Love these crazies!
Hey Familie! Thanks for all the reunion pics, looks like a blast. Happy Birthday, Isaac!
I went on exchanges to Den Haag with Zuster Hopkin which was fun and of course crazy, because something crazy always tends to happen on exchanges. We went to an appt. with their baptismal date, and he was stressed out because he may get kicked out of his house in 2 weeks and end up in jail if he can't pay off a debt, and our joint teach (an older lady who joined the church a few years ago) started bonding with him over her experience in prison a while back (which we weren't aware of ha), but it was cool because she was able to help him see that things will work out if we're keeping the commandments, and that while there are always consequences for our actions, there's always hope and change and new beginnings through Jesus Christ. What a beautiful concept to know and base your life on.
Yesterday was a little disappointing when we went to look up S - a cool non-religious young guy who we had a cool doorstep convo with about geloof and said we were always welcome back- we saw his shadow in the kitchen window, but he didn't answer after seeing who we were. Then, we went to M's to swing by an invitation for the new church bldg open house going on next week, and after making a split second eye contact through her dim window, she avoided us and didn't open, and hasn't been answering our calls. That stung, because we've met with her twice, and she came to Lucie's doopdienst and Wouter's BBQ, and had lots of good questions, and seemed to enjoy learning and meeting with us. Granted, all her questions come from the confusion swimming around her head that comes from trying to investigate every church in Zoetermeer at the same time ha.
On Friday, we handed out lots of flyers for the open house (people generally respond really positively to these- curiosity and wanting to be in-the-know of the world around them) in the downtown shopping area with Suzanne (a member- that way we were able to split up and talk to more people), and experienced reactions on both ends of the spectrum. Right after a middle-aged man glared at us (and our nametags) and basically told us "Get thee hence," we both agreed that we needed some good conversations to cancel some of these other ones out, and mere seconds later, we met this nice older Christian man who invited us to sit on the bench with him as he waited for his taxi, and invited us to tell him what we believed and to testify of who Christ is for us. He's interested in hearing about the BoM.
This last week was filled with finding- lots of doors, stopping people on the street, bel-ups, etc., and was pretty exhausting for us all. But so worth it when ie yesterday morning on the way to stake conference, we talked to a sweet Christian middle-aged Dutch lady, S, who shared some cool experiences with us and invited us to come over next week to share a Book of Mormon and to see her paintings. A is also doing so well- we had a really cool lesson talking about prophets and focusing on Christ and the Atonement and what it means for us. Nothing brings the spirit quicker than testifying of Christ. I am so grateful for the knowledge that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to make it possible to become clean and reach our glorious potential.
Zuster Riley (:P.S. So cool that you ran into KOEN at the HBLL!!!!
Photo from Elder Jardine