Friday, January 3, 2014

Ping-Pong Day, Christmas Breakfast and Service with Entire Ward, Caroling with Bishop's Family and Teaching a Russian Family

The Hague Temple in Belgium
Hello there my Wonderful Family!!

I have been trying to send pictures for ten minutes...I am so not really sure what is going on with the computer but it doesn't seem to see that I have pictures on my memory card. So I guess you will have to wait another week. I am so sorry. I am really trying and I am taking pictures as well :D

I loved being able to talk to you guys this week!! I can't believe that Christmas has already come and gone. Time just flys by way too fast when you are having fun.

This week, we had a ping-pong P-Day. That is one of those days that you are just super grateful that your parents had a ping-pong table in the house so that you can beat the Elders and make them feel ashamed :D It was super fun and we also went out to lunch together to celebrate Christmas.

Christmas Eve was great, we had district meeting in the morning. I always love district meeting, it is like a second chance for missionaries to reload their batteries. We get that chance on Sunday just like everyone else, but then we also have Tuesday to just talk to other missionaries and feel the spirit together so that we can have another successful week. It was awesome and we sang a bunch of Christmas songs since, you know, it was Christmas eve. We also went out for Chinese, the tradition does not die!!

That evening we got to go over to the Sindy August family. It was a ton of fun. They made a buffet of things that everyone had requested and it was delicious and a very fun meal with everyone together. The most special part of the evening though was when we went caroling with them. We went to a few members homes but the one that stands out to me was the Van Dam family. They are an older couple who are really having a hard time because Sister Van Dam has a terminal illness. The spirit was super strong and you could just feel how grateful that they were that we had taken the time to come and make their Christmas special. It was a beautiful evening!!

On Christmas, I got to talk to all of you :D But the morning was also really cool. We had a Christmas Breakfast and service that morning with the entire ward and some of their friends. It was super cool and they had all of us missionaries dressed up in crazy clothes witht he kids and we acted out the Christmas story together. I have to say, the mix of crazy clothes, Dutch Christmas Breakfast and beautiful music definitely started the day off right!! Then, we went with the bishop's family all day. We also went caroling with them. We visited a lot of investigators, and less-active members, and a lot of their family and friends. It really was a wonderful time together!! For dinner we did gourmetten. I think that is how you spell it. it is probably my favorite thing in the world. Basically, there is a buffet of food, you get to choose what you want, and then grill it up yourself on a grill that is on the table. It is a fun time and super delicious.

There is a second Christmas day here. As if one isn't enough. We went to Groningen with out entire Zone and did some service....guess what kind. Yupp....we went caroling. This time to an old folks home where we were able to make their day. There were three members of the church in that one home so it was really special and they bragged about us to all of their friends!! It was super fun!!

I love Christmas time. We were really spoiled this week by the members and also by our Heavenly Father. Amid all of the Christmas crazyness we were still able to teach our Russian family. I love teaching them because all of their questions just lead right into the next lesson in Preach my Gospel. They are super sincere and I can tell that the Lord has been preparing their entire family to accept this gospel for quite some time now. I also love the opportunity we get to skype a very good friend in Dordrecht who can translate from Russian to English better than anyone I know!! It is beautiful and the family is just gobbling up the Book of Mormon.

This Sunday, we were able to learn from Geese. I know...that may sound weird. But the bishop gave a combined lesson about how we can all work together as members of the church to build up zion if we follow the example of geese and work together. Let us all think about what we can do better this year to be able to become like geese and work together to do the work of the Lord whereever we are!!

I love you guys and can't wait to hear from you next week!!!


Also, Dad, Happy birthday!! I sent you something, but it might come a little late because it has been a while since I sent a letter so I don't remember how long it takes anymore!!

Love you all!!

Tot volgende week!!

Zuster Israelsen

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