Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

Hello Family and Friends!!!

First off, I want to wish everyone a PRETTIG KERSTDAG!!! It is Christmas Eve!!! I really miss you guys, the chinese food I know you will eat today, and all of the festivites. But we have a great week planned as missionaries with a lot of members in the ward. We are also taking a trip to Delft today for P-Day to do a little bit of touristy things before Christmas!!!

First things first, please give the ward the mission home address. We won't know our new addresses for out new apartments when we transfer until we get there. But the mission home address will never change!!! Also, I will leave the judgement up to you about which picture you will give them for the plaque!!! I trust you and I am really not good at picking things like that!

So this week, I had my first ever Turkse Pizza. They are delicious!! They are made by the same people that make the Doners that Jake tried in Downtown Denver. They have a tortilla(which is better than a I'm not really sure what it is) and they have this amazing sauce that they put on it. Then you can choose whether or not you want spicy sauce(of course!) and a salad type thing on it and then your choice of meat. They are delicious!! I love them and my companion and I are planning on getting one a week until one of us is transfered. So Turkse Pizza is a winner!!(Picture attached)

We also got some crazy news from President and Sister Robinson this week. We found out that on May 1 we have 9 sisters coming into the transfer later we have 15 new sisters coming into the mission and about 4 leaving. So....since we only have 15 sisters right now and we are losing 4. We will all be training at least two other sisters at the same time. I have decided that it is probably time to learn Dutch because otherwise I am never going to survive trying to keep track of two new sisters....teaching lessons and trying to arrange everything in Dutch. So I am really working hard on it!!

I also had my first Zone Conference. I loved it!! It was four hours where I got to sit down and learn from Sister and President Robinson. They are really amaizng people and I am so excited to be able to learn from them for the next year and a half. We talked about working smarter and not harder. We have found that knocking doors and street contacting are really not successful in the Netherlands. It is definately a miracle whenever we are able to find someone on the street who is really sincere. So, we have decided that we are working with the members. Our main focus right now is serving the members. We all know how hard it can be to continue to be strong in the faith when there is so much crazyness going on around us. And really, we as missionaries are no different than the members. We, along with the members, have been called to do missionary work in the area of the Netherlands. And the leaders here have the keys over missionary work. So why work harder than we need to? We need to work smart, create a realationship with the members so that they can feel comfortable with us and so that we can help them to do the missionary work that the Lord has prepared this area for!! We are working on building a new stake by December 2013 and through the members this can and will happen!!

We had another baptism this week. Her name is Jade and she is from China. We have an Elder in our ward who is fluent in Chinese and he also learned Dutch to come here on a mission. So it was really cool!! I heard my first blessing in Chinese on Sunday. Never thought that would happen here in the Netherlands but I have decided that anything in possible!!! She is really a sweet girl and she speaks pretty good English!! She will be here in the Netherlands for at least another year studying so we are really excited to see what cool things she will continue to do!!

Ok, so I just have to say....that I am really tired of fireworks!!! It is ridiculous here!!! People can get fireworks all over the place. And they aren't the little wimpy things that we can get in America. They are ridiculously big!! And they explode them all night long!! It drives me crazy and it has even gotten worse now that the kids are out of school for break!! But we have also been told that because of the fireworks and other crazy things that go down on New Years that we have to be in our apartments by 4 in the afternoon. We are going to be watching movies and eating a lot of junk food as we listen to the chaos outside!!

Our investigator, Ans Jansen, has set a goal to be baptized on January 26!! That was really a miracle because she even told us that she wouldn't set a date. That she thought it was too much pressure so we haven't pushed the matter, but she came to Jade's baptism and she just leaned over and whispered to me,"Dat is echte doop!!! Ik wil dat voor mij. Mischien de 26 van Januari'?" I was just a little excited!! She already has a testimony of the gospel and she is realy moving forward!!! I really love her and she looks out for us so much!! In January we are going to go on a tour of Den Haag with her so that we can see all of the tourist spots in Den Haag!! She is so excited to show us around her home!! She doesn't have any kids so she has kind of taken us in as her own!!

But, the most exciting part of my day was yesterday. I MET BERTIE'S FAMILY!! That's right dad, the real Bertie who stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Israelsen!! I met her husband and all of her children!! They are so excited!! It was the first time that I was really able to talk to them and their family and they almost died when they found out that I was Glen and Ruth's granddaughter!! They really love Grandma and Granpa!! They told me that I must say hi and that we are going to get together sometime soon and share pictures and stories and take a big picture so that they can see all of the little grandkids and everyone. Broeder Van Oudheusden gave me his email because he would like to hear from Grandpa and Grandma!! So here it is: So please let Grandpa and Grandma know!!! They really love our family and it is so cool to know that someone else knows my family back in America!!

Sorry this email is a little short today....but we have to get going because the email place is closing down for Christmas Eve!!! I Love all of you and I can't wait to be able to skype you tomorrow!!

Mom, I will call you. I am not sure what profile I will be using because I don't know the name of their profile...and I will call. I am calling at 7pm my time which will be around 11 am your time. It may be a little later than 11 because we will be coming from an appointment but we will be able to talk!! We get an hour tomorrow so I will see you then!! Also, I love the Blog!!! It looks amazing!!! And today I will be taking real pictures in Delft so you will have more things to see when I email next week!!

Ik hou van jullie!!! Ik wens jullie een prettige kerstdag!!!

Zuster Israeslen

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