Week 8: Grote Vrouw Kerk, Chalk Heilsplan, and Langst de deur

Hoi idereen!

This week we spent a lot of time doing langst de deur, or knocking. Haha, we met a lot of interesting people this way! It was really cool too because we actually got an appointment with someone!!!! Usually people say “geen interest” as soon as we start talking about God, but his one person actually got excited! They were like “yeah, I believe in God too!” and said a bunch of other positive things I couldn’t understand in Dutch. We’re very excited to go meet with them this week!
Since we’ve been doing a lot of contacing and knocking doors, we’ve been trying to get more creative. This week we drew the plan of salvation out in chalk at the park to try and draw people’s attention. We didn’t time it right, so there weren’t a ton of people there to see it. But we’re going to try it again this week at a busier time 🙂 It was really fun to do though!
This week we also met with one of the less actives in the ward. She took us out to lunch AND she spoke english, which was great 🙂 During lunch, Zus. Abbott accidentally bumped the table, and the whole thing dumped into my lap! I thought it was hilarious, but Zus. Abbott was mortified! Luckily we didn’t have our food yet, so it was just all our drinks 🙂 Haha, it was super funny!
On P-day last week we visited the Vrouw Kerk, which is this huge cathedral that stands in the center of Breda! It was really cool to walk around and listen to the organ music inside. We’re planning on climbing up the tower another day with one of our less actives who expressed interest in it. I think it will be really fun!
Wonderen and Grappias (Miracles and funny things):
. This week our one investigator came to church! Haha, our one investigator right now doesn’t speak dutch, only english! I’m torn because it’s so much easier to teach in english, but I want to learn dutch! Haha, I think it’s a blessing for me right now though 🙂
. It turns out the less active we were having lunch with was drinking alchohol! We didn’t realize it until we were washing my skirt (from all the drinks spilling on it)  and it smelled kind of odd…
. Me and my companion have managed to finish off her 5 lb bag of chocolate from Belgium in the last 2 weeks! #noregrets
. We got lost in Breda for like 3 hours on Saturday! This is what happens when I’m in charge of the map 🙂
. I’ve discovered that my hair gets super curly in this humid weather! I don’t have to do anything to it!
Ik houd van jullie!
love, Zuster Mangum
P.S if any of you have any contacting ideas, shoot me an email! We’re open to suggestions 🙂

Week 7: First week in Nederland!

hoi everyone!

I just wanted to start out this email by saying sorry. I’m not really sure how to work this dutch keyboard yet, so the punctuation and whatnot of this email is going to be a struggle!
monday afternoon we left the mtc and headed on our long journey to Nederland! on the airplane i got to sit by zus. smith, which was so much fun! we were laughing the whole time! we also sat by a jehova’s witness, but he was a really cool guy! we talked about different scriptures and learned a little bit about each other’s beliefs. It was really cool! when we arrived in Amsterdam we met the mission president and his wife outside the airport! it was so crazy to finally be here and meeting them! They are super cute though and will bend over backwards to take care of us. We stayed the night at a hotel next to the mission home. it was called the Golden Tulip, which is like a hotel chain like Hylon or Marriott  here in Nederland. That night they handed us each a white envelope, and one at a time we went up to the front, opened our white envelope, and read where our first city would be. I’m in Breda, Nederland with Zus. Abbott as my trainer!!! we’re pinkwashing a city, which means there were elders here, but president kicked them out and put sisters here instead. Neither of us have been to Breda before, so we’re figuring out things together!
we’ve just jumped right into missionary work here! we’ve done a lot of longst de deur, knocking doors, bellops, and park contacting. this is definitely throwing me out of my comfort zone for sure, but it’s good for me! we also did a lot of phone calls, which are super hard because i can’t really understand dutch haha! but usually after a couple seconds of talking people realize you’re not native and start speaking in english. the people in the ward are good though because they realize i’m trying to learn dutch, so they’ll only speak dutch to me at dinner appointments and whatnot. yesterday fro church i introduced myself and bore my testimony during sacrament meeting! it was a little scary, but everyone was super nice and said i did a good job.
i got my bike this week! it’s a black, tank bike called an oma fiets, which means grandma bike. But i love it! it’s got a cute little seat on the front too, so people can ride on it with me! Everyone here in Nederland rides with more than one person on their bike! i don’t know how they balance it! i rode to the train station yesterday with zus. duncan’s suitcase on the front, and even that was a struggle! i definitely need to practice some more!
the ward here is very excited to have sister missionaries in the city, so we’ve had lots of dinner appointments lined up! we had dinner with the murtons last night, which was cool because i actually skyped Susan Murton last week through TRC at the MTC!!!! It was really fun to meet her in person. plus she’s a fantastic cook, so the food was amazing! she said if we ever don’t have a dinner appointment on sunday, we’re always welcome there!
Anyway, this week has been so crazy and full of emotions! i love you all! sorry i don’t have a ton of time to write everyone back!
love, Zus. Mangum

Week 6: Tot Ziens Amerika!

Goede dag idereen!
I’m headed out to the Netherlands this morning! Ahhhhhh! I can’t believe how fast time has gone. It seems like just yesterday I was being dropped off here, but at the same time it feels like I’ve been here forever! It’s amazing to think about where I was at spiritually and with the language 6 weeks ago. I feel like my testimony has grown so much! I have seen the hand of God in everything I do here. He is so willing to help us overcome our weaknesses. All we have to do is ask for His help and he will give it! I know that as I’ve worked hard and done my best, He has made up for everything else. I still have a long way to go, but I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can overcome the hard things that will surely come in my mission 🙂
I don’t have a lot to say about this week. It’s mostly been full of packing and teary goodbyes! I’m so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to be here at the MTC!
I love you all!
Love, Zuster Mangum

Random funny things from the week:

. “How can we keep our ice cream from melting too fast?” -Elder Guevara
   “Just put it in the microwave on reverse!” – Elder Grondel

Week 5: Skyping members, fireworks, and 1 month mark!

Hallo Jullie!

This last week I hit my 1 month mark! Only 17 more to go! I can’t believe how fast time has flown! I feel like just yesterday I was arriving at the MTC. Last Friday we got our travel plans too! We’re going to be on a direct flight from SLC to Amsterdam, which will be so nice! Even though it’s like 10 hours straight, we won’t have to worry about switching planes or anything 🙂 We’re all very excited to fly out together next week!
This last Friday we celebrated the fourth of July here at the MTC. We had a devotional about freedom, then got special permission to stay up late and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks from the MTC parking lot! Everyone had glowsticks, american flags, etc. It was really fun! Plus, we wore matching red, white, and blue outfits and did our hair the same, which was also a lot of fun 🙂
This last week in choir we sang a really cool song titled “Hurrah for Israel!” Our choir director, brother eggate, was saying that this song is only ever sung in two places: The MTC and the state prison. Haha, he said he hopes we never have the opportunity to sing this song again! I’m not sure if it’s online, but if it is I would definitely recommend listening to it!
This last week we had the opportunity to Skype a real member from Nederland!!! It was seriously one of the coolest, if not THE coolest, things I’ve done here at the MTC. We were all terrified pushing the call button, but as we started talking and getting to know her, my heart just melted! I’ve never felt so much love for a stranger before! The Spirit was soooo strong when we were talking to her. Her name was [name withheld] and she moved from [top secret location] to the Netherlands a couple of years ago. She’s only been a member for 5 years, but her testimony was so strong! She was just glowing talking about Jesus Christ and how happy the gospel makes her! She kept telling us how much she loves us, how we’re like her children, and kept letting us know that we have a family there in Nederland. Sooo Schattig! (cute 🙂 And at the end of the call, she was blowing kisses to us as we signed off the call. She LOVES the missionaries! Then, she messaged us through the skype thing afterwards and said “Ik houd van jullie xxxxxxxxxxx” which means “I love you all!” It was fun to message her back and forth like that after we skyped 🙂 TRC has definitely been one of the highlights of my MTC experience! Every time I meet with these members, I feel so much love and excitement for my mission! I can’t wait to meet more members like them!
Random funny things from the week:
. There’s a tree that smells like cream soda on campus. At first I was skeptical,and thought it was like a gullible joke or something, but it’s not! It actually does smell like that!
. Every night there’s an announcement for quiet time at 10:15 and lights out at 10:30. It’s this automated male voice that comes over the sound system and says “10:30, lights out.” We were all trying to figure out why the voice sounds so familiar, and we’ve decided it sounds like Kylo Wren from the new Star Wars movie 🙂
. One of the members of our Branch Presidency, Brother Liefson, has icelandic ancestors from Spanish Fork too! We’ve had a good time talking about it 🙂
Ik houd van jullie!
Zuster Mangum

Week 4: Cleaned the temple, visited BYU, and mission presidents!

Goede dag idereen!

This week has been full of fun stuff! This week the mission presidents came into our individual classes and taught us! They talked about stress management, which I thought was really helpful 🙂 Their names were President and Sister Cuvelier and they’re headed to Brazil. They were very nice and fun, which made me super excited to meet President and Sister Bunnell!
We also got to walk down to the Morris Center for lunch yesterday! Things have been crazy here with all the mission presidents and apostles, so all the missionaries got kicked out of the building that has our cafeteria in it. (There have literally been security guards at every entrance! They even have curtains drawn across the doors so we can’t peek in and see apostles!)  We’ve been eating picnic lunches either outside or in the gym all week, but yesterday they had us walk to the Morris Center so they could set up the gym for devotional that night. It was so crazy to see Heritage!!! I took some cute pictures of my tag with Building 14 in the background. Those are two things I never thought I’d see together!
This morning we had the opportunity to clean the temple! Cleaning the temple was an adventure! We wore these white scrubs and our normal tennis shoes, and spent most of the time deep cleaning lockers in the patron locker room. They had us use toothpicks and q-tips to clean all the nooks and crannies 🙂 It was a little tedius, but it brought me back to my custodial roots 🙂
We also did TRC again this week! This time we taught Broeder [name withheld], the husband of the lady we taught last week. He was super hard to understand, but what we could understand was really funny! The hardest part about TRC is when people start talking about things that aren’t family or gospel related. We only have a gospel-related vocabulary, so we can’t understand anything else! That’s something we want to start working on as a companionship 🙂 We also met with [name withheld], a 60 year old lady would lives in Nederland for 3 months, then comes to Spanish Fork and lives here for 3 months, then goes back to Nederland, etc. She was very super fun to talk to! TRC is honestly one of the highlights of my week! I love meeting all of these Dutch people and hearing their conversions stories and experiences growing up in Nederland! I can’t wait to meet more like them in a couple of weeks!!!
Random funny quotes/thoughts from this week:
.”Why can’t we have long hair? We ARE representatives of Jesus Christ…” -Elder Grondel
.”I’m pretty sure I’d be a hippie if I wasn’t raised in the church” – Elder Tolman
.”Can ASL missionaries still get the gift of tongues?” – Elder Tolman
.Mormon.org is our version of “Facebook stalking” people 🙂
I’m so grateful of the opportunity I have to be a missionary! The more I study and the longer I’m here, the more I realize just how blessed we are to have a knowledge of this gospel. I’m so grateful for Jesus Christ and his atonement in my life. I would not be the person I am today without Him. I feel so honored to wear his name over my heart every day for the next 18 months. I can’t wait to begin serving the people in Nederland in two weeks!
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love, Zuster Mangum

Week 3: Hosting, TRC, and cousin James!


This week has been great! On Wednesday we got to host the new missionaries, which was super fun! It was kind of sad too, having to be that person that takes them away from their sobbing families 😦 But overall, it was really fun to show new missionaries around and help them feel comfortable here at the MTC.
We also started TRC this week! I can’t remember what it stands for, but it’s basically where volunteer members who speak Dutch come here to the MTC, and we teach them a lesson. Our first one didn’t go too well, mostly because of some things lost in translation:) The guy we were teaching was telling us this story over and over again, trying to help us understand him. He was saying something about his parents on a mission and how they came home recently, then something about his brother. After like five times, I finally understood, but unfortunately my companions did not. So, they did what we always do when we don’t understand: Smile, nod your head, and say “Dat is leuk!” (That is cool!). This method works about 90% of the time, but this was not one of those times! Apparently, he said his parents had to leave their mission in the Phillipeans after 2 weeks because his brother died in a car crash!!!! AHHHHH! My companions were freaking out when I told them after the lesson. Luckily, I don’t think he took it too personally, because it was obvious that we didn’t really understand 🙂 We also accidentally swore during the lesson, which Jeremy thought was pretty funny! Beware when you’re reading James 1:5 in Dutch! Pronunciation is very important 🙂
We also got to teach this 80 year old native Dutch lady! She was adorable! We taught her for like 10 minutes before she cut us off and started telling us her life story (conversion, family, grandchildren’s missions, etc.). Talking to her and hearing her accent and conversion story made me so excited to meet and love the people in Nederland! I felt the Spirit so strong talking to her, confirming to me that this is where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing right now in my life. I think she’s been one of the highlights of my MTC experience thus far!
I got a new assignment from my branch presidency this week! I am now the Branch Music Coordinator. This means I get to choose the sacrament songs, find people to play and lead the music, and make sure there’s a musical number every week. This isn’t officially a “calling” because we’ve already been called as missionaries. It’s just another opportunity to serve. I’m actually really excited! It’s a bit difficult picking hymns though, because not every hymn is in every language’s songbook. Since we all sing our hymns in our mission languages, the hymns I choose have to be in the Dutch, Turkish, Albanian, and Hungarian songbooks! You would think sacrament meeting would sound chaotic, but it actually sounds pretty cool!
I met up with James a couple of times this week! He snuck up behind me in the cafeteria a couple of days ago! I was super surprised, because I thought he was coming in this next week. Sorry mom, we haven’t gotten a picture yet because I never have my camera on me! I’ll make sure to take my camera to meal times and get a pic 🙂 He seems like he’s doing well though!
This have been kinda crazy here with all the preparations for the mission president’s conference. They’re in the process of building a stage in the middle of the cafeteria, so meal times are pretty packed in the space that’s left! Yesterday we sat on the floor, and sometimes we have to stand. But hopefully after the conference things will be better 🙂 We’re all so excited that all the apostles and prophet are going to be here at the MTC! We’re hoping one of them will approach us and shake our hands! That would be sooo cool!
Random funny things/quotes:
. We learned how to say ‘Peace out!’ and ‘Let’s blow this popsicle stand’ in Dutch! Now that’s what I call productive study time 🙂
. “I once climbed Mt. Everest with my eyes tied behind my back” – Elder Grondel
Here are some more language mistakes from our district this week!
. Zus. Lechtenberg was telling our investigator on Friday that “Jesus Christ is the kiss from God” (Zoon=son, and Zoen=kiss)
. Elder Guevara was attempting to give a baptismal invitation to his investigator, and this is what he said “Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and let yourself be killed by proper authority?” (doop=baptism, and dood=dead)
I hope you all have a great week!
Love, Zuster Mangum