July 6, 2014
Hello happy July. Wow time is flying. After a very unsuccessful week last week we buckled down and got to work. I have been studying a lot about consecration and about what it takes to consecrate our actions. I'm beginning to feel the difference between dedication and consecration. We worked hard to consecrate our time and efforts this week and saw some cool things and this next week we are FULL with appointments.
And just to add icing to the cake our ward leaders are beginning to really respect us (this is a big deal as it takes a while to earn the trust of the Dutch). We had a dinner apt with the relief society president and we were 20 minutes late which is TERRIBLE in Dutch culture, but because neither my companion or I wear a watch we had no idea and we left when the Spirit told us to. We were helping another sister in the ward who had just had an appendectomy and when we showed up 20 minutes late to the RS president's house we thought we were going to be slaughtered. But we told her what we had been doing and she had no idea that that sister was even home yet and she was so grateful that we had thought to go visit her. I'm just saying...throw your watches away. Time is irrelevant. It's the Lord's time anyway so why don't we use it the way he would like us to?
We picked up some new investigators and are working with some inactive members. I have to say I have a great love for reactivation. To help a person remember their testimony is almost sweeter than helping someone gain one. I love inactives!
Yesterday was fast Sunday! We were taught in relief society a lesson by a man about the priesthood. It was interesting...and he kind of got slaughtered and although I shouldn't say this it was deserved. He came in so mighty and told the sisters that it takes time to prepare to give a blessing. Okay, yes I can agree, but then he says "so don't get mad if we tell you that you have to wait a week". Oh man! The sisters (myself included) were not having that. NO brethren, when Elder Holland says “Be Ready” he means it, and it made me so grateful to have the priesthood in my home where I can trust that I can receive a blessing when I need it. I can't imagine my home without the priesthood I would not have it any other way. Thank you worthy priesthood holders for being ready.
One of our investigators was supposed to be baptized on Saturday but it looks like it's going to be longer than expected. He's so close, and he's the only thing standing in his way. He needs lots of prayers.
So Fourth of July was uneventful here:) my companion and I sang patriotic songs all day and ate a red cake while I had to soak my feet in apple cider vinegar while weekly planning. Yes, my athlete's foot or something like that is back...woohoo so that was a nice holiday.
July 14, 2014
Well, we got permission to watch the World Cup and we lost. :( Nederland is devastated, it was tragic to say the least but they played really good and classy. I was proud.
We have a new investigator. He's pretty cool and he's been to church three times already, and he told us on Wednesday, in our first apt that he would be baptized. One of our investigators set our next apt for Aug 13th and another had a setback and was unavailable to meet, so we'll just say things are a little slow right now. We're working hard though and the fruits will come we know that.
This week I have learned how unorganized I am with everything and well, I am trying to learn how to do that better. This next week comes with a lot of responsibilities and while I’m looking forward to it I realize my weaknesses, but hey, Ether 12:27. “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
Well this is a lame email I know I don't have much to say other than the church is true and the work will go forth no matter what. There are dry spells in our lives and those are opportunities to learn and grow I know that.
In other news Zuster Meier and I have started this thing where we send a little text to the sisters and the zone leaders every day with a joke or a challenge. It is quite entertaining. We call it #scattersunshine. Haha.
July 21, 2014
“Never let earthly circumstances disable you spiritually” Elder Hallstrom April 2010
This week has been awesome. First of all I was on exchanges in Amsterdam and we taught a girl our age from Taiwan. She had never prayed before so we taught her about the Godhead and how to pray. At the end she prayed. “Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that I can meet nice people here in Amsterdam. Thank you that my family let me come here to study. And...are you really there?....in the name of Jesus Christ amen.” We all open our eyes and are all tearing up. It was just a wave of the Spirit a tsunami really. Then she says “I don´t know why but I feel like I want to cry.” We told her that, that was an answer from Heavenly Father through the Spirit to her. It was beautiful! She is so humble and wonderful. They set an appointment up with her for the next day. I hope it went well.
We taught one of our investigators about the word of wisdom and challenged him to try it out. He was skeptical but he´s going to try and that is all we can ask!
I learned a lot this week about the government of God and how it is based on revelation and councils. https://www.lds.org/training/wwlt/2013/hastening/ward-council-and-mission-leaders?lang=eng
Man, when councils are done correctly. Without judgment and only looking for solutions, miracles happen. I am so grateful for how the church is run!
This last week there was much to do and I finally realize the power that comes when we are ``treasuring up`` the words of Christ. It´s true that when we are focused on good things, thinking about how to help others and about just questions, when it comes down to it I have what I need when I need it. It´s a freaky concept, but true.
Sooooo, this week feed my sheep took on a very literal meaning. This is Zuster Meier, the sheep did not want the Book of Mormon. Sad!
July 28, 2014
"Will we respond with love when an opportunity is before us to make a visit or phone call, write a note, or spend a day meeting the needs of someone else?" Elder Rasband
This week we had zone training! It was lots of fun. I spoke about being a consecrated missionary and did a training on communication. Elders Ipson and Chantry did a great job and making sure everything went smoothly.
On Wednesday however I received some bad news. My favorite family from Den Bosch, well their little boy drown on Tuesday. It has been really an interesting week. There have been so many deaths lately in the news and yet nobody that I've known personally until now. I called them as soon as I could and it was such an inspiring phone call. First of all, what do you say to parents who just lost a child? The first thing the boy’s father says to me is "of all the missionaries....you were his favorite". Oh man that killed me then he says, "Lovely Sister Elting, most of the time parents go to the spirit world before the child but this time our boy went first, and you know his favorite song was ‘I Hope They Call Me On a Mission' so he's just preaching the gospel in this lovely way to my mom and my sister." What beautiful faith!!!! We talked a bit more and I told them I have some videos of him on my camera of him singing "How Great Thou Art" and he invited me to the funeral and I told him I would ask but that I didn't think I could come. Den Bosch is quite far. The next day I called president and he said that my companion and I should go. Man, I am so grateful to be able to go. We'll be going tomorrow to Den Bosch.
I have gained such a love this week for prayer and the Atonement. I know that God answers our prayers because of many instances but particularly this week. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can swallow up ANY pain or sorrow. There are literally no limits to this wonderful gift. I wondered this week after receiving so much strength why I sometime forget to use the Atonement for just everyday things. Of course we seek or even blame God when tragedy strikes but why are we not seeking His strength and guidance daily.
The Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness is not an eternal state of happiness but a hope despite tragedy. This little boy was one of the precious pure spirits that was needed to do work on the other side. In God´s plan of happiness the relationships we have built here on earth are not meant to end with death and that is what I know with all my heart.
*We are devastated by this news and our hearts are breaking for this family. In Chelsea's letters, while she was in Den Bosch, she spoke often of this sweet little boy and loved him so much. He brought a lot of joy to her while she was serving in that area. This family took such great care of Chelsea by feeding her and being a huge comfort and support during the holidays and her birthday. I will be forever grateful to them for the love they have shown her. Please join us in praying for them during this time of sorrow.