Groetjes vanuit Zoetermeer!
With Zuster Faasavalu- she's so great and I love her so much already!
Familie Riley! Greetings from Holland. I love Zoetermeer so much already! My collega, Zuster Faasavalu (she grew up in Bountiful but her Dad is Samoan thus the cool name- a member called her "Zuster Honalulu" yesterday but they mostly just call her "Zuster Faa") has been out as long as Z. Castro- this is her 3rd transfer- and she is so sweet and hard-working and talented (esp. with music and creative writing). Wijkzoetermeer is amazing.. and we are actually assigned the the Englsih-speaking Wassenaar Ward (lots of American businessmen and their families) as well so we go to 5+ hours of church on Sunday (they overlap)- am I spiritual yet? (;
Wow, so saying good-bye to the members and investigators in Turnhout was hard, but I told a few people that I'd probably be able to come to L's baptism that Saturday and see them then.. which didn't end up working because we had an incredible musical fireside put on by 4 Elders who are travelling the mission doing these performances in the various stakes to increase referrals.. wow, it was neat, and we had a really good turn out! In fact, here's a miracle- so my second night here, we swung by Zr. K, an inactive lady who the Zusters here had been trying to get in with for quite some time now, and as soon as I mentioned that I'm from Florida, she opened up and invited us in and said "ah MIAMI, we went on vacation there every year.." (and I didn't mention the fact that Miami is 12 hrs south of my house and I'd never been there- we just kinda played up the FL card) and we ended up having a really cool conversation explaining what and why we are on missions and shared a scripture with her from D&C and her 22-yr old daughter C (we hit it off really well and are going to hang out on a P-day soon) asked really good questions about Joseph Smith/ difference between books of scripture/ what sets us apart from other Christian faiths and now C wants to be taught the lessons! And Zr. K came to the musical fireside and even brought two of our investigators who she is apparently somehow related to. It was really neat, and after the production Zr. K and I were able to have a really uplifting conversation about the spirit we felt tonight and the first time she felt the spirit and why she was baptized.
I met Zr. U as well, who is from South Africa and is so lovely and easy to talk to (and has the greatest sayings ie "it's just not time for me to fall off my perch yet" or "hoppin' mad) and came to church for the first time in 6 years last week and she is great- haha I introduced myself and she said "I know, I've seen you on television" so I guess that clip made it up here as well. We go to yoga at 9am every Thursday (put on by a young mom who serves as a ward missionary- quite a few investigators and members come) which I loved.
It's so fun being in the same ward as the VanderPuts as well. (: On Sunday I sat down next to Zr. Dezaire, a cute elderly lady who I came to find out was baptized along with her husband years ago by Elder Robinson (now mission president Robinson).. she's served a full-time mission to Bulgaria since then, and one of her 4 children is a Dad in our ward who gave a talk.. wow, so neat to see the fruits of missionary work. I also met Zr. VanderScheer, who is so classy and wonderful and shared some really neat experiences with us as well confirming the significance of planting a single seed.
On Saturday, we met Vera op straat, who had been to the temple open house 10 years ago and has seen our new church building and wants a tour of it next week. We also talked with F, a friendly older lady walking her dog who ended up talking to us for over an hour about how busy she is (so there's no use in swapping contact info) but Z. Faa suggested we sing her a song after she told us how she sings in two choirs, and she loved it.
Our Bishop met with us yesterday (the Elders are both new to the area as well) and reminded us that our primary goal is to bring joy, and that sometimes like a good doctor, we have to find out/ ask "where's your pain?" in order to help people we're working with. This transfer we are focusing on learning the language of the spirit- a topic which I always feel like I have lots I want to learn/ improve on, so I'm excited. We are going to Delft today for P-day. I'm so happy to be here and love jullie!
Zuster Riley (:
Last photos from Belgium:
Turnhout toerisme shop- love this place (the city, that is- not necessarily the tourist shop ha)
My home for the past 6 months.
Fun fact: 80% of the playing cards used in Las Vegas come from Turnhout. Here's me by the museum ervoor.
Familie V (:
With Zuster P en Ermon