Week 71: Fall is here!

Hey everyone!

I can’t really remember what happened this week to be completely honest! So this will be a shorter email. Sorry! It went by so fast!
We were able to go to Brussels this week for Zr. Klenk’s legal stuff, which is always an adventure! Zr. Weber and Zr. Acheson were there too, which was so much fun! I love those sisters!! We also saw some good progress with our investigators. [one investigator] is pretty much stopped with smoking and should be ready for her baptism in a couple of weeks! [two other investigators] were at church this week and Zr.Klenk was a powerhouse in their lesson yesterday! She bore her testimony and personal experiences that really touched them. I think she is one of the reasons Zr. Klenk is here in Lokeren right now πŸ™‚ We had some great dinner appointments with members as well! I love the ward here!!
The weather is definitely changing here! We are wearing gloves, scarves and wool tights now! Halloween is coming up tomorrow too! They don’t really celebrate it here like they do in America, but we are having a ‘halloween themed correlation’, so that should be fun πŸ™‚
I’m so grateful for the time I’ve had here in Lokeren! I’ve learned (and am still learning) a lot! I know God has a plan for me, my companion, and the people here. It’s not always easy, but I know if we trust in God He will take care of us! One of my favorite scriptures lately is Prov. 3:5-6. I invited you all to read it! It’s really helped me get through the harder times on my mission and is a good reminder for us all!
Ik hou van jullie! Geniet van de herfst weer! En tot straks!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures:

Me and Zr. Klenk
Me on a bike I borrowed from a member. It has a cute little baby seat in the front (you can’t see it to good in this picture sorry)
I got my ‘trunky packet’ this week! Ahhh! Only 31 days left!
Me and a belgian train πŸ™‚
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Week 70: God answers prayers and the priesthood is real!

Hey everyone!
This week we saw a lot of miracles here in Lokeren/Sint-Niklaas! First of all, our investigator’s baptism was announced in church yesterday, so we’re planning on it going through onΒ November 11th! Yesterday was also her first day without smoking, so we’re praying for her to stay strong these next couple of weeks! She is sooo excited to be baptized! We had a really cool experience with her in our lesson the other day. My companion promised her that after she was baptized, she wouldn’t have the desire to smoke anymore. Wow! The Spirit was so strong when she said that! I know that it was a promise from God!
Another cool miracle involved the Elders. Every week we go and visit a really old, less active woman in a resting home. She is so sweet, but lately she hasn’t been doing to well 😦 We came by and the Elders and her husband were there. He asked the Elders to give her a blessing. Both of the elders are pretty new to the mission, so the dutch was a challenge in this blessing. But, the Spirit was undeniable! It was so strong in that room! A couple days later we went by, and she was like a new person! She was sitting up, attentive, and talking! (she’s usually lying in bed, unresponsive 😦 )Her husband was so happy and was telling everyone at the resting home that it was because of the elder’s blessing! I know that the priesthood has been restored and that miracles really do happen in our day!
We are also working with a less active woman. She is adorable and only like 4 feet tall! We’ve been doing the 12 step program with her to help her stop smoking. This last lesson she told us that she’s been ‘cold turkey’ for 3 weeks now! It has been incredible to see the change in her! She is so excited to be working towards the temple now πŸ™‚
This last week we had a really long, hard day of straight finding. Our appointment fell through, so we spentΒ  a lot of time street contacting in Sint-Niklaas. After a couple of hours without much success, we decided to head home and pray for where we should go. I said a little personal prayer, asking heavenly father to help me have an opportunity to bear my testimony with someone. Just someone who would be willing to listen long enough for that! I was feeling kind of sluggish and knew that would help get me out of my rut. We both felt good about knocking this one street by our house. After 20 or 30 doors, a man opened up and invited us right in! What?!? We were shocked! We went in and were able to share our message with him and his family. The Spirit was so strong as we bore testimony of Joseph Smith and said the First Vision word for word. We gave them a book of mormon and are going to stop by again to see what they thought. Wow, that was truly an answer to my prayer! We ended the day skipping home and feeling great! I know that God answers my prayers and is always there to help me when I’m feeling down πŸ™‚
I love you all so much! Enjoy your fall break!
Liefs, Zuster Abby Mangum

Pictures:

.A rainbow over our apartment!
.Me and Zr. Olsen’s last ice cream at Franscois! (the best ice cream place in sint niklaas)
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Week 69: Belgium is going to be the death of me!

Hey everyone!
So some transfer news! I will be staying in Lokeren for my last transfer on my mission! Like the title says, belgium will literally be the death of me! (In missionary terms πŸ™‚ We always call our last city on our mission our ‘dying city’. ) Zr. Olsen will be heading to my all time favorite city of GRONINGEN!!! I’m soooo excited for her to meet the incredible people there! Groningen changed my mission and I saw so many miracles there πŸ™‚ I know she will have an incredible experience!
This week was a little more challenging on the mission. Our family that we’re teaching said they wanted to take a break from the church, which was heart breaking for me and Zuster Olsen. They had a baptism date and were progressing so well! But we love them and are praying for them! We won’t give up because they are an incredible family and we love them!
[a different investigator] is doing great! She is working hard to stop smoking and is determined to be ready for her baptism date! I know the Lord is truly helping her to stop her smoking addiction. We love her so much and are excited to see the joy of the gospel flooding into her life!
So fun thing from this week! There is a student from Gent doing a photography project on missionaries! She has been following us and the other missionaries in our zone around taking pictures of us! We feel kind of like celebrities lol πŸ™‚ Haha, we were on the bus with her and I was trying to make my most ‘normal missionary bus face’ πŸ™‚ She took pictures of us on the bus, with [name withheld] in our lesson, street contacting, etc. She said she’ll send them to us too, which we’re excited about! The Elders were able to give her a book of mormon and teach the first lesson too! She came to stake conference and has been coming to church every week. Hopefully she will start to feel the joy of the gospel in her own life πŸ™‚
I am excited to ‘rock’ my last transfer here in Belgium! I know there are still people here that the Lord needs me to help, and I’m determined to find them in these last 6 weeks!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum

Pictures:

. I found this chocolate bar with Machu Picchu on it!
. I saw Mia from Breda yesterday at the Stake Conference in Brussels! It was sooo fun to see these people that I love so much again!
. We went on exchanges this week! I love Zr. Weber and Zr. Acheson! I’m so excited to stay and get to go on more exchanges with them in Gent!
. Gent!
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Week 68:

Hey Everyone!
So…I”m out of email time. Het spijt me! (sorry) I will talk about some things quickly from this week though. We were able to go on exchanges to Gent this week! I got to work with Zr. Weber, which was a blast! I love her sooo much! I’m so grateful for all the friends and relationships I’ve been able to develop here on my mission. These people have truly changed my life! [member we are working with] is also doing good! She gave her last pack of cigarrettes to the neighbors this week and said she’s done. We know with Christ she can do anything! We are excited to help her as she continues to progress πŸ™‚
It has been great to review my general conference notes this week! I encourage you all to do the same! You will get so much more out of them as you reread and study them. I am grateful for our leaders and their inspired counsil. I’ve definitely seen the power that has come into my life this week as I’ve started to really dive into the book of mormon and really study it each day.
I love you all and hope that you have an incredible week!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum

Pictures:

.We ate pannenkoeken and ice cream and fancy pears with [our investigator] and her family this week! Haha, we were supposed to watch the pears while they were boiling on the stove, but we got distracted teaching [the daughter] the plan of salvation, and because of our colds, neither of us could smell them burning! She came rushing in wondering why nobody was doing anything to save them! Ooops! We all just cut off the burn pieces of pear and it turned out okay πŸ™‚
.[the daughter] wearing my tag! Ah! She’s adorable and we’re totally going to make her her own tag πŸ™‚
.We got permission to wear pants last pday for zone pday! Haha, me and zuster olsen were jumping and skipping around all day! We felt like we had so much more energy in pants!
.Us waiting at a bus stop yesterday
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Week 67: General Conference

Hey everyone!

I hope you all got a chance to watch conference this weekend! If not, make sure you make some time for it! It’s such a wonderful time of the year when we can hear the word of god from our prophet, apostles and church leaders. I was able to find a lot of counsel and answers to my questions. I hope you all got something amazing out of it!
I really enjoyed Elder Eyring and Elder Nelson’s talks that reiteratted President Monson’s Book of Mormon challenge from last conference. It was another good reminder to keep doing the small, daily things that we all know we should be doing (scripture study, sincere prayer, service, church attendance, etc). Sometimes we go into conference, waiting for some big, new announcement from our church leaders that will tell us something new we can do to be better. Sometimes that happens, but I feel like most of the time we are told to keep doing those small and simple things. The “primary answers” as we like to call them πŸ™‚ It’s really these ‘small and simple things’ that ‘bring big things to pass’ in our lives (Alma 37:6-7). As we really focus on fine tuning our scripture study, prayer, and sabbath day observance, our testimony will be strengthened. Then, when the hard times come, we will already have that solid foundation. Elder Eyring talked about a lot of the challenges ahead, but he also said ” The best days are ahead for the kingdom of God on earth!” We have so much to look forward to as we are faithful and just keep doing the little things! This was the message I got out of conference.
This week [our investigator] accepted a baptismal date forΒ December 3rd! We are sooo excited for her and her family! She wants to do it as a family, so we are working with the kids now to help them prepare. They are such a wonderful family and I’m so excited for them to make this next step in their life!
I love you all! Enjoy the fall weather and conference!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Pictures:
.This week we painted some canvases with [one of the members]. We painted conference quotes, in french, to hang on her walls and remind her to stay strong! She is such a sweet woman and we love her so much!
.We biked 11km to the church for correlation this week. The weather was great and the scenery was incredible!
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