Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oma's Pages #33

Taking a brief break from my story.... to say..... Today forgot to show up. It is a non-day.
This is what it normally looks like out of our windows in our apartment.

And this is what it looked like when we got up this morning and stayed looking like this most of the day.
Basically "Today" just forgot to show up.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oma's Pages #32

Oma’s Pages #32
The difference between our table presentation from last year at this time to this year.
Last year 2011

Last year 2011

This year 2012

And the difference between the weather we had at this time last year versus this year.

This year's January weather 2012

The road we had to walk home on after we searched for half an hour to park our car almost every night was frozen solid. It was so frozen that you could see the glossy ice all the way through to the road underneath it. 
Last year's road we had to walk home on 2011

Solid ice roads 2011

The Young Single Adults (JoVo’s, pronounced Yo-Vo like yoyo only with a “v”) JoVo’s liked to stay around and visit after their meetings. After they would leave then we had to do our missionary reports and e-mail communication in the Church because we did not have internet capability in the apartment we lived in. 

Where we did our work using the Church's internet access 2011

In Groningen Church 2011

When we finally did get home it was usually around midnight. We had to park our car close to half a mile away and walk home in a freezing wind on solid ice roads and pathways. 

Road we had to walk to get home 2011

As you can see, we started out with a trial of endurance. Satan was trying to make everything as difficult as possible. I think he was hoping we would just give up and go home. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oma's Pages #31

Oma’s Pages #31
At the First District Meeting after the Christmas when we arrived here in Groningen, we watched the Elders preparing their meal. 
They were making “toasties” which is toasted cheese sandwiches. When we saw all that bread slathered with butter, and nothing of any nutritional value, Opa and I realized that we needed to prepare their District Meeting food. If I was their mother I would want to know that my Elder son was getting one good meal during the week. Some of the Elders we work with live in an area where the members invite them over for dinner and some of them do not. It is not like in Utah where the Priesthood and Relief Society send around a list in each Ward to make sure that the Elders have a family to prepare their dinner three times in the week. Here instead of a whole Stake to take care of the Elders, the Elders each have only one Ward or Branch. We suggested adding a green salad to the meal and so Elder Fritzler brought a bag of lettuce. However, All the Elders also brought their leftover Christmas candies and cookies to share with each other, another lack of nutrition double whammy.

About halfway through the meeting one of the Elders demanded that we stop the meeting and take away all of the junk because the rattling of the packages was annoying him and he felt it was detrimental to the spirit being present. Another Elder said, "It's all right, we don't need to stop the meeting, we will just stop eating the stuff. For the rest of the meeting I watched a brand new Elder who did not understand much of what was going on (because he was brand new). This new Elder entertained himself by slowly sneaking something off of the table without any notice from the annoyed Elder or even the other Elders. Having a lot of experience as a Mom, I think I was the only one who knew what he was doing.  It was one of the funniest things to watch. The sneaky Elder has since become a dynamic powerhouse of a leader among the missionaries here. He was in our District for a whole year. We even worked with this Elder in the MTC. I have wondered what kind of a heavenly connection we have had with Elder Ellis to have played such a long and important role in his life?

I believe all things happen for a reason. I believe that everything in our lives is important. 
Gordon B. Hinckley said, "The course of our lives is seldom determined by great life altering decisions. Our direction is often set by the small day to day choices that chart the track on which we run.

For example: this young Elder who did not know what was going on that day and was sneaking the candy and cookies told me later that he was really trying to hear what the Elders were saying since it was a day they were only supposed to speak Dutch. Later the Mission President told this Elder he should get out of bed every day at 6am. There is no way the Mission President could be inside this missionaries apartment every day at 6am to see if he did that or not. However, the Missionary, himself, knew what he was doing. He chose to follow the guidance and do it. That small decision made all the difference in his success. When he got up that early he had time to study the Gospel, his language, and still have time to exercise before he went out to Missionary work. He was diligent and disciplined. And so God has been able to bless him with things that some of the other missionaries do not have because they are not doing those things. "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say. When ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." D&C 82:10

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Oma's Pages #30

Oma’s Pages #30
Right outside of our small apartment was a plant that had dried seed pods that looked just exactly like small pumpkins. I stopped to look at them every single day. I loved them. It was amazing to me that God gives us small things that make us happy even when we are cold and discouraged.