Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Reasons to be thankful (Aside from Sinterklaas)

This was such an exciting week! For multiple reasons. I met SINTERKLAAS! Also, we had a Conference with a member of the presidency of the area seventy over Europe! That one should probably be first because it's more spiritually important. But meeting Sinterklaas was awesome.

Elder Moreira is from Portugal and a member of the Europe area presidency seventy. He's awesome, animated, and inspiring. We travelled to Rotterdam to hear him and I learned a lot- it's hard to share it in just a few sentences. But basically, we need to be innovative and bold, as well as positive. He said, "Keep the smiling." I can do that! Also, President Robinson shared a great message. We discussed the levels of motivation- love being the highest one of course. If we are motivated by love to do our best, obedience won't be a burden, and our faith will be strengthened.
Seeing Sister Watts at the Moreira Conf was wonderful!
So, I learned a lot, and got to see some friends I missed from my MTC group. It's always fabulous to be reunited with other missionaries! Especially since we're the only missionaries in Assen, so we don't see other people from the mission more than once a week for district meeting.

Thanksgiving happened! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We had a fabulous one. We were asked by the people we carved pumpkins with on Halloween to come over and prepare a true American Thanksgiving dinner with them and share our traditions. Neither Sister Woodbury nor I had ever prepared Thanksgiving dinner all by ourselves before, but it turned out amazing. Sister Woodbury cooked the two tiny turkeys to perfection (big turkeys are only a thing in America) and I made delicious mashed potatoes and a fantastic apple pie.
Making it was kind of sketchy since we were trying to convert to weird European measurements, but it came out excellently. It tasted like America, man. We also shared the history of Thanksgiving, a spiritual thought and the tradition of going around the table saying what we're thankful for.
Our thanksgiving spread.
I was touched by the sincere and beautiful responses, and the Spirit was definitely there. They (8 non members! It was so awesome!) all loved it, and I felt like I was home for Thanksgiving, at least a little bit. It was lovely.  

Now, meeting Sinterklaas. We were at our ward mission leader's house after teaching a lesson with him to his neighbors, and we were all eating dinner, when suddenly there was a knock on the door! In came Sinterklaas with two Zwarte Piets (the Sinterklaas equivalent of Santa's elves and questionably politically correct. I guess I won't get into that debate). Sinterklaas greeted us, asked if we had all been being good, then handed out individual presents! I received a chocolate letter "V." Chocolate letters are a big deal here and you see them everywhere. Plus they handed out lots of kruidnoten and candy. Kruide noten (literally, "spice nuts") are like little hard bites of gingerbread and they taste like pure Christmas. Anyway, it was fantastic, I was super excited... Apparently visiting people's houses is something Sinterklaas just does, though of course the de Jonges had also arranged this visit. It was super awesome.

We also had the opportunity this week to fast with an investigator.. She's a a big decision making point in her life and it was cool to share the experience of beginning a fast together. Fasting adds so much strength to my prayers and focus to my thoughts while I'm doing it. Fasting for and with an investigator was really special.
Cutting my apple pie.
Also, Sister Woodbury and I have noticed a strong theme of woodland creatures as the new hipster theme here. Deer, owls, foxes are everywhere. Has that hit America yet? Is it obvious to everyone except us? Once we noticed, we saw it everywhere. But maybe we're crazy. Sorry that was random and not spiritual, but I just thought it was funny.
Chocolate letter "V" I got from Sinterklaas
Meeting Sinterjklaas! The Groningen sister missionaries were there too (Sisters Bradley and Fleming)
Now that it's December We're gearing up even more for the Christmas season! Weirdly, there's only one week really left in this transfer. After this, Sister Woodbury's mission is over and she'll be going home to America. I almost can't believe it. I've learned so much from her and I'm going to miss her a lot. Plus, it's highly likely that I'll be training next transfer. Yikes! But I know it will be good. Until next week! 
Love, Sister Voss
McDonalds on Thanksgiving morning. Can't get more American than that.

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