Monday, November 25, 2013

Count Your Blessings and Dutch Primary Program

Oh my goodness I miss you guys so very much!!  I think that it gets harder when it gets closer to the holidays...especially since there isn't even Thanksgiving out here.  Who does that?  I think that it is crazy!!  What is everyone's plan for Thanksgiving?
I am sorry to hear about all of the problems with the bathroom downstairs. I think that contractor is ridiculous.  But that is just me....
I am excited for you guys to come and pick me up but at the same time I am not ready to be done with my mission yet.  I can't beleive that I only have like Fiver more months left.  Where has the time gone?  It feels like yesterday that I walked up the hallway at the Denver Airport and said goodbye to all of you.  Crazyness!!
This week has been the week of counting the many blessings that I have received.  I was having a hard time last week because we haven't been able to see very much success.  But Sister Thorley and I made it a goal to write down all of the blessings that we have seen.  It really helps.  Blessings can be big and small.  I think that the problem most of the time is that we think that all of our blessings should be super huge and the only ones that we see are the big ones.   But I have been able to see more of the Lord's hand in the work this week because we have done this.  I love the Lord and I know that He is mindful of all of us.  If we are willing to open our eyes and just see the blessings that He has given us we will be happier but we will also see that the Lord is pleased with the work that we have done.  I challenge everyone to try that this week.  Try just counting your blessings.  Write them down everyday.  I know if you do this, you will grow closer to our Heavenly Father.
Speaking of challenges, how is it going for everyone with the Book of Mormon challenge?  How far is everyone?  What have you learned?
I was really blessed this week to get some news from the sisters in Dordrecht.  I got to hear a lot about people that I taught while I was there.  People who told us that they were no longer interested in our message.  I got a call because Sister Packer was wondering about one of our investigators  Apparently she has been coming to church every week for a few months and they just found out a week or so ago that she is not a member because she went up to them and asked them if it would be possible to get the lessons from them again.  That was super cool.  It made me even more excited to get out and do the work because I have been anble to influence people even if they did not accept the gospel while I was there, the seen is still planted.
We have been blessed to find many new potential investigators this week.  We have had a few cool experiences with that.
The first, was a refferal from the Gouda sisters.  Apparently the lady named Rachelle contacted them while they were sitting on the train.  She gave them her name, number and address before the sisters were able to say a single thing.  We got the refferal and were super excited, we called the number and it didn't work.  Well, we were pretty depressed, but we said, 'Hey, we have her address, why don't we try to look her up?''   Well....she lives in a little town callem Almen.  Never heard of it?  Me either.  But, we got information from a JoVo on how to get to the town and just tried it.  We got there, no map of the way to get a we asked a few random people on the street, eventually a very nice Dutch woman let us in, use her ipad to look it up and gave us tea.  We had a nice chat.  Then, on the way out to the Cattle ranch that apparently this African woman lives at(that is never trut) We took some pictures thinking that there was really nothing that was going to come of it.  We walked up to the first cattle ranch and there was a Dutch man on a riding lawn mower....we thought that there was no way we were talking to a lady named Rachelle, asked him if she lived there.....and she does!!  WHAT?!?!  We were totally taken aback.  But we were able to give a first lesson and she is now interested in learning more.  When we gave her the Book of Mormon, she gave us more kisses and hugs than I think I have ever received in my entire life!!
The second experience happened just yesterday!!  We had an hour between a dinner appointment and ward choir practice, so we went to knock some doors.  We came up to this one door and knocked.  A big, tall, scary Dutch woman came to the door.  Now, usually when this happens....I get scared and just hope that they turn you down nicely because that doesn't always happen.  But when we started to talk to her about the Book of Mormon, her angry stare turned into a smile.  She told us that she had been to the Visitor's Center in St. George and that she had received a Book of Mormon from them.  She also knows a few members of the church that live in her area very well. We had a really pleasant conversation and we made an appointment for this next week with her entire family.  She has a husband and three children and they are looking for something that can help their family stay close even though their kids are growing up and we assured them that we could help.  It was super cool!!
We had a super good church service this week!!  It was the KPA programma or in other words, the Primary Program!!  It is probably my favorite sacrament meeting of the year and it is even cuter when you have little Dutch kids singing.  The translations for some of the songs are just hilarious.  I have decided that translating music is like squeezing all of the toothpaste out of a tube and then trying to get it all back doesn't work very well...but it was still cool!! 
I also got to go to institute this week.  With three sets of missionaries in the city we have to take turns of who gets to go to JoVos and it was out turn.  They are studying the Book of Mormon and it was the week of Jakob 5.  The teacher, Broeder Noot, is probably one of the most intelligent people that I have ever met!!  I learned a lot from his lesson, but the coolest part of institute was that I received the compliment of a lifetime.  Remember how I said that Broeder Noot is probably one of the smartest and most accomplished people that I have ever met?  Well, he came up to me after the lesson and told me that my Dutch is super impressive.  He asked me how I was able to learn the language so well and I didn't really have an answer for him, I just memorize Preach my Gospel like President Robinson told me to....and it works.  That was a very nice end to my day that day!!
I hope that you guys all have a fabulous week!!!  I love you so much!!  I would like to be able to hear a little more from Rachel, Eliabeth and Jake....I know you guys are busy....but I am your sister!!  :D 
Dad, don't have too much fun at work.  Mom, I love you!!  I will get you some information next week of some people that I would like to visit before I go home so that you can contact them...I don't really know what your plans are....but I will send that to you next week.
Don't have too much fun!!
Remember who you are and what you stand for!!
Onthou wie je bent en waarvoor je sta!!
Zuster Israelsen

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