Week 58: Lokeren!

Hey everyone!

The last couple of days have been a huge change! New country, new transportation, new NEW companion, everything! Belgium is crazy! But we are having a good time πŸ™‚ My new companion is Zr. Olsen from Colubus Ohio! She is super cute! She loves trying all the new chocolates and pastries Belgium has to offer, so we’re having a good time here πŸ™‚
  • I had a wonderful last dinner with [new members] before I left! It was really great to be with them. I am really going to miss that family! They also helped us drive all our suitcases the the train station and get them on the platform, which was a HUGE tender mercy for us!
  • We ended up missing our first 2 trains to Leiden that night, but it definitely was meant to be. We met this sweet little 13 year old girl on the train. She had been through a lot with her family and other crazy things in her life. We were able to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation and bear testimony of God’s plan for her. She ended up giving us a hug and exchanging numbers with us! I am excited for Zr. Lane and her new companion to follow up! She was such a sweet girl. It definitely wasn’t toeval (coincidence) that we missed those earlier trains πŸ™‚
  • We had a great training session earlyΒ wednesdayΒ morning at the office, met our companions, then headed out! I was a little worried about all the overstops we’d have to make to get to Belgium (den haag, breda, antwerpen, etc). But, the elders ended up waiting for us and helping with everything! Then we met even MORE missionaries on our way down, so we had lots of hands to help us! When we eventually got to Lokeren a member came and helped us drag the suitcases to the apartment. There were so many wonderful people along the way that helped us!
  • One of the miracles is that we live above a bakery here in Lokeren. Haha, i’m not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse…
  • We get to work with this wonderful woman who is on baptismal date forΒ aug 27! She is this cute little french lady who is sooo excited about the gospel! She just soaks everything up from our lessons!
  • On the way down here to belgium with all the missionaries, we had a pretty good system figured out to get all the bags/bikes on and off trains. We formed a sort of assembly line. We actually ended up being TOO good and accidently STOLE another person’s suitcase!!! Ooops! We were all looking at this suitcase like “It’s not mine….” awkward. But, we called the senior couple and Zr. Oliver took care of it πŸ™‚ I hope that poor person doesn’t have a negative view of the church from this haha!
  • The buses are CRAZY down here! The driver doesn’ announce the stops, so you just have to KNOW what the stop looks like and push the button before he gets there! Ahhhh! That’s like impossible when you whitewash! I have been texting the sisters who were here before A TON trying to figure out all this craziness! But, so far we haven’t gotten too lost or on too many wrong buses πŸ™‚ I denfinitely miss NS travel in Nederland though….
  • The accents at churchΒ on sundayΒ were all over the place! Vlaams (Flemish) sounds like a mix of french, german, and dutch. I’m not sure what to do with it yet! But for the most part we’re figuring it out okay πŸ™‚ Some people just have very, VERY strong accents and I feel like I’m a greenie again with the language!
It has been so fun to be a ‘mom’ again! Zr. Olsen is doing AMAZING and is such an inspiration to me! We are going to have so much fun and see so many miracles together this transfer! I know this is Christ’s work and I feel so priviledged to be a part of it!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
  • Here are the super old, ghetto trains of Belgium πŸ™‚
  • My feet in Groningen (sniff, sniff)
  • The delicious, super dutch food [new members] made for us! It’s a mix between bread and cake and had apple and bacon in it…if I remember right!
  • All the bags and the bike. Some of these are Zr. Parker’s suitcases as well! (just in case you thought they were all mine πŸ™‚ I actually forgot one of my bags in Groningen, which in retrospect was a tender mercy because it weighed a TON! But Zr. Lane will get it to me this week at MLC
  • Zr. Olsen doing taal studie with our pastries! I had her order it in dutch as part of language study πŸ™‚ win win πŸ™‚
  • They have bread vending machines here! It’s going on our bucket list πŸ™‚
  • We found a castle thing in a park in Sint Niklaas!
  • The church building in Sint Niklaas



Week 57: Er gaat niets boven…Belgie?

‘There’s nothing going on … Belgium?’

Questions of the Soul:

How do I get to our apartment?
Where do I pick up the phone and keys?
Where do I buy food if there’s no Albert Heijn or Jumbo?
How am I going to drag 6 suitcases, a bike, and a greenie to Belgium?!?
These are just a few of the soul searching questions that have been running through my mind since Saturday. As you might have guessed, I’m going to Belgium!!!! I will be whitewashing Lokeren with a greenie and staying sister training leader! Ahhhh! It’s going to be exciting!!! And despite the craziness of it all, I actually feel pretty calm. I really am excited for this crazy new adventure! But man, this is going to be the longest 24 hours of my life! I hope my greenie is prepared!
.This week one of our investigators that we lost contact with for the last month texted US and wanted to make an appointment!!! We ended up meeting with him twice last week! We taught the 1st and 2nd lessons which he took really well! His work schedule is kind of crazy, so he hasn’t been able to make solid appointments/come to church. But he’s still interested!
.This week we met with this lady who is the neighbor for one of the members here. We met her at this member’s birthday party and last week we had dinner at her house! It went really well and she really opened up to us! She also accepted a book of mormon! We are going back tonight to say goodbye (me), so hopefully we can set up a return appointment then!
.This week we taught the plan of Salvation 3 different times this week! Once in english, one in depth with tons of scriptures in dutch, and one to an 8 year old where we drew fun pictures and had little puppets that moved through the plan! It’s was fun to really teach to these people’s needs and strengthen my own testimony in God’s plan for us!
.We had our last dinner appointment with [our newly baptized family] last week. It was a tender moment. We had a kneeling family prayer together. The Spirit was sooo strong as we each offered a prayer. It was a special moment that I will never forget πŸ™‚
.This week for Pday we went to a place called Blotevoeten pad (barefoot path)! You basically hike through puddles and pits of mud! It was suuuuper fun! We did it with other missionaries and [our newly baptized family]. We ended up having a pretty epic war, so we were all drenched in mud on the ride home! It was a really fun last pday with the gang πŸ™‚
.It rained on and off all this week with giant thunderstorms at night! It just came in like 10 minute bursts most of the time. These bursts seemed to hit every single time we needed to bike somewhere! We ended up showing up to 2 dinner appointments completely drenched! I felt pretty bad because I literally left a puddle where I was sitting!
.Our mission is getting 29 new missionaries, so literally, everyone is training! All 4 sisters we’re over are getting greenies, Zr. Lane is getting a greenie, I’m getting a greenie, both of the elders are getting a greenie, EVERYONE is getting a greenie! it’s going to be a party traveling to Leiden together! I think a third of the mission is training right now.
.It’s vacantie (vacation) season, so everyone is out of town. People are literally gone for like 2 months! We tried calling a potential we had and he’s like “I’m busy….all of August…” Hopefully things will start picking up again in september πŸ™‚
I love this work and am excited for my new adventure this week! I love you all and hope your summer is going great!!!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Saying goodbye to everyone! Β One of our investigators is getting baptized in a couple of weeks! I won’t be able to make it for her baptism, but she’s amazing!!​

Week 56: Knuffel Machine and 1 year in the land!

Hey everyone!

I don’t have tons of time, so here’s a quick list of things that happened this week!
.Janice Kapp Perry came to our sacrament meeting yesterday! She was here with a group of 30 other americans doing her family history work. Apparently she has dutch ancestors from Groningen! We (the relief society and young woman) all sang the EFY melody in dutch for her and she did a musical number for a new song she’d written! It’s in dutch and it’s a tribute to her ancestors here! It was really cool! Also, 2 of our investigators came and really enjoyed the meeting!
. I went on exchanges to Kampen this week with Zr. Fordiani! We had a lot of fun working at the food bank in Zwolle and running around to appointments! We were sprint biking to from an appointment in the rain and I ended up crashing. Haha, I tried to hop a curb but it didn’t work. I’m fine though! Just some bruised knees πŸ™‚ It was also fun to spend my 1 year in the land mark with her! I can’t believe I’ve lived in this country for so long! The time has just FLOWN! But I love it here!
.We tried a new survey that the mission has come out with, and we’ve seen a lot of success!! We knocked 5 doors and 2 people let us in! And 1 is now a new investigator!!! That’s unheard of!
.We did a lot of service this week. I worked at the food bank on exchanges, then we all did the set up/clean up for a wedding reception at the church, we helped a less active move this week, etc. It was fun to change things up this week!
.We passed our cleaning checks this week, and our appartment has never looked better! haha, so we thought that the black spots on our floor were part of the floor pattern…turns out they weren’t! Now our kitchen floor looks immaculate though! Zr. Parker stayed up late scrubbing it!
Sorry my email is kind of scatter-brained this week! This week was great! I love being a missionary and serving the people here up north! There is no place I would rather be!
.We went to this cool university museum and they had rocks!!! Actually, they were minerals, but they were still super cool πŸ™‚
. This boat with a claw thing was going through the canal, fishing out old bikes! It was really cool to watch! I think Henry would have really liked it!
. The museum also had this thing called a Knuffel Machine! It was a weird machine that gave you a hug kind of!

Week 55: Another blessed week in the land of the tulips!

Hey everyone! Here’s the rundown of my week here in the land of tulips!

.We had a really great lesson with [name withheld] this week about the Plan of Salvation. Haha, the struggle was REAL trying to teach that in english! It was super funny to hear Zr. Lane start to say something in dutch, but then quickly translate the dutch sentence into english. We were definitely called to preach the gospel in Dutch lol πŸ™‚ But the miracle was that Tom really loved the plan! He says he’s going to start seriously reading and praying about our message!
.We had a member referral this week, and the referral ended up turning into 2 new investigators!!! They are so enthusiastic to learn how to study the scriptures and have God more in their lives! They have a lot of things on Sundays, so they haven’t been to church yet. But hopefully we can work those things out in the future! They are miracles!
.Our investigator is on baptismal date as of last week! This week we really saw a big change in her. This date has created a sense of urgency in her. She’s really becoming more serious about the gospel, which is cool to see! It’s cool to see the big changes she’s making in her life to be worthy for baptism! For example, she’s gone from 10 cigarrets a day to only 3! What an incredible 16 year old!
.This week I got to go on exchanges with Zr. Conrad. She is an incredible missionary and we had a lot of fun together πŸ™‚ We met this really sweet old lady on the door while we were knocking. She asked us if we were truly happy with the gospel. Then she said she could see it on our faces that we really were. We were able to pray with her and leave a small message. She may not be an investigator, but it was a really sweet experience for us to be able to uplift her in some way. We know she felt the Spirit and was touched by the experience. I love getting to do this as a missionary every day!
.On SaturdayΒ we decided to try a new method of centrum contacting. We’ve had a hard time in the past just walking around, wasting a lot of time being scared to talk to people/window shopping. So, we came up with a new idea. One of us would start counting down in our head from 30. The other person had to contact someone in that 30 seconds, or they got a strafpunt. As soon as they had contacted someone and the contact was over, they would start counting down while the other person started looking for someone to contact. In the end, whoever had the most strafpunten had to buy the other person ice cream! It was actually super effective! Haha, we ended up kind of running around the centrum, frantically looking for people to contact! It was super funny! But we talked to a lot of people and ended up teaching a 1st lesson! It was a really good way for us to ‘open up our mouths!’
.This week we had MLC in Leidschedam, so we slept over in Haarlem. Turns out Haarlem didn’t have enough beds or pillows. So, we stripped the couch of its cushions and rolled up blankets to use as pillows. Zr. Lane ended up sleeping on the couch (without cushions) and I was on the floor, precariously balancing on the couch cushions! It was pretty ‘primative’ :), but me and Zr. Lane had a good laugh about it!
.Yesterday we had the opportunity to teach junior primary. Oh man, primary is an adventure! I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a primary teacher! Those kids have so much energy!!! But I love hearing them sing those primary songs. Their spirits are so strong!
I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
. I deep cleaned the mold out of the bathroom this week. It required some heavy duty mold killer and official looking clothing πŸ™‚
. We went through Schipol this week on our way to MLC! It was crazy to see the airport! I was here almost a year ago to the day!
.Me and Zr. Lane decided to dress super fancy one day this week. Our idea was that more people might talk to us if we looked more official/european. I think it worked! We had some really good conversations with people in the centrum and I think people took us a little more seriously.

Week 54: Lots of rain and miracles!

Hey everyone!

This week we got a lot of rain up here in Groningen! It was actually really nice! Nothing like a good thunderstorm!
.I got to see ZR. Weber this week at zone conference in Zoetermeer!!! Ahhh! I love her! One thing we always did together was leave pass along cards in the trams. We’d just slide them in the cracks of the seats and whatnot. Turns out, something actually came of it! The Den Haag sisters are now teaching someone who found a pass along card on a Zoetermeer tram!!!! Me and Zr. Weber are super excited about that!
.[name withheld] is on baptismal date now!!! She is getting baptized on August 19th! We are so excited for her! She’s making a lot of progress to stop smoking as well. She will definitely be ready for that date!
. This week we had an amazing first lesson with a new investigator. He’s from Kenya and we bike contacted him a month or so ago. We had a really powerful 1st lesson and the spirit was really strong. At the end he was like “How does one become…mormon?” He is so positive and so ready to accept the gospel in his life!
.We had some time before our appointment, so we went langs de deur. We ended up finding this cool college student who made an appointment! She is super open and willing to talk about religion. Turns out she is going on vacation next week to NEPAL as well!!!! I’m soooo excited to hear about all her adventures in the Himalayas!
.An old lady we meet with every week, Zr. [name withheld], has been really sick. But, she’s doing a lot better lately! Her son cares for her in her home and is really protective of her. She sleeps in a bed in the living room that has this little gate on the side so she can’t fall out. Her son said he woke up in the morning, upstairs, to some comotion below. He came down and found Zr. [name withheld] sitting on the couch! He was horrified because she’d somehow scaled the fence on her bed and made it over to the couch! Haha, I think Zr. [name withheld] is doing a lot better than we think she is!
.This week we celebrated Canada day for Zr. Conrad! We bought maple syrup and ate pancakes with Slagroom. It was great!
.We had to unlock the church this week for a doop dienst for the Emmen ward (they don’t have a font there). We walk in and the mom of the boy being baptized comes franitcally running up to us saying “Can either of you play the piano?! Our pianist can’t play the songs we picked!” So, I ended up going to a baptism this week! Luckily, the songs weren’t too hard and it wasn’t too much of a train wreck πŸ™‚ It was fun to be able to serve others with my piano skills! Also, I saw some people from the Zoetermeer ward!!! It was really fun to catch up with them!
.We ate lunch at a pannenkoekenschip this week! It looked like a pirate ship and was sooo much fun!
This week at zone conference we gave a presentation about how we can ‘Be a little bolder’. At the end of the presentation we all got “boulders'” that say ‘be a little bolder’ to carry around with us! They are small and travel size so we can keep them in our pockets as a reminder to ‘be a little bolder’ I love this whole rock analogy!!
I hope you all have a great week!!!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Wet shoes
Zr. Weber!!!
Destroyed makeup and hair from the rain!
be a little bolder
Pannenkoeken in a pirate ship!