Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Biking Adventures and living the Gospel Joyful

Winnie the Pooh often has a blustery day- but we have had a blustery week here in Assen!
We're talking about wind that blows you off course when you're biking, makes you fly forward when it's behind you, and brings you to a standstill if you're biking against it, even pedaling at full power. Exciting stuff!
Sister Dobler and I in the main square of Brussels!
We had a fun week. Our District leaders Elder Nye and Elder Claflin came to work with us for several hours on Thursday. It was kind of inspiring to have that extra support in our city, and cool to learn from them and how they talk to people, teach, and share our message. Plus, they are hilarious. So we all had a good time and were extra productive. Win win!
Chilling with Elders Nye and Claflin when they came to work with us.

On Friday, both Sister Dobler and I went to Belgium for some legality/visa paperwork things. We slept over in Lelystad on Thursday night with Sister Adams and Sister Begazo, which is always fun, and ended up traveling with the Zwolle Elders (Cook and Da Silva) to Leiden. Seeing other missionaries is generally great.

Our hour walking around in Brussels was delightful. We appreciated the incredible architecture, ate Belgian Frites, Belgian waffles, and fresh delicious sandwiches (that sounds like a lot, but hey, we don't go to Belgium every day). It's always exciting to be standing in a square and not know if the person next to you will be speaking French, Dutch, English, German- it's a surprise!
Belgian waffles. Enough said :)

While there in Brussels, we were only a few hours away from Paris, only a couple days after the Charlie Hebdo attack- we saw many "Je Suis Charlie" signs there. A couple people mentioned it to us and we've read a couple Dutch newspaper articles describing the horrific event, so I think I understand what's occurred. It's sobering to hear of such tragedy and there are definitely a lot of people here who are more afraid for their safety given the recent events. I almost don't know how to react to it; I think peace and healing will take a long time to come again to France, the world, and those affected, but I'm grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the knowledge that healing can indeed and will come through Christ to those who seek it. I think I still feel as safe as before, even though I'm pretty close to where it happened (well, closer than I'd be in America), but such terrorist attacks do increase the uncertainty in the world and threaten the safety of everyone in the world today. I believe it was Martin Luther King, Jr. who said "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Terrorist attacks anywhere threaten the safety of free citizens everywhere. But I have faith that we'll be okay. Komt wel goed.
Elder Cook and I- the only ones from our original MTC group on this Belgium trip
The gold decorations and architecture in Brussels are just stunning.
In other news: Sister Dobler and I are tire patching pros! We both had flats this past week and it was really inconvenient. Finally, one of our investigators fixed the hole in my tire and showed us how to do the process ourselves.
Bike repair extraordinaire! 
So we took Sister Dobler's bike, turned it upside down, pulled the inner tube out, located the tiny hole using a bucket of water, patched it, and put it all back together. By ourselves! It really isn't that difficult, but considering I didn't even know bike tires had two parts a few months ago, we were pretty impressed that we accomplished such a feat. #BelgiumNetherlandsMission
Shall we open a bike repair shop together when we get home?
We found these instructions in the old obselete missionary health guide and updated them to be in accordance with the circumstances of our mission.
We had some really cool member present lessons this week; it's always incredible to me how powerful it is when members join us to help teach, and share their strong testimonies with those who are just beginning to learn about the church. In one lesson with an 8 year old and her grandmother, our Relief Society President Sylvia and her 11 year old daughter Anouk joined us, and the lesson was so much more clear, everyone was focused, and we all built stronger relationships with each other. Members make such a difference- this work belongs to all of us!
Elders Cook and Da Silva hanging out with us at Lelystad station while we all waited to be picked up. Good times.
This week I really enjoyed reading a talk by President Uchtdorf, "Living the Gospel Joyful." It still astounds me that an Almighty God knows me personally and yearns for my individual happiness and success. Yet this is the glorious truth I get to share every day! And given my knowledge of His love and care, it makes it so much easier to follow the commandments He has given me - because I know they are meant to help me be happy, and I trust my Heavenly Father.

We are all children of God, and He watches over us through good times and bad, and sends us testaments of His love through tender mercies, even when the world seems like a dark, scary place. I hope you all have a wonderful Week! Sister Dobler and I are having a blast here in Assen.

Zuster Voss

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