Zuster Young

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tricks Are For Kids

Goed morgen schatjes! Well another week come and gone.. I swear they are going by faster and faster. This week was very eventful with a Zone Training, Sisters Conference and Transfer Calls. Which the verdict is: I will be staying in Turnhout and getting a new companion Zr. Bradley. This is her last transfer so I will be killing her. Figuratively obviously, silly missionary language. So this should be exciting... Yay I get to stay in Belgium! Okay what would I like to share with you this morning? I start with some of our funny experiences: Turnhout Station. Beautiful fall Sunday afternoon waiting for a bus... which typical Belgian buses are unpredictable. When a young typical Belgian guy, cigarette sitting in mouth walks up to us. Asks us about the buses. Clearly a motive to just start talking to us. First he thinks we are native Hollanders! But when he finds out who we are, and where we are from that only added to his excitement. Asked if we were nuns...clearly hoping that we weren't nuns. Proceeded to ask about what sports we played and make small talk. Vincent is a native Antwerpse jonge, who grew up riding horses, but now just lives that party life. Homeboy thought he was smooth and flirty. Sorry kid you ain't go get lucky with us. He finally decided to go get on a train and not wait for a bus anymore. As I turned to check on our bus time, turned back and he came in and kissed me on the cheek! WHOA! Now it was not a normal European greeting and goodbye kiss cheek to cheek thing they do. He knew we were from American and that is not a normal thing to do. Ain't nobody got time for dat! So weird to have someone attempt to flirt with you... clearly a sign I am not ready to go home and well when I do no time for boys. Boys are gross. Knocking door on Tramstraat when we hear a banging noise. Look down the street and a woman is trying to kick down a door. People in the apartment looking out the window trying to talk to her. She is just flipping people off. With no luck on the door she moves onto the windows and kicks out the windows! Dude it felt like I was watching a scene from a movie! A small crowd of people watching on the other side of the street, woman on the 3rd floor calling the police, a group of 11 year old girls on their bikes asking us what is happening and sitting gossiping about the whole incident. Could not believe my eyes... I will admit I was laughing... mostly at the commentary coming from the peanut gallery of my companion. "I just witnessed vandalism." "This world needs more peace." Oh it was very eventful. Yet it was interesting to see the neighbors come out and help this woman. I do not the story, or the motives, she clearly was hurt and those were the actions she took to handle them. But the neighbors helped her and she stayed and with their help cleaned up the glass. The police came and she went with them. Cool to see neighbors jump out and help. After an appointment, there was an old bike with what looked like a terribly uncomfortable bike seat. I pointed it out and Zr. Voss was touching the bike seat and then a woman walked out... she was the owner. We all unlocked our bikes in an awkward silence. Man I was trying so hard to not laugh. Went out to dinner with Tommy, he is a recent convert. A rockstar! He took us to a Thai restaurant and it was delicious!! Belgium. Where the rain is typical. And twice this week we got soaked through to the ondergoeden and had to go home and change. Just gotta love biking in the rain that starts as a drizzle which then it pours and there is no point in pulling over because you're already soaked. Now the more spiritual things: Lesson with Regina. She is a recent convert also who moved here from Italy, originally from Ghana. What a beautiful woman. Regina literally fled from Italy and her husband. She is in the midst of a huge complicated and hard situation. As we began the lesson she just broke down and confided in us. Conveyed her frustrations and her simple desire to serve the Lord. Yet feels like she is failing, unworthy, and alone. We had a simple lesson, read a talk from President Eyring and then pulled out our mini hymnbooks to sing to her. She asked where she could get one, and without hesitation I gave her mine. Oh my the look on her face brought me to tears. That look of surprise yet joy.. there is no greater feeling. As we opened to her favorite hymns we sang and she hummed along. Now I know that I don't have that great of a singing voice, but I know that the Lord magnifies talents when its needed! haha Because in that moment, in her apartment I felt closer to heaven. This week we had Sisters Conference and Zone Training. And well I could bore you all with what I learned but all the notes I took! haha But I will only share a glimpse of what I learned. I was hit with the reality that I have been a missionary for 11 months... almost a year. I thought that I would have my head on my shoulders and out there killing it. But I feel like Nearly Headless Nick. "How could you be nearly headless?" -Hermonie Granger Well on the one hand, because I am a disciple of Jesus Christ I am giving everything I have to be here. And because of that everything is taking its toll. My body feels old, my emotions are a roller coaster, and yet I have never been so close to the spirit and felt peace. I am hanging on by literally by the Grace of Christ. This week on Wednesday I had an eye opening moment. Waiting for the bus... we realized we missed it. Due to events and emotions I was feeling I felt like Peter. Christ warned him that he would deny him three times. Yet Peter did not believe him, how could he? Peter was a disciple, an apostle. Yet he did just that... denied him three times. Relating that to me, I feel like I am okay, yeah it's hard but I am a missionary, a disciple, look at how far I have come. I can do this work, this is who I am. What I came here to do. Again, like Peter I do not believe I would do such a thing. Yet here I was... on the inside and clearly all over my face, denying to do the work. When the time comes I don't open my mouth. I don;t want to move my feet, Yet if I do, it is all with the wrong motives or intentions, I truly felt so out of control of my emotions. I couldn't believe that I would ever get to such a low point. Christ said it would be hard, but how hard, this hard I did not imagine. To be pushed to such lengths, feelings so lost, weak, inadequate, but closer to heaven than ever before. That next morning I was studying the life of Peter. He was a fisherman, called and chosen to become a disciple and apostle, later a prophet. He had weaknesses, they were not sins. He was continually in a refiners fire. He was the very person and his testimony that the Lord used to build his church. Is that not what I am doing? Or trying to do? I realized that I am the ultimate and golden investigator here. Everything happens for a reason. I feel like everything is out of control and I am falling apart. But that simply means that the Lord is in control and I need to trust him. I am not failing because I am hurting. I am not failing because I feel lost. I am not failing because I am struggling. I am not failing. I am like Peter, I am no longer a fisherman. Thanks to sisters conference and the beautiful experience it was, I was reminded that of Heavenly Father's love for me. He knows us so perfectly. Never Give Up Sometimes progress in spiritual things can seem slow or intermittent. Sometimes we may feel that we have lost ground, that we have made mistakes, or that our best efforts to find the Savior are not working. If you feel this way, please do not give up—ever. Go right on believing in Him and in His gospel and His Church. Align your actions with that belief. In those moments when the light of your faith has dimmed, let your hope for the Savior’s love and grace, found in His gospel and His Church, overcome your doubt. I promise that He stands ready to receive you. Over time you will come to see that you have made the best choice you could possibly have made. Your courageous decision to believe in Him will bless you immeasurably and forever. - L. Whitney Clayton He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you. And God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens—even when you are struggling with your own. He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly—He knows you as you really are. And He loves you—today and always! -Dieter F. Uchtdorf I love you guys. Thanks for the support. Hold on to that fading light and know that the Almighty King knows you by name and sees everything you are doing and striving to achieve! -- Zuster Young

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