Monday, April 19, 2010

Picking up speed! Time is flying!

Hello Fam! How was your week?! Is the weather just as beautiful there as it is here? Every day the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming and it is just so wonderful! Thank you so much for you're-mails! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Also, CONGRATS MARK AND HEIDI! I can´t wait to see pictures of cute little Jet!
We found three new investigators this week and we have so many appointments with potential investigators this coming week. I know that although they are not all directly related to the finding we did, the Lord blessed us for working and finding every day. I also know that faith and hope play such a huge role in the work! On Monday the Zone Leaders called and asked me if I would be willing to start an activity called "Pay it Forward" within the Zone. My assignment was that I had to find one new investigator and then call two missionary companionships within the Zone, share the miracle, and then ask them to "Pay it Forward" and repeat the process. I was willing to accept the challenge but I was a little nervous about really being able to find an investigator because we hadn´t found a new investigator in weeks. But, I went forward with faith and enthusiasm, trusting that the Lord would help me fulfill the inspired assignment. That night, the first door we knocked on, we found not only one but two new investigators! It really is believing that miracles will happen and doing all we can to make them happen!
I had the most amazing experience of my mission this week finding one of those investigators! I wish I could express to you how miraculous it was and allow you to experience a little bit of it yourself...Iwill try to do my best! On Tuesday we received a call from the Relief Society President and she gave us a referral. That, in and of itself, is amazing! She told us that there was a mother (Swinda) here in the Netherlands with her 6 year old son (Dave) who has cancer. They are from Curacao in the Carribean and have been here for 7 months while the son gets treated for the cancer. They are staying in the Ronald McDonald house here in Groningen and she was wondering if we could go and visit her. We were so excited and humbled with the opportunity to do so and promised her that we would make contact as soon as possible! She gave us the address of the house and also Swinda´s phone number. Zr. Stapleton and I prayed to know whether or not we should call first or just stop by and we felt really good about just stopping by the next day. When we got to the house, Swinda was not there. We called her right then and she told us that she was interested in meeting with us but that she would be at the hospital for the rest of the day with her son because he was having a six hour treatment of chemotherapy. We set up an appointment for Saturday. The whole week we tried to prepare ourselves for the appointment so that we could help Swinda through this difficult time and also share with her the message of the Restored Gospel. Saturday morning, during our studies, we made a long list of possible scriptures that we could share and felt inspired to take our hymn books to the lesson to sing some hymns with her. We showed up at the house at 3:30 and gave her a call so that she could let us in. She did not seem very happy that we were there and hestitated to really let us come in and sit down. We started up a conversation and she seemed to open up a little bit. She asked us which church we were from and when she realized that we were Mormons she was once again not too excited. She explained to us that many years ago Elders knocked on her door and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon but she didn´t have any interest. Luckily, the Spirit was with us and she shared her story with us. There were a lot of emotions, as you can imagine the situation she is in. On top of her son having cancer, she and her husband are getting a divorce because he is in love with someone else. We just listened and cried with her and expressed our love and the love of Heavenly Father. At one point she asked, "Do you think that God would put me in this situation to help me come closer to Him?" After sharing that we believed that that was definitely possible, she said she did too. She told us that before our appointment she was busy and wanted to call it off. She searched for our number in her phone but could not find it anywhere. She then expressed her gratitude that we still came and shared with us that she knew that it was Satan trying to get her to cancel the appointment. She said that although this is the hardest thing she has ever been through, she has never been so happy in all of her life because she has a relationship with God now. She said she loves reading the scriptures now because they actually speak to her. We were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon and she committed to read it. She also talked about wanting to learn how to pray and receive answers instead of relying on a preacher in another church to be her connection to God. We told her that we could teach her how to do that and she could hardly wait to make another appointment! We are going back this Saturday. Before we left we sang two hymns for her and I know that angels were near. The Spirit was so strong and I felt an amazingly overwhelming love for her and could see just a glimpse of how much Heavenly Father loves her. He loves all of us. This is why I am here doing missionary work. Letting people know that God lives and loves them and wants them to return to Him and the only way to do that is through Jesus Christ. I love this work!
I love you all and pray for you! My talk, primary lesson and institute dinner are this week so I will let you know how it goes! I hope that you have a great week! Love,Laur

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