Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2055 hours left on my mission?‏

May 11, 2015

Well you all might be wondering why the title of this email is the number of hours left on mission. Yesterday, I told my companion how I only have 11 Sundays left. She told me to stop talking like that. So then we calculated the hours so that it seemed like there was a lot more time left. It seemed to work. :)

1. We got lost on our way to a military base this week. I had to get a new military id. We tried to get on a train and accidentally checked into the wrong one. We were about to miss our train. The conductor came over and helped us and held the train for us. It was so nice! We got off that train shortly after that. We were off the train for about an hour and then went back to get on and go home. As the train doors opened someone yelled "Hello Ladies!" it was our conductor friend! He had made a circle with the trains and we got back on his train. It was really funny! We talked to him for a while about who we were and what we were doing in the Netherlands! 

I don't have very many funnies to report this week. I will do better this coming week! :) This week was great though! We found some inactive members that hadn't been visited in a few years. They are open to meeting with us and hopefully coming back to church. We are hopeful. Tuesday, I saw my trainer, Sister Spencer. She was in town with her family and they took us out to lunch. It was so fun to see her and meet her family! On Wednesday, I went to Ijmuiden to work with Sister Verdegem. She is from Belgium and we are the oldest(as in longest on the mission) in the mission. We had a blast! I have never worked with a sister that has been out almost the same time as me. It was great! We spoke a lot of dutch. We had a really fun dinner appointment near tulip fields. The member took us and we got pictures next to the tulip fields. I will hopefully get the pictures soon. Thursday, we had a great appointment with our investigator Karlijn. The previous week she had received an answer that her boyfriend and her are meant to be together. It is a bit of a long story but it was really amazing that she saw the Lord's hand in her life. She was excited to share it with us. We watched a great talk about following the revelation. We talked to her about baptism and what her next steps are. She believes it is true she just wants to make sure she gets baptized for herself and not her member boyfriend. I was able to help her look at getting baptized as something she would be doing for them rather than for him. She knows that if she gets baptized she can be with her boyfriend forever. So with that mind set, getting baptized is something she would do for them. She really liked that. She said that the answer she got is that she is on the right path. She is excited to keep moving forward. We brought an amazing joint teach that really helped her really understand things. Friday was crazy. I spent the day in the mission home at Mission Leader Council. It was so good!! I learned so much! This week we will have our last zone conference with our mission president before he goes home in July. It is so weird!! We will miss them a lot! Saturday was amazing! We had the concert from the singing elders. About 121 people came. Sang songs and told stories of about 4 different people's lives. The title of the production was Journey of No End. They were trying to teach through music that this life is eternal. They started with the birth of a child and then it growing up and getting married and having their own children. I cried through a lot of it. It was just so touching and relate able. I could almost see my life passing before my eyes and then I could see my future. It was amazing! We get to see it again this week in english. I am excited to learn more and to feel the spirit more. We had a lot of people from Amsterdam that came and really enjoyed it! Yesterday was great! Church was a little odd. We left sacrament meeting for about 15min to find our investigator. We found him though and he enjoyed church. It was great skyping my family! I can't believe I will see them in August. It will be a great day! Well life is good here in Amsterdam. We are working hard and having fun! I am learning so much every week! Never forget how much the Lord loves you! 

Ik hou van Amsterdam! 

Zuster Adams

Oranje Week!‏

May 4, 2015

 This week was so amazing and long! It was an 8 day week so honestly it feels like a year has gone by. 

1. My companion and I do not like sauerkraut that fact not at all. We went to a dinner appointment this week and the last time we were there they made potatoes and sauerkraut. We joked earlier in the day that we would be eating that again...guess what she made again...sauerkraut with potatoes. We ate it. I hope that if we eat there again we get something different. I have learned to not complain though. And I am learning to appreciate sauerkraut more. 
2. We were doing look-ups and we happened upon another playground. There was this kid on the merry-go-round yelling in English "I am the king of the World!!" It was pretty funny! He was very proud of himself. He was probably about 12 years old. 
3. We had a lesson with our investigator Frank this week. He is from the Congo and is hillarious. We needed to have our lesson outside on that particular day. It took at least 10 minutes of convincing before we got him to come outside. We found a bench to sit on and he freaked out because it was a "Junky" bench. He kept telling us how junky it was because people that smoke and drink sit there. It was funny. But at least he has the smoking and drinking thing down. 
4. We also found out that stealing bikes is the thing to do here. You learn from a young age to steal bikes and everyone knows how. Everyone just loans each other's bikes...A member told us all about his bike stealing days as a kid. :) No worries, I got a new bike and a massive lock! 

Well this week was amazing! We started out with Konings Dag. It is the Kings Birthday and it is a party!! Everyone brings all the old stuff they own out on the street and sells it to each other. We had a perfect place right on a canal! We started at 8am and were there until 5:30. We were exhausted by the end. We had two tables with a bunch of Book of Mormon's. We had a big huge banner that said We had a ton of success! We started out with an 8 year old coming to our stand and wanting a book in english. He was so excited!! Great way to start out the day. I was handing out cards to everyone that passed. I handed out a card to this father. Ten minutes later he came back. He said he had read the card and wanted the book. He was dutch and from up north. He wrote down his information for the missionaries to come visit him. It was amazing!  We ran out of Book of Mormon's twice. We had to run home and get all our reserves. And the Assistant's to the President had to bring us more. We all got sun-burned but it was worth it. Later this week we had a first appointment with a member's friends. It was hands down the most incredible lesson I have ever taught or been a part of! We went to the member's home. She lives in the cutest little garden home. We ate a delicious vegetarian meal(I have really embraced healthy vegetarian eating on my mission). We got to know her two friends. It was so easy and natural. Usually, I am really nervous teaching member's friends but it was so easy. We started the lesson and they were so prepared. They understood all of the lesson. They had a bunch of somewhat hard questions but we were able to answer all of them and help them with their concerns. It started getting cold outside so we moved inside and sat around a wood burning stove. We then shared about the first vision. The spirit was so strong. They were so excited to get a Book of Mormon. They promised to read and pray. We asked them if they knew it was true, would they get baptized. They both said that that would be the logical next step. It was amazing! My mission dream has been to teach a dutch member referral and a family! Both of the women were dutch. They were both member referrals. And one of the women has is married with 2 kids. It was a dream come true. I was actually kind of discouraged that day because Tobias had called and told us that he was going to Portugal for health reasons and wasn't sure when he was coming back. I was pretty upset. I would love to see someone baptized on my mission and it wasn't going to happen again. But something I have learned a lot recently is that Good things fall apart so better things can fall together. We may not have contact with Tobias for a bit but the Lord let me teach to people that I have been praying to teach my whole mission. I honestly feel that those two women are friends from before. It was like I was teaching some of my best friends that is how natural it felt to teach them. It was as if I had taught them before. I am excited to teach them in two weeks. The Lord answers our prayers! Our dreams are his dreams! He wants us to see success! He will make it happen. We must be patient! Yesterday, our investigator Ike came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it! Also, our investigator Karlijn went to church in another ward and bore her testimony about how God answers prayers. We have an appointment this week and we are excited to hear about her experiences! Life is good here in Amsterdam! This coming week will be really busy! We have exchanges with Ijmuiden, Mission Leader Council, Singing Elder's Concert, and then we get to skype our families! I am excited for what this week will bring! 

De Heer Antwoord elke Gebed! 

Zuster Adams

Koning Dag pictures and We found a Gnome!!! 

Garden Gnomes?

April 25, 2015

 learned a lot this week and was refined. We saw miracles of course! Also, we had quite a few funny things happen! Also, this will be me catching up for last week too. 

1. We were with the singing elders last week and I was talking to Elder Hunter(from Scotland) about going to a Garden Home. We have a member that lives in a tiny little home in a garden. I said "We are going to a garden home." He replied rather confused "A Garden Gnome??" It was pretty funny! Yes, we are teaching a family of gnomes! :)
2. We went to a dinner appointment with the Elders this week and Elder Taggart had quite the spiritual thought. He was teaching about the Armour of God. He began by asking the members for a hand towel. He put that on the table and continued to read some scriptures about the Armour of God. He pulled out a card and wrapped it around his finger. Then from out of nowhere he pulls from under the table a giant can of beans and smashes he finger that was wrapped with the card. It was the scariest thing! We honestly didn't know what was going on. But rest assured his finger was fine. The card was like the armour of God. The can of beans was dented though. My companion and I just started laughing because it was so unexpected that he would smash his finger with a can of beans. It was good! 
3. We went to Weesp this week to bring the Bishop cookies. We show up at the address that was on the ward list and the name on the house is wrong. We were at an apartment building so it was a bunch of bell-ups. We decided to call the ward mission leader to make sure we had the right address. In the process of this, Sister Mashburn set the cookies on the bell-up thing. We started walking away from the apartment building to make the phone call. As I am talking to Bronno(ward mission leader), I say that we are taking cookies to the Bishop and I realize we no longer have cookies. "We are taking cookies to the Bishop...wait, Where are the cookies?!" It was pretty good and so something Sister Mashburn and I would do...we are a little clueless. :) 
4. Last week we got locked out of our apartment for the 4 time last was bad. We went and finally got spare keys. 
5. I love spring in the Netherlands because there are geese and ducks and all sorts of animals everywhere. This week there were some geese seriously disrupting traffic. About 10 of them decided to cross a busy street around rush hour. It was pretty funny to watch the Cars try and avoid them. No one was killed though! :) 
6. Sister Mashburn and I love having fun with kids on the Metro. Yesterday, we were playing with a 3 year old girl and when we got up to leave she yelled "No, sit down!" She was very upset we had to get off! We have lots of little friends in Amsterdam! 

This week was wonderful! We worked really hard and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Sister Mashburn and I have a nack for finding playgrounds and then playing on them. We have ridden a couple of swings, rolled down hills, and ridden merry go rounds. It has been wonderful! We make sure and enjoy every day. There are always lots of laughing involved. Our investigators are doing amazing!!!!! Brother Tobias has a baptismal date!!! He will be baptized on the 24th of May! We made a baptismal calendar with him yesterday. He was a little scared but he seemed confident. His biggest worry is that if he gets baptized he won't be loyal to his covenants. He wants more than anything to take it seriously and honor his covenants with God. He is amazing!! We love meeting with him! He is coming to church tomorrow and loves it. He is also reading the Book of Mormon every day and we didn't even ask him to do that. When people want the truth, they work and build their own testimonies. :) I had never met the Bishop's wife but we had a really awesome conversation with her when we went by. We shared a thought with her and she became teary eyed. I could tell she was very grateful for our visit. Sometimes we forget that those that are strong are the ones we need to be helping. In fact, this week was a harder one for me. Satan has really been working to bring me down. I have had very negative thoughts and it hasn't been healthy. I learned this week that I need to love myself and others. I feel like I have learned this lesson before but we always have to be reminded of things. I was reminded this week of how much I need the Atonement and my Savior. I need his love to fill me. His love is filling me though. I have had so much love for those around me and myself. We can never let our guard down. We can never put things on the back burner. We have to be continually converted. The Lord is good. He knows exactly what we need. My companion was really supportive too. She has taught me a lot! We went to a member's house last night that has been struggling. She broke some commandments and will not forgive herself. She is just beating herself up for what she did. I was able to testify to her that the Lord loves her. I said some very beautiful things through the spirit. I couldn't tell you what I said. The Lord works through us if we let him. She was touched and seemed uplifted. I feel like the Lord let me suffer a bit so that I could share my experiences with this member and promise her that the Lord wants her to remember that he loves her no matter what. The work is going well in Amsterdam. I realized that I need to start turning things over to Sister Mashburn. I need to start preparing her to be in charge of Amsterdam. I got a blessing this week that made me realize that my companion is the future of the mission. I need to prepare her and help her. It put a lot of things in perspective for me. The Lord wants me to share my knowledge with her so that when I go, people will know the things I knew and will keep doing the jobs I was doing. We must always train our replacements. Well today should be fun, we are having a missionary soccer tournament! I am excited! Remember always how much the Lord loves you!! 

De heer houdt van ons allemal! 

Zuster Adams