Thank you ALL so much for your letters! It's so great to get something from every one of you. Warms my heart. I may not be able to reply individually, but know that I appreciate you all so much! Keep writing me, please!
First off, The MTC isn't accepting packages after December 23rd, so if you feel oh so inclined to send a package, you might want to do it soon. I'm not sure how long it takes to send something, so... Not sure when they're accepting packages again either.
So anyway, I've been seeing a lot of Bieb's lately. His lunch is 20 minutes before mine, but his group takes forever to eat so I can usually catch him as he's leaving. Just a "hey, how's it going, was sup? How's the language?" kinda thing. I think he's enjoying it here. Looks like he's having a blast with his companions.
Our district might be the best ever. Just saying. We have a blast all the time. We've got a top-notch group of spiritual guys here. None of us have really had any issues with each other, as far as I can tell anyway. I'd hate to have somebody in my district, or especially a companion whose guts I hated. I'm going to eat those words, aren't I?
The language is still coming along of course. Every week seems like a huge improvement of the language. We get to go to a thing called TRC every week (have I told you this yet?), where we teach either member Nederlander's or return Dutch missionaries. It's a great experience for both them and us. Anyway, teaching them is so much more comfortable than it was the first time...... holllllly.
Als het een schlang was, zou het mij hebben gebeten! Sjonge jonge!
I hope life is still kicking along fine over there. Man oh man, I know so much more than I did before! Mia, I think I could actually answer all the questions you used to throw at me now. I'll tell you right now though, all the things you want to know are in the Book of Mormon. Seriously. That's got to be one of the most important things I've learned. The Book of Mormon wasn't given to us as a mere suggestion. "Here's a book, yeah...it might help a bit." No no. It will help. It contains all the answers. Ever. Or at least ways to find them out. Isn't that cool? Als jullie vragen hebben, ik nodig jullie uit het Boek van Mormon te lezen. Het bezacht alle antwoorden. Clear?
We heard from Sister Elaine S. Dalton last night. She's the Young Woman's General...something er' other. It was a good talk. Guess what she talked about! Yep, missionary work. I'm beginning to see a trend here. It was a good talk. I don't have my notes with me, but essentially, she told us to put our complete trust in the Lord. He knows what's best for us and cares and loves us. He'll take care of us if we trust him. He'll help us feel comforted when we're sad and pull us through tough times.....and stuff.
As far as a phone call home goes, I think you know more about it than I do at this point. I'll certainly try my best to call home while I'm in the airport--or at least when I arrive. Somehow. Don't you worry. Just keep those few days free so I don't miss you. I'd hate to call and receive an answering machine. How much fun would that be? None.
So I heard a little rumour. But as rumours go in the MTC, they're usually fake. ANYWAY, I heard that Elder Holland might be speaking to us on Christmas day. They say it's a tradition they have here. I kinda doubt it, but it would be cool all the same. We've already heard from 2 apostles already, but who knows? Maybe it'll be 3.
What else...food is still a chore and my volleyball approach is going down the drain. You know, the usual. I'm not sure how much weight I've gained--that scale is all over the place. I weighed myself and was about 154 or so. Weighed myself the next day, 150. Hmm... I'll have to try again tomorrow.
We're getting new Dutch missionaries today. That's so crazy to think about. It's like we're receiving a whole new influx of us. The other Dutch group seemed so much better than us, as far as the language goes. I hope we'll be able to make as much of an impression on these young'ins as the other Dutch did on us. We're going to try and speak as much Dutch around them as possible, thereby increasing their respect for us.
I'm still optimistic as usual. What else can you do, right? I hear other missionaries worrying over the language or certain doctrine that is confusing to them. I just shrug my shoulders. I'll learn the language with time. I'm not expecting to be fluent in just 2 months. As for Doctrine? As one elder in the district said, some things are just beyond us. In which case, and taking advice from Sister Dalton, you just have to put your trust in the Lord and have faith that things will turn out for the better.
Did I mention I'm thankful for your letters? I truly am. Nothing bores me--I want to hear about everything that's happening back home--or as Sister Stout says "the haps". What movies are coming out? What's happening around the world? I heard Belgium finally got a government--and had a grenade attack a few days ago. Craziness. What games are coming out? What are you guys doing for fun? How's school, how's life? I WANT TO KNOW IT ALL!
And I'm super stoked for everyone that's planning on going on a mission. I heard in a talk (and I think I spoke about this already) that Satan will try his best to get you NOT to go. Pull through. I guarantee, GUARANTEE, it'll be worth it. Heck, I'm not even out in the field yet and I know this is what is right for me.
The temple is a great place. When you go, you will be blessed. After I went I received an answer to a question I'd been having. It's an awesome place.
I've also been reading about the afterlife, and kingdoms of glory. We are expected to live up to God's commandments if we are to inherit His kingdom. It was a difficult trek to get here. And I've learnt so much already! My life was pretty comfortable before, but I went out of my comfort zone, and was blessed for it. I invite those that are thinking of going on a mission......to "go outside their comfort zone" too.
I love you all so much! I appreciate your support!
Until next time, totziens, en ik houdt van jullie!