The first week of transfer #3 in Antwerpen is finished and we've got five investigators with a baptismal date and an additional handful that are making awesome progress in their conversion process. It truly IS a process that requires careful planning, effective commitments and absolute dedication on their part. I marvel at these people who just several months ago, even several weeks ago, had no imagination that with the acquaintance of two girls they would be altering their entire lives. This happens all over the world and it has absolutely nothing to do with the girls or boys or where they're from but everything to do with the message that they bring. That message is that Jesus Christ lives and leads his church today through a prophet. Is that not the best news to ever be found? I cannot quite capture the essence in these words but I promise that it is and I feel so privileged to be a means through which it can be accomplished.
Two of these baptismal dates we are teaching are Juliette and Hendrik, an older Belgian couple (in their 70's) referred to us by a member in the ward. He's actually their pharmacist and had given them a Book of Mormon some time ago. He asked us to follow up and see how they are. They received us warmly and treat us as granddaughters, which is absolutely adorable. As we've been teaching them about the plan of salvation, they've really come alive and its so obvious that this knowledge is what they've been searching for their whole lives together. They eagerly committed to be baptized in Oktober. Brother Nuyens, our ward mission leader, comes regularly on joint teach and they've got a good friendship going on. He teaches with so much conviction. AND we have it from a good source that Hendrik came into the pharmacy this week to ask for help to quit smoking. ;) He's been doing his research online, I suppose. Can't wait to teach the word of wisdom next week. :D
You know, I've been thinking a lot this week (I finally managed to get food poisoning from some African food so I had a bit of down time haha) and in my letters I am always so excited to share the miracles with you. As you can see, the Lord is bringing his work forward with so much power, its truly incredible. However, a mission is challenging. But it doesn't have to be hard. I learned for myself the first several months of my mission that our happiness is completely dependent upon our choices and so many of the choices that we make are not just to act but to feel. 2 Nephi 10:23-25 saved my life one December evening on the Amsterdam metro. As I read it, I had this ah-ha moment and realized that regardless of our circumstances, true happiness and peace of mind lie within our reach. Even with an exhausted body, physical illness, depression, discomfort, restrictions, inadequacy. We are free to choose. And I desire with all my heart that the people I meet and teach in Belgium and the Netherlands will choose that for themselves as well. However, my time here in the low lands is coming to a swift end and I am so hesitant to come to terms with that, but I know that what I do here doesn't have to stop with my departure. I want to continually be an instrument in his hands to bring about His work. And his entire work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I'll repeat the words of my hero, the prophet Jospeh Smith, "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause?"
I love you all - you know that, right?
Zuster Jillian Fritz