"Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house; Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."-3 Nephi 12:14-16

Monday, July 18, 2011

Love Is The Key :)

Dear Family!

I have so much to say! But at the same time... I don't know what to say. I feel like I should say all this really profound stuff... but it really hasn't hit me yet that this is the last email. I don't like to think about things like that. Haha. Well... ahhhhhhhh. How the heck did time go by so quickly?! Can I please just say that I love my life?

This past week has been absolutely amazing. Life in het algemeen is gewoon -- a miracle! So many things have happened. A quick rundown... WE SET A BAPTISMAL DATE WITH MEVROUW IDEMA!!!!! She's getting baptized August 23rd! She's learned everything, and been to church 7 times now; it's just some Word of Wisdom problems that we're still working on overcoming. But oh she is so wonderful. The ward has really taken her in. This past Sunday was it exactly one year since her husband died. And it turned out that in Relief Society the lesson was on eternal marriage. We weren't in the room because we had been asked to give a lesson in Primary on the temple, but after when we came to meet her we saw her sitting crying and Zuster Dullart, one of the amazing members, had her arm around her. It was so touching. It made me feel really good inside to know that even though I'm leaving, there are still people here to take care of her.

Gouda is one of the biggest miracles of my mission. I started in Antwerpen, BIG city, then went to Amsterdam, also super big; and I have to admit I kind of had this, "Small cities are boring I don't ever want to serve in a small city" attitude. Oh how wrong I was. Gouda may be small, we may have a super small ward, but the spirit here is INCREDIBLE. These people have so much faith. You want to talk modern day pioneers, this is it! I love these people with a love that I never knew was possible.

I look forward to the many conversations we can all have in the next few weeks, and I know that everyone always has those, "What did you learn; what was the best?” questions. Let me just name one thing, probably the biggest. President Brubaker always says, "Love is the key." He is 100% right. I have felt more love this past year and a half than I ever knew was possible. I came here to serve these people and to bring them closer to Christ. I knew it would be wonderful, but I never could have expected the love that I would feel. It goes deep into my heart and makes me warm van binnen. It makes me want to jump up and down and dance and cry and just live. That is what love is.

One of my favorite scriptures has been, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass." I like to think that I am one of those small and simple things. And if I, small little Zuster Holbein, can love these people with so much love, just imagine how much Heavenly Father loves them. So much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ who in turn had so much love that he laid down his life for us. Amazing, huh? What a wonderful message. We really are all children of a Heavenly Father who loves us more than we can comprehend. And if we do our best, we can learn to feel His love for us and then in turn love Him. That love makes all the difference.

If I had any advice for anyone going on a mission I would say just love. Love the people, the language, your companion, the work, the Lord, and yourself. If you do that, everything will be ok. I feel like I have been allowed to feel just a heel klein beetje van what our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ feel for us. It's amazing.

This work is a work of miracles. I share a miracle every week, but really every second, every minute, is a miracle. The fact that I speak Dutch, that I wasn't hit a million times by a car on my bike, that I didn't freeze to death, or fall into a canal, that people even take the time to listen... MIRACLES.

Finding this past week has been great. We've been asking people, "Wat is het verschil tussen plezier en geluk?" You can't really translate it very well... "What is the difference between pleasure and happiness?" (Only in Dutch saying pleasure doesn't sound creepy like it does in English) It's great! EVERYONE has an answer. I have so many stories to tell, but those can wait. The biggest difference is that geluk lasts. It isn't just temporary. It comes, for me anyway, when I know of God's love for me and can share that with others. I might just be one of the happiest daughters of God. :)

Well... time is up! Am I nervous to come home? Ummm... maybe. But let's say not, because that's having faith. :) I'm nervous to not be able to speak Dutch, haha I think my English is a little messed up. So you all better start learning! Giving a talk in English seems really intimidating to me... weird. But actually no, I feel… I feel blessed. That's a good way to put it. I have learned and I know with all my heart that God is with us wherever we go. He doesn't leave us alone, and His plans for us go on. I feel safe knowing that I can always be in His service. This is the life.

People -- this church is true. This is it. All the truth, all the principles and ordinances, EVERYTHING we need to get back to our Heavenly Father is now here on the earth. Man can't create truth; that comes from God. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ did appear to the boy Joseph Smith and the Church has been restored. God is a God of miracles. The tender mercies of the Lord surround us. The healing power of the atonement is real. The Church is a big hospital. We're here to help each other; that's what our baptismal covenant is all about.

I've done my very best to love and serve, and I have felt the blessing of the Lord help me to make more of myself than I ever knew was possible. I love what the Lord can do with me. “Ïk vermag alle dingen in hem die mij kracht geeft." How is that in English... “Ï can do all things through Christ which strengthens me(?)" It's true. It really all is true. Not only true... IT WORKS. Let's spread the word.

I love you all, I love my Savior and Heavenly Father, and I love these people. Hurrah for Israel!!

Tot ziens (gasp) lievers.

Al mijn liefde,
Zuster Jane Margaret Holbein :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Miracles Again and Again

Dear Family!!

It's been such an incredible week! I cannot even begin to describe the miracles we've seen and the happiness I feel. Really -- words never do things justice. I wish I could just put all of my feelings and love in a big box and then just open it whenever I wanted to tell people about it so they can feel it too.

Ok goodness, where do I begin? I hope you all are sitting down because it was a good week. :) I'll have to go quickly because I don't have much time. Story of my life.

So Monday night we met Neda at the church just to go over the baptismal interview questions. We met her at 8:00, and we didn't get home till almost 10:00! Haha -- and we live across the street from the church. She is such a doll though, and it was one of the most spiritual experiences ever. We talked about everything and she was so ready. She knew all the answers, and kept saying things that would make me think, “Wait... did we teach her that? Oh wait that's right Zuster Holbein, it's really not about you. The SPIRIT teaches.” I love it. At the end we sang “Lead Kindly Light” for her and she got all filled up and said that the gospel is the best thing she's ever found, and how happy she is. :) :)

Tuesday was great; she totally passed her interview and it ended up being a total miracle. President Brubaker had to come interview her. And President, while he does really well, doesn't speak Dutch. And as far as we knew Neda doesn't speak English besides, “Hello, How are you?” those sorts of things. Then the amazing happened. Neda was able to understand and say everything in English. What the heck? AMAZING. :) When she came out after she was like, “I have no idea how that happened! I don't speak that good English! It's a miracle.” It was, of course, the gift of tongues miracle. Love it. So that was awesome.

Friday we went out exchanges and I got to go with Zuster Reber -- so fun! She was in the MTC with me so we've never been able to work together. We had such a great day. We first went to have an appointment with Broer Sjef, the 62 year old recent convert. It was so funny; we biked over there and as soon as we got there it started pouring rain! I looked at Sjef and said, “Oh my gosh Sjef, it's because Noah's Ark left Gouda today.” His mouth dropped open and he said, “We didn't listen!!!” Haha. I found it hilarious.

Anyway, after that we went and did a consecrated hour of finding in the Centrum. I love finding. Love it. Zuster Reber and I were like -- this is it, let's go all out, we're going to boldly, fearlessly approach these people with our testimonies. And so we did. And... WE FOUND 4 NEW INVESTIGATORS. :) Please take a moment of silence for that miracle. For the record, that doesn't happen very often. In one hour anyway. It was such an amazing blessing. It was like everyone we were talking to was interested.

And now we come to Saturday -- Neda's baptism. Neda had told us that she wanted to bear her testimony at the service, and she wanted us to come over early to help her write it. Saturday morning we went over, and it was so beautiful. Neda really believes, more than anyone I think I've ever met, that God is a God of miracles. She wrote down how the biggest miracle in her life has been finding the true Church. She wrote that her whole life she has asked herself, “What's my purpose? Why am I here?” And then she got all filled up and said, “And now I know why I am here; I am a daughter of God.” It made me cry to hear that. I did a study awhile ago about the important things we need to know. One of the fundamental things I feel it is important to know is that we are children of God. Knowing that makes all the difference.

After being with her, we ran all over Rotterdam and Gouda getting things ready -- appointments, etc. Then the baptism was in the evening. Neda brought so many people! (about 8 I think). A lot of her family came too which is a big deal because they are Muslim. We also had great support from the ward and other missionaries and investigators. It was such a Spirit-filled evening. How do I describe it? Love. So much love. More than I knew was possible. Afterward everyone stayed and talked and we got to contact so many non-members. I was talking to Ieda, one of Neda's friends who came, and she said that during the whole service she felt like there was a big warm blanket wrapped around her. The Spirit! And now she wants to learn more! :) :) Sunday was also great; Neda was given the gift of Holy Ghost, and her Mom and another friend came too.

I feel so much love for these people. This week is going to be so hard saying goodbye! Everyone keeps saying... “But you're coming back... right?" Ahhh… I WOULD LOVE TO. Anyway, I really have been taking your advice Mom to just conquer each day. And thinking the future is as bright as my faith. I believe more than anything that God is aware of everyone, and I can't forget that means me too. So no fears, right? Oh I wish I had more time or more words to help you all understand, but just know that I am 100% in love with... everything. Haha, the gospel, my testimony, the people, my Savior, my Heavenly Father. Life is rich, chocked full of blessings.

I pray for you all and love you all!

Met liefde,
Zuster Holbein

Oh and p.s. Today was an awesome day! We went to Kinderdijk and got to go to a Delft factory and yeah... you all will see soon how that went.

If you've got a smile and share the gospel, things work out. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Journeying Along

Dear Family,

Hey hey hey. :) HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! Zuster Perry and I are appropriately sporting red, white, and blue but it doesn't make any difference here because those are Holland's colors too.

Greetings from Zoetermeer! We came to spend the day with Zuster Kremer and her companion just because I wanted to see her before... well yeah. Anyway, it's a beautiful city and the temple is here!

Sounds like William is doing great! I'm so happy for him to be able to have that experience. I want to write him today. I am also putting something in the mail for you all so hopefully you will get it soon. I think the mail is weird here; sometimes things send, sometimes they don't.

So things here are great! Absolutely wonderful. It was quite the week full of ups and downs but the ups have been incredible. First things first -- Neda is getting baptized on Saturday! Wahoo!!! She is so wonderful! One of the most amazing people I have ever met, and she is already sharing the gospel with EVERYONE. Her baptism is going to be great; I swear she's invited half of Rotterdam. The ward is totally behind her too which is great. Yesterday in testimony meeting the Bishop announced her baptism, and after that everyone started bearing testimonies about when they joined the Church and how happy they were for her. And then right at the very end Neda jumped up and gave the most beautiful testimony. It was really touching to hear her talk about how she's looked all over and tried so many churches but never felt it until this one. I'm super happy for her. So that's this Saturday and it's going to be great. I'm so happy for her. :)

Mevrouw came to a baptismal service with us in Rotterdam on Friday. It was such a touching experience! Things have been really hard for her this past week, just because it was now almost a year ago that her husband died. But she came and was so touched by the Spirit. We got there early and we were sitting listening to Zuster Perry playing the piano, and we just started talking about how families can be together forever and she asked to see pictures of my family and I showed her and testified about how I know that even though it's been hard to be away from my family I've always known it's ok because we will be together forever, and I want other people to have that. She then asked me, "How long have you been here anyway?" (I tend to not tell people, just because... yeah... I don't want any decisions based on when I might leave). When I told her that I was leaving July 20th she was super surprised and then got really quiet. We didn't talk about it further. Then later we were showing her the baptismal font, and she got really filled up looking at the picture of Alma baptizing in the waters of Mormon. We were just standing there and then she grabbed my hand and said, “I know you really want to be here, but I just still need time. I'm going to do it, I just need time.” And then she hugged me. It was such an emotional moment. I told her it didn't matter; that's not what it's about, and that everything will work out. She said she knew that and she is going to get baptized. I love her. I love her with all my heart. It's amazing the relationships that you develop with people. Everyone I've met on my mission is so special to me. I really, honestly feel like I've been sent here for these people. I need them and they need me. I learn so much from them.

Other news -- this has been the week of biking! We may or may not have had much money this past week... just because reimbursements weren't in yet, so we've been biking everywhere! Oh. My. Goodness. On Wednesday evening we had an appointment in Woerden which takes like 30 minutes in total with the train and bus. So we think... no big deal, we could bike that in an hour. Yeah right. It took us 2 1/2 hours! Bahhhhh LONGEST BIKE RIDE OF MY LIFE. Haha the first hour was great, cool, lekker, but then after that it just got crazy. It shouldn't have taken so long but we ended up getting lost. Any why did we get lost? Haha -- because we were too proud to check the map! Wow that was really a lesson for me. As I was biking back I thought, ok there's got to be some gospel gelijkenis right? Here's what I came up with. Life is like a bike ride. It's crazy and long and tiring, but Heavenly Father has given us a map and things to help us on the way. How frustrating would it be to get to the end of our life and realize we had just been going toward a dead end? Speaking as someone who got to the end of a very long road to find nothing but a cow field and old train tracks -- VERY FRUSTRATING. So why would we do that? Pride, thinking we know better. All that natural man stuff. Here's what I have to say: people -- we just have to follow the map, bike at a good pace, and make sure we don't get caught up in the difficulty so that we miss all the beautiful windmills around us. If we do it, we'll end up exactly where Heavenly Father wants us to be and it'll be worth the effort.

I love you all so much! We're working hard here, keeping going; every day is another day. I love and pray for you all and appreciate your prayers.

Met liefde,
Zuster Holbein

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blijf Maar Geweldig

Dear Family!

Sorry for the no time yesterday. And actually I don´t have much time today either! Haha life is so crazy! It´s awesome, but also a bit exhausting. I feel like my body is breaking down a bit, I´m always so tired. No worries though, I´m sure it´s just the change in the weather here.

Things with everyone are going so well. Here are the updates. I gave a talk in church on Sunday about happiness and it went really well. It was a cool experience for me. I had actually planned on talking about unity and charity, and had written my whole talk. But then on Saturday morning I was reading it, and I just didn´t like it. It didn´t feel right. So I prayed and said, “Heavenly Father, I really don´t have time to write another talk or to come up with something else. But if you want me to speak about something else, can you please let me know and help me?” I prayed and then sat there, and then all at once it was like someone just pushed my brain and all these words starting coming into my head, and scriptures, and I started writing but couldn´t write fast enough to get all the words out of my head. It was so cool! I felt so led by the Spirit, it was awesome. I don´t know if my talk touched anyone specifically, but I know that I was really touched and I learned a lot. I´m so grateful for moments like that.

Things with the investigators are going great! I LOVE THESE PEOPLE. Have I told you that before? Neda is still on for baptism on the 9th, and the only thing that will hold that up is a couple of Word of Wisdom problems. She got a blessing on Sunday though, and we are praying for miracles. It´s going to be great, no matter what. Mevrouw Idema is wonderful too. She´s working so hard on the Word of Wisdom and has learned so much! It´s amazing how prayer and the scriptures and the Church can really help people overcome addictions. It is such a testimony to me that there is a higher power that can help us overcome everything.

Well... that´s all the time I have. We´re at district meeting and the elders forgot to get stuff for lunch so we have to go figure that out... you gotta love them. :)

I love you all! Blijf maar geweldig.

Met liefde,
Zuster Holbein

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Dear Family,

It's June 15th and I'm still wearing a shawl. Is that even possible? Haha -- weather is crazy! I got a card from you all saying that KY was in the 90s. The weather here still switches from day to day. Yesterday was beautiful though. :)

Things are going so well! Being honest, the past few days have been kind of rough, but not too bad, and we're seeing so many blessings. Number 1 -- this morning we got a text from Joeri! He’s our old investigator who was supposed to be getting baptized this coming weekend. Anyway, he texted us and said, “So I've been starting to read in the Book of Mormon again, and I just wanted to let you know. I pick one scripture everyday from that jar you gave me. Today I read Mosiah 2:22." Wahoo! That was the BEST text ever. He's not ready to start meeting again, but he is reading and that is a huge step. I know it's going to help him to start progressing again. So that's great.

But I get ahead of myself -- Happy Father's day Daddy! Almost Father's Day. I wish we could call, but I hope that my (somewhat late) card and present make up for it. I love you, and am so happy that you are my Daddy. I brag about you and Mommy all the time. I'm convinced I have the best family. William, you leave Friday? Good luck kid! That's going to be so much fun. Make sure to take lots of pictures and enjoy every minute. What's your address? I would love to write you a letter.

So the other miracles of the week. We had a lesson with Mevrouw Idema on the Word of Wisdom and ... she totally accepted it! 100%. She smokes and drinks coffee, but she's willing to stop and she knows it's a commandment from God. She also came to church again this past Sunday and she was participating in all the classes. She kept raising her hand and volunteering -- so great. We also proposed July 16th as a baptismal date for her and she said she would pray about it. That's one year from the day that her husband died which would mean that 2 years after he died they could be sealed in the temple. I learn more and more every day that baptism really is just the first covenant that we make. The temple keeps us progressing; that's what we're aiming for. I'm praying really hard for her, and if you all could too that would be great. Opposition always comes, so she needs our faith. :)

Neda is also doing really well. Every Sunday she comes to church she brings someone else with her. Unfortunately no one has been interested, but she has such a great opinion about it. She always says, "Hey I just have to offer it, right? Then let them choose." What a good little missionary. We also went over on Saturday and helped her clean out her "junk room." Oh my goodness Mom, you would have died! I don't understand how people can accumulate so much stuff! It was fun though and good to help her.

We have a lot of other good investigators too who are progressing slowly but surely. This past Thursday we had dinner with Ester and Jako, the Dutch couple we met a few weeks ago. It went so well! They are amazing people. They’ve been all over the world doing humanitarian aid things, and they were really impressed with the work our church does. We talked about faith during the whole meal, and then toward the end I pulled out the Book of Mormon to give to them. Jako looked at me and said, "You know that THAT book is the one problem people have with your religion." We said that yes, we knew that. He asked us if we knew why, and we got talking about Revelation supposedly saying there can't be anymore revelation. What was great though was that he wasn't doing it in an attacking way; he really just wanted to know. We explained that God loves all of his children. That he is the same, yesterday, today and forever, and that the Book of Mormon is another testimony of Jesus Christ. We bore testimony of the powerful effect it has in our lives, and then we got to read Moroni 10:32-33 with them. The Spirit was so strong! They totally accepted the copy, and we are going to do an exchange -- you come to my church I come to yours -- in a few weeks. I just loved how open they were.

I really saw the contrast when just a few days later we were let into a house with a lovely family, and when we pulled out the Book of Mormon the husband freaked out and wouldn't let us read from it with them. It broke my heart! People don't know. There is such power in the Book of Mormon, we just have to open our hearts and let it in. I pray for these people.

So in het algemeen everything is going really well. I love it here. And I love Zuster Perry -- she's the best. We have a lot of fun together. She is always willing to talk and listen and help everyone. The Lord has really blessed me with good companions. The Lord has just blessed me all around.

I love you! HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DADDY!!! Safe travels William! Work hard, be smart, love yourself, love the people, serve the Lord, and everything will always work out.

Met liefde,
Zuster Holbein

Monday, June 6, 2011


Dear Family,

So last night Zuster Perry and I are sitting on the floor after doing our planning, listening to EFY music (something I have come to appreciate more being a missionary I think -- haha), eating frozen grapes, and just chatting waiting for phone calls to hear about transfers, and obnoxiously texting everyone to see if anyone had found out, when all of a sudden it hit me -- this was my last phone call when transfers would have anything to do with me! WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?! Haha -- needless to say I had this “whoa” moment. So the news is the unstoppable Zuster Perry and Zuster Holbein are staying here in Gouda ready to rock another transfer. Yeah! I'm so so happy.

I just have to state, I love my mission. I do. When people ask me: Name? Zuster Holbein. Preferred language? Dutch. What do you do all day? Invite people to come unto Christ, ride my bike around beautiful Gouda, have crazy epic adventures, knock on lots of doors, get yelled at by half the people, work with the most amazing members in the world, go out to a pizza dinner with the recent 62 year old convert Sjef, pretend like we really biked to Italy, teach the most precious of God's children, pray every day that it won't rain, sing hymns while biking, and watch the gospel change people's lives. Do you have the best life ever? YES. :) Really, to Karina, Greg, Lindsay, EVERYONE who may be wondering about a mission -- it's worth it. 100%. Even the hard times.

This week has been awesome. So much happened. Wednesday we went to the Protestant school ... wow. I was nervous; not going to lie. But it went so well. The students actually did pretty well. The only 2 things they missed were 1) Actually Jesus Christ IS the center of our faith, and 2) we don't allow 10 wives. After their presentation we went up and they were like, “Okay, say something.” I was like, “I thought you were going to ask us questions!” So we just both bore our testimonies of how we came to know the gospel was true and what it means for us, and how Jesus Christ is the center of our lives. After that they asked all these questions about how we learned the language, if a mission was required, and why we need the Book of Mormon, oh and if only Mormons go to Heaven. The Spirit was with us, thank goodness. We were able to give pamphlets out to everyone, and presented two of the teachers a Book of Mormon. Yeah! :)

Other cool miracles -- Tuesday we were doing a consecrated hour and it was not going well. I was tired, honestly, it was at the end of the day. Then all of a sudden, this woman starts yelling and waving at us from the street parallel to us. We thought, okay, not weird, people yell at us a lot. But then she started yelling for us to come. We went over and she asked if we were Christian, and she let us come inside and told us that last night she prayed with God to help her find a way to have a better life, and then when she saw us she felt something. Yeah ... amazing! So we taught her a basic first lesson, and made a return appointment for tomorrow night! Wahoo. :)

Oh and Neda set a baptismal date on Wednesday! She's getting baptized July 9th and she is so excited. She is giving away Books of Mormon to everyone she knows. And she's going strong through hard stuff too. Her family who at first was all supportive gave her some anti-info. She called us right away and we went over and discussed it, and she decided by herself to throw it away because it didn't make her feel good inside. Love her.

Mevrouw Idema came to church yesterday for the first time yesterday and loved it! Oh she is so sweet. I want her to get baptized more than anything so that she can go and be sealed to her husband in a year. She's going to do it, I know it. She loved fast and testimony meeting, and asked if she could write something down and then next month say it. She is so sweet. I love the spirit when we teach her. Especially when we talk about eternal families. I've never felt the Spirit so strongly. I just know that Rob is waiting for her on the other side to accept this. I never feel Heaven so near than when I talk with people about eternal families. It's beautiful. After lessons like that I swear my bike feels like it has wings.

Thank you all for being so good to me. I pray for you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting me as a missionary. I studied gratitude this morning and I was overwhelmed with everything that God has given me. To quote our African brothers and sisters here, "God is good." Haha -- oh the joys. Love you all!

Met Liefde,
Zuster Holbein

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Many Smiles

People I love!

Today is such a beautiful day here in Gouda! This past week has been cold and rainy, so today is the perfect P-day treat. I hope it stays the rest of the week, though people here say it's going to get cold again tomorrow. People here talk about the weather ALL THE TIME. It's such a popular topic of conversation. I feel like in America we do it just if there's nothing else to talk about or if we're trying to change the topic. Here though it's like the most normal thing ever. Great way to start converstations on trains. :)

How are you all doing? William-good luck finishing up school! You can do it! Thank you so much everyone for your cards and emails. They mean a lot to me, and the letters always seem to come just on the right days. This week has been intense! Awesome though, so many things are happening! It's so funny the way things go up and down. The Lord is at the head of this work; it's great.

So with finding we are still struggling a bit. We've been faithful in getting out there and just knocking on doors, talking on the streets, but we're still waiting to see the fruits. That's ok though because the investigators we do have are doing so well! And we keep seeming to find people through other random ways. I feel like if you show the Lord that you're willing to just go out and knock and talk that He blesses you with investigators, even if they'don't come from those hours.

Mevrouw Idema is amazing! She's making such great progress. We had a lesson with her on Wednesday about the gospel and SHE was the one asking all the questions about being baptized and authority and everything. She wants to be baptized, she feels the Spirit so strongly when we come, and when she reads and prays. She just wants to keep learning a bit more before she sets a date. She is great though; I know she's going to act soon. Baptism for the dead and the temple came up, and she was so touched and got all emotional when we told her that her husband who died a year ago could get baptized too, and that they could be sealed together in the temple. We have another lesson with her tonight and the bishop''s wife is coming on joint teach. Have I mentioned that we have the best members here in Gouda? Well we do.:)

Our other miracle investigator of the week is an amazing woman named Neda. She's from Iran but has lived here for 18 years and speaks great Dutch. She was raised Muslim but converted to Christianity 3 years ago. She found us! She's friends with a member, and after talking to her she decided that she wanted to know more about what the Church is all about. We went and had an appointment on Wednesday, and then on Saturday she came with us to a baptismal service in Rotterdam, and then came to church in Gouda on Sunday with her sister! SHE LOVES IT. All of it. She loved the baptismal service and started crying and said she felt so much love when we were singing. Yesterday at church she kept talking about how she wants to tell everyone about the Church and how great it is. She said, “It’s like I've been looking for this forever, but just never knew where to find it.” YES!

In other news, Noah's ark has come to Gouda. Yes, it's gotten that bad here -- we're taking drastic measures. Ha. No but really, it's an imitation Noah's ark and it's big. We're going to go visit it today. Apparently the inside is a Christian book store. And funnily enough, it came last Monday and it's been raining all week.

Oh other big thing that we just found out today -- there is a big, strict Protestant college here in Gouda and one of the religion classes was assigned a research project on our church and they're giving the presentation to everyone this Wednesday night and they want representatives from our church to come and do a Q&A session after. So guess who's going? Zuster Perry, our ward mission leader, the institute teacher, and me. Ahhhhhh! Talk about awesomely intimidating. I'm super excited and yes... maybe a little nervous. But faith and fear don't go together right? It's going to be great! If God be for us who can be against us? I will definitely let you all know how that goes. :)

Well dears, you all are geweldig. I love love love you and pray for you all the time. Never forget, ok? Things here are great. :)

Met liefde,
Zuster Holbein

Oh and give my love to Karina, Lindsay and Greg! Congrats to them all! Missions are the best.