Sunday, November 3, 2013

Found Grandpa's Writing in a Book! Another New Area, Vlaams Accent, And Back on a Bike Again!

Hello My Wonderful family!!

I have to warn you.  If anything is weird on this email, please don't judge me.  I have just returned to the normal american keyboard and it is giving me a run for my money.  I am having a harder time than I thought I would.  

Anyway, I am missing Belgium a lot.  I never thought that I would.  There were many times I just thouht, 'well, if I was in Nederland' and now I am back and the only thing I want in the world is to go back there.  Mom and Dad, if you guys pull out on this picking me up thing I am going to be seriously upset because otherwise, I am never going to get back there.

My last day in Belgium, we had our district meeting in Genk.  I got to see both of my Belgium cities for the last time on Tuesday!!  I loved having Elder Chantry as my district leader!!  District meetings were always super opbouwend and we always had great conversations.  This week we talked a lot about diligence.  I am sorry to say that I really needed that talk.  It seems to be so hard for me to move on at transfers.  Especially for the last two areas.  Being the first sisters in the area is always super fun, but also, I have been able to see people prepare for baptism and get ready to make that covenant but I dont get to see them take the last step.  I think that is super hard for me.  It has been a long time since I have been able to see that, but I am glad for Kambala(in Genk) and Issac(in Turnhout) they are rocking it and are going to be great members of the church.

My last meeting with Isaac was on Tuesday night.  We taught him about the priesthood.  That man is going to be an Aaronic priesthood holder in three weeks.  He is really scared but also excited.  I am so excited for him.  The look that investigators get in their eyes when they learn more truth and they are feeling the spirit, nothing can compare to that.  I will never forget the people I have had the opportunity to teach!!  

I love the new area I am in, I's no Belgium, but it is still cool.  I am serving in Deventer which is a part of the Apeldoorn ward.  There are four elders that serve in our ward and us two sisters, there is also a senior couple that takes care of the JoVo centrum here!!  It is super fun!!

My new companion is sister Thorley.  She is also from Linden Utah.  She went to the same school as Sister Packer and Sister Clement.  She is studying film at BYU(don't worry, she already knows that that is the wrong school) She is the second of four.  She is super funny and is a super hard worker.  She is on transfer three so we are still working on Dutch, but I have never seen anyone understand maps and how to get around better than this girl, I am glad she is my companion because we never get lost!!

Well, life is kind of interesting here right now.  The city was just opened 12 weeks ago...and there are literally no investigators. feels like I am starting over again.  We have spent the last three days contacting people on the street and have found a total of 3 potentials.  It's rough.  And people keep looking at me like I am crazy.  I asked the bishop after I gave my testimony in church on sunday why everyone is avoiding me and looking at me funny.  He said it's because I speak with a Vlaams accent and I use vlemish words. They think I am is not cool.  The Dutch people have a hekel for Belgians.  Anyway, to make the situation a little more awkward, the building is being remodeled in Apeldoorn so we are meeting aith the Amersfoort ward.  Guess who has no idea who is a member of the ward she is serving in and who is not?  This girl right here.  The only time that I am able to get to know people in the ward is when they invite us over for dinner, and because there are 6 missionaries, I am not sure how often that is going to be.  But that is ok.....the Lord will give me a way to be able to get to know the people here.  

One family I met, is the Vreven familie.  They are super cool and the coolest part is that he has written a book about the history of the church in the Netherlands and Grandpa is in it!!  He is in it!!!  They have a whole section about the floods in Nederland, and the article that grandpa wrote, except translated in Dutch, is in there!!  I requested a copy!!

Also, I am back in the bike again....guys, I never knew how out of shape I was....It is sad.  Apparently the Belgian waffles were really not a good thing for my life.  But now that I am back in the Netherlands, the story is the same.  They sent me back right at the beginning of Olliebollen and stroop waffel season.  I may be three sizes bigger when this is all said and done!!  

I am really excited for the work that the Lord has for me here in Deventer, I hope that I am able to live up to His expectations and be able to be the missionary that He expects me to be.  

We get to go to the temple this week!!  Tomorrow actually!!  I am super excited about that!!  It has been so long since the last time I was able to go!!  

I am praying for everyone back home. I love you guys!!  Please take care of everyone for me!!  Don't do anything too crazy, everyone needs to make it for just a few more months at least so that I can give everyone a great big bear hug!!

Ik hou van jullie!!  Tot volgende week!!

Zuster Israelsen

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