Sister Renee Fokken

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Why hello! Welcome to my missionary blog! I'm glad you found it! As most of you well know, I will soon be serving in the Alpine German-Speaking Mission where I will take upon me the name of Jesus Christ and serve him for a period of 18 months, striving to bring souls closer to Christ. I report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on June 15, 2011 and will return home in December of 2012. While I am away, my lovely sister has taken the task to post on here my weekly e-mails home to the family! Feel free to read them or just glance at any pictures I'll send home! And always remember to be continually seeking for those who are looking for the truth and know not where to find it; our Father has sent me abroad to help gather his sheep in Germany/Austria/Switzerland and you can do so where ever you may live. :)

July 11, 2011

Week 4

Week four has been just as amazing as the previous weeks! So much learning has been happening! The language is coming along amazingly I can't even tell you how much the Lord has blessed me! I have two of the best companions in the WORLD and our whole zone is extremely close. There was a whole district that left for the Alpine Mission this morning! Only 5 more weeks here before we get shipped out as well! It's been quite the learning experience here though. My english is getting so bad! So sorry my sentances aren't so flowey! If that's even a word...So when you are at the MTC you have fake investigators but it's amazing how real they can feel with the spirit! We have been working with a man named Frank, 30 years old, parents died, no job, no faith, and no friends. Smokes and drinks to keep him calm but nothing ever suffices. This seems to me to be a very common state of investigators. I feel so blessed to have these practices with investigators such as Frank and many others. I'm learning a lot and especially how to love all of God's children.
 
This week I feel like has been really humbling for me. I realized just how much I love my companions this week and how bitter sweet of a moment it will be when we will have to depart. I have such a testimony of the statement, "Serve those you love, love those you serve." This is true in EVERY relationship in life. I know that the Lord blesses us in so many ways when we serve His children.
 
Something I found very interesting this week was the fireside we had on Repentence. The gentleman who spoke brought up a good point. He said, "When did repentance become a bad thing?" He talked about the hebrew form of the word when it was originally written meant "to turn". (Refer to Bible Dictionary) As missionaries we are encouraged to "repent daily." Why? one may think. Well, if you truly have a testimony of repentance, you know that through the power of the Holy Ghost, you can feel an added measure of happiness in your life by removing those burdens, or sins, on a daily basis. It is through the power of the Atonement we overcome physical death, but it is by living the gospel of Jesus Christ that we can overcome spiritual death. (Preach My Gospel, Lesson 3) I know my Savior lives. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to repent daily! What a gift. May we always remember who we are, where we came from, and what our Father in Heaven desires of us.... To become like He is.
 
Matt 11:28-30 "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden"
Ether 12:27 "Come unto me and.... I will make your weakness become strong"
Moroni 10:30 (I think?)
 
The Gospel. Learn it. Live it. Become it.
 
Until next week
Love,
Sister Fokken



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July 4, 2011

Week 3!

Wow, i can't belive it's week three! Crazy! yet another great week at the good ol' mtc! This is seriously the best time to be here at the MTC. We got to celebrate Independence Day on July 2nd and watched the fireworks from campus of the Stadium of Fire! They were awesome!!! We also had a fireside before and we sang "Yankee Doodle" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" for prelude songs. I am so grateful for so many who are so willing to put their lives in danger so that I can enjoy the freedoms I have here. I am especially grateful for my uncle Orin. He left his family to protect their rights and freedoms so they could worship how, where and what they may. Thank you!
 
I am so grateful for the religious freedom the Lord has granted us. I know it is through his mercy that this country was founded on such a solid foundation. This freedom is without a doubt a key part of his eternal plan for his children. The restoration would not have taken place were it not for our nation's independence. I am so grateful for the courage of Joseph Smith to never deny what he saw. I know the Lord answers prayers; sometimes, He doesn't always give us the answers we want, but what you NEED.
 
We were talking about recognizing the spirit yesterday and it is so important in all aspects of missionary work. My favorite question to ask while teaching is, "Was spuren Sie?" aka "What do you feel?" I love when they don't know how to describe it necessarily and then I can turn to Galatians 5:22-23 and it teaches us that "the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." When I explain to them that what they are feeling is the spirit, or what we call "The Holy Ghost," it is amazing. Then the best part is explaining to them that through that same feeling/spirit, they can know the truth of ALL things. It is a promise given to us from God! I love the promises of the Lord because if we do what He asks, He is bound to follow through. We must trust in the Lord and study it out in our minds and if it be true, He will cause your bosom to burn within you and you shall feel it is right. (Doctrine and Covenants 9:8)
 
I know this gospel is true. I know we are all children of a Heavenly Father who knows us each individually and loves each of us the same. He has blessed us with such a beautiful plan so that we may return to Him and become like him. How sweet is that? We actually can become like God through our experiences on Earth and obtaining a body of flesh and blood as He has. He places us in family units that we may help one another to find our way back to Him. Joseph Smith DID see God the Father and Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it was in His day has been fully restored. "... do His will [and ye] shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether it I speak of it myself." (John 7:17)
 
One of the greatest things about this gospel is that we dont' have to take anyone's word that it is true. We can receive DIRECT and PERSONAL revelation from God! Once we know the truth, we must have the courage, like Joseph did, and live it. Thus my new missionary motto.
 
Know it.
Live it.
Become it.
 
Until next week,
Sister Fokken ;)



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