Zuster Young

Zuster Young
Zuster is Dutch for "sister", which is a title used for female missionaries.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Blue-42. Set. Hike.

Was traveling so much this week for Zone Conference, MLC, and a stake activity. Saturday was the Antwerpen Stake Family Day in Herentals. A huge sports and BBQ day. So you know I LOVED IT. Got to see the Antwerpen ward which was great! Spent hours playing soccer, and man these little European kids are ruthless! But I got some sick saves in goal! Man it was like a World Cup out there, with so many people watching and playing! The sickest pickup game of soccer! Later I found an American football sitting on the ground! What a beauty. So played catch with a couple Elders and then more elders came and next thing ya know we had a game going. Was fun to watch Belgian rugby players try to play and shortly after walk away. In any case it was a little piece of heaven and home playing football with the Elders. So what I mostly want to share with you this week is my notes and thoughts from Zone Conference, my studies, and my personal journal. We had a General Authority come to our conference. A stellar experience! Anywho the spirit took over my pen and I learned a lot, exactly what I needed. WARNING: Everything ends up being compared to sports! The key to success, whether personal or in the work, the key to success and happiness is obedience. Follow the white handbook, keep the commandments. It is there to guide and protect you. Those feelings of doubt, contention, frustration, and inadequacy, the influence of the adversary will be blocked and fought away by heaven's angels. Missions are great when they are H A R D. Don't drop out of the game because it's hard. Stay in because it is hard. Don't disqualify yourself because your have limitations. You have limitations to learn and grow. It is hard because you are now playing in the big leagues. You have made the tryout to play on this team, play this position. You have the talent to play but the coach also sees greater potential to be of more value to the team. Your talents will increase, your skill improve, your confidence be humble and mighty. Trust the coach. Don't sell yourself short or don't listen to the opposing team. Don't hide and be afraid. The coach believes in you and want you to use them. It is incredible to work with and talk to so many sisters. To see how different we all really are. How tailored the mission is specifically for us. That Heavenly Father truly is in the details. We have never needed to be perfect missionaries because we were where the Lord wanted and needed us. With the skills and talents of who we were at that time. Truly everyone's mission (life), has had a significant impact on or in their life, that has made them the person they are, who they are now in the midst of a refining process. Everyone has their own personal circumstances and difficulties. It may not be so obvious but everyone has a weight on their shoulders. Something on the inside. Everyone plays a role in the plan, has a position on the team. The coach is asking you to sacrifice for the team. Are you willing to sacrifice yourself to be part of the team 100%? Be the player who does his best, works hard 110% and does anything and everything for the his teammates, the coach, his supporters and the game. Your coach and teammates need you. They need you to work harder than you've ever had to work before. This is the time to prove if you're worth a spot in the big leagues. Help your teammates who are trying to make it. Help those who are learning the game. It is time to step out of the locker room. -- Zuster Young
The street I live on...
The smallest desk...
Above.. That is the view from upstairs in our house where I write every night.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Belgium Baby

I am back! Belgium is very European and old fashioned. I feel like I am stepping back in time as I walk down the Streets. Turnhout is an adorable little stad. Okay I don't have a ton of time, so here are some of the highlights: Found a new investigator on Thursday, Debbie. We returned on Friday and she is a biker. Her apartment is covered and literally covered in tigers and Elvis Presley. In our one hour appointment there was 9 cigarettes lit and smoked. Oh so gross! But she is very faithful and we asked her to pray and she did, and then broke down in tears. Despite the cloud of smoke in her kitchen the spirit was there. Went to a Jesus Parliament Power Night (An African worship service) and it was unlike any thing else. Went back up to Gouda because Lucilene was baptized! This woman is Brazilian who married a Dutch man. She has been investigating for about 2 years now, never been able to get permission to be baptized. Well the pieces fell into place and the Lords timing stepped in. She asked me to give the baptism talk and share her favorite scripture: Alma 37:35-37. Was a beautiful and powerful baptismal service. Words can not describe the happiness that was felt. Even her husband came. So thankful for the opportunity to have known her, helped her and see her make the first step towards home. I hope everyone has a great week. I know this isn't very profound but know that I am alive. I am happiest I have been and working as hard as I can. Love you and is you! -- Zuster Young
Also, this an excerpt from Morgan's letter to us this week. In our family, everything can be related to a sports analogy. I love that she equates her mission to her experience on the soccer field. "I am finally feeling like missionary. It has only taken me 10 months to get here. My time is Antwerpen I was learning the language, learning to be a missionary, figuring it out ya know. Doing missionary things and having spiritual experiences and seeing miracles. Then I went to Gouda and that was my Gethsemane. Oh that was a beautifully hard place. That was my halftime, like in a soccer game, The coach gets in your face and tells you what you need to change and sets a new game plan etc. A time to figure yourself out and know how to win the game. Now I am back in Belgium and starting the second half. Recharged and ready to work. But now I have to get a feel for this half and just work hard. But the second half is Always the most exciting and rewarding part of the game. So I am finally feeling like a player, a part of the team and like a missionary. Not just doing missionary things, but am a missionary. This is who I am."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Is it raining or am I drooling?

Transfer Verdict: T U R N H O U T! Going back down to Belgium!! Words can not describe my excitement. My new companion is Zr. Voss, she is the new Sister Training Leader. #sidekickforlife Anywho, sad to be saying goodbye to Gouda. I will miss the people here. My time in Gouda has been like none other, my personal Gethsemane. I am walking away a different person than when I got here, and leaving Gouda better than I found it. Gouda is a special place, and has a huge chunk of my heart. I felt at home here and like family to this ward. Yet, I am a Belgian baby and am so excited to be heading back to Belgium. Gouda's Final Moments: 1- Started the week by going to the Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo. Felt like a little kid again! 2- Lucilene (Brazilian investigator who has been investigating for a year now, but hasn't been able to get permission from her husband to be baptized) came into church yesterday, said hello and went straight to our Ward Mission Leader. This last week she was praying and received an answer that she needed to be baptized. She told her husband and he told her that if that is what she truly wants then do it. So LUCILENE IS GETTING BAPTIZED this Saturday! She was so calm and relaxed about it, but had this glow and huge smile on her face all of church. 3- Saturday afternoon: 1 Russian (Bishop's wife). 1 Brazilian (Less active & mother of recent convert). 1 Bulgarian (Investigator). & 2 Missionaries. All together for a huge Russian feast. Three very strong personalities with their heavy accent English together just talking away. Talk about a super member present lesson! I have magnified my calling to the fullest this week...sometimes as a missionary you are given extra strength to keep eating. Yep. Sometimes you have 3 appointments in a row and you are just given food. And when you have a dinner appointment (every night) they assume that missionaries starve and expect you to eat the table clean! No wonder missionaries gain on their missions! But I can't complain...such yummy food! 4- At Church yesterday we had S I X investigators at church. With our Ward Mission Leader, two members, my companion & I plus six investigators- that was the largest Sunday School class I've had my whole mission. Also, Aurora brought a friend to church! Zr. Romney and I had to give talks in sacrament so that was fun. Cool to go out with a bang like that yesterday. 5- Thursday night we were out in dorpjes all day, had dinner on the train at 730pm, got back to Gouda at 8 and so we had an hour left to work. We started making our way to Leis to invite her to church on Sunday since we were speaking. I saw a woman with her dog on the other side of the street and decided to go talk to her. First of all I scared the poor old woman and second of all that was one of the worst conversations. This woman was a Catholic and long story short she has her own ideas and that is enough. Has had some dreams and so she knows that there is life after death. Well homegirl would not give me a chance to speak. Every time I opened my mouth, like a typical stubborn Dutch woman she talked louder and over me. Oh my lanta I was getting so mad. So I bit my tongue and let her get out all she needed to say. Finally her husband came out and said there was a phone call for her. Needless to say I walked away pretty frustrated. Anywho we get to Leis' house and toevallig the door was open. She just got home about 2 minutes ago from walking her dog. She was pretty excited to see us and let us in. Immediately she starts telling us that she has "been trying to pray everyday. It isn't very long but I give thanks and ask for help." Started to explain her health problem and was scared she would have cervical cancer. She (being a believer in the universe) prayed and asked "If there is a God, help me to be okay." Two days later she, Wednesday, she got a call from the hospital and all is clear. The next day, we show up again. I noticed the Book of Mormon was out on the t.v. stand and instead of put away in her closet. Gave me chills. We had to go talk to that grouchy old woman to wait time or else we would have missed Leis because she was out with her dog. Sometimes the Lord works in very mysterious ways. Leis is going to be a slow investigator but there is no denying the spirit that is with her and the Lord doing his work on her. It is kinda of sad to see all these miracles unfolding and now I am out of here. However I know Gouda is in good hands and everything is in the Lord's hands. I have accomplished everything that I came to Gouda to do. This was my time in the refiner's fire, to simply find myself. I promise you that when you lose yourself in the service of God. No matter how hard it may be, you are going through everything Heavenly Father has planned. You are being molded and shaped every second in every aspect. You will find yourself. I love Gouda. I love these people. But I am ready for the next adventure! -- Zuster Young

Monday, August 10, 2015

Letting Go

Just a few things I want to share with you from this week: 1- Friday we took Aurora to the TEMPLE! Hopped on a train and headed to Zoetermeer. As we came out of a winkelcentrum the Temple slowly appeared from around the corner. The look on her face was worth a thousand words. We took pictures and walked around. We met a couple outside, he served his mission here 12 years ago and was back visiting with his wife. Still got good dutch. Well we went inside, sat in the waiting room till the temple president came. We just sat and soaked in the spirit. The president arrived, showed the Open House video. he talked to her, answered her questions. She was simply glowing and didn't want to leave. 2- MINA- Our newest investigator (Sukri's sister who I mentioned last week) Yesterday at church we sat down to teach her during ZHV (RS) and she pulled out a pen, notebook, her scriptures and a brand new triple, and her baptismal calendar! Just unbelievable! We taught the first lesson and she ate it up. Read the First vision out of JSHistory and immediate the spirit came flooding into the room, she instantly said she knew it was true. Mina is incredibly spiritual and has a lot of love. She broke down in tears and confided in us. She has a lot of serious health problems and is quitting smoking. She wants this. We met her 3 weeks ago and in that short time I have already seen her soften. 3- Lesson with Xander- (He has been an investigator for a year now, I think I've mentioned him) Anywho, on Thursday we had an appointment. What was interesting was, well I didn't talk much. I had so many questions and thoughts that I wanted to say, but there was another voice telling me to be still and let Romney talk. Which in all honesty made me nervous, because Romney is quite, and has told me repeatedly that she only speaks when she feels prompted to. So I was nervous, and had no idea where things were going. But Romney just spoke and clearly said things Xander needed to hear, because you could see the gears turning in his head....beautiful. At the end Romney stopped talking and looked at me, gave me that Romney look when she has nothing else to say and I need to do something. So I just shared a scripture Alma 34:8-16 and bore my testimony. While bearing my testimony I just spoke what came to mind and then the spirit hit me, tears came to my eyes and I realized that Heavenly Father was answering me, my own question. Even Xander, the highly intellectual man who asks a million questions, looked like he felt the spirit even if for a moment. I swear, I am learning more and being the one taught out here than I feel like I am doing in return. I want to share with you my testimony and experience from that lesson: A few months ago I prayed to Heavenly Father asking about a personal matter. Something a little left field of my missionary work, but something I needed His help and guidance with. Well deep down there was an answer I was looking for, but said I would accept His will. To my surprise I got the answer I wanted...in shock and not really 100% sure of it I went with it. Now it wasn't anything bad. Yet just recently after a few months, Heavenly Father has started stepping in again and showing me that His way is higher. In the most gentle and loving way he has shown me to truly trust Him. What I want may be good, even better, but He simply knows BEST. So I have let go of my way and wants and have handed them over. I know without a shadow of a doubt that He knows me. He knows these people. He knows you. He is in the details. Don't be afraid to let go of the reins. I hope y'all have a wonderful week! Love you and miss you! -- Zuster Young

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Fog is Lifted

Officially 1/2 way accomplished with my mission...kind of a crazy thought! but to celebrate this mark we had an incredible week. 3 New Investigators Leis- A dutch woman who believes in the universe, does meditation...a classy hippy! The lesson started really good, she just told us about her beliefs and so when we started talking she got up, walked over to her book shelf and pulled out a Book of Mormon. My jaw dropped. Inside was a card from elders... there haven't been Elders in Gouda for years! She has held onto it. It was a sweet lesson and the spirit was strong. Interesting to see her change throughout the lesson. At first she was set and not changing, but by the end after the first vision and a testimony she said: "I think I am going to try to pray more." As simple as that. But just as remarkable. Mina- MEMBER REFERRAL! This is a sister of Sukri Jonas, a member of 3 years. They are from Indonesia. Loud, clowns, talkative, and a ball of energy. She has come to church twice now and wants to be baptized! She lives in Den Haag but wants to come to Gouda with her brother and have us teach her. So for the next couple weeks we will be teaching her during before or after church. Pretty sick! Julius- SELF REFERRAL! A 9 year old little boy. He is from a part member family (mom active, father less active with a 12 year old brother who wants nothing to do with the church). His father told him if he wants to be baptized he needs to have a good reason. So therefore he asked us to teach him. wow. Julius is incredibly smart, faithful and mature and only 9 years old. It is cute when we go over for a lesson, there on the coffee table sits his scriptures, two cups, two plates with cake and 3 different types of juices for us to choose. Also he laughed at us when we showed up today with our new helmets... Anyway I know the Lord has plans for this kid. 2. Travel Contacting- Is truly so awkward and nerve racking, not my favorite but this week I made a goal to contact at least 2 people every day on public transportation. Some people just pretended they got a phone call, flat out ignored us, met some Americans, people who already knew who we were and others who simply just needed a smile and hello. 3. Wijk Gouda- 2 new families!! Well fun fact for ya, in Nederland when it is vacation time it is vacation time and you do not come in the way of that. About 90% of the people here are gone! Our entire bishopric is gone so the secretary is running things. Anywho on Sunday we had testimony meeting, 2 new families, about half the ward and 4 investigators in church! The spirit was incredibly strong, at least I sure felt it. It was an incredible moment to be sitting there and simply see the hand of the Lord working, this ward is growing, great things are in store. To sit and feel the spirit testify to me 1) who is in charge but 2) how sweet a calling to be an instrument in this work and see such wonderful things. I want to apologize for my e-mails these last couple weeks... I hope the tone of my e-mails didn't change too much. In all honesty it was a hard couple of weeks but whatever haze I was in starting to clear up. This week was spectacular. I truly felt like a missionary, that I had a purpose here. There are so many miracles and wonderful things that have happened and that continue to happen. Any missionary could write a novel about their experiences and things they learn. But that just means stories to tell when I return. lastly I want to share that yesterday we met a man from India. He just looked sad, tired, dirty, and worn out. He asked us where we came from. He continue to put us and America down. Then proceeded to put down his own country and people. Told us that "Jesus is in the way". Not 100% sure what he meant by that, but I can tell you that that is absolutely false. Christ is not in the way of anything. Thanks to him we can have peace and happiness, freed from burdens and lifted up in times of trial. I would not be here, where I am if it were not for my Savior Jesus Christ. I would not have made it through these last few weeks if it had not been for Him, who lifted me up when I was down and pleading. Simply, Christ is not in the way, He is they way. Fijne week verder. Ik hou van jullie. Tot zo! Zr. Young