Friday, December 12, 2014

Plot Twist…4 transfers in Lelystad

Dec. 8, 2014

Well before I get into what happened this week, I am not getting transferred. I definitely thought I was leaving…so I said goodbye to everyone. Well next Sunday will be a surprise when I am still here. My wonderful companion, Sister Robbins, is leaving me…but she is going to BREDA!!! I couldn’t be happier for her! And drum roll…I am getting a Greenie! I will be training this transfer! I am so excited to meet her on Wednesday…she has no idea what she has gotten herself into…having me as her trainer 
  1. It was really really cold this week. It even snowed a little bit one morning. But my companion and I wore all of our clothing. I had easily 3 pairs of tights/leggings on and 1 pair of wool socks and grocery bags around our feet (they help insulate our feet).
  2. Last night I was a little disoriented with transfer news…I tried to go over a curb and struggled a bit and ended up running straight into a wall. It was pretty funny.
  3. We also had Sinter Klaas this week, which is what they celebrate here on the 5th of December. It is Santa Claus’ birthday and kids receive presents. If you no longer believe in Santa Claus’ then you make what is called a suprise. Basically, you get someone a cheap present and then put it in something strange. I made a street pole and hid the present inside. Christiaan (a member) made a grand piano and hid the present inside. Sister Robbins present was inside an oven. It was really fun! You also have to write a poem to go with the surprise. Christiaan made a pot of cookies and water mixed together for me…I had to stick my hand into what looked like poop to find a small piece of paper that said my present was under my chair. It was pretty funny! We had a lot of fun!
This week was full of miracles and tests of faiths. We lost contact with our investigator Vivian for half the week. We were really worried and didn’t know what to do. We called him on Thursday and he finally answered. We met with him Friday and Saturday and it was amazing! A few personal issues had been taken care in the time that we hadn’t seen him. He was beaming in a way I hadn’t seen before. He was so excited to tell us that he now had time to focus completely on God and getting baptized. He said that God had answered his prayer and so he needs to show his gratitude by doing what God has asked of him. It was awesome! On Saturday, we set a new baptismal date for him. He will be baptized on the 10th of January. He is going to stop smoking in 3 days and is going to come to Stake Conference at the end of the week. I was so excited and I am excited that I get to see him baptized!
We had a few days this week where there was nothing planned and that worried me. I didn’t want to be out in the cold all day with no direction really. We prayed a lot and saw miracles. We went and taught the first lesson to one of our potential investigators. In the end she said she wasn’t interested but you could feel the spirit and I know that the Lord has a plan for her. Plus, she let us in on the coldest day this week! We were able to go see a lot of members and build those relationships. We worked a lot with less-active members. It was awesome to see how we are really building good relationships with the members. We can’t do this work without them!! On Thursday, I was having a rough day. I began to doubt if I had enough faith to find people (it has been really hard to find recently). I doubted if I had made a difference here Lelystad. I was frustrated and struggling to understand what Heavenly Father’s plan was. My prayers were answered. We decided to walk around the Centrum that night in a different direction than we usually go. As we walked around a corner I said, Heavenly Father we are going to find someone tonight. The next person we talked to was incredibly positive. We had taught him a first lesson and he is a new investigator. Sometimes the Lord’s work is slower than we want but when we have faith, he blesses us. So often I begin to doubt my faith but Heavenly Father doesn’t doubt my faith or my abilities to bless the people here in Lelystad. I am learning as long as I rely in Heavenly Father, he will lead me to those that are ready to accept the gospel message. Miracles happen every day and Lelystad is growing.
Sister Robbins and I decided to make this transfer “A Season of Joy.” I can honestly say this is the most joy I have had on my mission. It was a hard transfer and a transfer of patience in terms of the work but I learned how to enjoy every moment of my mission and still be effective. This life is to be enjoyed not just endured! This next transfer is going to be fun! Christmas, my birthday, and training! Life couldn’t be better! There is a member here that has the same birthday as me and she is pumped to celebrate our birthdays together. I wanted to leave because I thought it would be weird to be in a city for 6 months but honestly this is going to be awesome! The members know me really well and I know we can get a lot of work done. Besides, Lelystad Branch is my family. I love them so much and I am so excited to spend Christmas with people I love!
Soms het leven is niet wat je verwacht maar altijd wat je nodig heft!
Zuster Adams

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful"

Dec 1, 2014

Well for having the warmest fall ever in Nederland, it has lead quickly to a frightfully cold winter. It was SO cold this week and it is only supposed to get colder. I am not sure if I will survive this winter but I guess as a missionary the Lord has promised me protection…didn’t know that included frostbite 
Funnies for the week:
  1. We got new batteries in our bike lights this week. And while that doesn’t sound very funny, our bike lights were almost out and pretty pathetic. If any of you have seen Night at the Museum, we were like the cave man discovering fire when we got new lights. We were jumping around super excited!! We looked hilarious. It doesn’t take much to make a missionary happy!
  2. We had Zone Conference this week and it was amazing but Elder Moreira (the quorum of the seventy member) was one of the most animated people I have ever met!! His eyes would pop out of his head whenever he was telling a story. It was amazing! We were laughing through the whole thing.
  3. Also at Zone Conference, President Robinson was talking about obedience and how faith leads to obedience. This past week I had coincidently studied that a lot. He asked rhetorically if any of us had seen the correlation between faith and obedience. Well because I had studied it this past week, I nodded my head confidently. So then President proceeds to call me out and say that I am probably more obedient than all the elders there…it was so awkward. I laughed about it though.
  4. We made Thanksgiving dinner at a member’s home this week. It was really fun! Although, my companion and I have never really made a pumpkin pie before and definitely not without American ingredients. We did our best. It was a really strange looking pie but it didn’t taste all that bad! We high-fived at the dinner table!
This week was incredible! As I am sitting here thinking about everything that happened, I can’t help but feel very strongly how much the Lord is working here in Lelystad. I will just explain some of the miracles we saw.
-We went and looked up a potential investigator that we had taught one lesson to a couple of weeks ago. We wanted to see what she thought of the Book of Mormon. We showed up and she let us right in. Within about 5 minutes of talking to us she said “Sister Adams, I just want to let you know that we have had really positive energy since you and Sister Heilner were here. I felt it when you were here and we felt the effects of it after you left. We put our house up for sale and it sold in 2 weeks and I know that it came from the positive energy that you brought.” It was amazing!! The energy is the spirit and it was incredible to see that she recognized it. She isn’t quite ready to take the lessons but she is amazing.
-We talked to this lady a couple of weeks ago in the Centrum and we had a great conversation and then she told us she wasn’t interested. We were in the Centrum again and she walked by and gave us a big smile and wave. It was super cool! Even though people don’t always accept our message, it is nice to know that we left a good impression and that we have friends!
-Our investigator Ursula has been super sick and in/out of the hospital. We had two members of the Branch give her a blessing. It was an incredible blessing and the spirit was really strong. We then decided to read Ether 12 with her. As we were reading, I felt very strongly that we needed to talk about baptism. So I brought it up and we went through all the baptismal questions and she realized that she is ready to be baptized once she finishes the lessons. It was incredible! Her son, who is 7, wants to be baptized too! It was really cool!
-I also talked to the sisters that are serving in Breda and found out that Wilko is investigating again and that his son is taking the lessons!!! Hearing that he was investigating, was seriously a huge answer to many of my prayers and fasts. When Wilko stopped investigating, I cried! I love that man and I am so happy to hear that miracles are happening and that he is doing good.
Okay I know this email is really long but I have so much to talk about!! We had Zone Conference this week and my mission has been changed. Elder Moreira was incredible. He told us that we needed to have more faith and confidence in our calling as missionaries! We need to become like Peter and be bold! We need to have confidence in our priesthood power. He taught us to change our attitudes and traditions with missionary work in Europe. The growth that has happened in South America can happen here, we just have to believe that it will happen. There were a lot of other things but it truly changed how I looked at a lot of things! I have no reason to be afraid of this work. I have the spirit of God with me to lead me! As Elder Ballard says “It is impossible to fail when you do your best and when you are on the Lord’s Errand.” At the end of the meeting Sister Robbins and I sang our musical number. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. It might sound strange but we truly had angels singing with us. I can’t adequately explain how I felt but it wasn’t just my companion and I singing.
We are not alone! The Lord is with us always and his angles are around us to bear us up. We need to have faith in the Lord and in his timing but also in our own ability to make things happen. I am in charge of my agency and I can make things happen with my use of agency. I am excited to see what the future holds and how our mission changes. This is probably my last week in Lelystad. While I am sad about that, I know that the future is as bright as you make it! I will be like Peter, bold and unafraid of what the Lord asks of me!
Tot de volgende keer! Blijf warm en geniet van de kerst seizon!
Zuster Adams

The downhill....I'm halfway??

Nov. 24, 2014

Well here I am emailing again! This email is going out a little bit later today because we had a Zone P-day in Den Haag and we had a Turkey Bowl (played American football) Almere District vs. Den Haag District. It was so much fun!! I made some good completions and almost scored a Touchdown, all in honor of the Oregon Ducks! I love my Ducks! Although to be fair, I also wore my BYU shirt to represent my school.
I just want to start my saying that my companion is amazing! I love her! We laugh all day long and are crazy. I love it. I make up crazy songs on the bikes about being a missionary and she appreciates them, which automatically makes her amazing! But why I am saying all this is because we always get to the end of the day and try to think of all the funny things and can’t seem to remember what was funny…bit of a problem considering funnies are my favorite part of emailing. I do have one funny for this week though. We went to Schiphol International Airport so we could switch back companions and I read the New York Time. I was flipping through the paper and there wasn’t anything that I was particularly interested in. Then I flip a page and look down and I thought that I saw a picture of BYU campus…weird. So I look back and sure enough it is BYU. The best part is that the article is on the BYU rule against facial hair. Some kid is trying to get it changed so that men can have facial hair at BYU. But what was funny is that I am in Nederland reading the International New York Times and apparently facial hair rules are important enough to be in the newspaper. It was great.
This week was incredible!! I don’t even know where to begin. We are working to build good relationships with members right now and so we made cookies for a ton of the members this week and brought them to them. It was the happiest I’ve felt in a long time. I just love seeing people’s eyes light up when they are happy. The members loved it and it felt good to know that we had served them. I went to Den Haag on exchange and I really enjoyed it. We have an investigator named Tita and he is slowly progressing more and more. This past week, I promised him that if he prayed, read his scriptures, and came to church that he would receive an answer that the Church is true. It was a really powerful lesson. He followed through on all commitments. I don’t know if he received an answer yet. We have an appointment this coming Friday. Our investigator Vivian is doing amazing! We talked to him about quitting smoking and we brought a calendar for him to pick a day. I started to suggest Christmas or New Years. He surprised us all and picked 2 weeks from last Saturday to stop. He knows the church is true and wants to change his life. I love that man. There is a member in our Branch that grew up in Idaho and she makes Thanksgiving dinner every year I had turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. It was wonderful! Sunday we had a visitor’s service at the church. The Elders had three people in Church and we had three too!!! That is the most I have had in my whole time in Lelystad. Allister, Vivian, and Tita came to church. I think they liked it and the Branch members were awesome about welcoming them in. The work is going really well here in Lelystad and I am really grateful for all the progress I have seen in the time that I have been here.
This week was halfway…it is super weird but the feeling that I felt this week was peace. A lot of missionaries look back and don’t feel satisfied with their efforts but for being halfway, I feel really good about everything I have done. I have worked hard, seen miracles, and grown a lot. I thankfully, have another 9 months to go. I love being here. I love being a missionary and seeing other people change but honestly the most incredible part is seeing how much I have grown. Missionary work is based so much on the agency of others and in the end it is up to the people we teach if they want to change. But I have the choice every day to become better. I have learned so much and have become more firmly planted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Life is good here in Lelystad! I don’t think I will be here next transfer which is good but I am really going to try and enjoy my time left here! Christmas is coming and I love how there are lights in the Centrum now. This week Sister Robbins and I are performing a musical number for our Zone Conference when a quorum of the seventy member is coming. It will be great!
Het leven is geweldig en ik hou ervan om zendeling te zijn!
Zuster Adams