Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 56 ~ 50 miler, evil geese, and gebakken banaan?

Monday we woke up at 4:45 and biked 50 MILES to Giethoorn and back!! It took six hours (because we got lost so many times) and it was 95 degrees... no biggie. I thought I was melting. We got lost because we didn't have a map and only google directions to guide us... haha but we met some awesome people on the way who showed us where to go! We met some Canadians, had to take a ferry, and ended up in a National park somehow. But it was all good and a Dutch couple led us from there all the way to Giethoorn :')

We were in Zwolle on Tuesday for district meeting and afterwards we had planned that we would go look up a potential. We walked out of the church and saw our favorite food truck and decided we wanted to get gebakken banaan (fried bananas) because we're, well, addicted. But then we really felt like we needed to go right away to the potential's house. It would only take 5 min to get the gebakken banaan, but we decided to listen to the prompting and go. Well the potential wasn't home, but we knew we needed to knock his area a bit. We knocked a couple doors and no one answered. The first woman who answered her door had interest and we gave her a BvM and made a return appointment! She was in a hurry so she quickly made the appointment with us, took the book, and then had to run out the door. If we would've taken 5 min to get the gebakken banaan we would've missed her! The spirit knows!!

We decided we wanted to switch it up a bit this week and try some to contact people while duck feeding. Welllllll the contacting part didn't go as well as planned.. and neither did the duck feeding. The ducks were so cute, but then the freaking evil geese came and started hissing at us and chasing us!! They are so brave. One of them came and stood right next to us. freaking scary stuff dude. we tried tho

It cooled down a bunch at the end of this week and we got some lekker thunderstorms!! My fav. We also got to do a bunch of yard work for people. The weeds just pop out of the ground so easily here. So different than in Utah hah.

We had an appointment with the woman we met from the Dominican Republic! She's awesome. She also wants her daughter to learn more too! So we're going back to teach them this week. We didn't even have to ask for a return appointment.. they asked us to come back. YES

We also met a funny guy this week hahah his name is Ron. Here are some quotes from him:
"You're real mormons?!""
Talking to Zr. Elggren: "What does she (pointing at me) have that you don't?... Pigment."
"You look like you're going to punch me."


zuster fordiani

get ready for lots of pictures of giethoorn...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Week 55 ~ transfer 9. hanze dagen and Iris' baptism

This is gonna be a quickie because we're doing a 50 mile bike ride to Giethoorn... pray for us. 

I just wanna tell you guys about Thursday. Freaking best day. Two of the cool things that happened:

We had knocked a door a couple weeks earlier and the woman had said "another time." Lots of times that means they don't have interest and they're just trying to be nice, but we decided to go back. We pulled out the Book of Mormon and she got really excited! She told us she's from the Dominican Republic and she used to have that book and read it a lot and go to church! So we don't know if we just found a lost member or a new investigator! We're excited to find out! We're bringing her a new book in Spanish this week.

A few weeks ago we were knocking doors and we gave a Book of Mormon to this 21 year old girl! We tried to go back a couple times to see what she thought about it, but she was never home. On Thursday we tried again and she opened the door and before we or she could say anything, her mom came out of the room from behind her and got really excited and just said, "It's you!" We were kind of confused, but then she went on to explain that her and her husband had been in America on vacation for a month and they had gotten home that day from guess where? Salt Lake City! They had visited Temple Square and had been in Utah for a while. Right before they got on their plane they had also seen a bunch of return missionaries coming home and they stopped and watched for an hour. They talked with the missionaries about what they were doing and filmed it and the wife was so touched she even started crying. Then when they got home, they saw the Book of Mormon lying on the table and we knocked on their door that evening! She said she knew this was not a coincidence and she knew that God was winking at us right now. They let us in and we talked about the Book of Mormon with them, their vacation, and about what we do as missionaries. They want to learn more and we have a return appointment with them for next week! They are awesome! I know that God makes everything happen for a reason. I'm grateful for the sister missionaries at temple square who talked to this family and helped open their hearts a little bit. I'm excited to teach them!

Yesterday was Iris' baptism!! It was a beautiful day and I'm so happy that she took the step to follow Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the authority of God. (pictures to come) :)

This weekend was also Hanze dagen! It is a celebration of cities that used to be trade cities. There are about 100 different cities in 10 European countries that are involved. There's an international group of these cities that are called Hanze cities and every year they choose one of the cities to have the celebration in! And this year was Kampen!!! We were super lucky to be there! We didn't get to participate in any of the activities (because we're consecrated missionaries) ;) but it was super fun to see! 

I'll send pictures and videos hopefully later in the day, because we're at the church and I forgot my thing to upload pictures.

Loveeeee youuuuuu

Zr. Fordiani

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 54 ~ when the book of mormon comes in clutch..

Some miracles that happened this week:

We do this thing called scouring where we pick an area and then knock it and write down if they have interest or not. Then we keep going back to knock all the doors in that area until they all answer. Well there was this guy we talked to in our scouring area that we had a super long conversation with about the trinity and stuff and he didn't have interest in modern day revelation and all that jazz, but we never talked about the Book of Mormon with him. Normally I wouldn't go back to a house that had specifically said they had no interest, but Zr. Elggren and I both felt like we should go back to see if he would want a Book of Mormon. We went back and his son answered the door and told us that his father would not want a Book of Mormon, but he did! It was really cool to recognize that God knew he still needed a Book of Mormon and we weren't going to go back, so he prompted us to return. 

We had such a cool experience on Friday! So we were planning for the day in the morning and we decided to go knocking in this little area of Kampen that we've been meaning to go to for a while. As we kept planning, we changed our plans because it made more sense logically to look up a referral in a far away town we were going to for a dinner appointment that night. It would save time and we would already be there. But we both really felt like we needed to go knocking in this area so we changed our plans back to what they were in the beginning... We got out to the area and were locking up our bikes when this lady walks past us with her dog. I felt like I needed to talk to her, but I didn't because I just assumed that she lived in the small area we were going to knock so we would eventually knock her door. But then she turned onto this path by the water and started walking away... we knocked two doors and I couldn't stop thinking about the prompting I ignored. I mentioned it to Zr. Elggren and she had the same prompting too. We decided to chase this woman down hahaha. So we didn't know how we were going to be normal humans about this but we started following her down this path.. she was waaaaayyy ahead of us. When suddenly she stops in her tracks and turns around and starts walking back!! What?! So then we contact her and she had no interest.. so we turn around and start walking back and then there was a man walking toward us. We decided to contact him as well and he turned out to be a previous member who had written himself out of the church!! We talked to him a teeny bit and then he walked away. The crazy thing is we tried to look him up a couple weeks before that and he had moved so we weren't able to get in contact with him. It was really cool to get in contact with him briefly and maybe he will start thinking about the church again and it will be easier for misisonaries to talk to him in the future. Who knows. But it was crazy to see that God set that all up for us so we could talk to this man! I felt like it was a test for us to see if we would follow the spirit. And I thought it was funny that God knew we would hesitate the prompting, but he also knew we would eventually follow it and then he could send one of his lost sheep along the path where we were. If I have learned one thing on my mission, it is FOLLOW THE PROMPTINGS OF THE SPIRIT! The spirit will never lead you astray. If you are trying to decide if the thought came from you or the spirit and it's a good thought, just do it and you will not regret it. :)

These past couple of days our door into our front yard area has been getting stuck. When you put the key in and turn it, it takes a while for us to get it open. Sooo after church on Sunday we came home and the door was stuck again.. but we tried and tried to get it open and it wouldn't budge. We were outside for about 20 minutes trying to figure out what to do. We said a prayer and asked for help and still nothing happened. We realized we needed to take action... so we decided that I would boost Zr. Elggren up over the wall and she could jump down and unlock it from the inside. Zr. Elggren standing on my leg still wasn't tall enough... but we realized we had a box of Book of Mormons that we brought home with us. So we placed the box on the ground and I set my foot on the box and then she stepped on my leg. When she jumped off my leg, she was just able climb up over the wall and let us in. I learned two important lessons from this experience. 
1. The Book of Mormon will help you with any problem in your life. If you're stressed, the Book of Mormon is the answer. If your front door is stuck, the Book of Mormon is the answer. hahaha but really if we didn't have that box of Book of Mormons, we wouldn't have been able to get inside!
2. Sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers the way we expect. We prayed and the door still didn't open. Sometimes God expects us to take action and He will help us still accomplish what we need to do. God still answered our prayers! We had the box of Book of Mormons with us and he saw that Zr. Elggren got safely over the wall and was able to unlock the door. God answered our prayer, but not until after we took action.

Ik hoop jullie een fantastische week hebben!

PS Transfers are this Wednesday... we're both staying!! But the Zwolle elders are leaving and we're taking over their area as well. so yeah, nog meer zendingswerk!

Zr. Fordiani

I don't know if these are in order...
1-Kampen sunsets
2,3-we love helmet pics
4,5-flowers for Tineke! gotta take pics first of course..
6,8-About two minutes after these photos were taken, we met the written out member!
7-Zr. Elggren is a champ. Notice the box of Book of Mormons on the ground :'

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Week 53 ~ ONE YEAR--bible bashing & almost getting kisses

ok ok ok i gotta be snel but i have some really cool (and random) things that happened this week that i wanna share. ps sorry this is on Tuesday instead of Monday, but yesterday was pinkster day so the libraries are all closed so our pday got moved to Tuesday. yeah.

I went on exchanges with Zr. Mangum in Groningen! Zr. Lechtenberg is also up there in a four man so our MTC trio was reunited a couple of days before our year mark! While we were in Groiningen, Zr. Mangum and I wanted to look up one of their potentials, Tom, that they only had the street address of... he just moved to Groningen so he couldn't remember his house number. So we decided to just go and start knocking the street to see if we'd run into him. We start biking along the street and we see freaking Tom biking toward us!! Teder barmhartigheden!

Another cool thing was before exchanges we were waiting in the station for the Groningen sisters to meet us there and I was sitting on a bench across from this guy. This guy looked SO familiar to me. I don't know why. I knew I needed to talk to him so I awkwardly sat next to him and asked if I knew him hahah. Well.. I didn't, but we ended up having a good conversation about religion and I got his number and gave him a Book of Mormon! Boo ya

On my one year mark we had a lesson planned with one of our new investigators. Before the lesson we texted and asked if we could bring another member with us and she said it was fine and asked if she could also invite two friends along from her bible study. We weren't really sure what to expect, but we thought that maybe they could've been positive and interested. Soooo we show up and they were not positive or interested. They turned out to be missionaries from another church. Hahaha they ended up just wanting to bible bash the whole time and prove us wrong. We were so grateful to have a member there with us! She did awesome. She just calmly asked, "Do you even plan on reading the Book of Mormon?" Fire. I love talking about religion with people, but not to bible bash. We're just here to invite people to read the Book of Mormon and they can choose to do that or not. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon!

Later on that same day we saw a cute little old man on a bench. We decided to talk to him... turns out he didn't speak any English or Dutch at all (except the words eten(food) and huis(house)). Normally in those situations the conversation quickly ends because well, you can't really communicate with eachother. In this case though, this old man was speaking to us for about 10 minutes and we just kept nodding and showing him picutres of Jesus, trying to get the point across of what we do.. anyway to make long story short, he started pointing toward his house and trying to invite us over for food? I think. And then he grabbed my hand and started kissing it and then he had my hand in a iron grip and started dragging me away!!! Zr. Elggren grabbed my other hand and then they were like tug-a-warring with me! Then he let go, turned around, grabbed my face, and tried to kiss me!! I whipped my head away super quick and then we were like uhhh let's get outta here haha. Then he started following us to our bikes and we were like no stay. then he tried to give us 20 euros and then we said no and we biked away. the end. hahah so yeah

Another cool thing.. we had an awkward amount of time before we needed to catch a train. A little too much time to just sit and do nothing, but not enough to actually go somewhere. We both felt like we just needed to start walking away from the station and street contact. So the first girl we see had her earphones in, but we stopped her and she turned out to be super nice and interested! We gave her a book of mormon and got her number. YES. Following the promptings of the spirit is ALWAYS a good thing to do. :)

Random thing: This guy randomly started texting us a couple weeks ago because he said he wanted to meet with us! So we were like okay cool. We've been trying to set up a good day for an appointment. Well we've been texting him in Dutch this whole time (because his first text was just bible verses so we assumed he speaks Dutch because we live in the Netherlands). So then we asked him if he has time to meet with us this week and he said,"zeker! doet Skype werk?" which is bad, obviously google translated Dutch... also we were confused why he needed to Skype with us to meet with us.. so we asked him if he lives in the kampen/zwolle area and he said, "No. Denver, Colorado." Hahah wait what? We were so confused! Apparently he found our number somehow (we actually have no clue how..) and he has interest in the church. He thought we were "messing with him" because we were texting him in Dutch. he had been google translating all of our texts and his responses. Super funny/random. Anyway we referred him to the Denver missionaries. 

Last thing! Okay remember that one week how I told you about the investigator with the dream about the number 24!? she came to church on Sunday and told us she wants to get baptized on june 24th!!!! ahhhhh! we are super excited to help her! hopefully we can get everything in order so we can help her make that step so soon :) it was cool too because we were fasting for help to know what baptismal dates we should set with some of our investigators. and then she came up and told us when she wants to get baptized. Super cool.

Okay yeah that was a long email but I love you people!

zr fordiani

1-5 we went to a sand sculpture museum last Monday

sand castle museum
reunited with MTC comps!
our finds at the huge market/yard sale in kampen on pinkster dag

1-3 what we do with our free time at night... people watch
4,5 little did you know five minutes after these pictures were taken a man tried to kiss me #happyoneyear​

pros at biking with no hands