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