Sunday, November 4, 2012
HOI!!! How is my favorite family this fine week?
This week has definitely been filled with adventure. The first exciting thing that has happened is that the new English speaking Elders in our zone are serving in the DENVER NORTH MISSION!!!! That's right. I get to train the little elders all about my wonderful home in Colorado. But apparently....all they want to know about is President and Sister Toombs and also if the members serve good food for dinners. (I told them that my mom was the best cook in the entire state.....PRESSURE!!! :D) I will have a picture for you...hopefully in the next few days. (They aren't very good at remembering our designated picture time every week so I will work on that!)
On my last P-Day, I got to go to the temple. And the coolest thing in my life happened!!!! I was able to do temple work for a Sister from THE NETHERLANDS!!!! Yeah, I'm super cool, and I could actually pronounce her name!!! The temple workers just looked at me....then at the card....and then at me again and simply said,"You're serving in the Netherlands aren't you..." Apparently the Dutch names are some of the hardest for them to pronounce when they are performing the temple ordinances. It was really exciting to be able to experience that!!
Ok....so I have only ever heard, and known one person who has been called to be in Public Affairs. (Yes mom, it's you) I remember thinking that it was a made-up calling when you first got it BUT...I have found out that it is really a world-wide phenomenon. They have missionaries that they call to be public affairs missionaries around the world. There is a couple here in the MTC who are getting ready to be the public affairs missionaries in my mission AND the cooler thing is that they already speak Dutch. I have had a lot of practice with them during meals and have learned a lot of non-gospel vocabulary so that I can speak like a real person when I get out to the country and not just have a 'missionary vocabulary'. They leave today though.....so I am very sad. But I also thought it was way cool!!!
Some of you may remember a young lad named Cody Johnson. Yeah, he is finally here in the MTC. I see him around at least once a day! He tries to speak in Spanish while I respond in Dutch(that is the plus side to understanding what he is saying in Spanish....he has no idea what I am saying. I could be telling him that he is funny looking and all he could do is smile and nod :D) We took a map picture but unfortunately I did not have my camera with me....so you should definitely bug his dad to get a copy of it.....or I could try to snag him again...since we have a billion more weeks here.
Every week, we have the opportunity to go to what they call the TRC(don't ask me what that stands for....cause I have no idea) BUT we get to teach members who speak Dutch and practice what it would feel like to be in a members home. This last week was Zuster Nogueira and my first time being able to attend and we were way nervous. We had only ever spoken in Dutch to our teachers and the senior couple....we were ready to be made fun of. But once we stepped inside the first door, we knew we would be ok. We taught Brother Hoole. He is from the Netherlands and came to the United States in 1957. He is a way cool guy and he is super funny. But what is so great about being able to teach him is that he speaks what we call 'Neder-Engels'. He can't remember every word in Dutch...so what he doesn't remember...he just speaks in English. So even if you get lost in a conversation he will throw out an English word and then you can catch right up!! The second person we taught was Sister Christiansen. She served her mission in the Netherlands and she served with Sean Lundgren!! Once she knew where I was from she immediately asked if I knew him and then started talking about all of the crazy things that he did, but also what a great missionary he was. It was pretty cool to have common ground with her....but she was not as nice and did not speak any English...but somehow we managed!!
Zuster Nogueira has fainted four times in the last week. It's getting worse and there are still no answers to what is going on. Everyone is trying to be positive and help her to think that there is no possibility for her to go home or to change her mission.....but she sees right through it. She even said to me the other day that she would rather them tell her now that she was going to be sent home rather than to get her hopes up. It's super hard and they can't really do anything until they find something wrong. She has a heart monitor on right now and it sends the results through a cell phone directly to the cardiologist so hopefull something will come from that so she can have some answers.
Our teacher, Brother Robinson, is pretty much really cool. One of the best moments this week was one night he brought in all of his art to show us. He is trying to get into the graphic design program at BYU and he is way good!!! It was super cool to see how creative people can be and really how talented they are!!! We decided that he has to take a picture of us missionaries and make it into an art project and then hang it up in the MTC because of how beautiful we are. (We are still working on convincing him)
We have come up with different ways to entertain ourselves this last week. We have been giving each other riddles and math problems to try and figure out. Zuster Juchau ALWAYS has issues with figuring them out and it is probably the funniest thing to watch her try to come up with answers. It usually takes her the entire day and it is always at the front of her mind. We have also come up with a competition for everyone to start speaking 100% Dutch. We all must speak in Dutch, and then if we speak in English....we have to add a tally on the board for ourselves....each tally is equivilent to 5 sit-ups and the person with the most tallys at the end of the day gets to wear our dunce cap for 15 minutes the following day. The dunce cap is not very attractive and is definitely incentive to speak in het Nederlands!!
So Halloween was yesterday. I had two friends come into the MTC. Elder Butler and Elder Taylor. I have not seen either one of them but I hope to in the very near future!! But the cool part about yesterday is that every single person in our district got a package with something different for Halloween. Zuster J. got candy bags for everyone, Zuster Raun got pumpkins for everyone to decorate....etc. We had a district Halloween party!!! And we all had the very best costumes because we dressed up as missionaries!! (I know, we are living on the wild side!!!) It was super fun. But we ALSO got a package from the assistants to the president in the Netherlands. They sent us a bunch of cool Dutch-like pamphlets and such but they also sent us STROOP WAFFELS!!!! Yeah, that's right!!! They are delicious and were a beautiful gift (especially since this MTC food is driving us crazy!!)
This last week I was reading in Alma 27:26-30. Being on a mission is rough and sometimes I feel like I am a horrible person because I am frustrated and sad and upset a lot of the time. Partly because I hold myself to a high standard, but also because of how often I miss class and feel as though I am falling behind or that my companion and I are going through rough times. As I read in this scripture I realized that it is ok to feel that way. It is normal to feel that way. But it is how you deal with those feelings is what matters. Satan knows exactly how to push my buttons. He is super mad that I have made the decision to go on a mission because I might touch just on person's life and change their eternal outcome. So the mission is going to be a challenge. Just because I am here in the MTC doesn't mean that Satan can stop working on me but I can, and have chosen to overcome his influence. It is normal to have feelings of doubt and there are going to be trials on my mission (like there were for the sons of Mosiah) But I can do it!!! I am here for a reason!!
Ik hou van jullie!! Jullie zijn heel mooi en heel leuk!!!
I love it when you write me!!! So keep it up!!! Also.....pictures are a beautiful thing. PLEASE send me some :D
Tot Ziens!!!! (of tot volgende week :D)
Ik hou van jullie!!
P.S. Mother. Dankuwel for all of the beautiful things that you sent me this week!!!! I was truly a wonderful occassion to receive everything I had asked for and then some delicious treats!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I really love the halloween toys (they definitely keep me entertained!!) And who ever had the idea to put in the fruit snacks is definitely my favorite!!! I have needed some fruit snacks and good tasting food for a while!!! U bent heel mooi!! But for real!!! Thank you!!! I love you!!!