Hey Mom:) Sorry you haven't received the physical yet, that was my bad. I'm pretty sure I was told to email it back to you, but I had it in my head to mail it. I got the physical Wednesday evening, but all the post was closed by the time it was done so I planned to do it first thing Thursday morning. We had exchanges with Gouda on Thursday and had to switch trains at the airport so I figured that'd be the perfect place to send the letter from so it could immediately be flown out. However, this kind man from Orem, Utah, Brother John M. Edmunds, called up the elders last minute and offered to take us all out to breakfast. He was passing through Amsterdam and wanted to do what he could to help us out. What a sweet guy. He treated us to an amazing breakfast buffet at the Amstel Hotel that was definitely the best I've had my whole mission. After breakfast though we had to go to a different train station than originally planned so we could be on time. No biggie, I'd just have to pay a little extra to get it shipped from some other post office, but as long as I got it out by 6 pm I knew I'd still be good to go. Once I got to Gouda, we had appointments right away, but a little later in the afternoon we turned towards the train station to head off to some small doorpje to do some look-ups and contacting only to find the station blocked off due to a bomb threat. Well, that changed our plans. So we headed to a post office to get the physical sent out while we planned what to do only to learn that they didn't send mail express to the USA. Lame. However, on the way to look up a positive contact we'd made earlier in the day we stopped to talk to a man, Lennert, sitting on a bench outside his home. We had a really great conversation during which he accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and committed to come to church on Sunday. I talked with the Gouda sisters yesterday, and he totally did, and they have an appointment with him this week! So exciting. Anyway, this email really isn't flowing, but I did get the physical in the mail Friday morning at the airport and paid it express so you should be getting it any time now.
As for the rest of my week, it was pretty great. Monday evening our friend Daniel, who was just baptized taught us the plan of salvation. He came prepared with scripture references, questions, the works! We were super impressed as was our ward mission leader who said he'd never met someone who was so knowledgeable after just being baptized. I'd like to say it's because we taught him well, but really it's just because he's great :) Some other cool things about Daniel from this week are that Friday evening we had a dinner appointment with his mom and her boyfriend. She made us delicious Indonesian food and he made us a delicious dessert, but the best treat of the evening was learning that Daniel had given his mom a Book of Mormon and she'd read through 1 Nephi 17, so cool!! Also, Daniel introduced himself in sacrament meeting Sunday and bore the most beautiful and confident testimony ever that totally set the whole tone for a spirit-filled hour. What a great guy :)
Another beautiful thing that happened this week was an appointment we had at the De Leeuws (a senior missionary couple) home with Zuster Schwab and Zuster Rigdon and Fabien. Fabien is a friend I met over a year ago in Haarlem who was just baptized in April or May. We had a sweet reunion/farewell since the De Leeuws, Zuster Schwab,and I are all leaving here soon. It feels so good to be wjith others who you've grown in the gospel with. It reminds me of Alma 27:1-4:
"And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla.
Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.
And they had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him."
Now, our experiences have been nothing like that of Alma, Amulek, and the sons of Mosiah, but they have been pretty good, and it felt good to be together again.
Zuster Schwab and I also had a chance to do exchanges together this week and it was so fun! We had some quality contacting time together and I got to learn from her amazing missionary skills. When she speaks with people they immediately feel her love for them and her love for Jesus Christ and are so intrigued and engaged that they talk and allow the spirit to work in them. It's fantastic to see the change in just a few moments as she bears testimony and invites them to learn more. Not everyone accepts, but even those who don't admit to feeling or seeing something different about her. She's wonderful.
I wish I had more time to write all the miracles and experiences we've had this week, however, I am a terribly slow/distracted typer so my time is about up! Just know that the Lord is busy and at work here in Amsterdam and a marvelous work is going forth. I am so grateful to be a participant and witness to it.
I love you all a ton! Try not to stress too much with moving plans :) As far as my stuff goes, I don't know that I can really provide you with much specific instruction other than what I've already said in previous emails...but if you ask me specific questions maybe I can be of more assistance...sorry :/
Anyway I love you all!! I really wish had more time to write because there are so many more people I want to tell you all about, but we'll save it for next time!
Zuster Becky Hinchcliff