|Arriving at Schiphol Airport! (Credit Sis Robinson for all pictures this week)|
My last couple of days in the MTC were great- we said goodbye to a lot of amazing people, which was kind of sad. My teachers Broeder Klippel, Broeder Lewis, and Zuster Juchau were amazing. I wouldn't have been at all prepared to come to the Netherlands without them! We also said good bye to a lot of other wonderful friends. I'll miss everyone but it's so great to be here!
We flew to Detroit, which was relatively short, and one of the flight attendants was really sweet and announced to the whole plane what we as missionaries were going to do for the next little while and we got a round of applause! What an exciting way to begin. Then the marathon flight to the Netherlands- I think it was actually only 7-8 hours or so, and I did manage to sleep for a couple of them, but I for one still felt exhausted and travel-gross when we landed at 8:00am Netherlands time. President and Sister Robinson were waiting to meet us though so it was great to walk out into their open and waiting arms! It was a lovely sunny day and we went right into a few orientation meetings and interviews with President and Sister. Then we went out and were busy all day going to various buildings to fill out paperwork- Getting our residency to remain in the Netherlands and such, which is necessary, but not necessarily exciting. Anyway, we finally returned and got to briefly nap and freshen up before dinner, which was gourmet burgers. It's funny because the word for "citizen" in Dutch is burger, so we joked that we were American burgers eating Nederlands burgers. Haha. :)
Then we opened our in-mission calls! I'm in Assen with Sister Woodbury and couldn't be happier! We went to sleep Tuesday night excited and got to meet our trainers the next morning, and then we were off! Assen is a little city in the Northern Netherlands, kind of in the country, and I feel so blessed- I can't describe how beautiful it is. Fields, canals, an adorable little city center and tons of tiny brick houses, cobblestone streets everywhere- it's unreal. I think the Netherlands is a fantasy country, or this is a dream and I just haven't woken up. Anyway, we got to the city and dropped off my luggage in our apartment, which is is in a great location, very roomy and nice- it's snug and perfect, I'd say. Anyway, we had a couple of appointments that night that we had to get to, so I got to meet some investigators right away.
|Opening 1st In-Mission call|
Since then we've just been doing missionary work! Talking to everyone we see, teaching all the time, meeting with members- I love it. Some things about Nederland: the people really are taller here! Everyone! I mean, I don't feel short necessarily, but just everyone is tall and stately and fashionable. Every day is like a fashion show- even the little three year olds strut around in designer labels, it seems like. It's funny and awesome and it just feels so classy all the time. The dairy products really are amazing- as a qualified milk critic and can assure you that it's better here in both texture and taste than almost anything I've ever had before. Also, the produce is real- it isn't waxed and shined to look superficially perfect as it is in America. And the cheese is so delicious. And the bread. basically almost everything is incredible.
Everyone bikes. Everyone. Bike paths are everywhere, and bikes have the right of way all the time. It took us a day and a half to get me a bike, and it was exhausting- I don't know how walking missionaries do it. I love my bike! It's second hand, but tall and sturdy in the Dutch style and I can cruise around on it like the queen of the world. Some unique characteristics of Dutch bikes is that they all have a little platform over the back wheel, where you can buy little bags that hang on either side to carry things. They have a way to lock the back wheel so the bike can't be used, and I feel paranoid leaving my bike not chained to something else but locking the back wheel is an excellent anti-theft device- who's going to steal a bike if they have to have a steel saw to use it? No one wears helmets here. I don't know why they would, since it's so safe- I definitely believe that missionaries who wore helmets would get mocked haha. I feel fine without one.
Zuster Woodbury and I went on a little adventure to a tiny little dorp (village) called Beilin to look up a referral yesterday. She wasn't home, but there was a beautiful old church and graveyard we passed which was way cool to see- Europe is amazing. yesterday was the first day that really felt like fall, too. This whole week has been sunny and warm! I understand that that isn't usually how Nederland is though- yesterday and today have been crisp, windy, chilly, and a bit rainy. bring it on, weather! The happiness inside me can outlast any rain. And it's actually quite pleasant out right now.
|Kinney's trainer Zuster Woodbury|
I can't believe I forgot to bring my camera to the library to upload pictures. Twice as many next week I suppose- sorry! Also, anyone who wants my actual mailing address, feel free to email me for it- I only get letters sent to the mission home every couple of months or so.
My Dutch is an exciting adventure... Sometimes when people speak quickly I only catch a few words here and there. But most of the time I can effectively communicate. Several people, both strangers and members, have told me that my Dutch is very good already. Since the Dutch people are very sincere, frank, and straightforward, I take that as a tremendous compliment- however, I can't help wondering if secretly they just mean. "you aren't bungling this language nearly as badly as most Americans!" Anyway, I've already seen myself progressing hugely in the past few days. I listen attentively and I'm picking up a better accent as well as vocabulary. It's very exciting, but I also recognize that I have a long, long way to go!
Okay, that's all for now. I actually have some funny stories that I hope to tell when I'm not so pressed for time trying to tell everything as right now. Look for those stories and tons of pictures next week. Until then, tot ziens! I love being a missionary and I have such a testimony of the joy and necessity of this work. I'm exhilarated and so happy to be here!!!
From the Mission Blog:
Note from Sister Robinson: We spoke in Assen Branch on September 21, 2014 and spent the morning with Sister Voss and Sister Woodbury. It was Sister Voss' first Sunday in the land and she did a fantastic job sharing her testimony in Sacrament Meeting. We had a 'boordjes' with them before we left. They are doing wonderfully.
|Our district with Broeder Klippel!|
|Twinning with a couple Danish sisters from the MTC!|
|Zuster Juchau with all the sisters! She is so awesome!|
|Our district with Broeder Lewis- he was a missionary in this mission just barely a few months ago.|
|Dutchies all in front of the temple one last time!|
|My name tag with the temple because I'm cool and creative ( actually stole this idea from someone else)|