Monday, April 29, 2013

Tempel Conferentie. Tulips, Bugs in my Eye and Ridderkerk

Ik ben zo dankbaar dat ik een zendeling in de Belgie/Nederland zending zijn!!  Nederland is echt een geweldige land!!  De mensen hier zijn echt gek!!  Wij hebben met zo veel mensen opstraat deze week gesproken!!  Ik hou van hun!!  Ik voel me hier thuis in de land van mijn voorouders!!  Wat een mooi ervarring die de Heer aan me gegeven heeft!!  Ik hou van het evangelie!!  Ik ben dankbaar dat ik de kans heb om het met anderen to delen!!  Leven is mooi!!
Ok, back to English!!  First off, I would like to give a shout out to Belem Moyano, who will binne kort become Hermana Moyano!!  Good luck going into the MTC on Wednesday you beautiful person you!!  You are going to be one amazing missionary and I can't wait to hear more about your adventures in St. George Utah!! 
So, our apartment, you remember...the really super nice, new apartment. was apparently not ready for us to live in.  I can't remember if i told you...but in the past two weeks we have had a flood in our kitchen almost every other day.  the repair man, his name is Rene, he has come and fixed the leak so many times that I wonder if he really is a plumber or not....but hey, I am not one to judge or anything.  So that has been a pain in our necks.  The other day, in the middle of personal study, there was a knock at our door and it was Rene.  He ran into our apartment and immediately began fixing somthing.  Apparetnly the water damage has affected the people who live beneath us.  We have people fixing our apartment everyday....CRAZY!!  I am just happy because this week we actually have a washer and I don't have to go and beg a member to wash my underwear :D 
It has really been an amazing week!!  On Tuesday, we had tempel conferentie!!  I got to go to the Den Haag, Nederland temple(which really is in Zoetermeer).  I love that place!!  i was so excited that I was going to be able to go to the temple that I didn't even think about what language that it was going to be in.  Guess what?!?  It wasn't in English!!  It was in Dutch.  And funny enough, I felt like the endowment session meant more to me in Dutch than in English.  I mean, it is always a beautiful experience, but there was a special spirit there in the Dutch language!!  I got to see the Jansens from Den Haag and also Jack VanOudheusen in the tempel!!  And of course, all of the other missionaries!!  It was really a treat and I was spiritually uplifted for hopefully another six months.  I have learned on my mission how amazing the tempel is and how important it should be in our life.  Our weeks really do go better when we are able to worship therein!!  I challenge you all to try to make the tempel a weekly, or at least a monthly visit!!  You will get so much closer to the Lord that way than you can in any other way!!  I love it!
We also got to go to keukenhof in Tuesday.  Keukenhof is a huge, super famous flower garden in Haarlem.  The gum scene of the Best Two Years was filmed there(yes, indeed, I did re-inact that part of the film)  It was beautiful.  I was a little sad though because since it has been so cold there weren't as many tulips as there normally are, but they were still beautiful and I couldn't believe what kinds of colors they were able to make out of flowers!!  They rent out parts of the garden to different people and they all make their own display with their flowers!!  It is super cool and you see things done there with flowers that you never thought possible!! 
I have learned this week that I must purchase some Amelia Earhart flying goggles for on my bike.  Three times.  THREE TIMES.  I had a ridiculous little bug fly into my eye as I was biking somewhere.  I was even stopping to talk to someone on the street once and it happened...I may or may not have almost killed said woman...she didn't have any interest and quickly ran away!!  Anyway....that was my funny story for the week.  You should have seen it.  It was ridiculous....I know dad.  You are going to say...well just close your\s not that simple ok?  :D 
Also, I got a letter from Grandma Gail this last week at tempel conference and she sent me the birthplaces of her grandparents.  I realized why I was called to Dordrecht.  Great Great Grandpa Van Drimmelen was born and raised in Ridderkerk....and guess what?!?!  That is in our area!!  We are going to go and find whoever I am supposed to find there this week!!  We are determined!!  And it will be nice to take pictures :D
We also got an opportunity to tour the Grote Kerk hier in dordrecht!!  It is super cool!!  And super old!!  It was originally a Catholic Church, but at one point in the history of the Netherlands, Catholicism was banned, so then it became a Protestant church.  They give tours today for 1 euro!!  Super cool!!  My fovirte things were first, when you are walking through the church, you are literally walking on peoples graves.  People would pay big money to be able to be burried in the church.  Their headstone is the floor!!  My companion was weirded out...but I thought it was super cool!!  Second, the stained glass windows are remarkable.  I tried to take pictures but they are way better in person.  They show all of the history of Dordrecht!!  It is super cool!!  Third, we learned about Catholic and Protestant traditions.  That is super handy but it was also super cool to be ablel to understand why the church was built the way it was!!   The Cathloic churches are full of symbolism, for the land they are in and also the bijbel!!  I love it so much!!  I also learned, that the big clock tower that they have it not part of the church.  That the government required that it get put there so that they would have a military benefit.  They can see super far in the tower!!  I love it!! 
This week, I have learned to let go of the things that I cannot control.  From our apartment, to the appointments that we make and people don't follow up on and the decisions that people make in their lives.  I have realized how hard it really is for heavenly Father not to interject His power and make us do the things that He wants us to do.  It is hard when you know what will make people happy but they choose not to listen.  It realy does come down to,"Am I doing everything I can to become the person and missionary that the Lord wants me to become?"  I have studied my Patriarchal blessing a lot this week!!  i ahve come to the realization that I need to make sure that I can describe myself the way the Lord describes me and become the person that is described in that blessing.  That is what the Lord wants me to become!!  I love being a missionary!!  I love the gospel!!  I love the Netherlands!!
I hope that you all have a wonderful week!!!  Mom, tell me more about what is going on with the contract thing?  I don't understand everything.  Jake, tell me how prom goes!!  Rachel, how are one acts?  Elizabeth, how is honors choir going?  bummer that you couldn't sing for the rockies game!!  Dad, i have no idea what kind of program you need to come up with....tell me more :D
I love you all so much!! 
 Have a wonderful week!
Zuster Israelsen

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