Christmas in Holland

Netherlands cereal

Jess promised Jake and Ereka a picture of the cereal she loves.   She said it’s a mixture of corn flakes and corn pops.

Zuster Faa Netherlands temple

The Netherlands temple.  Love the flag!!!

Latest letter from Zuster Faa:

We woke up to a beautiful Christmas day. Green grass, blue sky, & no one on the streets. Our ward held a service and that was beautiful. So much singing and joy:) I sang twice, once as a tenor, and once as an alto–good thing I can sing lower when I’m sick! haha. Yes, Zr Thomas and I have had the flu. But, on Christmas we saw a total of 4 rainbows! Two double, right after downpours of rain:) Christmas + rainbows + singing = Zr Faa crying. Oh!!! and add skyping to the mix and Christmas was a whole lot of amazing-ness. Haha, I taught my family that word: geweldig, which means amazing:)

Also, we took a scary spill off our bikes after finding a patch of black ice. I am completely fine. Zr Thomas on the other hand…. she has a bad concussion and several nasty bruises. I wish it were me!! I’m sort of used to that sort of thing 😦 she is a trooper. The doctor has advised her (and ward members have ordered her) to rest for a couple of days. Which means a lot of time in a quiet, dark apartment! haha…

It’s actually been good.I’ve been in the scriptures a lot more and I’ve had to answer the phone a couple of times and the people speak Dutch, so I do, too:)

It snowed!!!!! Saturday, the 27th, it snowed:) So pretty. This photo was taken on our way to the hospital.

I love the Zoetermeer Temple. ah:)

AND–WE HAVE BAPTISM SATURDAY!! AH!!!! I feel so privileged to have taught Ashil and then to hear him say he wants to be baptized. Ah. It’s such a great feeling. He’s so excited.I’m so excited. Ah!! The Lord is amazing:) and I say that word a lot, but it’s true. Ah. Ah!

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! Hymn #215 (English)

liefde,

Zr. Faa

Zuster Faa winter

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Life is geweldig (amazing) *Skype for Christmas*

Skype with Jess 006

We were able to Skype with Jess this morning.   What a wonderful Christmas present!   She seemed so happy.    Her favorite word to say was “amazing”.    Everything was amazing: the food, the people, the scenery, the ward, the bishop, the investigators and her companion.   The only complaint she had was when the ducks are mean.  She said they try to bite her pedals and her legs.  “Ducks are everywhere!!!”

Skype with Jess 014

She told us there is a moat around the church building.   She said there are streams, canals and lakes everywhere.    The most interesting food she’d eaten recently was a tomato full of shrimp and fish.  Her favorite thing is chocolate milk and cookie butter, which is kind of like peanut butter.    She was happy to tell Jake they do have cereal in Holland, but milk is sold by the liter and it’s VERY expensive.

Her companion is super nice and has been out for 3 months.

She has 4 baptisms coming up in January, and is very excited for the investigators.

The language is so difficult, but her trainer says that she can speak more than she realizes. She can understand about 80% of what people say to her! She’s on her way!

She sends her love!

First day in Netherlands

I don’t know how I missed this cute picture in my email last week, but I was happy to have found it.   Notice the Elders are wearing sweaters, not suits!   This photo almost has a Christmas feel to it.  Jess also wanted me to share her address with everyone.

Belgium Netherlands Mission
Zuster Jessica Faasavalu
Schipholweg 66
2316 XE Leiden
NETHERLANDS

—–  Jenny   P.S. Don’t forget you need an international stamp.  Or the equivalent of $1.15.

Here’s what Jess said about the photo:

“E. Ames, E. Carter, Zr. Thomas, and Me:)”

First day in Netherlands

First area: Zoetermeer, Netherlands

Holy cow…. I’m in NL!
Sometimes, when we’re riding our bikes and I  look to the right and see apartments and to the left see green fields with sheep and cows and a cute little bony, I can’t believe it! Then the rain starts again and I do.
Ha, ha! I love it here. It’s SO DIFFERENT! Ah. Where to begin???
How bout the plane?:) ok. flying over the rockies was gorgeous
Inline image 2
I was blessed with window seats on both flights (1st to Seattle, the 2nd to Amsterdam) and I sat next to an MTC buddy of mine, Sister Dobler on both flights! No awkward large person or some stranger sleeping on me!
I couldn’t get a pic of this, but I saw the northern lights!!! i can’t remember what time it was but I woke up during th 9 hr flight to Amsterdam and out the window was a beautiful, beyond beautiful, band of green and blue! It was amazing. It, in a funny way, reminding me of eternity and secured my testimony of hymn #284 (there is no end…).
Well, we landed in AMS and no one knew what to do next. No one around us was speaking ENG and no one from our group wanted to try out their MTC Dutch, so we stood there for a minute. Then finally, I went to a counter and did my best to ask, in Dutch, where the baggage claim was. The woman smiled at me and pointed to a sign and said “follow that.”   Haha!! So, then I led the 20 new missionaries to the baggage claim where after we were met by President and Sister Robinson:) They took us to the train (trains here are amazing!) and we rode to Leiden and then walked to the hotel where we were trained, but since I was half a sleep, I have no idea what we were taught. We went to Rijswijk for legality things, then were able to take a 2 hour nap! Much needed and did wonders for me. Dinner was salmon, tomatoes, and fried spiniach with cheesy sauce. Delicous. Yes, I ate the whole thing. Plus the icecream and pudding thing for dessert:)
I am serving in Zoetermeer! It is the city with the Temple:) I have been very blessed to be here. Our apartment is one of the nicer ones and I got a bike! This is me riding it.:) I look terrible, but it’s raining and I just ate, so yeah.
Inline image 5
We have 10 progressing investigators and one has a baptismal date!! or doop datum:) haha can’t wait. I’ll write a letter about them, but ah! It’s so fun!
I am so blessed. Very spoiled. The Lord shows me even in the rain that He is here, riding right along side me. Probably even peddling for me:) .
I have been fed richly both spiritually and physically:)
Love you all so very much!
Tot ziens van Zoetemeer!

Zr. Faa (yep, I am already being called that!)

Arrival in Belgium and thoughts from the MOM

Zuster Faasavalu arrived safely in Belgium!   She was able to call us from the airport before she flew out.   She had so many tears, we hardly shared words.  🙂   She did say that everyone was encouraged to receive a blessing before they left and Elder Byers blessed her with the opportunity to share music on her mission.   He told her the Lord wants her to learn the hymns in Dutch and utilize the hymns in the homes she will visit.   This was a great comfort to her, as you can imagine.

A Tongan Elder’s mother works at the airport and she sent me a picture text of Zuster Faa and Zuster Young.

airport Zuster Faa and Zuster Young

These two have become best friends during the 6 weeks they have been in the MTC.  Although not companions, they found great comfort in their friendship.

I’ve had a few thoughts I wanted to share, in relation to missionary service and preparation.   First of all, I have felt so blessed by the many kind people who have sent me text pictures of my missionary.  I never thought to do that for a missionary’s mother, until I’ve had multiple people do that for me.   It means so much to see her, to have that picture and know she is happy.   I will be more mindful of opportunities to take a quick photo and send it to a missionary’s mother.

Two items on my “I wish we had……” list.   Jessica’s high school counselor encouraged us to give her an “away from home” experience before her mission.   We were conflicted, because she would be leaving so soon, anyway, why lose her sooner?  In hind sight, I now realize why this was valuable advice.   Being away from home for a long period of time is more stressful and heart wrenching for that young missionary than any of us can imagine!   Even if you feel like your child is the most stable young person possible, homesickness is real and it is hard.  Having a month or so dose of homesickness prior to a mission, might just be the best thing for a future missionary!

My next item is trivial.  I didn’t know she would be able to call us from the airport.  They gave her a 100 minute phone card, which sounds great!  BUT, each time she connected a call, 20-30 minutes disappeared.   She only had time to talk to Fale and I for 15 minutes each and the call was disconnected.  I wish I had sent her a roll of quarters.

Moral of my story: if you see missionaries, snap a quick picture and send it to their mothers.  🙂    —– Jenny

These are the 20 new arrivals to Belgium.

arrival in Belgium

Music is my testimony

Hoi!

Well, I’ve made it to my last week :/ Crazy!!
This week has been very, very good. I am still wearing the ankle brace, hoping it will continue to get better before I leave Monday! I do believe I am healing, though.
Thursday: Thanksgiving! Elder Bednar was our devotional speaker. He passed out 200 cellphones to the crowd and had us text his iPad questions and then he would answer them from the pulpit. His wife commented on a question about praying, “The more specific we pray, the more Heaven hears.” I love that. Then the service project was amazing. We doubled the 350,000 mealbags and had a great time with the other 1400 missionaries here. The hairnets were great. Sorry I don’t have a picture of it. Would’ve been a treasure:) After dinner and the service project, the whole MTC watched “Meet the Mormons.” Ah! I loved that, too.
Sunday: In RS, Sheri Dew came and spoke to the sisters! “When we testify of truth, the Spirit will testify that it is true.” And then about the excuse that some missionaries and investigators use, “It sounds like a lot of work,” she asked, “Are you willing to wrestle [spiritually/physically] for revelation?” She looked at all of us and then said very firmly. “Whatever you have to do to obtain the witness, whatever you wrestle with, once you obtain that witness, it’s worth it.” Ah, she was great. And then… the Sunday Evening Devotional was……………….BYU’s Vocal Point!!! Oh man, I was excited. I miss singing in a choir and hearing music all the time. They were amazing. Their spirit and their music and their voices brought me to tears (not surprising) ah. Loved it. Loved it. Music is my testimony. If you didn’t know that, I’ll say it again.
Music is my testimony. I know that my Redeemer lives, I am a Child of God, He has sent me here and I am Called to Serve. There is no end to truth. There is no end to love. There is no end to being. There is no death above. He is Risen! Joy to the World! Where can I turn for peace? The Spirit of God. There is an hour of peace and rest. Because I have been given much, I too must give. Oh what songs of [my] heart! The Lord is my light! I’ll conquer at length. He is my salvation from sorrow and sin. Be still, my soul; let His holy spirit guide. How gentle God’s commands. Though God moves in a mysterious way, I believe in Christ. He is my king. There is beauty all around; brightly beams [His] mercy. I need [Him] every hour, in joy or pain. [He will] come quickly and abide with me ’tis eventide. He will comfort me when faint. Jesus [Christ] is the lover of my soul. He lives! I’ll glory His name! I’ll never, no never, no never forsake. The witness of the Holy Ghost is my witness. Come unto Him! Come unto Jesus!  Make music for your Lord to hear! Alleluia:) Press forward, saints. He’ll ever lead you! The Lord is on [your] side! Be patient with your crosses “and be constant unto me, that thy Savior I may be.”
Ik hou van jullie🙂
Check out christmas.mormon.org for an amazing video about the Gift of Christmas!!!
Discover the Gift
Embrace the Gift.
Share the Gift.
In de naam van Jezus Christus, Amen.
Love you all,
Zuster Faa
Sister Jones and Faa at Provo Temple