Monday, January 5, 2015

Just Get the Holidays Outta Here and On With the Work

Hello! Greetings, from IJmuiden in 2015.

New Years here is crazy. Us missionaries had to stay inside our apartment from 4pm on. Fireworks. They are everywhere, they are big, and they are scary. But also really cool. So that was interesting. We bought earplugs so we could actually sleep on New Years Eve. One of our better ideas yet.

We ate with dear Sister Sunrise, a lovely funny little Thai woman, on New Years day. She was so excited to make us Thai food, because Elder Shaw told her that he grew up on Thai food and loves it. So the rest of us got to experience the fiery sensations of sticky rice and Thai salad for an entire evening. You eat it with your fingers, and oh snap, is it spicy. Haha missionary eating adventures.

I'm actually glad the holidays are over so that missionary work can be normal again!
Speaking of which, I don't know precisely what it seems that I do out here, but I'm concerned the perception may be slightly skewed. This isn't The District, and it's not The Best Two Years, and it's not a stateside mission or a South American mission. It is Europe, and it is entirely different from any other mission in ways that I never expected. We were watching a bit of The District this week, and I was looking at those missionaries in total awe. It's nothing like my mission haha! We don't even look like that! They make sister missionaries seem so perfect and put together, and the elders seem so solemn and mature. Not so in Nederland! Our hair is Always windblown and our cheeks are red and we often look 20 pounds overweight with all our layers. We knock lots and lots of doors because we don't have investigators, and sometimes I don't even get halfway through my sentence before the door shuts. We work with Elders frequently, and our relationsips with each other are fun and friendly. We are still young kids, and sometimes it is very evident in our behavior, and many of us are often ridiculously immature. Our mission is somewhat chill, compared to stateside, but it's because we are obedient missionaries and our mission hasn't had many problems with it's missionaries. We spend a crazy amount of time travelling, whether on bikes or buses or trains, because there just isn't enough work in one concentrated area. Teaching in another language just isn't the same as teaching in English, and lessons are often quite scattered and incontinuous.

But, this is my mission. And I love it. Each mission has it's struggles and unique trials that it puts missionaries through, but they are all amazing. I guess I just don't want everyone thinking that I'm the perfectly put together, pretty, peppy sister missionary that is so often portratyed by other sisters in other missions. I'm really just my normal self, and the work here is pretty slow. But that doesn't make me any less of a missionary or my mission any less of a mission. I may only bring one person to Christ, and that person may be myself, but if I can even accomplish that, then this is worth it. A mission is so worth it.

I am really excited that this is my only full year as a missionary. There are so many things to look forward to, and I have absolutely no idea what is in store for me. It is both terrifying and thrilling. :) I hope you all have solid new year resolutions that the Lord can use to help you become who He wants you to be and to bring you closer to Him. That is Always the most important (as I am beginning to see as one of His missionaries). I love you and am so grateful for your support. It means the world to me.

Sister Johanson

This was almost like a pep talk to myself...sorry bout that. Go missionary work!