Monday, January 14, 2013

New Coat, Chicken Feet and Service

Jack Van Oudheusen....we had dinner at his house yesterday!!! He showed me a ton of pictures of the Israelsen family....back when Dad was young.....It was cool and also weird....because he looks different :D


How has everyone's week gone!! I heard a ton of exciting things about everyone!! RACHEL!!! Way to go with swimming!! That picture looks FABULOUS!!! You are just a champ!! Is your season almost over? What is the plan? Tell me about school!

Jake, enjoy being at home while you can. Having food....clothes and's really a blessing :D How have you been doing? It sounds like you are already becoming a missionary for the members in the ward!! Keep it up!! It takes a lot of practice :D

Elizabeth!! How was Friday fun? It looks like you have a new itchy thing on your face....I'm not sure that it is normal....but you might know more than I do!! When are you going to go again? How is the singing part for choir going?

Mom, we have already started to see the effects of service here too. They haven't started all of that crazyness that you were talking about with the website and consistent service yet....but we have definitely been trying to have a focus on where and when we can serve!! How is school going? I can't believe that Mrs. Pearson is leaving? What are you going to do?

Dad, I am so extremely upset about the Broncos. I might scream!! The one time they are finally first seed...and then they lose....NOT COOL!! How is work going? What is new? (Besides having the house to yourself again!!)

So this week, we had a bunch of crazyness happen!! First, I got a new coat. It is wonderfully warm!!! I might have died this next week if I hadn't have gotten it!! may look a little tight in the picture I sent....but mind you...I wasn't wearing five layers of clothes when I bought it really is a nice coat. It is lined with down and is longer than my other one and I got it for 50% off!!! That's right. I am the bargain shopper!! But this is freezing. And it is supposed to stay in the negatives this whole week. It started snowing this morning and I was not happy!! The wind makes it fifty times worse!! But that's ok....I'm just trying my best not to freeze to death!! The locals keep telling us that the real Dutch winter is finally here....and that they hope it goes away in about two months.....I don't know if I can handle too much more of it :D

For P-Day last week...we went to Den Haag centrum...and we got real Chinese food from the China town restaurant. Elder Li, he speaks Chinese, and he ordered everything for us and we had no idea what we were getting ourselves in to!! The shrimp was delicious and many of the other dishes....but he made us all eat a chicken foot. SO GROSS!!! But I was told that it was required so I ate it to avoid any conflict! All I have to say is...have fun in China. Because if their food tastes anything like just might not be eating very much for a week or so :D. Don't worry though....they just love chicken feet there!!

It really has been service week. At least in our ward. We went over and helped Helga and her familie! She is a legal midget and she has been having issues with reaching all of the things that she needs in her kitchen to be able to cook for her family and to be able to fend for herself when her kids aren't home. So we had a full kitchen renovation. We took everything out. Threw a bunch of stuff away, cleaned it all up and then put it back in a better way where she is able to get to everything that she needs to easier. It took us a super long time but it was worth is. She was very grateful. We also moved a sister in our ward this last week from Delft to Den Haag. Her name is Sister Brower. We had been over to her house to help her pack up a few times already....(she has a lot of stuff...most of which she hasn't touched for a long time) But she wanted it all packed up. So we packed it and on Saturday, we moved her. It took all day to get everything out of her old house and into the new one. But again, it was worth it!! She was sincerely grateful and it was so cool to see how many people in the ward came out to help her. Without all of those helping hands, we would have gotten nowhere. But my favorite part about service(ok....maybe not favorite part...but one of the perks) is that I get to wear pants!!! What a beautiful thing!!

Ans Jansen is on track to be baptized on January 26!!! We are so excited!! We were worried about a lot of different things but she really is an example of faith for me!! She has been gettting a lot of opposition in her life, from her family and friends because of her decision to be baptized and she just doesn't let it phase her. She keeps telling us,"It's my life, my decision and I have finally found peace in my life so why should I listen to them!!" And she is already a great missionary!! We have spoken to more of her friends than I can count because she keeps inviting them over for her appointments with us!! The coolest thing that happened with her this week was our lesson about tithing. We were super worried to teach it to her because she has been telling us lately how hard it has been for her financially because of all of the extra doctors appointments that she has had. So....let's just say we were worried. We went over to her house, and she pretty much taught us about tithing and bore her testimony about how she knows that this will bless her life as well as the lives of others. She said,"You guys gave me a free Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and a Bijbel. I need to contribute so that others can have the same thing!! If this message is going to get to more people here in the world, I have to do my part!!" So cool!!!

It was Sister Nielson's birthday this last week so we got celebratory birthday doners. I think that I am going to make that a tradition....because they are amazing!!! I just might have to have a day set aside where I get to have a celebratory doner day every week!!

We are getting a mini missionary this next week. And what is a mini missionary you ask? Well....I'll tell you. Apparently here in Europe, they have this thing where youth can go on a mini misison for two weeks and see what missionary life is really like. I guess that they have seen a lot of youth actually decide to serve a mission because of their experience as a mini missionary. They get to really see what goes on, how hard it cold you can be and it answers a lot of their questions about what missionary life is like. I kind of wish that they had this as an opportunity for us back at home so that we can learn and see what we will be doing before we get thrown into everything cold turkey. Anyway, she is from somewhere in the Netherlands....we don't really know anything about her yet. But I will keep you updated as I get information( there will be a picture next week)

So....I had to sing in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Let's just say that it was interesting. I didn't have any time to prepare such a thing and to be able to get together with an accompianist is nearly impossible. So...yeah. I decided to sing in English so that I wouldn't drive myself absolutely crazy. I was told by the bishop that the ward just fell more in love with me after that. They think it is great that I try so hard to speak Dutch, that I am doing my best to get to know everyone in the ward, and now....they know I can sing. I don't know how great of a blessing that might just cause more stress...but that's ok. It is definitely something different that I am able to do when they give me the opportunity!!

I had my first experience with stompot and hutspot this last week. So, mom, the carrot and potatoes thing that you make is known as hutspot because of the carrots I guess....but people don't always have carrots that they can mash up into their dinner. So they have something called stompot. It is pretty much the same thing, but they put whatever other veggies that they have into the mashed potatoe brew and serve it up. It is delicious and it also warms you right up. We ate this at the bishop's house and he told us that we will be eating a lot of it in the next few weeks because everyone makes it to help them get really warm when it is freezing outside.

Last night, we were able to go over to Brother Van Oudheusen's house and have dinner and a party. Elder Maughn and Elder Li came along with us. Elder Maughn's mom worked for Grandpa Israelsen for a really long time and he really loves our family. He told us that Grandpa called him chief because he would fake sick all of the time and get to go to work with his mom and Grandpa was always there to tease him a little bit. Elder Maughn says that Grandpa could always see right through the fake sick and he would just laugh. Brother Van Oudheusen brought all of his photo albums from the times that he has been able to visit the Israelsen's. He talks and talks about how cool Great-Grandma Israelsen was and how smart and put together she still was even when she was really old. I saw pictures of Dad which was a little weird. Henry Ho was in them too!! But the weirdest moment was when I saw a picture with Uncle Neal in it. I was like,"since when did Shawn grow a mustache" but then I realized that Shawn wasn't even around then.....weird!! I also got to read a little bit of Bertie's journal of when she was with the Israelsen family. The Van Oudheusen's really love the Israelsens!! It is way cool because I kind of found a home way far away from home!!

Well....I am off to have another crazy week as a missionary!! I am starting transfer 2 this week!! Crazy how time flies!!
I love you all and I miss you!!

Zuster Israelsen

Dear Dad,

Here are the pictures for your birthday!!! I got you a delicious pastry.....and I ate it too....sorry.....I tried to save it!! Happy Birthday!!



Here are pictures from last week.

The first is the exchanges day. My companions Zuster Palenikova and Zuster Omazopia.

The last two....well..are dumb. But there is a lot of weird artwork here....and I was super confused and we took a picture by yeah. If anyone can explain why in the world this is art....that would be great!!!

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