October 22, 2014 – Week 5

Hello everyone! My last week in the MTC has arrived! I leave on Monday to fly to Amsterdam and I am so so excited! The title of this stream of consciousness email is “ja ik zal u daar ontmoeten”- that is the name (probably spelled wrong) of one of our favorite Dutch hymns.  It is so so beautiful – I guess you could translate it to “yes I will meet you there”. It is a funeral song but the lyrics are beautiful and happy about how we will one day all meet again on “the other side of the ocean.”  So, I guess I just thought it appropriate as I am going to be crossing a ocean soon and the next time I see you all will be when I cross back! Thanks again everyone for the support and prayers. I miss you lots! This week has flown by and been amazing. The MTC is such an amazing place of learning and spiritual growth.  And it has been so fun, too with our new Danes and Swedes who have joined us! I keep hearing about Meet the Mormons, the new movie, and it’s incredible sucess! We haven’t been able to see it but hope to see it this Sunday if they show it!

This week we have met some incredible new investigators of the church- men and women who live in Provo area that come to the MTC to talk to missionaries for employment! I learn so much from hearing the diverse backgrounds of people.  Sometimes it is hard because they have so many questions that we can’t immediately answer. But I’ve learned that teaching them about the Gospel and inviting them to pray turn to God are often the best answers that we can supply.  He always knows better than we do! That being said, I am learning an incredible amount here-I love having personal study time.  I have been studying the topic of “light” in the scriptures-it is amazing! I have also found the most incredible insights as I’ve studied the story of Job, and Jacob 5 in the context of missionary work, and Alma 26, which I am convinced was written about the Netherlands.  I already love the people of Belgium and the Netherlands so much.  We have amazing teachers who have instilled in us so much respect and love for them which makes us want to work so hard in all aspects of missionary work!
This week Elder Goodoy of the 70 and Sister Linda Reeves from the Relief society presidency spoke to us.  Another cool thing that happened this week is that at the Sunday evening devotional, my companion accompanies an elder in my zone who sang “Savior Redeemer of My Soul” for the special musical number-it was so powerful! I got my 3 seconds of fame on the camera as I turned the page for her 😉
If you want to hear a funny story – so apparently some people in the Dutch districts originally memorized the wrong word for “can” as in ability, the verb. Instead they memorized can, as in a can of food.  So they taught in lessons that you “can of food” read your scriptures….which is pretty funny.  I make mistakes like that all the time too! The language is still pretty hard but we are exercising faith and trying our best.  Can’t wait to get to the Netherlands and not be able to understand a word though:)
I am so excited to head out! To be immersed in the culture, and to meet my new trainer! In a way though, I think I’ve had many “trainers” before my mission.  I think of my parents, and the sisters from back home: Sisters Nieman, Hansen, Flink, College, and countless others who I think about often when I think of how to be a good missionary.

Well, it’s time to sign off! I’m so grateful for the MTC, my companion, my experiences, and for the gospel! Can’t wait to share it!

P.S. I have attached some pictures (including an accidental blurry/scary selfie) and also including our sister with our travel plans and with our pinata!
Zuster Joshlin Manning

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