25 August 2014

Week 63: We bike a lot.

August 25, 2014
Geliefde Familie: 
We finally found a charming part of Lelystad!
That back there is my fourth bike on my mission...
Hello you beautiful people. This week was crazy. Our branch president has wanted us to be knocking doors less and seeking service opportunities more, so we did some window washing this week for some people who don't quite understand the Word of Wisdom and smoke. So as we were washing them with a squeegee, all of this brown water would fall onto the window sill. I looked at Zr Adams and said, "Never, ever, ever start smoking." She was like, "OH THAT's why it's brown." Yes. Nasty.
We decided to get 72 hour kits today. You never know. This country needs humbling, and maybe the dijks will break to make that happen. So I purchased a water purifier and food storage, among other things.

We biked a TON this week! And miracles were attached. We needed to go to Dronten for a dinner appointment, which is about 15 minutes on the train away. A while ago, the leaders told us to use our public transport card less, so we decided we'd bike there! Plus, we had other work to do in the city, and we didn't want to have to walk around all of Dronten. So, we printed off directions at the library and took a bunch of pictures of a map, since we don't have one of Dronten and have no idea where to get one. It took a long time, but we made it, and had miraculously beautiful weather. We had, luckily, prepared for the worst though. So we got there, and the first look-up wasn't home. The second one (it was a wonder how we got to their address) had moved, so we decided to ask one of the neighbors if they knew what had happened to them. We went to the last door on the street (because that's where we had left our bikes) and they said that they were the only ones in the area that knew where they were. So they told us they were in an old folks home. But they had no idea where in the facility. So we went. Reception desk: closed. Nobody could help us. In Nederland, you can just walk around freely in those places though, so we did. Finally a worker asked if she could help us and she didn't know where she was, but after a few other workers, they led us to another place that DID know. And then we found this old couple! They were so sweet and you could tell that they hadn't had visitors in forever. They were so happy to see us. It was definitely a miracle that we found them because the branch didn't know they had moved or where to find them.

After biking to Dronten...

The charming part of Lelystad!
We were told at our dinner appointment that we were the first missionaries to have biked to Dronten from Lelystad in 12 years. Now I know why haha. We made it home safely though. Right at 9:30.

Then the next day nobody was at church. No investigators, no inactives. Ugh. So we started weekly planning after church and it was really cool to see how we were led through the process. We texted some of the people that didn't come and found out that they needed service (WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR!!) so we're going by this week to help!

We had a pretty funny experience too. Zr Adams had found a lady to whom she gave a Book of Mormon, and we had a follow up appointment this week. We went by, and she brought the BoM to the door. We were thinking, "crap, she wants to give it back to us," but after talking to her for 45 minutes about it (at her door), and feeling prompted to ask about her family and show a picture of my own, we got a follow up appointment and we committed her to reading in the BoM! The best part about it (besides the fact that she wants to learn about the Book of Mormon) is that it's a dinner appointment. Woo.

I had a really cool exchange with Zr Watkins this week. She was in my MTC district, so we're friends. She's awesome. She is so real, and I just love it. I needed the exchange with her. She's a great missionary, but she has also mastered the art of relaxing and not taking life too seriously. She helped me chill haha. It's easy to get caught up by the rigors of this work and to lose your personality. I don't want that to happen to me. I love Zr Watkins. She helped me see again that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. We're sent here to learn and go through hard things, definitely, but the test is if we can be graceful through trials. I was reading Bednar's "Bear up their Burdens with Ease" and he talks about how we sometimes think that happiness is the absence of trials. That's not true. Trials are completely necessary, and if we didn't have them, we'd be cheating ourselves of learning experiences. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. We can do hard things because we can share the burden with Christ. Matt 11:28-30.

I love you so much. Thank you for the love and support. Mark Richards is in my prayers.  I know Heavenly Father has a plan.

Also, OUR Mark...I can't believe how big he is. And Annie's a babe. Spencer, you should send me a first day of school outfit picture too!

Zr Heilner

My companion makes great cobbler

When the ZLs came to help us find!
 We found a bunch of brony stuff in our apartment.

We have found a bunch of 'Brony' paraphernalia in our apartment...including a pencil-drawn depiction of two my little ponies reaching for each other with tears in their eyes. So on an exchange with Zr Watkins, we wrote, ''I, the undersigned, do solemnly swear that I will never marry a Brony'' and then we signed and dated it.

More brony stuff we found...
It was cold and we found a bunch of candles.

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