Week 53: IKEA, new investigators, and mountains!

Hey everyone!

This week has, again, been incredible! But I feel like every week on a mission has been this way! There is always something great that happens πŸ™‚ Here are my wonderen en grappjes:
  • This week we found 2 new investigators!!! One was a guy we bike contacted back a month or so. He’s the one we sneakily followed to figure out where he lived πŸ™‚ Haha, we rang his doorbell and he made an appointment with us! The other one is this sweet lady! She is a cute little mother of 3 and is so prepared! She is very spiritual and is looking for the truth. We met her knocking in our scouring area and she made a return appointment!
  • We met a cool guy 2 weeks ago knocking in our scouring area. We tried to stop by the other day to give him a book of mormon, but he wasn’t home. Then, miracle happened! We were biking back from the station and he was biking next to us! Zr. lane pretty much taught him everything about the book of mormon. Haha, I didn’t really know what was going on (I was biking a bit behind), but I bike up and hear Zr. Lane talking about ‘Reformed egyptian’. Haha, I wonder what she’s talking about! Luckily, I had an english book of mormon in my fietstas that we gave to him. He says he’s going to read it!
  • This week our ward had a talent show! 2 of our recent converts sang and played guitar, and another sang with the young women! It was fun to be there to support them. [name withheld] is SUPER GOOD at guitar! This 65 year old man from curaco was up there just jammin’ away! It was way cool!
  • We also met the new senior couple this week! Elder and Zuster Jongejan are our new senior couple up here in Groningen! I’m really excited to work with them!
  • Here is a great quote from Zr. Parker this week “My husband is going to be SO HOT after all my trials!” (like knocking doors, etc.)
  • We were in Uithuizermeeden this week visiting Mariella and found this path made of shells! Mixed in with the shells were also little chunks of obsidian! We both started digging through it, picking up all the cool ones. Haha, we ended up having 23, and I walked around the rest of the day with them in my pocket πŸ™‚
  • We had a weird dinner appointment this week. This old lady made us this feast…but she just sat on the couch and watched us eat it the whole time! It was super awkward with her not eating with us. But, the food was really good and she gave us ‘inhuman portions’ of ice cream for dessert πŸ™‚
  • This week Zuster De Jonge asked me to take her place and play in primary this week. Haha, she gave me all the songs we were going to sing, and we ended up singing none of them! They did this thing where they pull random songs out and sing them! It was a little scary for me as the pianist, but I managed to make it through most of the songs okay πŸ™‚ But man, I forgot how crazy primary was! The kids were SO LOUD and the teachers were pretty much screaming the lessons over them! It was pretty hectic and I applaud those primary teachers for surviving this every week! I really did enjoy playing the piano though πŸ™‚
Here is my spiritual thought for this week. This will be a repeat for a couple of you that I’ve already emailed, but I really like it so I’m going to share it again πŸ™‚Β Yesterday me and Zr. Lane came up with this great gospel analogy with Mt. Everest! In one of my last emails I talked about how God asked Nephi to climb a mountain. Really, God has asked all of us to climb a mountain to make it back to him. But, he has given us all the tools we need to succeed (Ex. ropes, climbing shoes, etc.). Some people try to climb their mountain without any gear (the gospel). Some people don’t even know the gear is available! But then other people hike with a guide (Prophet) and a team of sherpas (church, family, friends,etc). It’s so much easier to climb the mountain when you have a team and a guide who knows the way and can lead you to the top on the safest path. When we are baptized into the church (the team), we covenant to ‘bear one another’s burdens that they may be light’. In a climbing team, you help and support one another (sometimes literally) as we all climb the mountain together. But, there is one person who knows perfectly what if feels like for all of us individually to climb the mountain. That is Jesus Christ. He had to climb the mountain all by Himself. Also, every person takes a different path up the mountain. Everyone starts in a different place. Nobody’s path is exactly the same. Some people have harder paths to climb, and they may not understand why. (people with a lot of hardships in life) But Christ has climbed every path and knows exactly how to help us πŸ™‚ Anyway, my thoughts can go on and on about this! It was a fun spiritual tangent me and zr. lane went on this week πŸ™‚
I love you all soooo much! I hope your week is full of miracles!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
.We did some gardening service for a couple hours on Saturday! It was super fun and relaxing!
.I found a cheap, rock excavating kit last pday!!!! I have been going to town every night digging them up. It’s strangely stress relieving and theraputic πŸ™‚
.Us looking fantastic in our iKea wigs πŸ™‚ That kids section is really the best part of Ikea.
.We found the most incredible ice cream place! Dark chocolate ice cream!!! It was soooo ‘heerlijk’ πŸ™‚
.Zr. Lane having way to much fun at ikea πŸ™‚

.It’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but this lady is literally walking her cat on a leash!



Week 52: An incredible family

Hey Everyone!

This week we had an incredible baptism! [names withheld] were baptized, as a family, on Saturday! The Spirit was so incredibly strong there. They are an amazing family and are going to do so many great things πŸ™‚ Their confirmation blessings were incredible as well. We took notes and are planning on writing them up all cute for them this week. Overall, this was probably the biggest ‘wonder’ of our week πŸ™‚
. We had the opportunity to make ‘american food’ for [names withheld]. We decided last minute to do grilled, bbq chicken pizzas. It was kind of hectic trying to get the grill on the porch to work, franticly running around chopping toppings while the dough was burning on the grill, all while trying to plan the lesson, etc. We were running around like crazy people for 1.5 hours preparing this! But it was all worth it because they LOVED it! [name withheld] was a HUGE fan of smores! It was a fun way to spend their last lesson before they got baptized!
.Their baptism went super well! What was funny though was how, almost violently, they were baptized! The man doing it pretty much THREW them into the water and brought them back up super fast! It was kind of frightening to watch! I think he was pretty nervous about baptizing them, poor guy. But it all went well and they are super happy to be baptized now!
Scriptures/quotes that I liked from my studies this week:
“Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of Faith, Prayer, Repentance, Forgiveness, Respect, Love, Compassion, Work, and Wholesome Recreational Activities.” -ensign, nov, 1995, 102 Β It really just hit me when I read this how important it is to develop a balance of these attributes in our families. I love the promise that comes with it as well! This is a sort of ‘recipe’ we can follow to have successful families, especially in the world we live in today. I want to start strengthening these things in myself so I can one day apply it to my own family.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is HIGH TIME to awake out of sleep: for NOW is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the Armor of Light!” -Romans 13:11-12
I really loved the wording of this scripture. We live in the last days. It is ‘high time’ for us to repent and follow Jesus Christ! Today is the day to ‘cast of the works of darkness’ and ‘put on the armor of light.’ Daily repentance and actively setting and striving towards goals to become more like Christ is essential in these last days.
I love you all sooo much! Enjoy the warm weather and summertime! Summer is a great time to be a missionary (behalve dat iedereen op vacantie is πŸ™‚

Liefs, Zuster Mangum

.Achterooping with my comp! It’s always an adventure!
.We found a rose garden on pday last week! It was super pretty!
.Look who surprised me in Groningen this week! Daniela!!!
.Zuster Lane testing out the waters of baptism. According to [name withheld] it was nice and warm!
.4 man unity! May the force be with you
.Last district meeting with everyone
.American dinner with [names withheld]! We made bbq chicken pizza, a salad with ranch dressing, and smores! We rosed the marshmellows over tea lights! We all became pyros afterwards as well πŸ™‚
.Baptism Photo!

Week 51: I’m staying!!!

Hey everyone!

Another week has come and gone. The mission is flying by so fast! But I’m lovin’ every second of it πŸ™‚ So some good news! I’m staying in Groningen with Zr. Lane!!!!!! My wish was granted this transfer! We are so excited to keep working together and seeing miracles up here! We are also beyond excited for our little family to be baptized next Saturday!!!!!! They are incredible and will defintiely be lifelong friends πŸ™‚ It has been amazing to watch them progress and see the happiness from the gospel flood into their lives πŸ™‚
  • We decided to do some park contacting with some extra time we had before an appointment. We went over to the benches where we originally met [name withheld]. We ended up talking to this guy named [name withheld]. Turns out he was a former investigator!! We talked to him for like 40 minutes about life and the gospel. It was an incredible experience! He said “I see the peace and happiness in your eyes, and that’s what I’m looking for in my life.” Wow, so many miracles have happened in this park on these park benches!
  • We also met a man named [name withheld] in the centrum the other day (Yes, I admit, I was ‘African contacting’ πŸ™‚ But is that necessarily a bad thing if it works?! It has kind of a negative conotation in our mission, but whatever πŸ™‚ He is a refugee here and is looking for a church in Groningen. We had a good little talk with him and he wants to know more. Hopefully we’ll see more progress with him in the coming weeks!
  • We had a lunch appointment yesterday with a cute little old couple. They are non-members, but they love the missionaries! We ended up having to leave early to make it to our next appointment in Baflo (a dorp in the middle of nowhere), and they offered to drive us!!! They even waited until our appointment was over and drove us back! It was such a tender mercy for us. Without them we wouldn’t have made it to all our appointments on time that day. It was definitely a miracle for us! We love these people! They’re like our grandparents and just spoil us rotten whenever we go over πŸ™‚
  • We looked up a potential from a member’s birthday party that we attended. She’s this cute student named [name withheld]. We thought just knocking on her door would be super weird and awkward, but it actually turned out great (miracle!). We had a really good talk with her and she’s willing to meet again!
  • We met this guy langs de deur named [name withheld] who told us he used to to “Ninja Sport” in Thailand. Wow, you don’t see that everyday! The apartment also smelled super strongly like weed, so some of that might not be true…
  • We spent 10 hours at district meetings and interviews this week! We had to teach at the district meeting in zwolle and the one here. It was a long, but fun day! Plus the Bunnells drove us from Zwolle to Groningen, so that was fun to road trip with them!
  • I played SO MUCH PIANO in church yesterday! I got a text Saturday night asking me to play for sacrament meeting. That was 4 songs. Then I played for the Elder’s musical number (they sang Homeward Bound because Elder Morey is going home. It sounded really good!!!). Then I was asked to play in relief society. Then I was asked to play for the musical number we were practicing (The EFY Medley), so I had to sight read that on the spot. Wow! It was crazy! But I’m so glad I get you use my piano skills here! It’s fun to serve the ward in this way!
Quotes of the week:
Zuster Lane – “Hallo Hans met Zuster Lane. Hoe is het?”‘
Hans – “…It’s Hans!”
(Lol he had switched his brain over to english I guess!)
“If Joseph Smith didn’t restore the church, [name withheld] would have!” – Elder Thornton ([name withheld] is our incredible 11 year old investigator. I could totally see it πŸ™‚
“We’re just a bunch of teenagers, running around a foreign country, who don’t speak the language, trying to share our testimonies with people.” Zuster Lane’s description of missionary work. I totally agree!
. That weekly planning life man….it does weird things to ya πŸ™‚
. We saw a rainbow this week!
. A duck crossing sign
.The beautiful portrait Zuster Conrad drew of me! Haha, she shaded under my chin, but then it looked like a beard, so she just filled it in and called it a scarf! We all drew pictures of our comps and it was super funny!
.Here are some scriptures/quotes that I liked and put on my wall.
.A picture with [name withheld] last week at his baptism! He received the priesthood this week and is getting ready to go to the temple on Saturday!
Here’s another scripture I really liked that I read in the Bijbel this week:
“We are troubled on every side, yet we are not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9,17

When we have this eternal perspective, nothing can bring us down if we hold on to it!
I love you all so much! I hope you have a great summer!!!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum

Week 50: 1 year!!!!


This week has been truly amazing and full of many tender mercies. I am so excited to share them with you all! It was also my 1 year mark!!! Ahhhh! I can’t believe I’m so old! This has definitely been the best year of my life!
. First of all, we had a double baptism on Saturday!!! [name withheld] (from us) and [name withheld] (from the other sisters) entered the waters of baptism! It was so amazing and the Spirit was super strong! He was so happy! When I asked him how he felt, he said “Heerlijk” which means “delicious”. I love how the dutch describe things πŸ™‚ Robert is so excited to go to the temple in a couple weeks as well!
.I”ve really gained a testimony this week of following the first impressions of the Spirit. I was on exchanges here in Groningen with Zr. Fordiani and we had the thought to go and find [name withheld]. He was the guy from last week who didn’t know his address or phone number. All he knew was a street name. So, we decided we would just knock the entire street until we found him. Our appointments for that afternoon had canceled, so we had time. We started biking down this street, looking at the hundreds of bellops before us. The street was huge! So, we decided to bike to the end to see how long it was. But then, low and behold, who comes biking around the corner….[name withheld]!!!! We skidded to a halt and had a great conversation with him! He is studying theology and totally wants to know more! We gave him a book of mormon and invited him to start reading. He is working on his thesis, but when he’s done he wants to meet! We started to bike away, only to realized we still didn’t have any of his contact information. So, we sneakily followed him home on our bikes….so now we know where he lives πŸ™‚ Sometimes I feel more like a secret agent on a mission πŸ™‚ It was definitely a miracle that we met him again!
.That same night we also had the random thought to write up a scripture and drop it by [name withheld]’s house. We attempted to just sneakily put it in his mailbox, but we got caught! We had a good little chat with him though. His mom, Zr. [name withheld], is doing a lot better! Later that week when me and Zr. Lane visited him he talked about what a miracle that scripture and encounter was! He said he was literally just thinking about us when he saw us bike by (to drop off the note). Then later he said the scripture was exactly what he needed to hear that day. He was just blow away at the “two coincidences!” We know God is truly in the details of our lives and the lives of our investigators!
. We had a similar experience yesterday with our investigator and her mom. We wrote down a scripture all cute on a card (D&C 84:88) to give to her, and it turned out to be just what her mom needed! Her mom is going in this week to get tested for cancer 😦 This scripture brought her a lot of comfort and she said she’s going to take it with her to the hospital. Wow, we were blown away. This was just a scripture that had popped into our heads that morning. God truly was leading us to this, at the time, “random” scripture πŸ™‚ I love seeing how the Spirit works through us to bless other people’s lives πŸ™‚ It’s incredible.
.Our little, 8 year old investigator [name withheld] said the sweetest thing the other day. We asked her what she thinks of when she thinks of God. She paused for a moment and then said “Liefdevolle dingen” (loving things) What a sweet way to describe God πŸ™‚ It touched really melted our hearts πŸ™‚
. I also went on an exchange with my old MTC comp Zr. Fordiani!!! It was so fun to get the trio back together here in Groningen! It was fun to work with them again, especially now that we all speak dutch! We’ve all come so far since the MTC!! I love them! It was a miracle that things worked out, right at our year mark, that we could all celebrate together!
.One girl bore her testimony on Sunday about how she doesn’t drink coffee and cola. Literally, everyone here thinks cola is against the word of wisdom!!! That was the 3rd time someone made a comment about it this week! Tjonge jonge…
.I was trying to find a scripture and spent WAAAAAY too long in the topical guide looking up the word “geboden.” Lol, I was using english scriptures πŸ™‚
.A hairless cat fell asleep on my lap during an appointment with [name withheld] and Zr. [name withheld] this week! These cats are really growing on me! They feel so weird, but they’re so cute! Hildy, you would love them!!!
Zr. Lane had a really cool spiritual insite that she shared with me the other day. In the book of momom Nephi is always being asked to “climb a mountain” to talk with God and recieve instruction. I think God asks us all to “climb a mountain” sometimes. We have to work to receive inspiriation and instruction from God. He wants to help us, but when we ask for that help we also have to be willing to work for it. It’s a good thing I like climbing mountains πŸ˜‰
I love you all so much! I hope you’re having a fun summer! Enjoy the weather wherever you are and go get some ice cream this week! That’s our plan πŸ™‚
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
.The MTC comps were back together this week! And a day before our year mark too! I love these girls!
.The struggles of garbage cans here…#compunity
.Biking home from the store! Zr. Lane was super impressive and carried the eggs in her hands! She got some compliments from a couple dutch ladies as well!
.3 hour train ride + dinner to MLC. Oh man, I’ve had so much Albert Heijn to go food this week with exchanges in Zwolle and MLC. I’m done!
.I had too much fun playing with balloons and Zr. Lane’s hair one night πŸ™‚
.Grocery shopping with bikes. I’m sooo glad I have a fietstas! It’s always an adventure trying to fit everything in!