woensdag 30 november 2016

Update Hawaii

Here I am again! so many things happened. I'll give you a brief summary :-)

Halloween! The ward organized a trunk or treat. that sure was something I have never seen before. It is a really fun idea. Instead of knocking doors, kids (and adults, such as me) go trick or treating at decorated trunks. They sure do get creative here. Halloween was a fun experience. During grocery shopping, we have had Bambi as a cashier, we crossed paths with Wonderwoman and I was very surprised to see vampires walking around in broad daylight. 

If I were to shortly summarize this transfer, I would say...Music! Sister Barber sure can sing.  You really can see how music is able to touch many people's hearts. It was really nice to see. We even got a Marshallese investigator to sing and strum on the ukulele for us! Too bad my talents lie elsewhere...

Missionary work sure is exhausting, but in a good fulfilling way. Although a lot of people reject the message of the restored gospel, you can see the impact on the lives of the ones who do accept and apply the gospel. Just as in my previous areas, I really enjoy hearing members' conversion stories. even tough Hawaii is on the other side of the world, the gospel still has the same impact on people's life everywhere. 

I was tired at one point and prayed, but my mind was somewhere else already (on what to do the next day). So I prayed something like this: 'This we humbly ask Thee in the name of Jesus Christ .. Tomorrow'. Yep, I ended a prayer with tomorrow. It was a good lesson to keep my mind on the prayer!

​Yes it is busy (which is good), but luckily we are also able to enjoy the beauty of the island every once in a while

We also had our transfer calls! Half of our district leaves. We all get a new companion. I really enjoyed the previous transfer and I am excited for the one to come!

dinsdag 1 november 2016

Week 14-16 Hawaii

Whut, whot, what? Where am I? can this be.... Hawaii? I traveled back in time to...Honolulu! Mission president Bekker and sisters Elgueta and Topp (long time no see) where there to welcome me. Two days later I traveled further with other missionaries to the Big Island (Hawaii) because that is where I will begin my mission. It is one of the colder islands. I like that. It also has an active vulcano. I like that less. Missionary work sure is different here. We just drop by peoples houses (often without appointment) and we are welcome to come in. In general we don't need to explain who we are, because they often have family who are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Just as in my other areas, the members are great and willing to help. Currently I am in Honoka'a with the lovely sister Barber. She is a great missionary and person and I am learning a lot from her. It is a very laid back culture here, also because we are not in an area with a big city. It is so relaxed that even the clouds are taking a rest ​on the mountains. See picture.

Even though it is relaxed and laid back, the people are extremely hardworking (as they have irregular working hours, setting fixed appointments can be tough for that reason as well).
Anyway, even tough the island has a laid back atmosphere, we do need to work hard. There are always people to visit. There is barely public transportation here (really a change compared to my previous areas) so we are driving around in a car to our various destinations (technically sister Barber is driving, but we are companions so..).
Some funny things I noticed so far: 
I have heard many times that I am from Neverland (I cant blame them, I almost need to use magnifying glasses in order to point the Netherlands on the map). I almost got a young boy at a point where he believed I was Wendy. Perhaps I shouldn't do that...
There are also cure little kokifrog here who don't sound like frogs at all. More like small birds tsjirping 'koki, koki'. Very deceiving.
Also, house numbers are very confusing: Oh, so you're driving past nr. 1612 and you want 1614? I don't think so. nr. 1644 will be next!.. Yep.
Even tough we are currently in the paradise, it comes at a high cost. It is difficult to come by, because, for example, housing and grocery shopping is very expensive. I might have cried a bit inside when we first went grocery shopping. And here I thought Norway was expensive...

There are two main things I got really exciting about again these last few weeks:
1) I was being reminded again of the importance of family history work. Especially from an eternal perspective. Also, it is just very interesting to connect all the puzzle pieces.
2) Keep on studying the scriptures and study the various layers it has. A sister in church had a good lesson and included a talk (Waddell - a pattern for peace)  which went more deeply into Lehi's vision (1 nephi 8). This makes you realize again that the Book of Mormon really is written for our times and can be applied to our lives, if we are willing to really study it.

Week 14 Zoetermeer

Zoetermeer gave me the opportunity to serve in a great city. A temple and a superhuge church building. What else can a missionary wish for?

My new companions were sister Stewart-Chester (she is now serving her last transfer) and sister Vandenberghe (strangely enough from the USA). It was a good time. They are hardworking and funny sisters.

I wasn't there for a long time, yet many things happened. My favorite part is where we were doing service at a farm. We helped feeding the cows and calves. We wanted to pet this sweet little calf that was roaming around in the field. My companions, a 4 year old boy and me went to the calf, but the calf was not as cute as we thought. It was restless and hunting us down! We ran for our lives and sister Vandenberghe grabbed the little kid and saved his life. I was the last one to go to the save place so I was heroically battling the little cow (sister Stewart-Chester was pretty heroic as well). almost Mas Oyama worthy. The cow might have won the battle, but we are all save. 

​As a reference: the scary calf  was slightly bigger than this one

Another awesome experience was the temple. Sister Stewart-Chester wanted to visit the temple before she left and so did I. It is always a good and uplifting experience. I saw many familiar faces as well, so that was fun :)