September 10, 2014

Tjonge Jonge! (Oh boy)

In just a few short days I'll be. . .  in Nederland. CRAZY!

Monday we leave the MTC at 6:30 a.m.
and ride the the Front Runner to the SLC Airport.

At 11:00 a.m. we fly to Detroit Michigan.
We leave Detroit at 6:16 p.m. to fly to Amsterdam.

We finally arrive in Amsterdam at 8:05 a.m.

 We'll be in de Nederland Tempel in about a month. 
So cool and great because it'll be a little MTC reunion.

This week was full of lots of leadership and service opportunities. Our classes are in the evening now because our teachers have classes at BYU so that interferes with our Zone meetings and orientation for new missionaries. We had to leave class early and be at the orientation for our new Nordes and Swedes. It was hard for me at first to be okay with missing class. I LOVE class. I love learning. I didn't used to earlier in my life. Now I love to soak up all the knowledge I am given. I do know that we've been blessed for our outward service this week. It's been fun to be a leader and have so many sisters look up to us. They think we're older than them but really we are the same age and maybe even younger.

We've gotten so close with our District this week. The Elders take good care of us and make sure that everything is okay. We practiced teaching the Law of Chastity this week and I managed to cry in front of one of our Elders haha. It was so hard to teach it! Anyways. . .  I've realized that I've never really had to have a testimony about the Law of Chastity. It's just something I know. I am learning that as a missionary it is okay to pray to have a testimony for this kind of stuff. I need to stop being prideful and thinking that since I'm a missionary I shouldn't have to pray for a testimony. I love the fact that I can set aside my testimony about anything and everything and pray to Heavenly Father to have a reconfirmation that a certain principle is true. I encourage anyone to do that if they are struggling to know if they really believe in something. Being a member my whole life can kind of be a hard thing sometimes. I've been involved in every aspect of the gospel for so long that it becomes a habit and something I don't think about as often. I'm grateful to be a missionary so that I can pause and really ask myself and Heavenly Father if I know something to be true. I know that we can pray to Heavenly Father for anything and everything. We can have a close relationship with him right now because we had one in the pre-mortal life. He knows us better than ourselves and he desires to help us become the person that would best help him bring others unto Christ.

Sister Christensen, the blonde in the middle left for Suriname. . . the 3rd sister to be there.
She also speaks Dutch and I'll see her at BYU-I after.
The rest of the sisters are all of the sisters going to Nederland with us

We got to skype someone from Nederland for TRC. It was super cool. We weren't able to see her face but just talking with her was great. We were a little flustered from the technological difficulties but the it was great nevertheless. She is from Breda Nederland and she is hoping we get to meet her! She said we speak better Dutch than her husband who is from England but has lived with her in Nederland for 26 years! We still don't have very good conversational skills but we can bear a pretty good testimony! You'll hear it in a few days :)

I missed a couple days in my journal this week because I was busy helping the new sisters out, but my overall thoughts from this week were that I am so scared for Nederland but I know everything will be okay. Sometimes I feel super confident and ready to go, and other times I freak out because we haven't even had practice teaching all of the lessons. We are still teaching two investigators right now but we haven't quite committed him to baptism. We need to be more bold and we know it :)

The Hardest part for me with Dutch right now is. . .  limited vocabulary. It used to be the grammar but I am actually getting that down! I'm getting it down so much that sometimes my English sentences end up being said in the form of a Dutch sentence. I understand where to put each part of the sentence but I just don't have enough different kind of things to say. If that makes sense. I know that the gift of tongues is real though. Whenever I get down about the language I look back at little notes that I wrote earlier in the week to myself. I am feeling the promptings of the Holy Ghost helping me! The holy Ghost is a very big comforter right now. Whenever I am feeling nervous or worried about something I get these thoughts that everything will be okay. I am sure to write those thoughts down because I know that if we cherish the knowledge and comfort we are given then we will be given more.

Another thought regarding the Holy Ghost. . . It is something that I value the most while being a missionary. I'm learning how important it is to pray for the Holy Ghost and to give thanks for the promptings I am given. I'm learning to put my trust in the Lord and to not worry as much. Some of the best and scariest lessons are those where we go in with hardly any notes and we're not exactly sure what we're going to teach. That is because without much of a lesson outline we are able to pay attention to our investigators needs and listen to the spirit. If we are so worried about what we'll say next on our lesson outline we don't pay attention to our investigator or the spirit. We had a lesson where we studied the scriptures for a lot of our preparation. We choose several different scriptures and wrote down a little bit about them so we would know what they'd say (since we'd only have our Dutch scriptures.) It ended up being one of my favorite lessons because the lesson was all about making sure Pip didn't have any confusions or concerns over the Plan of Salvation. We answered his questions and the Spirit was able to bring the scriptures and principles we learned during our preparation to our minds. I realize that not every lesson will be like that because every lesson is different, but it was a great experience to have. I am so thankful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost in my life.

I have loved teaching and being a companion with Zuster Watts. Her testimony is radiant and shows every time we teach a lesson no matter how simple the principle is. She's really good at paying attention to the needs of our investigator, and even though the investigators aren't real she finds a way to relate to them every time. I'm so thankful for her example and love she has towards me. Sometimes after lessons I'm not as confident about everything that just happened. It's so easy to be negative and think about all of the awkward things that happened, but I am so thankful for Zuster Watts and her optimism. She always gives me a compliment about something good that I did. She is the best companion! I'm going to missssss my little Kabouter(leprechaun)  so much while in Nederland but I'm thankful that I could experience all of the trials and fun times in the MTC with her.

I appreciate all of the words of encouragement you share with me.  I print off the emails and I study the scriptures and thoughts you share! Keep em comin! Thank you both for your testimonies regarding the Holy Ghost and Having Faith in the Lord that he will help me. Your testimonies strengthen mine and I am so grateful for your support.

Dad- I forgot we'd be riding the front runner to get to the airport! Good thing I'm the Travel Leader for the 12 of us. I'm an expert with that route now thanks to you!

Ahhh there is never enough time to write.

Talk to you soon... FROM THE AIRPORT!!!!!!!!


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