I have a story to share!
After a long, long day of knocking doors, it´s only three o´clock in the afternoon (which can tell you how long of a day it felt like), and we were catching a bus. My sweet companion and I had plans to look up an inactive member who the ward told us to go see. Since my new area had two baptisms last transfer, and those two now-members were the only progressing investigators, we have been doing a lot of finding. That is good, because up until now I have been scared to death of knocking doors in Holland. But now, I find it very, very energizing. You just smile and when they say no thank you and all that, you still smile and say “Ok, well, fijne dag!” Ok, well have a great day!
Anyway, we caught the bus, found the right stop, got off, walked to the inactive member´s house and found out she wasn´t home. No one on her street was. Which was strange for Holland at that time of day, but oh well. It happens. I look at my companion, ready to suggest we take the bus all the way back to the apartment and have an early dinner, maybe take a nap. My Dutch was getting mixed up and my head was starting to hurt. The sun was shining beautifully, but making us both uncomfortably sweaty and exhausted (no public drinking fountains or free public restrooms, so no water bottles). But, we both knew that we couldn´t do that. I sighed and grudgingly started walking around the corner to a new street, one Zr Robbins said hadn´t been knocked yet. I said a prayer and asked for help. I didn´t know what to say at doors; usually I would just open my mouth and words would come out. But, for the first couple of doors on this new street, that wasn´t happening. Most of the people would tell me I could speak English if I wanted. Most of them slammed the door and shook their head. Some of them wouldn´t even listen to my stuttering, but put up their hand and say “Nee, dank u wel.” No, thank you very much.
So goes life. Ha-ha.
I prayed harder to know what to do. Surely these people needed to see us, if no speak to us–but was this wasting the Lord´s time, if no one would listen? I had no idea what to do or think besides think that the Dutch are hard and unresponsive and unwilling to change or listen to new ideas.
After my prayer, I was slightly chastised. If I wanted these people to listen to two young women in the warm sun, wearing long skirts and black nametags, carrying a large book with gold lettering on it, then I needed to also listen.
So I took a deep breath. It was Zr Robbin´s turn at the next door, and I suddenly felt like I needed to speak. I looked at her before the door opened and she nodded, so when the man answered the door, I went for it. I told him who we were, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ, then about this card that I had with a cool website that we´re giving to people in the neighborhood (this is the schpeel for every door…). He looked at me and said, “What?”
I chuckled and wondered why no one can ever understand my Dutch. I prayed again for words and clarity and a non-american accent. I started again, but he shook his head.
I was waiting for the Nee, Dank u Wel, and the slamming of the door. I was ready to turn my shoes and start walking to the next door.
But then he said, in Dutch, “No, I don´t think that´s the reason you´re here. What are you doing here really and what is that book?”
I started explaining again who we were, but he stopped me again.
“No, I don´t think that´s who you are. I don´t want a script. Tell me why you´re here.”
Talk about golden opportunity!
I smiled at Zr Robbins and we began the conversation, touching all the points in every lesson in Preach My Gospel. No joke. We taught him the plan of salvation, and he had so many questions. We taught him about Joseph Smith and about Thomas S. Monson. We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and he took a copy! We taught him about the Word of Wisdom and tithing and how we fast and why. We told him about leaving our families. We taught him about Jesus and how important he is. The man had so many questions and wanted our opinion on so many things. At the end–2 and a half hours later–he said, “Now, what was that about a card and website?” I laughed and said it could answer more questions if he had any while he was reading.
We left and I felt peace and a calm in my heart. The Lord had taught me to listen, and I did! If I hadn´t, we wouldn´t have knocked that door and maybe not had that conversation with him!
Blessings from listening. Blessings from being a sheep in His fold. Blessings to talk to the sheep of His fold! haha
love you all!
love, Zr Faa