Monday, June 22, 2015

9 Trains

June 22, 2015

Well this week was crazy, wonderful, long, short, tiring, and just good! 

1. We went to Antwerpen on p-day and we wanted to play we made a net out of sweatshirts and hung them on two trees and played. It was awesome! 
2. We taught a lady this week and she has two little twin babies. They were so active while we tried to teach her. At one point she got up and said " daughter is eating leaves." It was so funny to be talking about Christ and then worry about a child eating leaves. 
3. There is this wonderful couple in the ward here. We eat with them every monday night. Well last week we were there and they had a picture on the wall from about 10 years ago. In the picture, Jo still had brown hair. So I looked at him and then back at the picture and back at him. And he started saying to his wife, did you just see the way she looked at me. It was funny. Then my sassy side came out and I said "Well you look very good, for an old man." We laughed pretty hard. He has told everyone in the ward and makes jokes about it every time I see them. Oh it is great! They are my favorite people here. 
4. So we got to go to Charlie's baptism, which was awesome, but we are terrible with trains and took 9 trains to get there and should have taken maybe 3. We learned our lesson though. :) 
5. We were sitting in an appointment yesterday and I thought I had a bug in my hair but I couldn't find anything. I didn't think much about it. About 5 minutes later it was crawling across my was gross. We laughed with the member about it though. :) 

This week was wonderful, as always! Monday, we had an awesome lesson with our investigator Eline. We all bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and she bore hers too. Then we committed her to fasting and picking a baptismal date. She said she would and she did it. We haven't heard what she has decided yet but we are excited for her to prepare to be baptized. We had a wonderful correlation with our ward mission leader and we are getting things prepared for Natalie and Suzette to be baptized! Wednesday, Sister Robbins came on exchanges with me in Lokeren!! It was so much fun to work together again. I have missed her a lot. We stayed up really late catching up but it was worth it. We saw some amazing miracles the day we worked together. We taught 2 of our potentials. They aren't really interested but we had a good conversation. We also taught a recently baptized member. She is amazing and so excited to go to the Temple this month. We taught Natalie as well. We taught the 3rd lesson and it was amazing. The spirit was so strong and Natalie is amazing. We set up all of our appointments until she gets baptized. She is so ready!! She came to church on Sunday and loved it. I also went on exchange with Sister Goodman. I was her sister training leader in Amsterdam. It was fun to see her and catch up too. She told me that I changed her mission and that I taught her a lot. It meant a lot to hear that I had made a difference in her life. She is wonderful. We found two really cool potentials and had an awesome lesson with Suzette. Suzette's parents are totally on board for her to get baptized. Friday was a blessed day. We met with Benjamin, a member's son, and taught him the 3rd lesson and asked him to set a baptismal date. He will be baptized on the 26th of July! My dad's birthday. He is super excited and amazing. Also, his dad came to church on sunday which was a total surprise and shock to me. He had told me that when he was ready to believe he would come to church. Then he came with Benjamin and stayed for 2 hours. The dad told me that he surprised himself coming to church but that he had enjoyed it. The ward did an awesome job of reaching out and talking to him. Friday night, we had an activity for the women from the age of 18-31. We went on a walk in nature. It was amazing and so beautiful. Eline and Natalie came and really enjoyed it. The spirit was really strong too! I love being in Nature! Saturday was wonderful. After our first set of adventures with the trains, we went to Charlie's baptism! It was amazing! I almost started crying during the first hymn. I have waited so long to see her baptized. It was so special! I love her and am so proud of her. It was a beautiful service! I also got to see Sister Mashburn which was wonderful. I had so much to tell her! we talked a bunch and went to lunch. Oh she is wonderful. We are hoping she will get transferred down to Belgium so we can go on exchanges next transfer. Sunday was good. Church was amazing! We had 8 people there!!! I don't even know how that happened. That is definitely a record for my mission. This place is amazing! Sunday afternoon we weren't sure what to do so we went and looked up a member that we didn't know that well. She is married to a non-member that isn't too pleased with the church. She was home alone and we had a wonderful conversation with her. She wants us to teach her son the lessons! We are so excited. She is so strong and is in a hard situation. We got a text this morning from her cousin thanking us for going by and telling us that we were inspired. It was a tender mercy. So often we have no idea if we are following the spirit but most the time we are! It is incredible! 

I love it here in Lokeren! I am seeing so many miracles and the Lord is truly blessing me and my companion. 

Lokeren is wonderbaarlijk! 

Zuster Adams

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Goodbyes and Baptisms!

June 15, 2015

Well this past week has been amazing! Weare seeing a lot of miracles here in Lokeren. The ward here is incredible! 

1. We beat the Elders again in the drawing contest! They were upset. 
2. Elder Bosco did a cool spiritual thought with these see through balls in water. It was about faith. You couldn't see that the balls were in the water. So a member stuck his hand in the water and freak out when he felt the balls. It was so funny. He screamed! Oh greatest spiritual thought! 
3. We lost our phone for a whole night...left it in a members car. We didn't have an alarm so we went to sleep with faith that we would wake up on time. And we did! 
4. Our ward mission leader listens to french rap on the way to church. It is awesome! 

Wow, I'm not even sure where to begin. MOnday was amazing. We had an awesome dinner appointment with some of my favorite members. Then we went and saw Edison and his daughters. They are amazing. Shauna (15 years old) is enjoying what we are teaching. Hopefully, she will start reading in the Book of Mormon. The twins are so ready to get baptized. Their prayers are incredible. They are ten and know more about the gospel than I do. Edison wants us to wait to make a baptismal date but hopefully it will be soon. We had a great correlation! I love our ward mission leader. Wednesday, we had a really cool lesson about faith with this guy named Peter. He isn't ready to believe in God yet but he understood the logic. I hope he will make the decision to exercise faith. Thursday was really good. We had our last Conference with President and Sister Robinson. They go home in 3 weeks. It is so weird. They gave amazing presentations. I have learned a lot from them. We asked Sister Robinson how she knew Presdient was the one. She told us and then gave us great advice about marriage. My old companions Sister Begazo and Robbins and Sister Hanny were harassing me about dating and getting married. It was pretty funny. I guess that is what happens when you go home. People just harass you about getting marriend. Don't worry Mom and Dad, I'll go slow. I am in no hurry. Friday, I was sitting in personal study half-asleep (continual problem). I had probably read the same conference talk about 7 times...terrible. When suddenly, I heard screaming from down the hall. Sister Hanny had gone to check our phone because we had gotten a text message. She came into the front room and told me that Natalie, our investigator, had texted a member that morning to tell them that she has decided to be baptized on the 12th of July!! I jumped up from my chair and hugged Sis. Hanny. We were so excited!! We haven't even talked about baptism with her! She picked a date herself! It was amazing! I am so excited to meet with her this week. We also found 3 amazing people knocking this week. Saturday, we went to Brugge and found 28 people for the Elders there as a Zone. It was really fun! We also set a baptismal date with Suzette for the 12th of July! She is super cool! I can't wait to help these people make these amazing covenants with Heavenly Father. Lokeren is amazing!! We are working hard and having fun! 

The lord is blessing me a lot here in Lokeren. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve and teach these people. They are prepared and ready to hear the gospel. I am so glad I get to work hard and go out with a bang! 

Ik hou van zendings werk!! 

Zuster Adams
Lokeren is famous for bunnies!

The Belgium Life!

June 8, 2015

This week was amazing! I feel like I am getting the hang of things here in Belgium. People still can't really understand me but thats okay. :) 

1. Correlation is awesome! We have a drawing contest with the elders every time. We destroyed the elders. We drew all the things that we talked about at dinner and Jarno (our ward mission leader) loved it! Apparently, the sisters have winning 9-7! 
2. My companion and I love Saturday's Warriors so we sing it basically every day. It is wonderful. 
3. We got home crazy late Saturday night because of a fireside and the next day we were exhausted. We came home for dinner and literally fell on our couches and slept for a half hour. I wonder if I will ever not be tired...probably not. 
4. This week our power went out and it was out for probably 5 hours. It was terrible but thankfully it came back. 

Belgium is amazing! Everything is old and so beautiful. Lokeren is a cutre little twon. Food here is amazing. Desserts are way better...I love dutch desserts but the Belgians know how tit is done. The ward is amazing . They are so on top of missionary work. 2 Familes said that 1 night a week their homes are open for people to be taught. And every dinner appointment wants us to invite investigators. The ward mission leader is amazing! He has us doing a summer vacation program with the members to help them keep up with their scripture study and temple work. I am so excited to work with the members. He is so on top of things. It is nice being told what to do rather than coming up with my own ideas. We call him every night to check in and to let him know about missionary work. Wow, I love it here. We had a lot of miracles this week! 

We are teaching a members 3 kids. They are amazing! We taught the oldest son the first lesson this week and he really liked it. The husband sat in on the lesson and said that he will come to church when he is ready. It was amazing! I am hopeful for the whole family. We are hoping to set baptismal dates with the kids this week. They also came to the Singing Elders concert and really loved it! The singing elders Concert was amazing! The spirit was so strong and people were very touched. An elder taught the first lesson out in the hallway and invited someone to be baptized afterwards. It was amazing! A member from Sint-Niklaas brought their friend that lives in Lokeren and we talked to her afterwards and she wants us to come over and teach her the lessons in a month. Another member brought this girl named Suzette and she loved it. She came to church yesterday and the girls in young women's set a baptismal date for her in class! It was amazing! She is so excited and wants this in her life. Our other investigator Comfort has a baptismal date again because of young women's! I think this performance of the fireside was the best I have seen. People were healed. There was almost not enough room for everyone in the chapel. There were more people there than people that come to Stake Conference. I am so grateful for the members and that they decided to come. Yesterday during testimony meeting, every testimony was about the fireside and how they had their testimonies strengthened! Amazing!! I learned a lot as well. I kept a note book out and wrote down any prompting I received and I learned a lot! I love this gospel! It is so true! The work here is amazing! We are teaching so many people and the Lord has blessed me so much. I love my companion too. We have too much fun. We stay up late talking and just really get a long. 

Vivian got baptized on Saturday! I heard it went great and I am so proud of him! I got permission to go to Charlie's baptism! I am so excited to see her!! 

I love being a missionary and seeing the work of the Lord hasten! 

De Heer weet wat we nodig hebben! 

Zuster Adams

No Time

June 1, 2015

So I will write a longer email next week. We went to Brugge today and then the Elders forgot to give us the key to the church we have no time to email. It was super weird to be in Brugge...I was there with my family about 3 years ago. Weird deja vu. 

This past week was good. It was really hard to leave Amsterdam. I went out with a bang though. We set a baptismal date with Alberto in my last appointment in Amsterdam. It was amazing!! He is the coolest guy ever! I am so excited for him. I miss Sister Mashburn but it will be okay. I forgot a ton of stuff in Amsterdam so hopefully she can get it all to me. Also, I may have accidently deleted all the pictures from my mission off my camera this week. I was pretty upset. But it is okay. My companions have a lot so I will get their pictures. I also found out that Charlie and Vivian are getting baptized soon! I am so happy for them. Transfer day was good. A little crazy and really long. I didn't get to Lokeren until about 6 at night. Sister Hanny is great. We will have a lot of fun together. They have 3 baptismal dates here. We are hoping to have 4 baptisms this transfer. I may have gone my whole mission without a baptism but the Lord will bless me here. The ward here is amazing. Some of the members know my family! The world is so small! It is fun though. The ward mission leader is amazing. I am excited to work with him. Belgium is so beautiful!! I love it! It is definitely different from Nederland. It will be good though. No one understands my dutch here. They speak vlaams which is a different version of dutch. I have had multiple people tell me that they couldn't understand me. Oh man, the Lord is humbling me. :) 

This transfer will be good. It will be different and a lot of learning. I am excited to work here and to see the work progress!

Belgie, hier spreken ze vlaams!  

Zuster Adams

A City of Dreams!

May 25, 2015

Well Folks my time in Amsterdam will end on Wednesday. I am being transferred for the last time on my Lokeren, Belgium! I am going to Belgium! I can´t believe it. I am going to a small city. The church is in Sint Niklaas. I have to learn a new culture, a new freaky form of dutch-vlaams, and all different food. The Lord is definitely giving me an adventure for the last few months of my mission. I am really excited. I am SUPER sad to be leaving Amsterdam. I love this place with my whole heart. I have seen incredible miracles here and I am so grateful! Amsterdam really has been a city of dreams for me! 

1. We talked to this guy on the street in Amsterdam Noord Monday night. To get to Amsterdam Noord you have to take a ferry. We talked to this guy for about 20 minutes but we were going to be late home. So we said goodbye and the minute we turned around we went into a full sprint. The ferry was leaving in 1 minute and we were 300 meters away. We ran so fast and we made it. But I can only imagine what we must have looked like to the guy we talked to. It was like we were scared of him and ran as fast as we could away. It was funny. 
2. Sister Mashburn has been attracted to a lot of cigarettes lately. Last week, an old lady told her to pick her cigarette for her off the ground. This week she sat on 3 cigarettes that were in her seat on the tram. 
3. We watched the Restoration video on Youtube this week. The Dutch translation was terrible! At some point, Obama was in the translation. We kept having to tell our investigator that it was a bad translation. 
4. My shoes have been dying in the past few weeks. I love them but they are struggling. The straps on my black pair have been getting really loose. I walked around a corner this week and it a brick on the way. The button for my shoe just popped right off. I had broken shoes for the rest of the day because we didn´t have time to go home. My shoe fell off while I was biking. It was pretty funny. 
5. I also managed to get my bag stuck on my bike this week and fall over on my bike while standing up. Really smart. 
6. We were teaching about the resurrection this week and our investigator Alberto said "So we will all get a body like Christan Renaldo (Perfect) when we are resurrected?" It was awesome! 

Well this past week was wonderful! We worked really hard and saw a lot of miracles! Monday was great! We met with our investigator Michael and he has been talking to his wife in Uganda about the church and about baptism. It is really cool! Tuesday, I went to Ijmuiden on my last exchange as a Sister Training Leader. I got released yesterday. It was a great exchange. I was with Sister Verdegem! We had fun talking dutch the whole day and going to a bunch of appointments. Wednesday was wonderful. We told our investigators that I was probably leaving and they all made appointments with us! It was wonderful! We met with Reshma. We shared an awesome thought with her. She is so amazing! Then she gave me a going away gift. I felt so loved! I will miss her. We taught Mai and Sandra that night. They are still amazing. Mai is moving to Portugal in July. We are bummed about that but it is okay. She wants to look up the church there. Sandra actually lives outside our area and will go to church somewhere else. So we are looking into having the Elders there teach her. We will teach her for right now but eventually they will teach her. I really think she will be baptized. We taught the Plan of Salvation this week. At the end of the lesson, I asked if they believed in what we had taught them. Sandra said "I don´t just believe it. I know that it is true. I feel like I am remembering it from the pre-mortal life." Oh it was amazing!! May be one of the coolest moments on my mission. Thursday was a bit of an odd day. We spent a lot of time biking. We had no plans that evening and weren´t sure where to go. We had planned to go to a near-by city but I didn´t feel good about it. We prayed to know where to go and after thinking about it Sister Mashburn mentioned someone that we have been meaning to look up forever. The minute she said it I knew we needed to go there. When we got there, Wilma was home and said we are welcome to come back on a Wednesday morning. She was so positive and nice. I can´t wait to hear how that goes. Saturday was a bit crazy. We had an appointment with Alberto. It went so good! He loved the Plan of Salvation. He wants to hang the picture we drew on his wall! His prayers are amazing! He likes the Book of Mormon and reads all that we give him. We also had an appointment with the family from Ghana that we taught last week. It was a miracle! We showed up a little late and when we rang the doorbell no one answered. So we waited and waited but nothing. So we started to knock the doors around their house. After about 5 more minutes, the door suddenly opens. Hansen comes out and tells us to come in. His wife wasn´t home so we decided to share a short message. Then his wife comes home and we taught them the 2nd lesson. They loved it! Mary prayed that they would do all they could so that they could go to the Sun (Celestial Kingdom). It was amazing! Yesterday, we taught a cool lesson to a man we met from Afghanistan this week.  He is really cool and it was a good lesson. One of my favorite members called us on our way home to eat dinner and asked if we had somewhere to eat. We replied that we didn´t and she invited us over. It was wonderful! She made us wonderful food. We shared a lot of cool lessons we have learned from the gospel. She gave me a beautiful painting of the Salt Lake Temple and wrote me a note on the back. I am going to miss her! We taught 11 lessons this past week and are working so hard to have someone with a baptismal date. Things are going so well in Amsterdam. I love it here! 

I am so grateful for the time I have had in Amsterdam. I have been tried to my limit and blessed beyond anything I anticipated. I will miss Sister Mashburn a lot. She is one of my best friends in the whole world. She will do amazing! I love these people! I love the Dutch! This is a blessed and sacred place! While it may be a very wicked place, it is also a very blessed place with many that are seeking for the truth! I feel truly honored to have served in Amsterdam! I will miss it dearly! Look out Belgium! Here I come! 

Tot Ziens Nederland, Hallo Belgie!

Zuster Adams 

Mai, Sandra, Roos(member), and us! 
Yesterday, in Ijburg! 

God is Good

May 18, 2015

This week was super weird and then super amazing!! :) Opposition must always precede Good.

1. We had a dinner appointment in another city on Monday. We went early to the city so that we could go shopping there. The appointment was at 6:15. We thought that the member was coming to pick us up from the train station. We sat and sat until about 6:45. We had tried to call probably 3 times and no answer. We weren't sure what to do. So we called the Elders that serve in that area and they told us a bus we could take. So we ran and hopped on a bus. Right as we sit down, the member calls. We told her we were taking a bus. She gave me all sorts of directions in broken Dutch (She is from Brazil). I wasn't really sure where to go but I knew the bus stop we needed to get off at. Right after the phone call ended, the tv screens that tell you where the bus stops are shut off in the Bus. We had no clue where to get off. I did my best to remember the directions from the member. After riding for about 15 minutes, I realize we are definitely not in the right place. We got off. Turns out we had ridden two cities over. We were so lost and not sure what to do. The member called and had to come find us and pick us up. It was terrible. We were so late.
2. We taught one of our investigators this week. We didn't have a joint teach so we had to teach him outside. He hates being outside. We planned to go to the Library but it was closed. So then we walked for 15min to some place that Frank knew only to find out that it was closed too. We had to sit outside in the wind. Frank was not happy. At the end of our lesson, he begged "Okay. Can I go now?" We felt bad. I hope we can find someone to come this week.
3. I can not speak English anymore. It is quite pathetic. I say things wrong all the time. Sister Mashburn just laughs at me! This week I asked where our grapes had immigrated from rather than where they were imported from. Oh man, we laughed hard about that. :)
4. Random guy on the door told us that he had read that Joseph Smith was an Alien. People hear the craziest things.
5. We ran to catch a Metro this week and Sister Mashburn got caught in a door. No worries, she was fine. But the fellow metro riders were very concerned.

Well this week was interesting. The first 3 days were just odd. Monday, our dinner appointment was strange. Tuesday, our appointments fell through and we met really odd people. Wednesday, we were in a Zone Conference. Thursday, we had no appointments and we just felt off. I just felt like we hadn't done anything and had been wasting our time. It was the strangest feeling. Thursday night, we decided to look up a man we met last Sunday. He was home. His name is Alberto and he is from Spain. We taught him the first lesson and he loved it! He had lots of questions. We answered all his questions. He prayed and it was wonderful. I love hearing people pray for the first time. You see into their heart and see what they desire from God. It is always a very sacred moment. We asked him to be baptized if he knew it was true. He said that would be the logical next step. He is excited to read in the Book of Mormon. We are meeting with him on Tuesday. He is amazing. After the appointment, Sister Mashburn and I looked at each other and realized that what we had been missing was teaching the first lesson. There is an incredible spirit with that lesson. I can't go a week without teaching it. I love feeling the spirit and having the spirit confirm to me that the gospel is true. Friday, we went back to the amazing Dutch mother that I talked about 2 months ago. She was home and let us in. We taught her the first lesson. She is a very strong and active Protestant. You do not see active church goers in the Netherlands very often. It was amazing. She had lots of questions about the differences between us and the protestants. She even asked, If I were to become Mormon, what would that do for me as an active Protestant. It was a hard question. We gave her the best answers we could think of. She promised to read and pray about the Book of Mormon with her husband. She said if she wants more she will call. I don't think she is ready quite yet but we planted a very big seed. It was amazing!! That same day we were trying to look up an inactive and we didn't have the address with us. We knew the tram stop and the neighborhood but not the street or house number. We got pretty lost. We decided to pray and ask where to go. We prayed and within 3 minutes we had found the right house. The Lord led us right there. It was so cool! Saturday, we had about an hour left in our day. We decided to go look up someone Sister Mashburn had found while I was at Mission Leader Council. We showed up and they let us in. We ended up teaching a lesson to the cutest little family from Ghana. The father had lots of questions. He has actually been to church two times in Spain. He remembered that we believe that marriage is for eternity. He really wanted to know how that works. They are amazing. They said they would be baptized if they knew it was true. I am so excited to teach them on Saturday. They were excited to read in the Book of Mormon. 3 days in a row, we taught the 1st lesson! It was amazing! I felt so happy and light. Sunday was a miracle too! This man Vincent came to church. He is a friend of Roos (we are teaching her two friends). He loved the singing fireside last Saturday so he decided to come to church. He loved church and said his first prayer in Sunday school. The Elders met with him last night and set a baptismal date with him for the 28th of June! It was amazing! People are literally falling from the sky! The Lord is blessing us so much! God is Good!! Sister Mashburn and I have decided that we are going to try and set a baptismal date with all our investigators this week. We have 11 investigators, so we are hopeful!! They all are amazing and want to progress somewhere! We are going to give Amsterdam everything we have this coming week. It will probably be my last full week in Amsterdam so we are going to work hard and enjoy every minute! Heavenly Father knows us all personally. He joys in our successes and mourns with us when we mourn. I felt that very strongly this week. He is our Father and he wants the best for us. I only mention the big miracles in my emails but there are some many little miracles every day. The Lord's Tender Mercies are over all those that believe in him!! I love this gospel and love sharing it with others.

Vergeet nooit hoe veel de heer van je houdt!

Zuster Adams

1. My MTC brothers...probably the last time we will all be together.
2. Baby swans!!