Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Historic places and brownie castles.

What a wonderful week we've had! It was packed and busy, both with cool cultural experiences and miraculous missionary work- the best kind of week to have!
Our 3rd companion- the tiny snow missionary I made on our porch

Last Monday, we took the chance to go visit a concentration camp called Kamp Westerbork that's actually only 20 minutes outside of Assen with Elder Warner and Elder Key (the Hoogeveen elders) and Aswin Loorbach. It was a unique, fascinating experience. We saw the remains of a building where Anne Frank was held. We read postcards that were the last forms of communication sent by desperate people confined within the tiny parameters of the camp. Tens of thousands of Dutch Jews were held at Kamp Westerbork before being deported to extermination camps elswhere. It was sobering to walk in a place so recently, just 70 years ago, used to bring to pass so much heartache and misery. It was also fascinating from the perspective of the part of me that adores history to actually be there. It was a cool, misty day- perfect concentration camp weather, if there is such a thing. The day itself felt sad and serious.
Each stone represents someone who died here - there are thousands
However, the entire trip wasn't so sad. It was a forty minute walk to get there through a beautiful old forest, and it was fun to talk to Aswin and the elders as we traveled there. We ate chocolate, shared missionary experiences, just in general enjoyed the change of pace and company.
Sister Dobler and I with Aswin in front of the huge satellites that were on the path on the way to Kamp Westerbork

Belgian chocolate we bought to enjoy on our road trip. They look like Willy Wonka bars- sadly, there were no golden tickets inside
Then afterwards, we visited the Hunnebeds! Which, as you may recall, are the ancient stonehenge-like stone structures mysteriously constructed as tombs by primitive humans. Crazy, cool, and you can climb all over them. I had been there once before, but it was Sister Dobler's first time. It was a fun trip!
Sister Dobler and I on the hunnebeds!

Hunnebed Mermaid.
Also this week, Assen saw more snow! Actual snow that stuck to the ground. It was beautiful, but biking through snow can be a scary experience! Our back wheels were slipping all over the place. Ultimately, we survived the days of snow on the ground and enjoyed playing in it too. It was definitely cold this week though!
Enjoying the first day of snow!
Then it snowed more... And we saw this giant snow ball someone rolled (the snow was excellent and sticky! Perfect for snow men and snowballs!) But of course, dignified sister missionaries don' indulge in such childish activities...
Selfie with the snow spiderwebs... They were covered in delicate frost and it was pretty cool
As far as missionary work, we had some special lessons both with and without members, but one that sticks out most vividly to me is a lesson we had with a 16 year old less active member. He's prepared and positive about making the church a bigger part of his life, but receives little support at home, so we were trying to help him strengthen his own personal relationship with God. And how is that possible? Through prayer. We read out of Joseph Smith History together and discussed the attribute's of Joseph's prayer. Then we watched the fantastic Mormon Message, "The Hope of God's Light" together, which is powerful in any situation. But here, it brought the Spirit so strongly! We challenged him to try to pray, and he accepted it.
Last district meeting of the transfer! Goodbye Elder Cook!

Companion Doners- delicious, but feel like you ate a rock...

Sister Dobler and I were so inspired by how wonderful the lesson was- we couldn't stop thinking about it. We were on our way to look up someone else afterwards, and just pulled aside on our bikes and found a quiet place to pray with each other- that he would have the desire to pray, and receive and be able to recognize an answer. Praying with each other for someone else so specifically and intensely was great for building our companion unity- and we knew that we had done all we could, but that it was still up to us to show our faith through obedience. So for the rest of the evening we contacted our hearts out until the last minute, talking to everyone. Overall, it was just a cool experience.

Our brownie castle. The Dutch flagged really topped it off nicely!
In preparation for the ward potluck on Sunday, we impulse bought a castle shaped cake mold and made quite and impressive brownie castle. The branch loved it... We were very pleased haha.

I hope you're all having miraculous weeks back at home! Love others, do good in the world around you... I have discovered that the greatest joy and happiness come from those principles.


Zuster Voss
This is the plaque for the building we saw where Anne Frank was held
This was the building itself

The number on the front is how many Dutch Jews were deported, the number on the side is how many were ultimately killed in a foreign concentration camp

Me reading one of the preserved last letters of a resident of this camp
Elder Key and Elder Warner with the huge satellites.
Sister Dobler's family sent Tostitos Hint of Lime chips. If there's one thing you can't get here, it's genuine American Mexican food, so I guess you could say we enjoyed them a little bit... 

My mini me!

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