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. :)

March 19, 2012

So this week, we got a dreaded transfer call.... Sister Phillips is
leaving me to go to an Area called St. Gallen. I am really sad about
it but I know that she needs to leave so that she can experience a new
area and grow personally. She has been in this area since we got to
the field. She loves this ward and now I love this ward. I would
honestly be totally fine if I served here the rest of my mission. But
I am not sure that will happen. So this last week has been really
hard. It is hard to live with a brand new missionary who is German.
Germans are just different. And I am not used to someone complaining
so much. I know I was the same my first transfer... Poor sister
Downs... But I realize now just how nice it has been to be with Sister
Phillips who never complains about anything and just is always there
for me and really open and my very best friend. You know how I am when
I have to say goodbye to a friend. I am still not good at it. I know
that through the Lord, I can find the comfort and strength that I need
to make it through.

My new companion is Sister McBride. I also was in the MTC with her and
have gone on a few exchanges with her and she is the one that taught
me a few songs on the Guitar. We kind of knew that she would be coming
here. There are so many people here that need her. It will be really
good to have her here. This next transfer is only 5 weeks long, so it
will go by really fast for sure. Sister Uhlig leaves in three weeks so
that will be interesting. It has been really nice to have her here
because has allowed us to teach men.

I am in an extremely humble state in my mission. The Lord is shaping me and
it is rather painful, but I know that the result is worth it. Mother,
I am a different daughter than who you sent away to this service. I
have learned a lot. And I pray that I will only progress from here.

I am so excited for you to go to General Conference. That will be such
a neat experience. To be in the same building as the Prophet is just
amazing. He may look the size of a pea (depending on where you are
sitting) but his spirit and the spirit of his counselors and apostles
fills every square inch of the building. I love conference. I am so
excited to hear from our beloved leaders again. They love us so much.
It will be a grand experience for sure.
:)

This last week has been incredible. We had a fireside about Israel
since half our ward went there for 9 days about two weeks ago. We
brought our investigator Maria, who only speaks Portuguese so we had to
use Google translate. And I can't type in German very fast so I would
have to listen in German, then type in English so it would translate in
Portuguese. :) I am so grateful for modern technology. She loved it,
and we were supposed to meet with her last Saturday to talk about it
but her boss called and she had to work.... I HATE SATAN. He ruins
everything. But we will keep pressing forward as usual and help
prepare her to accept the gospel. She is going to Brazil on the 28th
of March to do a service project for her church, and will be there for
a month, and we are hoping to send the missionaries there to talk to
her and teach her in her native tongue. I don't really care how she
accepts the gospel. I want her to be there right with me in the
Celestial Kingdom when that time comes.

We also taught a man named Reza from Iran and he is amazing. He has
one of the strongest testimonies of Jesus Christ I have ever seen. He
loves Jesus Christ and has gone through a LOT just to not be Muslim. I
can't imagine having to go through all that he has. He is one of my
heroes. We were teaching him about Jesus Christ and how he was baptized
and he said, "yeah before I thought it was enough to just have faith
in Jesus Christ but now I know I need to be baptized too." My heart
sank and I felt like Aaron and Ammon as they heard the kings say that
they would believe everything they would say and that they would do
anything to know God and come unto him. There is nothing that can
compare to the pure joy that I felt at that appointment.

Just before that appointment, we taught a member's friend in the
member's home. It was amazing. I have never felt the spirit so strong
in a lesson my entire mission. The doctrine we taught was pure. The
testimonies we bore were sincere and the Spirit testified of the
things we taught. The member bore testimony and shared personal
experiences. And Jasmin (the investigator) said she had a desire to
know if Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God. What an amazing
experience.

I love my mission and wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world.
I will defend my God and bear witness of His son for the rest of my time here.
Thank you for all of your love and support. I love you. Talk to you
soon.

Love,
Sister Fokken

p.s. The weather has been great here between 15-21 degrees (Celsius)
but today is rainy and only 6 degrees.... but all is well. There is a
need for an opposition in all things. :) Take care.

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