Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving with Elder Holland

Hallo Mijn Geliefde Gezin en Vrienden!

Hoe gaat het met jullie?!?! Ik ben heel goed en ik heb einige vier(4) meer dagen in de MTC!!! GEK!!! Het is belagelijk. Ik heb heel veel dingen ik moet vandaag doen!! Deze week was heel goed en ik ben heel blij dat ik een zendelinge zijn!! In de volgende week, zal ik heel lekker voedsel eten, mischien heb het heel coud, en zal op een fietz elkedaag!! Het zal heel mooi zijn! Hoopelijk ik kan met de mensen in Nederland praten!!

(How are you all? I am very good and I have only four more days here in the MTC. Crazy!! It is ridiculous!!! I have a lot of things I have to do today!! This week was very good and I and very happy that I can be a missionary!! Next week I will eat delicious food, maybe be very cold and will be on a bike every day! It will be a very beautiful thing. Hopefully I can talk with the people in the Netherlands!!)

Thanksgiving here was surprisingly awesome!! :D I was a little bummed that I didn't have my full P-day, but it was totally worth it because we got to do so many cool things. First, Elder Holland came and spoke to all of us missionaries. The first thing that came out of his mouth was that he was adopting all of us on the spot...we had no say in the just happened....sorry family. :D But his whole family came, and he had a few of his grandchildren sing and play piano. It was really cool to meet the Holland family, but my favorite part was when he spoke to us. He taught me that I need to be more grateful for everything in my life. I take it for granted that I have so many things and I don't say thank you to anyone enough for all of my good fortune in life! I think that the one thing I take for granted the most is that I am lucky to be a member of the church, to have been born in the fullness of time to parents who faithfully live the gospel. Think about it. How different would your life be if you had no hope of ever knowing who Heavenly Father is and that he really has a plan for us, to live without the priesthood in your life and be feel guilt at every corner because you don't know how to apply the atonement to your life!! I am truly thankful for everything that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with! This past week I have also gained a real testimony that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers if we are faithfully following His commandments and really pondering and thinking about everything that we need or want to know in our lives!! I have seen it this last week as I get ready to go to the Netherlands. I am so excited and yet so very scared because, let's face it, I can't speak Dutch. I have felt a lot of anxiety and I have really just been freaking myself out, but as I have prayed for strength and help with the language, and I have kept my rigorous study schedule in place and continued to better myself, I saw the Lord bless me in a lesson this week. It was really the answer I needed. I still, to this day, have no idea what in the world came out of my mouth(my teacher/ investigator) was even really surprised. The Lord blessed me with an ability beyond my own to speak the language and to express my testimony the way I have wanted to since I came here. I can't do it right now, nor will I be able to do it tomorrow. But I know that as I continue to try my best and be diligent in my studies everyday, that the Lord will bless me when He really needs my testimony. I am in His service and the only way I can do this is through Him!!

Also, on Thanksgiving, we got to watch 17 Miracles and we were all given popcorn for the movie!! I don't know what it is with me....but I am really not the person to cry in a movie....but every single one of the sisters in our district were almost dying because of the movie. I felt really bad....but I just had to laugh because, I mean, the pioneers went through a lot and all...but it's a movie :D That was really nice to have this week. A day to really be thankful and also be able to sit back a little bit and enjoy the moment. I am sad that I was not able to be at Kris's house and try the new Thanksgiving delights. I have to say, that you have one more Thanksgiving to perfect these delicious food you best get on it :D

We learned the Dutch birthday song!!!! (The real one....I found out that we have been pronouncing it wrong for a very long time....and I will be fixing this when I come home) But here it is....

Er is er een jarig, hoera, hoera!
Dat kan je wel zien dat is hij/zij.
Dat vinden wij allen zo prettig, ja, ja
en daarom zingen wij blij
Hij/zij leven land hoera, hoera
Hij/zij leven lang hoera, hoera
Hij/zij leven lang hoera, hoera
Hij/zij leven lang hoeraaaaaa

Lang zal je leven
Lang zal je leven
Lang zal je leven in de gloria
in de gloria


It is probably really cool and it makes me smile every single day. Since we have learned it...two of our teachers have had birthdays so we have had a lot of opportunity to practice it!!

On Sunday, I got to listen to Elder Brooks Butler sing a song with his cousin in front of the entire MTC!!! It was a beautiful thing!! I really love being able to see him everyday and I love being able to hear his voice and imagine all of my wonderful opera moments with all of my beautiful friends!!!

Also on Sunday, my companion and I got to watch 'Legacy' with a companionship of Elders in our district. My favorite part of the movie(other than remembering all of the times Jake was so upset that we were watching it AGAIN as children) was that Elder King did his best to make sure that we were all still being missionaries and at every single point that someone was going to kiss another person....he covered every single persons eyes. I am still to this day not sure how he managed to help three other people out....but he was. It was extremely funny!!

This week has really been the slowest week that we have had here at the MTC.....I think it is because the real deal is so close, and we are all so ready to go, but it makes having to be in class for 9 hours a day pretty tough. I am not sure if I was ever really excited for anything before.....maybe you have seen this.....but I can't really be quiet about the things that I get really excited for....and maybe people get tired of hearing about it. Yeah...well I may not have ever done th is before...but that is what it happening right now. But our entire district is on the train and every other group of missionaries around us is really tired of us!!

Ok. So here is probably the most ridiculous thing that happened this week. Yesterday, we were getting ready to sing a Christmas hymn. I was taking forever to find my hymn book and everyone else started singing. It was a wonderful rendition of 'Joy to the World' in Dutch.....but as I turned to the hymn....I realized that something was so very, very wrong. Zuster Juchau....bless her little heart...tried so hard to get everyone started that she didn't look at the music....and everything fell apart when they reached the lyric "Gloria".....It was a crash and burn as everyone started to give her an evil glare and then proceed to sing 'Angels we have heard on High' directly afterward. It was really funny and also sad because everyone now makes fun of her every single day!!

Ok, so I am now going to bear my testimony in that in the can see how much better my Dutch is getting :D

Ik weet dat de Kerk van Jezus Chrisus van de Heiligen der Laatste Dagen waar is. Ik hou van deze kerk en weet niet waar ik nieuw zouden zijn als ik niet deze kerk en evangelie in mijn leven had. Ik geloof dat Joseph Smith een profeet was. En dat door hem, onze Hemelse Vader hersteld de volheid van het evangelie. Ik ben heel dankbaar dat ik de gelegenheid heb om het evangelie te leren en te houden. Ik geloof dat door Jezus Christus we naar God kunnen terugkeren. God heeft een plan opgesteld waarmee we naar hem kunnen terugkeren. Jezus Christus staat centraal in deze plan. Hij heeft voor ons gestorven. En door zijn lijden, we kunnen van onze eigen zonden bevrijd!! Ik dank mijn Hemelse Vader voor zijn plan. Zonden zijn plan, wij kunnen geen gelluk in onze leven hebben! Ik zeggen deze dingen, in de naam van Jezus Christus, Amen.

Ik hou van jullie!!! Jullie zijn heel geweldig!! De naast keer it zal tot jullie schrijven, ik zal in Nederland zijn!!(the next time I write to you, I will be in the Netherlands!!!)

Zuster Israelsen

P.S. Mom, I have to buy a calling card today...and I am not sure how many calls I get in each call. I might just buy two so that I can call my siblings....but I don't know where they are going to be and what they are going to be doing. I would like to talk to them if I can...but I also get to call home on Christmas....we may even be able to you should start figuring out that camera thing. Let me know if they are going to have time to talk on Monday. If not...I can just send my love through letters and talk to everyone on Christmas!! You are wonderful...and I just got a slip for a I hope it is from you!!! I love you and I can't wait to talk to you on Monday!!

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