Hello, everyone!! The sun is shining this beautiful Monday morning, and I am excited to write to you guys about this week's events.
I have to start with the most exciting part of the week: we had an investigator in Church! It was super awesome. We met twice this past week with him, Kenny, and we got the help needed from a member to give him a ride. When we met with him this past Friday, we told him it would show his willingness to Heavenly Father, along with reading and other commitments, and he gladly agreed. We were a little set back, though, when he told us he had no means of getting there. Despite living a 30-second walk from the train station, he didn't have the money or means to get a train ticket. We told him we'd work something out (I was personally willing to spend my own money to buy a ticket) but it all worked out when a willing member agreed to give him a ride. What stunned me also was to see how the service and talks given seemed to be almost exactly directed toward what he needed to hear – messages centered around repentance and faith in Christ. After church we had a brief discussion together, and I'm positive he had a Spiritual experience, just because of the number of times he would tell me things he liked from the talks. Right from the start this guy's intention has been to follow Christ, and he's definitely feeling the joy and warm feelings that go along with becoming a disciple of Christ and a willing heart. I'm just super grateful to be able to see people change. "We have a front row seat at the Atonement of Jesus Christ" as one missionary booklet declares, and I affirm that statement.
PHOTO CAPTION: Elder Tolman and I after a rainy day!
Going along with great and rewarding experiences, about two weeks ago Elder Tolman and I stopped a lady while walking over a bridge. We quickly found out she spoke very little Dutch and was from the Dominican Republic. This little, dark skinned woman excitedly gave us her phone number and address and stood up on her tippy-toes. I instinctively bent down as I received a big old kiss on the cheek. It was super funny and unexpected at the moment, and Elder Tolman just accepted it also and bent down as she went for the kiss. We called later and set up an appointment for this past Friday, and Elder Argueta and I (he is the zone leader in Apeldoorn and, helpfully, speaks Spanish) taught her on an exchange. After I found out what happened during the lesson, it was incredible! She said she had been praying and had a dream in which she knew God was going to call her soon. And a couple of days later, my companion and I contacted her. She said she felt very strongly that it was from Christ and no coincidence. She even called us that evening to tell us she had been reading in the Book of Mormon and was almost crying and she didn't know why! Best of all, she came to Church this Sunday, also.
This week has been a real blessing, and I've been enjoying the sweet pleasure of hard work and noticing Heavenly Father blessing us in seen and also unseen ways. I've been taking more time lately to reflect. And what I have noticed from times of reflection is that we are better able to see how God has blessed us in our daily lives. I have a strong testimony about the importance of finding ways to remember and recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives. It will make us more grateful, and trying to remember will allow the Holy Ghost to bring a lifetime of blessings back into our remembrance. So, my challenge for all of you this week is to find a way or spend time to notice and remember the hand of the Lord.
Elder Eli Andrew