Wednesday, July 30, 2014

17 - Groningen


Marleen is now officially a member of the church and I'm so happy for her- her baptismal service had a great turnout.. tons of members were out of town op vacantie, so we just invited everyone we knew, and there were more non-members than members there. It was great talking to her family who came to support her too, they're great people. 
We had a great lesson taught by all four of us (usually we split up into pairs to reach more people but there's a "3-man rule" with opposite genders) with Darren and Joriano.. we'd role-played trading off teaching points of the restoration, and afterwards Joriano told us that a lot of the questions he had in his head were answered during the lesson, which really strengthened my testimony that the lessons in PMG are inspired. Darren is so curious and everything is so new to him and it's so neat to see him find answers to his questions, too. 

Tuesday was exhausting in the morning because we had a lesson with an older celtic-christian man named Jan who'd approached us on the street a few days before.. turns out he was only interested in working for and benefitting from our "rich church" (he was pretty disappointed that leaders aren't paid.. and are members of our church) and scoffing at our belief that Lamanites/ Nephites lived in the ancient Americas when obviously only the Incas and Mayas did, and then accused us of being an ever-changing church because back in the 70's apparently some Elders told him that the Bible was for the Eastern hemisphere and the BoM for the Western (probably a miscommunication with the language voor/ van), and said he'd read enough books written by ex-members that he knows everything he needs to know.. and we haven't seen Jenny and Kimberly for almost two weeks because of vacation, but we'll probably have to move Kimberly's date back because we haven't taught her everything/ she's only been to church once (she gets up to go each week but her mom doesn't always, so we're working on a member carpool), but I'm excited to meet with them again this Tuesday because I really like their family.

We had a really cool first lesson with Kamiran who is Muslim and from where is now Syria- he loves reading and is really excited about the BoM and had a dream about Jesus so wants to talk to us and thinks it's really cool that young people like us are spending all of our time to help others come closer to Christ, and he also shared some of the Qu'ran with us and lamented over all of the Muslim traditions that are purely cultural and not from the Qu'ran.

We finally got to see Marieke again who is leaving to Utrecht soon for school and is really looking forward to a new start with new friends (strong JoVos there I hear!) with the morals of her friends in Utah from her study abroad. We met with Mickey and read about Nephi building a ship because he asked about the picture in the beginning, which he thought was cool because he applied it to him believing he could fix his car he's been working on, but he openly told us that he's happy with his life right now and honestly doesn't have that drive to pray and find out if there's more.. he's someone who doesn't know he's missing out until he sees what's there I think.

A lot of investigators' concerns (especially since we have so many young men in their 20s) are that they wanna still "be themselves", so we try and stress that by following commandments you are not becoming a religious robot; rather, you are becoming your best self. I feel so lucky to be meeting so many neat individuals. Zuster Koulen and I call each other "homies" and are always joking around and laughing, it's great.

Thanks for the letters/ DearElders! It's always so fun to come home after a busy day to one of those! Love you!
Veel liefs, 
Zuster Riley  

 Pics from Marleen's baptism! (:
 Like the dresses of my collegas-- recognize them? (: 
(the 4 missionaries are all wearing Eliza's dresses!)

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