Sunday, January 19, 2014

My New Companion is the Bomb! Grateful for the Holy Ghost and Read for 15 Minutes a Day Challenge

Hello there my Wonderful Family!!! 
What a wonderful week it has been!!  I am really, extremely, superly, overly grateful that I have been given the opportunity to stay here in Apeldoorn. I love the members and the investigators and the other missionaries that are here in this area.  It is so amazing to be able to continue to serve with them...and also not to have to pack up all of my stuff one more time.....:D  Let us just hope and pray that I stay here until the end so that I really do only have to pack one more time.  That would be ideal. 
My new companion is the bomb!!  We are already working super well together and we are loving every second of it.  We are both determined to see amazing things happen this transfer and are both commited to the same goals.  It is amazing to be able to work with someone who also wants to work hard, who likes people and who wants to reach goals.  Her name is Sister Brophy, she is from Kaysville UT and she is a dental assistent.  She also has hair that she doesn't have to do anything to and it looks perfect all day.  It is one of those things that just aren't fair in life, but I may or may not be able to get over that.....some day!!  She is also the oldest of 4 and is a missionary who came out because of the age change.  Ok, not because of the age change, but she had the possibility to come out earlier and she took it.  Her birthday is the same as Jakes, so I will celebrate for ya!!  Also, dude, no email?
How grateful I am for the Holy Ghost.  I have really had the opportunity to think a lot about it this week.  There are a lot of people, investigators, members, missionaries that have been struggling with the fact that they don't feel like they can feel the spirit.  That is interesting to me, and actually a reality because I feel like the longer I have been on my mission, I have felt the spirit less.  What I have thought a lot about this week is actually about the desert. Werid, huh?  But if you live in the desert, you have to find an oasis where there is water to be able to live.  But sometimes, said oasis ends up drying out...or you need to move to stay safe of wet ik veel.  But there are circumstances where you have to leave your big, safe, warm place.  To do that, there are water points placed along a trail from the water in your oasis to get to the following.  Little sites of relief.  And then, finally op een dag you find the next oasis and are able to live there for a while.  The spirit works in kind of the same way.  There are times that we have a really 'big' spiritual experience. Or at least a time that we know that we have felt and followed the spirit.  and we are able to feel good and safe.  But, we always have to leave our safe haven at some point or another.  There are times we feel like we are traveling alone in the desert without any water, or any spirit by us and it is always hard.  But If we are paying attention and notice the check points that are in between, we gain the relief that we need until we reach the following point.  The question is, do we recognize those check points?  Do they come often, or not really so ofter in our lives?  If we don't see them, how can we change what we are doing so that we can recognize them more in our lives and feel the spirit more?  Is there a reason that the Book of Mormon tells us to remember the things that we have experienced?  How can we make sure that we are doing that?  Just some food for thought.
This Wednesday, I got to pick up my companion.  To do so, I traveled to Utrecht with the Zone Leaders and Zuster Andersen and waited in Utrecht station for almost the entire day.  It was ridiculous.  But she was coming up from Gent Belgium.  So it took forever.  We had a party there eating donors, helping people get on and off trains and being able to see Zr. Raun again!!  It was beautiful.  What was even cooler though was our dinner appointment.  Elder Muse has been braggin about how he is the smoothie king.  His parents owned a store in Lehi UT that was called smoothie king and he worked there.  The entire time we have been in Apeldoorn we have heard about his smoothie skills and finally a member decided thaqt they really wanted to try it out.  So, he made smoothies.  And I have to say, I am impressed.  Maybe the comment that Sister Juchau made in the MTC about how he is Hawk Eye is invalid.  His smoothies give him 100 pls points.  He also gave a great spiritual thought that included the use of smoothies within.  It was a great night and we had a party!!
So, knowing that the temple trip is coming up, Sister Brophy and I have started to prepare to go to the temple with the members in this ward.  We have been challenging people to be reading for 15 minutes a day with a question that they would love answered.  We are all doing that.  Mom and Dad, if you would join us that would be fantastic.  We have learned that the temple is a place that we can receive revelation and if we are all preparing together, then we can all receive that revelation there together and have an even more spiritual experience.  One cool experience I would like to share with you happened at the home of Familie Johann August.  We were there and gave this challenge to the family.  They got really super excited and the spirit was so strong because we all shared our thought about the temple with each other and why it was important.  The spirit was so strong and the sphere was great I didn't know what could have made it better.  Until, DAnielle asked her father right there for a priesthood blessing.  Wow, it was an amazing experience to be able to be there with her.  To feel the spirit in that room and share that experience with that family.  I love being able to see that the testimonies of these young women are growing.  They are changing, whether or not they realize it, I see it.  Their parents see it and I know that Heavenly Father also sees it!!  I love Danielle August and I am grateful for the effor tshe is putting in to grow her little testimony.  What a priviledge to be a part of that!!
Also, the young women are all getting really excited about missionary work.  So excited in fact, that they have asked us to do a mini MTC with them.  We are preparing that and are super excited.  We also get to make our own PMG video because there are none in exsistence that are in Dutch.  So we as missionaries are going to have a blast doing that!!  I am so excited and will keep you posted on what the happenings with that are!!
I love you all so much!!  Don't get too busy in your lives :D  I am grateful for the chance I get every week to talk to ya'll!! 
This next week, share with me a spiritual experience that you had :D please!! 
k hou van jullie en hoop dat jullie een heel fijne week gaan hebben!! 
Zuster Israelsen

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