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

Week 1 in the MTC
Letters Home

Dierbare Familie en Frienden,
"There is no comfort in a growing zone. There is no growing in a comfort zone."
I hope you haven't forgot about me yet I haven't forgot about you! So listen up! It is sooooooooo hard here dang guurrrlll! Seriously! Day one no one would speak to us in Engels it was all Nederlands. It was awesome because my studying before coming really helped! I love it here the Spirit of the Lord is here in abundance! Seriously I do more cardio sitting in my classes that I ever get from exercise. the Spirit keep s my chest burning and my heart racing! Het evangelie van Jezus Christus waar is!!!!!!!!
So we taught our first lesson on Friday (like two days after arrival) allllllllll in Dutch like the guy (I know he's an actor but still) would look at us crazy if we used an English word. It was so hard and so hilariously ridiculous! I would just say words and ask him if they were good. This is kind of how my lesson went: church? good yeah? god? good yeah? It's crazy because I am really starting to recognize that the language is only a barrier when I rely on my own knowledge. the first lesson I understood everything he said, the next lesson I knew better how to reply and make sentences (kind of) but I couldn't understand at all. When I have the Spirit and recognize I am nothing then the Spirit will let me read his expressions and gestures along with words to pick out understanding.
So you knew it was coming...my first mistake in Dutch. We were teaching our investigator Jen about the Book of Mormon. He asked who wrote it and I told him ancient prophets and then he asked when and I said "sez honderd v C" which is what it says in the Book of Mormon the vC standing for voor Christus but I said "vay say" and he looked at me crazy then I said it again and he says, "bathroom?" because in the the Netherlands the w is pronounced like the v and the v like the f and the f with serious exaggeration (do you follow?) so anyway in the Netherlands the bathroom is called the W.C. or the water closet. So I told him the Book of Mormon was written in 600 bathroom.
Next Jen wants hapiness in his life and so we told him that we find happiness through Jesus Christ and that he can too. And he says but Jesus is dead and my companion or collega says "een beetje" which means "a little bit" so this poor guy...Also he doesn't think I'm funny. What is that about? Seriously I will laugh and joke with him and he just stares at me, even when I said 600 bathroom he didn't even crack a smile. That was until yesterday, we had challenged him to read the first chapter in the BoM and he did! So we told him to read on and read chapter 2 by Wednesday to which he tells us he might read more and I got so excited but I couldn't think of the words so I just yelled "JA, LEZEN LEZEN LEZEN!" Which is directly translated to "YES, TO READ TO READ TO READ!" yeah congugating is not my strong point...not yet.
I have sooooooo much fun here! It is wonderful and the cookies are great if anyone cares to know I eat at least 3 a day.
My companion is sick with the flu so that has been a bit of a downer but I have been able to get some good study time while she rests. But now she's on serious lock down because of the contagiousness. everyone is so worried about me getting it but clearly they do not know me and my perfect immune system. I'm good!
Well children I am absolutely loving it. It is soooo hard but everytime I get nervous about doing something I make myself volunteer first. Our teacher Brother Robinson challenged us to do things just because they're hard which is something my whole life I've been avoiding doing so alas. I really am starting to recognize the power of the Holy Ghost and how limitless it really is. The only limits he has are the limits I put on him. Learning the language of the Spirit is almost harder than Dutch other than the fact that when I can't understand the language of the Spirit I suddenly can't speak Dutch either so...Yeah. I love this so much I love life and I love this opportunity.
I have learned so much and I have taken Uncle Mike's advice to split the paper in half when taking notes. I call the left side my "large plates" where I record all the events of the meeting, those things that were said and the scriptures used and whatnot. Then the right side are my "small plates" this is where I record thoughts and impressions and you know what? the Holy Ghost assigns A LOT of homework!! It is amazing though I will be sitting in a devotional about forgiving people and BAM i know I need to teach Jen about prayer. It is straight cray cray I love it!!
So fun fact about my zone it is 70% Zusters! Insane! in our district there are only 2. They really hold us together and I have really been shown the power of the priesthood through these valiant 18 year olds it is amazing. The Priesthood is truly the power of God and without it our district would never survive. We need the priesthood in all aspects of our lives I can't imagine those that have no idea it exists. Also, the Netherlands is pretty cool with anyone going there however Belgium (pronounced Bell khee uh) is a little picky so today we had "magic Tuesday" which, all I'm going to say, is intrusive. You gotta do what you gotta do. 
Well, my dears I will have more delightful news next week I am sure. It is so so hard and I am so so tired  but I am so happy! I hope you all will do hard things too! Even if it is just because it is hard. I know you will grow I know it is worth it. Come unto Chirst and feel of His goodness and be healed. Draw near unto Christ and He will draw near unto you I promise! I love this work and I love Nederlands! I'm in love i'm in love and I don't care who knows it! In my borken Nederlands I pray for you every day! I hope you know I am well and I can feel your prayers. Dankuwel! I love you all so much!
Zuster Elting
p.s. before bed we tell each other "slaap lekker" (not sure that is how it's spelled but it's pronounced sh lopp lekker) which directly means "delicious sleep" or "sleep tasty" but lekker is just an adjective used all the times so basically it's sleep well but is SO much cooler so slaap lekker everyone!