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 26, 2012

Week of Miracles

Oh meine sehr gute I dont even know where to start. This week has been quite the rollercoaster. You would all be so proud of me. I havent cried once since Sister Phillips left. It was hard to let her go but I am more worried about her in her new area and speaking german than I am that I actually miss her. I know that she needs to be in St Gallen and I am most definately still needed here in Richterswil. We have had some really amazing experiences this last week. I honestly am continuously baffled at how much the Lord consecrates the efforts of his full time missionaries. So lets start with Paul. Paul is the husband to Mary (our investigator who only speaks Portuguese and we teach over google translate but loves the church and loves the truth but she is not completely convinced that the priesthood was restored through Joseph Smith). This last week we have gone by their house to see if we could meet with Mary before she goes to Brazil on Wednesday (28 April). She was never there when we went by but Paul was always there. Paul was the original investigator but he hasnt really showed interest in religion because he believes more about science. But each time we went by we went in to talk to him as we wrote a note to Mary. Honestly that was just an excuse to go talk to him. We would go in and I would pretty much bear the strongest testimony I could muster and then we would talk about his life and I would bear testimony again and then sometimes we would pray with him. We asked him if we could set an actual appointment and have a lesson with him he agreed to it and the lesson was awesome. We watched Finding Faith in Christ and he had a lot of questions. After the movie he said that the miracles he performed could be performed through the science we have today but with the technology that they had back then it was impossible to perfrom such things but he believes that Jesus Christ DID perform the miracles and that he performed the Atonement. The only thing that really bothered him is that the laws that Christ made were made 2,000 years ago and the world has changed a lot since then. Thanks to handy dandy conference weekend this next weekend and we spoke to him about a modern day prophet. He was astounded that we have a modern day prophet and his whole countanence changed. He is soooo excited to watch conference and hear from our loving prophet. He wanted us to write down his name and he wanted to research to find out as much as he could about the prophet before next weekend. It was amazing the change in him. He was asking so many questions about prophets and is really enthusiastic about learning more about the gospel. It's so cool.

Miracle number two: After the appointment with R* and his wife S* was also there. She was sleeping when we got there but came out and joined the convesation. We taught about the restoration and they are really seeking to find the truth and asked a lot of really good questions. Sister Uhlig and I felt like we were intruding because throughout the whole time they were talking about how they are really busy and dont have time to meet with us until mid April. We finished the lesson and S* said the prayer (in Persian) at the end. We said our goodbyes and told them to call if they needed help with anything (by the way they are getting ready to move to another apartment in the same town...) and they said that they would. Well, we left without scheduling another appointment and set out to find another potential along the way home. About 15 min later I hear the phone buzzing in my backpack. It was S*, she asked if we could come back next Saturday at 8pm. We said absolutely. After I got off the phone I realized that we had actuall missed her first call. She called us twice. THAT NEVER HAPPENS TO MISSIONARIES. When people say they will call or they dont have time you just take it kind of as "Im not really that interested." I was in shock for the rest of the night after that experience.

This miracle day continued as we set out to find a man named Pjeter that we met on a bus and pointed in the general direction of where he lived once and said that we could bring him a book of Mormon in Albanish (I dont know what that is in English?). We looked at several buildings and because Sister Uhlig doesnt have an Ausweis (something that says that we can legally proselyte) we couldnt go door to door. So we looked at all the mailboxes. As goes several missionary stories, it was the last mailbox that we looked at that was his. We knocked on the door and his son D* answered. He said that he himself was Catholic and didnt want to change. We said thats fine but can you still give this card to your dad and tell him we will be back next week to give him a book of mormon? He politely agreed and we had a little small talk and then headed to the bus stop. We stood there basking in the blessings of the Lord when suddenly, D* was driving by and saw us waiting for the bus, asked us if we needed a ride, and we said sure. (Remember we have three sisters still... its all legal.) So we got in the car and found out more about him and his family. He has lived here since he was 14 years old from Kosovo just working and he has a wife and three children (15, 12, and 9) He was super sweet and I am sure that we will see him again.

The last major miracle that I would like to share with you this week has to do with a man named A*. He is the husband of a semi-less active in our ward. They have been married for almost a year and she comes from a very active family in the Phillipeens. She is wonderful and really is trying to be happy. We have dinner with them once a week and share a spiritual thought. The first time we were there she begged him to stay for the spiritual thought and he was just uptight and awkward about it. The second time he stayed willingly and actually participated. This last week, we talked about the fireside he attended put on by our ward about Israel and ended up teaching the whole restoration focusing on the Book of Mormon and it was just awesome. We created a spritual environment and then helped him recogize the Holy Ghost and what the role of the Holy Ghost is (to testify of truth) He committed to read Alma 34 and was excited to discover our purpose in life. He is making a lot of progress though. It is slow, but the fact that he was open and talking about religion in general was a huge step for him.

I want to thank you for all of your prayers in my behalf. They are working. The work is going forth at a massive speed and it is only going to get faster. Thank you for all of your examples. I love you all and wish you a wonderful week.

Love Always,
Sister Fokken

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