Monday, April 1, 2013

Nametags in Jello, 3 people an hour and Paasconcert


I love you all so much and I hope that everyone has had a wonderful spring break time there in the United States of America!!! It is still freezing here in the Netherlands!!! It starts to warm up....but then really the weather just laughs in your face and it starts to snow again. In other words....I have spring fever. It is time for the Netherlands to catch up and realize that the poor missionaries need a break from wearing their heavy winter coats and they need to be able to roam free and frollik in the wind!!

This week has been an interesting one!!! We are still going crazy with the amount of people we are teaching here in Dordrecht. We had four appointments with investigators almost everyday....that is crazy ridiculous and President called us to see what kind of miracle grow we were taking because it is really unheard of here in our mission. It is hard to find people who are willing to hear the gospel...but somehow we are making it work!!

Zuster Townsend, my new companion, is crazy!! I don't even know what else to say about that....the Elders in our district don't really like her because...well you day we were talking about how both of us really like 'the office' and how it is on both of our bucket lists to become Jim and stick something in jello. I thought that we were kidding...but then, when we came home from district meeting she pulled out name tags from all of the Elders in our district. The problem that we don't have any she is going to have to return them...especially since the Elders figured out it was her.

We have a goal as a mission to make sure that we are talking to at least 3 people an hour every hour that we are supposed to be outside. So...that is roughly 23 people a day. We have seen the fruits of that labor though. We found two new investigators this last week from those efforts and that is the most I have seen personally the entire 6 months I have been on a mission. So that has been a really cool experience. Also, it is good to be able to know for myself that I can actually talk to people in Dutch on the street and have successful contacts. That is getting more and more important now...since I have exatly one month from today until I will most lilkely be training......CRAZY!!

We have seen some miracles with our investigators this last week!! Sana, the man from the Ivory coast, he is in the process of quitting smoking. He went from smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day to now....only 3 cigarettes!!! That has been amazing to see!!! There is a quote in Preach my Gospel that says,'True Doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior' I have seen that in Sana's life. The more he begins to understand the gospel(which is hard with the French language barrier) he is taking it upon himself to change his behavior and to become the person that is expected. He tells us everyday with excitement,'I am going to be baptized and I will be able to do it!! I am doing my best and the Lord will help me!!' It is such a cool thing to see!!

Also, my life is a little stressful at the moment because we are being forced to move into a new apartment....the only problem is is that the mission can't get us moved until Friday....and our power is supposed to turn off we will see how this week goes....we may be moving in with a member for a few days becasue we need water and's just a little important!! Mom, don't worry, I will make sure that I am able to shower everyday :D

We helped Madeleine move out of our house this last week and I put on my jeans for the first time since the may have a problem. I have apparently lost 15 kilos since I have been here in the Netherlands....I am getting too small for my clothes. I had to punch a new hole in my belt so that I could be able to wear the jeans and carry something up the stairs without them falling to the ground(how embarassing!!) Anyway....I guess there are worse problems to have. I think it may have something to do with the millions of miles we bike everyday!!

On Saturday, we had a Paasconcert(Easter concert) and I was asked to sing by Fesna Gruppman. Look her and her husband Igor up....they are famous!!! Anyway....she had me sing a really old song but I was accompanied by her and Olga Babadjan. They are both super amazing musicians from Russia. That was a super sweet experience!!! It feels so nice when you have a professional accompanying you!! and I had the opportunity to sing for about 2000 people with TWO professional musicians accompanying me!! Such a cool experience!!! (picture)

Easter here is...well...interesting. I thought that Easter was one of the two times that everyone always went to church....but apparently that is the day that everyone decides to spend time with their family and not attend church. We had about 10 people in our sacrament meeting. So that was nice and cozy!! But we had a great time eating African fufu at the Ampems and then, we had to finish our weekly planning because our week was insanely full of crazyness!!

Mom, second Easter is ridiculous. We can't even go shopping today because literally every single store is closed. I don't know what it is about people here in the Netherlands. Most of them aren't even religious and yet, they make sure that everyone gets days off. And they mean EVERYONE!!! But that's ok....we are spending most of our time taking closets and beds apart to get them ready to move this week!! Also, I am sorry that I didn't inclued the picture of the castle....I also just switched my memory I don't have it with me today either....but I will have it next week!!

I love you all and I miss you so very much!! I am working my hardest everyday and I feel so good!! I love being a missionary!!

I can't wait to hear from you again next week!!

Also, make sure that you keep taking care of the sisters in your ward!!! Sister Missionaries are the best and people sometimes forget about them...and that they like dinner appointments too(everyone assumes that we can cook....which we all know that is a lie!!! I need some help :D)

Love you!!!
Ik hou van jullie!!! Tot horens!!!
Zuster Israelsen

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