Monday, September 23, 2013

Birthday Card Confetti Gets Us in the Door! Brazilian Food and Sewing

Hello There,

I know, I know....I am now officially old.  It is so not try not to remind me!!

Anyway, this week has been full of miracles.  The first is that somehow I was able to copy all of my pictures from my infected memory card through the DVD player in the apartment to my USB and now there is no more virus, so I will be catching up on sending you pictures....maybe next week when I have more time!!  But that made my life so happy!!!  

Also, there was a miracle in being able to recieve the birthday card from you my wonderful family.  I guess I should have let you guys know....but I have started to write in European numbers.  Well, actually, I guess that has been for about a year now(crazy) but otherwise people can't tell the difference between a 7 and a 1.  The only problem with that is, is when I send you guys a letter my 1 looks like a 7 in Amerikanse.  So my letter got sent to the neighbor who lives in 27, not 21.  Who just happens to be a very old Belgian lady who does not read or speak a lick of English.  It was so funny, so the other day we rode up on our bikes to come and eat lunch and there she was trying to get a hold of someone inside....and she told us a 20 minute story about how she recieved a letter in an ancient tongue and that she figured that it was something for one of us....So, we went over to her house, I got the card....she told a big story about how she had to clean up confetti(thanks mom) and we actually started to teach her.  Her husband just passed away and we were able to teach her the plan of salvation.  We have another appointment this week!!  Super cool!!  Thank you for the bithday card!!!  You guys got us the best referral I have ever recieved!! 

We also had a super cool miracle with a super member present involved. know how I was called Dutch speaking...well two of our investigators are from Brazil...There is a problem here.  But fortunately, we have people in the Branch who the wife is from Brazil and the husband is Dutch, so they both speak Dutch and Portuguese.  So the Van Dan Bergs invited us and also our investigators over for a lesson and dinner.  It was the coolest thing that I have ever experienced.  I am starting to be able to understand a little bit of Portuguese(yes Shawn, you can be proud) and I was also able to eat some real Brazilian food!!!  I didn't think that it was ever going to happen!!  I have been waiting all of my life, but now.....I am very happy that I was called to serve in a place where there is real chocolate!!! 

We also had exchanges this week.  Zuster Kohlert came here to Turnhout with me and we didn't have any appointments.  I don't know if I ever told you guys about how we are trying to contact people here in the smaller towns, but we are putting out a letter of introduction and then a few days later coming back and following up.  It seems to get us a lot more positive contacts on the door, people don't think that we are JW and also they politely tell us no instead of slamming the door in our face.  Zuster Kohlert and I got to talk to 23 such families, but potential investigators yet.  

We also had a Naaien activiteid.  That means a sewing activity.  yay, my favorite!!  But I went and was able to learn a lot of new words, get to know the Zusters in ZHV(relief society) and we also had a couple of investigators come.  It was pretty cool....but I threw my attempted masterpiece away....It was just too embarassing!!  

It was Isaac's birthday this week and the members have started to love him so much that one member family threw a birthday party for him!!!  We had a pizza party dinner, lots of cake and then everyone who was present got together and we read a chapter out of the book of mormon!! It was fantastic and he just loved it!!  He is so excited to get baptized next month!!  And we are also excited!!  It is so cool to be able to witness someone come closer to Christ, someone who never knew Him before!!  I can't even describe how cool it is and how much it builds your own testimony!!

Donors for My Birthay
Church this week was amazing!!  We had three investigators come to church which is SWEET!!!  And we also got some exciting news.  The Branch Misison Leader was changes.  Usually callings don't effect missionaries too much, but this changes our entire lives here in Turnhout.  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with Broeder Van Der Waard, but now our branch mission leader is now Broeder Arts.  So pretty much, we work with the Arts family a lot because he is the ward mission leader and she is the relief society president!!  Crazy cool!!

Dad, I was super excited to hear about your missionary experience!!  it really is very easy to be a member missionary, we just have to open our mouths!!  I will be praying for you and also for your collegue.  

Rachel,  I hope that you keep yourself safe and don't do anything too crazy!!  
Elizabeth, have fun at school and don't forget to smile!!  And have a lot of fun!!  

Mom, I love you so much!!  I miss you and I hope that you have a good time at work this week!!  don't drive yourself too crazy!!  

Jake, have fun at school.  Do your best with school and with your calling, but don't stress yourself out!!

I love you guys!!
Ik hou van jullie!!

Tot volgende Week!!

Zuster Israelsen

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