Zuster Young

Zuster Young
Zuster is Dutch for "sister", which is a title used for female missionaries.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Miracles and Mylie's Jinx

Prettige Kerstmis Iederen!! I hope that you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. This last week was incredible and saw many small miracles. We have one investigator and her name is Agnes. She is a single mom of one son and they are from Africa. Oh my, she is progressing beautifully and it is amazing to teach her, testify to her, hear her testimony and see her repenting and coming closer to Christ. She has a baptismal date set for 18th Janurai and she is so excited!! Christmas in Belgium... so beautiful here. Sister Jones and I got to tour the Centraal and went to the Antwerpen Catherdal. It always smells like waffles in the Centrum and with all the Christmas lights and music playing its incredible. Christmas Eve we spent it with Shilpa and her son Shlok who are from India. She made the best Indian food! Sister Jones and I also made christmas card to give to random people on the street and as we passed those out, seeing the smile on their face was the best feeling. Christmas Day was spent with all 6 Antwerpen missionaries with Nadia, and then that night with the Schiltz. They took very good care of us and fed us so much food. So here they have 2nd Christmas on the 26th. The zone got together and handed out clothing that we have been collecting to the homeless in the Centrum. We also ran into a woman, whose daughter served in this mission. Oh it was the funniest thing, she got so excited and bought us all Fanta sodas! So my little sister Mylie, you jinxed us! You asked if it had snowed here and I said no. Well Zaterdag moergen, we woke up to SNOW!! And it snowed like nobody's business ALL DAY! That day we went out to Duffel because we had an appointment. It takes 45 minutes to get out, got off the bus, walked through the town, over a bridge, through the other end of town and finally got to her neighborhood. All in the down pour of snow. We ring her doorbell and there is no answer. She is not home. So we decide to do some door knocking. Rejection after rejection my feet are frozen and I am hungry. But I tell myself keep going, just a few more houses. Rang a doorbell and a gentleman answers and I introduce who we are. He says he is Christian, we talk for a few minutes back and forth and then he brings his wife to the door. We continue talking at the door, and I gave away my first Boek van Mormon!!! He was interested and took it without hesitation. We got his information and will be going back. It was an awesome moment!!! Along with the snow we picked up our bikes once we got back to Merksem and rode them to Dirk & Cristel's house. Biking in the snow is quite the adventure. It gets in your eyes so you barely have your eyes open... and by the time we got to thier house I was so wet, freezing and couldn't feel my hands. Cristel took me inside put me by the fire, wiped me off and warmed me up. Before we left, gave me the best hat ever and new thicker gloves! (Today I am going to buy a new and thicker coat! haha) Oh man it was so rough. But now I am prepared and we rode home and that was so much fun. It was crazy but we were enjoying ourselves. So Thank you Mylie for wishing the snow upon us. I hope you all had a merry and wonderful Christmas. This Christmas was very special and I grew closer to my savior Jesus Christ, as I tried to find ways to serve others. Have a fantastic new Year! Love, Zuster Young

Thursday, December 25, 2014

First Christmas in Belgium and she made it to the 2 month mark!

Last night on Christmas Eve, we received a text with a recording attachment. It ended up being a recording of Zuster Young and her companion singing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful". This morning we received a second email with pictures of how Zuster Young has spent Christmas Eve. What a sweet gift to hear her voice and see pictures of her.

We had the opportunity to Skype with Zuster Young this morning. Even though this was the first Christmas not having everyone all together, it made it very special to be "together" for a few precious moments on Christmas morning. We were told she would be Skyping in at 8a.m. yet we anxiously waited until 8:30a.m. when she finally called in. She explained that they were at a members house and had to wait until the Elders left.

She looks fantastic, healthy and happy. She is already full of excitement and love for the people and area she is in. She is loving all the food! She said she has not eaten "so much bread in all [her] life". She shared some funny stories, details about her daily schedule and made us all smile and laugh trying to describe people and experiences. It was heartwarming to hear how the members are watching out for them. A little scary to hear about how the Spirit is leading her and her companion away from danger and harm. So thankful for the angels that are watching over her. The most special moment was at the end, when we as a family knelt and she gave a prayer in Dutch. The Spirit was so very strong in that moment, testimonies were strengthened and love of family across the miles was felt.

Merry Christmas from our family!

Christmas morning Skype session with Zuster Young. She looks so very happy!

Zuster Young and Zuster Jones from Lindon, Utah. 

Christmas Eve dinner appointment was with an Indian family. These sweet zusters had a delicious "Indian feast", which Zuster Young said the naan  (seasoned flat bread) was her favorite part and she could have eaten that all night. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bikes & Waffles

Week 2!!! It feels like I have been out here forever but really only been two weeks! Well, we had a great week and a lot of hard work. I wish I could tell you everything but I just want to share some of my favorite experiences from this last week. 1st: Shout out to my parents who always go out of their way to take care of the missionaries and always have them over for dinner! Being a missionary and out here I appreciate it a whole lot more and on a new level. We had a dinner appointment with Dirk and Cristel Tuesday night and they live in Merksem and in rundown apartment. When we arrived she was so happy and explained that she was in the kitchen all day preparing and then showed us the most beautiful china I have ever seen. She told us that she only uses it when she feeds the missionaries. Then went on to say that since she has no family (her sons have just abandoned them) that we are her family so it is a big deal. Man I got all teary eyed as she was just so happy and talking to us. The spirit was so strong that night and I felt so loved and honored to be a missionary. Also, she fed us SO much food. Mom don't worry about me not eating! Seriously though, we had 4 dinner appointments this last week and it was like a Thanksgiving feast! They make such great food and am so full!!!! 2nd: Dinner appointment with Cetin and his family. Cetin and his family are from Turkey and are Muslim. We found Cetin on the street and gave him a Book of Mormon and he invited us to his house for dinner to talk more about it. TURKISH FEAST! His wife made an amazing and delicious dinner. They are so polite and respectful that they kept putting more food on our plates. Cetin's sister and her kids were there. During dinner the kids were all over the place, just crazy. We talked to Cetin and his sister for 2 hours about the gospel, our lives and families. Finally we started to share our message of the restoration. Slowly all of the kids were sitting around the table quiet and listening. We both bore our testimonies and it was powerful. Although we could tell that we wouldn't be progressing with them, I felt like I fulfilled part of my purpose... we brought them closer to Christ. 3rd: Finally got my own bike on Thursday! But we spent 3 hours walking around looking for a bike shop. It was the worst, with as much as people bike and we see so many bikes we didn't believe how hard it was to find! But finally got my own! But riding my bike in the city is so scary. Sister Jones justs weaves in and out of people and cars! But I'm getting the hang of it! 4th: The trams and buses here are crazy. Just think of Harry Potter and the Prisoner from Azkaban, (the 3rd one) and that crazy bus that picks Harry up. Yeah, it is exactly like that here...totally nuts. Can't believe that is is Christmas time. But I'm so excited and we have some great things planned. Mostly dinner appointments,... so more eating but it is gonna be great! I love being a missionary and having people look at us and look at our name tags is the best! It starts a conversation. Life of a missioanry is pretty awesome! OH! I had my first Belgian Waffle this week and it was the most delicious and heavenly thing I have ever eaten. Nothing can ever compare to it... I hope y'all have a great Christmas and remember the reason for the season! I love you all! Zuster Young

Monday, December 15, 2014


Goede dag! I am officially in Europe and have been assigned to the Antwerp, Belgium area. My new companion and trainer is Sister Jones from Lindon, Utah. She has been out for about a year now. She is incredible and helping me so much. She is the Zone Sister-Training leader so we have been working with the Zone Leaders (who also live in Antwerp) a lot since being here. Alright well I'll get right into it... Our apartment is in Durne, a small subtown of Antwerp and it is right above a pizzeria. It is actually the same apartment one of my MTC teachers, Sister Juchua lived at one point. She was incredible!! We ride the trams and buses all the time. I will be getting a bike on Thursday and once I do we will bike more. There are all sorts of strikes going on here in Belgium so things have been closing for the day. Had my first lesson the first night I was here with a progressing investigator (the elders were with us) named Tom. We are handing him off the the Elders because that will be better for him. But he asked me to say the opening prayer and it wasn't too bad. That was the most talking I did for the whole lesson. SO since I'm in Belgium, the language is Flemish, a dialect of Dutch. So Tom was speaking and he was throwing French words out there and I was just so lost. So I will be learning Flemish while working on my Dutch. Oh boy... pray for the gift of tongues! Saturday night we had our first dinner appointment with a member. Arman and his family. The Netherlands and Belgium is the TRUE melting pot of the world. There are people and cultures from every country!! Arman and his family is from Africa, his wife only speaks french and he speaks English, Dutch, and French. He served with the Holland Army in Afghanistan and talked so much about that. So our dinner was an African feast and boy was it lekker!! That night was a sweet experience in their home with all six Antwerp missionaries. Oh yeah, so there are six of us here in Antwerp because it is so big. Us the sisters, and two sets of Elders. One set is the Zone Leaders. My first Sunday was hectic. The ward is great and so welcoming but I didn't understand much. Relief Society was crazy... and the Dutch are straight tell you how it is kind of people so it was interesting. Sunday School (investigators class) went right over my head. Sacrament however was beautiful! It was the primary program, so I wasnt called on to go up and introduce myself. Maybe next week but if not thats okay. Maar the primary program was beautiful and listening to the kids sing primary songs in dutch brought a little bit of water works. Oh! So Friday I went on my first exchange back up in Den Haag, Netherland. There was a Zone Leaders council so all the ZL's and STL's in the mission had to meet at the mission home. Which is my companion so I had to go up and exchange with Sister Huber who came in with me. So two greenie's with a phone and a map in a new city were told to go to work. Oh boy.. on the bright side there was a scheduled appointment so I borrowed a bike and we biked in the pouring rain for 45 minutes to get to Laura's house. I was soaked and freezing! But the lesson went great!! Then biked the 45 minutes back. Ate lunch and then was out the door again to go contacting. We were in Spui Centraal and in the rain walking around approaching people. We did it all in Dutch and stopped a few people. Handed out some mormon.org cards so it was a somewhat successful night. For two greenies we did pretty good. Just crazy to be here and I still can't believe that this is real life. But I love it! It is freezing but worth it. I hope all is well with everyone. Y'all are in my prayers and thoughts. I know I'm leaving a lot out but I don't have the time to say all of it! I love you! Tot Maandag, Zuster Young
Getting 1st area assignments.
Arriving in the Antwerp Centraal Train Station that night!
First companion and trainer, Sister Jones.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

She has arrived in the field!

Zuster Young departed from SLC Monday morning and arrived in the Netherlands early Tuesday afternoon. We received an email from the Mission President's wife informing us of her arrival. 

Excerpt from Mission President wife's email:

"Dear Parents,
Your missionary has arrived safely and well in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission. We are extremely impressed with their attitude, preparation and diligence. They start work tomorrow, December 10, 2014 in their new area with one of our finest missionaries as trainers... These new missionaries are in for the most unique experience of their life. We are so pleased to have them join us here in the Belgium Netherlands Mission. Thank you for your faith, commitment to the Gospel and sacrifice to send your child to serve the Lord....
Sister Robinson"

For her very first area, Zuster Young has been assigned to the Antwerp, Belgium area with a Sister Jones as her trainer. We cannot wait until Monday to get our first P-day email and hear all about her first impressions. 
Newly arrived missionaries with the Mission President and his wife on the far right. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

And she's off....

Today was full of mixed emotions and the brief opportunity to talk to our Zuster a little before she boarded the plane. Zuster Young had sent an email saying that she would call sometime today while travelling. While at work, anxiously waiting for a call, I received a text with this message:

"Sister Young, your daughter wanted me to send this picture to you. I catch the trax system into West Valley and when I got off the bus from Tooele, look at what a marvelous group of people I ran into!! Merry Christmas! Sister Anne Osborne"
Tender mercies from Sister Osborne

She called when they were waiting to board the plane at the Salt Lake airport. I so wish we could have gone and given her one more hug before she flew out. Hearing her voice on the phone made us both emotional. It took all I had to walk back into the classroom and continue teaching, All I wanted to do was quickly drive to the airport. Zuster Young made it safely to Seattle and then texted saying that they were boarded and ready to depart for Amsterdam. Please keep Zuster Young and the other missionaries in your prayers as they depart on this adventure.
Zuster Young and her companion at the SLC airport. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Final Day in the M.T.C.

We had a surprise e-mail from Zuster Young this afternoon. We got to briefly "chat" with her through emails. She also sent a brief email to family and friends along with tons of pictures.

"Goede avond iederen! Ik hoop day jullie ist hebben een een goede Zondag! Morgen wij wilt zijn reist tot Amsterdam!! We were given permission to e-mail everyone today since we won't have a p-day until the 15th and to e-mail family since we are flying out tomorrow morning. I'm so very excited and cannot wait to be overseas and begin my work in the field. I cannot hide my excitement. I know this church is true and I am on the Lord's errand. Y'all are in my prayers and next time you hear from me I'll be in Netherlands.
Ik hou von jullie!
Zuster Young"

Excerpt from e-mail, "So this was our Sinter Klaus celebration. Dutch Christmas is December 5th and Elder Gross created a costume!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tots Ziens MTC

Week 5 P-day email...

"LAST P-DAY @ THE MTC!! WOOHOO!! Holy smokes y'all the time has come and we will be leaving for the Netherlands in just a couple of days. The time has flown by. This time next week I will be in Amsterdam. I'm so very nervous to be leaving and going to the field. This last week has been the best week here at the MTC. I hope and pray y'all had a great Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving was very different yet wonderful. The Apostle David A. Bednar came and spoke for the devotional. It was truly an amazing experience. The food wasn't very good, but what do you expect when they have to feed so many. That night we got to watch Meet the Mormons, I encourage everyone to watch it. So powerful and a great insight to who we truly are. Plus I got some football in on Thanksgiving so I was pretty happy. I love that the temple is so close. We went for a walk up to the temple and there were members of a local Spanish ward handing out and Thanksgiving scriptures to us missionaries and thanked us for being missionaries, leaving everything and our families behind for this work. It brought me to tears and realized that I am doing the greatest work. And the significance of what I am doing. And I am thankful to be a missionary, a disciple and representative of Jezus Christus.

It is now the Christmas season and how wonderful is that? This is my favorite time of the year. I encourage everyone to go and watch the video here: http://www.mormon.org/christmas

I know that Christ lives and He is the gift. Everything we are and have is because of Him. I have never been so close to my Heavenly Father than I have since being here. He loves each of us individually and He is always there waiting for us to reach up to Him. I love you all and pray all is well. Sorry this is so short, have a ton of things to get done today, and have to start packing. I pray for you all everyday and I know the Lord is mindful of you. I love you! Have a great week. Next time you hear from me I will be in the Netherlands.

Love, Zuster Young"