Saturday, January 30, 2016
Transfer Verdict: Staying in Lelystad, becoming the new Sister Training Leader, my new companion is Zr. Jensen. I am pretty excited! Now this means that I am in my own graveyard... I will most likely be here until I die in April! We had a very busy week here in Lelystad. Zr. Watts' bike got a flat tire so we were walking all over the place. Which is no biggie, my boots are just taking a nice hit. Gotta love having to glue the soles all the time. Who would have thought that coming to Europe you would still wear out your shoes so bad? Anywho my time is very limited, I apologize. (I am sure I say that every week) We had the opportunity to go to the temple with Zr. Low (a member from Lelystad). When we got there, a few other sisters from the branch were there. It was a beautiful session. I had gone in with a list of questions and concerns. However I felt like nothing was coming, it was very uplifting but each time that I sat to pray my mind went blank. No words came. WHY? When we got to the end of the session and I was sitting there, hoping for some sort of big personal revealatory moment. Again nothing was coming. I got up and went back to the locker room. As I was in the locker, I knelt down and said a prayer. It was there kneeling on the floor of the temple in the locker that I felt the most comforted. I had prepared for the temple, wanting some Liahonna experience. The Lord knows I work in a different way than that, and I need to remember that. While praying, it was mostly thoughts coming from the spirit. The Lord already knows everything, I communicate with him on a daily basis. And so my coming to the temple was an opportunity to truly be at peace. To in fact leave the world behind me. To just sit. Because outside the temple, at home or on the bike, I sit and my mind is in a million directions. Even during prayers is it hard sometimes to stay focused or even stay awake... oops! But when I was at the temple I was speechless, with the hopes of visions and things. But nothing truly came. However, the spirit told me this was his way of giving me true peace. To not be stressed. My mind in 40 different places. To not feel depressed or discouraged or alone. To know that I am safe. He is with me. I was able to have a moment to be "yielded and still." This week we spent some time in Amsterdam working with the sisters there. Went to a funeral. Visited a ton of people while Watts said her goodbyes. But I want to share something that I learned or realized this week. Now I am sure you all know that missions are hard. Every one has thier own experiences, their own challenges. The mission is perfectly desinged for us each individually, for our growth. Something my companion, Zr. Watts pointed out to me this week was how open I am with people. The fact that I am not afraid to tell them what is up, how I am feeling and struggling, or able to help the gospel be relatable to them. Which I didn't quite realize, but I am. Throughout my mission I have not been afraid to hold back, if the Spirit guides me. Since coming to Lelystad I think I have become more open. Anywho I am rambling... The point is I am going to be open and real with you now. My time as a missionary has been H A R D. My "hard", is no harder than someone else's "hard". Being a missionary, and daughter of God suffering with depression is not a fun roller coaster. There have been so many dark moments, lonely evenings, and questioning my purpose. However despite my weaknesses and the hard times, I know that the Lord has been by my side 100% of the way. The word "painful" is a good word to describe this whole journey. The Lord literally plays with your heart strings, pushes you to your limits, and then gives you the greatest experiences of your life. I know so much more about myself, and dots have connected. Who would have thought I needed to come to Nederland and Belgium to find myself. Pain is a gauge of the healing process. Christ chose to experience pains and afflictions in order to better understand us. Perhaps we also need to experience the depths of mortality in order to understand Him and our eternal purposes. Our great personal challenge in mortality is to become "a saint through the Atonement of Christ". The pain I experience may be where this process is most measured. So with that said, I chose to be out here. I chose to stay, to get up each and every day. I know that I walk shoulder to shoulder with the Lord. I quote, "Will you not now return unto me.. and be converted that I may heal you?" 3 Nephi 9:13 The Lord loves us. I know that He is so very well aware of us. The fact that I am still here is proof of that. That is the testimony which I share each day. That Christ Lives. He is our source of healing, hope and love. I am honored to be his disciple. I will work each and everyday to invite others to come unto him. No matter how hard or dark it gets, the Light of Christ lights the way and reminds me that I am about a marvelous work. Don't forget his love and his endless worry about you. Turn to him and let him heal you. I love you all, thanks for you continuous support! I hope you have a wonderful week! -- Zuster Young Last District Meeting of the Transfer
Monday, January 11, 2016
First of all, sorry for the lack of photos this week. My card reader has seemed to disappear and I can not find it. And so I have no other option of connecting my camera to the computer! Sorry! Hopefully I will find a solution. Now as for the week.... It was a tit bit nippy.... sorry I had too. I couldn't resist! But for reals though, the temperatures dropped this week! Up north it was so cold and rainy that the streets froze over and everything was closed. And what do the Dutch do? Everyone ice skates through the streets! I think that is pretty sick! This last week was freezing, and very, very wet. Wore so many layers and then had to change a few times because we were just so soaked. All of our heaters were covered in our clothes. And there was a member warning us that is was estimated to snow this Friday. She was warning us like a Zombie Apocalypse was coming. So we are ready! However, we have been every lucky this winter, it has not been very cold, it has felt like Autumn. I can't complain... just biking in this crazy freezing rain and wind is rather difficult! It feels like my glasses are freezing to my face! Okay enough about the weather...sorry! I do not really know what to say about this week. We are busy! My planner has never been so full of appointments. To be speed biking from one house to the other. It is like we are training for the Tour de France! It is quite incredible I think, I mean sure I am exhausted! However it is a good kind of exhausted! I am starting to like Lelystad, I know, I know we are going on my 4th week here. There are some fantastic people here, so much potential. And because of that I have no idea where to begin or what to say? This week we worked more with Less-Actives. Some were in the hospital, some were sick and others just needed a visit. Now something about Lelystad... there are so many sick people here. I would like to estimate that 90% of the population has something wrong. Just everyone we come in contact with, so many of the less-actives, all have health related issues that keep them back. Maybe that is why I am here, send a crazy person to the crazy people! haha grapje... but there are some really great people here. We had two lessons with Sophia this week, both times she ended up making us food. Nigerian food is SO spicy! The first lesson we had, that plate of food was way too spicy. I could not finish the plate. Watts and I were in tears, blowing our noses. The first time in my whole mission I was not able to finish the plate of food put in front of me! Crazy! But the next time it was still spicy but not as spicy, she protected us a little.. They just laughed at us. Silly white people... We had several good lessons this week. My time here, yes it has only been a month, but I am truly feeling the Lord's hand in the work. Being magnified and saying all that he wants me to say. I am trying my best to feel like I belong here in Lelystad, to know how I, Sister Young, can help these people. I pray and pray, so much of my attention is on these people and I still feel some sort of disconnect. When we plan, I feel like my channel to the spirit is fuzzy and have no idea what these people need. I don't quite understand, in all honesty it is frustrating. I just want to serve these people. I feel such a love for them, but feel like I am just going with the flow. Yet, the twist to all of this is, the moment we sit in a lesson. We begin talking the spirit takes over. I can feel him guiding my thoughts, telling me when to talk and when to just listen. To know what to say. To be so open and personal with these people. And so for that, I just have to trust the Lord and I am here for a purpose. And maybe this is not something we can just plan. They are people, I am not one to force the gospel on people. You have to know that their personal needs are. You have to know them, do you know what your neighbor likes and dislikes? Do you know how they prefer to recieve love and help? Is it through words or actions? You have to trust the Lord, the spirit, your own self that you can make a difference. It may come over time, but it will come. You just need to show up each day, at the edge of the field, ready to throw in your sickle and do the work. I know that if we make ourselves available, the Lord will make us capable. He loves us, he loves your neighbor, the person you see across the street. Let Him in and guide your life. Hope you have a wonderful week. I love you all! -- Zuster Young Also I just got an Email from Aurora (investigator from Gouda, she moved to New Zealand) and she got baptized!!
Monday, January 4, 2016
Goed Morgen! It is already 2016... unbelievable! I hope you all had a fun and safe New Years. Things here were pretty loud and explosive. We had the opportunity to stay in side from 4pm. Fireworks were going off since noon and went on until 3 am. But it was absolutely beautiful to see at midnight. Look out our window and see a constant stream of fireworks along the horizon. 65 million Euros were spent on personal fireworks! This place is crazy! Wonderen van de week: Sophia- She is a 43 year old woman from Nigeria who has been living here for 10 years and is married to a Dutchman. Her nephew just moved in with them. He is already member of the church, was baptized back in 2003. So on the 20th of December, it was our Christmas service and the three of them just showed up! They came the following Sunday and Sophia informed us that she wanted to be baptized! Say what? On Tuesday we had an appointment with her and her nephew, Harrixon. We taught the first lesson. Harrixon had already shown them the Joseph Smith Movie and she loved it. She told us of how she cried and she told us in her own words the restoration of the church. The spirit was very strong! Harrixon is very passionate... so he gets a little excited and it is hard to get a word in when he starts. But She agreed to be baptized and we set a date for the 23rd of January!! We went back on New Years Eve and she made us this huge African Feast. Her husband was there and he has a lot of questions and so we did the first lesson again. I hope and pray and she can stay strong and follow her own feelings and not get caught in her husbands doubt. That happens so often here. I went on exchanges with Sister Rameriez in Amsterdam this week. They are teaching a 8 year old girl and helping to reactivate her mom. They are originally from Brazil. We were there for a couple hours. Sister Rameriez talked to Sandra (the mom) and I got to sit and talk to Nicole (the daughter). First of all she reminded me of my sister Mylie. Nicole just stole my heart away. We sat and talked about gymnastics and how much she loves the missionaries. The warm feeling she has when they come over. We taught her the 3rd lesson, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Half way through the lesson, Nicole stopped us and said she had 3 things to say, she asked us simple questions and then lastly she told us that "I love God and Jesus Christ with all my heart. I know they know me." Tear-jerker! Nicole's simple but profound testimony touched my heart. Listening to Sandra and her story, how she wants to come back to church and how badly she wants to be a good example for her daughter. To be all that she needs to help Nicole. I just thought of my own mom, and then the spirit came and words came out my mouth. What those words were I have no idea. But we were in tears. She then asked us to stay for dinner! Score! But that night in Amsterdam I will never forget. I would love to serve in Amsterdam just for them. That place is crazy... a cloud of weed smoke hovering in the air so thick you can practically see it. So man tourists and then crazy people wandering. Amsterdam the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. Lastly, we shared a Mormon message at a dinner appointment. Maybe you have seen it, I have seen it a number of times. But Friday night after a long and kind of tension filled dinner appointment, we watched the Reflections video. And at the end of the video you hear the voice of the father: "Michael, are you still there?"...."I have always thought you were a good man." And suddenly I realized what he was saying, and this warm punch in the gut hit me. I never really notices those words before. I realized that that voice in my life is my Heavenly Father. If you know me this is when the tears started coming... but as I sat there it was like in the movies and my life flashed through my life in high speed and i realized how often my Heavenly Father has been there asking me that, telling me that he still loves me and has always thought of me as a good woman, his precious daughter. It was a powerful moment, and even Christian put his phone down, it might have been because he saw me crying. But anywho. Nothing, absolutely nothing can come in between the fact that you are his child. He knows your potential and who you can become. Strive to move forward, he is always there, with open arms ready to accept you. Make the changes you need to hear his voice, to follow the guidance he sends. SO you don't look back in regret one day. I know the Savior lives and because of him we CAN move forward. That there is always clean slates and new beginnings. His love is endless. Look in the mirror and see your reflection, the reflection of a child of God. ww.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/reflections -- Zuster Young