Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Birthday fun and Easter Joy!

This week was my birthday week! It was fabulous. I'm super grateful for the love and extra thought I've experienced from family and friends, both here in the Netherlands and back home throughout the past week!

Monday was an awesome p-day. All of the missionaries in Den Haag ward went to the beach! Not to frolic in the water, because that would be insanity.. but we ran around on the sand, made sand castles, just enjoyed the general environment. It was fun! But chilly. So we didn't stay too long! It's just kind of cool that this is Den Haag, South Holland,and there are beaches here that (in the summer) tourists actually want to go to.

We then all went to Rodezios, a Brazilian restaurant. Elder Connatti chatted casually with the servers in Portuguese. It was all-you-can-eat and they kept bringing meat around. Elder Connatti and I, probably a couple of the smallest missionaries present, kept going the longest. It was pretty funny. But it was all delicious!
Missionary Dinner at Rodizio!

The bummer of the week is that Sister Bradley really wasn't feeling well, so we had to spend a few days inside while she recuperated. Frustrating for us both to have to reschedule appointments and not be able to work, but there was nothing to be done. We played Settlers of Catan a few more times and I actually beat her once. Victory!

What's cool is that despite that, we were still blessed in our missionary work. We received a couple of referrals from random sources and were super blessed that our wonderful zone leaders, Elder Elkins and Elder Bernier, were able to take over a couple of our appointments. So the work is going forward!

Wednesday was my actual birthday! And it happened to be zone training. So it was a spiritually uplifting day of learning, and also the time where all the birthdays of missionaries of that month are celebrated. The birthday missionaries stand up front and each get 10-15 seconds of random compliments from people (they just call it out. it feels great) and then everyone sing-shouts the Dutch happy birthday song while stomping and clapping. It's pretty exciting!

We then had a dinner appointment with an awesome couple, the Jansens. They prepared a feast and invited all the missionaries! They sang to Elder Elkins (whose birthday was on Saturday) and I, and we blew out candles, and got chocolate. My birthday was definitely fully celebrated! At every place we ate dinner this week, there was cake. We have eaten a lot of cake and I have no regrets. Especially because my family sent me my favorite American cake-mix and frosting combination, so I made it on Tuesday and have pretty much eaten the entire thing by myself over the past week.
Members made sure my birthday week was special!
Also something cool from the past week- seeing a few friends from high school in the city on Friday! A fun but strange reminder that while I'm here with a completely focused purpose, life goes on for everyone else, studying, traveling, sometimes ending up in the Netherlands!

A couple fun presents: Frozen, the children's picture book, in Dutch made me ecstatic. Also, the zone leaders milked cows at a farm in the morning and brought me a bottle of fresh milk at an evening dinner appointment with an awesome member, Ethlyn. Woohoo!

So, indeed, I had a great birthday! But that shouldn't be the only thing I share this week... Being a missionary comes first! Yesterday at church was fast and testimony meeting, where everyone can come up and share their personal experiences and testimonies in sacrament meeting. I knew Den Haag was the biggest ward in the mission but it was still crazy to watch 15-20 people immediately stand up and walk to the front of the chapel to wait their turn to share their testimonies. I love the enthusiasm!

Last night was also a big multi-stake Easter concert, and we as missionaries got to sing a musical number. They did it really well- telling the story of Easter with the scriptures, with musical numbers throughout, kind of like a Christmas Nativity performance I'd say. It was powerful and inspiring. As we prepare this week to celebrate Easter, I hope we can all truly take the time to remember all that Christ did for us, and all that he does. He lives! I know it. I draw strength and power from Him every day. I am weak and imperfect, yet He makes me whole. I know He suffered and died for each of us, and that He lives now! Hosanna!
Love my awesome companion!
Allerliefste familie en vrienden, ik wens jullie allemaal een prachtige, heilige week. Ik mis en ben dankbaar voor jullie allemaal. Ik weet dat mijn Verlosser leeft!
In de naam van Jezus Christus, Amen.

Liefs, Zuster McKinney Voss

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