Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 comes in with a BANG!

From e-mail dated January 4, 2010

Amsterdam has been INSANE this week.
Tuesday we got to go to Haarlem!!! Oh, how I miss it. I love Haarlem so much! There were some referrals there that needed to be looked up, and with no missionaries in Haarlem, it falls under our area now (but we can't go out there often enough to keep up with the investigators...). Anyway, because we got to go to Haarlem for the day, we set up an appointment with Azelea! I have missed her and Belina to death. It was so good to see them and to spend some time with them, talking with them about the gospel. She isn't going to church in Haarlem because she doesn't know anyone there now that there aren't any missionaries and because no one really speaks English there. Sad day. Really, it is SO important that investigators have friends in the church. We try so hard as missionaries to introduce the investigators to the members, but the members have really got to take a hold of the investigators and build strong relationships with them because we missionaries just aren't around forever. In ieder geval-- it was super awesome to be able to spend some time in Haarlem again. The Elders came to Haarlem to look up half of the referrals, and so they tried to take one of the bikes and achter op, but-- Elder Bastiaens has never really ridden a bike--so it didn't really work-- at all. It was HILARIOUS though. Quite the sight. Imagine, a Belgian who has never really ridden a bike, trying to bike around with another Elder sitting on the back--and then they get all frustrated, so Elder Howell tries biking with Elder Bastiaens on the back--but Elder Bastiaens is probably 2 times as big as Elder Howell-- We got a kick out of it. Ah, gotta love missionary work.
Wednesday we had interviews with President. Once again, my interview was only 10 minutes-- but it was exactly what I needed... One thing he mentioned in my interview, is he asked when I would be going home-- ah! I don't even want to think about it! He said that I need to think about it before our interview next transfer. BAH!...
The training the ZL's planned for interviews was HILARIOUS. It was a boot camp. We had to do 3 legged races, a human pretzel, and feed our companion vla while being blindfolded. CRAZY! We talked a lot about unity, and it was a really good training. Kim is finally back from America! I am SO HAPPY! I've missed her like crazy. We're the first people she called when she stepped out of the plane. Man, that made us feel special. I love her so much. We went to her house for dinner on New Year's Eve.
Speaking of New Year's Eve-- Tjonge jongen! INSANE! So, New Year's Eve/New Year's Day is the only day where fireworks are legal in the Netherlands--and ANYTHING goes. Fireworks were being set off all over the place the whole day long. We went to bed at 10:30 and got woken up right before midnight with what sounded like World War III. It was crazy. The fireworks went until at least 2:00 in the morning. Then the next day, we went out to do missionary work, and there was NO ONE outside. This is the first time that I've seen Amsterdam dead still. I don't think I'll ever see it like that again.
Saturday I played the organ at a funeral. It was actually a funeral of the mother of a member from Spain-- and none of the rest of the family is a member. So, the only members in the entire church were us, the son, and the Bishop. When we sang the opening and closing song, these were also the only ones singing. The talks were really interesting-- they were mostly just letters to the mom. But when the member son spoke, the spirit was SO strong! He talked about the resurrection and about Jesus Christ. It was amazing!
Then Sunday was the farewell of Duco van Doesburg--he is coming to our mission (can you imagine--Utah is 6 times as big as the Netherlands-- and he was called to his own country-- it would be like me going on a mission to Logan--) There were a TON of people in church and it was really cool to see all of the Young Adults in the Netherlands come together to see him off.
Well, I've gotta get running. But I love you a lot. There are so many amazing things that happened this week--I wish I could tell them all. The Lord is definitely in this work. He is there, watching out for each of His children--especially for each of you.

I love you.
Zuster Fowler

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