February 22, 2015 – Week 73

Good week but I am short on time to give the full account. It is nice that soon I can just tell these stories without having to email them 🙂

I have learned much this week about forgiveness – it really is a miracle of the atonement, both for other people and yourself! My companion and I took turns being sick this week but it is getting better now! I love looking for God’s “knipoogjes”or winks, the ways that you see that your loving Heavenly Father is mindful of you and loves you. Pray with purpose because there is someone listening! 

These wards are on fire with baptisms, every weekend it is investigators or children. After one, the font accidentally got drained so the elders saved the day bringing buckets of water haha. There is power in prayer and fasting and in the Priesthood! 

We had zone conference this week and we departing missionaries gave our “dying testimonies.” These next couple weeks are going to be epic! There are so many people who still need this great message! 

I love you people, later alligators! 

February 15, 2016 – Week 72

Dear World,
Happy Valentine’s Day! How great is life? Correct answer: pretty great.

In the words of President Eyring, “If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidanceof the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word.”

I know it is true! This week was full of fun adventures, exchanges in Dordrecht with my two awesome sister training leaders, Sisters Goodman and Jones. 

I have a story about the power of prayer which I am not sure I have shared. We had an investigator in Tilburg named Reuben who was Hindu and worshiped many gods. But upon learning about Christ, his heart was touched and he was torn between the two ways of life. He had the desire to be baptized but he didn’t know if he could leave behind his old gods. We encouraged him to pray about it in faith. When we called him a week later, he expressed that he had a dream that Christ came to him and asked him to follow him and now he wants to be willing to do all that that entails! So beautiful.

Other fun things about Zoetermeer – we teach an English class every week, something I’ve always wanted to do! Funny, this week we practiced buying and selling things, and we taught the class how to say, “does this dress make me look fat?” haha 🙂 We also work every week on a dairy farm, feeding cows and scooping poop and the likes. It is fun and good life experiences! 

One of the elders’ investigators, Milko, was baptized! What a man of faith! This week was a bit stressful – I all the sudden felt weighed down by the future and the city! AHHHHH! But thank goodness for loving friends and most of all a loving Heavenly Father. I felt his support and care for me very strongly during sacrament meeting. 

One last quote because it is amazing!:

Harry Emerson Fosdick once wrote: “Some Christians carry their religion on their backs. It is a packet of beliefs and practices which they must bear. At times it grows heavy and they would willingly lay it down, but that would mean a break with old traditions, so they shoulder it again. But real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight; it is wings. It lifts them up, it sees them over hard places, it makes the universe seem friendly, life purposeful, hope real, sacrifice worthwhile. It sets them free from fear, futility, discouragement, and sin—the great enslavers of men’s souls. You can know a real Christian, when you see him, by his buoyancy.”

Lastly, shout out to my beautiful family. I really love you all so much and owe you everything. You guys are the best. 

Love,

Sister Manning

February 8, 2016 – Week 71

Hello! This was a beautiful and miraculous week. I know I always sound like such a hyper squirrel emailing but I really am just so grateful for these days on my mission serving the Lord.

We have met some incredible ward members and investigators. We are teaching some teenagers preparing for baptism. Also, an amazing soul, Ton, entered into the waters of baptism this week! He is the man in the wheelchair in the pictures. The sisters met him about six months ago – and he swore he would never change religions! He believes that God sent angels to him in the form of sisters to help him turn his life around and mend family relationships. He has a huge smile and heart and I know, I am convinced, he will be the means of bringing many people to the gospel. So many of his friends and family came to the baptism and have witnessed the change in his life. 

One of my favorite members here has a very old soul, like me, and we love talking about Frank Sinatra and the good ol days 🙂 

My companion is a sweetheart and musical genius and is helping me write a song. There are many blessings from living close to the temple – these wards are thriving. We go to both an English and Dutch ward so Sunday is a day of a lot of church! My first week here, between ward council, both sets of meetings, and child baptisms in both wards we were at the church from about 9-6! 

There are a lot of beautiful canals here. I feel God’s love every day and know that He lives. He is at the head of this work!

Love,

Sister Manning

February 1, 2016 – Week 70

Hello wonderful everyone. Because of random p-day adventures, I do not have sufficient time to write a proper email haha. But I am alive and this city is great!

My companion, Sister Maughan, is from Highland, Utah and she’s a gem. We cover two wards: English and Dutch speaking, and the work is really going right now! We are working with some sincere, amazing people.

Lots of love!