Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The tops of bridges have the prettiest views

Nikki'semail from this past week on October 27th.

Mijn familie! Oh how I love all of you!
Well, first things first, we got transfer calls yesterday and I'm going to Zoetermeer! I'll be serving with Zuster Hoff (I've been on exchanges with her--she's awesome..I've also been on exchanges in Zoetermeer)! We were pretty surprised that I'm not staying in Almere, I wish I would've taken more pictures with the members/investigators here. They're replacing us with Elders--there are a lot of Sisters leaving this week and after this transfer, so there will probably be less sister cities in our mission. Anyways, I know it's where the Lord wants me--I'll definitely miss the people here though!
Ok, so this week was pretty great! Sister Lourens, a sweet member from Curicao (definitely spelled that wrong), taught Zr. Packer and I how to make skirts--I made a thicker one for the winter--she's so sweet and told us her conversion story. We have done some service for her, she's awesome. We made dinner for familie Van der Put this week too! We made white chicken chilli--well, what I could remember from the recipe! They loved it, and that family is one of my favorites. We also made dinner for Adrienne and Johan, one of Sister Packer's recipes. Johan is hilarious--he calls us at least once a day with pretty much the exact same things to say every time. We only answer once in a while--listening to his voicemails is really fun.
Michelle was sick this past week, so we didn't get our lesson in with her. But we had offered to drop off some pumpkin soup (Sister Packer made it--so lekker), and one day we were headed out in the direction of her house--Sister Packer felt that we should bring the soup-- and we texted her asking if we could drop off the soup. Right when she responded, she got on the same bus we were on! We got to talk to her and give her the soup, anyways it was a miracle and it was great! We made contact with a lot of inactives this past week, which was really good. We also received a referral from a member for a man named Carlos--he's super friendly!
We had dinner with Familie Seel--they're from MN and will move back to the cities in a year. They're awesome! After dinner with them we went to the baptism of Margreet--she's a girl in our ward that loves us--it was great! There were so many visitors there, which was awesome.
Also, just in case you were wondering, my bike situation is good now. Johan and Adrienne had a bike they were going to give away, and when they heard I had a bad bike they gave it to me! It's a cool nice bike--it folds up so you can bring it on the train with you without having to pay money. They're so nice! They love the missionaries. They call us the Elder Sisters, and they call the Elders Elder Brothers...it's pretty awesome. His voicemails go something like this: "Good evening, met Johan, hoe gaat het? (a mix of Dutch and English but I'll put it in English) Winter is coming, oh yes, winter is coming, and you must eat plenty of potatoes and you must be careful on your bikes. Oh, yes, very careful. I'm so happy that you are here in Almere, and I hope you like your stay here in Almere..."
Well, to answer some of your questions, fall here is really pretty! The trees have been changing colors, and my favorite view is the tops of bridges, because there is always a canal with a row of big trees on each side--and with the different colors, it's breathtaking. I was thinking about that the other day--how the tops of bridges bring my favorite view, but on the other hand, biking up bridges is one of my less favorite things--especially against the wind. But that's how it is in life, the best views come after the harder experiences.
As for biking, we bike quite a lot--the weather was pretty bad this past week, so we used the bus a couple of times, also when we went to places father away we bussed. I like biking most of the time! When it's rainy and windy it's a little less fun, but it's the best mode of transportation here...and it gives me muscular legs ;)
As for Halloween, they don't celebrate it here. Some people have parties to celebrate it because it's a cool American thing, but most people don't celebrate it. Apparently there is a different tradition here, where kids carry a lantern around and knock doors, and they sing a song and get candy. 'm ok without Halloween here, the main things I'll miss are carving pumpkins and making yummy fall treats at home and spending time with you all.
Speaking of missing home, I had an experience this past week that really helped me. I was studying and thinking about the people we're teaching here, and I realized (this may seem like a "duh!" thing, but it was helpful for me) that if I wasn't here, I wouldn't know and love all these people. And when I thought about not knowing them, it made me tear up because I love them all and am so grateful that I know all of these wonderful people. It was an important moment for me and I think about that often now, it helps me when I feel like I need a hug from home or something like that.
Zuster Thomas

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