I think butter is another food group here...and I like it :)
So my emotions are like a roller-coaster and I'm super sorry to worry you across the oceans, but I've had an excellent week! I think a lot of it had to do with just staying really busy and trying to talk to as many people as possible. Ususally when I start speaking Dutch people immediately switch to English b/c either a. they see I'm struggling or b. they don't understand me. But, my Zr. Moses figured out that if we just respond in Dutch they eventually swith over. It's like a game, cool huh?
This week is transfer week but neither of us is moving out of Haarlem, instead we're getting another companion, so I'll be in a tri-panionship again. Our new companion is Zr. Jeffs and she's pretty cool. She's in our zone so we already know her a bit and are SUPER excited to get to know her more. We're going to be a powerhouse missionary team, Haarlem isn't going to know what hit it! When we told our bishop a third sister was coming in he said, "It's an invasion!" :) How cool is that? An invasion of sister missionaries, yes! Another awesome thing is that we can keep all our appointments now, because we'll always have three sisters. One of the mission rules is that when meeting with a man there has to be a third sister present, but that tricky because some weeks we can't get a joint-teach so we end up rescheduling. But, now it's smooth-sailing. Awesome.
Also, the weather here has been super lekker and heerlijk which is apparently unusal for the Netherlands. I'm soaking it up as long as it lasts, I love sunshine! To celebrate it I didn't wear tights today. First time since I've been here, feels amazing. Lekker weather not only brings out my legs (knee to ankle), but it also brings out people aka potential investigators!!! And lovely weather yields lovely moods which yields people willing to talk which yields 32 lessons in one week which yields 3 new investigators. Overall, lovely :)
Ships, Rocks, Tools, and Timbers
So, as a mission we starting re-reading The Book of Mormon with the goal of finishing it in June. I hope you know The Book of Mormon is incredibly awesome. I find so many insights as I read. One that I found a few weeks ago was in 1 Nephi chapters 17 and 18 over Nephi's ship. Similiar to Nephi being asked to build a ship to carry his family across the waters (17:8), we are asked to build the Lord's kingdom here on earth to carry His family (aka mankind) back to Him. Years ago, the church in the Netherlands was told it would have a temple here and 42 stakes. Well, they have the temple now, but we're still working on the 42 stake bit. In order for us to build up the kingdom here, we need certain supplies, just like Nephi did while building his ships. Like Nephi sometimes I find myself asking, "Lord, whither shall I go that I may...construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown...?" (v.9). Just like the Lord told Nephi where he should go and prepared the way before him, He guides, directs, and prepares the way for me too. But, also like Nephi, He starts me off by giving me rocks to work with (v.16). I find myself thinking of Dutch people as rocks, hard on the outside but with all sorts of potential (ore) on the inside to be made into tools used in building God's kingdom. The trick is figuring out how to soften them. It takes time and a lot of hard work, but it does happen. Another thing the Lord gives Nephi to work with are the timbers (18:1) without timbers, building a ship would be pretty impossible. There'd be no substance. Similiarly, as members of God's church, we have to work together to build His kingdom. We are the substance. But, we have to work after the manner of the Lord, not man (v.2). Sometimes that yields "curious workmanships" (v.1) but the end result is "exceedingly fine" (v.4). Some of the things I do as a missionary seem rather curious, but I know that as I "pray oft unto the Lord," He will show "unto me great things," (v.3).
Being on a mission is not a picture-perfect experience, it's hard, really hard. But, I know I am where the Lord needs me to be and doing what the Lord needs me to do, He's prepared me for this. But just like Nephi if I'm going to be successful I need to frequently and continually pray for guidance. And even though my mission may not be picture-perfect, as I do this I do experience a lot of perfect moments that as I piece them together are turning into quite a lovely picture.
Enjoy General Conference this weekend!! How cool is it that the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever and continues to speak to us today through prophets just as He did in days of old?! I love it soo much!!! The Lord loves you, I love you, and "love is the key" (President Brubaker).
Zr. Becky Hinchcliff
NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.