June 8, 2015 – Week 37

Hey everyone! I’ve had another great week here! First of all, I just think it worth mentioning, that people actually do wear wooden shoes here. Not usually in public, but like just old men casually in their yard. It is a thing.
Another Dutch trivia, there are more cats and dogs than people here! Everyone has cats here! I never thought I really liked them until I was around them so much! They are so fluffy and I’ve grown to be a fan 🙂 haha But also I think I’ve found out that I’m a bit allergic to them which is probably a blessing as it will stop me from turning into a crazy cat lady in the future.
We’ve been working hard this week to find new people to teach and have had some success in finding new investigators, which has been a huge blessing. I’ve also loved meeting and working with a lot of Africans this week. I never cease to be amazed by how religious their culture is in general. I learn so much from the faith of others here!
A funny story that happened this week: I was talking to a couple of ward members about how when I opened my mission call, my first thought was The Best Two Years! One ward member had seen it and the other hadn’t, so the one who had seen it starts to enthusiastically describe how funny the movie is and recount her favorite scenes. It was a super surreal experience to hear her describing the scenes in Dutch, and I could understand her perfectly…but the movie is in English…about the Netherlands…but she was describing it in Dutch. It was just funny!
I’ve enjoyed getting to know the ward members better this week, there are some incredible people here. The weather is getting warmer which is nice but the other day I was talking on the phone to someone during a bus ride when all the sudden, we got hit with the biggest hail/rainstorm that I have ever seen! I thought I was in a hurricane! Also…trying to understand the man’s broken English on the other side of the line made for a very confusing and funny experience.
I’ve leared this week about how important it is to get out of your comfort zone, there is no growth in a comfort zone!
This week I was also able to comfort my companion when she had a bit of a rough day. It was crazy because I knew exactly how she felt because of struggles that I had experienced before. I have a strong testimony that part of the reason that we have trials is so that we can understand and lift up others. The power of prayer is real. God gives us specific help and always hears our sincere prayers.
To end today’s super random email (if you’ve made it this far, you deserve a handshake or pat on the back), I want to share a quote by President Hinckley. Let us all do our best and help others the best we can! Love you all!!

“I speak of the need for a little more effort, a little more self-discipline, a little more consecrated effort in the direction of excellence in our lives. This is the great day of decision for each of us. For many it is the time of beginning something that will go on for as long as you live. I plead with you, don’t be a scrub! Rise to the high ground of spiritual, mental, and physical excellence. You can do it. You may not be a genius. You may be lacking in some skills. But so many of us can do better than we are now doing. We are members of this great Church whose influence is now felt over the world. We are people with a present and with a future. Don’t muff your opportunities. Be excellent.”

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