Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thanksgiving-Nov. 19


Hey Family!

This last week was super fantastic! We taught the two new investigators who showed up to church and the lessons went really well. One, Ludo, was really only interested in the Book of Mormon, he's an intelluctual and a philanthropist, but thinks we're really nice and invited us back anytime. We're going to give him a few weeks to read and then call and see what he thought. In the meantime we're praying that he recognizes the truth. The other man, Pepe, is GOLDEN and the joint-teach we brought thinks he could be baptized before the year is through. Unfortunately he wasn't at church Sunday and we haven't been able to contact him since Saturday...hopefully we haven't lost him. It would be heart-breaking if we did though because he is truly golden and by our first lesson was already to 2 Nephi and was praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true. Hopefully he just keeps missing our calls and is out of beltegoed (a lot of people here pre-pay their phone credit for the month and once their up their up)...still doesn't explain his absence at church.
This week we had sister exchanges and mine was super great! Zuster Larsen and I saw a lot of miracles together, including a lesson with a part-member family Zuster Jones and I have been working with for a while that was charged with the spirit. It was seriously like a force field. Zuster Larsen is a really good example of humility and someone who completely puts her trust in the Lord. She is also a great example of talking to everyone. I love that girl :)
Our ward has been pretty involved with missionary work this week too and that's amazing! This last week we've only had member presences and we've got a few appointments set-up for more! Antwerpen is great :)
Some other quick great things this week:
-We got another new investigator at church this week! She just walked in with a friend, not knowing anything about the church. We have an appointment this week :)
-We found our family on one of the streets Bishop Staepels gave us! Our first appointment with them is this week! They are a young Belgian couple married in the church with two kids, doesn't get much better!
-Today for P-day we played American football with the elders in our zone. Haha since the elders aren't actually allowed to touch us they split Zuster Jones and I up on a seperate teams. We both got in a couple touchdowns and I got in some really great tackles, felt good ;)
At the end of a week like this past one I've got to say, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! And what's even better is that this upcoming week is pretty promising looking too! Oh, by the way, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! One of the family's in our ward is throwing a Thanksgiving feast for us and the elders and we're going to teach them what Thanksgiving is all about. It's pretty simple, giving thanks, but since it's an American holiday they're excited to do it with us.
Looking back a year ago at Thanksgiving honestly feels like a life-time ago. I've learned (and hopefully improved) so much since that point. Some things I'm grateful for this year are:
-The opportunity to really dedicate my life to the Lord. My relationship with Him and understanding of His plan has strengthed so much in the past year, I plan on it being a constant strengthening my whole life.
-I can speak a second language! Crazy! Haha I may not be perfectly fluent, but it's definitely an accomplishment that would never have occured for me without the call from our Heavenly Father to serve a mission here and the help of His spirit.
-You all give me so much support and love and it's really up-building. With all the miracles I've seen out here, I've seen a lot of difficulties as well, but feeling of your love and support has really helped me to keep an eternal perspective and focus on the positive.
-Church leaders.
-The chance to make covenants with the Lord. I am really grateful for the ones I've made for Him and the strenthen I find therein.
-Inspiraton from the Spirit. It is an amazing feeling to learn something through personal revelation for myself, my companionship, and my investigators. It's something I treasure.
-A more sure testimony that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I've come to really rely on His atoning sacrifice a lot this last year for myself and others, and it's really made a difference in my level of happiness, confidence, and gratitude. I know that my Savior loves me and that He knows who I am. I know that He wants me to return home to Him and our Father and that they are rooting for us and supporting us here on earth so we will be successful in our time here. God is busy with the details of our life and I've really come to see that this past year in my life and the lives of those I've met here in Belgium and the Netherlands.
-Serving a mission is a truly wonderful experience. It is probably the best thing I've ever done with my life and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my Lord. This experience is setting a great pattern for the rest of my life.

There are probably close to a billion other things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving season, but these are the ones that most immediately come to mind.
One last thought before I go. Yesterday I was sitting in sacrament meeting and as one of our stake leaders was speaking I had the thought, "If Christ was on the earth as a missionary in my place, what would He do?" With this question I was able to do a lot of self-reflection and self-evalution to see if I was really representing my Savior well as a bearer of His name. Not everyone may be a set-apart missionary literally wearing his name, but as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have all covenanted to take His name upon ourselves. This holiday season I am going to do my best to be more aware of those around me so I can better know how to serve them as the Savior would and bring a little more happiness and love into this part of the world, as I know He would do if He were here in my place. It is a wonderful honor to be His representative.

I love you all and miss you as the holidays roll in, but I know I am in the right place doing the right thing. I hope you all have a great week and that you enjoy the feelings of this holiday season, the feelings of Christ. From the sounds of it though, you all are off to a great start with new primary callings, uplifting the "problem" kids at school so the have the self-confidence to work out of their problems, helping people move in, and committing to be more aware of how you can be better examples of Christians despite the influence of the world. You guys are great!

Love, Zuster Becky Hinchcliff

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