maandag 22 augustus 2016

Amsterdam week 6 and 7

Another update by sister Brandenburg:

Time sure went fast! almost serving a month already. We met a lot of people, got to share the restored gospel, grew closer as a companionship, and I had to take a lot of people on the back of the bicycle (being Dutch serves its purposes) I am temporarily borrowing from an elder. I had the pleasure to briefly serve with sister Dundan who supports sisters throughout the Belgium/Netherlands mission (she is back home right now). I also went on an exchange to Lelystad and served with sister Smith. Really nice to see other mission areas as well. Later that week we got deliiiiicious Indonesian food from a sweet sister of the church. Yep, good week. As a missionary it is one of the best things to have dinner at a member´s house, get to know them and hear their testimony about the church.
Preparation day was Amsterdam day. for some reason you could mainly find me in the cheese shop (free delicious samples!) and to look more smart, also in the bookstore. in the city we met some members from the USA who were on a Europe trip. Always fun to randomly talk with fellow members.

Photo: Pretty Amsterdam

Photo: Rainbow! pretty, pretty...

There were two other great experiences this week. We got to meet someone who really needed the gospel in her life and she knows its true. That was really a testimony to me that the Lord prepares people to receive the restored gospel and its up to us to find them. We also had a baptism this sunday for the sweetest Spanish lady you can meet. She was being taught by elder Ocampo (called to serve to speak Spanish, but he can speak Dutch as well) and Tolman (called to serve to speak Chinese, but speaks Dutch as well). It was a very special experience to be there. Even tough I can barely speak to her (due to my lack of Spanish speaking experience) I do know she is awesome!
Oh, and let us not forget we ate fufu this week, being prepared by a lovely Ghanese member). Sister Nyakoh the experienced showed oblivious sister Lechtenberg and me how to eat it.

dinsdag 9 augustus 2016

Week 4 + 5 Amsterdam‏

Sister Brandenburg is doing good. Here is another update with her own words:

The real missionary work has started! Together with my new sweet companions Sister Nyakoh (from Ghana and Belgium) and Lechtenberg (USA) we get to do a lot of things. We get to teach people who are investigating the church. You really have to take their needs into account which makes it special and personal (my personal favorite is the Plan of Salvation wherein families can be together forever.. Yeah!). We also support the (members of the) church, we do service work (really nice to see that by doing small things for people it can bring a smile to their faces - priceless). Last but not least... roaming the streets and knocking doors! to find people who are interesting in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This can be done any moment of the day and it's interesting to meet many different people with their own way of living. I find it enjoyable to knock on people's door and they appear to be Jehova witnesses. I can remember the good old times when I opened my door for them and talked with them for a bit. How the tables have turned!
I never knew that walking through the city includes a free birdsafari as well! We found some fine specimen in their natural habitat. Learning something new everyday.

Green bird

Heron on a car

We also got our bicycles this week. I have a temporary one and Sister Lechtenberg her tires were finally fixed (if any tire-slashers are reading this: stop doing it, be nice, be cool).  Anyway, due to safety reasons we have to wear helmets. As a Dutch person who was almost born with a bicycle, the picture shows how I feel :-). Oh well, it most certainly is a new experience! With our bicycles we are able to be much faster and therefore do more missionary work. Woohoo!

Helmet group picture

maandag 1 augustus 2016

Week 1-3 MTC Preston

Sister Brandenburg left the MTC the day before it was p-day, so she had to wait a bit longer to send an update to her family. She is doing well and serving now in the Amsterdam Ward where she has met her younger sister who got married the day after sister Brandenburg left for her mission.
Below an update of the first few weeks as experienced through her own eyes...
6 July is the day. I am leaving for my mission in order to: Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I am very happy that I have the opportunity to do this for the upcoming 1,5 years.
I arrived at the missionary training center Preston and saw many (indirect) familiar faces. For example: sister Elgueta I met during my study exchange in Norway. At the time we both didn't want to go on a mission but last year we both received the prompting to go, and we are both being called to serve in the Hawaii Honolulu mission! Her companion at the MTC is sister Topp. She will serve in the same mission (after her visa issues are resolved, just like mine and sister Elgueta's... America... ;) ) We found out our brothers were companions in the Scotland-Ireland Mission. Coincidence>? I think not! we are going to do something awesome over there, I can feel it.

photo:Topp, Elgueta and I will serve in Hawaii

The MTC is smaller than the one in Provo (the one I was supposed to go) and I am glad because it gave me the opportunity to meet many great people. I had great teachers, great room mates, a great district (district Jacob - a prophet in the book of Mormon - for the win!), and a great companion. I had the honor to serve with the lovely Canadian sister smith. she will serve in the London South mission and she will charm and impress everyone there with her funny laugh and hard work.

The MTC was a good experience. I had the opportunity to understand the gospel even better and be reminded of how important the atonement is for us. Also I really got to understand that it is the Holy Ghost who is the teacher through us. Having that experience with the people you are meeting up with to teach is really amazing.
On July 26th (my father's birthday.. Happy Birthday Dad!) it was time to leave. It was early in the morning and the group that I left with... we weren't very lively due to shortage of sleep (2 hours). But we made it safely to the airport!. I was traveling in a cute little airplane (with 10 other travelers) to Rotterdam airport (never been there, cool!) and I was picked up by a hardworking and dedicated missionary couple, the Van der Puts (long time no see). They brought me to Leiden where I had to fill in some paperwork. The mission office of the Belgium/Netherlands mission is there. It was really weird to walk in Leiden as a missionary and not as a student!. One year ago I finished my bachelors degree there. from Leiden we traveled to my new mission area until my visa arrives... Amsterdam! 
photo: cute airplane
Photo: Sisters Brandenburg, Nyakoh and Lechtenberg