Hendrika Folkers, my maternal grandmother, grew up in Groningen, Netherlands. Her family were members of the Dutch Reformed Church (Hervormde Kerk) while she was in her youth, but her maternal grandmother and her mother recognized that the original church organized by Jesus Christ when he was upon the earth had been changed. They were interested in finding the same church that Jesus had, with apostles and prophets, evangelists, etc. with the same authority that existed in the primitive church. However, her grandmother was unable to find it while she was alive, and thought that it was not available upon the earth.
After her maternal grandmother died, her parents moved the family outside of the city limits of Groningen at that time. Her father was pensioned from the Groningen police force and was employed by the government to take care of the poor-house on Peizerweg. It was necessary for Hendrika and her two sisters, Foekje and Sara (later known as Lena and Hemhla) to find other places to live because it was so far from the city where they all worked. Hendrika (later also known as Henrietta) moved in with her aunt Rika and uncle Hermannus Thiessens. Her aunt and uncle had recently joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). At that time, the Mormons did not have a good name in The Netherlands. Little did she know that after her emigration to the United States, that she would marry her uncle Hermannus after he and her aunt divorced.
Hendrika was baptized on 29 February 1908, at the age of nineteen and one-half years not far from the house where her parents lived on Peizerweg. A hole was cut in the ice to accommodate the baptism. Just two weeks later, her mother and sister (Hilje and Sara) were baptized in the same place. In August 1909, Henderika emigrated to the United States, having been diagnosed with tuberculosis--her uncle coming to the United States in October of that same year. But those are different stories.
Hendrika Folkers, about 1909, age 20 -- Groningen, Netherlands
Forty-five years ago (now known as Henrietta Folkers Thiessens), grandmother recorded highlights of her story as well as that of her parents. An exerpt of her conversion and how she came to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is added here.
To hear her tell her story, click on the green arrow above.
"Mumpsey", as we affectionately called our grandmother Thiessens, was a stalwart member of the faith. She lived the religion that she embraced in her young adult years and provided an fitting example to her posterity throughout her life. Her grandchildren can attest to her faithfulness in being a good example for us and providing any opportunities that she could to have each of us increase our own testimonies of the truths she had found. She loved the scriptures, and in her later years she served an LDS mission to the southern United States where she left her testimony and example with many people she and her companions taught. Although she died on 8 July 1968, just a few months after she recorded her story, she leaves a legacy of her committment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
To hear her testimony, click on the green arrow above.
What an unbelievable treasure to have her voice like this Golden. This is going to pay huge dividends when distant family members and future generations hear this amazing testimony. Tremendous work. And, well done on figuring out how to insert the audio players into the middle of the story. Well done!!
Thank you Golden, Fabulous entry! Loved the audio on the picture! Really brings back memories and images of Grandma Thiessens by hearing her actual voice. Priceless!