Hello everyone! Things are going really well here in Maastricht, my heart continues to expand in love for the work and the people! Carnivale was last week and it was seriously so so crazy. Like what? It’s basically like Halloween and Mardi Gras put together. A lot of drunk people in costumes partying for three days! Every city celebrates it a little differently (but generally it’s only celebrated in Belgium and down south in Nederland because it is a Catholic holiday). There are marching bands in the streets and seriously like half of the people on public transportation are dressed up! You don’t have to dress up like a certain “thing,” though you can. Onzies that have animal print are all the rage. But also, many many people look like they are about to go to the Capitol in the Hunger Games! The costumes are super well made and elaborate and there are wigs, glitter, and SO much face paint. Good times 🙂
Also exciting this week is that last P-day members in our ward took the missionaries sight-seeing! We went to the American WWII cemetery, a very reverent and beautiful place. Then we went to the highest point in the Netherlands (which is picture with the statue with the elders on one side and the sisters on the other). This was cool to see because in my last city, I visited the point which marks the lowest point in the Netherlands! Then we walked over to the Three Land Point, which is where Belgium, Germany, and Nederland all touch! Nearby there is a huge tower and that you climb up to overlook all three countries! Then, because they are military, they took us on one of the bases there and we ate hamburgers and went bowling. So American! It was crazy!
Hello dear friends! Unfortunately my time is super short today! This week has been good but went by really quickly! Two of the days we were out of town for doctors appointments and for zone training (which by the way is always so amazing, the theme was improving our teaching skills to teach like the Savior).
I just wanted to share a quick story about our investigator Dudley. My mom asked me how I have seen the Lord’s hand is in the work and this is one big way I’ve seen it! So Dudley is an investigator from Sri Lanka (don’t know how to spell that…) who has been investigating the church for a while but has had serious problems with the Word of Wisdom. When I was transferred to Maastricht, he was in a super bad condition, basically drunk all the time and he had a lot of health problems. My companions told me that he was a bible scholar and loved the gospel and wanted to get baptized, but when I came none of that was apparent. All I saw was a drunk man whose health was going down rapidly. We had to stop teaching him basically and just give him phone calls. We wanted him to seek professional help, but he didn’t accept it. So all we could do was pray and pray and ward members would stop by to visit him and put his name in the temple. One day he gave us a phone call saying he was in the hospital and was going to a rehab center. Nurses had shown up at his door, one a day when they weren’t even scheduled to come, and took him to the emergency room! It really was a miracle that we are all grateful for. This man has a glorious potential and future, and the Lord interviened.
The next week, we returned to teach him and it was like I was meetng Dudley for the first time. My companion was about to go home, one of her last lessons, and we read the story about the prodigal son who returned back home to his father. The Savior’s atonement is real. Dudley, who once was almost lost, has returned to reading his scriptures, earnest prayer, and stopping the addictions which held him bond. I see the Lord’s hand working in his life through the light in his eyes, the new determination, courage and strength that he receives. I see it in the ward members who care so much about him. He now is working towards baptism and I feel the love that the Lord has for him so much! Anyways, I hope you all have a great week! Love you lots!