Tuesday, December 14, 2010

last one, best one

Last week, best week.

Charles Ahenkona was baptized yesterday after church. So was Richard Amoah. Teaching Charles with Zuster de Groot these past weeks has been a treat and I've learned so much about the power of repentance and forgiveness from him. He is a "champion breed" as Joseph Mendy would say. Charles anticipated his baptism so much and when he finally came up out of the water, he threw his fists in the air and jubilated, "I did it!!" It was marvelous. We afterward celebrated African style and I couldn't have imagined a better way to go out of Antwerpen ward. I was rejoicing.

My lovely ones, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation. Joseph Smith was the one to coordinate its return through divine guidance. The Book of Mormon assures us of this truth. God is our Father, the great designer of the plan of salvation, the purpose of our existence. Jesus Christ stands as savior, redeemer, and mediator. How real and immense is His atonement. I feel His love for these people, these precious souls I am privileged to know.This next Sunday Charles will receive the Holy Ghost and I will be already back in Utah with everyone...how strange that seems. I know all departing missionaries say it seems unreal, but really...it's unreal. I of course am excited - how could I not be? I can't wait to see everyone again and get back on my former track. It'll take some adjustment, but there's no call to not love it.
Friends, there's just too much to say. This is my last time writing as a missionary here. I cannot even begin to express my thanks to my Father in Heaven for calling me to this. To these people. At this time.

Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. -DC 128:19

Love you all eternally and until we meet again, God be with you.
-zuster jillian claire fritz
ps - the photos are from the Christmas concert we held in Kortrijk after our zone conference. It was sensational.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marijke endowed

I remember meeting Marijke for the first time. I had just arrived in Amsterdam on 16 September 2009 after two long days of travel and leaving everything familiar behind. My trainer Zuster Fowler, picked me up from the train station and escorted me and the suitcases to our Bijlmer apartment, where she immediately informed me that we were walking right back out the door straight away to our appointment at the church with our baptismal date, Marijke. I not only felt extremely tired, but overwhelmed with Dutch, inadequate to fill the former Zuster's shoes, and nervous about teaching a principle I had never practiced in the MTC to a person I had never before met.
Well, the rest is history. Zuster Fowler and I taught Marijke the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and committed her to making significant changes in her life. She did and continued on the gospel path of church activity and sensitivity to the spirit and over the course of my mission, I have been privileged to witness her progression. Just before I left for Rotterdam, Marijke completed the work for her late husband.

On Saturday, Marijke was able to go to the temple to receive the endowment for herself and afterward be sealed to her husband for all eternity. I've never witnessed something so sacredly special. Her words in the celestial room when I asked her how she felt: "het is niet te beschrijven." And it really is beyond description. Probably one of the most memorable experiences of my mission; something I plan on sharing with you when I come home.
This is what the work is all about - looking beyond the baptismal font and to the altars of the temple where families can be bound together forever. Zalig.

I love you. This week is spiced up with Christmas concerts, zone conference, day-trips to Brugge, baptisms and goodbyes. Last week, best week.

CHARLES AHENKONA is getting baptized Sunday. What a treat.

Love you all muchly,
Zuster Fritz