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


. 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!

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


.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

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
.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!

Week 66: The atonement is real!

Hey Everyone!

Sorry you didnt’ get an email from me on Monday! I was at a doctor’s appointment in Gent and it ended up taking half the day. So, we moved our email time to today πŸ™‚ Dont’ worry though, all is well! I’ve got some medicine now and should be rid of my cough lung thing soon!
These last couple of weeks we’ve had a chance to work with [name withheld] (a less active) stop smoking. We’ve recently started the 12 step program with her that the church offers. It is INCREDIBLE! The videos associated with each step are sooo powerful! The Spirit you feel from these people’s recovery story’s is just unreal. I recommend you all watch them! It really does show the power of Christ’s atonement! He really can change our very natures and help us to reach the godly potential our heavenly father sees in all of us. It really is never too late to repent and come back to him. And if these people can come back from these crazy addictions, completely healed, how much more can we repent from our daily mistakes and bad habits! Christ’s atonement is incredible, and I’m so grateful for the power I’ve been able to access from it in my own life. She is doing incredible as well! She has gone the last 4 or so days without smoking! Now she’s just worried about trying to get the smoke smell out of her house! She says people don’t believe her when she says she’s trying to stop, because her whole house still smells like it! She has found a lot of peace and rest from not smoking and is determined to make it back to the temple so she can see her father’s work be done. She is an incredible example to me of strength! We are so happy to see that light and hope flooding back into her life!
[Name withheld] and her family came to church again last week! This week they were able to get a ride with a member who lives close by, which was really nice! That saved them an hour of biking! They are doing great and are just being flooded with love from the ward! We had a dinner appointment last week with the bishop and his wife and her family, which was incredible! She was talking about ‘being reborn’ and how she really felt like that’s what she needs in her life. We’ve really seen a lot of progression with her and her family. It’s so wonderful to see the happiness that’s coming in their life from the gospel! Also the 9 year old daughter has totally been reading in the book of mormon on her own! I don’t know if she really understands it at all, but she’s doing it! What an act of faith and a good example to her family!
Overal this week has been really good! We had zone conference yesterday, which is always a spiritual boost for the week! We also got to watch the woman’s session of conference Monday night with a member and investigator and her daughter who was recently baptized. She was really touched by the talks! We all can’t wait for this weekend to hear more words from our leaders and prophet!
I hope you all have a good week! Enjoy conference weekend!!!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
. Spent the rest of monday ‘trunky clothes shopping’ with zrs weber, acheson, and olsen and got some good buys at the primark!
.Me and zr olsen riding an NS TREIN!!!! We got to go on a fun adventure to Den Haag to pick up her residency! Oh how I love and miss Nederland! It’s definitely my second home πŸ™‚
.I made homemade pizza this week and it was a success!
.We saw a HEDGEHOG this week at a member’s house! Apparently this little guy comes by every night and eats the cat food they leave out! Super cute!

Week 65: Dutch Harring, Lokerse Paardworst, and Belgian Waffels!

Hey Everyone!!
Here’s kind of a bullet point highlight of my week this week!
.We made a lot of progress with one of our less actives ! She is finally willing to make a plan to stop smoking so she can get a temple recommend again! Her father passed away a couple years ago and she really wants to do his work for him in the temple. We’re going to start the 12 step addiction recovery program with her, and as part of it, we’re all going to do it together! Lol me and Zr. olsen will probably be using ‘sugar/pastires/Panos/chocolate’ as our ‘addiction’ πŸ™‚
. We rode up to AntwerpenΒ on SaturdayΒ with a member for a stake training for Relief Society, Primary, and YW teachers. Since there were people from the Brussels international ward, they needed us there to translate. Man, that really tested my translating skills! But it was really fun! I got to wear a little headset and look all official πŸ™‚ I still have a pretty bad cough though, so I was downing the cough drops/muting the headset when I had a coughing fit. I also saw a lot of people from Breda there, which was super fun!!! It was great to actually be able to speak dutch with them now, as opposed to when I’d just come into the land!
.Β SundayΒ was incredible!!! We biked with our investigators and her 2 kids to church, which was an adventure! First of all, her kids don’t have bikes, so she had to acheroop her 13 year old son and I took her 9 year old daughter on the back of my bike. She is soooo stinkin’ cute! We biked along the spoorline (railway line) with fields and pastures on either side. Anytime she saw an animal (pig, horse, cow, chicken, you name it!) she would loose it, saying “ooooh schattig!!! (cute!!!)) It was adorable! Also, google maps said it would take 30 minutes to bike to the church, but with the achterooping it took and hour! We ended up running in all super sweaty to the meeting, but it was good πŸ™‚ Then, a couple minutes later of the inactive ladies we visit came in with her son! She hadn’t been to church in over 10 years!! Zr. Olsen ran over to sit by her. THENΒ 20 minutes laterΒ our investigator, Matty, snuck in and sat down! Haha, there weren’t enough of us to sit by everyone!Β SundayΒ school was a full house! It was so cool to watch the ward take these people under their wings Β and fellowship them. Everyone left feeling loved and having made a new friend in the ward. We also biked back with Hanane and her family, and they all had a great time! Man, they are such troopers for biking all that way!!
Here are some grappjes as well:
.Hanane’s son just got braces, and when we came over she said “Look! Ludvie just got bracelets!” She was so close!
.Zr. Olsen had this realization this week as we were listening to the dutch audio book of mormon for taal studie (language study). She was like “Wow, you really do speak dutch!” I was like, uhhh, what? She said she thought that my accent was just the ‘missionary accent’ because it doesn’t sound like any native person she’s heard so far. Lol it wasn’t until we listened to the DUTCH audio that she realized that I really do speak with a dutch accent πŸ™‚ Vlaams (flemish) is waaaay different for sure!
I hope you all have an incredible week! Sorry that my email was shorter this week! I love you all!!!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum


.I ate the famous, Lokerse Paardworst (Lokeren horse sausage) this week! It was actually reallly good! It was kind of weird to look at the horsesΒ on SundayΒ and realize I’d eaten one though…
.Zr. Olsen tried harring (herring) for the first time this week!
.It was really tempting to buy this eye witness gemstones and minerals dvd in dutch I found last week. But I resisted the temptation!
.We had some adventures in Brussels this week! We were there for Zr. Olsen’s visa, but we stopped for some waffels on the way back πŸ™‚
.This is our darling little investigator named Dora! I achteroped her on my bike all the way to churchΒ on Sunday. It was so fun to see how excited she was about the horses!!

Week 64: Quick rundown of my week

Hey everyone!

I don’t have a ton of time sorry! Here’s some pictures and a quick rundown of my week:
Maandag (Monday) we chilled in Antwerpen and walked around the centrum. We discovered speculaas mcflurries (dutch biscuit), which changed my life! That night we also met this man named Moses on the street. He told us he’s a prophet of God, foretold in all the scriptures, called to destroy Satan! It was an interesting/hilarious encounter πŸ™‚
Dinsdag (Tuesday) I don’t really remember too well. We visited Isabelle and Zr. Vonck, an older woman in the ward who lives in a resting home. We helped feed her lunch and just kept her company for a bit. She is so cute and we love her!
Woensdag (Wednesday) we contacted for a bit in the Lokeren Market. We had the impression to stop and talk to this one african woman. Turns out she was an old investigator! She seemed open to meeting again, so we’re going to stop by this next week! We also knocked a street that a member had been praying over, and found a woman named Jasmine who made an appointment! It was really cool, because we had dinner that night with the same member and got to share the experience with him. He was sooo excited! It was a cool way to help strengthen his testimony of missionary work!
Donderdag (Thursday) we spent the day in Sint-Niklaas looking up less actives. They were all these really cute old ladies that we just fell in love with! We brought our hymn book and sang, which was a fun way to share our testimony. I still have a pretty bad cough, but Zr. Olsen sounded great! We also stopped by a former investigator with cookies, and they made an appointment for today! They are a really cute, young family that we’re excited to start teaching!
Vrijdag (Friday) was Joshua (our ward mission leader)’ s birthday! He brought cake and pastries to correlation, which was awesome! Me and Zr. Olsen are suckers for a good pastry. We also had an incredible dinner appointment with the Bishop and his wife! They invited a non member college from work who was interested in learning more about the church! We were able to give her an arabic book of mormon and teach the restoration! The bishop and his wife had some many great personal experiences to share, which really brought the spirit! I’m so grateful for memebers and their missionary efforts here! The work really is more efficient when members and missionaries work together!!
Zaterdag (Saturday) we spent the morning helping our investigator Hanane renovate her attic. It was hard work, but she really needed it! Afterwards we taught her a lesson and baked a cheesecake with her! It was a fun way to spend our morning πŸ™‚
Zondag (Sunday) some great members and neighbors of our investigator Isabelle invited us over for lunch after church. This was a tender mercy because our appointments for that afternoon all fell through!
Overal this week has been great. The weather is definitely turning and fall is here! It’s time to break out the tights and scarfs! I’m excited with the work happening here in Lokeren and know that God is behind all of it! I know He is in the details of our lives and that he loves us so much!
I hope you all have an incredible week!!!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Speculaas mcflurry
antwerpen centraal. It’s such a beautiful station!
Selfie on the bus ride here because we forgot to take pictures this week!
We got some ‘dang tasty’ pizza this week for lunch lol πŸ™‚
We are lucky enough to have the ice cream truck in our neighborhood πŸ™‚ This is a picture from our balcony πŸ™‚

Week 63: Elder Sabine and baptisms for the ‘dead’

Hey Everyone!

So many good things happened this week! We traveled a lot back and forth from the Netherlands with Zone conferences and MLC, but it was a blast! I love that country and it’s public transportation πŸ™‚
  • This week Elder Sabine came to our zone conference and spoke! It was incredible! One of my favorite quotes from him was about being in the world but not of the world. He said ‘It doesn’t matter how deep the water is. If it doesn’t get in the boat, you won’t sink! But you have to make sure you seal off all the cracks, because the water (or the world) wants to get in.’ It doesn’t matter how bad this world gets. If we seal off the cracks in our ‘ship’, we will be protected from drowning. Also, two great scriptures he shared with us that you should all look up! D&C 90:24 and 1 Corinthians 2:9. There are so many great things waiting for us if we love God, keep his commandments, and remember our covenants!
  • We got a couple of referrals from members at church yesterday! This was a tender mercy, because our week is pretty open this week. But one member had a very strong impression to give us the address for his friend, so we’ll see what happens there!
  • Our cute little less active named Saskia was able to make it to church today! Her health is terrible, but she managed to have enough energy for sacrament meeting. When we talked to her about it later she said that 17 years ago, on that exact day, was the first time she ever went to church. Wow! What an incredible experience for her and a testimony to me that God is so aware of our individual lives!
  • This week Zr. Bunnell gave a presentation on music at the zone conference. She invited us to read the preface in the hymnbook. I did it, and wow! There are so many cool blessings from the hymns! I invite you all to read it! Also, pick your favorite hymn and look up it’s coordinating scriptures. I did this with my favorites (how firm a foundation) and it was a really cool experience πŸ™‚
  • We had to explain to Isabelle this week that baptisms for the dead isn’t us actually baptizing dead people! I’ve just grown up with that term and never really thought about it. But yeah, if that’s all you hear, it can seem kind of scary! Haha, the crazy thing was that she’s had this idea in her head for like a month, but she was still cool about taking the lessons and getting baptized! She was very relieved to know that we weren’t baptizing dead bodies though, because that’s kind of creepy πŸ™‚
Well, I’m out of time but that was mostly my week! Here are a bunch of pictures of me at the Gent castle last week and my adventures in Nederland!
I love you all!!!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
Also one of the pictures is of me eating a chocolate crosaint at 6:30 in the morning in antwerpen. We had to wake up at 4:30 to catch a train to antwerpen, to catch a bus from antwerpen to zoetermeer with the rest of the belgian missionaries. It was a blast, but veeery early πŸ™‚

Week 62: Ice cream miracle and contacting

Hoi Iedereen!!

This week we did a lot of contacting and had a lot of really good, random encounters with people! One miracle happened yesterday. It was really hot, and all day we’d heard the ice cream truck, just wishing that it wasn’tΒ Sunday! We were biking home from a member’s house when we saw an investigator and her daughter! We talked to them for a second and they invited us in to teach a lesson. THEN, they gave us ICE CREAM!!!! This is a testimony to me that God answers prayers, even if it’s just a silent pleading for ice cream on a hot, sabbath day πŸ™‚
We’ve been trying some new contacting methods out this week. One of them is called ‘picture contacting’. We printed off a bunch of pictures of famous people (queen of england, michael jackson, nelson mandelen, etc) and a picture of jesus. Then, we ask random people on the street if they know who these people are and what they think of them. The last picture is always a picture of jesus πŸ™‚ Kind of sneaky, but it works! We had a lot of great conversations with people and were able to bear our testimony! It was a really fun way to contact people at the market this week!
Yesterday at church we sang my favorite hymn “How Firm a Foundations” (‘O, vast als een rotssteen’ in dutch). When we started singing the 3rd verse the Spirit just hit me and I was kind of getting emotional! (which I never do!) I invite you all to read it! I know that God is always there for us and will never leave us alone! No matter our situation or what we’ve done He loves us! The Spirit really testified that to me yesterday!
I don’t have tons of time! But I love you all! Good luck to everyone who is starting school!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
.Boat tour of Gent last week for Zone Pday! We are going back today and touring the castle!
.We saw this angry station of the angel gabriel on the tour. I thought it kind of looked like an angry angel moroni, coming down from the temple ready to destroy the wicked!
.At the stake picnic with Isabelle! They had a cute little farm there as well!
.A video of isabelle feeding the chickens! I read the sign outloud that said “do not feed the animals” and she was like “yeah, but I don’t really understand dutch very well!” Dutch is her second language, so she ‘can’t always understand’ all the time πŸ™‚ Anyway, that’s why we’re all laughing πŸ™‚

. This is the weekly video zr. olsen makes to send to her family! It’s funny because right in the middle talking about ‘unworthy creatures’ we got contacted by this old lady. the movie cuts off right as she asks if we’re mormons lol πŸ™‚ It was a good contact though!


Week 61: New Investigators!

Hello everyone!

This week was pretty good! We found a couple of new investigators! One was a lady the other sisters had met on the door. They had given her a Book of Mormon and we went back to follow up. She ended up making an appointment with us, so we’ll go back next week! She has a couple of kids, so we might get to teach a family again! We met another man through the referral system. He requested a missionary visit. We called and made an appointment with him last week. When we showed up to the address, it was a drum shop! We were a little worried, thinking there might have been a misunderstanding and maybe he thought we were there to buy drums? Luckily that wasn’t the case! He ended up being really religious! We shared the restoration with him, in this drum shop, and the Spirit was sooo strong! Especially when we shared the 1st vision. It was an incredible experience!
We met an incredible less active woman this week through our investigator [name withheld]. She’s great! She can’t come to church because of her health, but she’s sooo excited about missionary work! She talks to everyone about the church and today she’s going to invite her friend to meet with the missionaries (us!). We are so excited to work with her more. The members of this ward are so missionary minded and so excited to help with the work!
All in all this week was great! My cold is starting to clear up and me and Zr. Olsen are doing great! We’ve finally started to get a handle on the public transportation, which has been a huge blessing! I am so excited to be a part of this work here! I know that God is so present in our lives, even if we don’t always notice it. I know that it’s only through Christ and His gospel that we can truly find happiness in our lives, even during the hard times!
I love you all! Good luck starting school again this week!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum

.Last week for pday we went to Antwerpen and walked around the centrum! We were able to find Zr. Olsen some good, comfortable proselyting shoes that don’t hurt her feet. Success!
. Zr. Abbott biking through Lokeren! We had an incredible exchange together this week! It was so much fun to knock doors again, just like the good old days in Breda! She is a great missionary (and mom:) and I’ll be sad to see her go in a couple of weeks!
DSCF2672.JPGDSCF2706 - kopie.JPGP1080039.JPGP1080035.JPG

Week 60: Er gaat niets boven Kermis :)

title:Β There is nothing above the fair

Hooi Iedereen!!

Here is a quick rundown of the wonderen en grappjes from our week:
.This week we got to bike…a ton! We biked one day from Lokeren to Eksaarde, then Eksaarde to Zele, then Zele to Lokeren to Waasmunster! (you’ll have to look on google maps). It was a crazy adventure through the drizzling rain! But the miracle was that we were miraculously on time for all of our appointments! We really shouldn’t have been, with how much we got lost, but we were! Plus, biking so much is always a miracle for me πŸ™‚ I love it!
.We had an incredible appointment with a woman found langs de deur last night. She is a single mom who is searching for the truth!! She LOVES the book of mormon and wants to be baptized!!! She’s wants to take it slow, but she is excited to learn more! She also fed us dinner spontaneously, which was great πŸ™‚ They are such a cute family!
.Zr. Olsen gave out her first book of mormon this week!!! It was definitely a ‘proud mama moment’ watching her hand over a book of mormon to a lady on the bus πŸ™‚ The woman was very enthusiastic to read it as well! What a great experience for her πŸ™‚
.We had interviews with the Bunnells this week, which is always a great part of the transfer!
.I got to play the piano in Primary last second yesterday! I LOOVE doing this! I love being able to serve in this way πŸ™‚
.Our investigator, [name withheld], who is on baptismal date, thought she had to throw away all her candles, decorative animal statues, and christmas tree! She thought it was against our religion! We told her that as long as she doesn’t worship it, that it’s fine. I’m glad she asked about it though, otherwise that would have been a sad christmas next year!
. So, funny thing about the old lady from the bus. She sat down by us, read our tags, and was like “Wow! Real Zusters! You just don’t see that in young people these days! Splendid! Splendid!” Haha, I think she thought we were nuns….You wouldn’t believe how many people have asked me that on my mission!
. The zone leaders told us that it was President Bunnell’s birthday yesterday. So we texted him ‘happy birthday’, only to find out that it’s actually December 12πŸ™‚ Veeeery funny zone leaders! President Bunnell got a good laugh out of it though!
.I taught Zr. Olsen how to bike contact this week! Oh man, always awkward… buuut we gave away some ‘i love my family’ stickers doing it! (bike contacting is where you literally jump off/pull up next to someone on your bike and start talking to them. People are always kind of terrified/confused, but it has been known to work! The helmet makes it even better:)
.We have been assigned as visiting teachers in our ward! There aren’t enough abled bodied women to do it in the ward (everyone is like 50 or older), so they asked us! Kind of random, but great!
Overall our week was great! We had some great dinner appointments with members and are really starting to build relationships with them! It is an incredible, missionary minded ward! I am excited to be serving here with Zr. Olsen and working with the people we are πŸ™‚ There truly are prepared people EVERYWHERE! If we pray for opportunities and follow the Spirit, we will be lead to these missionary opportunites. I have definitely gained a Β testimony of that on my mission!
Ik hou van jullie!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
.Kermis! It was crazy and fun while it lasted, but we’re glad to have our quiet little Lokeren back πŸ™‚
.Check out this ‘Magnum Mangum’ typo! Toeval bestaat niet!!! (Coincidence does not exist)
.The garbage and aftermath of Kermis (shoutout to Wesley!)
.We rode this ride on monday called the ‘body shaker’ Nothin’ like a sketchy kermis ride run by gypsies!
.Fun optical illusion at the mall!

.We’re literally just eating our way through Belgium! Belgian chocolate covered gelatto was just too tempting πŸ™‚