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 lace...it 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