Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig

What a pleasure this last week and a half in Amsterdam has been, and how sad that my time here and my entire mission are ending. Here are my last thoughts and reflections as well as a summary of my brief time here in this fabulous city. The title of this post is Amsterdam's motto- heroic, resolute, merciful. I hope to be able to embody those traits when I get home too!
Goodbye Beautiful Nederland!
I don't know if spring suddenly started when I came to Amsterdam or if it's just a lot warmer because I came south- probably both. In any case, it has been beautiful, Sunny on a couple of days, and the daffodils and crocuses are blooming enthusiastically. Tulips are on sale again in the flower stands everywhere, and it's just a joy to be alive! This is a busy, unique city with wonderful people. I loved meeting everyone in this international ward on Sunday and I have enjoyed talking with the variety of people we pass on the Streets everyday- a business woman from Israel who was familiar with the BYU Jerusalem center, a student from Spain, a young Dutch woman named Ilsa who finds happiness in her family. I will miss not having and excuse to talk to and get to know everyone I see!
Bell Ups

Dutch Cow
We have a had a great week here in Amsterdam- teaching an atheist young adult who was open and willing to pray, searching for purpose in his life, and sharing the message of the restoration with a mother of three boys. Basically, I just love teaching and talking to people and helping them come closer to Christ. I am determined to continue to do so throughout my life, regardless of whether I'm a full time missionary or not.

We went to the little Dutch town of Volendam with the assistants last p-day and really enjoyed soaking in the traditional atmosphere. We have also enjoyed playing sports with the other missionaries here in the mornings. It's more fun with a big group!

Working in a trio with Zuster Ramirez and Zuster Twiggs has been a blast. They are both dedicated, consecrated, obedient missionaries, and I have learned a lot from both of them and we have had so much fun together! I will miss them. I know the work here in Amsterdam is well taken care of in their hands!

Now for my mission review. It is so difficult to believe that these 18 months are over. I've had a lot of wonderful experiences as well as trying times on my mission. I've biked through rain and snow to get o appointments and I've walked through pleasant green parks in the summer talking to people. I truly did everything I could to share this message, even when it was hard or I was scared or I didn't feel like it. I not only got through it but I found tremendous joy in the journey because I know WHY I came; for Christ, because I love Him. And I have felt His love and developed my own love for the Dutch and Belgian people as I have served them, gotten to know and laughed with them- they have become my family. I will miss them, and a piece of my heart will always be here.

I've learned a lot about faith, obedience and humility. I have learned to be bold. I have learned how to repent and completely give everything to my Savior. I have learned a lot and changed thanks to the positive influence of each of my wonderful companions. I know I was assigned to them and to each area by inspiration. I am convinced that these friendships will span the eternities, and I know that my mission has changed my life forever.

I'm grateful for the wonderful missionaries, members, and investigators in Assen, Den Haag, Turnhout, Gent, Leeuwarden and Amsterdam. I'm grateful to my companions Sisters Woodbury, Dobler, Bradley, Hopkin, Goodman, Young, Robbins, Jaramillo, Kimmons, Ramirez and Twiggs. I love them! I'm grateful for the support from and prayers of friends and family at home. I have been so blessed. I'm excited for the future, though my heart aches that I have to leave this behind. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and that we can communicate with Him through sincere prayer. I know He sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us, and that Christ lives. I know His church was restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith and that we are led by a prophet today. I know that families can be together forever. and I know that "We are made of the stuff of eternity. Endings are not our destiny."(President Uchtdorf). This isn't an ending. Everything good in this life will continue forever, thanks to the mercy and love of Jesus Christ. I place my hope and trust in Him.

Kaas! (Cheese factory)

Mijn geliefde Nederlandse en Belgische broeders en zusters, Ik weet dat deze dingen waar zijn. Ik hou van jullie allemaal. Bedankt voor dit schitterend reis. Ik ben dankzij jullie voor eeuwig veranderd. Tot ziens <3


Zuster McKinney Voss
Not going home...

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