Another wonderful week of miracles has come and gone and I'm so grateful for everything Heavenly Father has blessed me with!!
We started off with, having a wonderful dinner with a family in the ward. They had invited MariLou to join us, but she couldn't. We had a lesson with her that evening, though! The girls of the family were so cute! They were so interested in our names and where they come from, we each shared tidbits. Bloomfield is a city in New Mexico named after Sister Bloomfield's great...something grandpa. And I informed them that there is a Valkenburg city with a small castle thingie in the Netherlands. The girls were so in awe! It was so cute! One of them, the oldest, at age 10 came up to us and said "I don't really know how to say this...but...are you important?" Such a perfect opportunity for Heavenly Father to work through us! We were able to bear testimony of the fact that she too, is just as important because of the name that she has to represent her family and her heritage and her heavenly family and heritage as well! It was so neat. :) It was so cool! Sister Bloomfield told me later that her parents were just beaming, and after that lesson, the dad did everything he could to get to our lesson with MariLou later that night! It really built my testimony about how important members are! Not only were we able to have an amazing experience with them, but the night just kept on going swell! As we were on our way to MariLou's lesson, we were able to find a new investigator with a strong Christian background and is so pumped to learn about the Book of Mormon! At MariLou's lesson, we had the brother with us that we had eaten dinner with, and were able to invite her to be baptized! She accepted for !!! :D The Spirit was so strong!! Throughout the lesson she was talking about how she feels this perfect peace at church...so different from what she had felt before! We asked if she would like that always, and we were able to bear testimony of the gift of the Holy Ghost made possible through baptism and confirmation with the proper authority! What an amazing experience for the member with us and for her! We had members in the building popping in to say hi during our lesson, and each of them, not knowing what we were talking about, bore testimony to her that she was exactly where she needs to be! It was so cool!!! <3
We had a string of just fun really cool miracles this week, too!!
Shelly! We went to have a visit with a sweet single mom in the ward, and as we were trying to find her house, we had to walk through a complex of 100+ houses! So many! We finally found her, had a wonderful lesson, and started walking back to the car. We were short on time, but I felt the prompting to knock on just one of the doors. So, of course, follow the first prompting! We went up and knocked. The owner of the home is a nonmember daughter of a less active member we see regularly! She thought we knew she lived there, and was home alone fighting a cold. She welcomed us in and we had a wonderful visit! The next day, she came to dinner at her mom's house with us, and the next day we had a fun lesson with her, her mom, and 2 of her nonmember nieces at the church making fun crafts and then went out to lunch! Such a miracle!!!
Jason! We were walking to the house of a less active we were dropping by, and saw a man taking out his trash. We approached and he said "no English! No English!" I said "what language?" "Mandarin." *deep breath* "Nee how! wuh shuh twan chow shuh!" (me trying to say, Hello! I'm a missionary!) Feeling like we were supposed to keep talking to him, Sister Bloomfield called the Chinese Elders as I tried to continue communication in Chinese. XD They talked to him on the phone and set a return appointment for the next day! They were able to see him, have a meal with him, and learn that he has been to the church before! It was so cool!!! Even if there is a language barrier, there is never a spiritual barrier!
Paul! This one is my favorite! <3 On Tuesday, we were walking out from visiting a less active in the ward and saw a man taking groceries out of his car. We were prompted to talk with him, and walked up and started the convo! He informed us that he used to have a pretty hard life because of choices that he made, then shared a heartwarming story about how he was led to a church and found Jesus Christ. :) It was amazing! We were able to set a return appointment forto hand him off to the Elders to teach! Zone Conference got changed and so we had to move his appointment to . During Zone Conference, he called us and texted us! He had forgotten that we rescheduled and was trying to find another time we could meet! Sister Bloomfield (always so good at following the spirit) invited him to just come to church instead of meeting with us. He said he would LOVE to! And then asked "is it okay if I bring my kids?" We almost cried! rolled around, and in walks Paul with a 2 and 3 year old. 2 of his 4 beautiful children. :) He stayed all 3 hours and has an appointment to meet with the Elders soon! He too talked about the spirit that he felt at church. He said he felt at peace and at home, nothing like other churches he has been to. The power of the Holy Ghost is so real! I am so grateful to be a playing piece in these people's conversion!! He is truly an elect!
This week, as previously mentioned, we had zone conference! It was so amazing! I was privileged to sing in a choir of 8 missionaries a version of Nearer my God to Thee/If You Could Hie to Kolob and Elder Ulisses Soares, one of the Presidents of the 70 came to speak! We all got to shake his hand, and I was sitting in the front row of missionaries! President Wong came and sat right in front of me, and Elder Soares was walking around close to us a lot, so many times I was in touching distance of two general authorities! It was an amazing experience! I learned a lot though! Right before the conference started, they had us missionaries sit down and President Wong looked at us and chose like 5 of us by the spirit to have a personal interview with Elder Soares. I knew it was coming and so desperately wanted to be one of the 5! I had tried to spiritually prepare and was feeling the Spirit SO STRONG in the moment! I was so sad when I wasn't picked, and prayed that Heavenly Father would calm my heart and help me to move on, focusing on what He needed to teach me. As I sat there, almost as distinct words I had the impression come to my mind "You have already received your witness." I don't know what exact witness I was searching for, but in that moment Heavenly Father calmed my heart, helping me to know that I didn't need to sit across from a general authority to know I was supposed to be there in that conference. Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers!
Something that we really focused on in Zone Conference is our faith in our goals. Elder Soares asked us if we had faith in our goals and what they mean to us. We all stood at different times answering what they meant to us and showing him that we truly do have faith in our goals. Then he had us open our planners and look at our numbers goals and the actual numbers we are getting. President Wong asked to see my planner...so he had mine. That wasn't nerve racking at all! ;) But it was such an interesting point! It didn't matter what the numbers were. He wasn't focused on that. It was the fact that they didn't match! He said that if we truly had faith in our goals, we would do everything in our power to reach them, knowing that they are truly attainable! 2 Nephi 25:23: "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know it is by grace that we are saved AFTER ALL WE CAN DO." What more can we do? It was a huge eye opener to me! We decided to focus that day on doing all we could to get people to church the next day. The next day, we had 4 less actives come to church for the first time in a while and 2 investigators. Heavenly Father really showed us that it is so true! There is always more we can be doing! We need to have faith that He will help us as we do all we can!
Oh! Another one! We received a referral from a ward member to go see a less active sister. We went to her house. She wasn't home, but her inactive 30 year old son was. We were able to talk to him on the doorstep, and he opened up that his friend's sister just died. I felt prompted to invited his friend to receive a priesthood blessing of comfort and visit from the Elders to explain the Plan of Salvation. He accepted and the Elders should be seeing them sometime this week! It was such an amazing experience to see the little path that led us to that door and now his friend will have a chance to hear the gospel! Though not active in any shape or form in the gospel, this guy recognized the blessings that it brings and that his friend could benefit from it. So cool!
I am so grateful for the many miracles that Heavenly Father blesses us with each and every day! He is truly in the details of our lives! Have an amazing week y'all!
Sister Van Valkenburg
The view right outside the church...see this beauty at least 3 times a week! <3
Took some pics whilst getting ready this morning because we never take pictures...if anyone likes Harry Potter you may recognize a color scheme...we may have a zone activity today competing as districts and our zone may or may not be Griffindor...XD
Sister Bloomfield is so flexible!! Look at her!!! I was struggling to stay sitting up to look in the mirror!