Monday, February 11, 2013

Hope, The Beast and a Huge Bag of Sour Gummy Treats

Hello Beautiful Family!!

So this week has been super cool!!! Last Monday, we went to Scheveningen to the BEACH!!! It was a really warm day and we got to play football, eat some lunch, buy some souveniers and see the oldest pier in the Netherlands!!! It was so cool and just exactly what we needed for a good P-Day to start our week!! It is the oldest pier in the Netherlands and there is a whole board that shows it's evolution throughout time and it is so cool!! The coolest thing there was the huge building that you can see behind me in the picture. It's called Kurhaus. It is a really old building and it used to be owned by some super rich man. I don't really know a whole lot about the building but it is the name sake of Scheveningen!!! I got a little magnet of it so that I can always remember it!! :D But it was way fun to be on the Beach and to be able to be out in public in jeans!! (that never happens by the way!!)

The other picture of the beach says 'I love Nederland!!!' Just in case you can't read it!! We had the Elders from Den Haag, the Zusters from Haarlem and Gouda and us there the entire day!!! It was super fun!!!

So, my bike, which was so nicely given to me, is super old. And the tires on him....kind of blew. Just the outer tires I had to go and buy new outer tires for him so that I could ride him and not die when I get a flat tire every single day. Bruno(my bike) is a beast. Like, he is huge and he can take most anything I do to him....but I put that off long enough and it was time to treat him with a little bit of love....mostly so that I could stop getting frustrated!! you can see, I bought some beautiful tires this week!!!

At district meeting, we learned a lot about hope. Our district has been having a really hard time lately. Almost every single companionship has been in the hospital more one reason or another in the last two weeks. So our district leader, Elder Taylor, taught us about hope and what we can do to get through the hard times. One thing that I realized, that I hadn't ever put together before is something that is spelled out for us in Preach my Gospel!! About hope, it says,"Hope is manifest in CONFIDENCE, ENTHUSIASM AND PATIENT PERSERVEREANCE.' So I realized, that lately I haven't really been confident(I know, hard to comprehend) or enthusiastic and I am not really sure yet how I am going to learn how to be super patient. But that I needed to change my outlook on what was going on. Life is hard enough and we have a lot of problems. But when we have a bad attitude, or only focus on what we can't do (like speak Dutch for example) we are not going to get anywhere in our lives. I have learned that I need to change my outlook from,'I can't speak Dutch, I'm a faliure.' To, 'I know so much more than four months ago. I can have conversations with people, and though my responses in Dutch are never perfect, I can understand and I am understandable!!' It has really helped me this week. It has helped me to feel more prepared to train here in about two months and it is no longer something scary because, as long as I am doing my best, the Lord will bless me with the things that I need in that time. I have to remember that it is in His time, and not mine.

So, in the MTC, I promised myself that when I hit the 4 month mark on my mission that I would begin to study the scriptures in Dutch. So I did and guess what?!?! I understand!! I am able to read so much better in Dutch everyday!! It is so cool to see that progression!!! I still spend about half of my time in English in personal study, but that is a step further than I thought I would be at this point!! Cool huh?

Mom, I am getting my hair cut this week. I had been asking people in the ward where they get their hair cut to be able to find a place and the only person with super cute hair gets her hair cut when she goes back to the states....and everyone else just cuts their own hair. Unfortunately....idon't really trust them, so I asked the mission president's wife where to go and she gave me a place where the people are American and they do a really good job. So we will hope and pray that it looks good!! I think I am going to take a little more off this time so that I don't have to get it cut in two months...but more like four because I have to save my monies!!

I have been working super hard to learn specifically the restoration lesson backwards and forwards for the last few weeks. After Ans, we haven't had a real progressing investigator to teach and I have been doing my best to be able to prepare to be able to teach with my companion and to memorize the lesson so that I can give it better in Dutch!! We got to teach it to our first investigator yesterday!!! It felt super good and I could understand everything that was going on. I am still not perfect, and I have a lot of work to do, but it feels so good to see that I am making progress and that I am getting better!!

This last week, Zuster Nogueira got sent home. She is on a medical release and if the doctors in Protugal figure anything out then she will be able to come back to the mission!! It was really a hard thing for our entire district and we are just trying to get back onto our feet. She is always in our prayers and we hope that she can return soon.

You asked me more about my companion. She is a lot like me. She doens't really have anything to do with music. but she is sporty and super cool. The coolest thing about her is that she was a speed skater training to go to the Olympics, but that she choose to come on a mission instead of continue on that career track!! Because of that, she is super dedicated and super fun to be around. We get along great(even though we are together 24 hours a day) and we both really like the chocolate here. We also like the sour gummy treats that they have here and we get a huge bag of them every week!!! Her dutch is super good because her mom was born here in the Netherlands and her dad served here so she has had Dutch in her life....her entire life.

Today, to celebrate the almost end of the transfer, we are going right now to go and eat sushi!!! YAY!! I am so excited!!
I love you all!! I can't wait to hear from you again!! Keep up being the best family ever!!!


Zuster Israelsen

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