September 28, 2013 – Week 53

Conta bay! (that is how is it going in Pa pimento, the beautiful mother language of my lovely companion 🙂
Guess what, news everyone! I am staying in Leeuwarden for 6 more weeks with my copmanion! We are SO happy about it! But it is also crazy, because this will be my 2nd city I’ll spend 6 months in!
This week was so great, I will try to write some meaningful experiences from it.
The beginning of the week/last week, I had some really discouraging and hard moments. Sometimes those challenges just come to you. But I really learned a lot about prayer. Monday night, I asked one of the elders to give me a blessing of comfort, for I was going to have a pretty stressful week with presentations to give in both zone training and sister’s conference. It was such a peaceful experience and really an answer to many many prayers. I was given sufficient strength and the presentations were great!
Zone training was just amazing-we did this super fun activity where 2 sisters did a skit – one being the arms the other being the body – putting on makeup. The other activities and workshops also went well and it was nice to see all the hard work be paid off. I presented to the zone about asking inspired questions, using Preach My Gospel and also things I learned in psychology, and then I gave a “pep talk” about fighting discouragement. Pep talk Sister Manning style:)
Sister’s Conference was in the mission home Saturday and INCREDIBLE! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much love in one day! I received a beautiful letter from my parents, we did service, workshops, and we were reunited with our former companions and friends 🙂 I felt inspired to present about preparing for the temple, using driving and childhood experiences. I wish I had time to type it up 🙂 But I also learned so much there!
Well Sunday we called “Happy Early Halloween” because a lot of things that could go wrong did haha. A rocky Relief Society lesson, dropped appointments, and an investigator getting really freaked out because of anti-information she read on the internet. But despite all of that, it was a great day 🙂 Speaking of Halloween, my companion is super funny. She loves surprise scaring me and taking pictures of it. She does this with many of her companions and now has a collection of them for me! She is so sneaky 🙂
But we had a nice moment together Sunday. We were walking to our appointment to a young investigator, the one who had told us just before church she wanted to discontinue the lessons because of strange things she read online. Because my bike is broken again and Sister Jaramillo”s bike was stolen (I can’t recall if I have mentioned that – oh yes and I have had to buy a third helmet because my others got stolen so I am expecting those blessings to come pouring in! hehehe) and Sister Jaramillo’s 2nd bike got a flat tire, so we have been taking buses and walking much of the week! So we walked to this investigators house having a heart to heart about testimonies, and Joseph Smith and the likes, and she opened up to me that although she knew the Gospel was true, but she actually wasn’t positive in her testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. It had never occurred to me that my companion, such a spiritual powerhouse that she is quite a wonder about things, being active for only the tender space of two years. As we walked, I told her how one day I was also feeling a lot of doubt but I prayed about it and received a confirmation that is was true. She asked how that came and I said it was just a feeling/voice confirming that I’ve known all along it was true. As we kept walking, suddenly she pulled out her triple and said, this reminds me of my favorite part of the Joseph Smith History, and began to read in dutch the part where he testifies that he had indeed seen a vision and that “He knew it and he knew that God knew it and he could not deny it.” After reading, she said, “Yes I have that feeling of confirmation, of course I know it is true!” and we were filled with the Spirit and had goosebumps, not just from the cold Dutch wind, because we both knew the reality of the truth of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We knew that God knew it. And we could not deny it. Then we went to speak with our investigator, and helped calm her fears and she agreed to continue in the lessons.
We also visited a wonderful recent convert that night, who we were also able to talk about the temple with her as she was preparing to go. What a far-reaching influence my preparation for Sister’s Conference had! I love the Lord’s plan.
I think that’s all for now. I send all of my love! Thanks for putting up with my jumbled thoughts!

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