Sunday, December 8, 2013

Family Mission Plan, Turkey Bowl, Ollibollen, Stompot, Hutspot and other Dutch Deliciousnesss.

Hey, just kidding.  But actually, for real.  There is no turkey to be found here in the Netherlands.  We doesn't exsist.  If it is there....then they are the size of a small chicken and not a turkey :D  But our week was pretty good!!  We started off with a Turkey Bowl with the entire Zone for Thanksgiving.  My team totally won!!!  We had a blast, everyone was covered in mud because it had rained the day before and I am pretty sure that everyone is still sore.  But it was well worth it!!  Someday I will be able to play some good old football with Jake again!!!  Party!!
Like I said, it was a good week.  But it has also been a very hard week.  Zuster Thorley had two days to get ready to move to Amsterdam and it was chaos.  I really don't understand why we aren't better at packing already.  I mean, I have moved every three months now for a year....and I still cannot seem to be able to pack everything into one suitcase.  Eventually we got her packed, but the hard part was going around to see the members to say goodbye.  Zuster Thorley had been in Apeldoorn for about 5 months or so, so she really had a hard time leaving her friends.  I also had a hard time saying goodbye to my best friend on Wednesday!!  Zuster Thorley and I had a blast last transfer!!  I love that girl. 
Zuster Andersen is pretty cool.  She is from St. George UT.  She has lots of siblings three of which are adopted.  She is a massage therapist and has been done with studies for a very long time now....she is also 21 and just barley turned 21 so sometimes I feel like a slacker....but that is ok.  She is pretty quiet and likes to stay to herself.  Sometimes that can be hard for me....mostly because I like to feel like I am friends with my companion but if I can't talk to her...or know how she is feeling...I also don't know what she is thinking.  It is weird, but she is in the shock phase of 'I have just been transfererd' so we will see this next week what we really have in store.
We have been working super hard to be able to follow the stake plan here in Apeldoorn.  President Hulleman, about a year ago, put into place a plan that all of the members could follow.   Based on the success of the plans of all of the other stakes in our mission, I know that the Lord inspires these men to know exactly what their stake needs to be able to progress and grow.  So, naturally, we have been working really hard to follow the keys.  We are starting to see things get moving.  We have been focusing mainly on the family mission plan.  The stake President has asked that every family put together a plan where every member can have a job to do and then to do it.  He has also asked that they have specific names and dates put into place so that these people actually get invited to things and progress.  We now have five families with plans like this and we are starting to see them inviting their friends to come and join them.  On Sunday, one of the members brought a friend to church!!  That was super cool and I got to introduce myself and get to know her a little bit.  I think she was really curious about what in the world was really going on and it was fast an testimony meeting, what is a better day to come to?  Maybe conference....but the spirit was super strong in the meeting this last week.  So I think that we are beginning to see some succes..
Jason, one of my favorite JoVo friends here in Apeldoorn was able to go through the temple.  It has been amazing to be able to see the change that has come over him just in the last two months since I have been here.  But I hear that over the last 11 years he has come from a place where he was at the lowest of low and has fought and made his way to receive his endowments this last Saturday.  On Sunday, he bore his testimony and all of us missionaries just really loved it!!  He is a super cool guy and has made the right decisions to get to the best place on earth.
We also heard an announcement from one the JoVos whose name is Melvin.  He has decided to serve a mission!!  It is really incredible to hear considering his family situation and all of the things that he has going against him.  But he has really made the decision to do it!!   I love being able to see the changes that comes over the youth as they decide to put the Lord first, mainly because I know that I had to make that decision about a year or so ago. 
It is Christmas time here...well technically it is still Sinterklaas.  But you can feel the change.  Ollibollen, Stompot, Hutspot and other Dutch deliciousnesss.  I love being here.  I love the people, I love the culture, the food is great as well!!  We are working really hard to get the Christmas concert up and running.  The church building here in Apeldoorn has been under remodel since I have been here and it is opening up this next weekend.  We are busy getting flyers out to the people who live close to the church so that they know that they can come and see the new church building and also enjoy the christmas concert.  There are so many cool things that we have planned for this month I can hardly wait!! 
Mom, how do you feel about skyping maybe a little bit earlier this time?  I think with our schedule that will work better.  Around 5 or so....that would men 8 or so in the morning.  Let me know. We are still working on the specifics for Christmas.
I love you all!!!  I hope you all have a great week eating Thanksgiving leftovers!! 
Zuster Israelsen
P.S. We are on the dumb computers I can't send picutres this week....sorry

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