This week has really flown by and I don't know where the time went! There is a saying here that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days and it is so true! Each day seems to take a long time but by the time it gets to Sunday, you wonder where the time all went!
I've completely made my adjustment here and I'm now comfortable with everything going on here (I think). Life is good here but always busy and it is so hard to find time to do anything other than class time! I'll do my best to give a good synopsis (thanks English class for that word).
Wednesday night, my companions and I participated in a tie draft where you put your name tags into a drawing and you end up getting an ugly tie to wear. Well, I was the lucky elder to end up with the "dirty bird" (What a terrible name!) tie that looks about as ugly as it sounds. Pictures will be up later. But that was pretty much the rest of my first P day and P day is awesome! A break from the insanity of 11 hours of class time a day with the only breaks for meals.
Thursday we had our last lesson with our investigator, "Greet", and committed her to baptism which was pretty awesome! We found out about 5 minutes after the lesson that she is a member and is actually our teacher now. So that was a bit of a shock but she's a really good teacher. She's actually our new investigator now again which seems a little weird since we already taught her but it's ok because we can always do better in teaching. Later on Thursday, my district went to a pre-service training for new teachers at the MTC where we were the only missionaries in a room full of teachers which was interesting. While we were there, the head teacher taught us while the teachers all observed and learned how to be more effective teachers. It was a neat experience and I learned a lot from it. One thing that I learned was the the Book of Mormon combined with the Spirit is the most powerful tool in conversion which was neat for me to learn. My claim to fame during that was that the head guy asked me to pray and I prayed in all Dutch and all the teachers seemed shocked that I learned that much after only just a week. Pretty neat!
Friday in the morning we played basketball with the Nords (Norwegian Elders) and I beat them all at knockout which was pretty funny. Not important though. Moving on! We did a role play where we taught our teachers while they pretended to be investigators and we had to teach in all Dutch! Super moelijk (hard), but very effective at the same time. I really relied on the Spirit to help me teach and I found the words to say which was such a relief. Our district played a game where we spun in a circle and tried to touch a spot on the board with our eyes closed. We had to take a bit of a break and have some fun. Lots of laughter and bonding which was great to have (pictures later).
Saturday I had my mind blown like 20 times. We had a SUPER deep spiritual conversation about the Atonement and I learned so much. We talked about what happened to the people before the Atonement and learned that the Atonement is eternal and talked about what eternal means and it was CRAZY! Super crazy to think about and the concept of no beginning and no end. Pretty cool stuff. Other than that Saturday was filled with class time and learning which is pretty much what we do every single day!
On Sunday I led both the priesthood lesson and the district meeting and I felt like I did a pretty good job on both. During Priesthood, we talked about the Book of Mormon and it's importance and everyone had great thoughts to share. In our district meeting, we had a member from our zone presidency there and the topic was of Repentance (bekering in Dutch). One thing that I really learned from the lesson was that repentance should be a time of joy rather than sadness and it was really cool to think about it that way. After Sacrament meeting, our zone went on our temple walk and took some fantastic pictures which I will put up later! I've gotten really close with one of the Nord elders, Eldste Osguthorp. He's an awesome guy and we've really clicked and have a lot of fun together. Then there's Eldste Hall. He's a scary looking guy and tells me that he's going to kill me every day but it's all in good fun. We're actually good friends and that's his way of letting my know that. Through threats of death. No biggie! We had a great time though and learned a lot in the day. I watched a talk by Elder Bednar on Becoming a Missionary and it was very very humbling, but at the same time made me want to be so much better. I want to Become a Missionary rather than just go on a mission. That's very important and I need to focus on others and how I can help them through their different trials and difficulties. Great Sunday and great messages!
Monday was pretty normal but I had a good lesson on teaching by the Spirit and I know that the only way that I will be an effective missionary is by teaching by the Spirit. The Spirit is the best teacher and I always want to have it.
On Tuesday, my companions and I probably taught our best lesson yet and really felt the Holy Ghost in the room. We taught about baptism and it was just a great lesson and we all felt great afterwards. The language is getting better everyday and my teacher pulled me aside today and told me that I was doing amazing at the language and that I was doing better than anyone she's had which was a relief to hear because I was doubting myself a bit on how well I was doing and that was a big boost to me. We taught our teachers about the Plan of Salvation with no notes and that was really scary but went well overall. I can always be a better teacher and I want to get better every day.
Today was a testament to how well the Nord elders have improved in volleyball. We actually had a competitive game and used all three hits on every point. It was beautiful and I was so proud of them for how much they've grown haha. But gym time is fun and I'm always up for playing volleyball!
Oh yeah and there's a story about the subject of this email. Our teacher, brother Norton served in Suriname and we learned that they dont knock on doors in Suriname. They tap on the gate and loudly yell "Kloop Kloop!" Which means knock knock in Dutch. Its fantastic and now whenever we open a door we say kloop kloop which is awesome! Just a fun little thing to know!
Thanks everyone for your support and prayers because I really appreciate it! I also get all your emails if you respond to this email so thank you for those that responded! They are great to read and really brighten my day! Stay awesome everyone! Tan Ban! (Stay good)
The ugly ties
The dirty bird
Elder Buehler and Elder Burr
Elder Buehler, Elder Burr, Elder Hunt
My name-tag! In Dutch.
Our game on the board
A picture our district drew together. We should go pro!
Picture of me when I wasn't ready
Mount Rushmore with me
Our district! Sister Parker, Me, Elder Buehler and Elder Hunt
Our district and the Nord District
Me and Eldste Hall, who probably will tell me he wants to kill me
Our district and Eldste Wandtka (Awesome guy)
Me and Elder Osguthorp (My favorite guy I've met here)