Saturday, May 31, 2014

Catch the vision of miracles!

This week was amazing!! I already shared about Monday in my last email but lots of amazing things have happened since then!
Tuesday, we had an amazing district meeting and learned a new way to contact is really weird but I am excited to put it to use! We also went over how to teach with baptismal questions which was exactly what we taught that night! It was so helpful! We had an amazing lesson with our investigators from the Congo. They want to be baptized and are beginning to understand what that means! They are going to take some time but I think they will get there!
Wednesday, I went on exchange to Maastricht again!! I love that city so much!! The day was so full of miracles. First, we went out to Heerlen(a city close by) and tried to look up an inactive member. We successfully got completely lost for about an hour. Although it was very annoying getting lost, it was meant to be. The inactive member had set up the appointment but was trying to avoid us. If we would have come at the scheduled time, she wouldn't have been home. Because we came an hour late, we were outside her apartment when she rode up on her bike. We may have never found her. It was a miracle that we were able to find her and have a conversation with her. I am not sure if she is super open but at least we established some sort of relationship. I am learning that sometimes we get lost for more than one reason. Sometimes, we miss a train or get lost so we can find someone or talk to someone. On our way back from Maastricht, we met this incredibly nice lady that is a Jehovah witness. We had a really nice conversation with her and told her about the church. Later that day when we were teaching in the Centrum, the lady saw us again and came up and said hi. Those things just don't happen. It was a miracle, first of all, that we were teaching the lesson we were and also that the lady found us again. Maastricht is a huge city but the Lord guided us to where we needed to be. That evening we got a call from an Elder saying that his companion was lost and on a train headed to Maastricht. We were to go and pick up his companion from the train station. We were somewhat annoyed and frustrated because we were going to be late to our appointment...but it turned into a miracle. We picked the Elder up and decided to take him to our appointment...after we had gotten past the train station his companion called and said he needed to get on a bus and go home. We then had to walk all the way back to the train station and put him on a bus. We were then really late to our appointment. But after dropping off the Elder, we were walking up the stairs and ran into one of their investigators that they were trying to get a hold of. It was a miracle. If we had not picked up that Elder, we wouldn't have been in the train station at that time to find their investigator. Then we went to our appointment and got there right after the investigator had gotten off a very difficult phone call. We were there at the perfect time to comfort her and help her. If we would have come earlier, she would have been on the phone. It was incredible. The entire day was completely led by the Lord. What could have been seen as huge annoyances, turned into miracles for us because we were looking for them.
When I came back to Breda, we went to our appointment with one of our new investigators. We had been tried to look her up a few times and had had one super short lesson with her and this was our first real lesson with her. She is incredible! The first words out of her mouth were "I want to be baptized, what do I need to do?" Sister Spencer and I were a little bit shocked. She then told us how the last few years have been really rough and she has been struggling with depression. Her sister was baptized in Peru about two months ago and told her to look up the church because we could help. She told us that she had been praying for help and that the Lord would show her which direction to go. She said that the day after she had reached her lowest and was pleading with the lord, we showed up at her door. I can't believe we were there at just the perfect time. The Lord is guiding our footsteps every day. We are seeing miracles every day. This lady is preparing to be baptized on the 21st of June! It was truly incredible.
These are just a few of the miracles we are seeing every day. Every day we pray for miracles, look for them, recognize when they happen, write them down, and then express gratitude. We are realizing that as we follow this pattern, not only are we being blessed with more miracles but that they are always happening if we would just look for them.

I love this work and I am so grateful to be a part of other people's stories. I feel honored and blessed to be a servant of the Lord. I feel honored to be bringing people the light of the gospel! I can't wait to see what is in store!! Miracles will continue to follow!!
Wonders gebeurt elke dag!
Zuster Adams

Friday, May 23, 2014

Some recent photos.....

 Allison in front of the Netherlands Temple

Allison with her Elders that she served in the MTC with

There is Sunshine in My Soul Today!

 I don't even know where to begin this letter...this last week has been crazy, sad, happy, fun, scary, creepy, hilarious, SUNNY, and probably every possible description you can think of. The sun finally decided to come out and oh my goodness, it is SO BEAUTIFUL!! It has been in the upper 70s all week and I can't help but be happy every day!
This week brought the end of my first transfer and the beginning of my second transfer. I can't believe I made it! I have now been on my mission for 3 months!! YEAH!! Sister Spencer and I have decided that we wanted to name this transfer "The Transfer of Miracles." We found a scripture to go with it as well. We made poster and put it on our door to remind us every day before we leave that we are going to see miracles. It is awesome! But of course, when you try to do something good, everything always seems to try and go against you! This week was hard. We met a lot of obstacles but through it all we saw some incredible miracles!
We had planned this week to be full of appointments. In fact, more appointments in one week than I had ever had before. I think we had close to 10 lessons planned and had found joint teaches as well....well we ended up only getting 3 lessons and no joint teaches. It was so frustrating. There was one day that Sister Spencer and I just got so frustrated because we were doing everything we could and nothing was working. We would knock on doors and no one wanted to listen. But somehow we kept a good attitude. We laughed and told stories to keep a good spirit. We knew the Lord was going to bless us with miracles so we kept on working. Even though our numbers of lessons weren't very high, the miracles we saw were incredible. We met with a lady this week and wow, I have never met someone so prepared in my life. It is a lady from Peru and her sister got baptized 2 months ago and she told us that she wants to be baptized too and that she wants to find a family in the church!! Oh my goodness, after we left her home, Sister Spencer and I were in shock. No one is ever super excited to meet with us or tells us they want to be baptized. It was incredible! She also came to church this Sunday and that was a miracle! We met with a Buddhist this morning that loved the Plan of Salvation and prayed with us!! Oh my goodness, it was incredible. A man came to church that we had been searching for. Then we found him in the city today! We went for an appointment with a lady and we thought she wasn't home but we wrote her a note and while we were writing the note she came to the door and turns out we had written the wrong day for our appointment. If we wouldn't have waited by her door for 10 minutes writing a note, we would have missed our appointment with her and never known. We also set a baptismal date with one of our investigators for the end of the Transfer!!! These are just a few of the miracles we saw! There were so many more and it was amazing! Even though, we faced opposition and didn't want to carry on, the Lord blessed us because we kept trying. Missionary work is amazing!!
We did have one crazy experience this week...we had a referral in a little tiny village 14.5km away. So we decided to bike out there to see if we could find it...well we couldn't find the house. We rode past the village and kept looking. We were passing through fields and huge houses. It was weird. Eventually we found #97 which was the house number...but it was a giant metal gate with what looked to be a prison behind it. It looked like a bunch of huge houses in a compound that had been abandoned. IT WAS CREEPY and kind of "Lost" like(the show Lost). We knew people lived there because there were cars but all the grass was over grown....but we kept looking around and Sis. Spencer found a gate that was open so we decided to explore. But quickly got too creeped out and decided to leave when a man walked out and asked if we needed help. Turns out the lady we were looking for did live there. The place we had found is an old monastery from the 40s that the Catholic church has asked people to live in to keep it up because the land is worth a lot of money. Cool story, but really creepy experience to say the least!! I am glad we survived and I didn't die!
I love being a missionary and I can't wait to see what is in store!!
Wonders Gebeurt!
Zuster Adams

A nice note.....

April 28th, 2014
This is a nice note from a native Netherlands friend that saw Allison.

"Hi Josh,

As you can see we met Sister Adams yesterday. Your daughter is doing great and her Dutch is amazing.

You can be proud of her.

Hope you are doing well,



Monday, May 12, 2014

Rain....Wind....and more Rain--Thank goodness she's from Oregon!

Since I, Allison's mother, get to post all these emails she sends me onto this blog I thought I'd take a moment and give you a little insider information.  We got to Skype Allison on Mothers Day.  It was wonderful to hear her voice and see her beautiful face.  I was so touched with the amount of growth that she has already accomplished--in just 3 months.  Allison has always been a sweet, shy girl.  Now some of you that know her, know she is anything but shy....after you get to know her.  But on initial meeting, Allison is probably my shyest kid.  She acknowledges this and said that this was one of her fears about serving a mission, was how uncomfortable she would be in talking to new people--ALL THE TIME!  She shared with us, on Sunday, that since she has been in the Netherlands, she hasn't had one drop of hesitation at talking with strangers.  In fact she likes it.  She has felt a confidence that she has never had before.  She knows that it truly is a gift from God.  I, as one that knows her quite well, was amazed to see that quiet, peaceful confidence in herself on Sunday.  It was wonderful.

She also expressed how it was somewhat difficult to adjust to her new life at first and then one day she just woke up and felt at home.  She felt at peace and was ready to work with all her heart.  Moving to a different country ourselves, 4 years ago, I can relate to feeling uncomfortable for a while and then one's your reality, it's home.  It took me about a year to feel this way about living in Germany.  I'm grateful it only took Allison about 1 week in the Netherlands.

Missions are great!  Missions teach more than the gospel to others seeking the fullness of God's will.  They teach, grow and develop our future mothers and fathers and leaders of our countries.  I'm grateful for the Lords perfect plan in this.  We help ourselves as we help others.  If any of you are thinking about serving a it!  You won't regret it!

OK-On to Allison's letter......

When it decides to rain in downpours. This week we had an appointment across town and it had been down pouring for about 20 minutes. We figured that it would let up pretty soon and that if we started biking we wouldn't get too wet. Well that wasn't the case. We got soaked! The rain went through ever layer of clothes I had on and there was water running down my stockings into my boots(I'm not exaggerating). At one point, we were stopped at a stop light and it was raining very hard and I thought oh it can't possibly get harder...and then it did. It was ridiculous!! We finally got to the appointment, soaked and tired and guess what? The person wasn't even home!! It is okay though, we looked up someone else and got an appointment. It was still ridiculous how wet we were. The other hard part about Nederland is the wind NEVER stops blowing. There were multiple times this week when I was biking and I wasn't moving because the wind was blowing so hard. I have learned how to laugh at ridiculous situations such as these because honestly, that is all you can do!! 
My first transfer in Nederland is over!! My awesome district is getting split up! I am pretty sad about it but it will be good. We are losing an Elder in Roosendaal but that is okay. This past transfer, Sis. Spencer and I have not taught very many lessons. We have basically just spent the whole transfer trying to find people to teach. Our hard work is finally paying off!!! This past week we got two new investigators!! The both seem like really solid people and I am very hopeful that things will go well with them!! I have learned a lot in the past transfer and I am beginning to see the fruits of our labors. It is exciting to see the work starting to hasten!! We have more appointments this coming week then we ever have had in a week since I have been here!! I am very excited to see what is in store!! Sis. Spencer and I are going to get some good work done this next 6 weeks and I am excited to see where things go!! 
I loved talking to my family yesterday!! I won't get to talk to them until Christmas so I have a 7 month wait but it will go by fast!! I can't wait to see what is in store in the next 7 months!! 
Nederland is geweldig!!
Zuster Adams

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tulips, Temples, and Triumph

I honestly, have no clue where to begin this week!! So many things happened that I don't even know where to start. Well I guess I'll start with last P-day! After emailing, we went to Maastricht and toured the city! It is so beautiful! I want to serve there!! We found this amazing little shop that only sells vintage clothes from the 20's-50's!! It was amazing and I fell in love with it! It was insanely expensive and I didn't buy anything but it was amazing nevertheless! Then I stayed the night in Maastricht for exchanges! We taught some amazing people and it was a fun exchange!
Allison with her companion and trainer Sis. Spencer
Allison's not in this one, but these were visiting missionaries.

You'll find Allison on the front row...a yellow tulip is her new earring.  She has a tan coat on with a red scarf.  Like finding Waldo....This is her mission.
Then Wednesday was Temple Conference!! We got up at 4:30am to get ready and to the train station on time...not my favorite thing! We ended up having to walk/run from our apartment half way across the city to the train station because we couldn't take the bus that early in the morning and we could bike because the Sisters from Maastricht were with us. It was a fun walk at 6am!! We got to the Temple around 8 and it is such a beautiful Temple!! It is really small but it is beautiful!! I loved the time we had in the Celestial room. Sis. Spencer and I stayed probably an hour in the Celestial room. I just didn't want to leave, especially since I won't be going to the Temple for another 6 months. As soon as I walked into the room, I had overwhelming peace surround me. I had "Families can be Together Forever" stuck in my head the entire time. It made me so grateful that I am sealed to my family for eternity!! Even though I am gone for 18months, I will be with them for eternity! I also realized that all the missionaries surrounding me are also my family and I love them! I also realized more fully that my work as a missionary is bringing families together forever!! I love the Temple! I can't wait to go through in October! After the Temple we went and had delicious pizza and I got to spend the rest of the day hanging out with Elder Conatti and Elder Heinricks!! I was so excited to see them! They are my brothers and I have missed them! It was fun to hear their stories of the first few weeks! They are both doing great!! After pizza, we went to Keukenhof(a giant, really famous garden of tulips)! It was so beautiful and I took a lot of pictures!! There were so many tulips!! I love tulips so much now!! Hopefully soon, I will be able to send them home. It was really fun to spend the day with half the missionaries in Nederland and to relax a little. It was a little weird though because | am so used to go go go, all day long. But it was a nice break! Temple Conference was amazing and I love the Temple so much!!
The rest of the week was good! We went to look a referral and got completely lost...this seems to be a trend. We are doing better at not getting lost though. We taught a lesson with a family this week. It was such an amazing lesson. The man we taught, I first time we saw him, I recognized him and I didn't know why. After the lesson with him, I really felt like he was familiar to me because I was supposed to find him and teach him. It was an incredible feeling! I have no idea what is going to happen with that family but I have a good feeling about them! We had another lesson with our investigator that is really close to baptism and I bore strong testimony that he is seeing blessings and miracles in his life! I told him that Sis. Spencer and I pray for him every night and I became very emotional when I told him how much we love him. I want him to take that next step so bad! After I bore testimony, I saw a tenderness in his eyes. I think he realized how much he means to us and that we want the best for him!! He will get there!! On Sunday, we had invited a lot of people to church!! We prayed really hard that people would come. We had kind of become discouraged because no one comes to church when we invite them but this week 3 people came and an inactive came too!! It was so exciting!! People we didn't even expect were at church!! The Lord answers prayers, if only we will ask!!
The work is hastening here in Breda! We have so many potentials and people that we need to work with! It is so exciting to see the Lord giving us work to do and trusting us!! I love this gospel and the chance I have to share it every day!! I can't wait to see what is in store for us this week!! I get to play tennis in about an hour and I am ridiculously excited!!
Leven is geweldig!!
Zuster Adams