July 27, 2015 – Week 44

Who wants to hear what the mission is like in the eyes of my companion??
Because….I’m out of emailing time…and my lovely companion Sister Jones is such a gem and said I could just copy and paste her email home! She is amazing and writes much better emails than I do​.

🙂 Also this was a super wonderful week filled with 3 exchagnes with other sisters! Perhaps I shall write more about it this week but for now, please enjoy this change of perspective! So!

Church was so full yesterday. That was fantastic! Zuster Manning and I were both thrilled! Zuster Manning and I just recently began teaching a younger family, and the parents, Nice and Raymond came to sacrament meeting yesterday! They are so sweet. Our first lesson with them was such a wonder, because we were orginally just teaching Nice, and then Raymond walked in and we invited him to join, and he ended up also being super positive. We’re really excited to meet with them more.

Also, we sang a mash-up of Called to Serve and Army of Helaman in Dutch in Sacrament meeting. It was really beautiful together.

We have also started meeting with this sweet middle aged women named Biannca. Oh she is just a doll. Last week she just showed up in church for the last 20 minutes. Apparently she biked from Akkrum to our church here in Leeuwarden.

Now, you got to realize, Akkrum is a town that’s a 20 minute train ride from Leeuwarden. So it’s probably around a 2 hour bike ride. And last week she did it in pouring down rain. She’s a saint.

Another crazy thing, Zusters used to teach her about a year ago, and her big thing was that she didn’t come to church. Zuster Manning and I went last Saturday, and asked her about the Book of Mormon and she has a powerful testimony of it! She has some questions still about other things, but we are very asked to meet with her more! We called her yesterday and she was telling us how she read the section in 3 Nephi that we invited her to read and she loved reading about how Christ established the sacrement. She said she knew the story in the Bible, but that it made it more clear reading about it in the Book of Mormon as well.

With new invistigators, sadly comes the dropping of investigators … The hardest was Lucas, our investigator from China. Zuster Johanson and I went to go teach him while we were on exchanges, and he came to the door with his Chinese Book of Mormon in hand and said he wasn’t interested in taking the lessons any more. We asked him why, and he said he was talking to the pastor of a church in Utrecht about some of the things we taught him in The Plan of Salvation. Apparently it didn’t sit well with him when we told him that people in the Spirit World would get a second chance to accept Christ. We told him to keep the book and gave him “The Restoration” film to watch and invited him to pray about it. And then bore strong testimony about how God is a loving Heavenly who wouldn’t damn someone’s soul just because they didn’t get the chance to hear about Christ. Sigh. Praying for him.

And then we also dropped Glad Christmas and Simba. Or at least given them a break for now.

We are also excited, we’ve been talking to the Elders and we are going to try to start bringing some excitment in the Ward! We want to try to organize a talent show or a pannenkoeken contest or something. Our dear little branch is the sweetest, and we want to try to do different things to bring some rays of sunshine into it.

Hope all is going well with you all!

veel liefs

Zuster Jones”

#Amen #shespeaksthetruth #Iloveyouall

Love,

Sister Manning:)

July 20, 2015 – Week 43

I’m on top of the world! (‘ey)

Hello everyone! What a whirlwind, amazing, week I’ve had. Sister Jones and I are truly having blessings just poured out upon us. I feel so grateful. I’ll just randomly list off some of the highlights because that is always a good time. Just imagine that this is like a highlight reel with like Chariots of Fire music playing in the background! (jokes jokes)

First of all, we have really been praying to find a family to teach and we found a wonderful family form Curacou that we are now teaching!
We had zone conference this week,and we were able to meet out new mission president and his wife, President and Sister Bunnell-they are so amazing! A new theme they are bringing to the mission is: hearts to God, hands to serve, love the one. So beautiful! Also the conference was in Rotterdam, which was so crazy because that was my first area! I had so many throwback moments riding the same metro I used to ride, talking to a food cart man who we used to see all the time and actually being able to hold a conversation :), Seeing old ward members, being in the same church building, walking the same streets! I’m just way too sentimental for my own good but it was a nice moment to reflect on the progress that I’ve made and the heaven-sent help I’ve received on my mission since my first city.
Speaking of old cities, I also was able to talk to my former companion, Sister Dobler, who is still in Maastricht, and she gave me updates about how people are doing there. I wanted to cry when she told me about the progress of some of our investigators! It was cool because sometimes it feels like after six months of being there that nothing happened…but then taking a step back, you are able to see a small portion of the fruits of your labor. I’m super proud of the work the sisters are doing there. We sang in zone conference and taught Relief Society.
A wonderful man that we met on the street last transfer has set a date to be baptized this week! We are very proud and excited for him.
I ate African fufu! (spelling?) Very traditional African food…
A less active we are working with set a goal to return back to the temple and we are looking forward to helping her.
I learned how to cross stitch! Basically I’m becoming an old woman 🙂
Oh haha and we found out this week that in our mission we are going to be required to wear helmets now, which is hilarious. I can probably count on my hands the number of times I’ve seen someone wear a helmet here who was biking. EVERYONE bikes. Everyone. But no one wears helmets, and we previously had permission also not to wear them. But I have a strong testimony that we are going to be blessed for our obedience to this change in rules. Who knows, maybe we will get such weird looks that people will be interested in out message 🙂
Sister Jones and I have seen many miracles this week as we’ve helped sisters in our zone. The Lord’s hand really is in this work. He is so patient with me. I love you all and talk to you later!

July 13, 2015 – Week 42

Miracles and blessings
I don’t know what this subject title has to do with this email but I do see so many miracles and blessings every day that it just seems suitable. First of all, hello everyone and happy Monday! Here is a random email of updates from the week!
Last Monday, Sister Jones and I took a long journey to go to Kamp Westerbork- a concentration camp from World War II. Wow, what a touching experience. The camp was originally build by the Dutch government for German Jewish refugees before the war, but then later was taken over by the SS as a sort of deportment camp – so most all of the Dutch Jews and gypsies passed through before getting sent to other work or extermination camps. It rips your heart out. There was a museum with some very interesting exhibits about the history, and then you could take a bus out to visit the remains of the camp itself, the cabins, train cart, railroad, watch tower, guard house, etc. Anne Frank had even stayed in one of the cabins. Definitely a memorable experience and I felt a special connection to the people seeing the artifacts and reading in their native language, Dutch. It happened not so long ago.
I’ve said I’d share about a French miracle – this is just a small cool story. A couple weeks ago I had this random feeling just before we left the apartment that I should take a Book of Mormon in French, so I did. But the whole day I couldn’t find anyone that spoke French to give it to. That night we had a dinner appointment with a less-active family and I asked the mom if she knew anyone who would be interested in the gospel who spoke French. She said that was funny because she had just met a family of refugees from Africa who spoke French who are looking for a new church and would be coming over for dinner Sunday. She also invited us to come give the book to them, which was a really neat experience.
Also about the singing elders! So the singing elders are a group of 4 missionaries who travel around Belgium and the Netherlands performing for families and giving a concert. One of them is Elder Hunter, who I served with the the MTC, and two of the other ones I served with in my first city, so it was so much fun working with them! A couple weeks ago they came to Leeuwarden to sing in our branch. They invited some families and investigators here to the concert they would perform, which was on Saturday. The people’s hearts really open up when they were with us but even more so at the concert. It was INCREDIBLE. The spirit there was so, so strong. It is called “Journey of No End”and about family, our eternal existence, and simple gospel truths through narration, songs from musicals, hymns, etc. Afterwards, as missionaries, we talked to people and asked for referrals and bore testimony with people. The light that was in that room was amazing. Everyone, religious or not who came, seemed to be radiating in the shared light of Christ. Wow. It blew me away.
Next week more stories will come! Last piece of news is that I’ve been called as the sister training leader for our zone so I am really looking forward to getting to know the sisters and learning from them on a more personal level. The Lord really cares for his missionaries and he sure does LOVE the people in Belgium and the Netherlands. It’s that love that I strive to share with his children every day. It changes hearts and changes lives. It sure has changed mine.
Until next week dear friends!
Love,
Sister Manning

July 6, 2015 – Week 41

Hello everyone! This was a wonderful week here in Leeuwarden! And good news, I will be staying here for another 6 weeks! So if anyone feels the need to send some love mail my way, I will still be at

Taco van der veenplein 193 8923 EN Leeuwarden

🙂 This week was really amazing! The heat really hit us and it was summer for a week! You can tell I’ve been living in the Netherlands when I start talking about the weather in my email haha … These people are really crazy about talking about the weather, like it’s not just small talk but actual conversation topics!  But yesterday, it also rained super hard – which was funny because we were having a lesson outside when all the sudden it was raining cats and dogs! We had to finish the lesson inside the doorway to the apartment building, soaking wet 🙂 But it was all good!

Sister Jones and I celebrated the 4th by going to the market and buying the biggest watermelon we could find (usually they are pretty small here)! Small miracles from the week:

1. After a really, really stressful morning, the power of prayer, humility, and my companion helped me pull my act together and we had a really powerful and sensitive lesson with one of our investigators.

2. One night, I had a feeling we should knock a specific street, and then a specific door, and it ended up being this super awesome old woman who let us in and we sang for her 🙂 You could tell that God really loves her and was watching out for her.

3. Finding new investigators and teaching lots!

4. Giant miracle – the elders had a baptism this week! Their names are Peter and Kaligatu, a young couple from Africa, and they are AMAZING! I spoke at the baptism, and they had lots of friends come!

I’ll write next week some more about this incredible spiritual experience for them, and also about singing elders and a French miracle … never enough time to email! I love you all! Keep pushing forward and put your trust in God, it will all turn out.

Love,
Sister Manning