Zuster Young

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

Monday, April 25, 2016

I Bid Thee Farewell

Transfer Verdict: Elders te Zoetermeer are getting emergency closed (temporarily) and Sister Bybee will be taking over Zoetermeer with her new companion Sister Maughan. I am so very excited for her and know they are going to see so much success! And then me... I got a one way ticket from Sweet Lake City to Salt Lake City.... Funny Moments: Friday we had our usual appointment at Wouter's farm. Busy all morning feeding the cows, shoveling and throwing hay and scooping poop. It has become the highlight of my week. You are on the bike path and the moment you turn the corner and pull into the driveway you just can smell the cows... hear their mooing... You put on those wet and cold boots and grab a wheelbarrow. Also my farmer skills have improved a ton! I can now pick up and throw more hay in one go than I did at the beginning of the transfer! Okay anywho, on Friday I had just filled a load of hay and was waiting for Sister Bybee to come back. I was playing with the hay, this type was more wet..so essentially wet grass. Next thing I know I look down and there is blood!! I sliced open my thumb... oh it was a good cut. Nice and deep! Wouter just laughed at me. Now it gets better... The weather has finally gotten nicer. So the cows are allowed to be let loose and go out in the open field. Wouter let us help in letting them loose. These cows were going nuts they were so excited!! As I was undoing the chain of one cow, the cow next to him was laying on the ground and started to get all excited that he was next. She was struggling to get up and then finally with all her force and might sprung up. Yet as she did that she rammed right into my left knee! I about fell over and my whole leg got jerked... it hurt. I have got a nice bruise and was doing my best to not limp.. haha Cows are pretty strong and have really hard heads, in case you were wondering. Saturday Noortje from Lelystad came to Zoetermeer and took us to lunch. She took us home and when we got out of the car there was a huge brownish black smudge on the seat! "Zr. Young, you sat on chocolate!! What did you do Zr. Young?" haha so I sat on chocolate, it melted and now it looked like I pooped myself...all over the seat and my skirt. Lekker lekker... Now just a warning... I will be coming down the escalator in SLC looking like a cow... This last week we have just been enjoying all the good things. Sorry mom I have not been making sure to eat 5 different colors everyday, nor eating very many vegetables. This week we have been eating so many pastries... so many pastries! They are sooo good and soo cheap!! I mean how can you resist them? Especially when you can smell them from outside! Ah that warm buttery smell... You walk in and they are just now pulling them out of the oven. Sorry I 'Murica, I love you and all but you just don't have what I am looking for in a pastry. This is a No Judgement Zone... I am just enjoying the finger lickin' goodness! Now as many of you know I have the voice of an angel. I am like SNow White and when I sing the birds and animals join in. Such a talent... SIKE! Yet the Zoetermeer Missionary Team seems to think that I got talent or something. So in a weeks time they put together a whole Music Fireside for the last Sunday of the transfer. It was more nerve racking than a soccer game! They made it so legit... microphones and a sound table... oh my goodness.. Put that microphone in front of me, not way Jose! Why do they just assume that all missionaries are musically talented? My talents are sports and eating... Memory Lane: I know I mentioned this last week but I am going to say it again. It has honestly just been words that I am going home. Did not seem like it would really happen. I mean time has gone by past but those of you who have served a mission understand. There definitely have been moments where it has been really slow and I thought it would never end. So for it to actually be the end... ya whatever. This week I have felt so numb, and no emotions. No tears... I know no tears from me? But I mean that. People, members, my companion even President Bunnell all talked and joked about the days counting down. I was even asked to speak in Sacrament being it was my last Dutch Sunday as a missionary. I didn't even cry then!! Felt so... odd. I simply can not describe it or put it into words. Anywho Saturday and Sunday were filled with perfect moments and walks down memory lane of the last 18 months. Saturday was there a stake activity and that is where we were to meet Noortje to take us to lunch. We walked into the church and the first person I saw was Sister Prins (Lelystad) and was engulfed in a huge hug. She then led me to see Mirelle. Now Mirelle is a dear friend of Sister Prins, has been coming to the church for years but taking her time to come to know for herself. This woman is so sweet. Her daughters have been going to Young Women. She cut my hair before I left Lelystad. She too gave me such a warm big hug and a kiss on the cheek. We talked for a few minutes and then she told me that the sisters are now visiting her weekly and she is officially taking the lessons. She feels ready and thanked me for that. My heart just melted... I did not do anything! I simply did my best to be her friend, show her I cared and loved her. Always said hello and asked how she was doing. I bore my testimony at church when I had the opportunity. No idea what I did for her, but I was absolutely touched and flattered. I then turned and saw Cobie (also Lelystad) and another big ole hug! I love that woman, she has helped me so much. Went to lunch with Noortje and it was just what Bybee and I both needed. That evening we were picked up by Family Teske to go their home for dinner. Now they have switched wards, I first met them last summer in Gouda. As I sat in the car and watched South Holland fly by, I saw little towns that we worked in last summer. Saw Gouda in the distance. A rush of flashbacks came into my head, the feeling of heat, sticky and sweat. The buzz of the mosquitoes in the air. Dinner was yummy. The Teske's then showed the Jan Yes clip from Belgium... oh the sweet and beautiful Flemish. Was so clear and I could understand every word. The camera swept through Antwerpen Centraal, overview of Belgium, and missionaries flooding the streets. How I love Belgium. Many cold days. Trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. Sunday was the longest day of my mission! Everyone just wishing me success and asking what my plans are. Exchanging information so that we can keep in touch. Bearing testimony and saying prayers because it is the "last time". Yet I think this was the first day and I really felt how natural it is to speak Dutch. Now I still have an American accent and make mistakes but when I spoke in Sacrament it just flowed out of my mouth. It felt so natural. In the Wassenaar ward they asked me to say the closing prayer in Relief Society. It was SO HARD! My thoughts were all in Dutch and I had to speak so slow. Bybee caught on and was giggling in the back. Going on with this memory lane, Sister Vasher from Gouda was at church! It was a total surprise! Her family moved from Washington D.C. to Gouda last summer. Many many summer nights were spent in their home eating ice cream. It was so sweet seeing her and catching up for a moment. Last night Bishop Nijenhuis pulled us (all four of the Zoetermeer missionaries) into his office. He first turned to the Elders and thanked them for all the work they have done. The work they did for the ward, etc etc. From the moment he started speaking the spirit flooded the room. After speaking with the Elders he turned to me... His eyes slightly red and holding back tears looking deep into mine. Pierced me to the core. He then thanked me for serving in Zoetermeer. He then was thankful that Heavenly Father sent me here, and even if only for 7 weeks he knew I was needed there. He knew that I have fulfilled an honorable mission. Bishop Nijenhuis got the waterworks out of me. I have no idea what I have done here but these have been the most memorable and rewarding 7 weeks of my entire life. He gave me some very valuable advice for going home. It was so comforting to hear from him and realizing that even in my last weeks I was where I was needed and the Lord knows us all. Now to summarize this up... man I can talk a lot, that hasn't changed! I have no idea what role I have played in these people's lives. All I know is that I have given everything over to the Lord. I could not do this on my own, I could not help and love others on my own. I had to literally give my whole being and desires to the Lord. And in turn He made me something more, more than I could ever have imagined. I am still trying to see that myself but I know that it has been through Him anything was accomplished. This weekend down memory lane was the Lord sending reminders that from day one I have been where he has needed me. From day one I did everything I could to do His will. From day one I have been a success. From day one I made some sort of impact. I am incredibly honored to have served these last 18 months in the most sacred and beautiful land of the Belgium/Netherlands Mission. These countries, these people, their stories, their conversion, has become a part of me. I know this is the Lord's divine work. He is at the helm and so beautifully works the kinks out to help each and every one of us. He called me, a weak and lowly girl. Ready to leave everything behind and go & do what He wanted me. "3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; 4 For behold the field is white already to harvest;" (D&C 4) Here I am. From day one he has qualified me to do His work. Though weak and small, yet was I lowly of heart and meek in spirit. He has turned my weaknesses into strengths. I have accomplished the things He sent me here to do. He has accepted my offering and sacrifice of the last 18 months. I would do this all over again. I love my Father in Heaven and my Savior. I know they live and walk with us each and everyday. I pray that we may all feel His hands reached out towards us and be embraced in his loving arms of acceptance. This is my testimony and pray, I bid thee farewell, in the name of Jesus Christ, even our brother, Amen. -- Zuster Young

(Zuster Young included this song in her final email. Please take a moment and listen.)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Temples, Tulips and Trunkiness

"We have missionaries too...but ya know what? They mostly always all come from Utah!! But I know that place is very catholic so they send everyone!" - 9yr old from Canada A family from Canada was here visiting, the father served his mission here 20 years ago. And i had the privilege of translating sacrament meeting for them. This young man was cracking me up! Well by the subject of this email you can tell it has been a good week. Now in all honesty this week was what we like to call a "Freaky Week". Way too many things did not go as planned and the time just flew by! To start the week we had Temple Conference... it was definitely the highlight of my week. Ya know I have been going pretty strong this transfer... Just feeling so strong and just kept going and working really hard. It was all talk that I was going home at the end of this 7 weeks. We got to the temple and it was magnificent... we could not have asked for a more beautiful day. Walk inside and just hit with an indescribable sense of peace. By the end of our time in the temple, my face was hurting from smiling so much. There were only 6 sisters in our group and I was the last one, all the sisters had gone forward. Sister Van Der Putt welcomed me forward and we were alone for a moment. She began speaking to me, in Dutch, and the spirit swept me off my feet and the water works began. It hit me that this is it... I am going home. I am going to miss this place... this language! The temple was a very sweet experience and I felt so strongly that the Lord and Heavenly Father are so proud of me. They accept my mission. As I sat in the Celestial room, sitting in the corner of the room praying, I felt arms around me and heard a gentle voice telling me: "You are a success. You have done all that I have sent you here to do. Well done my daughter..." We got to go to Keukenhof... breathtakingly beautiful! Love the flowers and windmills... Nederland. I love it here. This place has become such a sacred land for me. I would never trade these 18 months for anything, or anywhere else. Now for the trunkiness... It has hit me that I am going home.. so trying to finish strong and a victor. Everything has clicked that I am going home.. everything! My body is slowing down; my brain and attention is decreasing; my patience is gone quickly; my boots are degrading 10x as fast! It is just time to go home... but then the thought of going home is crazy and nerve racking. but I am excited to see you all! Okay leaving it at that! Enjoy the picture overload!! -- Zuster Young

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Random Email with Pictures

Earlier this week, we received an email from Sister Bunnell, the Mission President's wife. She sent some recent photos of Morgan. Loved seeing her smile!