28 July 2014

Week 59: One More Week Together!

July 28, 2014

Geliefde Familie:

Well, well well, another week GONE. That means I have only one full week left with Zr A. We have no idea who will be leaving, but the APs have told us one of us is leaving. It's cool, we are preparing emotionally. It's gonna be hard, but we have to do hard things in life. We are thinking of telling the APs when they call us that we will only accept the transfer calls on some conditions: that we can call each other every week and sleep in the same city the night before temple conference. We'll see how it goes down.

This week was actually quite eventful. I can't say much, but I'm sure you heard about what happened with Russia shooting down that plane. We had a national day of mourning on Wednesday because of it. And the day before, a little boy from the den Bosch ward drowned at an LDS camp for families. Just a lot of depressing things. We've heard of a lot of people dying and it's just really good to know that there's more to life than this life.

We had Zone Training this week. Yes, Mom, I should be on the mission blog from a MLC the week before. Anyway, Elder Bitters (who was in my MTC group) talked about our calling, I talked about change and how the Lord chastens us so that we can grow into what He knows we can become, and Elder Sumter talked about the Book of Mormon and how we can always have a spiritual experience when we read. I was SO impressed with Elder Bitters. He planned so much for it. This was his first Zone Training, and he did so well. It's been so cool to see him grow throughout his mission. I'm so glad we get to come on missions. Just getting to interact with Elder Bitters (Remember, I spent six weeks in a room with him and 8 other people...we know each other pretty well) lets me see how much we change and become what Heavenly Father wants us to become.

So, last Sunday, we were just biking to look somebody up, and as we were turning a corner, we saw a lady. Mid-sentence, I was like, "Stop, we gotta contact her," so we did and we shared a little bit about the Book of Mormon and got her information. So we looked her up a few nights ago, and she was home! We asked if she had a little bit of time to hear more about it, and she took us to a bench outside so we could talk in peace (she has four kids, so I could totally sympathize with how noisy her house was haha) we shared a great lesson with her and she's now a new investigator! We were so happy. It was exactly what we needed.

Zuster Aston is wonderful. She's exactly what I needed at this point on my mission. She got a blessing that said that we're gonna be eternal friends, so that was pretty sweet.

IK HOU VAN JULLIE. Seriously,  a lot.

Zr Heilner

21 July 2014

Week 58: Moroni 7. Miracles have not ceased.

July 21, 2014
Ik ga graag naar de Tempel
Geliefde Familie:
Okay so first, Mom asked for details about the baptism and why it as stressful:
-We had an hour after Sacrament Meeting and we couldn't go in the chapel because the choir was practicing.
-We (mostly Zr A) made this slide show/video that was 12 minutes long but would only play 3 minutes of audio, so we had to do it separately. So when we finally COULD go in the chapel, nobody knew what we were talking about so it was just really hard and in the end it didn't work and one of the members just played the piano.
-We were baking cookies in the kitchen because we had no time the rest of the week, and we were fighting off mobs of all ages asking to try them before the baptism. NO, BACK OFF.
-It was hotter than the asphalt on Satan's driveway.

I still didn't do it justice. But anyway, we've been getting to actually teach Ethlyn again, which is nice. I love teaching her. The Spirit is always there in her house. For like the last two weeks before her baptism, we were just doing logistical things every time we went over mostly, but now we are actually teaching her the lessons again and I'm loving it. It's amazing how much you can still learn no matter how many times you've read or heard the restoration.

So here in den Haag, we hadn't seen a lot of miracles. It was kind of discouraging. But I went on an exchange to Zoetermeer this week, which is where the temple is. Our plans had fallen through for the evening, so I was like, "Zr Watkins, are there any look ups we can do close to the temple? And can we bike by, like...really slowly?" I just really wanted to see the temple. I miss it. So we found someone close and went by the temple. It was glorious. We stopped and took a picture even. It helped. Then we went to the look up. There was so much opposition getting into that house--there were loud people so she couldn't hear us as we were trying to ring her bell to come up. There was pee EVERYWHERE. Luckily Zr W had hand sanitizer because the walls of the elevator had pee dripping down them. Anway, we rang her bell. Nothing. Knocked. Nothing. Knocked louder and FINALLY she came to the door and invited us right in. It was amazing. She had been meeting with the missionaries a few years ago and when we asked why she stopped she was like, Ï don't really know..." so we made another appointment for them and she's a new nvestigator! Amazing. Miracles have not ceased as long as we have faith. I prayed that I would have the faith to see a miracle in Zoetermeer that day. Moroni 7:35-37. It's all about our faith.

So then in Den Haag, I prayed for the same thing. We were doing a lot of finding and we were just trying to keep it fun. I even flicked a spider on its web, that was terrifying. Anyway, we went all the way down this street and NOTHING. Then the last door, a lady opened up and told us to speak English. She and her family are from Iran. They invited us in. It was so cool. The Spirit was so strong and I know they felt it. We taught about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. After the prayer, we looked up and Zara (the mom) was crying. It was so cool. We brought them an English book of Mormon, but they are leaving for Iran for a month, but when they get back, we have an appointment. I'm so excited. These people are prepared. Miracles have not ceased, we just have to have the faith that we will see them.

Flicking the spider right before we found Zara and Ali

Updates on our weird tacos: we only had beef, pears, and white cheese in the fridge basically. So we made tacos with it and it was actually quite good. And probably a little healthier than bacon tacos.

Well, I love you people so much. I am learning a ton, and I hope you are too. Miss you guys!


Zr Heilner

14 July 2014

Week 57: "Let's Get Messi"

July 14, 2014 
Geliefde Familie:
Just a little Zr A love


This week was emotional. So many ups and downs with the world cup and the "after baptism blues" (A quote from our District Leader...I didn't know that was a thing). Zr A and I literally ended last night lying on the bathroom floor cry-singing to the hymns we have haha. We were fake crying, don't worry. We were just forced to do some things we didn't really want to do today for P-Day, so we were upset, but whatever. We are alive, Nederland got third place in the WK and we are slowly but surely getting investigators.

We got to watch the WK at Ethlyn's!! It was so fun. I brought that brownie mix that mom sent me and so we had brownies and trash talked in all the Spanish we knew. Ethlyn is from Curacao, so she helped us because she speaks Spanish. We said things like "you are small" and stuff. They were scared.

Watching the game at Ethlyn's!

MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARKKKKKKKKKK happy birthday. You're the best little brother in the world. Hope you enjoy the letter--I sent it to Grammy's. Sorry I can't wake you up this year by lying on top of you or anything. Love you. SpockSpockSpockSpockSpockSpockSpockSpockSpock

I'm glad you got those pictures from Ethlyn. I got the skirt at a 2nd hand booth in the market for 3.50. Oh also, Mom, to answer your question--the people from Maastricht that I was teaching. Iv got baptized!! He's so awesome. And D isn't allowed to get baptized right now. F is the cutest person ever still, and I hope she's doing well. She got a new job so she's staying in Maastricht longer than we thought. I love her so much. I need to write her.

So Ethlyn was confirmed yesterday, so I guess last week's freak-out about her being a member was actually not quite true. Anyway, she is now! And she said that she could definitely feel the difference. We asked what the Gift of the Holy Ghost was like and she said, "Well, He's definitely always there!" She's amazing. Now that she's baptized we have less investigators, but that's life. We're working hard. Ethlyn's seeing a lot of opposition too, with her family's health. Pray for her sister Celly. She got some bad news today. There were a lot of people at her baptism, and they all had a positive view of the church I think.

Mom, can you send me Lucy's email address?? Can you tell her to email me? I have a favor to ask.

I love you people. I hope you're having fun in Utah. Weird that I was there a year ago when you stalked me walking to the Marriott center haha. I want to bear my testimony on trials. I know Heavenly Father wants us to grow. When we have hard times, it isn't because he's ignored us. He wants us to be happy, so he gives us hard things so we can learn from them. It's like how we have to do awkward things in district meeting so that we won't find ourselves in awkward situations in real life. Anyway, Heavenly Father is preparing us for something much more important. It's like in the song "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul." It says "Chasten my soul till I shall be in perfect harmony with thee. Make me more worthy of thy love, and fit me for the life above." We need to remember that when we have hard times, we should be grateful then, too.


Everybody's Favorite Sister Missionary

People get pretty serious here with the brackets. Since Brazil got 4, NL got 3, Annie will go to Argentina on her mission and Mark will go to Germany.

Elders Denpai and Pugh

Watching the game!
Den Haag

07 July 2014

Week 56: IT HAPPENED!!

July 7, 2014

Geliefde Familie:

IT HAPPENED. ETHLYN  IS NOW A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. Oh mijn GOEDHEID that was the most stressful baptism ever, but it was really special to get to talk to her right after and see her huge smile. She's so great. Such a good member. I know that there were a lot of things (and missionaries) that helped her, and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it. We gave her beads for her dreads that have to do with how she describes us. I gave her one with a cool texture because when you rub it against your hand, it's uncomfortable. She always tells me I push her out of her comfort zone.

NORNS NORNS NORNS! Santiago East. I'm so excited for you. You're such a good example. You're going to be a very, very powerful missionary. I love you, kid.

We had a pretty cool district meeting this week. We were talking about how we can better learn Dutch. We were talking about how most of us have learned languages before, but never has it come so quickly as with Dutch. Then our DL brought up how we were foreordained to come on a mission here, meaning, in the preexistence, we already knew we'd be learning Dutch. So the MTC was probably not the first time we'd learned it. How cool is THAT?! The Spirit was really strong as we were talking about it. I'm not gonna lie, I sort of think a lot about how I just want to study German after this, and if I keep my Dutch, great, but if not, I won't be too sad as long as I speak German. But after we talked about that, it made me want to keep my Dutch even more.

I was also studying in Mormon 9 this week. One of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon. It talks about doubting nothing. I will never forget 28 April 2013--Mom and I were driving back to Texas from BYU and I was sitting in the car reading in Mosiah 10 and I came across the footnote "Trust Not in the Arm of Flesh" in the topical guide. I've let that guide my studies on multiple occasions since then, and it's been cool to see a lot of things build on that. Trusting in the Lord is SO important. If we don't have faith in His timing or His ways or His plan, we'll never progress. If we want Spiritual understanding (what I've been studying a lot recently), we have to doubt nothing that comes from Heavenly Father.

Well, Mom, I've gone my whole life resenting the fact that my name is Katherine, and not just Katie, thinking that your reason of "Well, now when you're older you can change it if you want," was lame, but I think I understand it now, and I'm probably going to start introducing myself as Katherine after this. Congratulations. No, Annie, I'm not going to go by "kit kat," but you can call me Kat.

I love being a missionary. It's hilarious; it's hard; it's stressful. I get told the WEIRDEST THINGS. I get cool gifts (Ethlyn's sister gave me her necklace, that was super nice). Actually Mom, before I forget, I would LOVE to read some of your journal entries from your mission. Or Dad. That would be so cool if you could scan them and send them to me if you want.


Zr Heilner

Ethlyn and Charlotte, another member