This week has been INSANE. I can't believe it's already Monday! One week ago we were getting on the bus to go to the airport and now I'm here in Nederland. Life is crazy.
The flight was awesome and we talked to a lot of people. At the SLC airport we made sure to get our last Cafe Rio meal. I savored that burrito, I'm telling you.
When we arrived in Schiphol (the airport), we met our mission president and his wife, as well as the APs and office elders. We stayed in a hotel that was right by the airport, and it was super nice. The shower head was basically on the ceiling, and I'm sure that Caden and Boston would have appreciated it. Everyone is so tall here, so they make things to accommodate taller people. We had some good training and went to Rijswijk to take our visa pictures and we did some contacting on the train. They let us take a nap, and then we came down for dinner and to open our assignment envelopes. I'm serving in Amsterdam with Zuster Frandsen and Zuster Djoukeng.
Amsterdam is a little bit crazy.... But it's GORGEOUS
My first night with my new companions, we went to a nice member's house and had dinner with them. The wife is from Bountiful and
We talk to so many people here and all of the different perspectives are so different and so interesting. I always have to smile when people talk about how they don't like all the rules in our church, or that they don't think that they need to come to a church, because people just want an easy god who will pat them on the head.
We got my first bike on Friday! Hopefully it's my only bike, but you never know who is going to decide to steal a bike today, weet je? I got a solid lock for it though. It's a cute thin black bike, and I got a little bell for only 2 euro at one of the markets that's close by. I love my bike.
Funny story that happened last Saturday. So we met our investigator, Alice, at Amsterdam Centraal (the train station) and went to a park to talk and to teach her the Restoration, but there were four of us and only three bikes. The solution is "achter-oping" That's kindof not a real word, but it is in missionary-lingo. Basically one person is the one riding the bike and the other person just hangs on to the back and sits on this little thing that is over the back wheel. It's illegal in most states in America, but here in Nederland, they're so organized, and it's so flat that it's really safe. So Zuster Frandsen had Alice on the back of her bike. After the lesson, we were supposed to go to a member's house for dinner, and it was a 20 minute bike ride to get there. We were biking along and on our way to Lucky's, when Zr D and I realized that we didn't have Zr F or Alice anymore! haha it was so sad! Zr F had my bike because it's better for achter-oping, and I had hers with her fiets tas (bike bag. it hangs over the back wheel, google it :) which had both her bag as well as Alice's bag. So they had no phone, no way to contact us. Zr D and I backtracked and tried to find them but we just couldn't find them anywhere. We called the APs and the District leaders and the Mission President, and they told us to go to the dinner appointment.
The elders found them at Amsterdam Central and waited with them while we hurried to get back. It was so funny and so ridiculous, but that's just how crazy fiets traffic is on a Saturday evening in the center of Amsterdam I guess. So funny.
The ward here is pretty small, but so awesome! The language situation is hilarious: there are a lot of english speakers, so in every meeting, they have to have people translating dutch to english and english to dutch and it's just crazy. In Sacrament meeting, one of the APs sits in a booth and translates for the english speakers, and they have headphones for everyone. I hope that makes sense, but I feel like I'm just crazy haha
Everyone's so nice to me and are so encouraging about the language. They have the missionaries that are new to the area bear their testimonies, and after the meeting, I had people come up to me and tell me that they were impressed with my dutch. I could tell they were just being really nice, but it was sweet.
The members take good care of us here, so don't worry Mom :)
My observations about Nederland so far:
1. The bread and the cheese and the chocolate are divine
2.The train system and the whole traffic system is so so so well organized! There are bike lanes and lights for the bikers. It's awesome
3. People dress so well! They can tell we're Americans by the way we dress. Which is a bit offensive, but it's just really funny.
4. The meat here is freaky......
5. Amsterdam at night is gorgeous! The canals everywhere, the lights, it's a dream.
I love you all so much