Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4

It's raining soooo much today and yes I did spend most of my P-day fixing my bike again. ohhhhhhhhhhh man opposition it's a blast.

Well these last two weeks have been us working working working with little to no success but this week we are seeing the fruits!!!! It has been a BOMB week. We have three new investigators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this coming week we are full of appointments!!!! It is so so great! We gave a lesson on a train one night to a girl who looked like Pocahontas and when we were getting ready to get off at our stop (we were already going to give her a Book of Mormon) but she asked us if she could buy one.....uhhhhhh no, you can just have it! It was the best thing ever! Also members of our ward have been calling us and telling us about their missionary experiences and it has been an amazing week. We had two first lessons with a baptismal commitment and one responded with "why not?!"and the other was positive but a little unsure. It seems a bit crazy to invite people to be baptized on the first visit but it eliminates any confusion for why we're there and surprisingly it doesn't scare people away when we go forward with faith. It is great to see people wanting to make promises with God and to work towards building a relationship with Him. It's beautiful to take part in. So yes, this week has been BOMB! miracle after miracle! Being in the right place at the right time and in the right mindset.

Love you all!
Zuster Elting

October 21

Well, we went to the temple this week. It was epic! Oh man, it was so cool in Dutch I paid more attention and even thought I heard quite a few things I don't remember ever hearing. Also found out I really cannot say patriarchal in Dutch. It's dang hard. The temple here is so small but beautiful! As for a sort of theme there I got the feeling it was falling water but when I asked the workers said there wasn't a theme they knew of.

A lot of people from our mission are leaving and that is a huge bummer HUGE! They gave their ""dying testimonies"" and it was emotional.

Opposition my friends, it's everywhere. So my first day here I popped my bike tire and have riding a bike that's pedal falls off well one night it was just done. It's really late and really dark and the pedal falls off and we can't find the screw anywhere so we walk it to a members house because we have an appointment to get to so we go to the appointment and no one showed up. boo. So we take a bus home and have to pick the bike up the next day. Well it is a good 20 minute bike ride on a working bike but with the bike without a pedal Sister Morris and I took turns scooter biking it home. When we first began it was slow and it's dark and raining and then to make our trial even better some kids come out and start throwing fireworks at us well, more near us just to scare us. But you know how I am with fireworks so yeah. Classy. It was such a work out and man we were SORE! Near the end I couldn't do it anymore and so I held on to Sister Morris and she biked us both home. We even had some people cheering us on it was funny. We arrived on time home and safely! aaaaahhhh trials.

Our week in a nutshell would consist of lots of fallen through appointments and lots of knocking doors. We actually went out the other day and wrote with chalk """" or ""waar kom ik vandaan voor dit leven?"" and unfortunately we didn't have enough chalk but we're going to write the plan of salvation when we get some more! It'll be great! We make the most out of every day! We have a lot we really just have been keeping on keeping on. We see little successes everyday so it's been really great we just need to put forth our effort and time for a bit and the Lord will take care of it!

One of our investigators came to church! it was great! the ward was so perfect and welcoming and she had a great time and told us she received an answer to one of her questions so that was AMAZING!

that brings us to last night......welllllll lets just say THE STANDARD OF TRUTH HAS BEEN ERRECTED! PERSECUTIONS MAY RAGE! MOBS MAY COMBINE! Well we are tracting along at about 8 last night and we get done with a street and turn around to go get our bikes and there is a crowd of sorts on our path so we walk towards them. A woman runs at us and then another woman and they are just screaming at us! We calm them down and find out that they've called the police on us and have the whole neighborhood thinking we are two thieves trying to get in their houses. Zr. Morris said she literally just couldn't understand what they were saying she just heard ""police"" so I explain who we are and apologize for scaring them. (two 20 year old girls in skirts are pretty scary you know) and everyone calms down and they just tell us to go and they'll explain things to the police when they come. It was madness. Zr. Morris said if the police came she would have just starting reciting the standard of truth! hahah really it was quite scary thinking back but during that moment it was fine it was truly help from God that helped calm these people down because I mean the old lady got literally the whole neighborhood up in arms about us. It was crazy. And right when had turned around the elders called and they were actually on the line when this happened I just kept the phone on so they could hear everything. It is pretty cool because we asked why the elders even called and they said they didn't know why they just felt they needed to. It was really comforting to know that the Lord takes care of us even when mobs are combining!
Tune in next week.
Zuster Eltingof fun and when we stop having fun we switch and do something else. That is the trick we've found so

October 14

Welllllllll folks my time in Dordrecht is up...for now. And to all you haters that don't believe me when I put things into the universe I say Ah ha!! Well I will be serving in Den Bosch. Don´t ask me where it is or anything about it I just don´t know. What I do know is that I will be serving with Zr. Morris who was my very dear friend in the MTC. Before we left we put it into the universe to be companions and HELLO! The universe responded! I´m soooooo excited. I will for sure miss Dordrecht part of me is worried I will leave but my heart will stay here. Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland and is just gorgeous and perfect and the people are good and kind the ward is full of angels! I love Dordrecht and so I will put into the universe to serve here again later.

In other news, God answers prayers!!!! Once upon a time a couple of weeks back I ignored a prompting and it was the coolest prompting. Well, it was to play basketball. Yes, it´s true the Lord wanted us two girls in skirts to play basketball. It would have been great. You know talking with natives, maybe get some interest in the church and earn some respect. Well, I ignored it and have hated my self ever since. One day, Tuesday October 8th to be precise, We were going to an appointment but we left a half an hour early. No idea why it just worked out that way and as we´re biking I look at my watch and think that we need to talk to some people, we need to find someone during this time. At this point we´re rounding the corner and I think hey, this is the way towards the basketball courts and then I just prayed. ``Heavenly Father, If there is someone playing basketball I promise I will play.```wellllllll, we turn and I see the bouncing of a basketball through the trees and so I just yelled `WE`RE PLAYING!!!!`` and my companion is confused but quickly knows what I am talking about because I talk about playing basketball to find people all the time. So we stop and I ask this one young man if we can play he says, ```turlijk wel`` a.k.a. OF COURSE!!! so all the sudden he´s interested in why we have name tags and why we are rocking skirts and that we´re American. We chatted about the church and about why we are here and he´s super awesome. We asked him why he´s out playing and he says he doesn't play for a team he does´t play at all or even really like it but he had a free day today and just felt like playing basketball. He told us he never gets the impulse to play basketball. COINCIDENCE? nee. Well we´re shooting around and this African man we see all the time named Kabo happens to be walking by so we call to him and he comes over and is playing with us too. It was a gem of an experience and tragically we had to leave shortly after Kabo came but alas it was super great and I´m sticking to is the best way to contact people.

I´ve thought a lot about that experience this week and how perfectly orchestrated it was. Kabo, Daniel, us leaving early, going that specific way it is easy to play it off as luck or coincidence but the fact is, is God is aware of everything and everyone. He loves us and wants the best for us so He provides ways for us to be in the right place at the right time for the right opportunities to come and for us to draw nearer to Him.

Side note: I don´t know if in Dutch it´s creepy and weird like it is in English but my companion pointed out to me that i happened to ask young 17 year old Daniel, `kom je hier vaak?` or as we say, `so, do you come here often?`haha classy. But hey.

So many funny things happened this week and I have had to pray so much to have the Lord help me stop laughing. I am laughing at bad times and it has been not so good this week but between service at a member´s house and visiting a lady in the nursing home I have been in stitches.

So Dordrecht is getting Elders! We are so excited and and ward is so excited! On Saturday they were bringing the stuff to furnish it and get is all ready to go and we had no idea anything about this until the Friday before and so we called the office to see if we can help and we were told that the ward members will be coming to help and that if we wanted to we could come come help for a bit but that it wasn´t necessary. They were to begin at 1:00. So we decided on Saturday that we´ll go see if they need help. This is around 2:30pm and we arrive to find a senior couple from den Haag. That´s it. We asked if others had come and gone....nope. NO ONE from our ward came to help. I was ticked. So, we stayed for almost 3 hours putting tables together (it´s all from IKEA so there is assembly required) hanging curtains, moving couches, cleaning, etc. Yeah. Well, I´m still upset about it. I don´t mind doing it but the fact is the ward is so excited for Elders but won´t help. It is absurd. The lights still need to be done among other things but, who knows if that will get done. I understand people are busy but it was Saturday and not only that but the Saturday after conference when your motivation to do good things is super high and excited....yeah I´m a bit disappointed. So that instance among others has made leaving Dordrecht a little easier.

Sorry for the downer. I think everyone should watch the talk by Elder Oaks again just to remind ourselves of what the Lord expects of us and what we covenanted to do. It was a good wake up call for me to realize my church calling and duty to God are the most important and should always take first priority and my other cares and concerns can just take a backseat for a while.

Wellll, I wish I had more time, this week was a treat. Just know life her in the land of the tulips (where I have yet to see one) is grand. Peace and blessings peace and blessings


Zuster Elting

October 7

Too many things happened this week I'm not sure I will get everything down. Also it will be a jumbled mess I can assure you.

First of all, we made tortillas from the recipe aunt Cheryl sent!!!! HEERLIJK!!!! Thank you so much!!!

This week I have been told I walk like a farmer and sing like a horror film, that I'm going to get fat, that I have acne and need herbs for it, asked, "you start fights a lot, huh?" and "you're a lot of trouble at home aren't you?" Had to climb a ladder and clean a lady's windows because "I’m scared to do it but you, you're not afraid of anything," .....good times

Well, we have this Russian woman who is kind of investigating. It's really hard to have a lesson with her because she thinks we're her therapists but she's spicy and hilarious we love her. Well we were going out to contact and she was going to a man's house so we just went with her....I can’t remember if I told you all this but we got volunteered to clean his house. Cool! So we go and after two hours we have another a appointment and get ready to leave. Welllllll, let me tell you. DO NOT MAKE RUSSIANS MAD! I was fearful for my life. She just starts raging. Saying that we cannot be people from God and just cussing and saying all this nasty stuff about us. So, I get defensive but the Lord shut off my ability to speak Dutch suddenly so I literally couldn't say anything back. I just nodded apologized and then left. So today we see her in the grocery store and oh man I am scared. She comes walking to us and I’m ready to be yelled at some more but she came and apologized and said she thought we were cool and she wants to go get drinks....uh ok. but alas luckily we still have our spicy Russian.

Also this morning (the morning of all mornings) we ran into this man we see literally every day. He is from Albania and always invites us to get something to eat or drink with him and we always say no because we're either on the way somewhere or it's a sketchy bar he's sitting outside of but yesterday Zuster Packer and I were talking and we were like "next time we see him we need to get drinks (delicious Dutch Fanta of course) with him" and boom this morning we decided to go eat breakfast out and guess who was there?????? Yep so we got our food and went and sat by him and had a lovely chat about his life and something about driver's licenses.

So we were coming back from Alblasserdam and this man said something to me about being a young lady which is common tragically here in Dordrecht we are constantly getting hit on so I just say oh well I’m not that young and then he tells me my Dutch is bad and then switches to English. He asks where we're from and we tell him then he starts cussing and tells us how much he hates America which is always lovely. Then he says "you are people from God" and then he takes his necklace and kisses it. But it wasn't a cross I have no idea what it was. Then he just gets up and leaves and upon parting says, "Look out for ugly guys like me." things like this happen all the time it's just weird.

So I'm sending this picture. While we were in Rotterdam this week to watch conference there was a group of 3 men and a woman outside of a bar (sounds like the start of a good joke, too bad) Well the one man yells at us "Hey I know you!" and so we walk over and we've never seen him before and he is like "You are the Mormons you have a temple in Salt Lake and also one here" Yes this is true and they are all so curious about us and ask if we want a beer or coffee which of course leads to why we don't drink them and then the one man just stands up and wants a picture with us so we take a picture with him and he makes a joke about polygamy but he also knows it has been abolished (this guy did his homework) and then the people at the table suggest he give us a license. (I’m thinking a fake ID) but he writes this license in the picture and it says "Free to speak about Jesus and the Mormon church in all of the Netherlands" and then says for the other countries he needs to charge. It was hilarious but we also through the course of that evening found out why Rotterdam isn’t open to sisters....

Question: have you heard of the book "Spiritual Roots of Human Relations" by Steven Covey. Well, I highly recommend it. One of our members read a bit from it to us and it was incredible!

In other spiritual news....conference was amazing. We go to Rotterdam to watch it live which means your ten o'clock session here is 6 in the evening. Luckily our investigator likes conference better in English so I understood the whole thing! Wow. It was so incredible though! There are so many things happening and we had better jump on board because the train is leaving! Oh wow, I just loved it! I think the talk by Pres. Uchtdorf "Come, Join With Us" was the most inspired thing I have ever heard. I loved it! It answers any issue people may have with the church and is just so amazing! Wow.

I hope all is well there. Missionary work here is moving. It's kind of glacial speed right now for us but with the push from conference and with help from the members we will see miracles. We can only do what our faith allows. Build your faith and allies mogelijk is!


Zuster Elting

September 30

So, we're knocking doors and we meet someone from Morocco, Spain, Indonesia, and Italy. I love knocking doors it's either really good or really funny. I got to use my little bit of Spanish it was awesome! And the Italians taught us some Italian. Coolness!

On one of the doors I feel like I need to talk to them about prophets so, the little girl is translating what I say to the old man (they are Moroccans) and they are Muslim so prophets are kind of a sore subject but we proceed. Then he just leaves randomly and comes back and tries to hand us money. I do not know what he heard from what we were saying maybe it was when I was saying that we need help in the world and that's why prophets are so important. hahaha anyway it was hilarious.

Zone Conference was EPIC! So great. We talked about the total mind shift. Made me realize I need to build my faith more. I'm limiting God by thinking things will fall through or that no one will say yes. It was a great wake-up call.

So, I realized something the other day. Well a poster reminded me actually. something very frightening is going to happen soon. Halloween? No... something much worse. Two words...Oktober fest. Yes, I don't know why it didn't occur to me that that would be happening but ohhhhhhh man.

Also, the way to open public doors here is by pushing a giant red button. The red buttons that look like world destruction buttons....yes those ones. I don't know why I need to tell you that it just throws me off whenever I have to push one.

Also, a member made us Mexican food this week! Woot woot. It was epic, it still didn't have beans but itally delicious nonetheless.

We finally got in touch with an inactive we have been trying to contact for a long time! She was so excited to see us and we have a dinner appointment later this week. She has a niece out on a mission in the US! She says she's been thinking about church lately and that she needs to come back not for her but for her children's sake. It was so cool to see that because we were starting to doubt we would ever contact her. We hope to help her see that is not just for her children's sake. That it is for her too.

On the other side of missionary work our baptismal dates don't have dates anymore and are really having a hard time keeping appointments or commitments. It's pretty crazy how things change so fast and it is evidence that the adversary is real and he has power. Only the power we give him of course, but tragically that is quite a bit sometimes. We are trying to figure out what we are doing wrong and how we can help them better. It's been a couple frustrating weeks. Growing pains. But we've picked up another investigator and our work with inactives is going really well. Reactivation is missionary work too!

Zuster Packer and I have decided that missionary work is just wifey training. We serve, we cook, we clean, we teach, yeah. So I see what the prophet is doing getting more sisters out man. We award each other wifey points when we do some homemaker thing well. I lost points the other day for losing my temper with the plastic wrap. Boo. We even reward the elders wifey points to. We're thinking it should be a twelve week program.

The weather has been cooling off its about 18-19 degrees celcius which I don't know how much that is but it's not THAT cold and everyone here has like serious winter coats on. I don't really get it. We were out one night with just light sweaters on and these people bundled up said "lekker weer, eh" and started laughing. I was so confused because we weren't cold I don't know what they were laughing about. Apparently we're super funny.

Love you all!

September 9th

Let me start with street contacting. I decided to try a new tactic. I decided to hold a Book of Mormon and try to hand it to the person we talked to. Only 2 people held it but one of the two took it! It helped with all the stares we usually get. Now they glance at us and just stare at the book in my hand. It's great!

So there was this man very intently trying to get a picture of a crane and so I walked up and in Dutch asked him if he was a photographer, to which he replied "I'm English and I don't want to talk about Jesus." It is so hard for me to not laugh when things like that happen.  People are silly.

Another contact we are walking alone in an alley (good start to a story right!), and this gangster looking man is walking towards us and Sister Packer says, "Let's talk to the thug." So of course I was all over that idea.  So we talk to him and I ask him if he was raised in a religious home and he goes on some tangent, I have no idea what he's talking about, but I heard something about Nazis so yes of course that is a perfect lead in to where the Book of Mormon came from I thought.  Although I didn't know what he was saying he took a Book of Mormon and gave us fist bumps. Nailed it. Respect.

What made me feel really good this wee is during the maarkt we realized that people don't even take the free cheese that they hand out. So that made me feel a little better when they don't take a Book of Mormon.  Another great thing that happened this week is that we were looking up a former investigator and we knocked on a door and asked if he was there and the woman who answered the door just starts yelling at us "I will not be converted!" then stops and says that the man does not live there, he lives next door. People just freak out when they see us. It's quite comical really.

Okay, so Sunday was the bomb!! After church we decided to go to Papendrecht and on the way a man says "oh hey sisters" and we were like what, because no one is ever happy to see us so we just stop and don't know what to do. He tells us he's working in Dordrecht and wants to come to church. He's from Lybia and was baptized in Portugal. Super cool guy. Then on the way back there is a biking gang of old people all speaking English!!! With American accents. I was like "what...that is my favorite language!!!" So this man yells "It's the Mormon missionaries. I thought only boys did that." then he calls all the other old people and  says "Come meet the girls from Utah." Turns out they are on a two week biking trip through the Netherlands and Belgium.  Cool beans!  We chatted for a while and then no more English for us.  The Lord spoiled us on Sunday.

That brings us to today. We did a zone p-day. We played soccer in one of the little field things they have all over the place.  We are just playing and minding our own business when BAM! Like 50 little kids storm the field and so we played with them.  They didn't like us very much...they thought we couldn't understand them.  So one of the little kids is like "they speak English so well because they practice all the time" another says "no they're from England" so one of our Elders  said "We're from America." Then all of a sudden they all loved us. They were all asking questions and shouting "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA".  It was hilarious.

Also, random side note.  I love Holland, no joke but I love America. I never appreciated it and now I must eat my words. In this last week people have bashed America to us and I never realized how defensive I get for America. I truly love America and Americans.  GOD BLESS AMERICA!! And the English language, I like that too! Also, I saw a restaurant called "Amigos" and got so excited only to find out it's flippin' pizza and doner.  BOO!

Love you all.
Tot Volgende Keer