When I started my mission, I knew it would be hard; I'd heard that from too many people to not believe it. But I also knew it would be amazing! Initially, I figured the hard parts were mostly due to internal opposition. After all, isn't it enough to have to struggle to combat feelings of unworthiness, discouragement and inadequacy without anything else on top of it? And up to this week, I'd had a pretty blessed experience- no slammed doors, no yelling people. A couple hard nights or twinges of homesickness- nothing more serious than that.
Well! This week we got off a bus and started walking to our bikes when some drunk guys in the area noticed us and started chasing us! Ugh. We ran away in the station with lights and people and were fine, but that was a pretty unsettling experience. Unfortunately, that's the kind of thing that can happen everywhere, but should never happen anywhere. That's what I call external opposition! Later that night I was feeling shaken, and just wished I could call my Mom or someone- it's kind of hard in that situation. My companion was asleep, and my family and friends were all a continent away. Who could I cry to?
But remember, I said that this week was also the best of times! I had nothing to do but to turn to my Father in Heaven in prayer, and express all my troubled feelings to the only One who could really understand me perfectly anyway. I received such comfort and peace through sincere supplication to God! That day was difficult at first, but ultimately I developed a closer relationship with heavenly Father; I'm so grateful to know that everything happens for a reason!
Furthermore, this week we had some fantastic lessons. In one, we taught the Restoration, and I was able to share the first vision. At first I was nervous and worried about messing up as I shared the words I had memorized in Dutch- but as I spoke, I ceased to worry about my words and was filled anew with wonder that we live in an age where God again communicates directly with His children on Earth. The Spirit was so strong, and immediately afterward I felt that if I had come on my mission and only taught that lesson, it would have been worth it! So that was really cool.
We were actually in Assen the whole week this week, which was wonderful! It's great to explore, but it's nice to live and work in our own city. We had wonderful lessons, and again, I love the members of the church here! I truly feel like I'm among family. Several have assured us that while we're here so far from home, they'll take care of us, the way other mothers and grandmothers take care of their missionary children across the globe, wherever anyone may be on a mission. I think that's pretty special!
Here's some really good news: transfers are happening this week, but Sister Woodbury and I are both staying in Assen!!! I am so, so grateful to get to remain here. We are excited that we are staying together- I have so much more to learn, and I don't want to leave anyone here. Cheers to another 6 weeks in this amazing little city!
I know I didn't have tons of cool cultural experiences to share this week... Here's a funny one I've been holding in reserve. In Dutch, a grote or kleine boodschap (a big or little message) are euphemisms for... poop and pee. it's a common new missionary mistake to knock and say with a smile," hello, we have a great message for you!" or, "we'd like to share a little message." But it's hilarious... I haven't done that, because Sister Woodbury warned me early on not to haha. Apparently someone who shall not be named from my MTC group has done that though to a room that burst into laughter. I think it's fantastic... but I don't plan on doing it!
|Decorating for Halloween|
Dad note: No pictures this week due to a dead camera battery. I'll add pics next week to both blog posts.