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 9am-3:30pm...it 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 Saturday...it 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 later...it 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 crazy...you 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!
Pictures are of my companion and I with all our Christmas cards and Chocolate!