Monday, November 17, 2014

Derde Week

Ahoy Sailors!

First, I just want to quickly say how much I love reading letters from you all. I love getting to hear from you in such a personal way, and to see more of your spiritual sides and your deeper feelings. It is very special and touching to me, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to write my family while I'm away. (Except I'm not going to ask anyone questions anymore, because they never get answered...I'll just wait for the info to appear eventually;) )

The rain has begun! Woo hoo! They have a wonderful transportation system here of trains and buses, but it costs the Church money each time we use them and my companion and I really like biking, plus biking is so much more convenient for going to see specific people. So yes, I am wet lots of times. :) Mama, my boots, and jacket, and tas...purse/bag! that's the word, are incredible! So I am plenty dry and warm. What a blessing.

So I mentioned a baptism last time. That was a man that has had three sets of missionaries and I am just getting here when he was planning to get baptized. However, he is very closely connected to the JW's and then we had a confrontation with his sister the other day..grrr..and she thinks he just shouldn't get baptized (I think that's what happened, it was all in fast Dutch). So, he has decided not to get baptized for now. Jammer. (y-ah-mer) Zr  Clement was pretty upset. '

I went on exchanges to Den Haag this week, and it was nice, but, it strengthened my testimony of divinely chosen areas and companions. Coming back to IJmuiden and Zr Clement was like coming home! But Den Haag was super fun with Zr Otteson, and it was my first real rain day, so we went to our dinner appointment with an African woman named Ethlin, and she put our clothes in the dryer and gave us African dresses to wear. Haha it was one of my favorite experiences so far.

We've dropped everyone that we had previously been teaching basically, so this week has been a week of finding! Yay! We do have one kid, Jesse, who lived with a Mormon family in Arizona for a year, and he is so darn close! I  know he knows it's true, he's just an 18-year old kid so he's a bit..laid back about the whole thing still. We're trying to get him to come to church, but he's not too fond of 9:30 in the morning.
We are also still teaching Natalia, a Ukranian woman who is looking for "the click," which she apparently isn't finding with either us or the JW's. We talked about the priesthood this week, and she says she doesn't believe in miracles in these days. She's also pregnant, and is sick a lot, so that helps none.
We also have a family, Familie Gonzalez, in which the mother is a member but she got offended and hasn't returned to church, so her kids are inactive or not even baptized. We are just working on getting them to come back to church right now. I understand her fairly well, emotionally, but I can't really communicate with her verbally yet, so that's a little frustrating.

Be good member missionaries! Give referrals! We can't seem to get those very easily. We asked all the people we had dinner appointments with (which, Grandma's prayers are working, we are so well fed! Don't even worry) for referrals, but we didn't get any. But we worked with the Haarlem elders on Saturday and they told us to look up these two women in the area, and now we have appointments with them! Sometimes things don't come the way you expect them to.

Sinterklaas has come! He comes from Spain for his birthday (why he comes to Nederland, I don't know) so he comes in November and stays til December 5. It is bigger than Christmas here, and all the kids are so excited. It's so cute to see them all dressed up in little elf-like clothes! And they have very yummy speculoos flavored things everywhere (it's kind of like gingerbread), so that is delicious.

I can't believe I'm halfway through a transfer. Zr Clement can't leave so soon! I still need her! It's crazy how quick change is here. But it's going good! I'm happy and just laugh at everything all the time, because sometimes it's so funny to be a little awkward missionary thrown into this strange culture with other awkward kids trying to preach the gospel. Ah, I love it.

I hope all is well back in America. I hear it's cold, and I can understand your pain. :) Is Thanksgiving this week? I don't even know. But Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you find much to be thankful for and enjoy basking in the warmth of good family and friends. I love you very very much and pray that your lives are abundantly blessed.

Much love,

Zuster Johanson