Happy Birthday Mom! Thanks for shining the light!
Happy Birthday Mom!! Just so you know, I have a letter for you getting sent out today, but it won't get to you for a week or two. Sorry about that. I ran out of postage to send it sooner. Either way, I hope it's a great day for you!!! Thanks for being born so I could later come and learn from your bright and shining example. I seriously think you're the best mom ever and feel totally right in my assessment seeing as I've met a lot of different mothers since being on my mission and although a lot of them are good at what they do, none even come close to comparing to you're amazingness.
I celebrated my half-birthday this last week, turns out it's not a common thing to do. To celebrate we made it a goal to give away every Dutch copy of the Book of Mormon we had. We didn't meet our goal, but we did give away more in one day than I have some transfers and we got to bear testimony a lot and set up some appointments :) Cool. I think I'll celebrate your birthday in a similiar manner :) We actually did have a baptism planned for your birthday, but the guy's arm got messed up so we haven't been able to have an appointment in a few weeks.
This last week for us has been pretty great here in Dordrecht. We had a continuation of snow, but fortunately over the weekend the temperature went up so now it's all sunshine and puddles, yes!! In addition to a progress in weather, the progression of our missionary work is going well too.We have a really great pool of investigators we're currently working with and trying to prepare a few of them for baptism. One couple we're teaching that I'm really loving right now is this young couple who are really active at their protestant church. They invited us to a service yesterday and since it didn't conflict with our service times we went. Wow, if I didn't have a testimony our church was true before going to their service, I definitely have a testimony now. It's not that their preacher said anything false, it's just that their missing a lot of truth. That and the service was gloomy. There was a huge contrast in the spirit compared to what we felt that morning in sacrament meeting, sunday school, and relief society. The one was a spirit of fear, the other of love. Seeing as the Prince of Peace Himself has said the first great commandment is to love God, I think a pretty good indication of which church is His is the one I feel love and peace in. During the church service I really wanted to stand up and share the truth with the people in attendance, but instead I respectfully and silently listened. Poor people though! They are trying to do what is right, their just missing the mark...I did get a chance to talk with the preacher afterwards though...Haha his sermon was focused a lot on watching our tongues but after hearing why we were living here in the Netherlands (because we're missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) he asked if the latter-day saints were the same as the mormons. When I smilingly responded in the affirmative, he became very brusque and rude especially towards the Book of Mormon...so much for watching our tongues. I just smiled and bore testimony in response and we parted as he said, "Well, we'll see who's right," why yes we will ;) Despite his negative reaction to our faith, I do respect him a lot though, like I said, he's doing the best with the light he's got to lead his people...unfortunately without the authority of the priesthood it really isn't much light. It's like trying to lead people through the mists of darkness with a single candle stick when they could have sunlight. Bah. Maybe they like the coziness of a candle? Either way, we have an appointment tonight with the protestant couple and are excited to talk with them about priesthood and have them come to one of our church services.
Mom and Dad, thanks for raising me in the fullness of the light of the gospel. I prefer sunlight to candlelight any day. At an appointment this week with an investigator she described happiness as a feeling in her heart like a light shining it's way out. I agree with her description of happiness.
I really love the Book of Mormon and the message of the Restoration and the light they shine into my life. It's rejuvenating and refreshing like a day of sunlight and warmth that melts away the cold dreariness of winter. I'm really grateful for it and love that I get to testify of it. Every time I do I feel like a ray of that sunlight energizes and penetrates my soul. And hopefully those who hear my testimony feel a bit of that warmth as well.
Some funny highlights from this week are:
-I ate the weirdest meat ooit! It was in this red sauce and I thought it was meatball to I piled it on my food. Upon inspection once it was on my plate I realized it was not meatballs, but this yellow, bumpy thing with white meat...Zuster Raun tried asking towards the end of our meal what it was, but they'd only say meat...we have a suspicion it was tongue, or slug...it really wasn't bad tasting, but the texture, oh! That and the fact that the rest of the evening the taste of this unknown thing kept coming back up....good times. Haha we went straight from that dinner appointment to the other church service and I think the smell of our dinner lingered on us because throughout the service our friend kept offering us mints...maybe it was to keep us awake? :)
-Also, we saw a UFO the other night. I tried filming it, but my camera battery was dead...dang aliens!
-At a Zone Training this week, one of the elders mentioned deciding where the best place in the Restoration lesson is to say, "you'd have to be crazy not to believe this!" Turns out one of our investigators is legit crazy and he still finds the message and the Book of Mormon true, so I'm not sure what it says about those who don't believe it...
-The neighbor kids like throwing sniper snowballs at our windows haha we tried hiding in the backyard to throw snowballs back over the fence, but I think our giggles gave our position away.
-The preacher at the other church walked up a curved staircase to a raised pulpit to give his sermon. My first thought upon seeing it? Read Alma 31
I'm having a good time and living it up here. I love being a missionary :)
Once again, Happy Birthday Mom!!
Love, Zuster Becky Hinchcliff
PS Just so you know, my release date is up in the air, haha it's either July 3 or 10th. I have to decide with two other sisters which day is better. They've know since last Monday, I just got the email today, or got to read it today. I think they sent it last Monday after I did my email. So right now we're waiting to hear what the other girls' parent say before we decide. I wanted to let you guys know and ask you what you thought/if you're plans are to come out and get me to see how it factors is for you all. Let me know :) Haha the joys of changing dates.