Monday, March 1, 2010

January 18, 2010: I'm staying Zwolle for five transfers, maybe more.

Can you believe it!? I just got off of the phone with my district leader and he informed me that I will be staying in Zwolle for atleast two more transfers...WAHOO! I have received, once again, such a calm feeling, a confirmation that this is where I am supposed to be and that this is where the Lord wants me. I feel so blessed because I just love this city and the people here so much and I am thankful that I have another 3 months to serve here. What makes it even better is that I had the best week of my mission this last week and there are miracles taking place like never before! Thank you so much for all of your prayers in my behalf, they are such a blessing!
Thanks for the e-mails this week! Brooke, the pictures of Lincoln and Carter are so adorable! I can't believe how big they are getting. Little Carter is such a chunker! I do have the cutest nephews and nieces in the whole world!
Well, I have so much that I want to tell you so I better just get started! On Monday night our plans fell through but I had the idea (definitely a prompting through the Spirit...they usually come in the form of ideas that feel really good) to go and visit Familie Knarren. Luckily they were home and we ended up coming at just the right time because they are really struggling. They have only been members for 3 years and they are going through a rocky period right now, feeling all alone and not very close knit with family members because of their choice to be baptized. We had a lesson planned to share with them but we ended up just sitting and being listening ears. It was such a blessing that we were able to be there at that time to help them. She actually called this morning and let me know that she just had a miscarriage so that just makes it a little more difficult. Luckily she realizes that the gospel is what gives us faith and hope during hard times.
Tuesday we did some finding and had a feeling to stop by the Branch President's house to visit his wife whose back has been out for 3 weeks. We asked her if there was anything that we could do for her to help her and she actually had us cut out quilt squares so that she can make a baby blanket for the YW president in our branch. It was so much fun to be able to do something crafty and to feel like, once again, that we were in the right place at the right time. Tuesday night we had our dinner with Mike at Familie Van Basten's and it couldn't have gone better! He had kept his B of M reading commitment and was anxious to learn more-he had a lot of questions! Turns out that Zr. Van Basten's husband, who is a non-member, started testifying with us that Joseph Smith is a true prophet! It was so cool to see the Spirit touching him and Mike at the same time!
On Wednesday we had Zone Conference in Amsterdam and it was the most amazing answer to prayer ever! President adressed all of my concerns and it was really a time of personal revelation and inspiration. He really focused on remaining optimisitic and relying on the was so great! It was also really fun to see all of the other missionaries...especially my old MTC group.
Thursday morning I went on exchanges in Groningen with Zuster Ekstrom and I really learned so many new things and had such a wonderful experience there. We got to teach a YW, Joanne, there, and she committed to being baptized! IT was so great and such a blessing to be a part of that and to know that that is what I am aiming for in my work here.
Friday and Saturday we did a lot of finding and we actually found 3 new investigators! On Friday we had an appointment with a woman named Anita who is very Catholic. We felt like we really needed to be bold and invite her to be baptized. We were both freaked out but we shared a scripture and extended the invitation and she said, "You know, I have been thinking a lot lately about being re-baptized. You do that in your church?" Our jaws dropped and we explained things to her. It was amazing! She committed to pray about being baptized and we are meeting with her next week!
Saturday we spent most of the day in the Centrum and then felt like we needed to go and visit an inactive member, Sairah. She really has a struggle with smoking and wants to stop but doesn't know how. She is only 22 and has a 5 year old son. We walked in just at the right time! She was really low and luckily we were able to spend some time playing with her son and helping to clean up and make dinner. We didn't know if our time was well spent but she ended up coming to church yesterday for the first time in 5 months and we think that it was in response to showing her love and that we really care about her.
We had church on Sunday!!! It was so wonderful to be back in the church building and see all of the branch members. Willeke came again and she was really happy. Last night we went and taught a lady, Salwa, and she committed to read the Book of Mormon and meet with us again!
We will have appointments with Mike, Ilse, Nanda, Anita, Salwa, and Willeke this week, along with a few other new investigators! Zwolle is just exploding!
I am so happy and I am experiencing the joy of missionary work! I love you so much and miss you! I keep you in my prayers.

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