Week 13: Stake Picnic, New Investigators, and People at Church!!!

This week has been a really great week for us! We had 2 appointments with investigators, then 2 OTHER investigators showed up to church yesterday! We picked up one investigator and her three little daughters and walked over with them (there are a lot of different churches in the area and they accidentally went to the wrong one last time!). They were really great! Zr. Abbott was really good at keeping theย kids entertained during the meeting so that mom could pay more attention. Sadly, she wasn’t able to stay for the 2nd and 3rd hours. Her kids were actually crying when mom said they had to leave! They wanted to go to the ‘kid class’ next! Hopefully they’ll be able to stay longer next week. We’re going to meet with her this week and see what she what she thought of church ๐Ÿ™‚ They’re a really sweet family.
For one of our appointments this week we had a joint teach with [member]! She’s the awesome wife of our ward mission leader! We were sooooo grateful she could come, because we cannot understand this lady’s Nederlands! She talks super fast and has a lip ring that bangs against her teeth. I mean, I can’t understand a lot of people anyway, but when my companion can’t either, that’s a problem ๐Ÿ™‚ But [member]ย was so helpful with translating and clarifying things! We’re going to try and take her every week to this investigator’s house!
We also got to travel with the [member family]ย to Herentals, Belgium for the Antwerpen Stake picnic! It was really fun to meet other church members and missionaries. I met this cute little 6 year! We threw a frisbee back and forth for an hour and just chatted about random things ๐Ÿ™‚ She was awesome to practice dutch with too! Little kids are so willing to help you! Honestly, that was one of the highlights of my week, just playing with her! After the picnic the [member family]ย took us to get Belgian Frites! I got mine with Samouri Sauce, en het was echt lekker!!! Dad, I think you would love this stuff. It’s basically just spicy mayo over fries. It sounds weird, but it’s really good!
We’re going to be seeing some big changes here in Breda in the next 2 weeks. We’re getting 2 more sisters here!!! I can’t decide if I’m excited, or extremly stressed out with the whole idea of this happening…I’ll keep you all posted in the next couple of weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

Wonderen en Grappias:

. We asked this older man on the street if he wanted to learn more about Jesus. Haha, he said he was 80 years old and already knew everything, then walked away!
. We had a second lesson with one of our potentials (now an investigator!) this week. Last week she told us the name of her daughter, as well as her pet rabbits (which are adorable!). I was trying really hard to remember her daughter’s name as we were walking to her house, but I could only remember the bunnies’ names!!! I felt like a terrible person for only remembering the rabbits! Luckily, she mentioned her daughter’s name off-hand, so I didn’t have to confront that potentially awkward situation ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha, to quote Ron Weasly “She needs to sort out her priorities!” Yeah, I definitely need to work on learning (important) names… ๐Ÿ™‚
. This week I got to do achterooping again, except this time I was the person “driving” the bike! It was hard to get started, but once you get going it’s not too bad ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha, it is hard to keep the bike straight though! With two people moving around it can be hard to balance too ๐Ÿ™‚ We had a really good time though.
I love you all! I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures: Me and Zr. Abbott with our frites and samouri sauce. Three generations picture! Zr. Black was Zr. Abbott’s trainer, so she’s grandma, Abbott is mom, and I’m the baby :). We found this cool book exchange box while we were langs de deur. You can put a book in and take one out. What a fantastic opportunity to get a fun children’s book in dutch AND place a book of mormon! ๐Ÿ™‚

Week 12: Achterooping, Belgium, Transfers!!!


Good news! I’m staying in Breda with Zuster Abbott!!! Yeah!!! We got the call yesterday morning, and we couldn’t be happier! To celebrate we made our homemade Cruesli cookie recipe, ate it all…then proceeded to make goals on how we were going to eat healthier this next transfer ๐Ÿ™‚
This week was crazy with Zone Training in Eindhoven and another trip to Brussels! We were exhausted by the end of this week, but it was so much fun! We weren’t rushed in Brussels this time, so the Office Elders took us around to the centrum and famous sites nearby. We saw this weird statue called the Manneken Pis, which is basically a statue of a little kid peeing. I have no idea why this is so famous, but it is, and it’s all over Brussels! We also got waffels again and a giant sandwich covered in french fries! I felt so full afterwards, but it was so worth it!
We also had exchanges this week, which was great! I spent the day with Zuster Lindsey in Breda. We mostly looked up potentials and did langs de deur. We were feeling kind of bummed because none of our potentials were home, and we really didnยดt feel like doing more langs de deur. But, we decided we were going to do 20 more minutes of langs de deur before the bus came. Then the miracle happened! The second house we knocked we ended up spending an hour and a half on the door talking to this lady! It was so cool! She accepted a book of mormon, a pamphlet, and a card and said she would come to church! She seemed pretty excited to read the book of mormon too! Haha, it was kind of a struggle giving her the pamphlet though. She flipped through it and handed it back to us and told us she already knew everything in it. Uhh….Luckily, the subject of church meetings came up, so we showed her the back of the pamphlet that talks about all the individual meetings. She was like “Oh! I think Iยดll have that back then!” Sweet! We’re hoping we’ll get to end up teaching her, because she’s pretty cool ๐Ÿ™‚
Sadly, we had to drop one of our investigators this week ๐Ÿ˜ฆ He just flat out told us he doesn’t want to be baptized into our church and firmly believes priesthood authority doesn’t exist. That was sure disapointing. But I know that God has a plan for him and sure does love him! Who knows? Maybe he’ll accept it later in his life ๐Ÿ™‚ On the brighter side, we do have 2 new investigators!!! They are these two, super cute young moms with ADORABLE children! We are very excited to be teaching them ๐Ÿ™‚ One of them has a very strong testimony of Jesus Christ. You can just see her glowing as she talks about Him! The other one is a very strong Catholic and has tons of questions about our church. All she knows about Mormons has come from either South Park or Sister Wives so…yeah. That’s been fun to try and work with haha!
Wonderen en Grappias:
. A lady complemented us on our cute, modest clothing while we were walking through the centrum the other day. She said the short dresses today were just gross! Even though we may not always know it, our good examples are noticed! I thought it was pretty cool ๐Ÿ™‚
. I tried Surinams food this week. I got a chicken sandwich covered in Sambal sauce. Whoa! I felt like I was eating Lava! That was the spiciest thing I’ve ever eaten! Dad, you would love this stuff haha! I think I’ll ask for a ‘klein beetje’ next time ๐Ÿ™‚
. I got to try achterooping this week! Acherooping is where you ride on the back (or front) of the bike. The dutch make it look so easy! It was a lot harder to balance than I thought! It kind of gives you a sore bum too! Haha, I definitely want to try it again though, and maybe get something attached to my own bike when I’m home!
I love being a missionary! I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to forget myself and serve others. It so amazing to see the hand of the Lord in these people’s lives. I am constantly inspired by the good people around me! Ik weet dat Jezus Christus is onze Verlosser. Hij houd van alle mensen. Ik weet dat als wij tot Hem komen, kunnen wij de meest geluk in onze levens vinden. Ik heb dat in mijn leven en veel op mijn zending gezien. Als wij andere mensen dienen, kunnen wij echt geluk en vreugd vinden.
Have an awesome week! Good luck with school starting back up again!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum

Week 11: Paintball, Exchanges, and lots of people at church!

Hoi idereen!

This week started out with an awesome missionary paintball battle on P-day. It was so much fun! This was my first time doing paintball, so I didn’t really know what I was doing! I ran around with the safety on for WAY to long (not on purpose!), then couldn’t figure out how to turn it off haha! I came out with some pretty good sized welts too ๐Ÿ™‚ For District Meeting the next day we wrote down the number of welts each companionship had on the chalkboard and ‘evaluated our numbers’. We all had a really good time with that!
We also had exchanges this week with Zuster Lindsey and Zuster Muscgrave from Tilburg! I went with Zuster Muscgrave for the day. We went to an appointment, then ran around Tilburg looking up potentials. It was a lot of fun! It was also cool to go to an appointment where the investigator was speaking dutch! I’ve never really had to “teach” in dutch because most of the people we are working with speak only English. It was a good experience for me ๐Ÿ™‚ We also spent the night at their appartment, which was a party ๐Ÿ™‚ It was fun to spend a day in another city.
This week we got to spend the afternoon with [name withheld]. We had a lesson with her, then went and got lunch at Subway and climbed the Grote Kerk! Man, ordering at Subway was a struggle! It wasn’t until it was my turn to order that I realized I didn’t know any of the words for cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, wheat bread, etc! Plus everything is done by the metric system, so I ordered a 15 cm long sandwich instead of a 6 inch lol! The struggle was real. There was definitely a lot of ‘dit’, ‘dat’, and pointing fingers involved to get my order across ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I know what I’m going to do for Taal Studie this week! But overall we had a really good time! It was really good to spend some time with her ๐Ÿ™‚
On Sunday there were a ton of people at church! Everyone is coming off vacation now, so the chapel was full! We were worried that our investigators wouldn’t have anywhere to sit when they showed up! Haha, they didn’t show up, but we did have two unexpected non-members show up! Our less active friend that we climbed the Grote Kerk with brought her boyfriend, which was super cool. Another guy showed up who was an investigator a year and a half ago, but stopped coming to church because he didn’t have any friends there ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ย He said he woke up that morning and “a little voice in his head told him to come to church.” The Spirit is so awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ He seems like a really cool guy. He doesn’t want lessons yet, but hopefully as he keeps coming to church he’ll want to know more.
Wonderen en Grappias:
. This week we decided randomly to go visit this lady that we’d been trying to get into contact with the entire transfer, but things just weren’t working out. We stopped by at like 8:30pm, and she was home! She was super excited to see us! And, her two friends who were there were both super positive! We invited them to church, and they all seemed eager to come, so we were bummed when we didn’t see them on Sunday. When we called her that night, she said she thought church was on Monday! Whoops! Hopefully we can get them there next week ๐Ÿ™‚
. A member took us all to an All You Can Eat Buffett this week! It was sooo good! I tried some new flavors of ice cream: Smurf and Banana. The Smurf tasted like bubble gum and dyed my teeth blue. The banana tasted like those banana flavored laffy taffys. I couldn’t decide how I felt about either of them, but it was fun to try!
. We were discussing at the end of district meeting about how different Spongebob episodes relate to missionary work lol. Haha, have you ever seen the episode where they’re selling chocolate door-to-door? Yeah, that’s pretty much langs de deur ๐Ÿ™‚ Let’s just say I’ll never watch Spongebob the same way again!
I love you all! I hope your week goes great!
Love, Zuster Mangum
1- In our gear and ready to do some paintballing!
2- That moment when you realize you look like a little old Amish lady. Don’t worry mom! I didn’t go out in public like this!

Week 10: Harring, Belgium, and Miracles!

Hey everyone!

This week was fantastic!ย On Mondayย I tried harring for the first time (I think my mom put the video of me doing it on my blog)! It actually wasn’t too bad! The texture was really slimy and squishy, but it tasted pretty good. Especially with the onions! Haha, it’s so slimy that the onions just stick to the outside of the fish (gag). We don’t have a harring stand in Breda, so I ended up buying it at the Albert Hijn. I’m excited to try it again, fresh off the ice, at a fish stand, at some point in my mission:)
I also got to go to Belgium this week with all of my MTC friends! It was definitely a party! We all met up and drove down in the mission van, which was a lot of fun. It was so good to talk to everyone and hear howย their missions are going! Everyone seems to be doing great! While we were down there we tried some Belgian Friets and Belgian Waffels! Oh man, lets just say it’s a good thing I’m not in Belgium, because there would be some noticeable weight gains haha! They were delicious! I got a waffel with chocolate bars inside, covered with chocolate chip ice cream! European food is so good ๐Ÿ™‚ As far as the legality stuff, we all just signed a few papers and whatnot. It was pretty quick. And the best part is, we get to do it all over againย in two weeksย when we go back to pick the Residency up!
I also got the experience of riding the trains..without my trainer! Ahhhh! Me and Zuster Haynie (another greenie) had to figure out the train system to get back to our trainers after our Belgium trip! It was actually pretty fun! It took like 3 different trains, but eventually we made it back to them in Dordrecht ๐Ÿ™‚
As you know, we’ve been doing a lot of langs de deur here, which is knocking doors. We really hadn’t seen much success from it, until this week! We were up in Oosterhoutย on Fridayย visiting a ward member in a nursing home. We got there pretty early, so we randomly decided to knock doors in the area. We knocked on this one lady’s door and did our usual speel (We’re volunteers from the church of Jesus Christ and we’re sharing a message about God and Jesus Christ. Are you interested?). Then she was like “Jawel!” (of course!) It totally threw us off guard! I was kind of thinking “Wait. Now what do I do? I’ve never gotten this far!” We taught her a little bit about what we believe on the doorstep and gave her a Book of Mormon. She was very excited to read it and gave us her all her information without us even asking for it! Ahhhh! We are soooo excited!!!ย  But that’s not the end of it. The very next door we knocked someone else was interested in learning more about our religion and excepted a card as well! We could not (and still can’t) believe it! These people make it all worth it. These experiences were another testament to me that God truly is preparing people to hear His word. Haha, there are actually people here who want to listen to us!!! We are estatic to meet with these people this week ๐Ÿ™‚
Wonderen en Grappias:
. We discovered that the Jehovah’s Witnesses hit our Scouring Area a couple days ago! Ahhhhh! We’re going to have to choose a new one for a couple of weeks… (a scouring area is a neighborhood we choose to knock and really “scour” until we’ve talked to every person there)
. We got completely drenched the other day when a surprise rain storm hit! I can honestly say I’ve never been so wet in church clothes before. Maybe I should start carrying my rain coat around ๐Ÿ™‚
. We rang a doorbell the other day, and it was the Titanic theme song! It was pretty awesome ๐Ÿ™‚
. We figured out how to make Cruesli cookies yesterday! It’s basically an oatmeal cookie, but you replace the oatmeal with Cruesli. They’re pretty amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ #cruesliforlife
I love you all! I hope you have a fantastic week!
Love, Zuster Mangum

Week 9: Rijswijk, investigator at church, and lots of good food!

Hallo everyone!

This week me and Zus. Abbott traveled up to Rijswijk to pick up my Nederland residency! Wahoo! One visa down, one more to go!ย This Wednesdayย Iยดll get to go to Belgium with all my MTC friends to pick up the Belgium one too. It should be a lot of fun ๐Ÿ™‚ On the way back we also stopped in Dordrecht and picked up Dรถners! They were soooo good! It was fun to travel out of Breda for a little bit and figure out how the trains work ๐Ÿ™‚
On Sundayย our investigator came to church again! He doesn’t speak any Dutch so Elder Knaupp had to translate the whole sacrament meeting. The Gospel Principles teacher has been teaching in english for him the last couple of weeks, which has been great (haha, and helpful for me too!). He really seems interested in the information, but we’re not sure if he really wants to convert. We’re going to try and get to the bottom of things during our lesson with him this week.
After church our awesome ward mission leader, Rocky, invited us over for Pannekoeken! They’re like these giant crepes that you can throw pretty much whatever you want on them! My favorites so far have been the bacon, cheese, and syrup ones, or the butter, honey, and powdered sugar. We’re going to ask Rocky’s wife for the recipe next time we see her ๐Ÿ™‚
This week we’ve been knocking a lot of doors. We actually found two potentials doing this, and they lived on the same street too! We’re excited because they’re both families, and our Bishop’s goal for the ward right now is to find one new family. We’re going to go by this week and see if things work out!ย 
Wonderen en Grappias:
. This week me and my companion have been feeling really tired, and we relized it’s probably because we’re only eating pasta. We were talking about how we needed to eat more fruits and veggies on the way to this appointment. Then after the appointment, the people sent us home with food! And can you guess what it was? Canned fruits and veggies!!! Haha, God answers prayers ๐Ÿ™‚
. We found the most AMAZING ice cream place on P-day. It’s super cheap, and there are tons of flavors! Last week I got a scoop of stroopwafel, cookies, and hazelnut flavor. We are definitely going to be regulars there ๐Ÿ™‚
. The soil here in Nederland is full of shells!!! It makes sense because most of the country used to be under the ocean until they drained it out for farmland. It’s super cool!ย 
. This is my favorite type of door bell I’ve seen here in Nederland (and I’ve seen a lot of doorbells ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re going to an antique store today so I can try and find one!ย 
I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have to be serving a mission here right now. I know that this is where God wants me right now. I love going out every day and trying to bring people closer to Christ!ย 
Love, Zuster Mangumย 
And here’s a fun video of Abby eating some herring…this is a tradition in her mission that you see in ‘The Best Two Years’ movie:ย https://youtu.be/VedBZ6r1BvE