Time is flying by. Last week on P day we went to the Rembrandt house and it was just incredible. So much history! Ah it was amazing. I don't even have words for it.
There's a YOVO (YSA) here who was recently baptized, so we meet with him every once in a while and just make sure he's doing okay. On Tuesday, he took us to this really nice pannekoeken house and it was delicious! The pancakes here are very different from the way they make them in America. It's a lot bigger and thinner, and they make it with all sorts of toppings. Mine was a spek en kaas (bacon and cheese) It was delicious. And the little restaurant was just so cozy and wonderful. It was in a little place just outside of Amsterdam, so it was nice to get away from the craziness of the city. We talked for a long time about prophets and about Joseph Smith.
I am so spoiled here food-wise. We were knocking doors on Sunday after church and came across this woman named Laura who said that she was on her way out to work, but was so enthusiastic about meeting us another day. We went back on Tuesday just to see how she was doing, and she invited us for dinner a little later. We had a dinner appointment with the family we do FHE with, but we said we'd come by. So that's how we accidentally had two dinner appointments in one day. They were both delicious meals, and it was just so much food I thought I was going to explode. Laura is a member of the C3 church, a christian church that originated in Australia. It was really fun to talk about Christ with her and she was just so sweet. I hope it goes somewhere with her.
We did exchanges this week with our Sister Training Leader, so Zr Frandsen and I went to Haarlem, and Zr Robbins came here to Amsterdam with Zr Djoukeng. Haarlem is GORGEOUS. We got permission to take an hour out of our p day to go to the Corrie Ten Boom house! Pictures were allowed, but they don't want you to share them online or anything, so maybe I'll show you someday. Or you'll just have to come and see it for yourself ;) The spirit in that house is incredible. I have heard her story a few times before, but just being there and hearing the story in the place where everything happened was just overwhelming and beautiful and sad. I just can't believe how good she was. If you don't know the story of her, you can look it up online for more details, but basically she was just this lovely christian lady who, during WWII, took in and hid Jews who were in the Netherlands. She, her sister, and her father were eventually caught and taken to a concentration camp, where her father and sister passed away. She survived and went around giving speeches about love and forgiveness. It's just an incredible story. I definitely felt the spirit there.
Haarlem was so much fun. We just did a lot of look-ups and contacting. The people there are very Dutch. (read: not open to talk about religion) It was really funny, because they would open the door only enough to peek their heads out and just say "no"and close the door. There was one man who said, "I'm too smart to believe in God" We just died. He's not going to feel so smart after this life when he meets God. hahah just kidding, but really. I guess people in Amsterdam are just really liberal, so even if they're not going to continue with the lessons, they at least are willing to have a short, intriguing conversation about God or religion with you. It's just funny how different Haarlem was, when it's only a 30 minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal.
It's a beautiful city. The canals are just gorgeous and clean and it's incredible. The members are so sweet! They had a genealogy night on Wednesday, so we got to meet a few of them there.
We had District Meeting yesterday and interviews with President and Sister Robinson, which was just exactly what I needed. Sister Robinson and I talked about how it's hard to overcome the natural man inside of us. It's just frustrating because I feel like I know what I need to fix and change, but I make mistakes without really thinking about it because it's just a habit or just second nature. We talked about charity, and how that is the one thing that will help us the most. If we have charity, we won't be impatient. We won't be judgmental. We won't be grumpy. I love the scripture in 1 Peter 4:8 that says "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." It was cool because I'd read that a few days ago, but it didn't really hit home until she brought up that point. Another thing she said that really stuck out to me was that with time, you'll start to catch yourself making those mistakes a lot quicker. It was just a lovely interview all around. I love President and Sister Robinson! They're amazing.
Last night we had dinner at a cute member's house. They're an older couple from Ghana, but they've been living here in Nederland for 20 + years. The food was a little bit interesting. I'm getting the best and what I'm not used to right from the start. I guess that's just Amsterdam, though. The food was a really thick potato-like dish with little or no seasoning, and then we had a fishy-spinachy cake that went with it. At first it tasted fine, but then as it got colder it was just a little bit hard to get down. The cute sister asked me if I wanted more after I finished my first plate, so I asked for just a little bit more. I. Was. So. Full. Like more so than the night with two dinner appointments. It was crazy. I feel like I'm still feeling it in my stomach now. haha African food is great. We're really getting the full spectrum of foods. We got Brazilian food from a member earlier this week, we've had suriname food a few times, Taiwan, and now African. So much fun.
Our district leader shared this scripture with us at District Meeting, and it was just wonderful so here you go:
17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
If we do all we can, Heavenly Father will take care of the rest. I love that :)