“My peace I give unto you.” I studied peace and how faith and peace coincide for a couple days, and then Sunday in Relief Society, the lesson was on peace! Amazing. It was a tender mercy, because hearing it from someone else, that faith and peace and patience are all connected, and also hearing it in a language that I’ve come to love was a blessing, because I was then hearing 3 languages; English, Dutch, and the Spirit.

Peace is something I’ve been searching for the past couple weeks. Missions are not always happy-go-dory and peaches and plums and whatever else lots of people say… a lot of times, it is all those happy things, but it’s also rough. Sometimes it’s real rough.
But hey, the Lord doesn’t keep us there for long. We go through the rough and come out tough. 🙂
Knocking doors in frigid cold and everyone gets grumpy with you for making them open their door and let the cold in… heh heh. If it’s cold, let us in! haha just kidding. But really though, if you’re opening your door, it’s not our fault and no, you might not believe in God or in happiness, but we are not going to force you to do anything. Man alive, sometimes I don’t understand people. Or the weather.
Canal in Gouda
Also feelings of inadequacy are frequent on a mission. You feel like you can’t do anything right and your worth is basically lower than the bottom of the bottomless pit. You can’t do it for another moment. I can’t walk into the rain. I can’t bike through ice-rain. I can’t stay awake through planning. I can’t think straight because I have a head cold but we have appointments. We are never on time because of weather and public transportation.
But, guess what? Numbers don’t matter as much as the people and if you didn’t get in a word on that doorstep, it wasn’t because of you. The Lord will love you no matter what. You might not think you can speak the language, even your native language, good enough to communicate your message–but it is not your message. It’s not your voice that they need to hear. It’s the Spirit’s. And if you have the Spirit with you, then you are doing exactly what the Lord wants you to do. You will not be perfect–do not expect that. Please please please realize that no matter what your numbers say, no matter what the people outside do or say, it is between you and the Lord. You are doing good. You’re doing His work! His work is perfect, His workers are not.
What matters is that we keep trying. We study the Christlike Attributes in Preach My Gospel and we try try try and work to become more like Him. With Him we can do all things. We can’t do all things at one time, but we can do it all in His time.
Oh man. Peace helps me so much. I can take a breath and realize that if I was supposed to be doing something else, the Spirit would have guided me to do that other thing. But while I’m here, and if it feels good, then I know the Spirit is with me and that I’m in the right place.
We are worth it if we are trying to come closer to Christ. We can’t think we’re already there, we can’t teach or help people if we come across as perfect, saved people. Heck no. We have to travel with them in order to be able to help them. We are not perfect, and neither are they. We all need help and we can all go along with each other to help them.
Find peace through Jesus. Find Him through the rough times, and realize that in the rough times, you are still of worth to Him. He will never think you are not doing enough as long as you get up and do what you feel is right. Prayer is the best way to peace.
I know this and I love this knowledge. I’ve been learning so much through the hard, ridiculous times on my mission. I’ve also learned so much from the wonderful, amazing experiences. I love it all. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Thanks for listening to my rant for the week.
Hope you’re all safe and know you’re all cared for and loved. 🙂
love, Zuster Faasavalu
jess in Gouda

Music Touches Lives

Zr Nyakoh, Jess, windmill

We were let in this week by two old women. Different parts of Gouda, and
different personalities, but still amazing old women. One of them is
Ruisje. She yelled at us after we passed her door, “Ladies! come back! come
in for a moment!” that moment turned into an hour of laughing and tears and
the warmth of the Spirit. She told us that we brought some peace into her
life that day. What a sweet lady.

The other woman was not interested in hearing about the gospel, but when I
asked her about her piano that I saw from the window, she asked if I could
play duets and after I said yes, she gladly let us in and we played simple
and some not so simple duets on a lovely lovely piano for almost an hour!
We returned a few days later and gave her a copy of our hymnbook in Dutch.
We sang number 26, Joseph Smith’s First Prayer, and then prayed with her. I
know that music touches lives. We talked about music for a long time, and I
told her about church choir and singing and my choir director and friend,
Norma, and also about school choirs and musical pieces that I love. This
little old woman can *sing*. Man, she sings so good. We were blown away!

Blessings happen when you believe in the Lord and His ability to bless your
weaknesses. I love Him and I will serve Him til the eternities and beyond:)
Love you all! Thank you for your prayers and love!

Love you all. Thank you for your love and support. I am forever ever ever
Zr Jess Faa

Jess and windmill


While knocking doors in the little city of Gouda, we found a family! We had been praying the whole week to find a family that we could bring into the Gospel. It has been both my and Zr Nyakoh’s dream to find and teach and see a family be baptized, so we both started praying for it. We would go door to door and I would say happily, “They have a family!”but then every time but one the father or mother would answer and cut us off mid sentence with no interest or good day. But this one family all came to the door. They have four children, three girls and a boy, all under 5 maybe, and the mother listened to us and asked questions. The father said that he wouldn’t read the Book of Mormon, but if his wife wanted to, he wouldn’t stop her. She said she would and that maybe it would be good for their children. (whoa!!!)
I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t stop smiling. What’s more is that they know one of the members in our ward! The members they know have 7 children, so perfect! Joint teach! Well, we first have to go back and see what the mother thinks of the Book of Mormon. We’ve been praying that she’ll feel the Spirit while she reads it and searches it. They are a protestant family and are very converted to the Bible, so hopefully they see the similarities and the testimonies of Christ on every page.
mean swans in Gouda
Gouda is beautiful. It is much smaller than Antwerp, which is taking some getting used to, but it is a beautiful city with many little villages. I’m excited for the day when I can zoom around and know where I’m going! haha. For now, Zr Nyakoh and I just laugh as we walk around getting lost and having doors closed in our faces. It’s a great life.
Happy New Year! Here they said, “Happy Switching of the Year!”
While walking, we found this cupboard. It was full of books and on the side there was a sign that said that the cupboard is a library. You bring a book and you can take a book. You can take a book and give it to a friend and so on. It was really cool! There was even het Boek van Mormon inside! Very cool. Just my kind of thing:) haha
Zr Faa