January 5, 2015 – Week 15

Dear Everyone, I hope that you all had a wonderful New Year! Things are wonderful here in Maastricht. One of my companions, Sister Reeder, is going home this week, finishing her extension of her mission. I am sad to see her go. I have learned seriosuly so much from her example of kindness and love, but she has a bright future ahead of her! Sister Jensen and I are going to be sufficiently stretched, now both being the greenies to take over the city with a schedule full of new teaching appointments from the students coming home from holiday. We are so excited for the challenge though!

Actual New Year, here they call it “Old Year’s Eve” or “Year Switching,” was very fun! We had to be in the apartment by 4, so we had a restful night just hanging out with each other. But in the night, the fireworks were incredible. We could see so many just out our window! The Dutch go crazy setting fireworks off at midnight; it looked and smelled like a war zone! Hopefully I can send a video and more pictures next week.

One miracle to share from this week, is one of the investigators here, Dudley, a man from Sri Lanka, was having a lot of problems with the Word of Wisdom. When I came to the city, he was hardly ever sober and his health was declining rapidly. He had to be hospitalized andtwo doctors came to his house and took him to the hospital on a day when he didn’t even have an appointment. Thanks to lots of prayers and fasting he is doing so much better now! He used to be a chef so this week when we’ve been teaching him, he’s made us some delicious meals! Another one of our investigators who had been struggling, finally wants to set a baptismal date! There are so many other blessings we see every day here.

I got the oppportunity to have interviews with President and Sister Robinson, which was great. Sister Robinson and I talked about how inspired transfers are and I really do think that it’s true. The Lord works in such amazing ways.

I will have to write later about more miracles that happened this week! I am so greatful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I have really seen how it has blessed my life and the lives of others. I love you all and will talk to you later!

Love,

Sister Manning 🙂

December 29, 2014 – Week 14

Hello everyone! Things are going well down here in the “Texas of the Netherlands.” Christmas was wonderful. We are well taken care of! It was a week of candy, caroling (though Dutch people are really confused by it because no one knows what it is here), and reflecting about Jesus Christ.

I got the wonderful opportunity of Skyping my family! And my mom sent me a beautiful scrapbook of New Year’s missionary goals for the family. I wish you all a beautiful new year! Make goals and focus on the service of others!

Love,
Sister Manning

Dec. 23, 2014 – Week 13

Hello everyone! Once again, I have only a couple minutes to email, I wish I could describe in depth the many wonders that we continue to see every week by the hand of the Lord. All is well!

One quick update/scary story…on Sunday night, my companion, Sister Reeder, was in a biking accident. We were going down a giant hill and her brakes weren’t slowing down fast enough. She fell off her bike and passed out. Luckily there are so many angels here in the Netherlands, both heavenly and real people. About 15 people rushed to help us and stayed with us as we called an ambulance and waited. Seriosly everything is okay now! Don’t worry! There was no damage but she had to stay at a hospital overnight because she had fainting spells. A member of the ward took Sister Jensen and I home for the night and we picked her up in the morning. We are so grateful that she is now in good health and that we were all protected. Our new catchprase around here is “too many blessings!”

Aside from that, there were so many wonderful things that happened this week. The spirit that comes along with the Christmas season is abundant and strong. One thing I’ve been thinking about is the story of the shepherds at Christ’s birth. They were so poor and in the world’s eyes insignificant but they were called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. I think that’s how we all are. We sometimes may not feel important but the Lord can magnify us to make us into something great! So rely on the Lord, set goals, don’t be afraid to change or reach something you’ve never reached! With faith, all things are possible.

Before I sign off, I just want to share my testimony of Jesus Christ for this beautiful Christmas season. I know that He is our Savior. Without a doubt. He cares for you so personally and desires for you to take his hand. He loves you. Through Him, we can return to our Heavenly Father and live gloriously with our families throughout the eternities. He is our friend and brother. How greatful I am for His infinite love!

I hope that you all have a peaceful and happy Christmas and that you take time to think of it’s true meaning.

Love, love, love,
Sister Manning

December 15, 2014 – Week 12

Hello everybody! I really don’t have a lot of time but I just wanted to tell you I’m still alive and kicking! This has been a wonderful week of changes and learning. I’ve been transferred down to Maastricht, it’s in the Netherlands but it’s basically Belgium in its accent, new words, culture, etc. So…that’s fun!
I am having such a wonderful time with my two new companions! Sister Jensen was from my group in the MTC and is from Oregon and Sister Reeder, from Arizona, has served in this city for ages. Since she extended she is going home in 4 weeks. I have a lot to learn from these wonderful sisters, and we are constantly laughing and having a good time together. There is power in three(or at least that’s what we tell ourselves)!

Maastricht is so so beautiful, lots of Chirstmas lights and cobblestone, and bridges overlooking the river. A crazy thing here though is that there are SO many students! I hear English all the time! We have two new investigators that are students–one from Poland, and the other from England. They have really good hearts and are open to learning about God. Like I said last week, the ward is mostly comprised of Americans because it is by a military base! It is CULTURE SHOCK for me! haha At church, most everyone speaks English and they just act so…American! It’s so surprising and seems to not fit in! Haha I just realized while typing this that that is probably what Dutch people think of me when I knock on their door 🙂

Missionary work is so wonderful, the more I work with people, the more I see just how desperately everyone on this earth needs Jesus Christ and the message of hope and healing. Thank you all for you support and love, onward!

Hoi,
Zuster Manning
P.S. Hoi, or hi, is used here as goodbye:)