December 8, 2014 – Week 11

Hello world! So this week. Goodness. Well, I had a wonderful week, full of adventures, lessons, finding and rain.  But I am also really, really sad because transfer calls were yesterday. Sister Greenwell had a feeling that she was going to be leaving the city, especially because since she extended she only has 4 weeks left in her mission. So I had made all the necessary preparations that I was going to get a new companion, or that we would get a new companion, or a greenie, and that I would stay in the city. I never thought I’d leave Capelle after one transfer! Because so many sisters are going home, I am being transfered to Maastricht and Sister Greenwell is being tranfered to Leeuwarden.  Capelle is being shut down for 6 weeks! Madness! This will be Sister Greenwell’s 7th city, which is crazy for a sister! I am joining a trio companionship with a sister that was in my district in the MTC! And then since her companion extended after 4 weeks, it will just be the two of that.
I’m not sure if any of that made sense but basically the news is I am heading way down south! Sister Greenwell and my district leader both served in Maastricht and LOVE it.  They go on and on about how great it is! Apparently there are a lot of cultures and students there because it is by a university.  It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the mission and I might be taking trips to Germany because some members live there! It is a huge English-speaking ward because there is a military base nearby so that will be a new experience! I am excited for this new opportunity but so sad because I didn’t see my breakup with Capelle coming so quickly ;( ahh…I love the investigators and less actives we are teaching so much! We are arranging how to hand them over to different missionaries now.  There is so much that I love about Capelle and the people and the area. I´ve had so many great experiences here! Well, Dad always says that the most consistent thing about misisonary work is change.  Amen!
So a couple of other random thoughts for the week.  Last P-day we went to Kinderdijk, a really beautiful touristy and county town that is filled with windmills. It was so beautiful and misty and cold! Hopefully I can send some pictures.  Also, Sinterklaas was this week! We went over to a less active’s house and drank hot chocolate and they gave us chocolate letters. It was very Dutch.  As a joke, Sister Greenwell and I put out our shoes the night before, with carrots for St. Nikolas’ horse,  and when I woke up in the morning, there were two wrapped presents in my shoe! So adorable, Sister Greenwell made a new planner for me and gave me a chocolate M.
Another random thought: I love the word “gezellig” in Dutch.  There is no good translation for it in English, it basically means warm and cozy and family.  It is more of a feeling, but the Dutch use it to describe so many things: a house, or food, or memory, or event.  I love it because it is so much of what I feel in the Netherlands, or thinking back of my wonderful year at BYU, or Manning traditions of Christmas being back home.  It’s the feeling of reading a good book, or being warm by the fire, or giving someone a hug. It’s the feeling of eating dinner at a member’s house, or riding a bike in the rain while wearing a million layers of clothes. I’m a sentimental doofball, so the word is so descriptive for me.
Last funny thing.  My trainer, Sister Greenwell, told me when I arrived that I would have “the missionary dream” which reminds me of the “noodle dream” from Kung Fu Panda haha. Basically it’s a dream wherein you are super confused because you are doing a normal activity but then realize you are wearing a missionary name tag.  I have had a couple and it’s so funny! I had a dream I was competing at a forensics tournament but still a missionary.  I had a dream that Kiki and I were going swimming and I freaked out because there was a name tag pinned to my suit! hahaha.
Lots of love! Please enjoy the special spirit and peace that comes with this Christmas season.  Chirst really is the center and a gift to the world!
Love,
Zuster Manning

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