The first one took last Tues.in Utrecht....We went to the sister’s apartment in Utrecht to do some laundry. We found their place and a parking space which seemed too good to be true! We quickly pulled into it and tried to see where we paid for parking. We couldn’t find it but a man in his 30’s pulled up nearby and got out so I jumped out to ask him about it. Here is the conversation as closely as I can re-create it :)
Me: Excuse me, can you tell me where we pay for parking?
Him: It’s free. (he is a happy smiley friendly guy)
Me: That’s great!
Him: Where are you from?
Me: From US, (pointing to my missionary tag) We're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We’re here for 18 months.
Him: Something about where the church is
Me: it’s somewhere near here. We came on Sunday but I don’t know exactly where it is. We just follow the GPS. (laughing)
Him: (as he laughed and walked off) I thought you followed Jesus!
I just started laughing! I didn't have any response to that!
The second was yesterday. We were in Deventer with Elder and Zuster Hill. We were walking along the river on the way to the grocery store. There, along the path was a bench with a darling little elderly couple in their mid-eighties, sitting, his arm around her. I stopped to say hello in Dutch. (I wanted to practice my Dutch:) They were so cute! He wanted to talk, she was shy. Elder Hill speaks Dutch so he spoke occasionally in Dutch but most of the conversation was in English. I said we were missionaries for the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”. He said, Oh, in America. We said “all over the world and here in the Netherlands”. We chatted about their family. They have been married 60 years, have 4 children, and he said, “everyday is the best day of my life since I married my wife”! (she ducked her head and smiled). Somehow we got to talking about family history and Elder Hill had a Family Search card so I gave it to the gentleman. He said he knew of this website, he had seen the advertisements. It was a lovely, heartwarming conversation. I wanted to sit awhile and chat and take a picture but didn’t know how they would feel about a picture and didn’t want to offend. It sounds like such a mundane experience as I write it but I left feeling so happy, amazed and thrilled with the everyday conversation with such sweet people and that we had taught them at least a tiny bit about the Church through family history.