Monday, November 17, 2014

Eyes Opened, Faith Strengthened

Hey all!

This week has been one of potential, and of a vision of what hopefully is to come, not necessarily in getting to see the fruits of our labors.  Slowly but surely we are starting to see more success in our finding efforts, and also in seeing miracles that I never would have hoped for.  Most all of our lessons fell through this week, but we are filling in with some people who we have been talking and working with for a week or two who are pretty positive, and getting lessons now which is awesome because for the first time since I first got here we are starting to have a teaching pool rather than a lesson here or there.  Out of those we have, about 3-4 we have prayed about and see to be positive.

Inside of Cathedral in Gouda

Stained Glass in Gouda Cathedral
Virtual Tour of Sintjan (Gouda Cathedral)

In Counsel Room in Cathedral in Gouda, Reading the Holy Bible

Singing in the Cathedral

It has been interesting how my view of finding people has changed this week.  The first experience that helped me open my eyes was going on splits with Elder Bitters (Lone Peak High) this week.  Throughout the day, which was made up of mostly just straight door knocking, he shared a lot of experiences that he had already seen on his mission.  What stuck out to me the most was nothing he directly said, but was what the spirit taught me through his words.  In this mission especially, we are not going to be able to logically convince anyone that our church is true.  The only people who will truly end up listening to us are those whom have allowed themselves to be prepared by God in one way or another, whether consciously or unconsciously.  We then are responsible to be ready to teach those whom we teach, and not just with knowledge, but with spiritual strength.  In this way, God will help guide those who are prepared and those who are ready to teach together.  Once again, this is always something I had known in my head, but that became a much more powerful lesson when learned through the spirit.

I am glad I learned this lesson before my second experience of this week.  Because even after learning this lesson, my next experience was a hard one.  During our contacting during the week, we came across a man who was fairly interested in what we had to say.  He actually brought up a few things he knew about our church and said he was very interested in what we had to teach.  He set up an appointment with us to come back the next day!  We were so pumped and excited after that we hardly stopped to think about what had just happened.  So the next day we came back, thinking that this would be a great lesson because we had prepared to answer some questions he had, and were simply so happy to be teaching a lesson.  When getting there, we found that his son was there. He was in his 20's and we were like, alright!  We sat down, started our lesson, and started to answer and the questions they had before with some scriptures we had found, and then the whole situation turned on us.  Turns out both the Dad and that son were Baptist and super well versed in the Bible.  After answering the first question, the son pulled out his ipad and proceeded to ask us about some super deep doctrinal questions and before even letting us answer, he would move on to sharing a whole bunch of scriptures that supposedly proved that our church was wrong and of the devil.  At this point, I had a feeling that of course now I know was the spirit telling me to just get out.  But we were bull headed and tried to defend ourselves, but at this point the spirit had left the room.  I was able to show that most of what they were using against us was out of context and was in fact not the truth, but no answer was good enough for them. As frustration rose I finally just calmed down, bore my testimony, and we kinda forced a prayer and left.  After the lesson I just felt sick.  Not because of anything they had said, but because I had gone against a lesson that I had been taught just this week (that we cannot convince anyone this is true, the spirit must bear witness or nothing we say will convince anyone) and I had gone against a spiritual prompting and not gotten out when I should have.  As I knelt in prayer that night, I was once again humbled because of the love and patience I felt from my Heavenly Father.
Working out on Nesselande Beach

They have some sweet beach volleyball courts here too!
It would be fun to be here during the summer.
[Mom research discovered that Nesselande Beach is a popular
beach volley circuit site, but could not find webpage in English to link to.]

Elder Lovin going through skate park at Nesselande Beach

God is our Heavenly Father, He loves us more then we can even comprehend.  He is patient with us, and is ever merciful with us.  He sent his Son, Jesus Christ to atone for our sins.  Christ felt all pain and sorrow that we felt.  He knows the heartache of both he who is wronged and he who did wrong.  His atonement is truly infinite and through it, all losses, pains and wrongs experienced in this life will be made up.  If we are faithful and follow Him, by repenting, being baptized, receiving the Holy Ghost, and doing our best to endure to the end in following Him and becoming like Him, we will live with Him and God and our families forever.

I love all of you so dang much!

Elder Hayden L. Lott

Me (Elder Lott) and Zwarte Piets!

I can't believe I forgot to talk about this in my email!  It was St. Marks (or some st. anyways) on Saturday !  That means that Sinterclaus comes to town along with all his helpers, Zwarte Piet!  I would love to tell more but I suppose I'll have to another time because my time is almost up.  Look up info about it, its so cool!

Zwarte Piet and Sinterklaas

 It was impossible to prosolyte because no one was home, they were all in a centrum here or there to watch Sinter Claus come in!  It was one big party here in the Netherlands. 
Man, I can't believe I forgot to write about this!

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