Well, I've had another great week starting off with an exchange with Zuster Omozokpia in Gouda! She is wonderful and I get to have another exchange with her this week and one with my MTC companion, Zuster Townsend. We haven't served with each other since leaving the MTC, it'll be an exciting couple of exchanges, I know it!
This last week I got to participate in the Rotterdam Zone Training. I was super nervous, and sweated swimming pools, but I really enjoyed it. I love the gospel and sharing it with others who love it too is encouraging and just feels nice. I love teaching investigators and others, but there's just something different about teaching a group of missionaries. It's probably the eagerness they all have to actually listen and the spirit they already bring into the room. It's very fulfilling to both speak to a group like this and be a part of it.
Because I serve in Amsterdam I also got to attend the Den Haag training where I was particularly edified by Zuster Schwab's portion of the training. This sweet angel was my other MTC companion and she spoke about being a successful missionary. When I first came on my mission, things were quite different than I pictured. And that's an understatement. My whole mission I've been seeking to understand how to do things according to the will of the Lord and not according to how I picture things going and simultaneously seeking His approval to know I'm doing things right. During Zuster Schwab's training we read from Preach My Gospel, "You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you," and I felt that I truly have His approval. I've read that sentence many times before, but at last I received the accompanying confirmation I've desired. I am so grateful. As I reflected on this wonderful feeling and other things discussed I thought on 3 Nephi 7:15-16, 21
"And it came to pass that Nephi—having been visited by angels and also the voice of the Lord, therefore having seen angels, and being eye-witness, and having had power given unto him that he might know concerning the ministry of Christ, and also being eye-witness to their quick return from righteousness unto their wickedness and abominations; Therefore, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds—went forth among them in that same year, and began to testify, boldly, repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ....And it came to pass that the thirty and first year did pass away, and there were but few who were converted unto the Lord; but as many as were converted did truly signify unto the people that they had been visited by the power and Spirit of God, which was in Jesus Christ, in whom they believed."
Nephi was a very spiritual man. That said, He did not have had a "picture-perfect" mission. But he didn't let it bring him down. He turned his circumstances into a springboard of opportunity to lift others up. He testified boldly and I know he worked according to the Spirit, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to perform the later miracles he did and help the few be converted. Furthermore, those who were converted were not converted by Nephi's efforts, but by the Spirit his efforts brought. So, yeah, maybe his mission was not picture perfect, but I would definitely say it was ideal.
I am at a point, took me a while to get here, that I feel the same about my mission. I know my mission hasn't been picture perfect, especially not considering the image I first formed, but I know because of the continual confirmations I have from the Spirit, that my mission is ideal. I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that ideal is possible for all missionaries. So whether we help thousands or just a few come closer to Christ through faith in Him and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, we can know that those few or thousand are, "converted to the Lord; [and] as many as [are] converted [will] truly signify...that they [have] been visited by the power and Spirit of God, which [is] in Jesus Christ, in whom [we believe]." I know this is true. It's my mission experience.
The other segments of both zone trainings were also very enlightening and fun, however, this is the experience I treasure most.
As far as Amsterdam itself goes, things are moving along quite nicely here. One of our friends is committed to being baptized this upcoming Sunday and he has a lot of great support from friends in the ward and stake. Another great person we're currently working with is the best friend of our ward mission leader. One of our companionship goals for this transfer was to become besties with the ward mission leader and bishop. To accomplish this we came up with some smaller goals and in the process I felt like we should ask our ward mission leader if we could arrange an appointment with him and this specific friend. He'd talked about him a few times and I felt impressed to see him. Things were arranged and after a spirit-filled lesson, Sung is excited to learn more. As far as improving our relationship with the bishop goes, we have dinner with his family tomorrow. Things are happening here in Amsterdam! And I've only mentioned a few :) What an exciting feeling to be apart of the Lord's work!
I feel like big things are going to be happening for us this week, and I'm excited to allow these things to work in me so I can springboard into the thousands waiting to hear about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love you all sooooooo much!!!
Love, Zuster Becky Hinchcliff