Nikki's email from March 16th! Sorry I am so behind at posting!
"Antwerpen Centraal (part of it--it's HUGE)
"WAFFLE! There is a really yummy waffle place in Antwerpen Centraal that we've gone to a couple times"
"At Missionary Leader Council (accidentally matching with Zuster Fredrickson and Zuster Robbins)
"Zuster Robinson (she works in the office with her husband--they went to church in Zoetermeer for a while, so we've gotten pretty close)"
"Elder Childs...he's one of the Zone leaders and works in Antwerpen--he's hilarious...and he put on my coat one time"
This week was a great one--I'm loving getting to know all of the people here--they are so wonderful and each have a unique story. God truly loves all of His children and it's amazing to see His hand in each of their lives.
We met with Natasha this past week--she's a really kind woman from Suriname, and she has a beautiful testimony. We talked about prayer, and she is a great example of praying always--she has a lot of struggles in her life, but she prays very often throughout each day, and she said because she does that, there is nothing that she's afraid of and nothing she can't do.
We also met with Veronica, a super classy woman from India--we had a great lesson with her and she is really sweet--she is Muslim, and we talked about all the similarities between our two faiths and also the differences. One thing I've loved learning on my mission is how many similarities there are between religions, but also that there are important differences between them--it's so important that we find out for ourselves, through study, prayer and the Spirit, what/where the full truth is.
This past week all of the missionaries in Antwerp were asked to sing at a funeral--none of us knew the man who died, so it was a pretty unique experiences--we sang "where can I turn for peace" (in Dutch).
Other than that, this week has been filled with great missionary work and meetings! We had Mission Leader Council this past week at the mission home--where all the Zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders meet and discuss issues, goals, and how we can improve the missionary work here. We also talk about zone visions, which is basically what our zone training (we have a zone training every other month which the zone leaders and sister training leader in the zone give). The meeting was really good--President Robinson talked about having a true change of heart and how we can keep it--through faith and repentance. Zuster Robinson talked about exchanges (part of my calling is exchanging with sisters in our zone, for example, this past week I went to Turnhout and worked with a sister there and the other sister from turnhout worked with Zuster Young in Antwerpen) and how being a leader is really about serving, listening and loving. It was also fun to see friends from the mission that were there--like Zuster Fredrickson, Zuster Robbins and Zuster Adams.
Zuster Young is awesome--we work really well together and have seen so many miracles together. We both want to follow and work with the Spirit and do what God wants us to do, which has made all the difference. I love being her companion! We have so much fun and such spiritual experiences. This past week, we gave Cynthia, one of our investigators, a call to see how she's doing--she told us that she is stopping smoking (we just started teaching her and haven't even talked about the word of wisdom yet) and that she has a friend that wants a Book of Mormon as well. Last time we met with her, I left a copy of the Book of Mormon (I didn't realize I had done it) and she is going to give that copy to her friend and we will probably meet with bot h of them this week.
Last p-day, we were waiting for other missionaries and WE were approached by two people who wanted to meet with us. The miracles we are seeing here are incredible. Ann came to church again this past Sunday and we will be meeting with her this week. And she will make us Thai food :)
I LOVE being a missionary--I love feeling a bit of God's love for His children. He loves YOU more than you even know and can even understand. You are never alone. Missionary work, the gospel, life--it's all about love. Pure, gentle, kind, selfless, tender, beautiful love.
I also want to wish Grandpa Thomas a happy birthday. Thank you Grandpa for your example, your love, and your light. I miss and love you. I know that we will all see him again some day. When we teach about the plan of salvation, I often talk about Grandpa Thomas (and Grandma Monk) and how grateful I am to know that I will see them again.