30 June 2014

Week 55: "Father, the Holy Ghost is just like Dynamite"

June 30, 2014
Delft is exquisite. I want to study here.

Geliefde Familie: 

First, before I forget, let me just say that it sounds like Spencer is rocking summa time. Also I heard that you fb messaged one of my investigators. Thanks for that! She'll send pictures, so make sure Mom gets them for da blog;)

Well, we figured out that since our companionship is bulletproof, Satan's gonna start attacking us in different ways. We got dropped a lot this week and had a bunch of appointments fall through. Not to mention two of our favorite missionaries left us. But, we are surviving and trying new things (like bacon tacos...hahaha...we forgot to buy beef on Monday, but we had bacon! They're not bad, but we'll probably have a heart attack if we do it often).

We actually had a miracle this week though when we had about an hour to contact. We decided to go to the park to draw out the plan of salvation in chalk (why not?) but on the way, we realized that we were in an area that we recognized--then we remembered. It was where a potential lived that Zr GW showed us in our first week. So we went there and she was home and we were able to have a lesson with her! She didn't seem particularly ready for the gospel, but we'll give it a try. My favorite part of the appointment was when she was saying the closing prayer. She didn't speak a word of English except to say, "Father, the Holy Ghost is just like Dynamite." Amazingly, Sis A and I didn't even laugh until we got into the elevator.

So with a recent convert, Estrella, we showed her the familysearch.org website! It was so cool! I love that website. She loved it too. It's just cool to look at our different profiles. I looked at mine, and there's a lot of work (almost all) done. But hers...she has a completely blank slate. We are going to be BUSAYYYY in the Millennium. I'm excited for that. Zr A and I have AWESOME companionship studies. This week we talked for a long time about sealing. And how everything will be worked out in the Millennium. It's cool. I learn so much from her every day. I'm SO blessed to get to be her companion. I at least hope to offer comic relief to her.

Ethlyn is getting baptized this week. We are stoked. Satan is definitely attacking her, but she is a strong lady. I'm so excited for it. Sunday at 2. Photos to come!

Well, I love you. I hope you have an awesome week and enjoy the sun. I was actually thinking about how thunder makes me trunky! Weird right? It never happens here, but when it does, it makes me miss Texas storms so bad.

Zr Heilner

African head dresses with Barrie.

Love this woman.


28 June 2014

23 June 2014

Week 54: Delft and Gunshots!

June 23, 2014

Geliefde Familie:

Delft Town Hall

I guess I can go ahead and start this email with:

WE ARE STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYING! We are so happy. So so happy. We screamed and danced and almost cried last night when the APs called. What a beautiful day. I'm staying ZTL (sister training leader) too and Zr Larson is coming to Almere so I'll get to do exchanges with her again!

This week was good. I'll start with the funny stuff and end with the spiritual.

Canal in Delft

We went to Delft this week to visit an inactive member. She invited us. Delft is GORGEOUS. How do I know this? Because we got hopelessly lost. It was awesome. We had a few good contacts though. Anyway, we didn't have a map, so I had taken a picture on my camera of directions from a member that we had gotten at a dinner appointment. It was going alright until we got to Delft. We realized pretty early on that Zr A's bike tire needed air. So when we got lost and the member wasn't answering, we naturally called the Delft Elders to bail us out. We amazingly found the station, where we were able to pump her tires for free. Then we met up with the Elders and waited for them to grab the map. While we were waiting outside their apartment, we heard this GUNSHOT. And I saw smoke under Sister Aston. I'm cracking up as I type this. It turns out that her bike tire exploded because it was too full. It was so funny. Her face...she was holding her ear with this look of utter terror and bewilderment. I'll never forget it, and I'll probably re-watch it on the celestial movie screen like every day for eternity.

Okay, now onto serious matters.

E is amazing. We went through the baptismal interview questions with her and she said she wanted a stronger testimony of President Monson. So we watched this AMAZING video about his life:
You guys should definitely watch it if you get the chance. It is so good. It definitely strengthened my testimony that he is called of God. He is a great man, and I'm really thankful that Heavenly Father trusts him so much. I hope that I can listen to the Spirit as well as he does. He goes such clear promptings from the Holy Ghost and that is because of how committed he is to always heeding those promptings. The Spirit trusts him. I receive chances every day to listen to the Spirit--so do you. Let's all try to be better at listening to the promptings he gives us so that we can be better instruments in His hands. That's why we're here after all.

Well, I love you people. Thanks for sending me those pictures, Mom. You can always send more too. And yes, I take way more pictures than I send to you.


Veel, veel liefs,
Zr Heilner

16 June 2014

Week 53: A Great Week!!

June 16, 2014
Geliefde Familie:
This week was GREAT. Sister Aston and I killed it, I think. Thanks to the Spirit, of course. We got four new investigators and taught 15 lessons. That's a lot for us!
So we had a great surprise this week with Zone Conference. Zr L (my old companion) and I were on splits here in Den Haag after mission leader council. We went to the church for Jovos (YSA) institute and guess who was there! The ROMIGS! I love them. Sister Romig is the sweetest person ever. She's kind of like my grandma out here. I love her so much. And Elder Romig is always willing to serve. He's one of the only men on my mission who has hugged me. 
M came to church this week!! It was great except that church was INSANE this week. We talked about the Priesthood in RS and one lady actually stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her because it was so controversial...then in gospel principles we talked about tithing. I mean she's gotta learn about it sometime, but I just felt like it was a lot to take in in one day haha. It was also a little bit frustrating because she had brought a friend that had basically no knowledge of what we really believe. We were able to clarify a little bit about the Priesthood though.

E had prayed to see the love in the church on Sunday morning. And then that happened...not exactly a testimony builder, but she's strong. She knows it's true; she'll be okay. But she really hates how she can't feel the love in the church sometimes. Naturally.

We had a lesson with an exorcist yesterday. We aren't sure how this will pan out, but we're gonna be really careful. He loved the Plan of Salvation.

G contacted us again but we gave him to the Elders just to be safe. Long story, I'll tell ya in 6 months.

Nederland is ROCKING the world cup. 5-1 anybody? It's insane here. I love the decorations. Nederland is so spirited. Hup hup Holland!

We had zone conference this week with Elder Boom of the 70 and his wife. My favorite part was that we had a sister breakout session where we talked about perfectionism and how selfish it is. When we're trying to be perfect, we're competitive and comparing ourselves to others and we don't have time to focus on serving others. It's destructive. Then we talked about companionship unity and I talked specifically about pride within companionships and how it keeps us from working together.
I love you all and I'm so grateful for everything you are doing. Please pray for E and M. And that Zuster A and I can stay together for another transfer. We have 3 people with a baptismal date for next transfer!!! We want to be there so badly.

Zr Heilner
also, can you guys send me more pictures?? like through email.

I love Sister Romig
Sister Training Leaders with Sister Robinson

09 June 2014

Week 52: Wait, a year??

June 9, 2014

Geliefde Familie: Wait, a year??

I cannot believe that a year ago this week I entered the MTC...I still feel like a greenie sometimes. I have so much to learn. Actually it's funny, we have mission leader council this week and the APs asked me to share for 10 minutes the biggest lesson I've learned on my mission. Oh man. So I was looking through the picture book Deanna gave me (I love that thing) and there are also little Pinterest quotes. Some of them sum up what I've learned on my mission pretty well.

Work hard; be humble.

Don't worry. If it's supposed to happen, it will.
Oh my hemeltje. It's so true--we can't worry about the stuff we can't control. I think I might talk about this at MLC. We are on the Lord's errand. He won't let us mess up too bad.

Don't shine so that others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him.
I've already talked about this in another email. I still love it.

She believed she could so she did.
I like this one, but it's not complete. I have made a completed version, and it includes what I've learned on my mission: She believed she could, so with His help, she did. I can do a lot. Let's face it, I'm kind of controlling; I can get things done. But nothing even matters if I don't do it the way Heavenly Father wants me to do it. He sent His Son so that He can help me accomplish HIS work. I believe. I have the faith. I wish I had a more perfect faith, and I am working on that, but I have faith. And the only reason things on a mission get done is because of working with Christ. Teaching and speaking and learning and studying by the Spirit is the key. Why would I do what I want to do? I'm not here for ME. If I were, I'd have gone home a long time ago. I'm here for HIM so I'm going to do His work in His way.

Keep choosing happiness daily, and happiness will choose you back.
It's ALL about attitude, and attitude is our choice. The way we react to things shows our true character. I think it's interesting that we also get to choose what we let other people see of our emotions. Sometimes we are really upset about something, but in order to help our companion not get discouraged, we just fake a smile. I'm working on being able to change how I feel on the inside to not get discouraged as well. I don't know if that actually makes sense. In essence, I'm working on not just SHOWING a good attitude but also really having one as much as possible (now don't freak out--I'm usually happy as a clam).

Think the best of each other, especially of those you say you love. --Jeffrey R. Holland
Benefit of the doubt never hurt anyone. Well, maybe it did, but you should just give it anyway.

Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously. -- Richard G. Scott
This is one of my favorites. Heavenly Father is expecting our success. He's set us up to win, but sometimes we forget that and then we set ourselves up to lose. We are children of a LOVING Father in heaven who wants nothing more than for us to get back to Him. He wants us to learn and stretch and grow, naturally, but He's made a way.

Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could go right.
Simple and true. The power of positive thinking, right, Pops?

Every flower must grow through dirt.
I was starting to learn this before my mission. It's real now. I mean, Russia taught me this a lot. It's sort of like the contrast of Russia and my freshman year. If I want to have an eternity of how happy I was my freshman year, I'm gonna have to go through some Russian winters, if you know what I'm saying. Bring it on.

Nothing to lose but pride
I actually saw this on another sister's wall. It's perfect for a missionary.

Well, in other news, we cut our investigator's hair this week! E. She has dread locks. She was really worried about it, but I think she looks great. She's getting baptized on the 6th, and she's been an investigator for 20 months. She told the missionaries that she would get baptized after she cut her hair. Well, hair is cut! Consider the font already full. She's going to be a GREAT member.

G dropped us this week. For a lot of reasons, but I think he just didn't want to give up smoking. That was a bummer.

M! She's 17 and a mother, I think we told you about her. She's so sweet. We extended the invitation for the 12th of July and she accepted! Her mother is having a hard time right now, but it will hopefully get better. She needs a kidney transplant, and they have located a kidney (an answer to her prayer!)

I got yet another new bike this week. One of the members was moving back to Australia and he said he didn't know what to do with his bike. I offered to buy it from him, but he just gave it to me! It's really nice. I named it Bonilla because that's his last name haha. And there's an Elder in Heerlen that's in love with my mountain bike and he's coming to Den Haag next week, so last week he called me and asked if he could take it. SURE. Especially because his bike just broke haha. Fietsen...so much trouble.

Well, I love you guys. I love hearing from you. You're all a bunch of freaks, but we're gonna have a GOOD eternity.


Zr Heilner

Post haircut!

We have cool eye tricks. Making mom proud again!

02 June 2014

Week 51: I hate Socialism

June 2, 2014
Geliefde Familie: 
So I know a lot of missionaries that have had to spend days in the hospital, and I figured that at some point it would happen to me, but...no I didn't. I didn't think it would EVER happen to me. But, at about 10:45 pm yesterday, we were lying in bed (and Zr. A's stomach had already been hurting), and she was like, "what side is your appendix on?" and then it all began. A lot of miracles. The ZLs and the Senior Couple were still awake because of freak things, so they were able to come right over and give her a blessing and then the senior couple took us to the hospital where we did a lot of sitting and Zr A did a lot of squeezing my hand while they took her blood (she hates needles) and we answered a lot of questions. Poor woman. She's so strong. They ended up telling us that there wasn't any infection YET, but if she still wanted to die because of pain in the morning, to come back and they'd have the blood results back. So we woke up and it wasn't better. She had really only slept because of the pain killers they'd given her. We sat some more, took more blood, sat. UIT EINDELIJK, we found out that she just has a bowel infection and that it will go away eventually. She's tough. 
We then got home and rested for a while and then went to a field hockey game with the rest of our district because someone in the ward got free tickets for us. Man, I wish I was athletic. 

Mom, thanks so much for sending that part of the priesthood talk. I'm really looking forward to reading it. I talked to Zr Robinson about this a few times actually. I'm really thankful for the Priesthood, but that's a huge calling. I'm learning from Zr Robinson how to be a support to the Priesthood. The men in this Church need women who understand their calling and are willing to work with and help them. I was actually congratulated my last zone training by Sister Robinson for how well I worked with the Zone Leaders. Thanks for the help, pops. She asked me to share with the rest of the ZTLS what I do to make sure I'm in unity with them.
N held our hands this week. We're taking E on joint teach next time. She's not a member yet, but she knows this is true (she was an amazing joint teach last week. We brought her to an appointment with G since he hasn't been coming to church and she really helped him.) And she won't let anything weird happen. We were watching "Getuigers van Christus" (Witnesses of Christ) and everything was going really well. Then he told us to scoot apart and sat right between us and held our hands for like five seconds before we asked him what the heck he was doing. Then he was trying to talk about women being important to the church...our poor recent convert Es came with us. I bet she'll never come with us ever again. We were really grossed out and we're probably dropping him. 
E is so cool. I love her. She's been investigating for a long, long time. She told Zr A that when we got here, she knew we'd be the missionaries that would see her into the waters of baptism. That was really cool to hear. She loves the missionaries and always has our backs. 
There's a member here name Siegried van der Put. She is AWESOME. She's like 75 or 80 and she reminds me a lot of Oma. She went on a zillion missions and is STILL a missionary. She bore her testimony on Sunday. I hope that I can help others feel the Spirit the way she does. She's so humble and she knows what is most important. I'm grateful for her example here. Also, I know Oma was a flirt when she was younger (and sometimes even still) and Zr vd Put is kind of like that too. She's just fun. She gives us Dutch lessons too. 
Last comment: you know you're not in America when you're planning a ward activity and people have problems with a donut-on-a-string activity. They couldn't figure out how the logistics would work or how it would be fun. The quote was, "but how high then must they hang?" lol.
IK HOU VAN JULLIE! en ik weet dat het Boek van Mormon waar is. 
Veel liefs,
Zr Heilner

Theo's house. The last moments before Zr. A got sick

 I forgot to talk about zone conference.
...Elder Lewis leaves on WEDNESDAY and he's training someone from Sao Paolo

Zr. Adams--I was writing to her before she arrived in the mission..