Monday, 29 October 2012

One year older

and closer to being dead (missionary term for one year completed, one year to go).
I can't believe it's been a year already.  It doesn't really feel like it.  We have to think of something exciting to do for "humpday".  Once you go over that hump, I hear it's just a waterslide and before you know it, you're back home.
Holy Moses.  A swimming pool?  That sure exploded out of nowhere.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super, super stoked.  Sounds like a super cool thing too.  Solar, salty, sweet-ly awesome.  Dang.  Jealous.  Instead we're over here biking in the cold.  It's only about 10 degrees, but the wind and the wet make it feel a lot colder.  Het valt wel mee (it's not that bad).  At least I haven't crashed my bike again...
Where to begin.
Elder Shoemaker had a bit of a verkoudheid this week.  Or in other, English-er words, he had a cold.  He had some accident which smashed his soft-palette in his mouth, so colds get him differently.  In any case, we were home-ridden for a couple days while he recuperated.  It's hard to believe I used to chill around home all day.  I suppose I had a lot more things to distract me when I was home.  We managed to clean the apartment pretty thoroughly though.  It's probably the cleanest it's been in...oh a decade or so.  I literally scraped some grease off of a thing with a knife, and it picked it up like a long black snake.  *shiver* gross.  There's a super bad bug going around right now.  There are many members, investigators and missionaries who are getting it.  Dear ol' Elder Andrews is a bit under the weather too.  I feel just fine.  Top notch.  I've been really tired lately, so I think my body's been fighting it without me knowing.  Good job, body.  The extra hour of sleep from the time change helped.
Despite the coldular setback, we had a few adventures this week.  Edmund came to a baptism in Almere!  Frimpong, an investigator of 12 whole years finally received his answer and was baptised.  It figures that on the same day, the trains WEREN'T RUNNING between here and Lelystad. Gah!  So frustrating.  We called Edmund and told him what was up and he said he'd catch the replacement bus.  Fine and dandy.  40 minutes later, we called and asked where he was.  "Ya ya man, I just got the information.  I'm getting on the bus now." What?!  Ah!  another 40 minutes, he finally arrived and we walked to the church in Almere.  We arrived just on time.  He really enjoyed it though.  Asked some pretty good questions too.
Later the same day, we had to go to Lelystad.  So then we hopped on the bus and started going.  The bus driver apparently didn't know the way though.  He stopped at one point, backed up, went down another road to talk to another bus driver, then reversed and continued on the original road.  Hmm.  After a couple more wrong turns (apparently) a lady stood up and commented that she needed to get to Oostvaarders, to catch the train there.  The bus driver freaked out.  He stood up and started yelling at her in Dutch.  I can't really remember what he was yelling specifically, but holy man does Dutch sound scary when they're worked up.  She threatened to call the police if he continued to attack her, because she had made a slightly-snarky comment.  They both sat down and the bus continued.
Until he took another wrong turn.  Then some black guy--maybe Surinamese--got up and started yelling. The driver stopped the bus and both of them started towards each other.   I was super worried the black man was going to beat the driver up.  Luckily, a few people got in their way before something messy happened.  More yelling ensued and eventually, 10 minutes later or so, the driver got back behind the week, and drove back to centraal station.  Gah.  There, three security guards got on and whisked the guy away.  The driver and the two people who spoke up shook hands and we started our adventure anew.  Thereafter, we shared a cool conversation with the man in front of us, who had been trying to defuse the situation.  Turns out, he was a converted Muslim.  Hmm, never met anybody who converted to Islam.  I guess it does happen.  Either way, it was a good talk.  We were probably meant to get on that bus just to talk to him.
The guy in front of me is listening to music.  He's bobbing around and singing along to his headphones.  There are swears in his music.  It's kind of silly actually.
That same evening, we found the next member of Lelystad!  Literally.  We went over to teach the first lesson, and started by asking her background.  She's the referral from the inactive member, Lenny.  She's Brazilian, she speaks decent Dutch, she's lived here for so and so years, she's a member, she's...  Wait, what?  Yep, she's been a member for 7 years or something now.  She's married to a Dutch man and just got her legality papers, so she's going to be living here permanently.  Little red flags with the Dutch man!  He's actually really cool.  Totally supportive--and they seemed to love each other very much.  He's willing to come to church with her--she wants to start coming every week--and he even said he's going to read in the Book of Mormon to see if it spreekt hem aan (speaks to him).  Cool!  New member ge-found.
Sentina is still sick.  Nothing we can do...
We haven't met with Vicky and Debbie in a while.  They called off our last appointment.  Last I heard, they were planning on reading in the Book of Mormon together and Vicky's eyeball surgery got verplaatst  (moved) to end of November.  Bummer for her. 
Yesterday was pretty fun too.  We did a good job contacting and found a few interesting people.  One man is from Suriname and told us straight up he was drug-addicted and wanted help giving it the boot.  Of course we can help!  I spotted a lady sitting alone on a bench and went over and offered her company, and she ended up leaving happier than before with a Book of Mormon in hand.  She was super funny.
I got your frisbee too by the way. It's hanging in the window.  Ooo, spooky.  Elder Shoe's mom sent us all Holloween goody bags......filled with sweet love from Utah.
As far as what I would like or need for my birthday...
What I would really like is a typewriter.  It would make writing letters and stuff a lot easier and faster. But don't send one.  It would probably just be too big and bulky anyway.  I wish I would have had more insight though--I could have snaked that one you guys gave to Elly.  I remember seeing a 2 dollar one once in a garage sale.  This was before I was a writer.  I said, "Hey, I want to buy that" and you asked "Why?"  Then I didn't.  I'm trying to find one somewhere in a kringloop (pawn store) but I can't.  They're all but extinct.
Yeah, don't send one.  Well, if you can find one that folds into the size of a book or something, I'd be down.  Otherwise, don't stress it.
Also, I'm going to send my pictures home soon.  I want to back them up on my flashdrive first, but don't have a computer to do so.  I'll find a way and do it quick, don't worry.
Scary about Kitty.  She had a fracture? Gee, how long ago?  Where's the puppy supposed to poop?  In the pool?  Where is the trampo-lion supposed to go?  Questions questions.
I've got a birthday wish.  It's obscure.  What are the chances--just give me an estimate--of a crow-tie?  Ooo, gives me shivers.  Well, there's a thought.  Crow-socks are the coolest things ever already, so I suppose I've got everything a man could need already.  Crow tie though?  Mmm.  I actually just bought new socks too.  7 pairs for €7 or something?  So I'm doing alright with socks.
Well, honestly, I can't think of anything.
Let me just say--and I'm not trying to gloat--I'm glad I choose to be happy.  It really is a choice.  We work a lot with people that aren't happy.  Member included.  There's a certain joy to the gospel, but there's also choosing certain aspects of the gospel.  I choose to be happy.  Every day.  Some people don't choose to be happy.  They don't choose to look to those sources of happiness either.  It's very sad really.  I'm glad I choose to follow Jesus.  I'm glad I choose to be positive and optimistic.  I'm joyful every ding dang day with these things.  And loving it.
Choose Jesus.  Choose happiness.  They are, I suppose, one and the same.
Also, I had a crazy dream.
I had another dream where I was home.  We hopped on a train and went home.  It didn't feel right though.  It wasn't where I was supposed to be at that time.  This is where I´m supposed to be.  Despite how diddly-dang much I want to be swimming in that pool.  Dang it.
I made pancakes for breakfast.
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

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