Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas with the Loorbachs! (this would make a fabulous movie title)

Hello everyone! We had an absolutely fabulous Christmas up here in the Northern Netherlands, and I hope everyone has had a festive holiday season wherever you may be :)

Cozy Christmas Eve with hot chocolate!
On Christmas Eve, we came home and got in our pajamas. Sister Dobler and I read the nativity story directly out of the Bible in Luke and Matthew, because that's a Christmas Ever tradition from both of our families. WE enjoyed hot chocolate, listened to soothing Christmas music... It was wonderful. Also on Christmas Eve, I tried to turn on our bedroom light switch and the lightbulb exploded through the glass fixture covering it, and we had glass everywhere. So that was exciting! Haha. But really, we had a very relaxing Christmas Eve.
The light fixture that exploded on Christmas Eve. How festive!

On Christmas morning we woke up early as usual, and opened our presents! It was so fantastic. Both of our families had sent us both stuffed stockings, we got lots of treats and fun things... Mostly, I was just excited and eagerly anticipating Skyping with my family later!

We got ready and went out to visit some people and deliver Christmas cards. One less active member we visited told us he had just been praying that Heavenly Father would make the day beautiful somehow, then we showed up! He's divorced and his children weren't coming to visit him until the next day, so he didn't have any Christmas plans. In the prayer we said together before we left, he thanked God that we had come so he didn't have to be completely alone on Christmas. Aww... That was a miracle. We were definitely led to him by the Spirit.

We then went to a cool family reunion/lunch party thing for the huge de Jonge family. They're a big family of members of the church in Nederland, they're everywhere, and it was so fun to celebrate with them for a couple of hours in Groningen! We also got to see a few other missionaries, which was way cool.

Then they drove us to the Loorbach family home, where we were spending Christmas. We exchanged presents with them (we made crazy homemade ornaments... Probably not very good quality.. but it's the thought that counts!) and got settled. Then we got to SKYPE!
2014 Voss Family Christmas Photo! (little Will was not amused...) Skyping was my favorite present! 
Skyping with my family was so amazing, the best Christmas present ever. It was so good to see and hear my family again! We laughed, we cried, shared our various experiences, I spoke Dutch for them, it was crazy at home just like always... The only thing that could have made it better is if it had been a few hours longer. But even that one hour was so precious and incredible.

Then after Sister Dobler skyped, we ate Christmas dinner with the Loorbach family. The evening with them was so comfortable and they were so kind, it felt just like being with our families! Dinner was delicious, and they let me make mashed potatoes for the sake of tradition. Then we all sat on the couch and watched Frozen together while eating ice cream. It was cozy and gezellig, Sister Dobler and I were singing along- It was a delightful evening!
Eating ice cream while we watched Frozen with the Loorbachs. Fabulous!
I have never been so active on Christmas, but this one was probably one of the best of my life. It was so special to celebrate the birth of my Savior while I've dedicated all my time to serving Him. I'm so grateful every day for His life, ministry and grace!
We both got a lot, despite the misleadingly small packages we were sent. Thank you families!

Christmas morning opening presents! (notice how dark it is. I haven't opened presents at 6:30 since I was 5 I bet)

Sister Dobler with all her Christmas presents!
The UMD shirt I got for Christmas completes this pajama outfit that represents in descending order of time all of my homes; Maryland, BYU/Utah, and the Netherlands!
Also, here in the Netherlands they celebrate Second Christmas. It's just like First Christmas, they spend it with family and eat food, but it makes me think of the Lord of the Rings (what about second breakfast? Elevensies?). We spent that also eating way too much yummy food- first with our investigator Angela, then with Sanaya and her family (the same people we spent Thanksgiving and Halloween with). It was another fun day!
Hema hot dogs together last P-day. It's how a hot dog should be- in a fresh baguette with only a hole on one end, filled with a skinny sausage and sweet mustard. Bliss!
I've had a wonderful past week and also an amazing year- I'm excited for the next one! I wish you all a Happy New Year (een gelukkig Nieuwjaar) and can't wait to write to you again in 2015!

Love, Zuster Voss
Slightly better family photo (sans Kinney) - Xmas Selfie... - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you from the Voss Family!

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