This time next week I'll be in AMSTERDAM. What is life.
Before I talk about that, I should tell you about last week.
We had the new Swedes and Nords come in last Wednesday, and our zone is HUGE. We have zone prayer every night in the hallway of the building where we have classes (9M) and we fill the hallway. There are so many of them! We've had quite the week, trying to learn everyone's names and trying to help the new sisters as much as we can. It's a learning experience for sure. I don't think I've ever been more aware of how imperfect I am! There's always more we can do, always more love we can give, always more selflessness to have. It's so obvious to me how much Heavenly Father loves these sisters. I'm not usually one to get attached super quickly or to love people before I get to know them, but for some reason I just instantly and honestly loved all of these sisters. They are so wonderful.
It's funny, they all think that Zuster Bush and I are older than them, when I'm younger than most of them by a couple months! They all say that we just seem older, and we just laugh.
Last week we were sitting in the temple on p-day, and Zuster Bush leaned over to me and whispered "one month from now, we're going to be in the temple in Nederland!" Can you believe that!?
Next month is General Conference and we're going to be able to go to the temple. We have the best timing ever. I don't know if I've said this before in my letters, but I like to say that "the temple is a big hug from Heavenly Father."
If you're ever feeling unloved or lonely, if you ever forget who you really are: GO TO THE TEMPLE. You will get a very good sense of who you are and how much God loves you. He will bless you every time.
Last Friday we had an amazing lesson by our teacher, Zuster Juchau. She has been back from our mission for only 4 months and still has the fire burning inside of her. She is wonderful. We talked about our mission president's goal: the 5th stake. Currently, there are 4 stakes in our mission, and his goal is to build up the members and the converts so we can form a new stake. I think she said there are only 300 baptisms left to go. Now that probably sounds terrible to some of you and you might be thinking, "it's not about the numbers!"
Well you're exactly right. The numbers aren't the point of the 5th stake. The point is that the people in the Netherlands and in Belgium face evil every day. There are so many things that are legal there that make it really difficult for the members. Zuster Juchau bore the strongest testimony that the people of Nederland and Belgium need a fifth stake. They need the strength of eachother and of the church.
It was just such a cool moment and it got me so excited to go out and work my hardest. I think that any time I get down or discouraged, I'm just going to think of the power of a fifth stake in Nederland. I know that the gospel is what everyone needs. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the gospel--that's why I came on a mission in the first place. I know it is true.
Our first Fast Sunday in the MTC was super fun! It's funny because even if you wanted to eat, you couldn't. The cafeteria is closed! We had so many good conferences and talks this week, but I don't have time to type up all of my notes or even an overview, so that'll have to wait for another day. (I know you don't like to hear that, Mom, but it's just the truth ^_^ haha)
We got our flight plans on Friday, and we'll be flying through Detroit and then on to Amsterdam! We leave Monday morning and arrive in Nederland at 8 am Tuesday.
It is insane how quickly the time has gone by here in the MTC. I am so grateful for all of the experiences I've had here. Not all of them have been easy, but they've been so worthwhile and I've learned so much! Sometimes I feel like a sponge that has soaked up water to its capacity, but there's just too much water and my brain is going to explode and dutch words & scriptures are just going to go flying everywhere.
I think I like Dutch more than English.... It's just such a cute little language! Every word is super bouncy and adorable. I even like the "g" sound. Maybe I've gone a little bit crazy here haha I don't know.
We are teaching our last MTC lessons today and tomorrow. It's cool how much we've improved and how much we've learned. I know I have a long way to go--especially with my conversational skills--but it's just a lot more fun if I don't focus on that.
One of my friends said this about her mission, but I'm going to apply it to mine because I totally agree: Nederland is ready for us. We might not be ready for Nederland, but Nederland is ready for us. I'm so excited to go there and go contacting on the first day and meet my new companion and it's just going to be so hard but so good!
Het is moeilijk, maar 't is mogelijk!
I love you all so very much and I can't wait to talk to you on Monday, mijn familie!