Week 75: Voor de allerlaatste keer

Hoi iedereen!

Well, this is it! I’m coming home! I honestly can not express through email how much this mission has changed my life. It has been, by far, the best decision I”ve ever made. I’ve learned more about the Savior, myself, and God’s love for me. I’ve really learned how to LOVE others and see them as Christ does. What an honor it has been to wear His name over my heart for the last 18 months!
It has been an adventure! I absolutely LOVE the people here in Belgium and the Netherlands! They have changed my life. I’ve loved waking up every morning knowing I get to spend the day serving them 🙂 I love these two countries (yes, even Belgium 🙂
The two biggest things I’ve learned on my mission are: 1) Be dilligent in the ‘small and simple things,’ because they really will bring great things to pass (alma 37:6-7) and 2) Trusting in God and His plan. If we can learn to master these two things, we’ll be okay. I’m definitely still working on this, but I’ve really gained a testimony of it on my mission! When we keep dilligently doing our prayer, scripture study, sabbath day worship, etc and trusting that whatever happens to us is part of God’s loving plan for us, we will be able to happily progress to live back with our Heavenly Father in never ending happiness. And we can experience that joy here! We don’t have to wait! God has given us everything we need to find ‘peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.’
I read a scripture yesterday in Enos 1:26-27 that I thought summed up my mission pretty well. Here’s my revised version of it 🙂
And I saw that I must soon go down to my grave (I’m ‘dying’ in mission terms), having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ. And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above that of the world.
And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Family; for I know that in them I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality (stepping off that airplane), and shall stand before them; then shall I see their faces with pleasure, and they will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen.
 I truly have rejoiced in my mission ‘above that of the world.’ I know I have done what God has asked me to do here. I have no regrets! I’m so incredibly grateful that I could have this experience!
I will see you all (mostly) this week!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures:
.Saying goodbye to Chasidi, Rocky and Monique, and Isabelle
.Thanksgiving in Gent!
.Last exchange with Zuster Weber
.One last Harring!
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Week 74: It’s the final countdown!

Hey Everyone!

It’s the final countdown here! Only 8 more days of real missionary work left, and 10 days before I see my family again! It’s crazy how fast the time has gone, but I’ve loved it! This has been one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life! The relationships I’ve made with people here and the growth I’ve seen in myself. I wouldn’t change it for anything 🙂
I’m running short on time, so here are some pictures and a video about my week:
.This week I went on exchanges with Zr. Acheson! I love that girl! We ended up working in De Klinge and crossing the boarder to Nederland!(still in our area, no worries:). I could feel the difference stepping over that border. My home! Here’s a picture of me hugging the monument that marks the boarder 🙂 We were also able to meet with some less actives/recent converts there, and they both came to church this sunday!
.This week we went to Brussels to finish Zr. Klenk’s legal work. Can any of you spot the problem with this building? Man, the architech really messed up on that one!

.I also went on exchanges with Zuster Smeagle. Man, this voice just cracks me up!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7a1mm8535w11clt/DSCF3401.MOV?dl=0

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
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Week 73: Doop! (Baptism)

Hey everyone!

This week was a super special week! [our friend] was baptized!!! It has been a long, hard battle for her to stop smoking, and Saturday was such a wonderful day for her! After she came up out of the water she burst into tears! You could just see the weight that had been lifted off her shoulders, knowing that all her sins had been washed cleaned. Wow, the Spirit was sooo strong! The Spirit at baptisms is always another confirmation to me that the church is true! It has been incredible to watch her grow and find peace and happiness in the Gospel 🙂
Here are a couple of photos that describe our week:
.Yesterday there was strong wind, rain and hail! It was crazy weather and my poor umbrella was holding on for dear life!
.We got to walk from the station in Belsele to the church in the crisp, morning air! I love this fall weather with the drizzling rain 🙂 The walk to the church is beautiful too! Right next to the spoor line and fields of cows and corn!
.Temple Conference! It was soo nice to remember my covenants and just feel the peace and safety of the temple. I definitely needed to recharge my spiritual batteries, and the temple did just that! It was great to be there with everyone and also get to be back in Zoetermeer!
I read something is Preach My Gospel this week that really stuck out to me! It said “Members who share the gospel experience joy and have the Spirit of the Lord more abundantly.” (pg. 84). I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve been so happy on my mission! As I’ve been sharing the gospel, I’ve been experiencing that abundance of the Spirit and feeling true JOY! And what hit me this week is that this promise isn’t just for missionaries. It’s for ALL members! Even after I’m home, I can still have this abundance of the Spirit and joy. I’ve just got to share the gospel! And that’s true for all of us! If we’re praying for missionary opportunities and doing our best to share the gospel, God will put people in our path that we can help. Then, we can all experience that joy that comes from helping others and having an abundance of the Spirit in our lives 🙂
I hope you all have an incredible week! Count your blessings this Thanksgiving!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
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Week 72: Miracles at Church

Hey Everyone!
So I only have like 5 minutes to write this weekly, so I’m going to be super fast and tell you all the miracles we had yesterday at church! We ended up having 4 investigators show up, 3 of them were a surprise! An inactive woman in our ward brought her whole family (2 of which are former investigators), which was a fun surprise! She was a super mom to take all her little kids to church alone as well! (she has 9 year old twins, a 6 year old, and a 2 year old). We also had 2 other investigators come! They are doing great and are a lot more regular now! We also had a less active woman show up as well! She was soooo excited to be there and said she’s coming back next week! We’ve seen a lot of progress with all our people this week!
I love being a missionary and having the opportunity to serve God! I hope you all have a good week!!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum

Picture:

.  Me and Zr. Acheson on exchanges in Gent! This week the Belgium people celebrated All Saints Day, which is basically like our Memorial Day. Everybody was at cemetaries decorating the graves. We took a break and explored the super old and cool cemetary in Gent! It had this cool old chapel in the middle that we went in as well. Super cool!
.This week I also celebrated my 17 month mark on my mission! Ahhh! I can’t believe I’m so old! We found this perfect sign for a store to mark the occasion 🙂
.We ended up waiting for like 40 minutes at this little abandoned train station in Belsele after a dinner appointment this week. We stayed nice and warm all bundled in our winter gear though!
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Week 71: Fall is here!

Hey everyone!

I can’t really remember what happened this week to be completely honest! So this will be a shorter email. Sorry! It went by so fast!
We were able to go to Brussels this week for Zr. Klenk’s legal stuff, which is always an adventure! Zr. Weber and Zr. Acheson were there too, which was so much fun! I love those sisters!! We also saw some good progress with our investigators. [one investigator] is pretty much stopped with smoking and should be ready for her baptism in a couple of weeks! [two other investigators] were at church this week and Zr.Klenk was a powerhouse in their lesson yesterday! She bore her testimony and personal experiences that really touched them. I think she is one of the reasons Zr. Klenk is here in Lokeren right now 🙂 We had some great dinner appointments with members as well! I love the ward here!!
The weather is definitely changing here! We are wearing gloves, scarves and wool tights now! Halloween is coming up tomorrow too! They don’t really celebrate it here like they do in America, but we are having a ‘halloween themed correlation’, so that should be fun 🙂
I’m so grateful for the time I’ve had here in Lokeren! I’ve learned (and am still learning) a lot! I know God has a plan for me, my companion, and the people here. It’s not always easy, but I know if we trust in God He will take care of us! One of my favorite scriptures lately is Prov. 3:5-6. I invited you all to read it! It’s really helped me get through the harder times on my mission and is a good reminder for us all!
Ik hou van jullie! Geniet van de herfst weer! En tot straks!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures:

Me and Zr. Klenk
Me on a bike I borrowed from a member. It has a cute little baby seat in the front (you can’t see it to good in this picture sorry)
I got my ‘trunky packet’ this week! Ahhh! Only 31 days left!
Me and a belgian train 🙂
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Week 70: God answers prayers and the priesthood is real!

Hey everyone!
This week we saw a lot of miracles here in Lokeren/Sint-Niklaas! First of all, our investigator’s baptism was announced in church yesterday, so we’re planning on it going through on November 11th! Yesterday was also her first day without smoking, so we’re praying for her to stay strong these next couple of weeks! She is sooo excited to be baptized! We had a really cool experience with her in our lesson the other day. My companion promised her that after she was baptized, she wouldn’t have the desire to smoke anymore. Wow! The Spirit was so strong when she said that! I know that it was a promise from God!
Another cool miracle involved the Elders. Every week we go and visit a really old, less active woman in a resting home. She is so sweet, but lately she hasn’t been doing to well 😦 We came by and the Elders and her husband were there. He asked the Elders to give her a blessing. Both of the elders are pretty new to the mission, so the dutch was a challenge in this blessing. But, the Spirit was undeniable! It was so strong in that room! A couple days later we went by, and she was like a new person! She was sitting up, attentive, and talking! (she’s usually lying in bed, unresponsive 😦 )Her husband was so happy and was telling everyone at the resting home that it was because of the elder’s blessing! I know that the priesthood has been restored and that miracles really do happen in our day!
We are also working with a less active woman. She is adorable and only like 4 feet tall! We’ve been doing the 12 step program with her to help her stop smoking. This last lesson she told us that she’s been ‘cold turkey’ for 3 weeks now! It has been incredible to see the change in her! She is so excited to be working towards the temple now 🙂
This last week we had a really long, hard day of straight finding. Our appointment fell through, so we spent  a lot of time street contacting in Sint-Niklaas. After a couple of hours without much success, we decided to head home and pray for where we should go. I said a little personal prayer, asking heavenly father to help me have an opportunity to bear my testimony with someone. Just someone who would be willing to listen long enough for that! I was feeling kind of sluggish and knew that would help get me out of my rut. We both felt good about knocking this one street by our house. After 20 or 30 doors, a man opened up and invited us right in! What?!? We were shocked! We went in and were able to share our message with him and his family. The Spirit was so strong as we bore testimony of Joseph Smith and said the First Vision word for word. We gave them a book of mormon and are going to stop by again to see what they thought. Wow, that was truly an answer to my prayer! We ended the day skipping home and feeling great! I know that God answers my prayers and is always there to help me when I’m feeling down 🙂
I love you all so much! Enjoy your fall break!
Liefs, Zuster Abby Mangum

Pictures:

.A rainbow over our apartment!
.Me and Zr. Olsen’s last ice cream at Franscois! (the best ice cream place in sint niklaas)
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Week 69: Belgium is going to be the death of me!

Hey everyone!
So some transfer news! I will be staying in Lokeren for my last transfer on my mission! Like the title says, belgium will literally be the death of me! (In missionary terms 🙂 We always call our last city on our mission our ‘dying city’. ) Zr. Olsen will be heading to my all time favorite city of GRONINGEN!!! I’m soooo excited for her to meet the incredible people there! Groningen changed my mission and I saw so many miracles there 🙂 I know she will have an incredible experience!
This week was a little more challenging on the mission. Our family that we’re teaching said they wanted to take a break from the church, which was heart breaking for me and Zuster Olsen. They had a baptism date and were progressing so well! But we love them and are praying for them! We won’t give up because they are an incredible family and we love them!
[a different investigator] is doing great! She is working hard to stop smoking and is determined to be ready for her baptism date! I know the Lord is truly helping her to stop her smoking addiction. We love her so much and are excited to see the joy of the gospel flooding into her life!
So fun thing from this week! There is a student from Gent doing a photography project on missionaries! She has been following us and the other missionaries in our zone around taking pictures of us! We feel kind of like celebrities lol 🙂 Haha, we were on the bus with her and I was trying to make my most ‘normal missionary bus face’ 🙂 She took pictures of us on the bus, with [name withheld] in our lesson, street contacting, etc. She said she’ll send them to us too, which we’re excited about! The Elders were able to give her a book of mormon and teach the first lesson too! She came to stake conference and has been coming to church every week. Hopefully she will start to feel the joy of the gospel in her own life 🙂
I am excited to ‘rock’ my last transfer here in Belgium! I know there are still people here that the Lord needs me to help, and I’m determined to find them in these last 6 weeks!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum

Pictures:

. I found this chocolate bar with Machu Picchu on it!
. I saw Mia from Breda yesterday at the Stake Conference in Brussels! It was sooo fun to see these people that I love so much again!
. We went on exchanges this week! I love Zr. Weber and Zr. Acheson! I’m so excited to stay and get to go on more exchanges with them in Gent!
. Gent!
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Week 68:

Hey Everyone!
So…I”m out of email time. Het spijt me! (sorry) I will talk about some things quickly from this week though. We were able to go on exchanges to Gent this week! I got to work with Zr. Weber, which was a blast! I love her sooo much! I’m so grateful for all the friends and relationships I’ve been able to develop here on my mission. These people have truly changed my life! [member we are working with] is also doing good! She gave her last pack of cigarrettes to the neighbors this week and said she’s done. We know with Christ she can do anything! We are excited to help her as she continues to progress 🙂
It has been great to review my general conference notes this week! I encourage you all to do the same! You will get so much more out of them as you reread and study them. I am grateful for our leaders and their inspired counsil. I’ve definitely seen the power that has come into my life this week as I’ve started to really dive into the book of mormon and really study it each day.
I love you all and hope that you have an incredible week!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum

Pictures:

.We ate pannenkoeken and ice cream and fancy pears with [our investigator] and her family this week! Haha, we were supposed to watch the pears while they were boiling on the stove, but we got distracted teaching [the daughter] the plan of salvation, and because of our colds, neither of us could smell them burning! She came rushing in wondering why nobody was doing anything to save them! Ooops! We all just cut off the burn pieces of pear and it turned out okay 🙂
.[the daughter] wearing my tag! Ah! She’s adorable and we’re totally going to make her her own tag 🙂
.We got permission to wear pants last pday for zone pday! Haha, me and zuster olsen were jumping and skipping around all day! We felt like we had so much more energy in pants!
.Us waiting at a bus stop yesterday
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Week 67: General Conference

Hey everyone!

I hope you all got a chance to watch conference this weekend! If not, make sure you make some time for it! It’s such a wonderful time of the year when we can hear the word of god from our prophet, apostles and church leaders. I was able to find a lot of counsel and answers to my questions. I hope you all got something amazing out of it!
I really enjoyed Elder Eyring and Elder Nelson’s talks that reiteratted President Monson’s Book of Mormon challenge from last conference. It was another good reminder to keep doing the small, daily things that we all know we should be doing (scripture study, sincere prayer, service, church attendance, etc). Sometimes we go into conference, waiting for some big, new announcement from our church leaders that will tell us something new we can do to be better. Sometimes that happens, but I feel like most of the time we are told to keep doing those small and simple things. The “primary answers” as we like to call them 🙂 It’s really these ‘small and simple things’ that ‘bring big things to pass’ in our lives (Alma 37:6-7). As we really focus on fine tuning our scripture study, prayer, and sabbath day observance, our testimony will be strengthened. Then, when the hard times come, we will already have that solid foundation. Elder Eyring talked about a lot of the challenges ahead, but he also said ” The best days are ahead for the kingdom of God on earth!” We have so much to look forward to as we are faithful and just keep doing the little things! This was the message I got out of conference.
This week [our investigator] accepted a baptismal date for December 3rd! We are sooo excited for her and her family! She wants to do it as a family, so we are working with the kids now to help them prepare. They are such a wonderful family and I’m so excited for them to make this next step in their life!
I love you all! Enjoy the fall weather and conference!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures:
.This week we painted some canvases with [one of the members]. We painted conference quotes, in french, to hang on her walls and remind her to stay strong! She is such a sweet woman and we love her so much!
.We biked 11km to the church for correlation this week. The weather was great and the scenery was incredible!
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Week 66: The atonement is real!

Hey Everyone!

Sorry you didnt’ get an email from me on Monday! I was at a doctor’s appointment in Gent and it ended up taking half the day. So, we moved our email time to today 🙂 Dont’ worry though, all is well! I’ve got some medicine now and should be rid of my cough lung thing soon!
These last couple of weeks we’ve had a chance to work with [name withheld] (a less active) stop smoking. We’ve recently started the 12 step program with her that the church offers. It is INCREDIBLE! The videos associated with each step are sooo powerful! The Spirit you feel from these people’s recovery story’s is just unreal. I recommend you all watch them! It really does show the power of Christ’s atonement! He really can change our very natures and help us to reach the godly potential our heavenly father sees in all of us. It really is never too late to repent and come back to him. And if these people can come back from these crazy addictions, completely healed, how much more can we repent from our daily mistakes and bad habits! Christ’s atonement is incredible, and I’m so grateful for the power I’ve been able to access from it in my own life. She is doing incredible as well! She has gone the last 4 or so days without smoking! Now she’s just worried about trying to get the smoke smell out of her house! She says people don’t believe her when she says she’s trying to stop, because her whole house still smells like it! She has found a lot of peace and rest from not smoking and is determined to make it back to the temple so she can see her father’s work be done. She is an incredible example to me of strength! We are so happy to see that light and hope flooding back into her life!
[Name withheld] and her family came to church again last week! This week they were able to get a ride with a member who lives close by, which was really nice! That saved them an hour of biking! They are doing great and are just being flooded with love from the ward! We had a dinner appointment last week with the bishop and his wife and her family, which was incredible! She was talking about ‘being reborn’ and how she really felt like that’s what she needs in her life. We’ve really seen a lot of progression with her and her family. It’s so wonderful to see the happiness that’s coming in their life from the gospel! Also the 9 year old daughter has totally been reading in the book of mormon on her own! I don’t know if she really understands it at all, but she’s doing it! What an act of faith and a good example to her family!
Overal this week has been really good! We had zone conference yesterday, which is always a spiritual boost for the week! We also got to watch the woman’s session of conference Monday night with a member and investigator and her daughter who was recently baptized. She was really touched by the talks! We all can’t wait for this weekend to hear more words from our leaders and prophet!
I hope you all have a good week! Enjoy conference weekend!!!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures:
. Spent the rest of monday ‘trunky clothes shopping’ with zrs weber, acheson, and olsen and got some good buys at the primark!
.Me and zr olsen riding an NS TREIN!!!! We got to go on a fun adventure to Den Haag to pick up her residency! Oh how I love and miss Nederland! It’s definitely my second home 🙂
.I made homemade pizza this week and it was a success!
.We saw a HEDGEHOG this week at a member’s house! Apparently this little guy comes by every night and eats the cat food they leave out! Super cute!
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