Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4

It's raining soooo much today and yes I did spend most of my P-day fixing my bike again. ohhhhhhhhhhh man opposition it's a blast.

Well these last two weeks have been us working working working with little to no success but this week we are seeing the fruits!!!! It has been a BOMB week. We have three new investigators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this coming week we are full of appointments!!!! It is so so great! We gave a lesson on a train one night to a girl who looked like Pocahontas and when we were getting ready to get off at our stop (we were already going to give her a Book of Mormon) but she asked us if she could buy one.....uhhhhhh no, you can just have it! It was the best thing ever! Also members of our ward have been calling us and telling us about their missionary experiences and it has been an amazing week. We had two first lessons with a baptismal commitment and one responded with "why not?!"and the other was positive but a little unsure. It seems a bit crazy to invite people to be baptized on the first visit but it eliminates any confusion for why we're there and surprisingly it doesn't scare people away when we go forward with faith. It is great to see people wanting to make promises with God and to work towards building a relationship with Him. It's beautiful to take part in. So yes, this week has been BOMB! miracle after miracle! Being in the right place at the right time and in the right mindset.

Love you all!
Zuster Elting

October 21

Well, we went to the temple this week. It was epic! Oh man, it was so cool in Dutch I paid more attention and even thought I heard quite a few things I don't remember ever hearing. Also found out I really cannot say patriarchal in Dutch. It's dang hard. The temple here is so small but beautiful! As for a sort of theme there I got the feeling it was falling water but when I asked the workers said there wasn't a theme they knew of.

A lot of people from our mission are leaving and that is a huge bummer HUGE! They gave their ""dying testimonies"" and it was emotional.

Opposition my friends, it's everywhere. So my first day here I popped my bike tire and have riding a bike that's pedal falls off well one night it was just done. It's really late and really dark and the pedal falls off and we can't find the screw anywhere so we walk it to a members house because we have an appointment to get to so we go to the appointment and no one showed up. boo. So we take a bus home and have to pick the bike up the next day. Well it is a good 20 minute bike ride on a working bike but with the bike without a pedal Sister Morris and I took turns scooter biking it home. When we first began it was slow and it's dark and raining and then to make our trial even better some kids come out and start throwing fireworks at us well, more near us just to scare us. But you know how I am with fireworks so yeah. Classy. It was such a work out and man we were SORE! Near the end I couldn't do it anymore and so I held on to Sister Morris and she biked us both home. We even had some people cheering us on it was funny. We arrived on time home and safely! aaaaahhhh trials.

Our week in a nutshell would consist of lots of fallen through appointments and lots of knocking doors. We actually went out the other day and wrote with chalk """" or ""waar kom ik vandaan voor dit leven?"" and unfortunately we didn't have enough chalk but we're going to write the plan of salvation when we get some more! It'll be great! We make the most out of every day! We have a lot we really just have been keeping on keeping on. We see little successes everyday so it's been really great we just need to put forth our effort and time for a bit and the Lord will take care of it!

One of our investigators came to church! it was great! the ward was so perfect and welcoming and she had a great time and told us she received an answer to one of her questions so that was AMAZING!

that brings us to last night......welllllll lets just say THE STANDARD OF TRUTH HAS BEEN ERRECTED! PERSECUTIONS MAY RAGE! MOBS MAY COMBINE! Well we are tracting along at about 8 last night and we get done with a street and turn around to go get our bikes and there is a crowd of sorts on our path so we walk towards them. A woman runs at us and then another woman and they are just screaming at us! We calm them down and find out that they've called the police on us and have the whole neighborhood thinking we are two thieves trying to get in their houses. Zr. Morris said she literally just couldn't understand what they were saying she just heard ""police"" so I explain who we are and apologize for scaring them. (two 20 year old girls in skirts are pretty scary you know) and everyone calms down and they just tell us to go and they'll explain things to the police when they come. It was madness. Zr. Morris said if the police came she would have just starting reciting the standard of truth! hahah really it was quite scary thinking back but during that moment it was fine it was truly help from God that helped calm these people down because I mean the old lady got literally the whole neighborhood up in arms about us. It was crazy. And right when had turned around the elders called and they were actually on the line when this happened I just kept the phone on so they could hear everything. It is pretty cool because we asked why the elders even called and they said they didn't know why they just felt they needed to. It was really comforting to know that the Lord takes care of us even when mobs are combining!
Tune in next week.
Zuster Eltingof fun and when we stop having fun we switch and do something else. That is the trick we've found so

October 14

Welllllllll folks my time in Dordrecht is up...for now. And to all you haters that don't believe me when I put things into the universe I say Ah ha!! Well I will be serving in Den Bosch. Don´t ask me where it is or anything about it I just don´t know. What I do know is that I will be serving with Zr. Morris who was my very dear friend in the MTC. Before we left we put it into the universe to be companions and HELLO! The universe responded! I´m soooooo excited. I will for sure miss Dordrecht part of me is worried I will leave but my heart will stay here. Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland and is just gorgeous and perfect and the people are good and kind the ward is full of angels! I love Dordrecht and so I will put into the universe to serve here again later.

In other news, God answers prayers!!!! Once upon a time a couple of weeks back I ignored a prompting and it was the coolest prompting. Well, it was to play basketball. Yes, it´s true the Lord wanted us two girls in skirts to play basketball. It would have been great. You know talking with natives, maybe get some interest in the church and earn some respect. Well, I ignored it and have hated my self ever since. One day, Tuesday October 8th to be precise, We were going to an appointment but we left a half an hour early. No idea why it just worked out that way and as we´re biking I look at my watch and think that we need to talk to some people, we need to find someone during this time. At this point we´re rounding the corner and I think hey, this is the way towards the basketball courts and then I just prayed. ``Heavenly Father, If there is someone playing basketball I promise I will play.```wellllllll, we turn and I see the bouncing of a basketball through the trees and so I just yelled `WE`RE PLAYING!!!!`` and my companion is confused but quickly knows what I am talking about because I talk about playing basketball to find people all the time. So we stop and I ask this one young man if we can play he says, ```turlijk wel`` a.k.a. OF COURSE!!! so all the sudden he´s interested in why we have name tags and why we are rocking skirts and that we´re American. We chatted about the church and about why we are here and he´s super awesome. We asked him why he´s out playing and he says he doesn't play for a team he does´t play at all or even really like it but he had a free day today and just felt like playing basketball. He told us he never gets the impulse to play basketball. COINCIDENCE? nee. Well we´re shooting around and this African man we see all the time named Kabo happens to be walking by so we call to him and he comes over and is playing with us too. It was a gem of an experience and tragically we had to leave shortly after Kabo came but alas it was super great and I´m sticking to is the best way to contact people.

I´ve thought a lot about that experience this week and how perfectly orchestrated it was. Kabo, Daniel, us leaving early, going that specific way it is easy to play it off as luck or coincidence but the fact is, is God is aware of everything and everyone. He loves us and wants the best for us so He provides ways for us to be in the right place at the right time for the right opportunities to come and for us to draw nearer to Him.

Side note: I don´t know if in Dutch it´s creepy and weird like it is in English but my companion pointed out to me that i happened to ask young 17 year old Daniel, `kom je hier vaak?` or as we say, `so, do you come here often?`haha classy. But hey.

So many funny things happened this week and I have had to pray so much to have the Lord help me stop laughing. I am laughing at bad times and it has been not so good this week but between service at a member´s house and visiting a lady in the nursing home I have been in stitches.

So Dordrecht is getting Elders! We are so excited and and ward is so excited! On Saturday they were bringing the stuff to furnish it and get is all ready to go and we had no idea anything about this until the Friday before and so we called the office to see if we can help and we were told that the ward members will be coming to help and that if we wanted to we could come come help for a bit but that it wasn´t necessary. They were to begin at 1:00. So we decided on Saturday that we´ll go see if they need help. This is around 2:30pm and we arrive to find a senior couple from den Haag. That´s it. We asked if others had come and gone....nope. NO ONE from our ward came to help. I was ticked. So, we stayed for almost 3 hours putting tables together (it´s all from IKEA so there is assembly required) hanging curtains, moving couches, cleaning, etc. Yeah. Well, I´m still upset about it. I don´t mind doing it but the fact is the ward is so excited for Elders but won´t help. It is absurd. The lights still need to be done among other things but, who knows if that will get done. I understand people are busy but it was Saturday and not only that but the Saturday after conference when your motivation to do good things is super high and excited....yeah I´m a bit disappointed. So that instance among others has made leaving Dordrecht a little easier.

Sorry for the downer. I think everyone should watch the talk by Elder Oaks again just to remind ourselves of what the Lord expects of us and what we covenanted to do. It was a good wake up call for me to realize my church calling and duty to God are the most important and should always take first priority and my other cares and concerns can just take a backseat for a while.

Wellll, I wish I had more time, this week was a treat. Just know life her in the land of the tulips (where I have yet to see one) is grand. Peace and blessings peace and blessings


Zuster Elting

October 7

Too many things happened this week I'm not sure I will get everything down. Also it will be a jumbled mess I can assure you.

First of all, we made tortillas from the recipe aunt Cheryl sent!!!! HEERLIJK!!!! Thank you so much!!!

This week I have been told I walk like a farmer and sing like a horror film, that I'm going to get fat, that I have acne and need herbs for it, asked, "you start fights a lot, huh?" and "you're a lot of trouble at home aren't you?" Had to climb a ladder and clean a lady's windows because "I’m scared to do it but you, you're not afraid of anything," .....good times

Well, we have this Russian woman who is kind of investigating. It's really hard to have a lesson with her because she thinks we're her therapists but she's spicy and hilarious we love her. Well we were going out to contact and she was going to a man's house so we just went with her....I can’t remember if I told you all this but we got volunteered to clean his house. Cool! So we go and after two hours we have another a appointment and get ready to leave. Welllllll, let me tell you. DO NOT MAKE RUSSIANS MAD! I was fearful for my life. She just starts raging. Saying that we cannot be people from God and just cussing and saying all this nasty stuff about us. So, I get defensive but the Lord shut off my ability to speak Dutch suddenly so I literally couldn't say anything back. I just nodded apologized and then left. So today we see her in the grocery store and oh man I am scared. She comes walking to us and I’m ready to be yelled at some more but she came and apologized and said she thought we were cool and she wants to go get drinks....uh ok. but alas luckily we still have our spicy Russian.

Also this morning (the morning of all mornings) we ran into this man we see literally every day. He is from Albania and always invites us to get something to eat or drink with him and we always say no because we're either on the way somewhere or it's a sketchy bar he's sitting outside of but yesterday Zuster Packer and I were talking and we were like "next time we see him we need to get drinks (delicious Dutch Fanta of course) with him" and boom this morning we decided to go eat breakfast out and guess who was there?????? Yep so we got our food and went and sat by him and had a lovely chat about his life and something about driver's licenses.

So we were coming back from Alblasserdam and this man said something to me about being a young lady which is common tragically here in Dordrecht we are constantly getting hit on so I just say oh well I’m not that young and then he tells me my Dutch is bad and then switches to English. He asks where we're from and we tell him then he starts cussing and tells us how much he hates America which is always lovely. Then he says "you are people from God" and then he takes his necklace and kisses it. But it wasn't a cross I have no idea what it was. Then he just gets up and leaves and upon parting says, "Look out for ugly guys like me." things like this happen all the time it's just weird.

So I'm sending this picture. While we were in Rotterdam this week to watch conference there was a group of 3 men and a woman outside of a bar (sounds like the start of a good joke, too bad) Well the one man yells at us "Hey I know you!" and so we walk over and we've never seen him before and he is like "You are the Mormons you have a temple in Salt Lake and also one here" Yes this is true and they are all so curious about us and ask if we want a beer or coffee which of course leads to why we don't drink them and then the one man just stands up and wants a picture with us so we take a picture with him and he makes a joke about polygamy but he also knows it has been abolished (this guy did his homework) and then the people at the table suggest he give us a license. (I’m thinking a fake ID) but he writes this license in the picture and it says "Free to speak about Jesus and the Mormon church in all of the Netherlands" and then says for the other countries he needs to charge. It was hilarious but we also through the course of that evening found out why Rotterdam isn’t open to sisters....

Question: have you heard of the book "Spiritual Roots of Human Relations" by Steven Covey. Well, I highly recommend it. One of our members read a bit from it to us and it was incredible!

In other spiritual news....conference was amazing. We go to Rotterdam to watch it live which means your ten o'clock session here is 6 in the evening. Luckily our investigator likes conference better in English so I understood the whole thing! Wow. It was so incredible though! There are so many things happening and we had better jump on board because the train is leaving! Oh wow, I just loved it! I think the talk by Pres. Uchtdorf "Come, Join With Us" was the most inspired thing I have ever heard. I loved it! It answers any issue people may have with the church and is just so amazing! Wow.

I hope all is well there. Missionary work here is moving. It's kind of glacial speed right now for us but with the push from conference and with help from the members we will see miracles. We can only do what our faith allows. Build your faith and allies mogelijk is!


Zuster Elting

September 30

So, we're knocking doors and we meet someone from Morocco, Spain, Indonesia, and Italy. I love knocking doors it's either really good or really funny. I got to use my little bit of Spanish it was awesome! And the Italians taught us some Italian. Coolness!

On one of the doors I feel like I need to talk to them about prophets so, the little girl is translating what I say to the old man (they are Moroccans) and they are Muslim so prophets are kind of a sore subject but we proceed. Then he just leaves randomly and comes back and tries to hand us money. I do not know what he heard from what we were saying maybe it was when I was saying that we need help in the world and that's why prophets are so important. hahaha anyway it was hilarious.

Zone Conference was EPIC! So great. We talked about the total mind shift. Made me realize I need to build my faith more. I'm limiting God by thinking things will fall through or that no one will say yes. It was a great wake-up call.

So, I realized something the other day. Well a poster reminded me actually. something very frightening is going to happen soon. Halloween? No... something much worse. Two words...Oktober fest. Yes, I don't know why it didn't occur to me that that would be happening but ohhhhhhh man.

Also, the way to open public doors here is by pushing a giant red button. The red buttons that look like world destruction buttons....yes those ones. I don't know why I need to tell you that it just throws me off whenever I have to push one.

Also, a member made us Mexican food this week! Woot woot. It was epic, it still didn't have beans but itally delicious nonetheless.

We finally got in touch with an inactive we have been trying to contact for a long time! She was so excited to see us and we have a dinner appointment later this week. She has a niece out on a mission in the US! She says she's been thinking about church lately and that she needs to come back not for her but for her children's sake. It was so cool to see that because we were starting to doubt we would ever contact her. We hope to help her see that is not just for her children's sake. That it is for her too.

On the other side of missionary work our baptismal dates don't have dates anymore and are really having a hard time keeping appointments or commitments. It's pretty crazy how things change so fast and it is evidence that the adversary is real and he has power. Only the power we give him of course, but tragically that is quite a bit sometimes. We are trying to figure out what we are doing wrong and how we can help them better. It's been a couple frustrating weeks. Growing pains. But we've picked up another investigator and our work with inactives is going really well. Reactivation is missionary work too!

Zuster Packer and I have decided that missionary work is just wifey training. We serve, we cook, we clean, we teach, yeah. So I see what the prophet is doing getting more sisters out man. We award each other wifey points when we do some homemaker thing well. I lost points the other day for losing my temper with the plastic wrap. Boo. We even reward the elders wifey points to. We're thinking it should be a twelve week program.

The weather has been cooling off its about 18-19 degrees celcius which I don't know how much that is but it's not THAT cold and everyone here has like serious winter coats on. I don't really get it. We were out one night with just light sweaters on and these people bundled up said "lekker weer, eh" and started laughing. I was so confused because we weren't cold I don't know what they were laughing about. Apparently we're super funny.

Love you all!

September 9th

Let me start with street contacting. I decided to try a new tactic. I decided to hold a Book of Mormon and try to hand it to the person we talked to. Only 2 people held it but one of the two took it! It helped with all the stares we usually get. Now they glance at us and just stare at the book in my hand. It's great!

So there was this man very intently trying to get a picture of a crane and so I walked up and in Dutch asked him if he was a photographer, to which he replied "I'm English and I don't want to talk about Jesus." It is so hard for me to not laugh when things like that happen.  People are silly.

Another contact we are walking alone in an alley (good start to a story right!), and this gangster looking man is walking towards us and Sister Packer says, "Let's talk to the thug." So of course I was all over that idea.  So we talk to him and I ask him if he was raised in a religious home and he goes on some tangent, I have no idea what he's talking about, but I heard something about Nazis so yes of course that is a perfect lead in to where the Book of Mormon came from I thought.  Although I didn't know what he was saying he took a Book of Mormon and gave us fist bumps. Nailed it. Respect.

What made me feel really good this wee is during the maarkt we realized that people don't even take the free cheese that they hand out. So that made me feel a little better when they don't take a Book of Mormon.  Another great thing that happened this week is that we were looking up a former investigator and we knocked on a door and asked if he was there and the woman who answered the door just starts yelling at us "I will not be converted!" then stops and says that the man does not live there, he lives next door. People just freak out when they see us. It's quite comical really.

Okay, so Sunday was the bomb!! After church we decided to go to Papendrecht and on the way a man says "oh hey sisters" and we were like what, because no one is ever happy to see us so we just stop and don't know what to do. He tells us he's working in Dordrecht and wants to come to church. He's from Lybia and was baptized in Portugal. Super cool guy. Then on the way back there is a biking gang of old people all speaking English!!! With American accents. I was like "what...that is my favorite language!!!" So this man yells "It's the Mormon missionaries. I thought only boys did that." then he calls all the other old people and  says "Come meet the girls from Utah." Turns out they are on a two week biking trip through the Netherlands and Belgium.  Cool beans!  We chatted for a while and then no more English for us.  The Lord spoiled us on Sunday.

That brings us to today. We did a zone p-day. We played soccer in one of the little field things they have all over the place.  We are just playing and minding our own business when BAM! Like 50 little kids storm the field and so we played with them.  They didn't like us very much...they thought we couldn't understand them.  So one of the little kids is like "they speak English so well because they practice all the time" another says "no they're from England" so one of our Elders  said "We're from America." Then all of a sudden they all loved us. They were all asking questions and shouting "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA".  It was hilarious.

Also, random side note.  I love Holland, no joke but I love America. I never appreciated it and now I must eat my words. In this last week people have bashed America to us and I never realized how defensive I get for America. I truly love America and Americans.  GOD BLESS AMERICA!! And the English language, I like that too! Also, I saw a restaurant called "Amigos" and got so excited only to find out it's flippin' pizza and doner.  BOO!

Love you all.
Tot Volgende Keer

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I'm staying in Dordrecht for 6 more weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm sooooooooooooo happy. I love love love Dordrecht. woot woot!
I thought i would begin this week with the 3 hardest things for me. Warning: these are not spiritual, they are very temporal, natural man type things.

1. Not being able to dance.
OHHHHHH it's such a burden. Almost too heavy to bear. It is probably the greatest use of self control ever! I hear plenty of music all day long on the Streets or at the maarkts and shoot it's hard not to dance sometimes. I was thinking to myself, are dance battles allowed. Because I feel like I could dance battle people into listening to us. Or at least it might earn us some respect around here. Well, I will be asking about this dance battle business because I really think great things could come of it.
2. Lord of the Rings.
I have no idea why I'm having Lord of the Rings withdrawls. I receive daily reminders of something within the Lord of the Rings and then I think "oh I'll just put it on when we get home" nope. No LOTR for me :( not yet....
3. Mexican food or the lack of rather.
I believe I have mentioned this before. We found black beans today.....I'm so close and yet sooooooo far! They were a tiny can and super expensive so we didn't buy them. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh rage!

In other news we met a kid on a train named Roger. He was listening to music and this is how it went down:
Zr. Packer; What are you listening to?
Roger: blah blah blah (some radio station)
Zr. Packer: What kind of music is it?
Roger: yeah
Zr. Packer: What kind of music is it?
Roger: Yeah. It's nice.
Zr. packer: no, what KIND of music is it?
Roger: yeah

It was so funny.

And now for contacting corner. This weeks top contacting stories,
1. I begin contact and get rejected. Zr. Packer asks what she believes in and she replies, "I believe a lot and I'm closing this argument"
hahaha it was classic. I mean that was a really heated encounter....not. So now Zr. Packer and I interrupt one another and close the argument that wasn't happening.
2. People like to touch our name tags and say "Oh, I already know about you." - Zr. packer HATES it.

So this week we did service at a lady in our ward's house. It was hilarious! Both Zr. Packer, myself and apparently the next door neighbor can't understand her. So, she tells us what to do in the garden. We don't understand so I just start raking up the leaves. She comes barreling out and starts yelling at me telling me that I need to leave the leaves so that the plants have a nest. OOOOOOkay. So, I ask her what are we supposed to do then? She says something else I don't understand. So I start sweeping the patio and taking out the weeds from in the cracks. Here she comes again. No no no no no, you can't pull out the weeds you must cut them out with a knife. oooooooooookay. So we cut out weeds for two hours and her patio looked "netjes" as she said. Then she wanted to give us something as a reward for our work. Corn. Cold corn on the cob. hahahahaha it was the greatest. It was super yummy, it was just so random. But the next day I was reading in Ruth and after she had worked for Boaz for the day she was rewarded with corn just like us. I felt so great!!! We were just like Ruth just then and I felt so proud!

So I was on exchanges with Zr. Gallego on Wednesday. LOVED IT!!! Here I am 178 cm and she is 140cm. It was quite a sight. She is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I don't know what it is, but people just want to do great things around her. We've been trying to get this one lady to pray for weeks and Zr. Gallego barely mentions prayer and the lady says, "You know I think I want to try that.". WHATTTTTTTT!? I was just sitting there like are you kidding me? Well, it was super great! I learned so much from her. She's just amazing!

OH OH OH! I found Mexican food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! well, sort of. Once upon a time I haven't had Mexican food for the whole time I've been here, true story. I tried to make it, turns out refried beans, black beans, don't exist? And the flat things they named tortillas are NOT tortillas.

So, we go to the Maarkt every week. It is FABULOUS!!! It's a great way to contact and we get fresh fruits and veggies there. Also, they have all the fish out there too. We walked passed this huge fish booth and I got so excited. There are so many different kinds and they were just calling to me but I looked at Zr. Packer all expectantly and she just shook her head. Needless to say, we haven't bought any fish. It's probably good anyway, we don't have time to cook it.
Well, here we are at the maarkt and all of the sudden, Zr. Packer gasps and says "ZR. ELTING!" and I turn and the most beautiful sight is right in front of me in the form of the Mexican flag. Yes!!!!!!!!!! Well, we ordered burritos and I chatted with the lady for a bit about how hard my life is without Mexican food and whatnot. Then, they give us the burritos and it was yummy, but I was still very sad. They had to use the dutch tortillas and there were no beans. So I'm still searching, but it will tide me over for a while.

Zr. Packer had a great idea though. We are going to use my intense need for Mexican food as a way to contact. I'm just going to ask people anywhere we go for a Mexican food place. Also, it's getting a little out of hand because every time I see someone who looks Mexican or if I hear Mexican music I freak out and say "oh Zr. Packer! They could cook for us!" Well, anyway, I will be ever searching it seems.

I have officially decided this week. I love tracting! Street contacting scares me to death but tracting, no! I love tracting!!! It is not very effective but at the door I feel like they know for sure what we're offering. On the street it's hard I feel like I have to get into this guarding position to make sure they listen to me for just a second.

Zr. Packer and I are going to write a book of excuses we've heard here. Some are hilarious. Also, when we contact Muslim people they just say "I'm Muslim”, as if that makes us walk away. Turns out we still have something we want to share with you. That doesn't change.

So, coolest thing happened this week. We Always visit this inactive member and she is in a assisted living place. She has some CRAZY Nederengels. Meaning she speaks both English and Dutch and they are super intermingled and it gets confusing. Well, we shared my favorite old testament story in 2 kings 6:11-17 about the army of angels, and we talked about the angels in our lives. I told her about Cole and how I've been able to feel him helping me. She just looked at me and said, "Are you making this up?". So we asked her loved ones that have passed on, and asked her if she thinks they still cared about her. She said she didn't know but it was a nice idea. We testified to her that they do love her and that they are there for her. It was silent for a moment and I was fighting crying. When we left, we got into the elevator and Zr. Packer just turned to me and said, "Did you feel them?" They really are all around us. I can't imagine how hard it is for them, that we can't see them. I know for a fact they are there. They were there in the lesson with us. So cool.

So, one of our investigators has been drinking for 40 something years and stopped for 10 days. We were in contact with him every day to make sure he was alright. Well, Tuesday his Phone is shut off and we were a little concerned. We thought the worst. After a couple days of trying to get in contact and nothing. We were super concerned but Sunday comes and he just waltzes into church. So no worries everyone. We found him.

What more can I say? hmm....well, I don't know. All I know is that I love it here! It is so hard to get discouraged when you live in the Netherlands. I love it here so much. The flowers just kill me! I love them so so so so so much!!! I get a little distracted by them...I think other missionaries get annoyed with how excited I get about things here, but it's just so amazing! At kinderdijk I was just beside myself. I LOVED IT!!!!!! LOVED IT!!!!!! I just kept reminding everyone that we're in the Netherlands and that it was real life.

Also dutch is coming along swell. I can understand most things and I can say more and more everyday. I learn so much every day! And it is super nerve wracking to try new things but people are super patient with me and help me so much. I'm getting to the point where Dutch doesn't sound like a foreign language anymore. which is a good thing but now I don't feel cool speaking it I just feel normal. Before I felt like I knew a secret code or something, but now it's just what you do. I guess that's a good thing...

Well, everyone. Do your home and visiting teaching. Say your prayers and eat your veggies for tomorrow we die. (That's how the scripture goes right?)
Zuster Elting

Monday, August 5, 2013

dierbare familie,
I felt very proud reading that you called my city Dort. It is my hometown for sure. I love it here I never want to leave. So it's been a blazer here. a good 36-38 degrees c which is dang dang hot. Well I actually don't know just how hot it is but it feels so hot!!!!!!!

So, first week of transfer two goes like this. Day one I get lost without a companion in Leiden. super fantastic I'm saying all these goodbyes and good lucks and suddenly I look around and I have no companion so I called everyone and their dog and had a nice sister escort me to the train station where I went back to Rotterdam where apparently I was supposed to be. Allllllssoooo before we left for the station in the first place we were achteroping which is basically where one person sits on the back of the bike while the other rides. It's hilarious. I was riding and zr Anjeweirden is on the back well I hear this awful sound and then all the sudden the bike stops and yeah so we are late because some stupid wire thing decided to wrap my tire all in it was a sign. So then all that jazz goes down in Leiden and I find sister packer and her 3 suitcases and no bike. So achteroping again....i think not so I stashed my bike and we got home yadda yadda. then we decided to go to Sliedrecht and look some people up before our dinner appointment. Well, it turns for the bike was making an awful sound but then as Sister Packer was trying to get on the back again. it was done. my wheel bent completely and it was just done. So we walked for days to the appt and then they took us to the station. So as of now both my companion and I have no bikes.

I really don't envy the missionaries that have to walk. It is totally different. It has helped me to learn the bus and train system really quick and also my way around with shortcuts and whatnot. This week has been a challenge to say the least. Also found out it will be cheaper to buy a new bike than to get mine fixed.  I will be probably buying a new bike soon. Thankfully our district leader told us that they may have some at the mission office which would be such a huge blessing but who knows.

It rained that last two days which was so great. we haven't seen rain for weeks....who knew? also, the thunder here is out of this world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the loudest I have ever heard everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Today we went to Rotterdam to play futbol with our zone. on our way there we took an intercity train which just means it doesn't stop until we get there. but we are riding along and then we're stopped. everyone starts freaking out saying this isn't normal. we are just chillin on some tracks. and the only thing I could think is....Bane is here. Any second now we are going to hear his scary voice over the intercom. yep, I was so certain. But alas it wasn't true just my IMAAAGINATION.

I don't really know what else to sayyyyyyy, oh wait I do!!!!!!!!!
If you would like to help me out. I think that you all do. Please please do your visiting and home teaching. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! please please please do it! i would argue it is near the most important job in the church. Please do visiting and home teaching and also let your visiting and home teacher visit you. Sometimes it seems like a burden but it is soooooo belangrijk and noodzakelijk and lots of other important words. Please please. If you are not being visited. het mag niet uit!!!!!!!!!! the worst thing I have heard out here is "no one visited me so I'm not going to do my visiting or home teaching" oh GAG me! That is the most absurd thing I have EVER heard. Well, be the faithful home or visiting teacher for some one else, and seriously you don't have to have a lesson or treat but just make sure you leave them better than you found them.

 Let a sister know what I can do for you. what I should pray for and who needs mail..... I need your addresses if you want mail. Also, if you have e-mailed just know that I won't e-mail back, I would prefer to write letters to just know they are on there way if you've e-mailed and I have your address. Keep them coming I love reading emails from you all!

Peace and blessings
Zuster Elting
Sorry I didn't write last week. our email time was cut short. Sad. but alas. So recap from what you missed in a day in the life.
Last week was possibly terrible. One of our companions left and although it really actually wasn't a bad week it just felt off. We had exchanges and I had to lead the city...bad idea. well actually it would have been fine except that day we had planned to go to a dorp we have only been once before and that week we lost the map. So it´s me and a dumb GPS on the phone....yes it was a long day. The poor sister with me was ever so wonderful despite me. It was terrible. That was literally the worst day of my mission so far. but alas turns out I survived and I know more than ever of the greatness of God and my own nothingness.
After having a bummer week we deemed this week ``Redemption Week`` and it has been the best week of my mission thus far!! Funny how that works. Prayer has played a huge role and it´s silly to think I wasn´t taking advantage of prayer like this the whole time. The blessings are there, they are pending I just need to ask for them. It is shocking to see the things the Lord is willing to bless me with if only I ask. This week I feel comfortable with Dutch. It has been a huge blessing and has curbed my fear of talking with people. It has been so wonderful. Our numbers for this week weren´t perfect but ``Redemption Week`` has been a game changer.
SOOOO I may or may not have found boterkoek. if it is ridiculously disgusting and ugly and just ughhhhhh then yes I found it. My companion and I were looking for a treat for weekly planning and I saw a box of what was called Boterkoek and I thought ``could this be???`` so I bought it and it was the grossest thing in the world I tried so desperately to like it but it was impossible and it was straightway thrown in the trash. So I hope that isn´t what our family has been searching for, the coveted boterkoek. I am still looking because I know it´s out there somewhere....but where?
Next order of business, there are rednecks everywhere. We went to a stake activity on Saturday and guess who was on the playlist? Alan Jackson and my girl Shania Twain. Yes sir, Dutch people can be rednecks too. It´s good to know really.
So, Wednesdays are transfers and guess who is staying in Dordrecht????? MEEEE! I am so happy! Unfortunately my trainer is leaving which is a major bummer but we have put it into the universe to be companions again later. I am ultra nervous but it´s going to be a great growing period and I LOVE Dordrecht so I am so happy to be staying. Sister Packer from my MTC group will be my companion and we will be training one another for the next 6 weeks. Yes that means us two 6 week old missionaries are running Dordrecht. The Lord has crazy faith in His missionaries. It is going to be wonderful. I can´t wait to see what she can bring to Dordrecht.

Also I have seen some crazy stuff these last two weeks. I´ll just leave it at that but man crazy stuff.

So, last week all of the sudden I haven´t been as sleepy. Getting up in the morning is easier and I´m not dying mid-afternoon now. I thought, sheesh i guess I'm just barely getting over jet lag. I've been super grateful for that but I was just puzzled for how it just suddenly was okay. Then I got your letter. Thank you so much for your prayers. You cannot even imagine how big of a difference it has made. I just started bawling when I read that it was your prayers. Thank you so much. Prayer is real and God hears you and He answers you! It has been such a testimony builder. Thank you thank you.

I love you sooooooo sooooooo much. I am doing well, I pray for you and I can most definitely feel your prayers. Keep them coming! I need them! Well, have a great week. and tune in next week who knows what will happen here in Dordrecht.

Ik hou van jullie,
Zuster Elting

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sorry folks, I have been a bit behind posting Chelsea's adventures.  Over the last couple of weeks she has faced some ups and some downs.  Pretty typical of an L.D.S. mission.  She loves the food (at least the chocolate and drop which is licorice). She has already been blessed with the opportunity to meet a relative of hers.  She went to Belgium to get her visa and was able to do some fun stuff while she was there.

So now that your up to speed here is her latest e-mail.

So hello, this week has been great. I don't really know what to say. It has been perfect weather here well, plus wind so what else is new? Great news my freckles have made an appearance so that's Always nice. I am getting enough sun that is for sure and I have some awesome missionary tanlines!!!
Well, our baptism was cancelled because of the smoking addiction our investigator can't kick. well, wonder of the week: he is getting headaches every time he smokes!!! this is a huge answer to all of our prayers and a blessing he received. He is doing really well and last time we checked he hasn't had any!!! so awesome!

So "wonder" in dutch is a miracle if that didn't make sense. Well this passed week was actually kind of off. didn't really know why or how or anything just that it was off. then we had district meeting and an Elder gave us chocolate and since that moment we have seen tons of miracles and our week was wonderful after that! so I would be lying if i said I didn't believe there was a direct correlation. Last week we didn't buy any chocolate (which is rare and also stupid) because we're are trying to be healthy or something like that. But truth is if we want to see miracles we must have chocolate. truth.
First stroopwaffle

Elting relatives

My welcome from my companions





The giant atom

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 1 in the field

So I made a list of first impressions my first day and then also some things I've noticed through the week I hope you enjoy:
-Humidity is the devil. Cutting my hair was wonderful in the mtc and now I look like a pom pom. Seriously it curls and frizzes and I look like a dang fool. alas
-everyone dresses so well!!!!!!
-my allergies are ALIVE!!!!!! they are really bad here but alas I'm on the hunt for some meds (mine are all the drowsy ones and I'm drowsy enough as it is)
-people are really nice! they want to understand me and want to be understood. They are very patient. Especially when I tell them how long I've been here
-people believe in themselves. That is the common thing. "I don't believe in God. I believe in myself. People who believe in good are poor like the people in Africa. But I believe in myself so I have a good life" →yes that's a real and frequent reply
-the chocolate is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!!
-Three course meals....yep i like it here starting with the best antipastas ever!!!!!!!!! bread and cheese for every meal no joke.
-first day we were served vodka shots with our of course they were sent away
-people think our church is all about money...or perhaps church in general
-water is gold!!!!!!!!! They have the best water here!!!!!!!!! And they serve it in gorgeous vases so it's served like a lavish drink.
-it smells terrible here
-within minutes of arrival we were being made fun of by French girls behind us....apparently americans are a joke
-you can tell the elders that have been here a while from the new ones by how they dress
-seriously fashion is a big deal here. the men wear tailored suits and skinny ties and nice shoes...thank you!
-EVERYONE notices the mormon missionaries! People are constantly staring. it's funny to watch people look at my tag and practically take off running or at least avoid eye contact like i'm flipping Medusa or something
-just in the first day I met at least one person from Russia, Singapore, Africa, Turkey, Portugal, Puerto Rico. The first day contacting I was with a chinese speaking elder and he acted like he couldn't understand us so the elder said, "nederlands?" no "english" no "chinese" no and then the man said Russia so I said the one word I know in Russian which is goodbye and the elder was like "ahhh you speak russian?" and by this time the guy was leaving so alas I needed Brittany!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Mom, you would die. There are so many birds here and they are super friendly...too would pass away
-yep we eat with our left hand. it is so hard and I am ultra uncoordinated. it's embarassing really
-i don't really like the meat here
-my first day contacting a man looks at my tag and says "you're from here" and I said "no but my family is" and he says "yeah is it Frisland?" I don't know so alas! but it was super cool.
-I'm in Dordrecht which is the man made Island and it is awesome I really love it!!
-we've had all dutch lessons so far but one and I think we taught 16 lessons last week
-the drop is soooooo good
-biking here is sooooooooo cool!
-everyone...well, most people smoke cigarettes
-they are so much more technologically advanced than America
-by looking our the window in the morning I have no idea what weather I'll experience that day
-yes, it rains alot
-gouda quesadillas are money
-riding a bike in a skirt in the wind= challenge
-i am getting sunglasses pronto. so many things fly in my eyes every day
-The Netherlands suffers from chronic wind
-people try to get me to speak apparently my dutch isn't as good as I think it is
-there is an amazing African family in our ward and the first thing they said to me was "you are welcome here" awwww it was so nice
-in sacrament yesterday I forgot how good there bread is and when I took one I was like "what is this?" the bread is so good. nothing in america can compare
I really love it here!!!! It is beautiful the food is great the people and members are great. my trainers are great! It is by far the hardest thing, but it's all good. People will listen on the street but they won't hear more. it's hard but it's all good. it's so worth it. to be honest I can't understand hardly anything around me and it's hard but people are good. I truly believe that. everything is going well here. I am so busy I think about you and pray for you everyday! I love you so much! I hope all is well.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm on a progressive discovery of my own ignorance.
So, hello everyone!! how are you all doing? Life in the MTC is a dream! I adore it!!!!
Here's the problem, whenever I speak with native speakers i feel like Marlin from Finding Nemo "I swear they're trying to tell me something. YOU'RE REALLY CUTE, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING!" Ahhh it's quite comical really....
yesterday however was the best lesson ever! The Spirit was so strong and the investigator committed to baptism even though our previous lesson to everything we would try to teach he would say "it's possible but I don't believe that" or "i think that is fiction" so we really had to rely on the Spirit to teach him because nothing we said would change his mind...why he is even meeting with us was a mystery to me until this last lesson.
SOOOO, I am elated to tell you that I don't think I had any language mishaps other than the occasional incorrect use of past tense. Because there are two types one for conversations and one for telling stories so those get mixed up when I talk. woohoo!
In other news......We get our travel plans on Friday! Isn't that cray cray! So So So soon everything is already happening too fast. Tomorrow the new Dutch come! They will be serving in Surinam (or however that is spelled) I'm so excited to not be the babies any more. For the last two days our ward has only been the Dutchies everyone else has left. I don't remember if I said this already but the people leaving for Denmark didn't get their visas so they all got reassigned to St. Louis Missouri, Salt Lake City West, Carlsbad, California, or Eugene, Oregon pretty crazy!
We were told the most important news of all the other day....apparently Nutella is super cheap there and they even have no name brands that are even cheaper and taste the same also in 2 tbsp there is 200 calories soooo the plan is not to diet but to ride my bike and walk ultra fast! Also they don't have stick deodorant over there just spray and a rolly kind i don't know what that means but alas.
Next order of business I have begun "eagle eye" once again. Actually it was inspired because Ian eagle eyed me through DearElder so thank you Ian. My eagle eye for tomorrow is to do what Olan Rogers did in "Ghost in the Stalls" (it's on youtube) so I will let you all know how that goes!! I have given another sister the task of, during personal study time (which is dead silent) so go all King Julian on us and say "shhhhhh! Please be quiet! Who is talking? please stop. Shhh! Please, who is that? oh it's me" haha she has yet to do it because she laughs too hard to do it yet.
Sooo this morning was great I have been so annoyed with the fact that I always have to move my hair because it covers my missionary tag. AND I JUST WON"T HAVE THAT! Alas this morning i chopped it off! like it's really short and errrrrrrrrrone can see my tag now holla! I love it, it is so easy to do and yes so alas.
I have to tell you how true the divinity of the call to be a missionary is! I learn things and retain them and when i need them the Spirit draws them to my remembrance. I know that this is true outside of the MTC and outside of being a missionary but I can honestly say I could have a good conversation with someone speaking Dutch, i can teach 30-45 minute lessons all in Dutch (granted I do talk really slow) but I've learned the key to learning is listening and reading. 
The best lessons are those that we are lots of questions and just listen. Listen to the investigator and listen to the promptings of the Spirit, listen to lessons in class and promptings to things to study later, listen to native speaker and mimic them and their accent. Listening is huge! And also reading, by reading I can recognize sentence structure and flow. I can learn and remember, I can receive revelation. Reading is such a vital tool. Joseph Smith was uneducated according to the worlds standards but he could read and because of that he came across the scripture in James. It's so simple. Ahhhh I love it. On our Sunday devotional the speaker stood up and said I had something planned but the Spirit is telling me otherwise he said, "if you have a question or concern say a silent prayer right now and ask your Heavenly Father to inspire me" it was incredible. That devotional was amazing! I swear there wasn't a dry eye in the place. Truly amazing. then he told us we have to do exactly what he just did all throughout our missions. If we had something planned and feel otherwise the Lord will direct us. i have already seen and felt this happen to me and it is incredible and it is why this is the most important and most wonderful work on earth! I love being here!!!!! I love you all! Follow your feelings! Don't be concerned about whether you think it just your thoughts or a prompting. If it's a good thought don't worry, just do. We rarely know in that moment it's a prompting and we may never know so just do it!
I love and adore you. I hope all is well. tell me what's going on out there I really have no clue!!! Flags are at half mass and I have no idea why and apparently yesterday was Memorial Day, who knew? Ahhh well love you! and talk to you next week on my last P-Day in the MTC holla!!!!! Tot ziens to ya!
Zuster Elting

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dierbare familie,
Hoe gaat het met jullie?
The language is coming along, my friends. It is coming. So the only language mishap i said today was because the dang dictionary deceived me!!!! I learned this word specifically because I liked one of our teacher's ties so I said, "Ik vind uw touw leuk" and he informed me that I just complimented his rope. Classy.
So last week we started the TRC which is where we speak to either returned missionaries or people from the Netherlands and they are members of the church and we just basically visit teach them. Well the first room we go in we start talking and I honestly don't know a thing they are saying. so I ask them to repeat 3 times and still I have no idea so I just faked it but it was really awful I was so overwhelmed it was quite awful. I tried to laugh it off but then I just started crying and then they started saying how good my dutch is so that made me cry even more. Hello! don't lie to me while I'm crying that in no way makes me feel better. It was kind of terrible so we have it again every Friday and I'm seriously so not looking forward to it....
So, that was a sad story but seriously that is how the days are here. I feel like each day is like Repunzel leaving the tower, "THIS IS SO AMAZING!" ..."I am the worst person ever."... "I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!"..."what am I doing?" "BEST DAY EVER"..."i hate my life." i am extremely bipolar here! thankfully the good moments far out weigh the bad and make it all worth it!
Fun fact: In the Netherlands they use tons and tons of idioms and one we learned is Helaas Pindakaas which basically means to bad so sad but direct translation is "unfortunately peanut cheese" yep and also peanut cheese means peanut butter...nasty sounding yep!
Also, how you say I panicked is Ik raakte een panik which really means "i touched a panic" classy
Alllllso my district is probably the best!!! I love every one of them! I love love them we are all a bunch of nerds! Seriously I think they pick similar personalities to go to the same places because our similarities are uncanny.
So here's a lesson in the life of someone trying to learn Dutch...weak and stong verbs...a.k.a. the devil. Don't know that those are? well join the club!
Best newssssss EVERRRRR! Our mission president sent us a letter! Our teachers said they have never heard of this happening ever. In the letter it told us the goals of the mission and told us who they expect us to be! It was amazing. Our goal as a mission is to get another stake there! there are 4 currently and have been for a long time....well, not anymore!!!!!!! No, sir! also apparently President Kimball saw a vision of the Netherlands with templeSSSSS and 40 stakes! Can you believe it?? in the letter it talked about the standards of the mission and told us they we need to be ready to hit the ground running! As a companionship he said we will reach the goal of 1 baptism per month. This is so so exciting! He talked about the 2nd harvest of Europe and how hot missionary work is there!!! I'm so excited!
Quote of the week: "Those 3rd that chose Satan's plan are no bodies!" hahahahaha classy do you get it? like no bodies like no and bodies get it? Get it? I seasoned the food. do you get it? if not i am sad and you should watch dax flame seasoned the food on youtube. wow don't know if that is missionary appropriate but alas i'll add it to the list of things to change
This is the best work on earth! Elder Russel M Nelson came and spoke to us and told us that we have our ancestors and the ancestor's of those we see on our side, because they need their work done! I cannot tell you how amazing it was to hear him say that because I have felt the influence of my ancestors so much in preparing for my mission and in being here already! I know for a fact my Grandma Ria is helping a sister out with the Dutch among so many others. Elder Nelson told us to pray for the companionship of our ancestors and the ancestors of those we speak with. Also, I can't remember who said it this week but they said, "when we keep the commandments of God angels cannot be restrained from being our associate." Yep that is right! It's true. I will know the Dutch language in 6 weeks because my ancestors know it and they help me, because when I obey exactly they cannot be restrained from being my associate, because I have the Holy Ghost who quickens my mind and draws the things I need to my remembrance, because this is the work of God. Nothing can stand in the way.
We know inevitably what will happen. We know good always triumphs and that God and Jesus Christ are the victors and yet sometimes we can't decide who's side we're on. Decide! Be on the Lord's side! It is all true! One investigator we are teaching told us after reading about the Restoration of the Gospel that he thought it was fiction and that he thought it was a nice story...I can declare without a hint of doubt or irony that it is so much more than a nice story, it is true, it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it has been restored it's real and it's not going anywhere.
For my computer time I watched some mormon messages and if you haven't seen "my brother hyrum" please do! it is so so great I love it!
ik hou van jullie! sorry for the lack of picture I just get so freaked out trying to send them but i'll try.
Zuster Elting
p.s. for uncle mike butterfly is "vlinder" v sounds like an english f

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Week 2 in the MTC
Letter to home

Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.
Okay so here we go week two! it has been an adventure!
I have realized it just like a bunch of body snatchers here! It is like "The Host" (the book not the movie) here! Fo' real! Everyone trusts everyone, everyone loves everyone! and my companion was sent away because she was really sick and boom two days later she's back and back to normal WHAT!!!??? The other night I got up to go to the bathroom and cam e back to a locked door. I knock and nothing I knock again and nothing so I just got an extra blanket and slept on the couch in the main area. I'm awakened 5 hours later by a security guard who says "sister, why are you sleeping on the couch,"
 "well I got locked out of my room"
"have you been crying?"
"no, I've been sleeping"
"would you like back in your room, sister"
"yes I would"
Then no questions asked lets me into my room i could have been a murderer!! Disguised as a sister who got locked out of her room! no, but really she was so concerned and just took care of me it was really cool. I really felt at that moment I was living in a perfect world where everyone trusts everyone and even for meal times you swipe your card for statistical reasons but you don't get charged same with laundry. It is quite odd and quite wonderful!
So the language is a little better and yet my lessons are terrible! So we met with our investigator Jen a couple more times. My companion was in quarantine and so i taught with two other sisters and he was wondering about the atonement and why it was necessary so this is how it went down...
me: "so, I break your book. I say I am sorry and you say it's okay. But it's not okay"
Jen "no it's not okay"
me: "yeah so i get you a new book and now it's okay"
Jen; "uh yeah okay"
me: "Jesus Christ paid for that book so we can just say I'm sorry and it's good"
(now he's looking at me weird so I bring up the scripture saying no unclean thing can get to heaven)
me: "the atonement makes it so we can go to heaven. not clean no heaven"
(then Jen starts laughing (probs at my dutch or the fact that I was talking about the savior give us new books idk) so i start bawling i mean BAWLING, sobbing uncontrollably) then my dear sisters try to dig us out of this hole aabout books i've gotten us into while I try to stop crying. ugh it was annoying and now everyone who sees me says "niet rein nee hemel!" and then fake cries  yep that is right.
Next story...
Doing a door approach:
an elder from the other district: "hello i'm elder so-in-so and this is my companion elder so-in-so and we are his children." then he just busts out laughing and leaves because in dutch "we are missionaries is "wij zijn zendelingen" and "we are His children" (referring to Heavenly Father) is "wij zijn zijn kinderen" it was hilarious!!!!!!
Next story...
doing a door approach:
(person opens the door)
me in dutch: Hi! i mean Hallo. Hoe heet u?
english translation: Hi! I mean hello. Who are you?

that door approach was a terrible beginning but we have a meeting tomorrow with him so he must be really nice or it wasn't that bad idk.
Next story...

Yesterday or teacher Brother Mohrmon (yep that's right) was telling us about his life in dutch and he said this long thing and one of the sisters yells, "ik ook" or "me too" and he's says, "oh really, you're the only boy?" but in her defense it really did sound like he said he was the youngest.
So the best thing happened this week. relief society was given by Sister Janice Kapp Perry who has written songs like "we'll bring the world his truth," "i love to see the temple," "a child's prayer," "love is spoken here," "as sisters in zion" and many more! She came and spoke to us it was amazing and then she says she wrote new words to "as sisters in zion" called "the sisters of zion" and we were the first people to sing it ever! I wish I could remember all the words but basically it was the best song ever and everyone was bawling! It said stuff like "we're fighting alongside Helaman's army" and "we're going out in numbers far greater than before" ahhhhh look out for it and know I sang it or rather cried it first!
So it was mother's day and I didn't get to call but I was thinking a lot about mothers and along with the lyric in the new "the sisters of zion" song i had an epiphany! All of the missionaries going out right now are like Helaman's army and so we have the mother's of Helaman's army. Without the Mother's and what knowledge faith they had Helaman's army would not have succeeded. I know that I have a Helaman's army mom who has raised my for this moment right now and I hope you know mom that you are exactly that! Read about them and know you are one of them!!! Thank you so much for all that you have done and all that you do!
So the pictures I am sending are quite ridiculous because none of us realized we had the netherlands flag upside down and so it looks like we are Belgium and Russia! Well, yeah! We are idiots. But alas.
I basically love love love it here! It is truly the best I just can't get enough. The days are not long enough!! I love everything. It is weird because we had one teacher and then Jen our investigator became our next teacher and yesterday we had a sub. Through working with different people in the language i have realized i really don't know dutch I just get used to the person and rely on their facial expressions and gestures. I thought I was really getting it but then the sub came in and I sat there not knowing a word he said. I know that I will learn tons here and then got over there and not know anything I just know it. Especially when they speak at normal speed i'm like heyo none of that!
It is amazing the spirit is so strong and i am learning so so much! The church is true ya'll! the gospel has been restored and we have the chance to be a part of it! Dang i love this work!! i will write again next week with more delightfully embarrassing stories! Yayy! 
Ik houd van u!!!!

Zuster Elting
p.s. Ik houd van u (i love you) it's direct translation is I hold you close bahhh so cute!! so ik houd van u!!
that's my collega Zuster Andersen she is all better now