Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 22, 2012

Hallo Mijn Geliefde Familie en Vrienden!!!

Gellukig Thanksgiving!!! I hope all of you are eating a ton of delicious turkey, real pie and are having a wonderful time with your families. I love Thanksgiving!!! It is a beautiful time for us to be grateful for the things that we have been so graciously given from the Lord!! I am so thankful for the opportunity He has given me to serve a mission, the ability He has given me to learn a language and be able to pick up faster on it than I have ever picked up anything before in my entire life, and I am grateful for the amazing people He has given me in my life to help me to get to where I am today!!!

Family, I am so grateful for you!!! I hope you have had an amazing trip to Utah. I hope Jake had fun taking the ACT again!! I also hope everyone had a fun time in the car!! Ik hou van jullie heel veel!!! Jullie zijn mijn lieflings mensen in de gehele wereld!! Dankjeveel!! Jullie hebben alles voor mij gedaan!! Ik ben heel dankbaar voor jullie en mijn leven is heel mooi omdat jullie in mijn leven zijn!!

Ok, so an update on this week. To be honest, it is getting to the point that when I return to my room at night I can't really remember what has happened that day because the days are always the same here. I mean, we do the exact same thing everyday....every week....and the only thing that is different are the funny things that my district and I end up doing throughout the day....but I'm getting old and can't always remember! THANKSGIVING!!! And it is also supposed to be my P-Day(notice the key word...supposed) I do not have a P-day this week because it is Thanksgiving. They didn't change our schedules so we just don't get the time to go to the temple or anything else(really naps are great!!) So, because of this, I am currently in the laundry room and have been for about an hour and a half. We had to get up extremely early to be able to get our laundry done. yes mom, I sacrificed sleep so that I could smell good and be presentable, please be proud of me!! But I am really excited for the things they have planned for us today. They have an apostle coming to speak to us, we are doing a service project with a Muslim organization, and we get a 'Thanksgiving Dinner'. It really will be a great day!!

I have learned this week that I am very stubborn. (ok, I knew this before....but it really hit home this week for some reason) I have learned that in order to have a good relationship with someone and be able to spend all day with have to let them be right some of the time!! I really had to focus on that this week. It is especially hard when your schedule and life basically depend on the other person, but you have to trust that somehow they have made it this far in life and that they can make right decisions(even if it is just when we end up going to the international office during the day!!) It really is a very big thing that I have to learn and I have noticed a difference in my companionship because I have tried to be more polite and let her make decisions without me fighting her on what is going on. She is happier, I am happier and things are really starting to pick up within our companionship!! I have realized that this is probably a really good thing for me to learn now so that I can have a happy family in the future....I guess the Lord has a plan for everything.

This last week, my friend Sister Chelsea Shumway came into the MTC!! I literally see her everyday because her classroom is in my hallway, she has my same schedule, and she lives down the hall!! It is an amazing thing to see the difference between our first week here in the MTC and now. I feel like I have grown up a lot here and have learned so much. As I have been around Sister Shumway, I have been reminded of the most frustrating time in my life, the first week as a missionary. There are so many things to worry about. A language? am I reaching right? what is going on here!!! It really is a little ridiculous but it is a rewarding experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!!

Our new Dutchie is really great. His name is Elder Endicot and he is from Hooper, UT. He went to Utah State for a year before coming out here. so now I am no longer the lone Aggie!!! We were supposed to get two....but one didn't we have one!! He is really overwhelmed!! But my favorite thing that we get to do with him during the week is he writes sentences of things that he wants to be able to say to his investigators and we get an opportunity to correct him and to explain to him why things are the way they are in Dutch. I love it because I am able to learn exactly where I am with the language and what I have really mastered and the things that I still need to work on!! It really has helped me to set new goals and get better at studying!!

One frustrating thing about this week though, is that there are way too many people here in the MTC....there is no way to really play volleyball or anything here because there are literally 20 people in line on every court. I have actually started running laps(I know....shocking!!) But it is true. I have found that I feel a lot better(especially my tummy and this with this MTC food) when I do this. So even though I hate running....I do it anyway!! I hope that biking will have the same result in the Netherlands...but we will see.

Ok, so the most exciting part of my week came yesterday!!! WE RECEIVED OUR FLIGHT PLANS!!!! I am really going to the Netherlands!!! AHHHHHHH!!! I am so excited!!! With this amazing event, we were also told that our last English endowment session would be this next week and that when we are allowed to go to the temple in Den Hague...we will be doing our sessions in Dutch!! Crazy, Right?!?! But really exciting. It also made me realize that I actually have to pack and get ready to travel....again. But such is the life of a missionary. Ok, here are my flight plans:

We leave Salt Lake at 11:11 AM on December 3,
land in Detroit at 4:42 PM.
We then have a 2 ish hour layover and leave Detroit at 6:10 PM...and
arrive in the NETHERLANDS at 8:05 the morning of December 4.

We get an opportunity to call home sometime during that day. I have two options family, so communication is necessary. I have that morning....I think, as long as security is quick, around 9 or 9:30 until I fly out....or during my layover in Detroit. I just have this feeling that we really need to try for the morning option just in case my flight is late or there are reasons that I have to run from one gate to the next in Detroit...but dad, you let me know. We could even talk twice if we needed to. We are technically allowed an hour to talk to our if we need to split it up, we can. I was thinking I would call you quickly in Detroit anyway to let you know that I have made it!! I would really like everyone to be there so that I can talk to everyone!!! So, yeah...communication :D

We had our last TRC last week and I met my second cousin. Remember how Grandma Anderson kept saying that I had a cousin in the mission? Well....I did but he came home 3 weeks ago. He went and talked to Grandpa Israelsen and came to the TRC just to meet me!! It was a really amazing experience. He said,"Zuster Israelsen, I really love the people in the Netherlands. Work hard for me and learn to love them as I do!!" And I intend to do that!! If you have an opportunity to talk to Matt J. He is an amazing second cousin and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to meet him and to serve in the same mission as he did!!

We learned the ABC's in Dutch this week!! (like the song ok :D) The alphabet part looks the same..but is pronounced differently. Here it is:

A B C D E F G, H I J K L M N O P, Q R S T U V W, X Y Z doen ook nog mee, Als je goed hebt opgelet, ken je nu het alfabet!!!

This next week we are going to learn the whole birthday song!! And when I come home we can really sing our Dutch birthday song!!! I can't wait!!!

I love being a missionary, and most of all I really love Dutch. As hard as it is to learn a different language, I still love it. I am beginning to think in Dutch and answer to people who don't even speak the language in Dutch!! I really am thankful that the Lord has given me this opportunity and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life being able to learn Dutch and speak with people that I wouldn't be able to communicate with without the blessing of a language!! Ik HOU van het Nederlands!!! Ik HOU van zendelingen werk!! Ik HOU van het evangelie!!

Ik HOU van jullie!!! Ik heb een meer week in de MTC!!! Yahoo!!!

Keep the letters coming!!! I love all of you so much!!!

Zuster Israelsen

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