Monday, September 21, 2015

Een! (One!)

Hitting their year mark in the mission! Sisters Mashburn and Lemich and Elders Muller and Hunter

Elder Hunter!

Hello everyone,

There is so much to write about this week. Miracles, crazy stories, just lots of fun.

So first off I want to finish what I started talking about last week but ran out of time.

So our Stake President asked us to share something very specific with the members when we visit them. It's a portion of a talk that Elder Holland gave called "The First Great Commandment".

It has to do with the conversation that goes on between Peter and Christ beginning with "Do you love me?" The reason we are sharing this is because President S. feels like there are a lot of members here (and I would say all over the world as well) who get a calling, or have a big awesome experience, and they make a lot of progress in their testimonies and in the gospel. But then they get released from a calling, or time goes by and they begin to forget the love they felt for the gospel, and they go "back to their nets". So our invitation is to read that portion of the talk, and make a personal written list of ways that maybe you have gone "back to your nets" in your personal conversion. I would invite all of you to do that as well. (We are also :) )
Cool I hope it makes a little more sense now.

So this week Elder Hunter and I hit our year mark! Crazy right? I still can't believe it. Everything has changed so much the past year, the mission, me, the world. I'm still in a bubble, it hasn't quite hit me that I'm over the hill. We didn't do anything too crazy to celebrate. We took some pictures with Sisters Mashburn and Lemich who also were in our group. No burning shirts or anything. (A tradition that some missionaries do is when they hit their year mark, they take a white shirt and burn it! I guess a sister missionary would take some thing from her wardrobe and burn it!)

This week we worked in Hengelo and Enschede. We had some really powerful spiritual experiences. On Saturday the church in Hengelo had an open house for their new building. There was an investigator there who has been part of the church for a long time, but she's never been able to get baptized because her mother won't give her permission. We were not able to visit them, but she brought her mother (who lives in Germany, and only speaks German) to the open house to hear us sing. She requested that we sing The Spirit of God (but in Dutch of course), which we did. At the end she was crying, and she told us that her mother had been as well. She said that her mother felt the Spirit for the first time in her life (at least that she recognized it ). I don't know if that will change the mother's mind, but it was a step in the right direction.

Here is a link to the song "The Spirit of God". It is a beautiful hymn - one of my (Mom's!) favorites. Made more so my favorite because when Elder Muller was but a wee lad, and we were living in St. Louis, he used to belt this song out at the top of his lungs in our Sacrament services! Bishop Kendall always loved watching him sing!

We also performed in Apeldoorn on Saturday night. It was interesting. I had been sick the past couple days, which with the nerves and Shephard's Pie culminated into some pre-show sickness. The performance was an answer to prayers for everyone in the project, and also many of the members and people who came. For me the answer didn't come until the next day, Sunday.

The first half of the program I made a lot of mistakes. I was really nervous, and it was one of those mind goes blank situations. Thankfully about halfway through (It's about an hour) I got my wits about me and ended strong. I was really worried that I had ruined it for some people, but the next day we were informed by some members from several areas about the after effects of the concert. Peoples hearts were touched by the Spirit. It was a confirmation to me about many things. First, this project isn't about us, about how well we sing, or perform, but about how well we bring the Spirit. Even though that wasn't my best performance, far from, we still had the Spirit with us, and people felt it, and they were changed by it.

A little bit more about what we do. After the concert ends, we invite everyone to stay in the chapel and talk with each other about what they learned and felt. That is the time that we as missionaries ask people for referrals, or try to help the person personally. I won't share any stories, but I talked with a lot of people, and a lot of people are going to be making a lot of changes in their lives because of the way they felt. AHHHH it's so great! The Spirit is awesome! :) It does so much for people that we never can.  

Singer Elders after the performance with some members. Elders Conatti, Muller, Hunter and Shaw

Well that's all I have time to talk about. We sang in Eindhoven yesterday. This week is Zone Training, which will be fun. We all made I'm a Mormon videos, so I'll see if I can get a copy of it.

Cool - that's about it.

We did service on Tuesday so there are lots of pictures of us in service clothes. Geniet ervan. (Enjoy looking at them!)

Oh, one more funny story. Last night we looked up a less active named Brother R---.  He is the only member in his family. When we walked to the door, they saw us from the dinner table (they had just finished). When we were talking to him, he told us that his wife told the kids that we were here to do the dishes. So we did!! ha ha. It was a great spontaneous service opportunity, and really funny. The kids were asking if it was a fairy tale.

Well one year down. 11 months to go. Here I come!

Love you guys!

Elder Muller

I am posting a lot of the pictures Elder Muller sent with the hope that other missionaries will see this blog, and they will find their pictures! I don't always know the names of the missionaries, but do the best to identify when I can!

Doing Sister Nyakoh's hair!

Elder Muller and  Sister Nyakoh

Elders DeBloos and Tolman (I think!)

Making lunch!

Another "model" pose by Elder Hunter! Elder Muller likes calling his companion a model!

Elder Muller claims Elder Hunter bought glasses to look like him!

After the service project...Sisters Hopkin, Mashburn, Nyakoh and Lemich. Elders Ocampo, Muller, Hunter and Tolman

Brazilian Buffet 

Elder Muller made it very clear....he did not eat that entire thing! They bring it to the table and cut pieces of meat at your table!

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