Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 26-Turnhout

Hoi Familie!
Wow, another great week here, I am loving Zuster Aston and Turnhout. The missionary work here is so great..   we easily teach 20 lessons a week and have at least 9 investigators progressing towards baptism.. and I say this not to brag of myself (Alma 29:9) but in awe of the strong members and sisters who built this area up.

I shared my testimony/ introduced myself to the branch yesterday, and told them that I'd really gained a testimony of Alma 26:37.. so true, the Lord is preparing people for me to find here as I type. Unfortunately, Larissa, a sweet Russian mother who was scheduled for baptism on 11 October, is going to have to postpone the date because of divorce technicalities, but she is still great and strong.

Something funny is when we were reading with Roger (he speaks both but reads in French, we read in Nederlands) in 1 Nephi 4 and 5 and I was summarizing Nephi dressing up as Laban, so when "Laban" walked outside and made quotation marks with my fingers, Roger said he needed to ask me something at the end of the lesson, and wanted to know if that sign meant I was associated with the illuminati because they do that because the two fingers are like devil horns and to watch out because I might confuse people. But other than that, he loved the story, and was getting soooo into it and retelling it and it was so neat and also hilarious! He is so great, but still does not feel like he is getting an answer, but is excited for conference because he has questions about prophets.

It's cooling off beautifully, as in crisp and invigorating and still sunny.. but apparently will be getting pretty cold this winter. I got to go back to Gent and work with the wonderful Zuster Johnson on exchanges, and it was fun to see Romain and Kamil and Familie Symynck again. 

Yes, Elder Ballard and I did shake hands! He shook every missionary's hand, but still.. actually, his real new pal is Broeder Geens, the former ward mission leader in Gent, who started a facebook campaign with giving out Finding Faith in Christ DVDs which led to lots of referrals and even a few baptisms, and Elder Ballard kept saying "I wish I could shake his hand, I would love to meet him, that story of vision in a member is going with me everywhere I go..." and someone called him and said to get up here, and Br. Geens got to talk to him for 5 mins one-on-one and Elder Ballard said to email him all of his missionary ideas on his personal email. Gent represent (: .  

Love you all! Know that I am doing great here.. loving the work, and the people. I'm sad that Zuster Aston leaves me (to go HOME) in a month. 
Thanks for writing every week!
Zuster Riley(:
P.S. Mom, the NT scripture mastery cards in Dutch that you sent in the MTC are so useful, thanks. Rachel, you will not regret all your hard work with scripture masteries.. keep it up! 
Attached are some Brugge pics with Zuster Aston!  
 From Eliza’s companion’s blog: 

(last week) Hoi hoi hoi. This week was super good! I have a new companion named Sister Riley. She's a year younger then me & is from Florida. She's a vegan. Which is actually pretty cool. She has been helping me eat healthier... But I will never be completely converted. I love milk, cheese & meat too much. She's really easy to work with & we get along great. We've seen a lot of miracles this week. We currently have two baptismal dates. We are hopefully going to set more this next week. One of our investigators was a Muslim growing up, but he said that he prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true & he received his answer that it is! We asked him if he knew that Christ is the Son of God & he said, "The Book of Mormon says he is... So yes I believe that He is." The spirit was so strong. I'm grateful for the people we are teaching. I love all of our investigators. I did have an awkward experience though. One Sister Riley's second day, we went to an appointment with one of our investigators. There was an envelope taped to the door that was labeled, "zusters mormonen". We opened it & it said that she didn't want to meet with us anymore. As we were reading it, a man opened her front door & said, "I'm so sorry! Wait here, I will get her." Then all of a sudden... all her neighbors came outside to watch... I stood there probably looking so confused as she walked to the door. She then told us that she didn't want to meet anymore. I tried asking why & what happened, but then all the people started jumping in & told us to leave. Talk about awkward. Poor lady. She needs the Gospel in her life. Besides that, this week was really good! Sis Riley & I are going to see miracles this transfer. I can feel it.

(today) It’s definitely been a transfer of miracles so far. You wouldn't even believe it. All of our investigators are doing pretty good. They are making a lot more progress than they were last transfer. Zuster Riley & I made a goal to work hard but have fun my last transfer. Last Monday we went to Brugge Belgium. It's very beautiful. We even found a new investigator while on the bus to Antwerpen to catch a train to Brugge. We taught him the restoration & extended the baptismal invitation. He said yes. He even started reading the Book of Mormon after we got off the bus. It was awesome. Everything is going good here.  

Zuster Anjewierden's mom (center) went to pick up her daughter when her mission ended last week. She went to church in Turnhout and took this photo with Eliza and her comp. (Thank you!! Made my day to find this pic!)

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