zone Conference, the Den Haag did a musical fireside for all members and investigators. It turned out really nice and the Spirit was really strong! Music is so awesome because it really does bring the Spirit and it is a universal language. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father has given us the wonderful blessing of music. Oh, and I was also on exchanges on Thursday with Zuster Garvin. She is so wonderful! We just had the greatest time serving together and I learned so much from her! It really was one of my most favorite weeks!
I would just like to share a little miracle with you that we experienced this past week. As we picked a consecrated hour street on Monday night I had a very vivid picture in my mind of where we were supposed to go, even before we looked at the map. After sharing my feelings with Zuster Pierson, we decided to go to that place. It was a shopping area really close to our apartment and there were many people on the street. It was about 11:00 in the morning and people were in a big hurry to get to work or school or to get some shopping done. We had a lot of short contacts with people but no one in particular had interest. Then we had the feeling to cross over to the other side. As we were walking there was a man and we felt prompted to talk to him. Turns out that he had talked to me and Zuster Harrington and Zuster Reber a few weeks earlier very briefly. As we began to share with him the message of the Restoration, he really opened up. He said that he had decided a couple of months ago to not go to a church but to strengthen his faith on his own. He had actually stopped drinking and doing drugs two weeks earlier because he felt like that is what Jesus wanted him to do. He said that he would come to our church one time to give it a chance. He gave us his number so we could call and remind him to come, and then he was on his way. We felt pretty positive about him and prayed that he would really show up at church. On Saturday night we decided to call him and remind him to come but his number didn't work. We felt a little discouraged and were lacking that faith that he would really come, especially since the last time we had talked to him was 5 days earlier. But we prayed for him anyway. Sunday morning, as we were walking to pick up a less-active family for church, he came walking in the direction of the church, all dressed up in a white button up shirt, tie, and suit. He had a smile on his face! We couldn’t believe it! The members all welcomed him and he said that he really felt the Spirit during the classes. At the end of Sacrament Meeting we hurried to go and talk to him so that we could get his right number and set up an appointment with him but he was gone before we could get there. We were not sure if he would come back the next week and we were scared that we would never see him again. After eating some lunch, we saw that we had missed a call and had a new message. It was him, Roland! He said that he wanted us to come back and teach him more because he had a really good feeling about all of it. We called him back and set up an appointment for this Wednesday. We are really looking forward to teaching him and especially to share the baptismal calendar with him. He is one of the elect and we feel so blessed!
We are still teaching Vitalis and he is doing well! Your prayers in his behalf are really helping. He is searching for the truth and we have been able to have some very great lessons with him. We taught him three times this week and he committed to come to General Conference this weekend. I know that he will have a great experience as he listens to a prophet of God. Elisabeth threw a curve at us and told us the second that we walked into her appointment on Thursday that she will not get baptized again and doesn't really want to go further with us. After talking with her for a few minutes we learned that she told her pastor that she was meeting with us and he really pulled her away. We are going to have one more lesson with her this week to decide if she is ready and to see if she is progressing. If not, we will give her back to the Lord and missionaries will come in contact with her again when she is ready. We were also not able to get a hold of Roger and Brigitte this past week...we wonder if Roger took a step back again. Luckily we have an appointment on Tuesday so we are hoping that he is still positive! Familie Saragoza, the inactive family that we have been working with, are making huge strides! We had a family home evening with them at the beginning of the week and they asked us if we would come and pick them up for church! They also made a goal to read every day in the Book of Mormon. The oldest daughter committed to go to the Young Women activity (and she did!) and they are experiencing the joy of the gospel again. It is amazing to walk into their home and feel something so different because they are doing their best to follow Christ!
The Lord lives and he loves us. The gospel is the one and only way to lasting happiness and peace. I know that the church was restored through Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is the evidence of that. I love this work and I love all of you! Keep smiling and have a great week! Thanks for all you do for me!
Love, Laur

What a week!!! I've been in the Netherlands for one whole year!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hello everyone! How are you all doing? Are you enjoying the beautiful fall weather? It is wonderful here! Thank you so much for your e-mails...and for the AWESOME package! I got it on Saturday and I just love all that you sent! I wore the skirt and orange sweater yesterday, along with the adorable brown flower and the cute goldish dangly earrings (Brooke, I think they were not too "bling bling" and I just couldn't wait 5 months to wear them so I hope they weren't too much!)! The pictures were so all look fantastic and it was so fun to be able to have more of a clear picture of all that you have been doing over the past couple of months. Thank you so much, Brooke and Mom, for putting that together. That was sooo thoughtful and I am really looking forward to wearing all of my new things this week. Spices up the work a bit!
Well, we saw lots and lots of miracles this week! As I was reading in the Book of Mormon this morning I found myself in Moroni 7:33-37. It’s all about faith and miracles and it made me think about this past week. God is a God of miracles and miracles have definitely not ceased! No matter how great or small our faith is, as long as we have a little we will experience miracles! We went to teach Vitalis on Tuesday with Victoria but he got stopped with his tram and wasn't able to get home on time for our appointment and we had to leave for the next appointment. Victoria was so kind and agreed to accompany us as we went to teach Brigitte and Bernard. We always try to teach the two of them at Brigitte's house when her husband Roger isn't home because he is not too fond of us or the church (we've actually had some pretty scary situations with him). Brigitte had said that he would be gone to work but when we got to her home he came walking up at the same time. We all became a little tense but had faith that things would work out. He was super friendly from the beginning and welcomed us in. He got drinks for all of us and was making some nice conversation. We just kind of went along with it. We felt like the Spirit was telling us to stay. When we started the lesson he was in the kitchen but he immediately came in to join us. We ended up putting "The Restoration” DVD in and he stayed and watched the whole thing. The lesson ended up being focused totally on him. He was answering questions and really getting involved and in the last five minutes of the lesson I pulled a baptismal calendar out to ask him to be baptized. I looked at Zuster Pierson and her eyes told me that she thought I was crazy but I quickly mouthed to her, "pray for me!" I then invited Roger to take the lessons from us and prepare to be baptized. I just let the words come from the Spirit because I was too scared to spit it out. He said YES! I have never witnessed a greater miracle in my life and I think that we were all speechless when he actually said it, especially Brigitte! Now setting appointments will be a little tricky because of his work schedule but we hope to teach him a couple of times this week! Miracles happen!
We have also been able to teach Vitalis, Elisabeth, Natali and Esra this week. They are all progressing and really learning a lot through the Spirit. The members are so busy doing missionary work and it is just a super exciting time here in Den Haag. On Friday as we were finding we were not seeing much success. But in the last 15 minutes we knocked on the door of an 85 year old widower. He was very kind and listened to us. He then began to cry and said that he would love to have a copy of the Book of Mormon. We gave it to him and he looked at us with tears in his eyes and promised us that he would read it. The Spirit had touched his heart. I called him last night to see when we could make an appointment to teach him more and we will be going back next week! He has already read a good chunk of the Book of Mormon and can't wait to meet with us!
Man, my mind is so scattered right now because I just want to tell you so much but I am out of time! I hope that you can feel the happiness of the experiences that I have shared (and that they make sense).This work is awesome and better than I could have ever imagined! The Lord truly does love every one of us and cares so much for us! I hope that you can constantly feel of His love and know that through him we can return to Heavenly a family! I love you and pray for you! THANK YOU for all that you do for me! Have a great week!
Love, Laur

Happy September!

Monday, September 13, 2010
Hello Family! How was your week? Did you have fun in St. George, Mom? What about the rest of you? Thank you so much for your e-mails, Mom, Dad, Brooke, and Car! I can't wait to hear about all of the great things that you were able to do this week! I have been thinking about you and praying for you!
Blessings were poured out upon us this week!!! I still am in shock! I had an idea at the beginning of last week to make a big board with all of our goals and numbers that we set for the week. I have never done that before but it was just an idea that came to my mind so I thought I would try it out. Every night I would check off how many member present lessons we had had, other lessons, member lessons, new investigators we found, etc. and I was able to keep a clear vision of how we were doing and what we needed to accomplish by the end of the week. My prayers became more fervent and sincere as I went in prayer to Heavenly Father and asked him for specific help to accomplish the goals that we had set under the direction of the Spirit. The week was going really well but by Saturday we realized that we were falling a little short with some of our key indicators and we weren't sure if we were able to reach our goals with only Sunday left. We still had to have 4 member present lessons and 2 other lessons to be able to make it and seeing that we had only had 1 member present lesson in 6 days, we were wondering how it was going to work out. But as a companionship we went on our knees, and with the little faith we had, asking for more faith, we pled with Heavenly Father to help us reach our goals. We had 4 member present lessons, 2 other lessons, and an extra bonus of 2 new investigators yesterday! It was AMAZING!!! It strengthened my testimony that as we are specific with the things we desire to accomplish, if our desires are righteous, and if we turn to the Lord for help and put our faith in Him, He can bring to pass many miracles. I can't wait to see it happen again this week!
I think that a great part of the success that we saw can be attributed to the wonderful mission conference that we had on Wednesday with Elder Ballard, Elder Rasband, and Elder Causse. It was a spiritual feast! Wednesday started out bright and early-4:15 a.m.-because we had to be in Rotterdam by 7:00 to catch the bus that was rented for all of the missionaries. There was so much excitement in that bus knowing that within a few short hours we would be in the presence of an apostle of the Lord. It was a lot of fun to be together as a whole mission and to see all of the missionaries that I love so much! When we finally arrived in Brussels at 10:00 we had a light breakfast and got in our places on the stage for a big group picture with Elder Ballard. When he, the other authorities, and President and Sister Brubaker walked into the building, the whole church fell still. The Spirit was overwhelming and so powerful. He came walking in and greeted us with a big smile. You could feel warmth and love radiating from him. After the picture, we all took our seats in the chapel where he and the others instructed us for a few hours. He really focused on becoming a master teacher like the Savior Jesus Christ. I will include President's weekly letter in my e-mail so you can get an overview of what they taught us. It was so powerful that I did not leave the meeting just being spiritually boosted but as a changed missionary. As the meeting came to a close we had the opportunity to go up and shake his hand one by one and greet him. That was the first time I ever was able to shake the hand of an apostle and it was an experience I will never forget! Vitalis is still progressing and is reading in the Book of Mormon! He went to a dinner appointment this week and got to know some members. He is nervous about coming to church but we are working through his concerns. Elisabeth accepted a soft baptismal commitment and she is planning on being baptized on October 30!!! She is also finally reading in the Book of Mormon and praying about it so I am anxious to see her progress. Esra and her two little friends came to church again yesterday and they just love being there. Esra is 8, Angel is7, and Jennifer is 6 and they are loved and welcomed by all of the ward members. The primary president even called us this morning and asked us if she could come with us to teach these little girls in their homes. That was a miracle! We are hopefully going to be having a lesson with each of them this week. Hopefully they will be the keys to get their parents to investigate the church! Children are amazing and have so much faith!
We are continuing to work with the members and we are making big strides. They are growing in enthusiasm for the is a miracle to behold!
I love you so much! Thanks for your prayers and your examples of faith and testimony. The Lord lives and loves us. This is his church and it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. Call on the Lord and he will bless you! Have a great week!
Love, Zuster Sharp

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September is in full swing! Happy Labor Day

Monday, September 6,2010
Hello Family! How was your Labor Day weekend?! I have been thinking about you over the past couple of days and am very anxious to read your letters and hear all about the wonderful times that you've had! Thanks so much for still e-mailing, Mom, Dad, and Brooke! I don't know how you were able to send them out all of the way up there but I really appreciate it!
Where to begin!? This week was full of a lot of adventures...not all that we had planned on! On Monday night I received a call from President and he invited me to attend a Leadership Conference with the 8 Zone Leaders in the mission and Zuster Harrington in Brussels. I was so excited that I was asked to attend! So on Thursday morning, at about 6:00 am, Zuster Pierson and I headed to Rotterdam where we switched companions and Zuster Harrington and I hopped in the car with the Zone Leaders and had a little road trip down to Brussels. The Conference was wonderful! It was held in the Mission Home and it was so cool to be back there again. It was crazy to think that it was almost a year ago since I was there the last time! We had training about finding and exchanges and then an open discussion. It was so awesome to be in such a small group with the Zone Leaders and President and Zuster Brubaker to discuss the needs of the mission. The Spirit was extremely strong and I learned so much! At about 3:00 that afternoon we made the trip back here to Den Haag!
On Friday we had interviews in Leiden and that was another uplifting day. Having two days, back-to-back of training from President is always amazing! President reported that the mission is at an all-time high with baptismal dates...a whopping total of 69! They didn't even have that much before the mission split! It is really cool to feel the excitement and see so many wonderful things happening.
On Saturday night, after attending the baptism of one of the elder’s investigators here in Den Haag, I received a phone call from the Elders in Groningen. Elder Robert asked me if I could remember who Maggie was. I said, "Yeah, she was a young woman me and Zuster Harrington had met on the street a couple of months ago. Why?" He told me that she had been baptized that night! I was so stoked! I knew that the elders were teaching her a month or so ago but I didn't know that she had progressed so much to being baptized. That was such a tender mercy of the Lord to see the fruits of something so small we had done a few weeks earlier!
We had 6 dinner appointments this week with the members! We are making great progress at working with them and really getting them involved in the work. We are starting to implement a referral calendar to begin teaching friends and family of the members and we hope that it will be a big success.
Natali and Esra are still progressing! Esra came to church and the baptism this week and brought two other little friends with her. She's quite the little missionary! We are hoping that through all of these children we will find some families to teach!
Vitalis and Vandelenda are both progressing as well. We have appointments with them this week! Thanks for your prayers in their behalf!
Kimberly was progressing so well and even came to church yesterday! But at the end of church she said that she didn't want to have anymore contact with us or the church. We just couldn't figure out what went wrong. We hope that over time she opens back up to find the joy of the gospel!
The gospel is so wonderful! The Lord loves us all so much and wants us to be happy. This week will be really special as we are in the presence of an apostle of the Lord. He will be speaking to us on Wednesday in Brussels.
I love you so much! Thanks for your prayers and support! Have a great week! Keep up the awesome Book of Mormon reading! Love ya! Zuster Sharp

Monday, August 30, 2010

Building up the teaching pool!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hello Fam! How was your "back to school” week? Carli and Corbin, you are officially seniors now! That is crazy!!! I hope that you had a great week and that the Lord has continued to watch over you and guide you in all that you have done. He sure has blessed us here in the city of Den Haag!
It was pouring rain the whole week here! Den Haag got more rain in the past couple of days than it normally does in a whole month, so we have been soaking wet...but that hasn't stopped us! We spent a lot of time finding and visiting members this week and we were blessed with so many little miracles. On Monday we had a consecrated finding hour in a highly populated Muslim area. Since we are asked not to proselyte among Muslims, we didn't really know how our finding would go. Instead of knocking on the doors, we decided to walk the streets in the area and just talk to people that we ran into. It was so amazing! We could literally feel the Spirit guiding us as we were led to many who were interested in talking to us. One of them, Vitalis, a man from Nigeria, has even become a new investigator and we are going to set a baptismal date with him tonight! Please keep him in your prayers because we know that this will be a big step for him!
On Tuesday we went and had our first appointment with a woman named v/d Linde. She is from Aruba and she has a husband and four children. I actually found her a month ago on the street and it was not until now that we were able to make contact with her. We also committed her to follow a baptismal calendar and she was so excited to learn more about the restoration and let us come two times in the week to teach her. Zuster Pierson, under direction of the Spirit, asked her if along with teaching her, we could teach her whole family all together. She thought about it, and then happily agreed! Our first appointment was scheduled to be on Thursday night but that got called off so we have another appointment with her tonight. We hope that she hasn't come in contact with some anti-Mormon material...please pray for her too!
On Wednesday, on the way to one of our appointments, I saw a young woman walking along the street and felt a strong impression to stop her. She reacted really positively to us and, because she was in a hurry, gave us her number and asked us to call her again to set up an appointment. We called and she met with us on Saturday morning. She is so cool! She is 22 years old and comes from Curacao. She goes to a Methodist church right now but is still searching for the true church. She is a student living here all by herself and really wants to come closer to God. The Spirit was so strong during our lesson as we testified of the truthfulness of the gospel, the ways it will bless her life, and how much Heavenly Father loves her. She had a lot of questions, as anyone should after hearing Joseph's experience for the first time. We were able to discuss a few things with her and then made another appointment. We are going back on Wednesday with another young single adult. She is really a miracle!
Thursday, we went and taught Natali and Esra, our little Greek family. We have changed our approach with them because Natali cannot speak Dutch or English. We just teach Esra in Dutch (she's 8 years old) and she translates for her mom. They just love reading in the Book of Mormon. Esra has come to church by herself for the past 2 weeks and the children welcome her and befriend her. We found someone who lives in Zoetermeer who was on a mission in Greece and he is going to come and help us teach them. It's amazing to see that the Book of Mormon is so simple that even a child can understand!
We have got a busy week to come, teaching all of these people! We feel so blessed! I am looking forward to updating you next week!
I love you so much! Thanks for all of the e-mails! I hope that you know that you are always in the prayer of my heart and that I think of you often! Have a great week!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Monday, August 23, 2010
Dear Family,
How are you doing?!!! Thanks for the e-mails! I can't wait to hear how things are at home! I hope that you've had a wonderful week, especially with summer coming to a close!
My week was great! Of course the highlight of the week was Bernard’s baptism! We had planned everything out so well that we were expecting it to be the perfect evening...but we had quite the number of glitches! We were informed by church leaders that we didn't need to turn the water for the font on until 45 minutes before the service. Zuster Pierson and I were both a little concerned about that but we made sure that everything else was completely ready for the service and trusted that everything would go well with filling the font. When we went to turn the water on at 6:15, no water came out. I started to stress a little but thought to myself that I just needed to have faith and patience. We tried as many little tricks as we could think of (the greatest one being prayer) to get the water flowing but nothing worked. By this time it was 6:30 and members and friends were starting to show up. I called up the building maintenance man, Brother Foss, and he agreed to come quickly to the church to see what the problem was. He went down into the basement and saw that two things were out and that they could not be fixed immediately. I was starting to panic! But ward members and missionaries and visitors came to the rescue! Everyone who came to see the baptism, young and old, began running from the bathrooms and kitchen to the baptismal font with buckets and pans full of water. We were making some progress, but not quite enough, so the Bishop pulled out the fire hose! Working all together we were able to get the font filled up in a matter of an hour, which means that we only had to start the baptism a half an hour late! Although it was stressful and didn't go quite as I had planned or hoped, working together in such unity with others so that Bernard could get baptized brought an amazing Spirit of love to the baptismal service and it was one of the most beautiful that I have ever witnessed! Bernard was soooo happy even though he had to be baptized in ice cold water, and everyone who was there was happy they came! And then to top it off, Bernard was confirmed yesterday and just glowed. I couldn't be more happy for him and I am so thankful that I was able to witness him coming unto Christ, and entering the gate that leads to eternal life!
Well, now that Bernard is baptized, we have no one with a baptismal date or even any investigators. We are on the lookout and we are excited to find many who are prepared by the Lord to receive the truth! I am loving every minute of serving with Zuster Pierson...she is amazing!!! She is actually from West Jordan and graduated the same year I did but we just never knew each other. It is such a small world! Every spare moment we have, at lunch, dinner, or at the end of the day, we have been spending getting our apartment all cleaned up...scrubbing baseboards and the grout in the bathroom! We are great cleaning buddies and our apartment is sure getting spruced up! I think this transfer really is going to be a transfer of miracles...I can hardly wait!
In two weeks we will have the privilege of hearing from Elder Ballard at the big mission conference in Brussels. It is going to be AWESOME!!! I know that it is still a long ways away but it is like I am a little child waiting for Christmas to come...I can hardly sleep at night! I am so thankful that we have apostles and prophets, special witnesses of Jesus Christ on the earth now to lead us and guide us. I know that they truly are called of God.
I am loving the Book of Mormon reading! I am so strengthened everyday as I read and I feel a special connection with all of you who are reading along with me. Thank you so much for joining with me to make it so special! I love you all so much and miss you so much! I was flipping through all of my photos of you the other day and just had such a happy and peaceful feeling knowing that whatever we face in this life, we will be together forever! Have a great week! Love ya!
Love, Zuster Sharp

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I get to stay in Den Haag for another transfer!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hello fam! It is transfer Monday again (I am beginning my 9th transfer in the field...can you believe it!?) and I found out that I will be staying at least one more transfer in the blessed city of Den Haag, if not many more! We received a call from President last night and he told Zuster Harrington that she will be going to serve in Dordrecht, Zuster Reber in Haarlem, and I will be staying and Zuster Pearson will be coming here to work with me. I am super excited! I feel like I am now acquainted with the city and the members and now I can really start accomplishing things. I am also excited to work with Zuster Pearson! I have only met her once but I have heard great things about her. She will be starting her 4th transfer with me and Den Haag will be her second city. She'll arrive on Wednesday! I am sad to see my other two companions go, especially Zuster Harrington because she is my little "greenie", but know that they will do awesome wherever they are! I loved being in that threesome for a transfer!
It has been a crazy week! On Monday night we taught Bernard his last lesson that he needs before baptism and on Friday President Brubaker came here to conduct his interview because Bernard's native language is French and President speaks French. He is all ready to be baptized! The baptism will take place this Saturday at the Den Haag chapel at 7:00 pm. It's going to be amazing! I feel really blessed and almost guilty that I am the one staying here for his baptism when Zuster Harrington and Zuster Reber did so much to help in his conversion process but I will just be sure to send them some good pictures and description of the night. It is so exciting to see someone so prepared to walk into the waters of baptism and enter the gate that leads to eternal life!
Tuesday was exchanges and I was SO blessed to go to Antwerpen, Belgium to work with Zuster Holbein! I love her so much and we just had the most wonderful two days together. I also fell in love with the Belgian people and had such a great time doing missionary work there. We had a special treat on Tuesday! President Brubaker had decided that for the first time he would spend a whole day doing missionary work with the Zone Leaders in Belgium so...we had Zuster Brubaker with us the whole day! I learned so much from serving with her and was so happy that I was privileged to be with her during her first whole day of missionary work. We saw miracles! Since she doesn't speak Dutch, only French and English, we were wondering how it was going to work out. But every time we got on a tram or bus or were just walking on the street, we always ran into French or English speaking people. All of the lessons we taught that day just happened to be in English! It was really amazing and an experience that I will never forget!
After exchanges all of the sisters gathered again in Den Haag to switch back and since we had Zone Conference on Thursday a couple of them just ended up sleeping at our apartment. Those missionary sleepovers are a lot of fun as we swap stories and have a little time to get to know each other better!
Zone Conference was in Leiden and I ended up doing a musical number with two other sisters. We did "Beautiful Savior” and Zuster Ekstrom sang, Zuster Holbein played the flute, and I accompanied on the piano. It was a lot of fun and somehow it came together in the 20 minutes we had to prepare! About 5 minutes before the meeting started we were informed that President and Zuster Brubaker would not be coming because President Brubaker was in the hospital. That was a huge shock and scare for all of us! Luckily he had just gotten an infection in his foot and needed to get that taken care of. Now he is back to work but Zone Conference was a lot different without the Brubakers!
Well, I am about out of time! I have much more to share but that will just have to come in the letter! I love you bunches and bunches! Have a wonderful week! I am praying for you!
Love, Zuster Sharp
P.S. Oh, the clothing rules were changed for the sisters church wide...more colors, skirts that just go past the knee when sitting, and not nylons ever! I think we might do a little shopping today!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thank you for all of your support with my decision!!!

Monday, August 09, 2010
Dear Family,
I just can't tell you how happy I am with all of your support with my decision to come home in February! I don't think you know how much easier that makes it! I just get almost giddy every time I think about coming home in February...because I know that I will have the time to spend with you that I have wanted to have for the past 4 years and just haven't had with school and work and my mission. We are going to have so much fun and it just couldn't feel better!!! Thanks for the e-mails, and most of all for your love and strong faith! I couldn’t do this without you!
Well, did you have a good week?! I have gained such a strong testimony of small and simple things amounting to great miracles! I want to share with you one of my favorite experiences and miracles of the week. On Tuesday we had a young woman from another city come and spend the day with us so we could go on splits. As the four of us were riding our bikes from the station to the church I saw an African woman and really felt like we should stop and talk to her. I jumped off of my bike and the other sisters followed (probably a little intimidating for the woman) and walked to her. I told her who we were and what we were doing and she said a prayer and made an appointment with us to meet again. Her name is Patience and she has two little daughters, Divine and Precious, and a husband. She was really positive and gave us her address but couldn't remember her new number. We were so excited! Well, our appointment with her is tonight, but Tuesday night we realized that we couldn't find her street on the map. We were devastated, me especially! I prayed and prayed and after looking through almost all of the streets in Den HaagI found one that was pretty similar to it. We set aside time on Saturday to go and look her up just to make sure the street was right, before our appointment today. On Saturday we went to the house and no one was home. We stood for a bit and talked about what we should do and right then a car pulled up with Patience in it! It was her house! And she was still planning on our appointment! We felt richly blessed and we decided to do some finding on her street before going to our next appointment. I felt a really strong impression that we should go in a certain direction so we did and after about 20 minutes we ended up knocking on the door of a member, Hob, that we didn't even know lived there. He invited us in and we had a nice visit with him. We left feeling like we had done what the Lord wanted us to do. But, the story doesn't stop there. Yesterday we went finding with all of the Elders and two members, Jesi and Anna. We prayed beforehand to pick a street and Anna felt really impressed that we needed to go to a certain area. Zuster Harrington, Jesi, and I went together and Anna and Zuster Reber went in the other direction. We decided that we would meet back by our bikes at the end of the hour. We had some success but nothing to great. When we went back to our bikes, the other sisters weren't there yet and I started to get that feeling again that we needed to continue knocking on some doors in a specific direction. After 10 doors that amounted to not very much we knocked on the door of an older woman who was so excited to see us! She welcomed us in and started talking to us like she knew who we were. I was a little scared that she was a member and I just didn’t recognize her so I just tried to ask some discrete questions to figure out who she was and how she knew who we were. Finally we discovered that she was a friend of Hob's and that she had attended a baptismal service and a church service a couple of years ago. And then, she told us that she had read the whole Book of Mormon! We just couldn’t believe it! She had actually talked to Hob Saturday night after we were at his house and heard how excited he was about having us there that she thought that he had sent us to her. But we explained to her that it was purely through guidance of the Spirit. She was in just as much shock as we were! We were able to share a little lesson about prayer with her, as well as pray with her, and she said that we are welcome to come back and teach her more. Janike is her name. As we walked out of her home all of the little details of the situation played back in my mind. It was so perfectly planned out by the Savior. Meeting Patience...getting an unclear address...searching for the address two days earlier than her appointment...her pulling up late in her car...finding on her street...knocking on Hob's door...him calling Janike about it...the sisters being late getting back at the end of finding...knocking on Janike's door...many miracles to come!!! I am so thankful that the Lord loves each one of us so much that he uses us in such small ways to bring about His great and eternal plan! I love Him and I love this work! I love you all and pray for you always! Know that the Lord loves you too! He is aware of your circumstances and will always prepare a way for you to come closer to Him and help others come closer to Him through you. I hope that you have a great week!
Love, Laur
P.S. Mom, I am so sorry about the mix up with Nadeline's e-mail address. It is I hope that it works this time. I don't know if they already made other plans but I think that sending the e-mail would still be good. Sorry! Thanks for being so willing to welcome them. I love ya!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I've made my decision!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010
Hello Fam! THANK YOU for the e-mails! I am so excited to be writing you this week! I have so much to say, I even made a list, so I am just going to jump right into it!
First of all, I am coming home on February 3! I really thought about it and prayed about it and I was having such a hard time coming to a decision. I had a feeling that I should call Zuster Brubaker and ask her for advice or just talk it out with her. I called her up and explained the situation to her and told her that I felt like I was just having a "stupor of thought” sort of feeling. She said very bluntly but also lovingly, "Zuster Sharp, I think that you are getting no answer because you have no decision to make. Unless you have medical problems or other emergency issues President would like you to stay for 12 transfers. You don't have to worry about the decision anymore." I felt like a burden was lifted off of my shoulders and I was so happy! I really feel like the Lord wants me to be here until the beginning of February and I am so thankful that I still have 6 more months, starting tomorrow, to serve Him. Of course, I had concerns about not being able to start school and missing all of the holidays again but I just know that it is right! And, I will be able to spend more time with all of you instead of just rushing right back into school and not really being able to "come home." So start planning the activities for February! We are going to party (and work and get a lot of things done) from February until August when I have to start school again! Thank you for your prayers and support as I made the decision.
Second on my list...There is a young couple, members here in Den Haag, who are coming to Utah to attend a wedding. They will be there from August 18-21 and they were wondering if they could stay at our house for those nights. Would that be okay? I already told them yes so I sure hope so! They are the nicest people ever! Their names are Nadaline and Ruben Jongejan and they were married about three years ago. She is 24 and he is 28. He is a counselor in the bishopric and she will soon be the YW president. I told them that I would give their e-mail address to you so that you could get in contact with them. They speak perfect English so that should be no problem. I don’t think that they will be hanging out too much at our house, but they are so excited to meet you and get to know you! I hope that this isn’t too much! If it is, just let me know. They said that if it doesn’t work out they can find a hotel! They are just waiting to hear from you!
Third, I have set some new goals that I want to accomplish before February 3. One of them is reading the Book of Mormon in Dutch and English. I want to invite all of you to read with English of course! I figured it out today and if you read about 3 pages per day you will be right on track to read Moroni's promise on February 2 and pray to have that confirmation one more time that it is true. I think that it would be amazing if we did it all together! I started my first three pages today! Let me know if you are in! I know that President Hinckley's promise is true: "there will come into your hearts...the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to the commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God."
My testimony of member missionary work has been strengthened! We gave the Relief Society lesson yesterday and it was about missionary work, of course. We felt inspired as we were planning our lesson to invite people to share their personal experiences with missionary work during the lesson and really just focus on small and simple things that the members can do to bring about great things. The lesson went really well with the participation of many members! At the end, we passed out nice cards and committed all of the sisters to write a note to someone else that needs to feel the love of the Savior. I didn't know such a small commitment would do so much good but we got a call this morning from a member who asked us if we could bring three copies of the Book of Mormon to her house so that she can give them along with the card. I was so excited! That small commitment is leading this member to do great and amazing things! I can't wait to see the other miracles that it brings about!
Bernard is so ready for baptism! We taught him twice this week and he came to church yesterday! We weren't sure how much he was reading in the Book of Mormon but once he started asking about Sam and Sariah we knew that he has been reading something. He just can't put the Book of Mormon or the Gospel Principles book down. He has the Spirit in his home and can't wait to be baptized. Thanks for your prayers in his behalf!
I love you SO much! Thank you for everything, especially during my time of decision making! Families are forever! I think about you and speak very highly of you! You are loved by the people here because your influence and prayers make a difference! Have a great week!
Love, Lauren

Happy Pioneer's Day!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010
Oh, I love you SO much! How was your week? Mine was wonderful! We had a whopping total of 20 lessons this week (not including member lessons)! It was a miracle! I think what really helped us was working with members. They have so much faith and they bring so much enthusiasm! On Tuesday night we went and had dinner with the familyof the Bishop, Familie Muntinga. It was so wonderful to get to know them better and at the end of our appointment we prayed with them and they picked a street with us where we would go finding the next day.It was so fun to have the map of Den Haag on the coffee table and see all of the children huddled around, following the Spirit to know where people are who are ready to hear the gospel. They came to the conclusion that we needed to go and work in the Winston Churchilllaan and we were really excited! One of the older daughters, Michelle, who just turned 18, got so excited about it that she even picked a street for us to go finding on Thursday! We asked them if they would keep a prayer in their hearts throughout the next two days, especially during the times that we would be finding, that we would find new investigators.
On Wednesday when we arrived at the Churchilllaan I looked at the phone and saw that we had missed a call from the Bishop. I called him back right before we were about to pray to begin our finding and he let us know that his family had already said many prayers in our behalf but that they would come together one more time and kneel in a circle and pray that angels would be with us. We were so humbled by there willingness to do missionary work and "pray and fast in behalf of those who knew not God"(Alma 6:6). They had so much faith and we certainly were blessed through their faith and diligence. We found a new investigator during that hour and received many other numbers from potential investigators. It was awesome! We also saw so much success the next day when we worked on the street that Michelle picked out and we found another investigator. That was a testimony to me that "through small and simple things, great things are brought to pass"(Alma 37:6-7)!
Saturday we had a baptism here in Den Haag. Zuster Daniels was baptized and confirmed and it was such a special occasion! We had the privelege to teach her once a week leading up to her baptism while the elders taught her two more times a week. Seeing someone enter the waters of baptism is such a joyous experience!
Yesterday was a crazy day! Bernard came to church again and he is just loving learning about the gospel. We taught him the Plan of Salvation this week and he is so excited to be baptized at the end of August! We are truly blessed! I also taught the nursery lesson and that was a lot of fun to work with the little children. They are so sweet! I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting about obedience and I was so strengthened in preparing for it. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gives us commandments that make us happy! (Mosiah 2:41)
I talked to President during my interview about when I will be going home. He told me that he would love it if I stayed for 12 transfers! I have to admit that I was in a little shock about finally coming to a sort of definite decision, especially so quickly. But now I am really struggling to know what is best. I have been praying for a confirmation to know if it is better that I come home in December or February and I just want to do the will of the Lord. I am afraid my will is making it a little more difficult, even though I don't really even know what I want. Could you pray for me that I can figure it out soon? If you have any advice, let me know! Thanks!
I love you so much and thank you for your e-mails, prayers, love and support! I pray for you every night! I hope that the Lord continues to bless you! Great week!
Love, Zuster Sharp

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Monday, July 19, 2010
Hello Family! Thanks for the e-mails, again! You are all so great! As you know, I reached my year mark this week! WAHOO! It is so crazy to sit back and think about all of the things that have taken place from July 15, 2009 to July 15, 2010 because it feels like it was a month’s time rather than a whole year! It was really a bitter sweet thought but I have come to terms with it and have set some new goals and resolutions to make the next 6 months the very best that they can be. Bring it on! My companions were so sweet because they wanted to do something special for me so we went and got an ice cream cone and the day was a really good one filled with lots and lots of miracles.
I have really spent a lot of time pondering this week about the plan of Heavenly Father. Sometimes (or most of the time) I have a plan of what I want to happen in my head and I do whatever I can to bring about that plan. But then I am humbled and realize that God has an even greater plan and He is really the one that is in control, especially in missionary work. That is why I need to develop the gift of patience. I read the talk yesterday entitled "Continue in Patience" by President Uchtdorf from this last general conference.WOW! So many things hit me and I would like to share them with you as well as a few experiences that I had that I was able to learn from.
"Patience means actively waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can-working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desire of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!"
I left Groningen feeling like I didn't really leave anything behind. On Wednesday I talked to the Elders that are working there and they let me know that they have set 6 baptismal dates in the last week and a half! That is a record! Of course my first reaction was to be happy but then my thoughts quickly turned to doubt. Do they have 6 baptismal dates now because sisters are out of the city? Did we do something extremely wrong? He then let me know that two of them, Gracita and Maggy, are people that we found that have finally decided to look more into the church. He said that Gracita just showed up to church on Sunday because she remembered the commitment I had given her of getting up a little early on Sunday and remembered my words and the blessings I promised and decided to come to church! Maggy is now attending church and can't stop reading the Book of Mormon and through her the Elders have found even more investigators. The work is exploding there and we were able to help a little bit. We did our best in Groningen and the Lord had a plan for the people there. I was so happy to hear about that! It just takes some patience to realize it.
We had no appointments this week. We spent all of our time finding. At the beginning of the week I was not so excited but I knew that the Lord had a plan for us and the people here in Den Haag. I went forward and worked like crazy! We were all jumping off of our bikes and talking to absolutely everyone! We found three new investigators and we will be teaching them all this week! It didn't happen on Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday but by Sunday we had the appointments and investigators pouring in. And Bernard is still progressing! It just takes some patience.
The members are calling us and wanting to work with us. I have never seen a ward so excited about missionary work. All of the work with members is paying off! IT just takes patience!
I love you so much! Thank you for your patience with me and all of your love and prayers! Have a great week and love every minute...even if it takes exercising some patience. The Lord has a plan!


Monday, July 12, 2010
Hello Fam! How are you all doing?! Thanks for the e-mails, Mom, Dad, Brooke, Car, and Kris! How fun to receive so many!!! And Car, thanks so much for the pics! They are sooo cute! It is always a special treat to have a visual included. Did you have a good week? I sure did...let me tell ya!
Last Monday and Tuesday was filled with a lot of goodbyes...and I survived it! Monday night we went and had dinner with an older woman in the ward, Puk, and it was a really nice appointment. After that we biked over to Joanne's to visit her one last time. It was a killer to finally walk out of her apartment and give her one last hug (we were both trying to laugh because we knew that if we didn't we would start to cry). We were procrastinating leaving but it was such a great last visit. I am going to miss her so much but it is so great to know that I will see her again! Tuesday was just a whirlwind! We made lunch for district meeting and then we caught the bus to Marum to go and visit Familie Fridsma one last time. That visit just flew by but the few minutes we were there were minutes that I will always treasure. Zr. Fridsma gave us both personalized gifts which was so amazing! She gave me this beautiful box that she had decorated with antique Dutch fabrics and is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! I started to get a little teary-eyed but we ended up having to run to catch our bus so that made the goodbye a little quicker and less difficult. We had dinner at Familie Koens and then Zr. De Jonge came and picked us up to visit her daughter's family and her husband who had a stroke a couple of weeks ago one last time. It was such a beautiful day and I couldn't have asked for a better one to have as my last day in Groningen!
Coming to Den Haag was an adventure with 6 suitcases, 2 bikes, and 2 sister missionaries...but we made it! We also got right to work after dropping our stuff off at the apartment! I was blessed enough to be able to go on splits with a member that night and we did some finding together. The sisters had just had 4 baptisms right before we got there so now we are back on step one with finding new investigators. This week has been full of finding but I am used to it so I think that it's great! We have found quite a few new investigators and we actually set a baptismal date yesterday with Bernard...WAHOO!!! The ward is huge here (about 190 people at church yesterday) so it is a little overwhelming but I am trying to get some names down. We actually had 10 member present lessons this week which is more than we ever had in a transfer in Zwolle and Groningen. I just think that the large number of members makes it easier for us to find someone to come and they all live within a short distance of the church. The city is HUGE compared to the other two, but I haven't got lost yet! Zuster Reber really knows her way around this place and she is doing great at getting Zr. Harrington and I oriented. I am loving this threesome! Zuster Reber and I really get along and we just laugh and have a great time the whole day...we have had some pretty funny moments so far! Anyway, to put it in a simple sentence, I MISS Groningen terribly but I am LOVING it here! It's not that it is better or worse, just different with new experiences and a new time in my mission! Bring on the adventures!
I just want you to know that I love you so much! I taught the gospel principles class yesterday about families and it just reminded me how thankful I am that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He sent us to earth to be with our families. I think about you every day because you bring me so much strength and I just feel your love and support! The church is true! Have a great week and I’ll be praying for ya!
Love, Laur