Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

From e-mail dated December 28, 2009.

It was great to talk to you all on Christmas. I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas. Christmas here was fun--TONS of food and some great member appointments. One of my favorites was with a 95 year old woman--Zr. Gunster--we got to make her dinner and then spend the evening of Second Christmas with her (just like for Easter and Ascension Day, they have second Christmas...).
I forgot to tell you! Last week at the Christmas concert in Den Haag, I met Catharina de Groot--the girl that found me on facebook when I first got my mission call. It was awesome to finally meet her! We were going to call her to see if she could come on joint teach with us, but Zr. Fritz and I were both sick this last week and so we had a couple of days without any work and then the rest of the time was Christmas appointments-- if you get a chance to let her know I'm sorry we didn't call, I would really appreciate it.
So, this week has been insane in a lot of ways. 1—Zr. Fritz and I were both sick this week at different times-- so that was rough.
2—With Christmas, a lot of our investigators were pretty busy and would cancel appointments at the last minute—that was pretty frustrating, but it gave us a good chance to have lessons with the people we had arranged to come on joint teach...
But, for a Christmas miracle—we’ve been trying to get a hold of an inactive member ever since I came to Amsterdam 6 months ago. We tried a couple of times to visit her this week because the ward had a Christmas package for her and her family. Well, we were never able to get a hold of her, so we ended up leaving the package with the neighbors. Then, miraculously, she came to church on Sunday with all of her kids! And she asked us to come visit them this week! It was wonderful.
Our investigators who have all been progressing are currently on vacation—but gratefully they’ll be coming back this week (like Kim--man, I miss that girl!). So many people have been on vacation-- I can't wait for them to get back--Claire, Kim, Joyce-- (yes, I'm making special mention of them because they read my blog-- but I love them a lot, too!)--I'm looking forward to seeing them again.
So, a funny adventure--are you ready for this? Riding a bike in the snow. Have you ever tried it? I doubt it. It's quite the time. Most of the week we have taken public transportation, but Christmas Eve we decided to bike because we had a lot to do and public transportation is a little of on holidays-- well-- it was an adventure and a half. Gratefully we didn't have any accidents on Christmas Eve (however, last night on the way home I hit a patch of black ice and took a dive--but no real injuries from that one--just a little bruised).
Christmas Eve in Amsterdam ROCKED! We had a musical service at the church and more than half of the people in attendance were non-members. It was AMAZING! I hope that they got a good impression and that they really felt the spirit. I played the organ (as usual-- I'm not sure if I've told you that I play the organ for the ward-- I'm not sure what they'll do when I get transferred) and the piano for all of the musical numbers. Zr. Fritz played violin while Annika (an AWESOME member) played the recorder and I played the piano for What Child is This. It was great!
You asked about my foot-- well-- here's the deal--I've talked to the mission doctor (who is in Germany) and he said that I just needed to take good care of it and that it wasn't worth going to a doctor here for an x-ray or anything because they wouldn't be able to do much about it. I talked to him and gave him updates weekly for a month. I didn't use crutches or anything, but we took breaks every day to ice it and I took really good care of it. Well, it's been 4 months-- and it still hurts if I walk a lot or if I catch my foot on something. We went to Den Haag today for P-day and as we were playing volleyball, it would hurt when I served because when I serve I drag my foot across the floor. I'm planning on talking to Sister Brubaker about it at interviews on Wednesday. I'm not sure if they can do anything about it anymore-- but I'm going to see.
Things with our other investigators are pretty much the same... Moses didn't make it to church--I don't know what's going on there-- he cancelled our appointment this week because of Christmas--we've really got to start meeting with him multiple times a week if he's serious about this--and I really hope he is.
As for a package--I think I would really just like a letter from the kids.
Really. Well, I've gotta get running. But for a short spiritual thought, I've been thinking a lot about my role as a missionary and how this is preparing me for a lifetime of missionary work. Please never forget to share what you have--just like when you have a favorite restaurant, you tell everyone about it because you love it so much--remember that the gospel is even better--share it like your favorite restaurant--WITH EVERYONE!

I love you so much!
Zuster Fowler

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