Friday, February 6, 2015

Sunshine...Hail?...Rain...Snow? Will spring EVER come?

February 2, 2015

The weather has been crazy this week and I really just hope that spring will come soon...

Funnies of the week: 
1. I went on exchanges to Ijmuiden this week. I was working with Sister Johansen. We had quite an adventurous day. It wasn´t raining when we left the house...but we went to this little village without bikes and had to walk around the whole day. Of course once we got there, it decided to start raining. It wasn´t bad in the beginning. We had two broken umbrellas that kind of worked. Then the wind started to blow. It was blowing so hard and it didn´t matter what direction we faced we just got soaked. We destroyed the already broken umbrellas and had to throw them away. We got SO wet. I believe it also started to hail at some point. Right before another down pour, we ran into a grocery store and bought dafodils for an old lady we went and saw. We decided that God wanted us to be rained on so that we would buy those flowers and would visit the old lady...who knows but it was what kept us going. As a missionary, you learn that it doesn´t matter what the weather just keep going. 
2. We were ringing doorbells this week. We were at an old apartment building where the house number is 12 but all the apartments have letters. Well some of the numbers were knocked off. On this one bell, the person put a letter F much bigger than was necessary and wrote the letter F in sharpie next to it. We thought it was pretty funny just because we could tell they really wanted to make sure that everyone knew that that was their house. 
3. Friday started out as a beautiful sunny day. We planned for our week and right as we left the apartment it, of course, started to rain. We didn´t think much of it because that is normal here. Well about five minutes later...the rain turned to snow. We needed to go look up a referral that we had gotten. It was snowing SO much. By the time we got home (oh we never made it to our referral because we didn´t plan in enough time), we were completely covered in snow. We looked like are attached. 
4. Also on Friday, after we had dinner there was a solid inch of snow on the ground and we needed to bike to the church. Biking on snow is not the smartest thing in the world but when a bike is all you use it. So we started biking and at one point I needed to brake(also, my brakes weren´t working earlier that day but I had thankfully asked one of the elders to fix my brakes). I braked...and down I went. I totally biffed it. I wasn´t hurt at all but it was a pretty good wipe out. Sister Karlson said I was doing great and then suddenly I was on the ground. I got up laughing because honestly, what else are you supposed to do. We talked to the Elders later and one of them fell twice so I felt better about my one wipe out. 
5. Again on Friday, we went to the church for a sport night. Well we had invited 20 people and no one showed up but in the case that maybe someone would show up we had to stay at the church. We had nothing better to do while waiting so...we made a HUGE snowman. It was wonderful. And right as we finished making it, the snow turned to rain. Funny how that works. 
This week was full of many laughable moments!! We biked through lots of hail, snow, and rain. I can now say that I am a pro with all of them. I wouldn´t recommend stings a bit. 

This week was a great week. I am still adjusting to Amsterdam and how everything works here but it seems to be going well. We met with this incredible lady named Karlijn! Her boyfriend is a member and so she is taking the lessons because she loves him and wants to marry him but she needs to be a member to be married in the Temple. Sister Karlson had only met her once so we both really didn´t know what to expect. We show up and she tells us that she has just finished the Book of Mormon and isn´t quite sure yet if it is true but basically tells us she will do anything to know that it is true. She is amazing!!! She honestly wants to know if this is God´s church and she doesn´t want to know just because her boyfriend knows it. She wants to know for herself. I have a good feeling about her and really think that she will get an answer soon!! When I was in Ijmuiden, I was able to teach a first lesson and invite someone to baptism. It was a really cool lesson and the lady is amazing! I can´t wait to hear how things go with the lady. I have made it my goal this transfer to talk to everyone I see. There is no sense in holding back. As my old mission leader in Lelystad said "they already think you are crazy, you might as well do something crazy." So I have been stopping everyone, while we bike, on the tram, on the metro, on the train. It has been so much fun!! We have been meeting a lot of cool people that way too! I stopped this young man and asked him to come to sport night at the church and he loved the idea and even knew where the church was. Did he come no, but the weather was terrible so who knows, he might come this week. Then 2 nights ago, we were biking and I stopped this young lady and she is from Bolivia. Usually, I wouldn´t have stopped some one at night who had their back to me but because I had decided to stop everyone, we were able to find her. She is super nice and told us that we could call her and set up an appointment. She seems super sweet! Yesterday was a bit crazy!! We were sitting in church and the stake president was there. Not weird but then he gets up and starts asking us to sustain our bishop, kind of like they do in ward conference. So Sister Karlson asks if it is ward conference. I said I didn´t think so because there were no other stake leaders other than the Stake president. Suddenly, I realize that they are calling a new bishop. I was shocked!! Everyone thought that our bishop had another year. But nope, he got released and now we have a new bishop. What is funny is that last week we waited about 30 minutes to make sure we got a dinner appointment with the bishop...and now he isn´t the bishop. Hillarious. But it is good. I really felt that the new Bishop is called of God. He will do an amazing job! It will be interesting to see how things change and how the new bishop will work with the missionaries. I am anxious to work with him. 

I have learned a lot this week. I have learned about a lot of my gifts and talents. I have learned that I have a way of helping others work through their problems and help them come to conclusions on their own. I had to give a training with the Zone Leaders and I was so nervous. President and Sister Robinson were there and that was a lot of pressure but it went really well. I was able to teach about teaching like the Savior, asking good questions, and loving those you teach. I was able to tell the young missionaries(we have a lot in this zone) how if they love those they teach it will change their missions. I learned that in Lelystad. I only realized that as I was talking about it. When you sacrifice all you have, to people you don´t even really know but do your best to know, you grow a love for them that is beyond description. Sometimes we go through hard things and often have no idea why. Coming to Amsterdam has helped me realize what I learned in Lelystad. I learned who I was. I learned how to love unconditionally. I learned the meaning of sacrifice. I learned the power of faith and expectations. I hope to make my time here in Amsterdam as sacred as my time in Lelystad was. The past few days have been hard because I want to go from 0-100 in the work here in Amsterdam. But I am realizing that I have to take it one step at a time. I have to give myself time to understand and time to love. I have so much to give but I need to simply take the time to give. Being a Sister Training Leader is already teaching me so much. I am realizing how much our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us. I am learning how intricate our lives are and how much care the Lord puts into our lives. No matter what we are going through, our Heavenly Father loves us and is with us. We simply have to look around, and see him. Amazing things are happening!! I am so grateful to be a part of them!! 

Herinner altijd hoe belangrijk elke ziel voor onze Hemelse Vader is! 

Zuster Adams

The City Life

January 26, 2015

Well this week I said goodbye to Lelystad and said hello to Amsterdam!! Leaving Lelystad was hard. I miss it!! But being in Amsterdam has been a lot of fun. Sorry...I don´t really have any funnies this week. We did bike on snow on Saturday and that was an adventure but other than that I can´t say anything funny happened that was email worthy. 
Before I left Lelystad, I was able to say goodbye to almost everyone in the Branch and express my love for them. They are all wonderful. I really feel like they are my family and will always be my family. I can´t wait to go back and visit in a few weeks!! 

Wednesday, I boarded a train with all of my luggage and bike and headed to Amsterdam. I got to meet Sister Karlson and she is great! I will have to get a picture of her next week. She is from Denver, Colorado and is in her 2nd transfer. So I am finishing her training. She has a great desire to learn and learn to have the faith to create miracles. We have planned for this transfer to be the transfer of Working Miracles! We will work mighty miracles! We live in a house. It has three stories and is really nice. It is really cool! I love how everything is old here. It is great!! I feel like I am back in Europe...:) We saw some pretty great miracles in the few days that I have been here. Yesterday, we were knocking doors and no one was interested. We were almost done with the street when this man opens his door and is super nice. He says he knows things about the mormons and explains that he knows about family history. I had remembered to bring family history cards with me and was able to give him one. I told him that there was a family history center here in Amsterdam and that he would be welcome to come. He then invited us in and I was able to explain everything that we do as missionaries. He was so nice and very interested. We didn´t have very much time so we set up an appointment for next week and told him that we were going to teach him the first lesson. He seemed very interested. He has a family and is Dutch!!! It was amazing!!! Also, he lives a couple of streets away from the Church. While we were there, he told us that he had seen the Elders that morning and were wondering who they were. And then we knocked on his door that night!! It was so cool. The day before Sister Karlson and I had made a pledge to find a family near the church! The Lord answers prayers! I can´t wait to meet with him in a week. Church was great on Sunday. It is so weird being in a ward. There were a good amount of people in church. All the members are super nice and I am excited to work with them. There are 8 missionaries in this ward so that is kind of fun too. The ward mission leader is wonderful and I am excited to work with him more. Good things are happening here in Amsterdam but I think we can definitely up our game! We didn´t get a ton of time to proselyte this week because I had to go to a bunch of meetings to plan Zone Training tomorrow. It will be a good Zone Training. It will be all a new adventure for me but I am sure it will go well. I am looking forward to working with all the sisters that I am over. They are all pretty young missionaries so I hope I can help them have the faith to produce miracles. I know most of them and they are all stellar so it will be fun to learn from them as well. Well I don´t have a ton to say today but I promise to write more next week. Transfer week is always weird! 

Amsterdam is great and I am so happy to be here!! 

Groetjes en Liefs,
Zuster Adams

The apartment buildings where I lived in Lelystad. And another one of my favorite families in Lelystad, Familie Prins! 

Birthday wishes come true!

January 19, 2015

Well we got transfer calls last night and because it is a dream come true I am going to keep you all in suspense and will tell you what is happening at the end of the email!! :)

Funnies of the week: 
1. Played Balloon volleyball for my birthday and it was a work out! 
2. Played dominoes...earned almost 300 points in one round...I lost pretty bad
3. I went to Den Haag on exchanges and we were talking to people in the centrum. We had just knocked the door of literally a crazy house for sick people when I decided to contact this guy walking down the street. He looked kind of sketchy but I gave him a card anyways. Sister Fredrickson afterwards said "I can't believe you contacted him...he peed his pants." I turned around and sure enough the man had obviously peed his pants and then he proceeded to walk in to the crazy house. It was pretty funny. Sister Fredrickson was freaking out because I gave him a card with their number on was all I had.
4. The Zone Leaders came to work with us on Saturday and they get out of their car and start complaining about how cold it is. I felt no sympathy considering I bike all over in a skirt in the freezing cold weather. The continued to talk about how wonderful their steering wheel warmer is...Sister Begazo and I have decided we are going to make a bike handle bar heater. 

This past week was an awesome week with lots of miracles and patience. Last week we had no investigators that were progressing and it was pretty depressing. This week miracles happened. We set a baptismal date with Charlie!!! She still doesn't have permission to be baptized but we are going to fast and pray that her parents hearts will be softened by the 8th of March. Oh I hope she can get baptized so bad! She wants it!! Oh I love her so much! Also, we set this baptismal date on my birthday so it was a pretty good Birthday present. Later that day we went to Familie De Bruijn's house and had a delicious meal and I made the cake. It was wonderful. Then we played dominoes and I lost horribly. It was terrible. But the members here were so sweet. They sent me Happy Birthday wishes and called. We went to the Branch President's house later in the week and his wife made me a nutella cheesecake!! It was so sweet. I really felt loved. I couldn't have asked for a better Birthday. When we went to the Branch President's house, we talked to his wife about the plan she had made to help her friends take the lessons. She had over I think 8 families written down. She had spent over an hour praying on what she should do. It was amazing!! She has a plan for all her friends and  will be setting up a lunch appointment soon with the missionaries and one of the families!! It was inspiring. I have a feeling that all of the families will be baptized. I can't wait to see what happens!! I hope and pray that more members in the Branch will catch her vision and find that many people to work with. I want to be like that when I go home too. I was able to meet one more time with Vivian. He is still sick and not doing so well but he reads in the Book of Mormon every day and has a stronger testimony every time I see him. I hope he gets better so he can get baptized. Yesterday was probably one of the most amazing days ever!! We came home from Church and our next appointment fell through. Sister Begazo and I weren't sure where we were supposed to go. Honestly, I was scared to go to one neighborhood because I didn't want our potentials there to end up not being interested. I just couldn't take one more rejection. We kneeled down and prayed about where we should go. We both felt strongly that we needed to go to Landerijen. So off we went. We knocked the door of one of our potentials and no one answered. So we walked over to the lady that let us in two weeks ago to see if she was home. I didn't really want to knock unless she was home because we had been there 2 days before and she wasn't home and I had talked to her son. I didn't want to be annoying and just keep coming by. We walked past the house and saw that Anja was sitting on the couch. We decided to knock and see if she would let us in. She did!! Turns out her father had passed away this past week. It was really hard for her. We asked if we could share the first lesson and she said she wants to hear it but she had too much going on in her head at the moment. So we took the time to talk and get to know her better. We were able to meet her husband and get to know her son. They are all amazing and so nice!! I have a really good feeling about them and I know that they were the ones that we were supposed to find this transfer. We told Heavenly Father that we only wanted to teach people that were really interested and would progress. I know that he led us to Anja! I can't wait to see how she progresses! Church was also incredible because the newly reactivated old branch president of Lelystad got called as our branch mission leader!! I am so excited for him!! He will be absolutely amazing. He gave a talk on Sunday that was incredible. He has come a long ways and truly has a testimony of the gospel. He will be an incredible mission leader!! 

Well Guess what?!!! I am being transferred after 6 months in Lelystad. I will miss this little branch! I absolutely love the people here and they will always be in my heart. I hope to keep in touch with them and hear how Lelystad is doing. Miracles are going to happen here and it will become a ward and so much more. Oh man, I am going to miss it here. But....drum roll please! I am being transferred to Amsterdam!!!!!! Can you believe it? I certainly can't! I am so excited to be in a big city!! The biggest city in Nederland!! My new companion is Sister Carlson or Karlson...not sure how to spell it but you get it. Also, I am being called as a Sister Training Leader over the Den Haag zone sisters and the Amsterdam zone sisters. I will be in charge of about 8 sisters! I am really excited for this new adventure!! I really know that I am supposed to be in Amsterdam and I am really excited. I feel very blessed! Can't wait to tell you all about my adventures in Amsterdam. Also, because I am the Sister Training Leader over the Lelystad sisters I get to come back to Lelystad!! I am so happy!! Life is good and Birthday wishes do come true!! 

Amsterdam ben je bereit om Zuster Adams te hebben? Ik hop het! 

Zuster Adams

First Picture: Familie Hoole-Branch President!! Love them! 
Second Picture: One of my favorite families!! Familie De Graaf!