Monday, August 29, 2011

Oma's Pages #9, August 29, 2011

Oma’s Pages #9
After one week at the MTC we went home for the weekend. We were able to choose if we wanted to go home or stay at the MTC for the weekend because we were one of the missionary couples that lived so close to our home. We wanted to go home because it was Saint Nicholas Day on that Sunday. We knew it would be the last Saint Nicholas Day we would be home for the next two years.
It was a lot of fun. Were you there with us on Thanksgiving or at the Farewell, or at Saint Nicholas Day? See if you can find yourself if you were there.
On Monday morning we went back to the MTC for another week of training. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Omas Pages #8, August 22, 2011

Oma’s Pages # 8
Before we could go on our mission there were a lot of things we had to do.
We had to go to the dentist and the doctor for check-ups. Then we had to get Ben ready to go on his mission and send him on his way. We had lots of papers to fill out and send to Church headquarters.
Do you remember when everybody came to our house for Thanksgiving. We had our missionary farewell talks that Sunday. And then we went to the Missionary Training Center. We needed to learn what we were supposed to do when we got to Holland.
Guess who sent us our very first letters?
At the Missionary Training Center (MTC) we had classes on how to be good teachers, how to be good missionaries, and how to speak Dutch. Opa was very good in the Dutch classes since he already knows how to speak Dutch. He was born in Holland. He was a little Dutch boy before he was an American.
At the MTC the man and lady who in charge of everything we had to do was my Aunt and Uncle, David and Kaye Buchanan. Uncle David is Grandpa Jerry’s brother. I think God had them stay on their mission a little longer just so they could help us get ready to be good missionaries.
It was Christmas time at the MTC. I was glad to be there at that time so we could see the lights and decorations.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oma's Pages #7, August 18, 2011

Oma’s Pages #7
If you were asked to write a story about a place what would you do?
What if you had to write about Enoch, Utah? What would you do first?
If I was asked to write this story I would have to find out where Enoch, Utah is.
I would take a map and look up, Enoch, Utah.
After you found it on the map what would you do?
I would want to go there and see what it looked like.
Well, when I started to collect the history of the Van Komen family I took a map and looked at where Groningen was in the Netherlands. Opa and I took a vacation one year and we drove up to Groningen to see what it looked like. The problem was when we came  to Groningen we could only stay for a couple of hours.
Have you ever gone to a new town? When you first got there did you know how to find your way around? Did you know which way to go?
I remember when Matthew and Melissa moved behind our house and Tamma came to visit. She wanted to go to their house. Even though she had been there once and she knew that it was not too far away, she wanted me to walk with her the first time she tried to walk to their house. I think she was a little bit afraid she would get lost and not remember which house it was.
That is how I felt about going to Groningen. I saw the City once, but I could not remember anything about what I saw the first time. 
Now can you think of a reason why Heavenly Father sent us to work and live in Groningen? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oma's Pages #6, August 10, 2011

Oma’s Pages #6
In the pictures of the last blog... 
The first picture in the blog is of Maria and Egbert Van Komen and Rachel when she was a little girl. It was when we lived in the little old house on 300 North in West Point. Maria and Egbert were the Oma and Opa to your mother or father when they were growing up. They are your Opa’s mother and father. 
Today, August 10th is Maria and Egbert’s Wedding Anniversary. They were married 78 years ago today.
The family picture is of Egbert’s family. The first three across the front are: Bonje (Tante Bonn), Bouke, and Eva who is Tante Eef or Aunt Eve. The next row has Maria Meijer Van Komen, the mother, holding Jisteltje or Tante Jellie, Willem or Uncle Bill who owned the Dutch store in Salt Lake City, Egbert or Opa to your mother or dad, and Christina or Tante Tini. The back row has some Church person we don’t know, Pouwel who is the dad to all these kids, and Henderkien or Tante Henny who is the mother to Marty Vuyk and all of the Vuyk kids.To my knowledge this is the only family picture that has the whole family in it.
One picture has Egbert Van Komen when he was a young man still living in Holland standing with his father, Pouwel Van Komen. 
There is a picture of Willem Albert Van Komen. He is the old man with a beard and a hat on. He is the first person in your direct Van Komen line to join the church. He joined the church in the 1880’s.

The car picture is Egbert’s new car. He came to Groningen to take Tante Jellie and her step mother, Hiltje, for a ride. 
And then of course how can you not know those two adorable twins, Robbie and Ria, (Opa and his twin sister Aunt Ria).
About three years ago a friend of ours who lives in Holland asked Opa when he could come here to serve on a mission. Opa told him that the friend would have to request Opa and Oma to come in order for us to come to Holland and work. The friend said he would do that and he asked when we would be able to come. We told him we had to wait for Ben to go on a mission first. He said okay.
There still was the problem about having to pay off all of our debts. Opa just kept praying about going on a mission. He told Heavenly Father we needed to pay all of our debts. It looked like this would be impossible.
Then one day somebody wanted to buy a piece of old property that Opa had. It was exactly the amount of money we needed to pay off our debts. For a few minutes we thought about all the really fun things we could with that much money. But we knew that God had given us a great blessing of selling the piece of property because Opa and I had been praying that we could go on a mission. And so we paid off all of our debts so we could go on a mission.
When Ben graduated from High School. Ben, Opa, and Chris Choi came to the Netherlands. Opa met with his friend who had asked him to come and serve a mission. The Mission President was also at that meeting. Things started to happen for us to come.
At last the white envelope arrived in the mail that said we were called to serve in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission.
We were assigned to live to in Groningen. In the whole country of the Netherlands why do you think we were called to live in Groningen? Remember.... this is the place where Opa’s family lived for many years and where Opa’s father was born?
Now we knew it was very important for us to know about Opa’s family stories.
Why do you think that would be important?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Omas Pages #5, August 8, 2011

Oma’s Pages #5
Opa was born in the Netherlands. He was born in Amsterdam. His mother and father were living in a city called Zandvoort when he was born. Opa’s father, Egbert Van Komen, was born in a city called Groningen. All of the Van Komens came from the area around Groningen. What an amazing coincidence that we were sent to live in Groningen for our mission? Do you think maybe God and the angels arranged that for us to live here?
I have been collecting the histories of all of these people because they are the stories of your ancestors. It is important to know the things these people did, the sacrifices they made, the mistakes they made and what they learned from them.
These things help all of us to have a better life. When Jesus was resurrected he had one apostle named Thomas who did not believe that Jesus had been resurrected. He had to see it with his own eyes. When Jesus appeared to Thomas and let him see the nail prints in His hands and feet from being nailed to the cross, He said to Thomas, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.”
In other words, sometimes in our lives we make mistakes and hopefully we learn from them. But what Jesus is saying is that it is much better if we can learn from what other people say and do, having faith in what is true without having to make all of the mistakes ourselves.... Not having to “see” for ourselves in order to learn something. We can see, or hear, or read, what other people did and learn from their stories, and their mistakes, and their experiences.
That is one reason why it is important for us to learn about our family members who lived before us. We can learn things from their lives, so we don’t have to make all of the mistakes they made.
We can also get to know them, to know who they are. Many times they are the angels God sends to help us. They are our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who love us. They want us to be part of God’s forever family when we all get back to heaven. If we know who they are then we will recognize them when they are helping us. 
If you have read, or studied, or learned about your family members who have died, you will begin to know them. They will feel like your best friends. Then when you have a very difficult test in school, or you have the idea you should be nice to somebody, or your friends tell you to do something sneaky that is bad instead of obeying your mom and dad, and you have a feeling not to do it, you will know that this is your Oma, Maria Van Maare Van Komen, or your Opa, Egbert Van Komen, your Grandma Belle, or even your Aunt Sarah, who is talking to you, who is prompting you, or helping you, or trying to tell you what to do.
What does any of this have to do with Oma and Opa going on a mission?

Do you know who these people are? Can you guess? Ask your Mom or Dad, and see if they know who these people are?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oma's Pages #4, August 7, 2011

Oma’s Pages #4
The next problem we had was that Opa started to have some serious health problems. First he fell off of a scaffold where he was working on the ceiling in a High School Gymnasium. He broke his ankle and had to have surgery to put it back together and he cracked his arm and two of his ribs. He was in a wheelchair for awhile.
After that he fell off of ladder and ruined his knee and had to have surgery and then therapy to be able to walk again.
Then he had a heart attack and died for a short while. The doctors were able to revive him again but he had some problems we had to get over and he had to have heart surgery.
Now we thought everything would be good again and then he had blood clots come into his lungs. It happened twice. Once it was on  Christmas Eve so he spent Christmas in the hospital. 
Again I thought, now for sure we will not be able to go on a mission because of all of the bad things Opa has had, and all of the medications he has to take to stay well.
Opa just kept praying about the day when we would be able to go on a mission.
Do you think we were ever able to go on a mission?