Hump Day and an Amazing Miracle on the Street

This week. Wow.

Amanda and Brandon van GeenAmanda and Brandon at Brandon’s baptism in Breda
Tuesday we had a blow our minds, best spiritual experience of the mission. We were walking around a very busy part of the city and it was a national holiday, so there were markets and booths and drunks and loud music and so many people! We walked and talked to a lot of people, but this one woman, after we stopped her, said “I know you! You´re from America!” we had a good conversation with her about how she took lessons years ago and had just lost contact with the original sisters a couple months ago. She said she wasn´t angry that she wasn´t able to talk them, but that she loved hearing about their stories and their lives and their faith. She said the reason she stopped taking lessons was that she didn´t have time and was very busy. She also told us, while crying, that she lost her daughter a couple weeks ago. I felt impressed to pull out my hymn book and I asked her if we could sing a song for her. My head thought “in this place?!” and she even asked us if we really wanted to sing to her right then. We nodded our heads.
I kid you not, as soon as I opened my hymn book to “Er is een heuvel ver van hier” (There is a green hill far away) and we started to sing, the noise behind and around and everywhere stopped. The loud music, the obnoxious drunks, the people talking laughing conversing—all of it stopped. All that mattered was the woman, Zr maughan, me, and the Spirit. The Spirit came to us so strongly, the goosebumps on my arms reached the heavens. We glowed. We felt it so strongly. The woman began to cry, and we did, too, but our harmonies stayed strong and we sang only two verses, but it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I love music. It is so powerful.
district meeting
Saturday we had a leadership meeting and then went to lunch at Turkish place. Had to take a “groupie” haha
Zusters and Elders in Breda at baptism
Sunday I received permission to take Zr Maughan to Breda to witness the baptism of Brandon Jordan! He is 8 years old and requested that I and Elder Hosea be there and we were! So special! Beloved people. It was good to be back for a moment:)
Brandon with the ZustersZuster Bush, Jess, Brandon, Zr Maughn, Zr Jaramillo
The Lord shows His love to us in many ways. I love it. I love Him. I have 9 months left and I´m gonna try really hard to make it my best:)
Amanda
love you all!!
zr faa
Jess at castlecute familieFamilie Odro americans

Tender, tender, tender mercies

Tender, tender, tender mercies

Zr Faa and Maughn in Antwerpen
Ladybugs are beautiful. They make me laugh.
The clouds here are gorgeous.
We attended a funeral in Turnhout for Zr van der Waarde. I had spoken to her once and it was a wonderful conversation, but until we got to the funeral home and I saw the pictures, I hadn´t known exactly who it was that had passed away. The tender mercy was the sunshine that filled Belgium while the Amazing Grace played as the closing song. We could all feel her love.
Jess in Antwerpen with McDonalds in background
ThursdaySaturday Zr Maughan had the hives very bad and we were inside for the good part of those days. But, we grew closer and talked a lot and I made french toast, American style! I found quotes for my PMG and wrote a letter to my family. Good times. Tender mercy is that she´s better now and we are working again.
Sunset
Sunday……. oh man. Sunday was crazy. Our alarm did not go off and when my body woke up, it was 8 o´clock in the morning! We had a tram to catch at 8:50!! So, repentant morning prayer, 2 minute shower, swallowing a bowl of cereal, and gathering everything together because we wouldn´t be coming back until 9pm.
THEN, we get to church on time, thank goodness, and someone taps my shoulder. I thought it would be one of the members telling me to sit down because the meeting was about to start–but nope. It was my mom´s cousin Jay and his wife Jenn and their two oldest boys! What a shock. What a shock. I freaked out and sang prayers of gratitude in my heart. After the funeral, I had felt very homesick and down and a little misplaced because of being inside for a couple days–seeing family, even just for a few moments, was such a blessing. The Lord works so well. They were so sweet and it was fun to show them an hour of my church day:) Tender mercy, hugs and love and reassurance and fuel to keep going and going with a smile and a song. I love them.
Jay, Jenn and boys meet Jess in Antwerp!
Today we will be going to the beautiful city of Brugge and also Gent, with the whole zone of 30-ish missionaries. 🙂 Fun fun!
Love you all, thank you thank you thank you thank you!
Zr Faa
canal in Antwerpen

Loving Antwerpen

What a week. Left Beloved Breda and was dropped off in Belgium! In the huge, huge, huge city of Antwerp!
Welcome to Antwerp!

Blessings of the week:

my companion, lovely and spunky Zr Maughan (said, mawn)

talking with Zr Maughan

Zuster Maughn

the ward!

playing the piano at a baptism yesterday

singing with Zr Maughan

singing alto with our ward choir

serving in a city with 4 elders

serving with 2 elders who know Antwerpen

Jasmine said goodbye at Breda Station

Ethlyn (from Den Haag) came to Rotterdam to say goodbye!

Zr Huber is in Belgium, as well

Zr Robbins is training down here in Belgium!

The internet is holding out here until I finish this email

They don´´t have cruesli, but they have cereal

Belgium isn´´t as bad as I thought

We are being led to where we need to go and to people

Dinner appointment yesterday with a wonderful elderly couple

Flemmish is really like Dutch, just fast and with an Irish accent

Zr Maughan likes jogging in the mornings

We can unlock our door (it´s crazy, really.)

We biked 20+ miles Saturday

We got a referral!

I can still sing and talk with/to my companion

I am loving my life right now.

LOVE YOU ALL!

Alofa ia te oi!

Ik hou van jullie!

ich liebe dich!

Zr Faa

Transferred to Antwerp!

Well, I was 100% sure that I would be staying in Breda for at least one more transfer. I actually wanted that pretty badly. There is so much that I love here. So much. So much! And not just things, but people. People here are amazing. But THE LORD has a different plan for me. I will be leaving beloved Breda for Belgium! Antwerpen! And I am ok with this. It´s making me a little stressed, but I am excited to serve in new place–a new country!!

This week…..
 Zuster Jaramillo in hospital
TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY–Coming home from a dinner appt, my poor Zr Jaramillo fell off her bike. We called an ambulance and it came and took us to the hospital, where we stayed the night. Thank goodness that we had 4 elders with us! They gave us blessings and stayed at the hospital until 11pm. We also had our ward mission leader and his 26 yr old daughter with us until midnight. Then we met our new mission president and wife! They ate lunch with us at the hospital cafeteria, then left to go back to Amsterdam. They are so sweet and so inspired. Helped our spirits stay happy and positive.
SUNDAY–Transfer calls! I´ll be going to Belgium! Woot woot!
TODAY–Said goodbye to Sarindi, who cried when I told him I was leaving. He told me that I´ve blessed his life because I brought him the Gospel. I tried to tell him it was the Spirit and the Lord is in charge and knows him, but he stopped me and said that the Lord sent me to Breda just for him. He bore his testimony, then said a prayer for me to be safe and at peace. I will miss this man so much. He and Jasmine have changed my life.
 Pday
the Lord is blessing me so much, and the people around me!
liefs,
Zr Faa