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 fireworks...it 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 you...it'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 something....no! 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