Friday, January 16, 2015

Lelystad: a Year to Remember!

Jan 12, 2015

Crazy Stuff, I turn 20 tomorrow!!! I can't believe I am that old! I will be celebrating with a member whose birthday is also tomorrow!! It will be fun!! 
1. We have a member in the branch that is somewhat handicapped. She is the sweetest woman on earth but she doesn't have much of a filter. My companion is hispanic and the member likes to point out to everyone we know that she is brown. She always says, “We have never had a sister missionary her color before.” It is pretty funny how excited she is that my companion is brown. :)
2. We knocked a door this week and we could see the husband and wife in the window. We looked over at them as we were waiting for them to come to the door and the husband sticks is arm out with his finger pointing for us to leave. I told Sister Begazo we needed to leave quickly. He looked upset and so we left quickly...a few seconds later the man came running out of his house yelling, “It was a joke, please come back.” It was pretty funny and a great ice breaker. We gave him a card and laughed about it. He was pretty shocked at how fast we walked away.
3. The wind and the rain has decided to descend upon us. It has been so windy that we get knocked off our bikes on a regular basis and we are soaked continually. We knocked a lot of doors in the pouring rain today but we had fun with it.
This week was pretty incredible! Sister Begazo and I have slowly been dropping all of our non-progressing investigators in an effort to show our faith that we only want to teach those that are ready to be baptized. It has been hard because we don't have any appointments and really no where to go. Vivian is still sick and we have no clue when he will get better so he is basically off our radar at this point until he recovers. At the end of this week we had no progressing investigators. Scary! I don't know if I have ever had that on my mission. But honestly, I have never felt more peace on my mission with the work we are doing. We had some pretty incredible miracles in response of our faith this week.
We met with one of our investigators this week and we watched the movie on Thomas S. Monson. I think she really enjoyed it and the spirit was really strong. We are working really hard with her member friend to help her to progress. She has a family and knows the Book of Mormon is true. I am hopping to see her progress a lot soon. She is our most positive investigator right now. Plus, we think her partner might be interested too.
A week ago I prayed for a specific street and area. We went knocking there and we really didn't find anyone. So this week we decided to go back and finish off some of the doors. We had knocked so many doors and were getting cold. I don't know how many prayers I had said asking that we could find a kingdom builder. We had about 20 minutes left until we needed to go. We knock house number 70 on that street. A lady opens and tells us she has family in America that are members. Then she invites us in!!!!! That is the third time on my mission! It was incredible. I didn't really know what to say because it had never really happened to me before. But the Lord filled my mouth and we were able to have a really good conversation. She told us that she wants to know more about the church so she can understand her family but also for her own benefit! It was incredible. She is married and has a son! They also live in one of the nicer parts of town!! Our prayers had been answered and we found the person we had been looking for. We will hopefully go by soon and set up a real appointment with her. 
We met again with the Branch President and he has big plans for Lelystad and how we are going about building a ward. I am so excited to see what will happen and the faith that will be put to the test. We are going to make Lelystad not only a ward but stronger than ever. Miracles are happening and you can literally feel the spirit of the work in the air. He has called a historian for the Branch because he feels that this year will be a year to remember in regards to the growth and spiritual growth of the Branch. As he told us this, I could feel the spirit confirm to me that what he was saying was true. This will be a year to remember.
We were knocking again this week and we found 4 potential investigators on one street, 3 of them were families!!! We are looking for families and people that support the ward here and be leaders! The Lord is leading us to them. We knocked for about 2 hours yesterday and no one was interested. I was pretty bummed and wondered why we had knocked where we had. But right as we were leaving, we saw this young father with his son walking. I felt instantly that we needed to talk to him. We stopped really awkwardly and ask if we could give him a pass-along card. He told us that he had actually been to a mormon church in Utah and that he thought it was amazing. He said he would definitely look on and call if he wanted to know more. It was proof to me that we were supposed to be in that neighborhood.
This next week will be one of faith that the Lord will lead us to those we need to teach. We are looking for kingdom builders and sometimes that is hard. But we know that through opposition comes the blessings! I love Lelystad and am so excited to see what the future holds for them. This next year in Lelystad will be one to remember! And I feel honored and very humbled to be here at the beginning of something incredible!
Ik hou van Lelystad en ben enthousiast te zien wat dit jaar zal brengen!!
Zuster Adams

2015 Here we come!

Jan 5, 2015

Hello! We are in 2015!! I can't believe how fast 2014 went by. I come home this year. I go back to BYU this year. But most importantly, I finish giving the next 7 months to the Lord in the service of the Dutch people!

1. People Always seem to think that we are Amish...don't ask me why but they do. I talked to this lady on the street this week and she told me that I was Amish. I told her no, I'm mormon it is different. She went on to tell me that of course it is different because I am in the Netherlands and being Amish is not allowed here. I tried to tell her that no were a a completely different church...didn't work so well. I think it is hillarious that one people like to tell me who I am and two that apparently being Amish is not allowed in the Netherlands. I am pretty sure no one would care if there were Amish people here.
2. I asked a man if it would be important to him to be with his family forever this week and he responded with "nah, not really..." People are so weird sometimes.
3. During Sacrament meeting, a little kid in our branch got very upset when they took his sacrament cup away from him. He was so upset to not have his water cup anymore. It was pretty funny.
Sorry there weren't that many funny things this week but we will work on it this week. :)

This week was a good week. It was a hard week in regards to getting time to actually work but it was good. Monday and Tuesday we ended up having to have our bikes get repaired the whole day. My back wheel was dying. 7-10 of the spokes were broken, bent, or basically at any moment my wheel could have buckeled and I my bike would have been done for. I had to replace my whole back wheel but after we got that fixed, my bike has never ridden better. I also got sick this week and I had to stay and sleep for a few hours. I prayed that Heavenly Father would give me the worst of my sickness so I could get it over with and go back to work. Sure enough, I got really sick for a few hours, slept it off, and then got back to work. I am feeling great again!  We had a good New Years! We had interviews with our mission President and it was really good. He asked me how long I had served in Lelystad so far. I told him almost 6 months and he said, wow that is a long time in a small city...actually too long. He then proceeded to ask me if I liked big cities the rest of the interview. I do like big cities so if that is in my future then I am excited. I think it is safe to say that I have 2 weeks left in Lelystad. Weird. I love it here and honestly can't imagine anywhere else. It will be good though if I do get transfered. Our investigators are doing good. Vivian is still doing good. He will not be getting baptized next week but not because he isn't ready. He got really really sick this week so basically we are waiting until he gets better. Hopefully he will get baptized on the 17th of January. He had a dream this week that he got the priesthood though!! I thought it was so cute! I am so proud of him!! Our other investigators are doing okay. We will probably end up dropping 2 of them this week. They aren't progressing and we want to be teaching people that are working towards baptism. We met with the Branch President this week and his plan is to have a ward in Lelystad in a year. We need to find 3 more priesthood holders to make that happen. Sister Begazo and I are determined to find them!! We went door knocking this week and found 4 potential investigators. We made a pledge to go finding in the nicer areas of town at least 3 hours every day and to find 2 potentials every day. I have no doubt that we can accomplish our goal!! The Lord wants a ward here and we are going to help him accomplish that.

Life is good here in Lelystad! I love being a missionary and just can't imagine myself doing anything but this right now. My companion is wonderful and the work is wonderful!! I hope this New Year brings blessings and trials so that I can learn but also have joy!

Dit leven is een droom!

Zuster Adams

P.S. I will send some pictures next week!

A Piece of Home

Dec. 29th, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

1. We went to go have an appointment with one of our investigators this week and we showed up and he said he couldn't meet because he was very flustered. He then told us that, that morning the cops came to take him to prison for a week because he had payed off a debt of his. He managed to get the money that he needed so he didn't go to jail but it was pretty crazy. 
2. We were knocking doors this week and we came to a door that had a wreath that sang christmas songs continually. It was amazing! No one was home but we stayed and listened for probably 2 or 3 songs. 
3. We went Caroling on 2nd Christmas day in Den Haag. The Zone Leaders were in charge but because I was in charge of compiling music they decided to make me in charge of everything...they wanted me to pick where we would sing(I have been to Den Haag once). So we wandered for a while and then sang outside of a clothing store. It was wonderful!! People were filming us. One guy tried conducting us and filming himself at the same time. So many people stopped!! It was really cool!!
4. It snowed all day long...I don't like snow on a mission. I was praying the whole day that it would stop. None of it stuck and we have warm weather again. Prayer works! :)
5. We missed two trains and had to sit in the below freezing weather for 40 minutes...terrible. 
6. I had a dream that my mission was over and I went was so weird. I didn't like it. 

This week was wonderful!! We saw a lot of miracles and worked really hard. I will first share what happened with our investigators this week and then about Christmas. Our investigators are doing amazing! We went through the baptismal questions with Vivian and he answered all of them correctly. He is super excited to be baptized and wants to put all of his time and energy into the gospel. He will hopefully be baptized on the 10th of January! 3 days before my birthday...I would say a pretty good birthday present, my first baptism. We had an amazing lesson with our investigator Alistair. We had Christmas Eve dinner with him and his family. They loved us and we had a really wonderful time with them. I will attach a few pictures with them. But yesterday, we met with him and watched the first vision movie. He felt something. He was very solemn afterwards and we asked him to think about being baptized and really take the time to ask God if the things we have been telling him were true. We could tell  he was a little overwhelmed so we told him to think and pray about it this week. I hope he does! He is amazing! On Sunday, we had 3 of our investigators in Church!!! It was such a blessing and a miracle!! I am seeing so much progress in this branch!! It has grown since I have been here! 

Christmas was wonderful! Christmas morning we took cards to many of the members. It was fun to share Christmas with them and bring the joy of the season to them. We then went to Familie De Graaf's home. We had a wonderful time chatting with them. We skyped our families and it was wonderful. It was so good to see my family. It felt like no time had passed. I was nervous but it was wonderful. I can't wait to see them on Mother's day! Second Christmas day, we went to Sherri and Marcel's home (a part member family) and had a wonderful meal. I really loved being able to feel the Christmas spirit. I did realize though that Christmas is just another day among 365 days in the year. It is a special day but we don't need to stress out or make it more crazy than it needs to be. Christ was born in a lowly stable and I think Christmas needs to be treated with the same reverence. Low key and really take time to think about the Savior. I was anxious at the end of all the Christmas festivities to go back to normal missionary life. I love being a missionary and I was anxious to get back to working hard. I realized that I don't want to go home anytime soon. Christmas was a glimpse into what real life is and I like being a missionary!! I really want to enjoy these next 8 months!! They will be amazing!

I am loving Lelystad and all the miracles I am seeing take place. I know this email is short today but I had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you all did too!! This week will bring 2015 to us! I have plans to make this next year amazing! A lot will happen and I can't wait to see it all unfold!! 

Ik hou van jullie en wens jullie een fijne nieuwe jaar! 

Zuster Adams

1st picture: Alistair's kids
2nd picture: Christmas morning breakfast! Christmas Crunch! 

Darkest Days of my Mission

Dec 22, 2014

I know this title makes it seem like this week was the worst week of my mission...but it was actually quite the opposite. I call it the darkest days of my mission because Sunday was the shortest day of the year...therefore, the Sun was out from about was terrible. But even though it may have been literally the darkest days of my mission, I felt as though the light of our message light the dark afternoons of last week.
1. We talked to a guy this week who said he knew about the mormons. I asked him what he knew and he told me that he thought that Joseph Smith's story of the first vision was just too fantastic. I could understand him saying that, a lot of people do. But then he started telling me about all these visions he has apparently had. It was pretty funny that he would tell me that anyone else receiving a vision is crazy but totally normal for himself. Oh people make me laugh.
2. We bought some yummy food mixes this week and you have to buy vegetables and usually chicken to go with it. We get to our apartment after a long day and decide we are going to make one of the mixes...when I look in the freezer to see that we don't have any chicken...we were disappointed to say the least.
3. This week the wind has continually blown. I honestly don't know if it will ever stop. This morning on the way to the church, we were literally blown off our bikes and had to walk. Oh Dutch wind, how I will miss you when I go home.
4. A man tried to kiss Sister Begazo on Friday and a man tried to kiss me on was weird especially since they were older men. We will stear clear of them this week. :)
5. We went caroling this week with the elders. It was kind of cold, rainy, and really windy. I had forgotten to wear gloves thus, my hands were really cold. It began to rain pretty hard and the rain started to sting as it hit my hands. Come to find out a couple minutes was hail that was stinging my hands.
6. We taught a man the plan of salvation yesterday and every time we would find a verse in the Bible that backed up what we were saying his eyes would pop out of his head and then he would say, I have read the Bible 4 times and never seen that scripture. It was great! :)
This week was absolutely amazing!! I love my companion! She is awesome! She literally talks to everyone and I love it. Whenever she has a Dutch question and I can't answer her question she just asks random strangers. It is great! I need to do that more. As I am looking back on this week I don't even know where to begin, it was that good. Monday, we went and had Family Home Evening with a family and it was so much fun because we taught them how to make chocolate cookies!! Vivian is doing amazing. He hasn't smoked in over 2 weeks and he is just getting stronger and stronger. He got a blessing this week because he has been sick. After the blessing he told me, your church has real power. It was awesome. Plus, he said that he has felt good ever since the blessing he received. He is going to be baptized on the 10th of January. I am so proud of him. He also came to church on Sunday and loved it!! We had Zone Training this week and it was really good. We are trying a few new things in the mission for example, keeping track of our proselyting hours so we cut down on our miscelaneous hours. It has been awesome already! I am so excited to work harder and see the 5th Stake built here in Nederland! Also, I got an amazing package from home at Zone Training!! I was so excited! Friday will go down as a day of change on my mission. We went to Correlation with our branch mission leader. He started telling us about his misison and how he found success. He served in our mission about 4 years ago. He saw incredible success. I started to ask him how he did it. He told us, have faith, talk to literally everyone, chase people down, and only teach people that are actually progressing. He said, “People already think you are might as well act crazy.” Sister Begazo and I walked out of correlation on fire. We were determined to have the faith to talk to everyone and spare not. We spent the rest of the day literally stopping everyone we saw. It was amazing!! We talked to so many nice people and found 2 potentials. At the end of the night, we were contacting a little in the Centrum. There weren't a ton of people but at one point there were two people walking in our direction. Sister Begazo went for the one to her left but I felt like we needed to talk to the man walking in my direction. I followed my companion. The lady quickly rejected the card. I looked back and the man was already past me. Usually, I would have let him go but that night I was determined to face my fears. I chased after the guy. I called to him “pardon (excuse me).” He stopped and turned around. Turns out, he has been to Utah and knows about mormons and wants to learn more about them. It was amazing and a testimony to me that as we show our faith and do what sometimes may be crazy, the Lord blesses us. I have been called here to proclaim the gospel to everyone and that is just what I am going to do!! I will never forget that moment and I no longer want to be afraid! The last miracle of the week was that we went over to our investigator's home. We have been teaching him for a while and his wife at first wouldn't stay for the lessons but in the last few weeks she has started to kind of listen. Yesterday, she invited us for Christmas Eve!!!!!! She isn't interested but really likes us!! It will be awesome to go for Christmas Eve and build a good relationship with her so hopefully, she will support her husband in going further with the gospel and maybe follow. We were so happy!!! Also, she is from Poland so we are going to get a taste of a Polish Christmas! I can't wait!!
I love being a missionary! There is nothing better than it! You feel so alive and full of the joy of the Lord. I am so excited for this week of Christmas. We have a lot of wonderful things planned and it will be great! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope you take time to remember the real reason behind Christmas. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and I am grateful for this time of year to think more about him and try to be more like him.
Fijne Kerst en een Gelukkig Nieuwe Jaar!
Zuster Adams
Pictures are of my companion and I with all our Christmas cards and Chocolate! 

And the adventure of Training begins!

Dec. 15th, 2014
My new companion is Sister Begazo!! She is from Manhattan and is amazing. She just graduate college and has travelled all over. She is dedicated and ready to learn. This transfer is going to be great.
  1. Because we only had my bike to get around the city with, a member told me I could use their bike until we picked up Sister Begazo’s bike…well the bike was her 10-year-old daughter’s bike…I looked hilarious biking around town on this tiny little bike. Blessings of being small  I was planning on getting a picture but I forgot.
  2. When we picked up Sister Begazo’s bike we then had to walk all three of the bikes across the city…the bikes were heavy and the walk was long but we did it!
  3. We had Stake Conference this weekend and President Robinson was asked to organize a missionary choir as pre-lude music. I was then asked to lead and organize this choir. I have never been in charge of a choir…let alone a bunch of elders that don’t actually like to sing. It was quite the adventure. Everyone cooperated well and the Saturday night session was great. Sunday morning was another story. The Sunday morning session was at this conference center out in the middle of nowhere…the bus only comes 1 an hour. All the missionaries tried to get there early but it didn’t exactly work. I got there 15 minutes before the meeting, after walking for a half hour on a country road. When I got there, I heard that our pianist was stuck somewhere in a train station and that we weren’t sure when she would be arriving. Also, she had the sheet music for the song. Keep in mind we are supposed to start singing in about 5 minutes. The Stake Presidency comes to me and starts asking when are we going to start and what are we going to do. We quickly round up all the missionaries, that are there, and then we remember that we still don’t have music or a pianist. Elder Hunter, who sang a solo in the last priesthood session of General Conference, tells me that he knows the song we are singing on the piano by memory. He starts playing, the missionaries sing and somehow…it all works out.  What no one knows is actually going on behind the scenes.
This week was interesting. I had a good last day with Sister Robbins. We taught an awesome lesson to our investigator Ursula and she seems to be progressing a lot more. I hope to see her in Church soon. Wednesday we get to Leiden and I say goodbye to Sister Robbins, I miss her a lot. I walked with all the other trainers to a hotel where all the 22 new missionaries are. Oh man, we were all nervous and scared. The Assitants to President had us follow them into a conference room where all the new missionaries were. They would call out our names and then our greenies would come and introduce themselves to us. It was so weird. Sister Begazo found me and then we had some training. Finally, we got back to Lelystad! The rest of the week went by relatively fast. We were busy getting Sister Begazo settled in with a bike, winter boots, and a few other things. We met with Vivian once this week and he is doing so well!! He hasn’t smoked in over a week!!! I talked with him about and he said, “Sister Adams, I told you I would stop. I have started my new life and I don’t want to go back.” It was amazing! Tita is doing really good. We had a really good lesson with Alistair and his wife listen to most of the lesson too. I have a good feeling about them. The Lord has me here in Lelystad for a reason. I didn’t exactly want to stay here for 4 transfers. But I know that there is work for me to do here and if the only reason I am here is to train Sister Begazo then I feel blessed. Training is hard. Yesterday, I was feeling overwhelmed with responsibility. I began to pray for Heavenly Father to bless me with peace and reassurance. When we taught Alistair, I felt such a peace and comfort that I was doing the right things and that the Lord was proud of me. Whom the Lord calls, he qualifies. I have felt that really strongly this week. I have also begun to realize that I know more than I think I know. I am so quick to doubt my abilities and myself but the Lord is helping me see that I am important and that I can and do make a difference. We are so much more than we think we are. We make so much more of a difference than we think we do. The Lord sees my efforts and he will magnify them. Lelystad is growing. We had an incredible Stake Conference and I learned a lot about how I can be a better missionary. A new Stake President was called! I also got a chance to talk to Elder Dyches, 2nd counsellor in the area presidency. He asked President Robinson to find me so that he could tell me hi from my dad and tell me that my dad is doing a great job as Stake President. He took a picture of my companion, President Robinson, and me and will email it to my dad. It was a tender mercy to have Elder Dyches want to talk to me and tell me about my dad. The Lord is so aware of us and sends us support in so many different ways. Also, I am loving the Christmas season! If you haven't watched "He is the Gift" on Youtube, I would highly recommend it!! Enjoy this time to reflect on the Savior!! 
I know that this transfer will bring miracles. We are trying to build a ward here in Lelystad and I know that it will happen. When we have faith, anything in possible.
De heer zorgt voor ons en geeft ons precise wat we nodig hebben!
Zuster Adams
P.s. sorry for no picture of my companion...I am slacking. I'll get on it next week :)