Sunday, December 15, 2013

Apeldoorn Ward Cleaning!, Sinterklaas, American Accents, and Teaching in the Rain!

This week has been a really amazingly fun week!!
It started off with an army of Relief Society women coming over to our apartment.  We spent a good three hours cleaning everything up and our apartment is finally clean!!!  I am so happy!!  We can actually feel like we are civil again!!  We are super grateful for the sisters and their help. There were also some brothers. And without them we would still have some really old gross furniture!  The Apeldoorn ward is amazing!
Also on Monday, we were all able to go to JoVos for FHE.   Why?  Because this week was Sinterklaas!!  Yes, in Nederland, they have Sinterklaas, first Christmas and Second Christmas!!  Lots of gifts getting passed around over here.  I think that America should adopt all of these traditions.  At JoVos we played a Sinterklaas game that is kind of like white elephant but there is a dice involved and have to do crazy things if you roll wrongly.  It was a super fun night.  I don't think that I ever want to have to see Elder Muse trying to dance again though!!! It was a little scary!!
We had our first district meeting of the transfer.  It was super cool.  It was also Elder Alston's, our district leader, first district meeting that he had to lead ever and I have to say he did an amazing job.  I really learned a lot, mostly because he used a basketball analogy to explain what he was trying to get across :D  Out district meeting was titled 'Started from the Bottom' and we discussed a lot about how we need to realize that we are not really anything great, but that with the Lord's help and our willingness to take the shot, we are able to accomplish something.  Do we recognize that we need the Lords help every day of our lives? 
That evening I had a super cool dinner appointment.  There is a less-active that we have been working with.  Her name is Heleen and this week she called us up and invited us over to dinner.  Little did we know, her friends from America were there.  These friends were from the family that she stayed with in America.  She calls them her American sisters.  It was a super fun appointment and it was really weird to be able to hear American accents again.  :D  We made Pannekoeken!!!  Also, Heleen really loves music and so I was able to sing for them for the spiritual thought.  The spirit was super strong!!  I love how that happens when you pull out a song.  But she was touched enough to come to church this week.  I was thinking a lot about the blessing that President Hickman gave me when he set me apart.  And I think that the story of Heleen is an example of how I am supposed to use the gift that God has given me to influence the lives of others for good.
Ok, so coolest experience of the week.  It was Sinterklaas.  All Dutch people are busy and don't want to have anything to do with you if you are not someone dressed up as Sinterklaas or Zwaart Pete.  Well, somehow, the Lord blessed us with an appointment with a Dutch man.   The only problem was, was that the members didn't want to have anything to do with a joint teach because it was a holiday.  So.....we ended up teaching the man outside. was the crazyest rain/hail/thunder/crazyness storm I have seen here since I have been here.  It was we were there...on the street.....teaching jeroen about the restoration of the gospel....trying to read scriptures without getting our scriptures wet.....trying to hear each other over the thunder......and somehow the spirit was still there.  The spirit was so strong that Jeroen set a baptisimal date.  I have no idea how that happened.  It was probably the coolest thing ever and we are having a great time teaching this man about the gospel!!  It just proved to me that the Lord will bless you as long as you are doing everything that you can to be able to do the work.  He blesses you when you don't even expect it.  He blesses you when you realize that you need His help because your best is not amounting to anything.  It was the sweetest experience ever!!
We also got to celebrate Sinterklaas with family Feith....and you guys have seen the picture already!!  It was a super fun night and everyone went home with lots of fun gifts that are super useful and also fun to play with!!  I love the Feith family!! 
I also got to see one of the Elder's investigators get baptized this week.  This woman had come such a long way and it was so cool to see how the ward just loves her and accepted her into the group.  There were a lot of cool experiences and Melvin, one of the JoVos, thought that it was the best day ever because he got to baptize someone for the first time ever.  That was also really cool to be a part of.  He is preparing to go on a mission and experiences like that are helping him get excited!!
On Saturday, we did a whole day of service again.  This time we went to the Bishop's house and we tore out a 30 year old fence around his farm.  It was tough work, but super fun.  While smashing it apart, stress was relieved, laughs, and just a fun time with the Bishop's family.  I love being able to serve people!!  It is my favorite activity!!
I hope that you all have a great week!!  Also, I think that we have decided to skype at 4 or 5 pm here which would be 7 or 8 am there.  I will let you know for sure next week.  Also, can you send me your username and also granpa's?
I love you all!!!  Don't have too much fun without me!!
Zuster Israelsen

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