Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week 15 - Groningen / World Cup finals

Hoi familie!
First of all, you won't believe that we got permission to go to the Grote Markt with a group of Wijkgroningen JoVos (Groningen Ward young adults) for the semi-final match vs. Argentina and didn't get home until 1:30 am.. which is why I'll send pics as proof (: It was so fun at first, but then the game was really intense and it was sad that we lost, but third place still aín't too shabby for this little mustard seed of a country! And Zr. Wood and I were talking about how we felt weird the following morning because mingling for a few hours is pretty unsatisfying compared to deep and productive conversations that we are used to, but we decided that it was good to feel that way -even when she goes home in a few weeks- because that means we really became missionaries.

Also, apparently it's not too big of an invasion of privacy if I use investigators' first names which is a relief because first letters is kind of vervelend (annoying), and doesn't give you a feel for the culture.

Jenny, the mother of 3 from Curacao, is making progress and we love going over and love her family. She's narrowed her search down to the Mormon church and the Catholic church because they both have a direct line of tracing the priesthood, and she asked tons of questions about the Pearl of Great Price/ JST. Our hardest thing with her is helping her to focus on asking the questions that really matter first (was Joseph Smith really a prophet?), and then speculating over deeper doctrine (I thought the Garden of Eden was in Ethiopia?). Her daughter, Kimberly, is a miracle and inspires me with her faith. She wants to be baptized on 9 August, and totally agreed to live the Law of Chastity (when her boyfriend who she's had a baby with was sitting in the corner- first time he was quiet and didn't interrupt us- she thinks maybe that will motivate him to ask her to get married sooner. We're personally rooting for her meeting a nice JoVo in the ward, but unfortunately can't really say anything..) and is so great.

Marleen is pretty nervous with her baptism 2 weeks away, but excited at the same time. She loves the Kinder Verhalen uit het Boek van Mormon (children’s Book of Mormon Reader) and bore a beautiful testimony at church last week. I love that girl, she is hilarious- never a dull moment!

We got dropped over text by our gift-giving Indonesian onderzoeker Geoffrey- hopefully we don't run out of soap now!- but we left as really good friends and I'll always have a special place in my heart for him!

We found a miracle family from Brazil during bell-ups last week -  they were laughing over the intercom thingy and I thought they were making fun of me but then the door opened and a young latino mom in a towel invited us in, grabbed her two kids, changed, and sat there wanting to know everything. She loves God and the Bible, and has seen our church in Brazil. We're going there tonight with Portuguese BvMs with a Cape Verde- native onderzoeker (investigator) to help translate! It was a miracle that we could communicate with them that first meeting -  Zr. Wood spoke in Spanish, they spoke in Portuguese- she said that was the first time she understood Portuguese.

We get one mini-missionary Wednesday, and one Sunday. I get to go to Brussels on Thursday for legalities! I'll eat some dark Belgian chocolate for you (:   I gave a talk yesterday about faith- how faith is the power that changes the world, and people everywhere, religious or not, turn ambitions and dreams into reality through work and action (that is faith)- we need to remember to turn this faith towards Jesus Christ, because that begins the sure path to eternal life. (On the other side of the globe, in Idaho, Eliza’s twin sister gave a sacrament meeting talk about faith on the exact same day… must be one of those cool “twin coincidences”!)

I'm excited for die Mannschaft winning their fourth world title, but would like to avoid WW3 so can't show any Deutschland pride here!
Love you all!

Zr. Riley

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