Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Easter!!!

Hello Family and Happy Easter! I know that you all had the big Easter dinner and treasure hunt yesterday and I hope that you had a wonderful time together. I sure was thinking about you! Thank you so much for your e-mails this week and last week and the birthday cards and wishes I am still getting in the mail! It always gives me a boost to hear from you! We actually just got back from Zwolle where we had a Zone Preparation Day. I planned on e-mailing this morning at about 6:15 because the zone leaders gave us permission so that we could be in Zwolle on time. When I opened my account this morning I hadn´t received any e-mails yet so Zr. Stapleton decided to e-mail after getting back from Zwolle. Boy am I glad! We have seen so many miracles today that I just can´t wait to share with you!!!
First of all, on Saturday we met a girl named Lotte at the very end of our finding. She was positive and said that she had never been taught about Christ growing up but that she became a Christian on her own. She was willing to pray with us and she gave us her address and phone number so that we could bring a Book of Mormon to her. On Saturday night I had the feeling to text every one of our investigators and inactive members, to give them one last reminder about church the next morning. We got no responses back and nobody showed up at church. I kind of felt like it was a wasted effort, but I wasn't down or depressed. Anyway, this morning during our personal study time we received a text message from a unknown number. It was Lotte! She said that she was sorry that she couldn´t make it to church yesterday but that she is planning on coming in 2 weeks with her friend, Jurien Sprott, a young women in the Groningen Ward! We have no idea how she and Jurien know each other but we are so excited that Lotte already has a connection with someone in the church! I learned a great lesson...that no efforts are wasted and that when the Spirit prompts me to do something there is always a reason for it.
Our other miracle today was in Zwolle. When we arrived we discovered that we were going to be playing football for a couple of hours but that there was no restroom. Zuster Walle and Sue Haina only live about 10 minutes from the field so Zuster Stapleton and I decided to walk there to use the restroom. I was so excited to see some of the members in Zwolle again and I was so thankful that Zr. Stapleton was willing to come with me. We rang the doorbell and Zuster Walle answered. She started jumping up and down and she gave me a great big hug! Sue Haina came running to the door as well and I just embraced her. They welcomed us in and then told us that we were an answer to their prayers. We didn´t really understand what they meant until they explained a little bit further. Zr. Walle´s daughter and Sue Haina´s sister, Sue Ellen, lives in Groningen, is inactive, and is really sick right now. She has been going to doctors and they just can´t figure out what is going on. I guess the night before Sue Ellen said that she was thinking about getting a priesthood blessing. Zr. Walle had just prayed, two minutes before we rang the doorbell, that she would be able to come in contact with me again so that I could visit Sue Ellen here in Groningen and help arrange for her to get a priesthood blessing! I couldn´t believe it. Then, things just got better! Sue Haina told me that she just decided that she will be going on a mission and that it was through Zuster Wieland and I that she really got the fire to ask if that is what Heavenly Father wanted her to do! I just wanted to cry! She is so excited and will be such an amazing missionary! It is so wonderful and humbling to be an instrument in the hand of the Lord to bring others closer to him!
One last miracle, President and Zuster Brubaker came to our apartment for interviews. We made them lunch, black bean chicken wraps, salad, grapes, and chocolate chip cookies. We had a wonderful and memorable time with them and my interview with president was so amazing. Anyway, when President and Zuster Brubaker arrived, President Brubaker said, "Zuster Sharp, I have an idea of a service that you can do. You can teach Gabriel Fridsma how to play the piano." Gabriel Fridsma is a 7 year old boy, the son of the Brubakers niece who lives here in Groningen. Groningen has only one or 2 people who can play the piano, so President thought that that would be a great way to share my talents and help others develop theirs. I will be starting this Wednesday! I am a little nervous because I don´t know what I am doing and I don´t have any teaching materials but I know that the Lord will help me! If you could, Mom and Dad, will you send a few simple piano teaching things...manuscript paper and maybe the simplified church hymns that Cindy wrote for Carli and Corbin? That would be so helpful! Thank you!
Well, time is out and I have so much more I would love to share with you but that will have to happen next week! I love you! You are in my prayers, by name, and with the specific things taking place in yourl ives. Have a great week and remember that Christ lives!
Love, Lauren

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