Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Week 61 - Zoetermeer

 Helping at Wouter's boerderij -- love these YM/YW! 

You know Fufu? 

May flowers bring June showers..!

Hoi Familie, It's been pretty cold and rainy here, esp. for June, but the tender mercies and miracles have been pouring down just about as heavily as the rain here- for example, we went to the Haagse Markt yesterday and ran into so many people we know/ met so many new people who we were able to have gospel conversations with, and yesterday evening we had another amazing performance of the "Singing Elders" and met a lot of friends of members who really enjoyed the compilation of stories/ songs about life and why we are here, who definitely felt the Spirit and will hopefully be interested in meeting with us. It was a good reminder for us that we're still missionaries, even on P-days. (: 

But, there have also been some strikes of lightning, for example our appt. with P van Korihor, a friend of a member's son.. P started off by asking us general questions about our faith, and then would stop us and tear apart our testimonies and use fallacious reasoning to point out why he was right.. and with the Elders, there were about 7 of us trying to get a word in edgewise, and he started going around the table, saying that he would give each of us an attempt to satisfy the particular question he was posing.. but eventually, he was not open and not willing to take any steps to open his heart and find out for himself if what we were sharing was true.. luckily, we still managed to end on friendly terms with him, but there was definitely some tension between him and a direct, bold member who tried to defend us. That experience didn't shake me up too much by now, but it was Z. Nyakoh's first real encounter with someone bashing and twisting her testimony of truths she holds so dearly, and I remember how much that hurt, especially as a greenie. But as it says in Preach My Gospel, our responsibility as missionaries is to teach powerfully and clearly so that others can make a correct choice.. when they choose not to accept our message, we will naturally become saddened because we love them and desire their salvation, but need not become discouraged (discouragement will weaken our faith)- when we've done our best, we may still experience disappointments, but we need not feel disappointed in ourselves.

At the same time, there are things that we can definitely realize we need to take accountability for- ie making opportunities to talk to everyone. We were talking as companions a few days ago about how despite rushing around to appointments/ meetings and being busy all the time, there are days when we don't always feel like missionaries. We're making extra efforts to disperse on the tram to Den Haag to sit next to and strike up conversations with different people, and it's so fun to see my awesome comps down the aisles brightening someone's day, and then telling each other about the neat convos we just had when we get off. Or turning service into teaching opportunities by talking about gospel principles. And of course, people on the street- eye contact = I contact.

We're still really struggling to get investigators to church (which is a good indicator of how seriously they take us- we're probably going to have to take a friendly break from meeting so often with some people who are currently not keeping their commitments) and spend time finding the honest truth-seekers who are ready for the gospel), any suggestions? 
Love you all, thanks for the prayers and love and support! 
Z. Riley (: 
 From Zuster Lemich: At district meeting we got "awards" for things that make us unique and they gave me the "dairy free by birth"and Zuster Riley got "dairy free by choice" they gave her an apple and me a baby carton of Nederland milk hahaha.

And one more Keukenhof photo (thanks, Zuster Voss!)

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