Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Zone Conference, Trains, Greenies and Doing your Best to Become the Person the Lord Expects You to Become

I can't believe that another week has come and gone here in Belgium.  Time seems to fly by....but the days are super long!!!  This week has been a particularly crazy week.  We have been on a train more this week than I ever wanted to be in my entire life!!!  But that's ok, they were all for good reasons and I got a lot of language study done while there was no one on the train...and my companions got a lot of sleeping done :D

On Monday, we had P-day.  It was pretty restful, we just deep cleaned the apartment and got everything ready for a third sister to come and hang out with us.  It was cut a little short because we had an appointment in Beverlo....which is two hours away from our place.  We went and had dinner with the Vankerckhovens and then, Zuster Vankerckhoven took us to pick up the third bed that was donated by President Huysmans.  That took a while because he live like 45 minutes away from her...and so really, besides the spiritual thought that we were able to share with the family, our day was spent getting a third bed for little sister Packer. 
On Tuesday, we got up, got ready and left right away to be able to get to Leiden to pick Zuster Packer up.  We finally pulled into Leiden at about 1:30.....so a five and a half hour trip.  We were able to do some training with President and Zuster Robinson, they got us some delicious wok lunch!!!!(it seriously was the best!!!)  and then, we got back on the train.  the best thing about relying on the trains to get places....is that when you are trying to make it home on time, there is always a huge problem.  On this particular day, there was an accident with a train or something that prevented any trains from leaving Den Haag and going south.  I have no idea how we made it home that day....but we did.  Sister Packers stuff and all.
On Wednesday and Thursday we had exchanges with the Sisters in Breda.  Zuster Nielson and Zuster Brown came here to Genk and Zuster Packer and I went to Breda with Zuster Hoff.  It was an interesting day because none of us knew the city and I was there with two completely new greenies.  And Zuster Packer was extremely jet-lagged.  But somehow we got through and we had Kapsalons for dinner!!!! yummy turkish food!!! 
Thursday night, we made our way up to Leiden again and we stayed over in the mission home over night because we had zone conference the next day on Friday.  It was a party in the mission home. It was the first time in the entire time that Zuster Robinson has been here that she has had a full house of sisters.  It was crazy, and I am not sure that President was entirely used to it.  He was definitely not used to all of the giggleing.  I do have to say though, i love going to the mission home because there is always delicious food and the beds there are definitely the most comfortable in the entire mission!!!
Friday's Zone Conference was so amazing.  It was the biggest zone conference this mission has ever seen with 80 full-time missionaries in attendance.  It was crazy!!!  But the spirit was so superly amazingly strong!!!  We talked a lot about the WHY of missionary work.  Since I have been here, they have been really focused on how to get things done, how to see success, how we can keep track of everything that is going on, how we can be successful missionaries.  But now, the focus is changing.  The why is really what we as missionaries need to develop and learn because it is the why that motivates us to work on the hows to accomplish the whats.  ( I am sorry if my English is hard to understand)  It was an amazing conference that really helped me to begin to reflect on what I need to do to be able to be more personally converted and love the work and the people here.  One of the most depressing things happened though.  Zuster Hinchcliff gave her departing testimony.  I love that sister and I think I have learned more from her than any of my other companions!!!  I miss being around her everyday and listening to her pieces of wisdom.  She left me with one more on Friday.  She said,"My mission has not been what i would call picture perfect.  But it has been the ideal experience for me to be able to learn and grow, to become the person that the Lord expects me to be."  She challenged me to make my mission ideal, and I have extended that challenge to make my life ideal.  It is a decision.  I challenge all of you to think about that this week.  What does it mean to make something ideal?  What do you think would be ideal for you?  Have you asked Heavenly Father?  Are you grateful for the experiences you have that are helping to make your life the ideal experience for you?
I love you all!!!!  I miss you a lot!!!  I hope that you are all taking care of each other and doing your best to become the person the Lord expects you to become!!!
Tot volgende week!!
 I love you!!!
Zuster Israelsen

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