Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Seeing people in a different light

Dictator Valentines for the elders in our district
This week in Nederland featured some astoundingly lovely weather- about 50 degrees Fahrenheit on Valentine's Day and sunny! However, it was also cold and cloudy on other days. So we enjoyed the nice weather while it lasted! Crocuses, snowbells and daffodils are barely beginning to bloom. It's a lovely sight to see!

Speaking of Valentines- thanks to some excellent pictures sent to me by my sister, Zuster Dobler and I made some excellent dictator Valentines for the elders in our district. They said things like, "Quit Stalin and be my Valentine" and we looked up funny anti-romance scriptures. For fun, you can look them up too- Proverbs 24:26, Ecclesiastes 3:5, 1 Corinthians 7:1, Proverbs 18:22. I think the elders very much appreciated the randomness.

From Tuesday to Wednesday, we were on exchanges- I finally went to Apeldoon again! I was there working with Sister Verdegem, a really cool sister from Belgium, (her Vlaams- Belgian Dutch- is way fun to hear) and Sister Dobler was in charge of leading Assen for the day. It's always a fun adventure to work in another city for the day! And Apeldoorn is beautiful. Still, I was happy to come back home to Assen on Wednesday.

Friday the 13th was marked by no spectacular accident or unlucky incident, despite the fact that we saw a Grim, or indeed Sirius Black in animagus form. Sister Dobler and I are definitely both major Harry Potter nerds- when we saw the giant, black dog we both immediately recognized the omen foretelling our imminent deaths. However, it has still not occurred, but we are prepared should it happen.
My new Drenthe (the county we live in) sweatshirt next to the iconic (if you're familiar with Nederland) Bartje statue

Companion twinner Bartje picture
Valentine's Day was fun! We had received some decorations from family, so we heart attacked our apartment. We delivered Valentine cards to everyone we had appointments with that day. We had time to knock on some doors before catching a bus, and we wandered into an adorable neighborhood, Vredeveld (it means "peaceful field") that neither of us had ever encountered before. While there, we found a cute little Shetland Pony we named Norbert. So that was way fun! We ended the evening with dinner at the Loorbach's.
Adorable Shetland pony we found. We have christened him "Norbert."

A kiss for Bartje. He can be my Valentine!
On another note, we were offered buttermilk this week, and it is disgusting, in my opinion. We didn't realize what it was (in Dutch it's called "karnemelk") and oh boy, was it sour. I love milk, but that's not something I can support. It was fun to make eye contact with each other while we tried to drink it while maintaining pleasant expressions on our faces!

It was a strange week with teaching- we cancelled lessons, investigators cancelled lessons, for various circumstances, but still somewhat disappointing. So it was a hugely rewarding blessing when Sunday rolled around and church was full of investigators! We had lively lessons in Relief Society and Gospel Principles class, which were full of investigators, a less active surprise and recent converts! Saad is still going strong and doing amazing with scripture study and prayer- he radiates the happiness he felt at his baptism! So that's super encouraging. Also this Sunday was the Primary Program! Adorable Dutch children sharing their simple faith and testimonies by singing and sharing why they love their families- it brought the Spirit way strong.. A really sweet letter from my Grandma to our branch president here thanking the members for their love also made the branch feel good! So everything that happened at church felt miraculous!
Beautiful gates and buildings around the Drenthe archive!

Especially with Valentine's Day, I been thinking this week about Charity, the pure love of Christ. After studying it in Moroni 7:45-46 and 1 Corinthians 13, something that really stuck out to me is that charity thinketh no evil. I realized that sometimes it is so easy to make quick assumptions and just speak my worst expectations about others. Whether sarcastic or serious, any negative comments I make or think about other people really do influence my actual respect for them. So something I want to work harder on is giving others the benefit of the doubt, as I hope those around me will do for me when I make mistakes, say something rashly or otherwise fall shot of my potential. Part of love is really seeing the best in others, and not dwelling on the negative. "You didn't have time to read the scriptures? Don't tell us that, you were watching TV when we came in and probably have been all week" is not a very charitable or Christlike thought. So I want to strive to improve how I see and think of others. I've heard before that when you look for the best in others, you will find it. So I'm excited to try that out this week!

I wish you all an excellent week! Groetjes van Assen!

Liefs, Zuster McKinney Voss

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