Oma’s Pages #29
We were invited to celebrate the coming in of the New Year at the home of one of our investigator JoVo’s (Young Adults). Her name is Melissa. She lives right downtown in Groningen. She and her brother, Bruneau, hosted the evening. There was a mix of JoVo’s and young people I did not know.
We had oliebollen and apelflappe. These are kind of like donuts with currents or pieces of apple. Notice on the picture what they used for napkins on the table. We have been in many houses where they used toilet paper for napkins. That is very different from home.
Melissa’s best friend is Joanne (which here is pronounced Yo-Awe-Na). Joanne is a recent convert. She is a really faithful member even though her family does not understand her commitment to the Church. Joanne’s work is taking care of young babies in a childcare facility. You have to have a degree from a school to do this job in the Netherlands.
Joanne just received her mission call. She is going to serve in the England, Manchester Mission. She leaves March 1. We are so excited for her. Her boyfriend, Albert Job, also from our JoVo’s is currently serving a mission in Suriname. We are having great success with our Young Adult program because we have so many kids going on missions and getting married. That is what is supposed to happen with this program, however, it also means that we have to keep finding new kids to come and that part is difficult. We just get a really good group going and then their testimony grows and they leave to greater service. Our success is also our frustration... ha ha ha ha.
Randy was another young man we met that night. About halfway through the night he confessed to us that he was a member of the church but he had married out of the church, had two very young sons, and then his wife did not want to be married anymore. He was so depressed and discouraged. We invited him to come back. He said he had made too many mistakes to come back. We told him to come to JoVo’s. He did.
We became really good friends with him. He and Opa seemed to be kindred spirits. Opa gave him a Priesthood blessing, that coupled with the changes he was making totally changed his perspective. He not only became active, he was made a counselor in the Branch Presidency in Assen and then he married another one of our JoVo’s named Wobina in the temple.
When at last midnight came it sounded like the world was coming to an end. I have never seen such an explosive night.
In the apartment they burned sparklers. I was afraid they would catch the place on fire but it was all okay.
What goes on in the city is another story. They burn old christmas trees in the streets and anything else they can find to burn. There is a lot of destruction that happens that night. I did not like it at all. I was just glad to get home safely. It appeared that many young people go crazy that night. It is not good. Here are some of the pictures I took the next morning leftover from some of the fires. I am so glad this is not what happens at home.