Sunday, July 9, 2017

May 22, 2017 Email :D

Wow! This week has been a beautiful week! The sun has been shining, we have seen so many miracles, and I have just been able to see myself grow sooo much as an individual and as a missionary! I love these weeks! :) 

Saturday morning, we got a text from a sister in the ward saying that a bible camp near us that her brother works at was in danger of flooding and they had sent out a call for help to fill and place sand bags. We were over there as soon as we could! (With name tags on of course ;) ) We were able to spend a good chunk of time helping people fill sandbags to be placed along the shore of the lake on the camp. They cover a lot of land, and since they are right next to the water's edge, and there has been a lot of rain and the snow in the mountains is starting to melt...they are in real danger of flooding! One of my favorite parts of the whole experience was standing in line, shoulder to shoulder, with members of different Christian churches from around the area and passing filled bags down the line to be packed in place. We were unified. It is a place that I didn't think that I could feel the Spirit so strong...but wowza! It was there! So many people, noticing our name tags, were instantly like "Wow! Thank you so much for coming to help!" So many good conversations were able to be had, so many opportunities to love and serve as we served each other. I am so grateful for that experience!

We were having a member finding meeting with a family in our ward the other day, and we shared a message on charity. As we were talking, a comment was made by a sister that sometimes it is hard for her to put herself in other people's shoes and have charity for them. A thought came to my of those things you already know, but it hits you in that moment....that Jesus Christ has already walked in all of our shoes. Not only does that apply to each of us in our given circumstances, but it applies to when we are trying to help others. Sometimes I forget that He knows my friends individually as well. When we are trying to know how to walk in somebody else's shoes, we can ask the one who has already done it for us. :) I love my Savior! 

We had a miracle happen this last week that starts a few weeks rewinding...story time! :) As we knock doors, we leave cards with our number on them in doors, giving people a chance to find the gospel that may not be home! The only experience I have had with that so far has been someone calling to complain that we left a card in their door, and they were away for 3 months, therefore they couldn't take it out and therefore all their neighbors knew they were out of town...hahaha they were so mad at us! Oops! Sorry for trying to share the restored gospel with you! ;) Anywho...a couple weeks ago we received a text message from who we later came to know as Ben. He said that we had left a card in his door, and that he was interested in learning about our church and maybe attending one of our services! Like what?! Miracles!! I honestly thought it was a joke...because it just never happens! We set up an appointment to see him, and boy was I a ball of nerves going to that appointment! This is our miracles potential investigator, whom at this point all we knew is that he is 24 and lives with his mom...we knock on the door and around the corner comes Ben. The lesson was amazing. :) We met outside, as there wasn't another female present...but it went so well! We were able to teach him the restoration, and he accepted the invitation to be baptized! Sadly, because he is YSA and a male, we will be passing him off to the Zone Leaders this week...but I am just so grateful for the MIRACLE of being able to find and teach him! I am gaining such a testimony that we just need to be worthy of Heavenly Father's referrals, and He will give them to us! 

Wow! I am just beaming right now. :) Heavenly Father has blessed us with so much!! I just love knowing that He is there for all of us, no matter what, ya know?! Also, weird to think that all of you are starting your summer vacations here pretty dang weird! Enjoy the nice weather! I know I am!! Haha 

Sister Van Valkenburg

Miracle: We went back to visit a potential, and his wife answered the door. We were able to have a really nice conversation with her about the gospel, and set a return appointment for a week later because they are going out of town. She got really excited and asked if we like jam...and ran to go grab some for us! As she was going to get the jam, she yelled to her husband excitedly "We are going to have bible study with the Sister Missionaries on Friday!" We just about died laughing! Hahaha we had been talking about the Book of Mormon...I can't wait until Friday! :) And here is a pretty picture of our jam with the view from their house. Stunning!
Another picture without the jam jars. I am obsessed with clouds still...and absolutely loved these ones. :)
We were on a walk with a girl named Ashley, who was wearing a pig onesie when we met her and walking down the road, and saw these ducks just chilling on a fence! Thought I would grab a picture. :)

​Tan lines from my shoes! Proof that the sun is here! hahaha I love it! You get the weirdest tan lines as a missionary, let me tell ya! Hahaha the best is the line you get on your chest from your bag strap going across. XD It's so fun! I love being a misisonary! :D 

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