Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Monday, January 25, 2016


Well, this has been one of the craziest weeks of my mission, weather-wise! But it made it pretty exciting. Sister Kimmons and I really enjoyed playing in the snow on our p-day last Monday-- I took her sledding for her first time, and we had a snowball fight- it was delightful!
Biking in the snow.
However, that night, everything FROZE. We woke up to what I imagine was a pretty realistic recreation of the winter wonderland Elsa created in Frozen. But of course, as naïve missionaries with no access to the internet, we had no idea how bad it really was. All we knew was that the parking lot of our building was one solid sheet of ice, but we were determined to get to district meeting, as usual. So we joined the many throngs of people walking (biking and driving were sketchy) and made or way to the station and caught one of the few and infrequent trains to Groningen that day. It wasn't until we got there and were informed that there were no buses running at all in the entire province that we realized how bad the actual situation was, and it was around that time that our leaders called, concerned about us traveling. But we were already in Groningen... So our district leaders walked with us to the Romig's and we all had lunch and a short district meeting, before President Bunnell called and asked that we all go to the houses of the Groningen missionaries and remain inside for the rest of the day due to the weather situation.
Skating on the street.
As it turns out, it was a code red weather emergency, declared for all of the Northern Netherlands. In the word's of Elder Bonner, one of the APs, "They drew a line across the top of the country and everything above that line is in super duper ice danger. And you are above that line." Woohoo! unaware missionary life. So slipping and sliding, we made our way with the Groningen sisters to their apartment, past the children literally ice skating on the Streets and pulling each other in sleds. We did our best to have a productive afternoon studying inside, and it was a really fun unexpected sleepover situation, we were glad we made the best of it!

Wednesday, the weather was similar. School and everything was cancelled in this part of the country, and buses and trains were not running much better. Getting back to Leeuwarden and one appointment here were the most productive things we could safely manage on that day. A bit frustrating to be stuck inside, but again, we did our best to plan and prepare and use the time well.

Thursday was a miracle day. The weather was as menacing as ever- still slippery, icy, cloudy, freezing and rainy, not a significant improvement from the previous couple of days, and all the appointments we had planned cancelled, even those with members, and I don't blame them- transportation was still unreliable. But we were still determined to go out! Looking out our window did not make me very excited, but we sat down and planned who we could visit and where we could go in the area, and got out and got to work.

And it was incredible! Everyone we talked to that day was positive and kind. We had set the goal to find at least three potential investigators by the end of the day, and we made it! One of the first miracles was Jetske- a sweet woman we started talking to just as we were walking. We asked her what brought her happiness, and after an insightful answer, she actually asked us the same question back! Very thoughtful, and a first for me on my mission. We had a good conversation, but she had to continue on. However, a little bit later, we ran into each other in the neighborhood again! this time she felt impressed to invite us to her home, so we walked with her there, and it was such a tender mercy. We were so cold, and so we were able to warm up with some herbal tea, and she had tons of questions that led to us being able to share the Restoration with her.

Another miracle occurred as we were walking in the misty freezing rain. We began talking with a young man who was amazed by the missionary work we do, and eager to tell us his own conversion story and belief in God. It was inspiring to hear his testimony, and we shared ours. In the end, we said a prayer together before parting, exchanged information, and we have an appointment with him this week to share more. So cool.

That evening we dropped by a former investigator who we hadn't heard from in a couple of months. She was home but exhausted from her internship and children. However, we were able to persuade her to let us help her at least fold laundry, which we happily did together for a little while, and she offered us dinner as well. By the time we left with a prayer, she was much less overwhelmed, and the Spirit was strong. It wasn't a lesson, but it was the kind of simple service I feel like Christ would have offered, and we were happy to have been at the right place at the right time to help her.

So yeah! Heavenly Father definitely helped us overcome the weather and stay safe that day, and I am humbled by the miracles we saw. the next day, the temperatures rose (from -6 Celsius to 10 degrees! pretty dramatic) and the snow and ice was like a bad dream, and normal life resumed. The moral of Frozen is true... love thaws :) But it was all pretty exciting!

The rest of our week went well too! Another investigator we hadn't seen for a while surprisingly just showed up at church, so that was cool! We re-established contact and should be meeting again this week. Also, I gave a talk in church- probably my last as a missionary. Such a strange feeling!

All is well in Zion! It's hard to believe that these 18 months are ending, that it's less than a month that I have left here in these beautiful countries! But I am inspired and encouraged to keep working hard, to give everything I have until the end.

I love you all! have a wonderful week. Love, Sister Voss

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