January 4, 2016 Photos – Week 66

Sister Johanson and I on 2nd Christmas (they have 2 days for like all the holidays here).  Our ward mission leader and his family had us for dinner and we did "gourmet," where there are just stacks of meat and veggies that you fry on personal skillets. It's grand.
Sister Johanson and I on 2nd Christmas (they have 2 days for like all the holidays here). Our ward mission leader and his family had us for dinner and we did “gourmet,” where there are just stacks of meat and veggies that you fry on personal skillets. It’s grand.
Us on Christmas in front of a cathedral. Our branch president took us to see a nativity there.
Us on Christmas in front of a cathedral. Our branch president took us to see a nativity there.
On the border of Belgium and the Netherlands.
On the border of Belgium and the Netherlands.
One of my favorite recent converts, Aida, from Colombia. Quite possibly the sweetest person ever.
In Roosendaal. Our faces pretending we saw Sinterklaas!
In Roosendaal. Our faces pretending we saw Sinterklaas!
An awesome family from Breda. The one of the left is my mission grandma :)
An awesome family from Breda. The one of the left is my mission grandma πŸ™‚

December 28, 2015 – Week 65

Hello everyone!!

What a blessed a busy week it was. We were able to meet with many investigators and families this week and share the good news of our Savior with them! Even on Christmas day, we watched Joy to the World with an investigator and then our branch president and his family took us to a couple old churches and cathedrals to see the nativity scenes. We are super blessed. 

Sister Johanson and I get along so well and have a blast together. We have also been finding our purpose for being here unfolded a little more. In a blessing my companion received, she was promised miracles as she and I work in unity and I really believe that will be true. 

Tilburg branch has had much success in baptisms the past two years and there are so many recently converted members who really need some support right now. In prayerful planning and working with our ward mission leader, we feel like this is a big contribution that we need to be making the Lord’s vineyeard right now, nuturing those who are recently baptized and helping them stay strong. 

I loved Skyping with my family this week. Shout out to the best family ever! I also feel bad because most of the time was spent just making funny faces in the camera but it happens πŸ™‚

I am so thankful for this Christmas season, for a new year with new chances and for our Savior who can change us, heal our hearts, and make every day new.


Lots of love,

Sister Manning

December 21, 2015 – Week 65

Hello! This has been a week of sky-rocket amazing moments with a few darker, low ones sprinkled in there. I’ve offically moved to my new cit, and it is great. Working with my MTC companion, Sister Johanson, is really cool-we get each other so pumped up and have seen a lot of miracles! 

We taught a woman this week, Moen, who is so sweet and open and struggling with some despression and confusion that my companion could really relate to in a sensive way. It was amazing to see how we were able to help her turn to the Savior, her countance was completely changed after talking about the plan of salvation and she said she felt so much lighter. That is what the gospel does! 

We also had a cool moment teaching this man who we had made an appointment to teach at the train station. We tried to find a quiet place to sit down and talk but it was still a little busy and at first I felt a bit insecure about the other people listening. But as we started talking, it disappeared and was a quiet and peaceful moment. The members here are really amazing -it is a small(er) branch that just 2 years ago became a branch split off from the Breda ward. But it is really cool. Apparently in these 2 years there has been something like 12 people who joined the church-they are all so welcome and open and really in “pioneer mode” which is amazing. A really cool mix of new converts and life long members. 

I met a super beautiful recent convert this week from Colombia-she is just so sweet and faithful! And so so funny πŸ™‚ That’s how you know the gift of tounges is real because half of what she says is in Spanish.  

Also, Merry Christmas everyone! The new Christmas webpage for the church is really swell. https://www.mormon.org/christmas I love this time of year! It’s a wonderful life anyone? Well I haven’t watched it but I love the sentiment there. Life is super great and I am so dearly thankful that we celebrate the birth of a Savior at this season. I know He lives. Good things come in small packages. They always say that the best gift of all came in the form of a baby that would save the world. What a beautiful story and even better, a true message. I love you and wish you all the best this week! 

Sister Manning

December 7, 2015 – Week 63

What an amazing and blessed week. Our investigator Jasmine was baptized! Her story is so inspirational. She is one of the most faithful people that I have ever met. She is half Dutch and half American and ran into the sisters about a year ago. She has been taught since then and embraced the gospel with her whole heart. You can tell that it really has changed her. She is a hip-hop instructor for kids, she just radiates light, and is so funny!Β Over 11 missionaries who had served in Breda came to the baptism as well as many of her friends and family! She is going to do so much good in the future!

I don’t have much time, I will have to write more about my week another time. I suppose but I am doing well and safe. There is always, always, always a hope to find in the gospel.

Love you all, bye!

November 30, 2015 – Week 62

Dear lovely people,

This week was super eventful and busy–both in events and also the life lessons/spiritual insights that I have been learning. I have been learning so much about trusting in God and His will. I am a firm believer that our Heavenly Father loves us with more than we can imagine and is just waiting to bless us. I’ve come to realize that He often works on a ‘good, better, best’ system with methods of misisonary work, ways to spend our time, decisions to be made. We are not predetermined to follow a set plan. There are many great options waiting for us. But it is when we rely on God, and give Him our hearts and trust Him that He can lead us to the better and best things potentially waiting. Just take the example of the 3 kingdoms of glory! Good, better, best. πŸ™‚ Take it from one of my favorite Dutch heros, Corrie Ten Boom, ‘never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.’ 

I love this ward and seeing the progress of recent converts who were preparing for baptism when I came here on exchages a year ago. These people are amazing and they worked super hard to make the open house this week a sucess.Our investigator Jasmine is amazing and doing so well. She is excited in making progress in the gospel! We went to the Singing Elders concert together this week and she asked if she could read the Book of Mormon together on the bus. Speaking of which, I finished the Book of Mormon in Dutch! Hoorah! That was amazing. 

The Primary Program was this Sunday and we sang A Child’s Prayer with them. I was so touched when they sang about the armies of helaman. They are so strong and their testimonies radiated. 

Now for two awesome stories! First of all, when members were signing up for dinner appointments this week, we labeled Thursday as Thanksgiving with the hope that an American family would invite us over. πŸ™‚ But a sweet older couple signed their name and while writing they asked, “What is Thanksgiving?” We just laughed and explained but were super happy they were inviting us over so graciously. We were enthusiastic when they told us we would be eating fish. Long story short, we show up with the elders on Thanksiving and somehow they had thought they signed up for Friday, so we all had Chinese takeout instead! But it was a disastrous night turned beautiful because it was so fun and gezellig,(I don’t know how to translate that…maybe google it). We all said what we were thankful for and learned from each other in a spiritual and fun environment. I don’t remember ever feeling so thankful on Thanksgiving! 

Lastly, I had a super humbling and eye-opening moment Tuesday. Sister Twiggs is amazing and so dedicated. Even when she is sick, she still just longs to be working. That day, after district meeting, we had to go home so she could sleep for a couple hours. I tried to do area book work and stay busy, but I was starting to get anxious about not knowing the city and I just wasn’t in the mood to do missionary work. After our dinner appointment we had some time to go door knocking, but I still really wasn’t feeling it. But the good news was, she was health-wise feeling so much better. After the first door we knocked, she briefly spoke to the man and he rather rudely shut the door. Sister Twiggs turned to me and said, “Isn’tthis amazing?!” She was so happy to be out doing the work and that she was healthy enough to feel good! It touched me deep inside and I wanted my motivation to be greater to talk to all those people behind the doors. 

Well that’s all for now folks!


Sister Manning