Monday, January 28, 2013

Snowball Fights, Baptisms and Miracles


I can't believe that another week has come and gone. I just looked at my laundry today...and I thought I had just done it like two days ago....but apparently that was like....a week and a half ago. Time really does fly when you are having fun!!

I love hearing about everyone's week!!! It really is a highlight of my week to be able to hear from my family and know that everyone is doing well!! I think about you guys everyday. I worry about you and I pray for you!! I really Love you!!

I did end up getting boots this week. But I was way smart about how I did it. I had a Dutch young woman for me on P-Day. She knew exactly where the sales were, what boots were going to be warm and water proof and what were also going to be cute. I got them for 70% off so I think it was a pretty good deal. I am not sure if it is the money I am really worried about or trying to determine what I really need. I guess I was trying to convince myself that I already had boots and that I was going to be fine. But, really warm boots really do make a difference!!! Especially when it is so cold and always wet outside!!

This snowed every single day.....all day long. It was so cold!!! And the Dutch keep saying that this isn't's way too cold here!! They were getting really excited because it was getting cold enough that they might have been able to do their 11 city skating race....but in the last two days it has started to warm up....and the Dutch are not happy about it.....but they predict more snow and crazyness in it isn't over yet. I am pretty sure that we had a snowball fight with the Elders in Den Haag every day this week!! I am getting really good at making snowballs....and I don't think that the Elders believed me when I told them that I was competitive. Well....let's just say that they learned that they want Zuster Israelsen on their team!!! I don't hold back!! The funniest moment was watching Elder Li try to make an attempt to come and pummel me with snowballs....and as he was running across the street, he totally slipped and biffed it. It was priceless!!

Zuster Nielson and I have seen a lot of miracles this last week. We have felt that we were truly led to the right place at the right time. There were a lot of times we were going to just swing by someone's house, or look up another member in the ward that we haven't met yet, and they ended up needing us and our help really badly. One example, was we were in Voorburg because we had an appointment...and as usual, our appointment fell through. So we were going to look up Zuster Bidjai, who was our back-up plan. And we walked up to her door just in time to help her move huge boxes from her apartment to a new place that she is moving to. Her sister was also there trying to help her...but these boxes were way too heavy for a 70 year-old to be trying to carry down 5 flights of stairs. It was really miraculous. And we have done our best to be able to help the ward members so when we are able to randomly come and help them it is way cool. It really feels awesome to be an answer to prayers of others and really, the Lord is helping us to know who we need to get in contact with because we have no idea who really needs our help.

WE GOT 3 NEW INVESTIGATORS THIS WEEK!!! It felt like we were going through a drought for a long time. We had Ans and she is so golden, but she got baptized this last week and we were really concerned because we didn't have anyone else to teach. This week really proved to me that the answers really don't come until the trial of your faith. We have spent three weeks, in the freezing cold, contacting people who are not so very happy that we are trying to talk to them, and doing our best to be obedient and not give in to the temptation to just go back to our apartment and warm up before we really freeze. And because we did all of this, the Lord is now really blessing us with people to teach. One is a family, I think I told you about how we had an appointment with them this week, but they accepted baptism!!! (They weren't comfortable enough to accept a date) but they are commited to continue to learn and search our message and ask our Heavenly Father. They see how happy the Bidjai family is with the gospel and how much their children benefit from it and they want that for their kids too!! We are going to have FHE with the Bidjai's next week and they have invited the Steenheusens to come and experience that with us!! So cool!! The other new investigator, walked into church randomly this week. She is so cool!! She is from the Philippines and she is living here with her mom. She said that she had come into contact with the missionaries in the Philippines but she didn't really listen to them. But she has been having a hard time here in the Netherlands and the missionaries promised that their message would help her and bring more joy in her life, so she looked up the church and came on Sunday!!! We have our first real appointment with her this week and it is going to be amazing!!

We had Zone Training this week!! I love our zone!!! We are one of the best!! Elder Li and Elder Wright talked about being able to recognize things so that we could apply them in our lives. My favorite question that they asked us was,"What did we promise our Heavenly Father in the pre-existence, to be able to enjoy the blessings and experiences we have now? And are we living up to our promise to our Heavenly Father?" I learned that I need to start looking for the will of the Lord more in my life. Because whatever I promised Him before I came to earth is in line with His will. If I am seeking to do His will in my life, I will be fulfilling His expectations.

We had a wonderful week in Den Haag this week. We had someone from every single companionship in Den Haag baptized. That's right, 3 WHOLE BAPTISMS!!! Den Haag is on fire!! The work is really hastening. I don't know if I can explain how wonderful it is to see someone make the decision to be baptized and follow the example of Jezus Christ. Ans Jansen is my first baptism that I have been able to witness from the beginning to the end. Wow. This gospel is true!! I have seen her change from someone who was very skepticle of the church and anything that we had to teach, to someone who is alreay a support for others in the ward. She has already been working to help re-activate as many people as she can. She is so amazing. I have been able to witness the little changes along the way, but I also see the new Ans at the end. I think that that is why our Heavenly Father sent us to earth. He can see all of the little changes that we make along the way but he is also able to see the end product. That brings so much joy and increases your love for someone because you were able to help them along their way. It is so cool!! I have seen the Lord work through her, I have felt the Spirit testify through me and to me of the truthfulness of what we have taught and what she can now bear as her testimony and it is truly amazing. There were a ton of people at her baptism despite of the horrible weather and she was so grateful for the ward. The thing that meant the most to her this last weekend was the blessing she received when she was set apart. Elder Li was really listening to the Spirit because she told us that everyday this week she was asking for Heavenly Father to help her biological brothers and sisters to be pleased with her decision and to just support her in the things that have made her happy because ever since she told them she was going to be baptized, they haven't called her or answered any of her phone calls. Elder Li, through our Heavenly Father, told her that she had now received many new brothers and sisters that were there to support her and were so happy with her decision. That the ward loves her!! So cool!!

I love you all!! Here we go for another week in paradise!!

Zuster Israelsen

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