Monday, January 31, 2011

The Lord is so merciful!

Monday, January 31, 2011
Dear Family,
I received a call from President Brubaker last night and found out that I am staying in Den Haag for my last transfer!!! WAHOO!!! I was so nervous about transfers because I have already been here so long and I was so relieved when I found out that my time on my mission will end here. I was quite shocked when President asked me to train again too! Actually, the past couple of days I had a lot of thoughts that I might be training again, and as I was talking to President it became clear that this is what Heavenly Father really wants. President said that he has had very distinct impressions over the past two days that I need to train this sister. He then expressed to me that he and the Lord have complete and full confidence that I can do it. It was a very humbling experience. I am up for the challenge! Zuster Hill has been the best thing for me over the past 6 weeks to keep me working and doing my best because I wanted to make the beginning of her mission the very best for her. I know that the new sister who will be coming on Wednesday will do the same. I am excited to see what the next 6 weeks will bring!
Silvester came to church yesterday!!!! That was the greatest miracle of the whole week! Since we started teaching him back in October we have been trying to get him to church and he just kept finding reasons not to come. On Saturday night I sent him a text, like I do every week, to remind him once again (in case he forgot) that church begins at 10:00 and he is ALWAYS welcome to come. He replied and said that he was coming! I was jumping up and down and Zuster Hill couldn't figure out what had gotten into me! Once she found out, she gave the same reaction. We actually went to his house Sunday morning and rode with him to church. He loved it! I really think that he is getting closer and closer to baptism! Suleyka is doing okay...still really finding it difficult to put the gospel as one of her top priorities. But it will come! A couple other highlights of the week include a consecrated hour where we taught 6 lessons (that never happens...but it did this week), making dinner for Familie Nwankor (an inactive family), and receiving lots and lots of cards from the members for the consecrated hour project. We are starting that this week!
I just want you to know that I love you and that I know this gospel is true. Have a great week. I love you!
Love, Laur

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Count your many blessings!

Monday, January 24, 2011
Dear Mom and Dad,
How are you doing?! From skimming over your e-mails before printing them I can tell that you have had a great time in Oregon! I am so happy that you have been able to spend some good quality time with Grandma and the other Oregonians! I am praying that you will have a safe trip home and a wonderful week!
Things here are going great! We got all of our cards sent out for the consecrated hour activity (we sent 100 of them) and it is already producing so much enthusiasm about missionary work! Yesterday at church everyone was talking about it and it was actually mentioned in every lesson and talk given! The members can't wait to see the miracles that come from it and we can't wait either! We still are struggling with our investigators and we just can't seem to find any new ones. We are hoping that this activity is the key to really getting a big boost. No matter what happens, I know that Heavenly Father is aware of the efforts the members and we are making to spread the gospel and that all things are in his hands!
I love you so much and I hope that you have a great week! You are always in my prayers! Tell the fam I say hello!
Love, Laur

These are going to be the best 2 months of my life!

Monday, January 17, 2011
Dear Family!!!
How are you all doing!? Thanks so much for the inbox full of e-mails this morning! I am so excited to go back and really read them to know what is going on at home right now. Thanks for all of your love and prayers and support. I really felt it this week unlike any other time in my mission and I am so grateful for that. Prayer really works!
Well, this has been another great week! I don't think I have ever had a bad week but they just keep getting better and better! Investigators are doing okay. I don't know why but we are just struggling to find those who really are ready and prepared to take the necessary steps to baptism. But we will find them! And we are still trying to help Suleyka, Mary, and Silvester take those steps! Suleyka is still doing really well and is still positive that she will be baptized but we still haven't been able to arrange an appointment with her and the Bishop to talk about tithing. We hope that we can arrange that soon! We know that Satan is really throwing things in her path to stop her from coming closer to Christ through the Restored Gospel. She just got hired for a job with which she has to work most Sundays. She also just started dating someone really seriously. It's not that either of the things are bad, it is just that she has to make choices as to what takes first priority in her life. I hope that she'll stay strong and choose to come closer to her Heavenly Father! We met with Mary on Friday night and it was a really good appointment. She is just difficult to meet with regularly because she is a mother of two, with a job, going to school, and having relationship problems. I hope that we can also continue to help her and we are really relying on Heavenly Father to know how. Silvester is doing great but we just CANNOT get him to come to church! We are thinking that we might let him rest for a little bit of time and see if that will kind of re-boot him and get him excited again about the gospel. We are also pouring our hearts out to Heavenly Father that we will be able to find new investigators! We can't wait to see what this week will bring!
On Thursday we had a Zone Conference in Breda and that was really great! It always is! We talked about being more effective with finding and how we can find new investigators. That is what we are struggling with as a mission right now. Well, President started something new to get us more enthusiastic about talking to people. He added a key indicator where we have to report the number of people we contacted that week. I am so excited about the new addition to the key indicators! We started counting on Friday and within 3 days we had contacted a total of 166 people! It was really cool because every time I felt satisfied with the number of people I had talked to during our consecrated finding I would think about a video clip that President had shared at Zone Conference. It was from some football movie that came out when I was already on my mission. There was one of the players that the coach wanted to do the death crawl to the 50yard line blindfolded with a teammate on his back. He didn't think that he could do it but with the encouragement of the coach and mostly through his own will power he made it to the end zone. That really touched me and motivated me. I would begin to ask myself if I had really done my best and given all that I had to give. Well, every time I was able to push myself above what I thought I was capable of. On Friday during our consecrated hour we contacted 30 people and I was pleased with that. On Saturday I wanted to push myself a little harder and we were able to contact 34 people. Yesterday, because we had to do a double consecrated hour, I had a goal to contact atleast70 people. But when I realized at the end of our first hour we had contacted 62, I decided to move my goal to 100. We ended up contacting 102! I was so excited and had a fire to keep talking to people. I am excited to see how many we contact this week!
Zone Conference really got me fired up about being creative with missionary work! I have had an idea in my head to get the whole ward here involved in missionary work by getting all of them to help us missionaries pick consecrated hours (special hours when we go contacting) and pray for us as we go finding. Well my idea is finally coming into action! We have 100 families or members who are active or positive towards the church. We have decided to send a letter out to each of them with an assigned date and invite them to pick a street, neighborhood, or area where we can go finding every day in the month of February. We are going to have a ward fast on that fast Sunday that we will see miracles. Between the three sets of missionaries here in Den Haag we hope to do a total of 100 hours of consecrated finding. I am so excited about it and I know that the Lord will assist us! I will let you know how the plan comes along! We'll be sending the letters to the members this week!
I love you with all of my heart! I love this work! I fall in love with it more and more every day as I meet more and more of God's children and come to understand a little more God's plan for us! You are in my prayers always!
Love, Zuster Sharp

This is the Refiner's Fire!

Monday, January 10, 2011
Hey Mom and Dad,
How are you doing?! I hope that you have had a wonderful week! As I was glancing over your e-mails before printing them I can see that things are going pretty well...YAY! I love hearing that you are happy and healthy! I am praying for Grandma and Grandpa and I hope that Grandma gets feeling better and gets to come home from the hospital soon! All of you are always in my thoughts and prayers!
This week of missionary work has been awesome! We had 2 appointments with Suleyka and she came to church on Sunday. She is really getting so well received by the members and she says that she is feeling so much at home. She is changing so much and she said this week that she knows that she will be getting baptized in 2011 but she doesn't quite know when. I hope sooner than later but I know that Heavenly Father has a time for everything. She is going to be having an appointment with the Bishop this next week so that he can help her resolve her concerns about tithing. I think that will be really good for her! We also had 2 appointments with Silvester and he is going with us to Victoria's tonight to watch "The Testaments". He also says that he imagines himself getting baptized and he also brought up the baptismal interview. There is only one little problem...he has never come to church! We have done everything we can think of to help him but we just don't know what to do now. We are just trying to help him develop a desire within himself. Florence came with us to the Jovo Centrum on Thursday and she couldn't be happier and more excited about the gospel! It is difficult to set steady appointments with her (Africans are difficult to make appointments with) but we know that as long as we keep trying, it will come! Sophie is a sad story! We went there on Tuesday with a member, Nadeline, who speaks Spanish. Well, Sophie had invited two of her friends over to listen too and it just ended up bad! The two friends said that we were a sect and that Joseph Smith was not a prophet and it was getting pretty heated, but it was all in Spanish! We didn't know what to do but Nadeline took care of it and although she left in tears all of our testimonies were strengthened from it. I hope that one day Sophie will come to know that truth for herself! We also had many members that came on joint-teach this week for the first time! That is always so exciting! The work here in Den Haag is amazing and the Lord is pouring out his blessings upon us!
I love you so much and I pray for you. I know that God lives and that we are His children. I know that He loves us! Have a great week!
Love, Laur

Monday, January 10, 2011


Monday, January 3, 2011

Dear Family and Friends! Happy New Year! I hope that you had a wonderful time welcoming in 2011 and Mom; I hope you had an especially great day! Happy Birthday to you! New Year's here is crazy! They do TONS of sounds like a war zone and it can be almost as dangerous as a war zone! Because of that, we had to be in our apartment at 4pm on New Year's Eve. We were well taken care of by the members, Familie Jongejan, who so kindly made an "after 4 pm" survival kit for us with alcohol free drinks and oliebollen (the traditional Dutch New Year's treat)! Zuster Hill and I enjoyed dinner together, used some of the time to set some goals and do some planning, and I ended up baking 234 chocolate chip cookies (I don't really know what I was thinking...I guess we're stocked for the year :)! All in all it was a good night and we enjoyed the millions of fireworks from our window!

I just have to take a minute to thank all of you! Thanks so much for the e-mails and the cards and the gifts and the packages for the holidays! They sure made my holiday season so bright! I can't wait until I get home and I can do something really special to serve all of's gonna be great!

Well, I have to be honest; this was one of the greatest preparation days of my life! I know, you're probably thinking that I went to a great museum or I saw a really cool monument or! I folded laundry, did the dishes, and vacuumed the floor! I don't know what it is but I just miss doing those little things for other people. So, last night as I was biking and thinking I had the idea to call up Zuster Broekman and ask her if I could come and to a few things to help her out while Zuster Hill wrote letters. I knew that Zuster Broekman had been sick all of the last week and that her 4 little ones
were going back to school today and I just figured that she could maybe use some help getting her house back in order after the holidays. When I called her up she declined at first but after I told her that it was something that I really wanted to do and that it would actually be more of a service for me, she approved! I loved it! It was so fun to be able to serve someone again in that way! So save up all of your laundry, dishes, deep cleaning cause I am coming home to help you with all of it! I am such a nut!

I hate to tell you this again but missionary work was kind of on hold once again this last week! The holidays just put a stop to almost everything! But we had quite the miracle yesterday! We went to lookup a potential investigator yesterday who we had met on Christmas Eve during our consecrated hour. We had given her a copy of “Joy to the World” then and she gave us her address. Well when we went by yesterday she was so excited to see us and she welcomed us right in. She comes from the Dominican Republic, her name is Sophie, and she has two young daughters (9 and 11 years old). She believes in God and attends church every week but mentioned that she still has a hunger for more. She wants to continue learning more from God's word and she wants to come closer to him. She was divorced a few years ago, just after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is very humble and at a point where she is open for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Zuster Hill and I had such a good feeling about her. We told her that God had placed us in her path to share His love with her. We asked her if we could come back 2 or 3 times in the week and teach her more. She then asked us if she could come to church with her 2 girls next Sunday! We are really looking forward to our appointment on Tuesday!

We also had another new investigator in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. We found him on the bus and he gave us his phone number and address. We texted him on Sunday morning just to let him know about church and he actually came! His name is Ramanapaul. We have an appointment with him, Silvester (who we thought was Cevesta), Suleyka, and Mary this week! Oh, and we also had an awesome appointment with Florence! We finally were able to have an appointment with her on Friday and she had read the whole Plan of Salvation pamphlet. We brought little cutouts of the Plan of Salvation to help her understand it a little better and she just took all of the pieces and laid it right out in
order. She is moving along so great!

We had another baptism here on Tuesday. Barbara was baptized! The Elders did most of the teaching but we had gone by a couple of times to share a lesson. It was so great to see the change that has taken
place in her life since she has received the gospel and to see how happy she is. That is why this work is the greatest work ever!

Well, I hope that you know that I love you but just in case you ever wonder I'll tell you one more time...I LOVE YOU! I love this gospel too! I know that the church was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Christ lives! I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I know that 2011 is going to be a wonderful year and I look forward to all of the experiences that it will bring! Have a great week and enjoy January!

Love, Zuster Sharp


Monday, December 27, 2010
Hey Family! It was FABULOUS to be able to talk to you! I really don't think that it could have been better! After I got off of the phone with you I felt so uplifted and happy and pleased with our time that we had to converse with one another. Thank you for always making it such an awesome and special experience! And thank you for all taking the time to come together on the busy Christmas day so that I can talk to each one of you. I am so thankful for that! I think that is was definitely easier to hang up this time (and with a lot less tears:)) because I know that I will be seeing you in a short 12 weeks. Then I will have all of the time in the world to talk...I am so looking forward to that! But until then let's make the next two and a half months of 2011 the best ever!
I just have to thank all of you for the wonderful Christmas cards and presents and money and support that you gave. You made Christmas so special for me and I could feel of your love! I hope that Sinter Klaas will make a stop to West Jordan soon with a special delivery for you all!
I had a great 2nd Christmas in the Netherlands! Yesterday, for the2nd Christmas Day (yes, the Dutch people are genius to have two official Christmas days...just more time to celebrate and be together)we had a full and busy day! We started out with a breakfast with the four other elders at Familie Scherf's. We had food galore and we really enjoyed our time together. There was definitely a special Christmas spirit there. We read the Christmas story together and then sang Christmas hymns around the piano. At 10:30 we headed out the door to church and we just had a Sacrament Meeting/Christmas Service. It was wonderful to be together with all of the members, especially on Christmas and especially after missing church last week. Suleyka came to the service so that was really great! After church all 6 of us missionaries and Quincy (a member who was baptized in June) went caroling. I had wanted to do it the whole month and I finally talked all of the other missionaries into it. We started at Familie Scherf's and then went next door to the Navarro's. We got spoiled by the Navarro's-they let us in and gave us turkey sandwiches, Christmas bread, and warm hot chocolate! They then gave us a referral-they sent us to sing for one of their neighbors around the corner. When we showed up, he invited us to come in and sing for all of the family and their guests, and then they referred us to someone else and it just went on and on for 3 hours. It was awesome and some of my favorite finding ever! Because of the Christmas season people are more open and we were able to share the Christmas spirit! At about 5 we went to a dinner appointment (yes, our third eating appointment in one day...I don't ever want to eat again!) with Carla van der Walt, a member who was baptized about a year ago. She treated us like royalty and we enjoyed every minute with her! We sure were spoiled this Christmas and no matter how much we tried to serve other people, we ended up receiving so much more in return!
Investigators are doing pretty good. We have had contact with all of them over the past week but still because of the holidays things are a little crazy. We already have a few appointments for this next week with them. I am looking forward to it and I will keep you posted on their progress. Thanks for your prayers in their behalf!
Well, I don't have too much info from Zuster Fritz and Zuster Pierson but I'll give you what I've got:
Zuster Jillian Fritz
South Jordan

Zuster Emily Pierson
1974 West 8660 South
West Jordan, UT 84088
I hope that you can get in contact with them. I know that they would love it!
I want you to know that I LOVE YOU! You are the best family ever and you are always in my prayers! I hope that you have a very happy new year and a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! Thank you for your love and support!
Love, Zuster Sharp