Oh my goodness, how has it been another week already?!?! I can't believe it. I am starting to get really sad when it is P-day again, because that means it is one less week that I am able to be a missionary. My lovely companion likes to remind me that I am so very old and that sith everyday I get closer to dying. She also likes to let me know that I need to learn new tricks...apparently I am an old dog!!
I am going to answer your questions now...Because I always forget to do that.
First off, I did get all of the birthday gifts!! I love them all!! I wear the new clothes very often. It is so nice to wear them because they don't feel like they are going to fall apart!! ;D We had lunch for my birthday with the Elders and had a party with Familie Van Gijsel. I think that Emilie, their daughter, tried to send you guys a picture through facebook of blowing out the candles...you should let me know if you got it or not. It was a good day, but didn't really feel like a birthday just because we were doing normal missionary things.
Dad, a normal day of missionary work....
Well....you get up really early. I know that you guys think that 6:30 is sleeping in, but when you work so hard everyday....it never feels like you get enough sleep.
Then, you try your best to get the blood pumping. One thing I think is super funny is that my companion and I are really clumsy when we are sleepy, so we pretty much fall on our faces trying to go up the stairs of our apartment where the excersise area is.
Then, you have studies. That is my favorite part of the day. That view has definately changed. I remember being in Den Haag and not even being able to stay up for personal study. I had to try different techniques to stay awake. I even think that I tried the toothpick thing fro Dads commercial and it didn't work!! But now, I can't get enough. One hour for personal study is definately too short!! There is so much to learn and I have really developed a love for the scriptures.
Then the rest of the day. You are either out on the street knocking doors and contacting people or you are teaching lessons. Personally I like teaching lessons better because you actually get to see the difference you are making, but I have grown to love contacting people as well. it is really fun to be able to meet so many people!! And get to know more about their culture!
I also love the moments that I get to spend with the members!! A lot of people think that the missionaries like to just come over for dinner. But that is really not the reason they like to come over. The members are people that you can also create a relationship with. They are your friends!! You can help them and they can help you. If a missionary comes into your home just for food, something is wrong. The food is an awesome bonus.
I also have grown to love planning. I like being able to feel concrete for the next day and having back up plans in case something falls through. it feels good to have a plan.
My companion is adjusting. She feels bad about the language but she is doing very well in that aspect too!! She loves the people here!! One thing she is having a little bit of a hard time with though is the free agency of others. Because you do build relationships with people and then they choose not to follow the lessons anymore, or not to talk to you anymore and that is always super hard.
I will have to look at my luggage....I have no idea what kind it is.
And you should definitely go to conference because then I may have an opportunity to see you!! :D And it will be super cool to be able to be in the same room as the prophet and apostles!! I want to go some time when I get back!!
So, I am loving life as a misisonary!! I can't believe how fast time has flown!!
This week was a little rough. It started out super amazingly with a birthday party at Familie Van Gijsel. It was super fun and they worked so hard to make sure that it was a special day!! Dinner was delicious, the dessert was too!! and we were able to have Gezins Avond with them!! I love that family!! They have helped me and my companion to feel right at home here in Turnhout!! They are amazing!!
Our district has an operation.....operation E.C.H.T. F.U.N. Which stands for Encouraging, Complimentary, Humurous, Tactful, (i can't remember f....) Unified, Ninja. Pretty much, we are the most unified district in the mission. I love working with them and we try and help each other succeed and be motivated.
Oh, dad, you asked if I see President Robinson. No, I am in the boonies of the mission. I only get to see him if there is Zone Conference. I do email him every week, and we haven't yet received the new program for missionaries but we have been hearing rumors that it is coming soon!! I am excited because it will really help us!!
Oh, and also, Zuster Arts made me Cheesecake this week!! I love that woman!! The ingredients for Cheesecake do not all exsist here, but she made them herself!! it was a very, very beautiful thing!!
We had kind of a rough week. Most of our investigators were sick, so we spent a majority of our time on the street trying to meet new people and find new investigators...it was also really raining a lot outside!! But we didn't see very much success numbers wise. On Saturday, we were feeling like failures because everyone canceled for Sunday for church and to be able to go and see a baptism.
But miraculously....at the last minute before the last hour of church ( sacrament meeting) we had 5 investigators show up!!! Two of which were people that we had just met on the street!! It was a beautiful day and also, both of the people who canceled for the baptism decided to come and we were able to help them see how beautiful the covenant they are preparing to make can be. At this poing it looks like we will be having a baptism the week after conference....fingers crossed!!
I love being a missionary!!! I miss you guys, but I have realized that the time to be out here is really too short...it's almost winter again.....that is so not cool!!
I hope that everyone has a great week!! Don't have too much fun with out me!! Do well in school!!
Rachel....keep up the good singing!!
Ik hou van jullie allemaal!!
Tot volgende week!!