On Christmas Eve, we delivered a Christmas card to our friend, and she lives right by a prison. The prison is surrounded by a moat, and then there are high walls topped with barbed wire. Some of the buildings are taller sky-scraper types of buildings, probably 13 floors. So we're walking and there was this lady standing on the banks of the moat yelling up to some guy in the prison! That's not the first time I've seen someone doing it, but it was just really sad and interesting. We weren't sure whether to laugh or be really sad. But yeah. That happens.
For Christmas eve we were with Gerphil and Annika and we played this really fun card game called Munchkin. IT WAS AWESOME
Christmas day we were with a member for the morning, and she was so awesome! We went caroling to her neighbors and actually got to talk to some of them for about an hour about baptism and the church. It was super cool. The mom is from Suriname, but she went to school in America and speaks PERFECT english, so that was awesome, and her children both spoke really good english as well. But we all talked in Dutch for the most part because our member friend doesn't really speak english. Anyway, the point is, we had a really cool spontaneous moment of unexpected missionary work because a member was awesome! I love when members do stuff like that :)
She made us wear Santa hats while we were doing it, so it was really funny.
We had Christmas dinner by the Bishop's family. Super fun evening. There's a 13 year old here who's the only member in her family, and her father is really against her coming to church because he thinks it's a cult, but she comes every week because she loves church. She was at the Bishop's house so I got to know her a little better, and I just love her! The young men and women in our ward are so awesome and I have so much respect for each of them! They really have to work hard to keep up their faith.
We had a great dinner and played charades with everyone. I got to learn some cool dutch words like
gorgelen, to gargle
uitvinden, to invent
So that was a cool night. :) We have such a great ward!
Here in Nederland they have...... SECOND CHRISTMAS. It's the day after Christmas, and it's also a national holiday, so everyone gets work off, and none of the stores are open. We went to Haarlem as a zone and did some solid caroling in the centrum by the big cathedral. It was really fun :) We had four people going around contacting while everyone else sang.
That night we had an appointment with this super cute newly-wed couple in the ward and all the other elders. Sara, the wife is from Portugal, and Tim is from Nederland, so we ate a portuguese soup, and a sort of stamppot (very dutch food) with kale and potato and a worst on the side. It was delicious! They're both returned missionaries, and we love them!
There's a cute pasgedoopt (recently baptized) girl from Taiwan and she came as well, and brought her friend! It was super cool. We had a really fun evening!
Second Christmas is the best idea ever and I think everyone everywhere should do it.
Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY Grammy! Love you!
Right now there's a facebook campaign going on here, where people see a link from which they can order a Joy to the World dvd for free and then their information comes to us and we're supposed to follow up with them and make sure they got the dvd, and hopefully teach a lesson. So we got one this week and were finally able to go to look her up yesterday. Zr K's bike is kapot so we had to walk, so we're walking along and the street seems to be this business, warehouse district and the most residential-looking building was surrounded by a moat, so we thought maybe it was a prison because the other one is surrounded by a moat. So eventually I just called the phone number after we had walked around a bit because it was starting to feel like a creepy place and it was 5 pm but it was dark like it was late at night. The lady answered the phone and we talked for a few minutes. She said she hadn't received the dvd in the mail yet, so we set up an appointment to come by and bring it to her. Right at the end of the conversation she says, "oh by the way, I live in a Psych ward, so you'll have to come to the office first"......... What!? It was so funny. We were dying. We'll definitely go during daylight next time! ah
There was a double baptism yesterday! The Zaandam elders investigator and the A'dam elders' investigator were baptized. One lady’s husband was recently reactivated and received the priesthood last week, so he was able to baptize her! They have a little son, and they are just an adorable family. Another lady has had a really cool change come about her as she's investigated and it's just been super cool to see. I played a piano piece, and it was just a super wonderful day yesterday.
I love you all! Have a wonderful New Years! (HOW is it January already?! What on earth?) We have to be inside at 4 pm because the fireworks are so dangerous here.... haha I've heard that they're so loud they wake you up!
The whole, "talk to you next year" is also a joke here. Dutch people are so funny. For some reason it sounds funnier when dutch people say it. It just gets annoying in english haha
tot volgende jaar!
Veeeeeeel Liefs! Zuster Watts