New Years is crazy here! We've been hearing fireworks all month randomly, but they were definitely becoming a little more frequent as the days got closer to new years. Here, they have fireworks that are really pretty with the lights and everything, but the focus is more on the sound, apparently. It was scary the first time we heard one go off nearby, but it just got to be a normal thing after a few days.
New Year's Eve was the weirdest day EVER. We did studies and went out like it was a normal day, but then we had to be home at 4 pm. It was about 3:30 and we were waiting for our tram to come and it wasn't coming. Sometimes on holidays the public transportation system doesn't exactly come on time, but it came about 8 min late and we were still in on time. But while we were out, everyone we saw was buying fireworks..... and.... alcohol.....
That's prolly not the best mix ever.. haha
But we went inside and sat down and Zr Karlson and I played a couple rounds of UNO and then we did this 1000 pc puzzle of a painting of Salt Lake City that we found in our apartment and we made cinnamon rolls, and homemade-from-scratch pizza. We had a good time :)
We went to bed at 10:30 like normal, but then at 11:50 pm the fireworks woke us up! We went up to our attic which is on the 3rd story and watched from that window, which looks out on the back side of our house into a mini garden/alleyway/ the rest of the city. If you know what the finale of the Stadium of Fire 4th of July show is like, imagine that, but just spread about evenly across the city. It was the loudest sound I have ever heard. Zr K and I were joking that it sounded like we were in a war zone!
And then midnight hit and everything went crazy.
Our next door neighbors were shooting some off right in the street in front of the house that were super loud and we could see the fireworks over the top of the house. haha
I took a video, but my camera turned off automatically after 20 minutes... so not sure how to upload the whole thing. But the fireworks lasted pretty strong until well past 1:30 am
One of the members told us yesterday that it wasn't even much this year because the economy wasn't too good this year, so past years there have been even more fireworks! Super crazy.
Earlier this week, we were walking to look up a former investigator, when we passed this guy on the fietspad (bike path). He looked at me like he wanted to ask a question, so I stopped and talked to him. Turns out, it was him! He was a guy that back during my first transfer, stopped Zr Frandsen and I as we were biking past in that exact same spot on the fietspad. He had met the missionaries in Italy when he was living there, but didn't have his Book of Mormon anymore, and so we had tried to call and meet with him but it just never really worked out, so we weren't sure what else to do with him, when we "toevallig" ran into him again this week IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT as before. Ah!
I didn't recognize him at first, but he said, "do you remember me?" and suddenly my mind switched on or something and I realized it was him! We talked for a few minutes, and he said to call him on Sunday. We called him after church yesterday, not really expecting much, but then he said he could meet that night at 8 pm! We couldn't get a joint teach on such short notice, so we were very grateful that he was really understanding about how we couldn't just come to his house. Some men get offended when we explain that we can't come over when it will just be us two sisters and them (the 3rd man rule). But he was super nice about it :) Blessings. I'm telling you.
Anyway, we had a short meeting on this bench just inside of a supermarket and brought him a Book of Mormon. He moved to the Netherlands 8 months ago. He didn't remember a lot from when he met with the sisters in Italy, but he was very open and very kind. We gave him the Book of Mormon, and he asked, "is there a chapter you would recommend that I read first?"
And I was like, "you perfect human being!" I didn't really say that,haha but I thought it. It was so awesome!
At the end I was about to ask him if we could close with a prayer, but before I could say it, he said, "we need to close with a prayer, don't we?" And if I weren't a missionary I could have hugged him! haha just kidding, I was just so so so happy! The whole way home last night we were just so excited about how awesome he is! He also mentioned that next time we meet we should bring someone (because he's awesome and remembered about our rule) and go by where he lives because he said "I'm sure there are many people who would be willing to listen to the word of God" He is such a Blessing!
This week was kind of sad because there was a very sudden and sad experience that caused the bishop to ponder. Yesterday the bishop gave his testimony in church for fast and testimony meeting, and he quoted a scripture that has actually been coming up a lot in my studies and in church lately: John 6:66-68 (v 52 & 60 also add a lot) It's the story where many of the followers of Christ turn away and decide not to follow Him anymore, and He says to His apostles, "Will ye also go away?" Peter responds, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life," Bishop De Jonge bore a powerful testimony of this scripture.
(sidenote: I love the words of the scripture in Dutch: "tot wie zullen wij heengaan?")
Christ is our redeemer. He is the only one who can help us and lead us back to our Heavenly Father. He is the only way to eternal life and eternal joy. I've seen it over and over in my life and in the lives of other people back at home and here in Nederland.
But anyway, I just have loved that scripture this week.
I love you all and I hope you are doing well. It's crazy to think that for the whole year of 2015, I will be a missionary and will be serving my Heavenly Father and the people of Nederland (and possibly also Belgium) :) My heart is just so full of happiness when I think of that and I just couldn't think of any place in the world I'd rather be than right here right now!
This year will be a great one! I hope you:
Give each other more hugs more often
Kiss your Mom on the cheek
Buy some flowers from a flower stand for no reason (I'm totally going to do it someday)
Put whipped cream on every dessert (not frosting, because whipped cream is better)
Ride your bike instead of driving
Try a little bit harder to be a little bit nicer, especially if you don't feel like it
Eat some nice chocolate
Say your prayers and be a little more grateful
Pictures are from our pday today, a member took us all on a walking tour of the centrum of adam
the painting/multimedia art was in a museum and it was BEAUTIFUL a painting with sewing trim glued onto an old painting and I just thought it was gorgeous.
The second is of a doorway to this church that has all these skulls and a skeleton and in english it means, "hope for a better life" Because our hope for a better life is by coming to Christ! Thought that was beautiful as well.
Also we had macaroons that were DIVINE.
K. BYE FOR REALS