Week 19: Zr. Staff’s Birthday, an Investigator, and a Surprise Sunday Lesson!

Hoi Iedereen! (Hey Everyone!)

This week has been fantastic! We started it off great with a 1st lesson last Monday. We met this really cool lady named Maria 2 weeks ago langs de dear (door to door). She’s from West Africa and has three adorable little boys ๐Ÿ™‚ She was super positive and she actually made an appointment with us! When we taught her on Monday she was very interested and wants to learn more! Me and Zuster Haynie are so excited get to know her more and share the joy the gospel can bring into her life ๐Ÿ™‚
We also had a birthday party for Zr. Staff! She turned 83 this week! For a present Zr. Haynie painted this amazing card, and then we sang her favorite hymn with alto and soprano. She LOVES the split parts and was crying the whole time while we were singing it. She’s such a sweet lady ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha, It’s funny how many singing situations I’ve been thrown into here on the mission! I’m really not great, but it’s definitely starting to grow on me ๐Ÿ™‚
This sunday we were supposed to give a part of the 5th sunday lesson on missionary work. We showed up to ward counsil yesterday, and bishop was like “Broeder School is sick, but you guys will be fine giving the whole lesson!” Ahhhh! We only had like 10 minutes of stuff prepared, so we spent sundayschool hour trying to throw some more material together! It was stressful, but we figured it out and ended up with a pretty good lesson. It was a little scatterbrained, but we hope that someone was inspiried to do missionary work from it haha!
Wonderen en Grappias (Miracles and Laughs):
. This week we had a surprise cleaning check from the Senior couple. This was a wonder and en grappia haha! We were so not prepared! With 4 girls in a apartment, it’s usually a mini disaster. Luckily they gave us a 1.5 hour warning though! We all went into crazy cleaning mode for comp and taal study! The grappia though is that we passed with flying colors! It was sooo funny to hear them commenting about our apartment! (“These are the cleanest bathrooms we’ve seen yet!” “Wow, sisters really know how to do it!”) We did not deserve any of these praises, because basically everything on the ground was thrown in wardrobes, hidden in laundry baskets, or shoved into the dishwasher lol! It was nice to have our apartment looking so clean though ๐Ÿ™‚
. We got to do some fun service this week making Relief Society christmas crafts and listening to christmas music at a member’s house! I know it’s only Halloween, but I’m already in the Christmas spirit!
. We got to help out with the Youth’s haunted house this week! None of their leadership showed up, so the missionaries helped run the show! We had a really fun time setting things up and wearing some fake blood ๐Ÿ™‚
. Me and Zr. Haynie gave away 4 books of mormon in 3 different languages in one apartment complex! (dutch, polish, english, (and later that week on in arabic)) I love how diverse the culture is here! We meet so many people from all around the world. I’ve started keeping a running list of people I’ve met and the countries they’re from. So far I’ve got Syria, Morocco, Entriea (somewhere in Africa), Poland, Hungary, Ghana, Finland, Indonesia, Bulgaria, etc.(I won’t list them all here ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so cool to learn about these people and their cultures.
I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to serve here in Nederland! I’ve met so many amazing people! I love the gospel and the chance I have to share it with everyone! I know God is preparing people everywhere to hear his word. It’s amazing to see God’s hand in their lives (and mine:) every day.
I hope you all have a fantastic Halloween!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures: Hot coco break, fake blood, the beautiful dutch countryside, and a random picture of me on my bike ๐Ÿ™‚

Week 18: Lots of Wonderen en Grappias

Hey everyone!

I’m just going to do a massive list of wonderen en grappias for this week ๐Ÿ™‚
  • A woman made an appointment with US the other day on the door! We’re super excited about her and can’t wait to meet with her today!
  • We met yet another woman this week LDD (langs de deur) who’d met with the missionaries 5 or so years ago! It’s crazy how these people are suddenly popping up everywhere! She was super enthusiastic to meet with us again too!
  • At church yesterday lots of people signed up to feed us this week! Wahoo!!! We have 3 dinner appointments for next week, AND some service with a member and her non-member husband!
  • We gave away all our Books of Mormon on us one day this week! That was definitely a wonderen!
  • We knocked on this Sri Lanken family’s house, and they were sooo nice! We were talking to the mom when the dad came around the corner and was like “You just keep preachin’!” There are so many people out there who don’t know what their purpose is in life or what’s going to happen after death. You go spread and share your message!” Wow! We’d never met someone so enthusiasic about us or what we’re doing! It was definitlely a moral booster for me and Zr. Haynie!
  • I had some more harring this week, which is always a wonderen! I tried it fresh for the first time too! It was pretty ‘fishy’, but good ๐Ÿ™‚
  • We also had interviews with the Bunnells this week! They are both so amazing and I love getting to talk to them!
  • We spent almost 2 hours one day chasing 5 baby kittens out of a thick hedge! We were walking by and this animal lover guy and his girlfriend were trying to lure these abandoned kittens out. They wanted to try and find them a home, or take care of them themselves! These were devoted animal lovers too. They’d spent the day before with an injured bird. They waited 3 hours with it before the vet ambulance came! Wow! We all had cat food and sticks, trying to herd these kittens towards the box they had. We’re not sure if they ever got them out. They were going to break for lunch and come back later, so that’s when we left them. It was really fun to talk and get to know them, while at the same time attempting to save these little kittens! Cat contacting!
  • As I’ve said before, it’s hard for me and Zr. Haynie to street contact people. We’re both pretty shy, so we’ve decided it’s time to overcome that. Yesterday we went to the park/centrum and decided that we couldn’t leave until we’d each contacted 10 people. It took a while, but we did it! Then, we rewarded ourselves by going to the Albert Heijn and buying some fresh and more expensive fruit! That might sound weird, but we’re just so done with eating chocolate and sugar right now! It really helped us overcome that fear a little bit too!
  • We biked super fast, soaked in the pouring rain, to catch a train to Roosendaal….that ended up being 35 minutes late ๐Ÿ™‚ #missionlife
  • We were at this old investigator’s house, and we may or may not have accidentally eaten rum chocolate ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re not quite sure, but there was definitely something in that chocolate. Oops!
I’m so grateful for the chance I have to serve the Lord! This is truly His work! To quote one of the greatest people I’ve met thus far on my mission (Our fantastic ward mission leader Rocky ๐Ÿ™‚
ย “The church is true. No, the Gospel is true. And that’s the most important thing.”
The gospel is true! It’s part of the perfect plan Heavenly Father has created for us. There is no other way to find true peace and joy in this life, but through the gospel of Jesus Christ!
I love you all!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures: Harring, Fall is here!, and wet and exhausted at the station waiting for our late train ๐Ÿ™‚

Week 18: Eindhoven, Tilburg, Brussels (and Gent), Oh my!

Hey everyone!

This week was full of lots of fun and crazy travels! We had zone training in Eindhovenย on Thursday, exchanges right after in Tilburg tilย Friday, then we traveled to Gent, Belgiumย on Saturday, stayed the night, then traveled to Brussels for Stake Conferenceย on Sunday! We’ve just been going, going, going! But it’s been a wonderful adventure! Haha, and thank goodness for reimbursements, because Belgium transportation is not cheap! It was really fun to hear a little bit of Flams (Flemish) too. It’s way harder to understand than just Nederlands!
We also went to a funeral this week for a man in our ward. His name is Theo van Lottum, and Zr. Abbott and I actually got the chance to go over to his house once and talk to him before he passed away. He was a really cool guy with a strong testimony of this gospel ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a really nice service.
We had an amazing Zone Training all about the Book of Mormon. President gave each of us our own copy of the book of mormon and challenged us to read it by the end of the year. We need to read ย 6 or 7 pages a day to accomplish our goal. Our focus it to increase our own personal conversion. When we’re truly converted, we can teach with power and the Spirit. He also challenged us to write down and underline every name of Jesus Christ mentioned in the Book of Mormon. This has been a really inspiring and fun new way to read the Book of Mormon!ย I challenge you all to try it as well! ๐Ÿ™‚
Wonderen en Grappias:
. We were in the Antwerpen station trying to buy tickets to Gent late at night, but all the ticket booths were closed, which meant we had to use a machine. None of our american debit/credit cards were working! Luckily, since Zr. Neale is from europe, her card finally worked! Man, that was definitely a miracle! We almost had to spend the night in the station lol ๐Ÿ™‚
. Jasmine got her mini mission call! She’s going to Antwerpen!!! She is soooo excited! It was fun to go over and watch her open up her call. It brought back good memories ๐Ÿ™‚
.ย We also had some cool miracles this week too! We were doing belops for a couple of hours in some nearby apartment buildings. It was kind of starting to drag and we thought about going back. But, we decided to just finish out the building. Then, we belled up this one person, and instead of talking to us through the speaker they poked their head out the third story window (This is a very common thing to do). We were preparing ourselves for the worst, just waiting for this woman to yell at us through the window, but instead she was like (in dutch) “Are you guys from America?” We were like “yeah!” Then she said something about Elders and how she didn’t have a telephone number. Then she was like “Can you come back next week?” We excitedly made an appointment and then asked “What was your name again?” (you start to loose track of names and house numbers when you do like 100 belops lol ๐Ÿ™‚ She was like “Smith, like Joseph Smith!” We have no idea who this lady is, but we’re excited to go find outย tomorrow! We’re very excited to meet her!!!
. Another miracle. We decided to call this lady in the ward who Bishop had asked us to keep an eye on. We called and asked her if we could stop by this week and just talk and share a spiritual thought. She was super busy all week, so she’s like “Do you guys have a Dinner appointmentย tonight? Could you be here in an hour?” We were like “Sweet! Random rare dinner appointment!” When we got there she said she’d been making stew that morning and had the thought to invite the sisters over. She ignored it, then a couple hours later we called her! She was like “I think God’s trying to tell me something!” We had an awesome dinner appointment with her and her husband. AND her husband is a non-member who is READING THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!! He’s like on Alma 42 right now! We might have a new potential investigator!!!! We’re going back in a week or so to do some service with her, so hopefully we’ll get to talk to him again! He’s a really awesome guy and is very curious about our religion. Hopefully we can get to know him more and start teaching him.
. We met this cool Polish woman this week and gave away a Polish Book of Mormon! She said she’ll need some time to read it, but that we can come back in November!
. All of the Antwerpen Stake missionaries got to sing at stake conference yesterday. Haha, I don’t know whether to call that a grappia (because we literally threw it together 15 minutes before the meeting began) or a wonderen (because it actually sounded decently okay ๐Ÿ™‚
Fun Fact: So we have this thing called a knocking book where we keep track of where we’ve knocked. I was looking through it this morning, and I’ve knocked a total ofย 2125ย doors so far in my mission! That’s not including doors we’ve knocked more that once either! Crazy!
I love you all so much!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures: We went to this weird, gypsy run kermis (fair) in Breda today. We didn’t ride any rides, but we did try Oliebollen! I got the Berlinerbollen, and it was amazing!!! It was like a really thick, greasy scone. Lekker ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha, here’s a picture of my 100 Euro reimbursements I”m sending in ๐Ÿ™‚ We also found a windmill this week!

Week 17: New comp and crazy week!

Hoi Iedereen!

This week was transfer week, so sadly, I had to say goodbye to Zr. Abbott ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m really going to miss that girl! But I’m excited to be with Zr. Haynie now! We already get along really well, so I think this will be a fun transfer!
This week was kind of crazy with transfers and I honestly don’t remember much of what happened. So, I’ll just jump straight to the Wonderen en Grappias ๐Ÿ™‚
Wonderen en Grappias:
. Me and Zr. Abbott ended up getting to go to the Wereld Restaurant buffett…twice! Zr. Abbott has a sweet relationship with the lady who takes the missionaries every transfer, so as a “goodbye” for Zr. Abbott, she took us again! That was twiceย in 5 days! Oh man, it was awesome, but I think I’m done with buffetts for a while ๐Ÿ™‚
. So random thing. This week Zr. Haynie and I found this little petting zoo/farm down south in Breda! It was really cute! They had guinea pigs, bunnies, cows, goats, you name it! It was fun to take little break there ๐Ÿ™‚
.ย On Sundayย we decided to draw Het Heilsplan (The Plan of Salvation) in the park as a 4 some. It looked amazing because Zr. Haynie and Zr. Parker are crazy good artists! We also had some people stop and ask us about it too! Haha, one guy who was smoking pointed to the Celestial Kingdom and asked “Is there weed in heaven?” Haha, I guess for him heaven wouldn’t be heaven without weed! ๐Ÿ™‚
. We found out a lady in our ward sees one of our former investigators all the time! We haven’t been able to get in contact with this investigator, so it was way cool to find out that she still had some contact with someone from the church! #membermissionarywork
I love you all! I know that God loves us and has a plan for each and every one of us. I know that as we repent and turn our will to Him, we can happier than we’ve ever been before! Through Jesus Christ we can have Joy!, just as Russel M. Nelson talked about in conference last week! That was one of my favorite talks from conference, and I encourage you all to read it if you haven’t already.
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures: Me trying to kiss the bunny, all the Breda Zusters getting ijs, and me and Zuster Haynie in the Grote Kerk!

Week 15/16: Efteling, Conference, and TRANSFERS!!!!

Hoi iedereen!

Sorry I didn’t get a weekly email sent out last week. We had our Zone P-day at Eftelingย on Monday!!!! Efteling is basically Nederlands’ version of Disneyland. It’s this huge amusement park based on Dutch fairytales. It was so much fun!!! And yes, we did get permission from President Bunnell to go ๐Ÿ™‚ It was basically a party all day ๐Ÿ™‚
Transfer calls wereย Saturdayย night! I’m staying in Breda and will be companions with Zr. Haynie!!! We’re both 3rd transfers, so we’re on equal ground when it comes to dutch, missionary skills, etc. We’re both naturally introverted people, so we’ll see how we do this next transfer haha! I’m really going to miss Zuster Abbott though. She truly has become like a sister to me. I love her so much!!! I know she will do awesome up in Groningen though! She’s going to bring so much joy and energy to the people there!
This week we taught 2 first lessons, which was a miracle in our area! They both went really well and the people are positive! It was amazing to feel the Spirit testifying throughout the lessons. We also met this really nice asian family who seems pretty positive! We are excited to work with these people more and help them to feel the love God has for them. What an amazing opportunity ๐Ÿ™‚
Conference this week was amazing! We absolutely loved the talks about member missionary work, as that’s something we’ve been trying to help members do more. My favorite talk was Russell M. Nelson’s talk on JOY! This truely is the key to our spiritual survival. ‘Men are that they might have joy!’ How often we forget this, especially during our trials. I love how he said that as we focus on the Plan of Salvation and Jesus Christ, we can always have joy in our lives, even during our trials. When we feel the Atonement working in our lives, we can feel joy! I know repentence plays a huge part in obtaining that joy. The joy of forgiveness is one of the most wondeful feelings we can experience! I know this is true with all of my heart, and I’m so happy for the opportunity to share this with everyone!
Wonderen en Grappias:
. A wonderful lady in our ward took us to a all you can eat buffett! It was delicious and WAY to much food! I tried sushi for the first time too, and I’m in love!
. Our investigator we dropped last transfer showed up to church this last week! We had a lesson with him this week and he is now progressing again! Wahoo!
. We gave away two Books of Mormon this week!!!
. There’s nothing like cramming 4 crazy missionaries into a spinning teacup ride. Zr. Lindsey, Zr. Abbott, Elder Garcia and I had that teacup spinning sooo fast! It was definitely a highlight of Efteling!
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