February 25, 2013
HELLO MY WONDERFUL, AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL FAMILY!!
I love you guys so much!! I love the opportunity to be able to write to you every week and update you on all of the crazyness that is going on!! It really is the only thing that seperates the days and the weeks because everything just blends together!! This week has been super crazy and I am just loving life as a missionary!!
This week started out with me actually becoming a legal resident here in the Netherlands. I had to pick up my verblijfsvergening, which is my ID so now I don't have to carry my passport around with me all over the place. That is a nice thing because I have been worried about losing that the entire time I have been here....it's a worry of mine. But now, I just have this little card....I might end up losing that easier than my passport, but I guess we will see.
But Pday was super exciting because we got to go to Amsterdam!!! I love Amsterdam!! It is a super cool city!! I thought Den Haag was big, but I walked out of the train station and my breath was taken away. Amsterdam is super pretty. The buildings are really old and it is super cool!! I mean, we were in the nice parts of Amsterdam....I have heard what goes on there. But we went to the Hard Rock Cafe there and it was DELICIOUS!!! It was the first real hamburger I have had since we have come here!! I miss my good old burgers, but It was a beautiful thing to be able to enjoy something normal. We don't really buy meat very much here because it is super expensive so I got the biggest burger that I could afford because I miss my red meat!!
On Monday night, and part of Tuesday I was able to say goodbye to some of the members of the Den Haag ward because I think that they are super cool and they helped me out a lot while I was there in that city!! It was super sad to leave, and we were super busy so I didn't really get a lot of time to pack, so everything just kind of got thrown into my suitcases(one of those things was my camera....and I still have not had enough time to dig it out of my stuff.....so I don't have any pictures this week....I am so sorry!!! I will make it up next week!!) And on Tuesday, we had five different appointments with people that we had finally found!! It took us so long to build up an investigator pool there in Den Haag, so I was sad to leave right when we had people to teach, but I know that the work is still going forward there and that they are going to rock it!!
So, I am now here in Doordrecht. Doordrecht itself, is a super small town. It is the oldest harbor town in the Netherlands and it is super special because it didn't get bombed down in World War II. It is super cool and super cute!! The architechture of the town is so old and it is picture perfect Europe!! We have a super huge church called 'Grote Kerk'. It is super huge and they are restoring it right now, but one of these days we are going to get inside and tour it so I am excited!! Our area is super huge and it is pretty much a lot of little islands seperated by huge canals....like huge canals!! The bridges to cross over them are super huge and it is a killer to have to bike up them!! We do it at least five or six times a say!! BUT we found this super cool thing that is called the Water Bus. Pretty much, it is a boat that we can get on and take our bikes and then they take us where we need to go. And it is super cool to be on a boat. Don't worry, it is totally allowed, President actually asked us to use that more than biking on the bridge because the bridge is more dangerous!! So I get a boat ride a few times a day, There aren't very many missionaries who can say that, now are there?
Our living arrangements here are pretty cool. So the Bishop made an apartment for the missionaries in his attic, and now we have three Young Women who are return missionaries who live here with us. First, we have Elizabeth, she is American and her dad was the bishop(he got released on Sunday). She is super cool and served her mission in Greece!! Then, we have Madeleine. She is Dutch and she served her mission in California. She loves musicals and she is helping me to know what Dutch musicals I should look up when I go home!! And then we have Tatiana, she is Russian and served her mission in Russia!! She is super cool! I love all three of the girls, it is a little weird though because I feel like I should just be in college while I am around them, but it really nice to have them around too because they really know this area better than I ever will!!
In Doordrecht, we have a ton of investigators, we have five progressing investigators as well as others on top of that. We are super busy, all of the time!! I love all of the investigators I have met so far, but I haven't even been here long enough to have had a meeting with all of them!! It is super cool to see that change and to learn to love people as soon as you meet them!! I love it!!
Our church building is probably the coolest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Zuster Hinchcliff and I have decided that this next week, we are going to make a video tour of the building so that we can show you all of the cool things!! But it is a super huge, super old house that the Nazis used in World War II!!! I think it is super cool!! Oh my goodness, it made me so happy to be able to see that!! The bishop took us on a tour yesterday....and they even have vaults in the basement where the kept prisoners of war and things!!! It is super cool!! And it really just makes the whole ward feel more like a family because we meet together in a home!! I love it!!
Yesterday, it was a crazy Sunday, because they called a new bishop in the ward, so I still don't really know who is a real member of the Doordrecht ward because there were a ton of stake leaders and their entire families!! But it was an exciting day at church, in an old historical building!!
Ok, so I know you are going to ask me....so I will now tell you about Zuster Hinchcliff!! She is super cool!! She is from North Carolina. She attends BYU....I am still trying to decide if I can forgive her for that mistake....but she will probably win me over here soon. She is super loud and crazy and fun!! She uses the phrase 'turns out' all of the time. She has man like legs from biking everywhere here in Doordrecht! and she bakes delicious cookies!! I will tell you more about her as I get to know her more. But I really do love her and we are getting along quite nicely!!
You all are super lucky!!! Because of a snow storm, you got to have no church yesterday....we also had a snow storm, but naturally, I just got to hop on my bike and bike through a blizzard :D I did survive though so that is the good news!!
I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful week!!! You are always in my prayers!!
Zuster Megan Israelsen