Let's begin with my golden city: Amsterdam. God loves me so much - because this place is incredible. Great things are happening. HOWEVER, if y'all thought that I was coming to the Netherlands to teach tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Dutchmen, you have something else coming to you. I'm surrounded by everyone; many Africans (with whom we speak an awesome sort of English), Surinamse volk (a dialect of Dutch), Europeans of all varieties/languages, and now and then some Americans. Ya, pretty much Amsterdam is the worst city for one to learn Dutch. Lingua franca: English. MAAR (but) I am learning.
One week in Amsterdam on mission and already I've beheld so many miracles. The work itself is a miracle. We are teaching and finding so many of the elect and the members have been with us all the way, joint teaching is incredible. Every person we find and teach on the street or in the parks has SO much potential and so much to give. I'm learning to truly listen as Elder Holland taught in PMG (Ch 10).
One miracle I'll never forget: Evanne. She's a gorgeous young woman we approached in the park - asked her straight away what her purpose in life is. SHe shared with us that she's actually searching for that very answer, but she didn't feel her church was answering it. Therefore, she was reading in the Bible. Zuster Fowler told her about the Book of Mormon and shared her favorite scripture from Alma and as she did so and testified, tears began to stream down Evanna's cheeks. She expressed that the feelings she felt as we spoke to her were exactly what she was searching for and that she believes we were the answer to her prayers. We taught and testified some more, set up an appt., prayed with her (a beautiful experience) and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon - she was going to read from Alma 5 until our appointment. It was a wonder. We pray for her everyday and are so excited to teach her more about her relationship with her Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. She is ready!!
My companion: Zuster Fowler. Zij is mijn held. I absolutely love everything about her. She and I are one soul in two bodies. :) Together we will see miracles. We're working really hard and have SO many investigators, one with a baptism this Saturday. Her name is Marijka and she is completely transformed. I wish I could have seen her from the beginning. Marijka is a special daughter of God and she teaches me so much with her eagerness to read from the BoM. Simply the way she carries and handles the book in her hands shows her appreciation for what it's done for her life. She is so accepting of the gospel principles we teach her. She knows they will make her happy.
In any case, the ward is so excited for her. I am so excited for her.There are simply not words enough to describe what happens here. I love the work, love being a missionary, love the members/investigators, and love my Savior Jesus Christ.
Het herstelde evangelie is waar!