Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Be still and know that I am God"

Nikki's letter from this past week on October 6th! She is still having issues uploading pictures onto the computer she uses so no pictures this week.

Hallo familie!

Well this week has been pretty great! A lot happened, so I'm going to just list some things first:

-I had harring--nastiest thing I have ever eaten. I have a video but it's too big to load I think (and the computers here dont take camera cards!! So sorry!! Anyways, it was really gross. Never ever again.
-We have a new investigator!! Her name is Joyce and she's awesome. She was first introduced to the Church while visiting her sister in America, who's a member. She loves that the members of our Church are so willing to serve. We're hoping to set a baptismal date with her this week!

-There is an amazing family, the Pantophlets, in our ward, and they have us over for dinner every Friday. Brother Pantophlet is one of the best cooks ever. He made bombi I think this past week. So lekker. His daughter, Yurina, is in her twenties, is a lawyer and is a killer member missionary. She brought three friends to conference last night and one of them is a referral. We are teaching her friend this week!

-Sister Packer and I have been really liking hobo dinners lately. Hobo dinners include bread, hummus (we found pumpkin hummus---best thing in the world), avocado, veggies, apples, etc. It's one of our favorite meals. And we think we're pretty funny when we do it.

-Sister Packer had me lead us around one afternoon while we looked up potential investigators and less active members. It was stressful/funny/a good learning experience

-We've been working more with a less active member named Vanessa-she's awesome. She's really spunky and fun. She fell off her bike last week and broke her tibia, so she's in a wheelchair...we visited her at the hospital (hospitals are so weird here) and we made her pancakes and taught her the lesson after she got home from the hospital. It's been a really cool experience meeting with her. She's struggling with smoking, and we had a really good lesson with her about prayer. It was awesome.

-Ok, some things that are really different here: there are no free public restrooms. You have to pay to go most places--it's been an adventure. It's increase my gratitude for free public restrooms in America, just saying. Also, the granola here is amazing. You all would love it! And people here love this thing called Vla--it's basically watery pudding, I don't really like it, but 'people here love it!

-Today is my 2 month mark! fun fact! Sorry, this email is super choppy and random

-I met an Elder from Lacrosse! He knows the Ebberts and Bakers--Elder Robinson. It was really exciting--he's in my district, so I see him every week.

Ok, now I can focus on General Conference. How amazing was that?! It flew by for me, and we didn't get to see theSunday PM session because of the time difference--jammer, but it's ok. For me, the main thing that stood out to me from Conference was that when we face God, focus on what He would have us do and what He thinks of us, everything works out and we will be the happiest we can be. I hadn't even realized it before Conference, but part of my stress was worrying about if other people thought I was a good missionary. The only person's opinion that really matters is God's. Also, I loved the talks about Sacrament meeting--I really want to make Sacrament more of a sacred and special experience. I really loved the Jorg man's talk--he spoke super fast but I loved every word. It reminded me of the quote "the gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."I hope  you all read through your notes over and over again, that's what I've been doing today and it's wonderful.

The scripture I put at the title was one that really helped me this week. I had been feeling down about a lot of things, and when I read that scripture, it really put things into perspective for me. When we get flustered, stressed, discouraged, lonely, etc...we need to be still and know who God is and that He is capable of all things. We must have faith. Anyways, it brought a lot of comfort to me. Also, something else that helped me this week was smiling. We've had to ride the bus more this past week because my bike is not so good--the Elders from our ward are working on it, but I might end up buying one next week, we'll see. Anyways, I would Always get discouraged with myself on the bus, because I wanted to talk to people but I don't feel like I know enough Dutch to have a normal conversation with a stranger on a bus. Then one day, I just started smiling more at people on the bus. And one day, an old man smiled back. It was so nice and it lifted my spirits. Most people are very closed off and don't respond, but smiling at everyone has helped--I know it's super simple, but it helped me. Also just saying little complements to others has helped too. Even though  I can't carry a conversation and smoothly bring in the gospel on the bus yet (it's illegal to just start talking about church things on the bus..and it's weird to just ask someone how they are here, it's apparently too personal), I can still love people.

I love you all so much, thank you for your love and support.
Zuster Thomas

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