Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dad's Bad Advice, Investigators, Biking With An Umbrella and Rotterdam


I hope that everyone has had a great week!! It has been a crazy one here in the Netherlands. The weather is literally driving me crazy!! I have learned how to ride a bike while holding an umbrella!! Yes, I am THAT cool!!! And I haven't done my make-up in a week because as soon as I go outside I just have another shower pour on my head....so there isn't really any point anyway. I know....maybe not the most attractive thing, but better that than a black pool running down my face!!

We had a lot of activities this week that we had to go down to Rotterdam for this week!! One of them was Family Home Evening for the JoVos and it was Elder Van Overbeeks birthday!! They had a party for him, but it was a cool party because they made it a big thing so that the missionaries could invite their investigators to come. He did a great job and made sure that everyone felt welcome. We had four investigators that came!! That was super cool!! But the best part was the spiritual thought that he had for all of us. He had Madeleine and I sing "O my Father" for everyone and he talked about why he made the decision to go on a mission!! That was super cool. The spirit was super strong and out investigators thought that it was an amazing activity. They thought it was great because they were able to see that the LDS people are normal people, that they can have fun but also feel the super strong spirit even when they aren't in the church services!! It was an important experience for me too because I really felt the spirit really strong. It's hard to serve a mission and talk to everyone that you come in contact with, especially when they are mostly very negative. There are a lot of times that you second guess what you know, that you become discouraged, or doubtful. And it is spiritual experiences like this specific activity that remind me of why I made the decision to come out here in the first place. I have a firm testimony of the gospel and I want to share it with others. I know that through the gospel I have become more happy that I could have ever imagined!! It really is a huge blessing in my life!!

District Meeting this week was super cool!! We set super high goals for this transfer!! I think that it is always better to have high goals and do your best to reach them. In Preach my Gospel it says, "If you lower your expectations, your effectiveness will decrease, your desire will weaken, and you will have greater difficulty following the Spirit." Our district has made the decision to have our expectations for ourselves and also our investigators high. If our expectations for our investigators are high, our expectations for ourselves will also increase because we will be doing everything that we can to be able to help them to progress and if we are doing that then we will be able to reach our high goals. We have a goal to contact 1000 JoVos by the end of the month.....and you think that is easy...it's not when you are in appointments all day everyday....but we have set our expectation and because of that, we spend every moment that we aren't in an appointment contacting as many people as possible!! Just one example!! So remember, set your expectations high, then it will be easier to work toward your goal and actually make progress!!

As part of our contacting efforts this week, we attempted to sing at people's doorsteps. I remember Dad telling us the stories about his companion that would sing "We thank thee o God for a Prophet" and that every time they managed to get into the door. Dad, I don't believe you anymore......I tried this technique on about 10 doors this specific day....and not a single one of them were pleased. And I am pretty sure that your companion hadn't ever had voice lessons before.....but I could be mistaken......I just thought that it would be a good idea...and it ended up being more of a joke than anything!!

We have seven progressing investigators right now in our lives. So we are pretty much booked solid all of the time!! It's a super cool thing to be busy, but there are some days that I would like to sit down for three minutes. But with one of our investigators we were able to have a super cool appointment with him this week!! President De Jonge(the stake president) he speaks French and so does our investigator. So he came along with us to our appointment and we had a really great lesson and figured out ways to be able to help Sana to quit smoking. He knows that the Book of Mormon is true and he has a desire to be baptized but this one thing is really holding him back!! But it was really great for him to be able to hear a testimony in French and to feel the spirit really strongly in his mother tongue!! It was suepr cool!!

Also, in our contacting efforts, we have found a NEW INVESTIGATOR!!! His hame is Thomas and he is 18 years old. He is cool!! He is studying to be an artist. And not any random type of artist, but one that would work for pixar.....so I guess that would be an animator.....? Ok, I really don't know any more words in English....I guess. So yeah. He is from Belgium and is a super cool kid!! We love his Flams accent and he loves the fact that we teach him interesting things that help him to feel better about himself and what will happen after this life.

Also, I have decided that I have fingers of steel...because my fingers were so strong that I broke through the wires on my bike brakes.....both of them in the same day!! So, I have to fix my bike....and I don't know how to do that....so I am trying to learn how to use tools....Jake, I think that that would be a good thing to learn how to do....is fix everything on your bike so that if you don't have problems or have to pay someone else to do it. Anyway....that is my bike adventures this week!!

Also, we tried to make bread this week....and it didn't work....it kind of exploded in the kitchen and it was crazyness!! But it still tasted ok....so I guess that's good!! I should have learned how to do that too....cook.....that would be some good skills to have when I was away from home!!

I love the mission!! And I love being able to see the people here in the Netherlands be changed through the Atonement of Christ. It is a beautiful thing!!

I love you all!! I miss you too!!

Can't wait to hear from you again!!

Tot ziens!!
Zuster Israelsen

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