Monday, August 30, 2010

Building up the teaching pool!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hello Fam! How was your "back to school” week? Carli and Corbin, you are officially seniors now! That is crazy!!! I hope that you had a great week and that the Lord has continued to watch over you and guide you in all that you have done. He sure has blessed us here in the city of Den Haag!
It was pouring rain the whole week here! Den Haag got more rain in the past couple of days than it normally does in a whole month, so we have been soaking wet...but that hasn't stopped us! We spent a lot of time finding and visiting members this week and we were blessed with so many little miracles. On Monday we had a consecrated finding hour in a highly populated Muslim area. Since we are asked not to proselyte among Muslims, we didn't really know how our finding would go. Instead of knocking on the doors, we decided to walk the streets in the area and just talk to people that we ran into. It was so amazing! We could literally feel the Spirit guiding us as we were led to many who were interested in talking to us. One of them, Vitalis, a man from Nigeria, has even become a new investigator and we are going to set a baptismal date with him tonight! Please keep him in your prayers because we know that this will be a big step for him!
On Tuesday we went and had our first appointment with a woman named v/d Linde. She is from Aruba and she has a husband and four children. I actually found her a month ago on the street and it was not until now that we were able to make contact with her. We also committed her to follow a baptismal calendar and she was so excited to learn more about the restoration and let us come two times in the week to teach her. Zuster Pierson, under direction of the Spirit, asked her if along with teaching her, we could teach her whole family all together. She thought about it, and then happily agreed! Our first appointment was scheduled to be on Thursday night but that got called off so we have another appointment with her tonight. We hope that she hasn't come in contact with some anti-Mormon material...please pray for her too!
On Wednesday, on the way to one of our appointments, I saw a young woman walking along the street and felt a strong impression to stop her. She reacted really positively to us and, because she was in a hurry, gave us her number and asked us to call her again to set up an appointment. We called and she met with us on Saturday morning. She is so cool! She is 22 years old and comes from Curacao. She goes to a Methodist church right now but is still searching for the true church. She is a student living here all by herself and really wants to come closer to God. The Spirit was so strong during our lesson as we testified of the truthfulness of the gospel, the ways it will bless her life, and how much Heavenly Father loves her. She had a lot of questions, as anyone should after hearing Joseph's experience for the first time. We were able to discuss a few things with her and then made another appointment. We are going back on Wednesday with another young single adult. She is really a miracle!
Thursday, we went and taught Natali and Esra, our little Greek family. We have changed our approach with them because Natali cannot speak Dutch or English. We just teach Esra in Dutch (she's 8 years old) and she translates for her mom. They just love reading in the Book of Mormon. Esra has come to church by herself for the past 2 weeks and the children welcome her and befriend her. We found someone who lives in Zoetermeer who was on a mission in Greece and he is going to come and help us teach them. It's amazing to see that the Book of Mormon is so simple that even a child can understand!
We have got a busy week to come, teaching all of these people! We feel so blessed! I am looking forward to updating you next week!
I love you so much! Thanks for all of the e-mails! I hope that you know that you are always in the prayer of my heart and that I think of you often! Have a great week!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Monday, August 23, 2010
Dear Family,
How are you doing?!!! Thanks for the e-mails! I can't wait to hear how things are at home! I hope that you've had a wonderful week, especially with summer coming to a close!
My week was great! Of course the highlight of the week was Bernard’s baptism! We had planned everything out so well that we were expecting it to be the perfect evening...but we had quite the number of glitches! We were informed by church leaders that we didn't need to turn the water for the font on until 45 minutes before the service. Zuster Pierson and I were both a little concerned about that but we made sure that everything else was completely ready for the service and trusted that everything would go well with filling the font. When we went to turn the water on at 6:15, no water came out. I started to stress a little but thought to myself that I just needed to have faith and patience. We tried as many little tricks as we could think of (the greatest one being prayer) to get the water flowing but nothing worked. By this time it was 6:30 and members and friends were starting to show up. I called up the building maintenance man, Brother Foss, and he agreed to come quickly to the church to see what the problem was. He went down into the basement and saw that two things were out and that they could not be fixed immediately. I was starting to panic! But ward members and missionaries and visitors came to the rescue! Everyone who came to see the baptism, young and old, began running from the bathrooms and kitchen to the baptismal font with buckets and pans full of water. We were making some progress, but not quite enough, so the Bishop pulled out the fire hose! Working all together we were able to get the font filled up in a matter of an hour, which means that we only had to start the baptism a half an hour late! Although it was stressful and didn't go quite as I had planned or hoped, working together in such unity with others so that Bernard could get baptized brought an amazing Spirit of love to the baptismal service and it was one of the most beautiful that I have ever witnessed! Bernard was soooo happy even though he had to be baptized in ice cold water, and everyone who was there was happy they came! And then to top it off, Bernard was confirmed yesterday and just glowed. I couldn't be more happy for him and I am so thankful that I was able to witness him coming unto Christ, and entering the gate that leads to eternal life!
Well, now that Bernard is baptized, we have no one with a baptismal date or even any investigators. We are on the lookout and we are excited to find many who are prepared by the Lord to receive the truth! I am loving every minute of serving with Zuster Pierson...she is amazing!!! She is actually from West Jordan and graduated the same year I did but we just never knew each other. It is such a small world! Every spare moment we have, at lunch, dinner, or at the end of the day, we have been spending getting our apartment all cleaned up...scrubbing baseboards and the grout in the bathroom! We are great cleaning buddies and our apartment is sure getting spruced up! I think this transfer really is going to be a transfer of miracles...I can hardly wait!
In two weeks we will have the privilege of hearing from Elder Ballard at the big mission conference in Brussels. It is going to be AWESOME!!! I know that it is still a long ways away but it is like I am a little child waiting for Christmas to come...I can hardly sleep at night! I am so thankful that we have apostles and prophets, special witnesses of Jesus Christ on the earth now to lead us and guide us. I know that they truly are called of God.
I am loving the Book of Mormon reading! I am so strengthened everyday as I read and I feel a special connection with all of you who are reading along with me. Thank you so much for joining with me to make it so special! I love you all so much and miss you so much! I was flipping through all of my photos of you the other day and just had such a happy and peaceful feeling knowing that whatever we face in this life, we will be together forever! Have a great week! Love ya!
Love, Zuster Sharp

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I get to stay in Den Haag for another transfer!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hello fam! It is transfer Monday again (I am beginning my 9th transfer in the field...can you believe it!?) and I found out that I will be staying at least one more transfer in the blessed city of Den Haag, if not many more! We received a call from President last night and he told Zuster Harrington that she will be going to serve in Dordrecht, Zuster Reber in Haarlem, and I will be staying and Zuster Pearson will be coming here to work with me. I am super excited! I feel like I am now acquainted with the city and the members and now I can really start accomplishing things. I am also excited to work with Zuster Pearson! I have only met her once but I have heard great things about her. She will be starting her 4th transfer with me and Den Haag will be her second city. She'll arrive on Wednesday! I am sad to see my other two companions go, especially Zuster Harrington because she is my little "greenie", but know that they will do awesome wherever they are! I loved being in that threesome for a transfer!
It has been a crazy week! On Monday night we taught Bernard his last lesson that he needs before baptism and on Friday President Brubaker came here to conduct his interview because Bernard's native language is French and President speaks French. He is all ready to be baptized! The baptism will take place this Saturday at the Den Haag chapel at 7:00 pm. It's going to be amazing! I feel really blessed and almost guilty that I am the one staying here for his baptism when Zuster Harrington and Zuster Reber did so much to help in his conversion process but I will just be sure to send them some good pictures and description of the night. It is so exciting to see someone so prepared to walk into the waters of baptism and enter the gate that leads to eternal life!
Tuesday was exchanges and I was SO blessed to go to Antwerpen, Belgium to work with Zuster Holbein! I love her so much and we just had the most wonderful two days together. I also fell in love with the Belgian people and had such a great time doing missionary work there. We had a special treat on Tuesday! President Brubaker had decided that for the first time he would spend a whole day doing missionary work with the Zone Leaders in Belgium so...we had Zuster Brubaker with us the whole day! I learned so much from serving with her and was so happy that I was privileged to be with her during her first whole day of missionary work. We saw miracles! Since she doesn't speak Dutch, only French and English, we were wondering how it was going to work out. But every time we got on a tram or bus or were just walking on the street, we always ran into French or English speaking people. All of the lessons we taught that day just happened to be in English! It was really amazing and an experience that I will never forget!
After exchanges all of the sisters gathered again in Den Haag to switch back and since we had Zone Conference on Thursday a couple of them just ended up sleeping at our apartment. Those missionary sleepovers are a lot of fun as we swap stories and have a little time to get to know each other better!
Zone Conference was in Leiden and I ended up doing a musical number with two other sisters. We did "Beautiful Savior” and Zuster Ekstrom sang, Zuster Holbein played the flute, and I accompanied on the piano. It was a lot of fun and somehow it came together in the 20 minutes we had to prepare! About 5 minutes before the meeting started we were informed that President and Zuster Brubaker would not be coming because President Brubaker was in the hospital. That was a huge shock and scare for all of us! Luckily he had just gotten an infection in his foot and needed to get that taken care of. Now he is back to work but Zone Conference was a lot different without the Brubakers!
Well, I am about out of time! I have much more to share but that will just have to come in the letter! I love you bunches and bunches! Have a wonderful week! I am praying for you!
Love, Zuster Sharp
P.S. Oh, the clothing rules were changed for the sisters church wide...more colors, skirts that just go past the knee when sitting, and not nylons ever! I think we might do a little shopping today!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thank you for all of your support with my decision!!!

Monday, August 09, 2010
Dear Family,
I just can't tell you how happy I am with all of your support with my decision to come home in February! I don't think you know how much easier that makes it! I just get almost giddy every time I think about coming home in February...because I know that I will have the time to spend with you that I have wanted to have for the past 4 years and just haven't had with school and work and my mission. We are going to have so much fun and it just couldn't feel better!!! Thanks for the e-mails, and most of all for your love and strong faith! I couldn’t do this without you!
Well, did you have a good week?! I have gained such a strong testimony of small and simple things amounting to great miracles! I want to share with you one of my favorite experiences and miracles of the week. On Tuesday we had a young woman from another city come and spend the day with us so we could go on splits. As the four of us were riding our bikes from the station to the church I saw an African woman and really felt like we should stop and talk to her. I jumped off of my bike and the other sisters followed (probably a little intimidating for the woman) and walked to her. I told her who we were and what we were doing and she said a prayer and made an appointment with us to meet again. Her name is Patience and she has two little daughters, Divine and Precious, and a husband. She was really positive and gave us her address but couldn't remember her new number. We were so excited! Well, our appointment with her is tonight, but Tuesday night we realized that we couldn't find her street on the map. We were devastated, me especially! I prayed and prayed and after looking through almost all of the streets in Den HaagI found one that was pretty similar to it. We set aside time on Saturday to go and look her up just to make sure the street was right, before our appointment today. On Saturday we went to the house and no one was home. We stood for a bit and talked about what we should do and right then a car pulled up with Patience in it! It was her house! And she was still planning on our appointment! We felt richly blessed and we decided to do some finding on her street before going to our next appointment. I felt a really strong impression that we should go in a certain direction so we did and after about 20 minutes we ended up knocking on the door of a member, Hob, that we didn't even know lived there. He invited us in and we had a nice visit with him. We left feeling like we had done what the Lord wanted us to do. But, the story doesn't stop there. Yesterday we went finding with all of the Elders and two members, Jesi and Anna. We prayed beforehand to pick a street and Anna felt really impressed that we needed to go to a certain area. Zuster Harrington, Jesi, and I went together and Anna and Zuster Reber went in the other direction. We decided that we would meet back by our bikes at the end of the hour. We had some success but nothing to great. When we went back to our bikes, the other sisters weren't there yet and I started to get that feeling again that we needed to continue knocking on some doors in a specific direction. After 10 doors that amounted to not very much we knocked on the door of an older woman who was so excited to see us! She welcomed us in and started talking to us like she knew who we were. I was a little scared that she was a member and I just didn’t recognize her so I just tried to ask some discrete questions to figure out who she was and how she knew who we were. Finally we discovered that she was a friend of Hob's and that she had attended a baptismal service and a church service a couple of years ago. And then, she told us that she had read the whole Book of Mormon! We just couldn’t believe it! She had actually talked to Hob Saturday night after we were at his house and heard how excited he was about having us there that she thought that he had sent us to her. But we explained to her that it was purely through guidance of the Spirit. She was in just as much shock as we were! We were able to share a little lesson about prayer with her, as well as pray with her, and she said that we are welcome to come back and teach her more. Janike is her name. As we walked out of her home all of the little details of the situation played back in my mind. It was so perfectly planned out by the Savior. Meeting Patience...getting an unclear address...searching for the address two days earlier than her appointment...her pulling up late in her car...finding on her street...knocking on Hob's door...him calling Janike about it...the sisters being late getting back at the end of finding...knocking on Janike's door...many miracles to come!!! I am so thankful that the Lord loves each one of us so much that he uses us in such small ways to bring about His great and eternal plan! I love Him and I love this work! I love you all and pray for you always! Know that the Lord loves you too! He is aware of your circumstances and will always prepare a way for you to come closer to Him and help others come closer to Him through you. I hope that you have a great week!
Love, Laur
P.S. Mom, I am so sorry about the mix up with Nadeline's e-mail address. It is I hope that it works this time. I don't know if they already made other plans but I think that sending the e-mail would still be good. Sorry! Thanks for being so willing to welcome them. I love ya!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I've made my decision!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010
Hello Fam! THANK YOU for the e-mails! I am so excited to be writing you this week! I have so much to say, I even made a list, so I am just going to jump right into it!
First of all, I am coming home on February 3! I really thought about it and prayed about it and I was having such a hard time coming to a decision. I had a feeling that I should call Zuster Brubaker and ask her for advice or just talk it out with her. I called her up and explained the situation to her and told her that I felt like I was just having a "stupor of thought” sort of feeling. She said very bluntly but also lovingly, "Zuster Sharp, I think that you are getting no answer because you have no decision to make. Unless you have medical problems or other emergency issues President would like you to stay for 12 transfers. You don't have to worry about the decision anymore." I felt like a burden was lifted off of my shoulders and I was so happy! I really feel like the Lord wants me to be here until the beginning of February and I am so thankful that I still have 6 more months, starting tomorrow, to serve Him. Of course, I had concerns about not being able to start school and missing all of the holidays again but I just know that it is right! And, I will be able to spend more time with all of you instead of just rushing right back into school and not really being able to "come home." So start planning the activities for February! We are going to party (and work and get a lot of things done) from February until August when I have to start school again! Thank you for your prayers and support as I made the decision.
Second on my list...There is a young couple, members here in Den Haag, who are coming to Utah to attend a wedding. They will be there from August 18-21 and they were wondering if they could stay at our house for those nights. Would that be okay? I already told them yes so I sure hope so! They are the nicest people ever! Their names are Nadaline and Ruben Jongejan and they were married about three years ago. She is 24 and he is 28. He is a counselor in the bishopric and she will soon be the YW president. I told them that I would give their e-mail address to you so that you could get in contact with them. They speak perfect English so that should be no problem. I don’t think that they will be hanging out too much at our house, but they are so excited to meet you and get to know you! I hope that this isn’t too much! If it is, just let me know. They said that if it doesn’t work out they can find a hotel! They are just waiting to hear from you!
Third, I have set some new goals that I want to accomplish before February 3. One of them is reading the Book of Mormon in Dutch and English. I want to invite all of you to read with English of course! I figured it out today and if you read about 3 pages per day you will be right on track to read Moroni's promise on February 2 and pray to have that confirmation one more time that it is true. I think that it would be amazing if we did it all together! I started my first three pages today! Let me know if you are in! I know that President Hinckley's promise is true: "there will come into your hearts...the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to the commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God."
My testimony of member missionary work has been strengthened! We gave the Relief Society lesson yesterday and it was about missionary work, of course. We felt inspired as we were planning our lesson to invite people to share their personal experiences with missionary work during the lesson and really just focus on small and simple things that the members can do to bring about great things. The lesson went really well with the participation of many members! At the end, we passed out nice cards and committed all of the sisters to write a note to someone else that needs to feel the love of the Savior. I didn't know such a small commitment would do so much good but we got a call this morning from a member who asked us if we could bring three copies of the Book of Mormon to her house so that she can give them along with the card. I was so excited! That small commitment is leading this member to do great and amazing things! I can't wait to see the other miracles that it brings about!
Bernard is so ready for baptism! We taught him twice this week and he came to church yesterday! We weren't sure how much he was reading in the Book of Mormon but once he started asking about Sam and Sariah we knew that he has been reading something. He just can't put the Book of Mormon or the Gospel Principles book down. He has the Spirit in his home and can't wait to be baptized. Thanks for your prayers in his behalf!
I love you SO much! Thank you for everything, especially during my time of decision making! Families are forever! I think about you and speak very highly of you! You are loved by the people here because your influence and prayers make a difference! Have a great week!
Love, Lauren

Happy Pioneer's Day!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010
Oh, I love you SO much! How was your week? Mine was wonderful! We had a whopping total of 20 lessons this week (not including member lessons)! It was a miracle! I think what really helped us was working with members. They have so much faith and they bring so much enthusiasm! On Tuesday night we went and had dinner with the familyof the Bishop, Familie Muntinga. It was so wonderful to get to know them better and at the end of our appointment we prayed with them and they picked a street with us where we would go finding the next day.It was so fun to have the map of Den Haag on the coffee table and see all of the children huddled around, following the Spirit to know where people are who are ready to hear the gospel. They came to the conclusion that we needed to go and work in the Winston Churchilllaan and we were really excited! One of the older daughters, Michelle, who just turned 18, got so excited about it that she even picked a street for us to go finding on Thursday! We asked them if they would keep a prayer in their hearts throughout the next two days, especially during the times that we would be finding, that we would find new investigators.
On Wednesday when we arrived at the Churchilllaan I looked at the phone and saw that we had missed a call from the Bishop. I called him back right before we were about to pray to begin our finding and he let us know that his family had already said many prayers in our behalf but that they would come together one more time and kneel in a circle and pray that angels would be with us. We were so humbled by there willingness to do missionary work and "pray and fast in behalf of those who knew not God"(Alma 6:6). They had so much faith and we certainly were blessed through their faith and diligence. We found a new investigator during that hour and received many other numbers from potential investigators. It was awesome! We also saw so much success the next day when we worked on the street that Michelle picked out and we found another investigator. That was a testimony to me that "through small and simple things, great things are brought to pass"(Alma 37:6-7)!
Saturday we had a baptism here in Den Haag. Zuster Daniels was baptized and confirmed and it was such a special occasion! We had the privelege to teach her once a week leading up to her baptism while the elders taught her two more times a week. Seeing someone enter the waters of baptism is such a joyous experience!
Yesterday was a crazy day! Bernard came to church again and he is just loving learning about the gospel. We taught him the Plan of Salvation this week and he is so excited to be baptized at the end of August! We are truly blessed! I also taught the nursery lesson and that was a lot of fun to work with the little children. They are so sweet! I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting about obedience and I was so strengthened in preparing for it. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gives us commandments that make us happy! (Mosiah 2:41)
I talked to President during my interview about when I will be going home. He told me that he would love it if I stayed for 12 transfers! I have to admit that I was in a little shock about finally coming to a sort of definite decision, especially so quickly. But now I am really struggling to know what is best. I have been praying for a confirmation to know if it is better that I come home in December or February and I just want to do the will of the Lord. I am afraid my will is making it a little more difficult, even though I don't really even know what I want. Could you pray for me that I can figure it out soon? If you have any advice, let me know! Thanks!
I love you so much and thank you for your e-mails, prayers, love and support! I pray for you every night! I hope that the Lord continues to bless you! Great week!
Love, Zuster Sharp