Saturday, June 15, 2013

Remember, Brussels, Waterloo, Dumb Belgium Buses and Two To Train at Once!

This week has been super crazy!!!  It started with our trip to Brussels and Waterloo!!!   Tha was an amazing trip put together by Elder Ombach the best tour guide I have ever met in my entire life!!!  He had never been to either of the places before, but he led us as though he knew both cities like the back of his hand.  Mom, I think that we need to bribe him to come with you two when my mission is over because of his skills, although, I am sure that mom can do the same thing!!
Anyway, first we went to Brussels and got to see all of the crazy old and beautiful buildings that are there!!!  It is truly amazing!!  I was reminded this week of where I am and how much culture and history there is here.  We are used to just thinking back until the Revolutionary War, but this place goes back so much further, it blows my mind!!!  

The buildings in Brussles are amazing!!!  And it was fun to go there with a big group of missionaries!!!  We ate waffles, got some Belgian Friets and were on our way to Waterloo!!! 

Waterloo was pretty cool.  We learned that we got out at the wrong train stop....and that we had to walk forever to get to the actual monument.  It literally took an hour and a half to get there.  We kept seeing this big hill(to them here it is a mountain)  with a weird looking thing on top, but as we got closer, i realized that the weird looking thing was our destination.  The battle field, looks like a field.  It was interesting to see, but my favorite part were the museums and the films that President Robinson let us see.  I actually learned about the battle and the significance of everything that went on.  I love learning about those kinds of things.  It was a super cool day!!!! 
On Tuesday, we went to Turnhout for our district meeting.  We have spent one day in every city in our district to help everyone out.  Especially to help the elders out with their female potentials because it is hard to find joint teaches here in the small branches we are working in.  I learned that Elders never really grow up.  Elder Nelson decided that he wanted to squat Elder Shoemaker.  And the result of his actions was me, bettering my sewing skills.  I didn't think that i would ever be fixing up a pair of pants on my mission.....but I guess that is what you get when you are working with Elders.  We also had the biggest Donors I have ever seen in my entire life!!!!  They were delicious, but i think that the Elders got sick afterward, because they all got the extremely huge ones!!! 
We also had exchanges this week!!!!  I got to hang out with Zuster Neilson for a day!!!!  That was super cool!!!!  it was way cool to be able to see how much progress I have made since day one with my trainer.  My Dutch has gotten a lot better, my ability to get around has gotten a lot better and my ability to teach has also improved!!!  It was a great day!!!!  Besides the dumb Belgian buses, i always get lost at least once when we are looking up a new person!!! 
We got to meet with a less-active who was referred to us by the Knoop family.  Her name is mary Satory and somehow, because of the crazy buses, we were able to catch her home and really brighten up her day.  She has been struggling and you could tell that she was searching for something in her lilfe but she couldn't remember what that was.  I think that is why on the Book of Mormon, every single prophet uses the word REMEMBER.  We all can receive spiritual light and inspiration and revelation, but if we aren't doing our part to remind ourselves of what we have learned and what we have done, then we will fall away as quickly as the people in the Book of Mormon.  That's why, when I come home, I am going to have pictures, flags of the countries I have served in hanging up in my room, as a reminder of what I have done and what i have promised myself to do and be after this experience is over. 
Also,  I have a huge blister on the bottom of my foot from our Waterloo trip.  I wore through my shoes, literally all of the way through them.  And, they don't have mole skin over here.  So, I have had to perform surgery a few times to try and drain it enough to be able to put this thing that they do have on's not working very well....mostly because I don't get a day to be off of my feet.  It has gotten bigger than the one in the picture, Jake, don't forget to take mole skin with you, and don't be afraid to buy new shoes when yours are wearing through.
We also had another miracle this week!!!!!  We actually had an investigator come to church!!!!  His name is kambala and he is from Ghana.  He came on the bus from Hasselt all the way to Genk, paying with the money he has saved up for three weeks to come.  It was the coolest thing to see him there and everyone just loved him right off of the bat.  I love seeing that!!!  oh, it was beautiful!!!
Ok, that is really it for the week.  But we did get transfer calls!!!!!  I will be training two people at a time.  Zuster Brown and I will remain companions here and in a week we will get another greenie!!!  She has to stay another week in the MTC, I heard because she was getting too competitive in volleyball and ended up injuring herself.  I think that we are going to get along just fine :D  But President isn't having us leave Genk, he doesn't think that it is wise to white-wash right after they open.  I personally think that he trust me too much with this situation.  I have no idea how I am going to train two people at once who are both on different levels, it will be interesting!!
I love you all so much!!!  
 Love you!!!!
Zuster Israelsen

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