Zuster Young

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

Monday, February 29, 2016

Mom's Jealous

Alrighty peeps this is going to be nice and short because we have a dinner appointment in 40 minutes! We spent the morning playing soccer with the Elders and got carried away. Gotta love when the neighbor kids come and join in. These little 9 and 10 year kids showing us up! They know we are just silly little Americans who do not know what we are doing apparently! There was a ginger, maybe 10 years old, had the mouth of a sailor and trash talking like no mans business! Oh he made me so made... but what can I do? Nothing. But anywho it was a blast, and every time I get to touch the ball I am on cloud 9. Because there are just so many fields, and they are not that big I mostly play forward.... getting pretty good! :P 

This week was good... it flew by. Spent a ton of time with Charlie. Gotta love that girl. Always a party. She came with to the Branch Youth Fireside at Joyce & Ricks. We met up and worked on Personal Progress.... I miss Young Women's. Charlie is truly progressing and since I met her 8 weeks ago she has grown and changed. The light in her eyes is burning again. Heavenly Father truly has a plan for her and she is so in tune with the spirit.. this week she wrote me a card and it was exactly what I needed. My mission and life has prepared me to come here to Lelystad and be with her. Had a mini photo shoot with ehr!

Went to Valerie's... we were late and her house was crazy with her kids and their friends. She was trying to make dinner. You could just see she was on edge, and I just wanted to help[ her in anyway I could. After what felt like 10 minutes 40 minutes had passed, I looked at my watch and we were already late for our next appointment!! I pulled my Book of Mormon out and find something to share, wince now we did not have time to do our lesson. I flipped through and nothing was coming to mind. Then I stumbled on Ether 4 and well it had more colored markings so I picked that. We read it and it is a mooie chapter but so random. I was trying to think of how to make this relatable to her. But as soon as we were done, with tears in her eyes she looked lighter. She told us that she needed that, it meant a lot to her. Valerie went on to explain how  things have been absolutely nuts (we have not had an appointment with her in a month!!) and even that day a man was over to help her with paperwork. And we came over and brought something good to her, to her home. She felt happier and stronger. She then went on to even talk about coming to church herself with the kids! Which was always something she hesitated with. Thanks for the Spirit and Heavenly Father knowing his children. I am only a messenger. Sometimes time is the answer and they will realize the light when they have been in the dark.
Also she said next time we meet she will have a gift for me... an African Shirt! Oh I am so excited!! 

Okay mom... you are gonna be jealous! Last night we had GYOZA!!! And I made it!! We have a Japanese wife (her family is currently here) in the Branch. Their family is super quiet. I was talking to her about living in Japan and then invited us over. She taught us how to make gyoza last night and some other tofu and meat thing. All SUPER YUMMY!! Their house was very clean and orderly... lots of Tupperware and small little boxes. Just sat and reminisced on the days in Japan. SO now I know how to make them... will make them when I come home!! 

SO this is for my parents... no time so big email: My new glasses come in this week. 
Weather is turning into spring! More light hours in the day! Yay dark is going away! Good luck Maddy with softball tryouts! 

Love you guys... Sorry this was a super lame e,mail! Peace out Girl Scout! Also it is Cookie sales... buy cookies form the cutest scouts.. Madison and Mylie... also donations to the former scout in Nederland are also acceptable!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lessons Learned

I have learned some valuable lessons this week: a) My companions biggest pet peeve is when people burp... yep you read that right. Well she has got the right companion for that..sike! If you know me, you know how proud I am of my burps. I have never been so cautious about burping before in my life. b) Met with the ZHV presidency to talk about the sisters. Well had a very greenie moment with the Dutch language. There is a sister who was in the hospital, and for 9 weeks now I have been spelling her name "Reetje"... well it is actually spelled "Reatje".. big difference. The way I had been spelling it means: "@$$"... Joyce was laughing so hard when she saw that, and she even called her husband Rick down to come look at it. Ah.. so embarrassing. c) When you go rent an OV-fiets (bike) make sure you read ALL the instructions and follow them. Or else you look like a stupid American with a helmet and setting off the emergency alarms. d) When you offer to make dinner for members, they love it!! Make them American food... bonus points! *But remember to be careful and know how to open a can; you may cut your hand and scare your companion by the amount of blood running down your hand. e) It is amazingly disgusting how much snot the body produces. As being a victim of this evil cold, I have been a head full of pressure and snot. mmm...lekker! Just constantly sneezing, eating cough drops, sounding like an 80 year old Dutch woman who has been smoking since she was 13! And it gets better... oh there is nothing better then biking with the rain coming down on your face, fighting against the wind and as you wipe your face, you get a sweet combination of rain and mucus! Gotta love it. When you sneeze and shoot snot rockets... you feel like a champion! f) I have the potential to be a undercover agent. I have no shame in looking in people's windows. So here is the story: Wednesday night we had Stake Leaders come to Lelystad for an outreach night. Christiaan and the stake president ran into a woman named Ursula. We were all confused because we thought it was the former investigator named Ursula. She had asked them for money, she had 3 kids to feed and had no money. They went with her to the store that night and got some food. Joyce (ZHV president) was asked by the Branch President to go buy groceries for a week. We went with Joyce to the store, and then tried to deliver them. Jensen and I had gone to this house the night before to meet her, confirm a time that we could come the next day. We went over around 730pm, here it looks like it is 10 at night. We arrive at the house and it is stone cold and dark. We go through the gate, which creaks. If the gate creaks you know there is a problem! All the movies testify of that! The doorbell doesn't work, so we knock. No answer... it was sketch! We leave. Saturday after shopping we arrive back at the house, with a weeks worth of food. Again no answer. Two houses down a man comes out and we ask him about the house on the end. There is an Ursula who lives there, but he hasn't seen her in a long time. Told us to try the next door neighbor, they know more. We tried the neighbor and also no answer. We were busy writing a note and trying to call. I had called and the voicemail said "You have reached the voicemail box of ________" and there was no name said but someone making weird clicking noises and then hung up. SKETCH! Finally just as we were about to leave the note the neighbor came out. I went up to her and asked about Urusla. Yep there is an Ursula who owns that house, but she lives with her mother. She has things going on, a bit crazy, and when we asked if she had kids, her eyes got all big. Nope no kids. Why give your address out? It was not the Ursula we all thought it was. And we got scammed!! But luckily Joyce and Rick have new groceries! g) I was asked to talk about having a balanced and healthy breakfast. at Zone Conference!... wrong person man!! I eat Cruseli for breakfast or just eat fruit!! h) We have been working with a family, Angelique and Nancy are cousins each having 4 kids. During the week we meet with and teach A & N and then we have been going over and teaching the kids. Yesterday we taught about Prophets... we taught them the primary song. It was funny! It might have been cheesy but the spirit was so strong! And i love that we always end on our knees praying, the kids take turns saying the prayer. Super sweet family. i) Charlie truly is wonderful! Making so much progress. She came to church yesterday!! She partook of the Sacrament for the first time in months! Met with the Branch President and then stayed for all 3 hours! By the end there was a subtle but noticeable glow about her. She seemed and expressed how happy she was. It truly was a blessing to see her like that. I know that there is power in the sacrament. I know that when we take the time to go to church, make the sacrifices we can to take that time with the Lord, we can truly be renewed. Each week is a new start. A new beginning. Meeting Charlie is always the highlight of my day. No matter where we are, we stop and pray. We can talk about anything. And that spot, become a holy place. I hope you all can find the time to pray and communicate with your Father in Heaven. He is waiting to hear form us. I know that he loves each of you. Take the time to find that for yourself. You are never too far from his love and guidance. I encourage you to go to church, come and see for yourself. There you can take the time away from the world. Even if for a small moment. It is a moment that will change your day, your week. I am thankful for the chance I have to be here and serve. To help see others feel that light and come to see the changes that the gospel brings. The happiness it brings. I truly love you all so much. I am so thankful for your love and support. I pray you have a great week! Stay Warm! -- Zuster Young Pday at Lelystad Natuurpark
View from the balcony

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Voor Jezus!

To the good people whom I call my friends, Hello from a cold and wet missionary! I hope that this email finds you in good spirits and warm & dry bodies... be thankful for the cars you have. Gotta love biking all day in the icy cold wannabe snow rain. Now if you want a good work out, one that will get your heart pumping and legs burning, get on a bike. Bike in the icy rain, and against the wind. Now be sure that you go over every bridge possible to get to your destination and not to mention leave exactly at the time that you are supposed to be at the Branch President;s house, who lives on the other side of town. That will give you the motivation to bike as fast as you can. If you get to the house (or whatever your destination) in sweat and out of breath and in half the time it normally takes to bike there, you are now qualified and are successful! Best work out there is on a mission. So obviously that comes from actual events that occurred in Lelystad. These soccer legs are still good for something! haha But that is just a glimpse into the craziness which took place this week. Now if you are missionary or former missionary you will understand. There is not a single day that goes according to plan. There is always something getting switched, canceled, mistakes, missed buses or trains, obstacles, and simply the fact you might have fallen asleep while planning and therefore you did not plan accordingly. If I am the only one, then please by all means what is the trick? If you get a day that goes perfectly the way you planned, you just might be a more valiant missionary. If so, again, whats the secret? This week was a testimony of that... several days, if not everyday this week the day ended, Jensen and I look at each other and ask "Well, another day in Lelystad i guess..." For those of you unfamiliar with this little corner of the world... in the words of it's own inhabitants Cobie: "Lelystad is the psych ward of Nederland!" Joyce: "Lelystad is the poorest city in Nederland. It is official as of December 2015." Me: "ahh... that explains all the hoodrats!" Now this is a very special place, and so that is why i think the Lord sent me here. A special psycho of a missionary in the perfect place.. I see what you did President! So with that, our branch had a Valentines activity. It was a Cake Bake off.... people came with cakes and we enjoyed! Then voted... it was a whole lovey dovey valentines theme. But the cakes were delicious!! Very different than cakes in 'Murica. However, so many of the members came with friends. So that was a huge success! Now we baked a cake too... the plan was to decorate it to look like a Book of Mormon... typical missionaries. Yet, we are poor missionaries, hence serving in the poorest city, and with no cake decorating skills. It was a TOTAL FAIL! So as you will see in the photos below, that was the outcome. No wonder people think the Mormons are crazy. Note to the wise and also other missionaries, future missionaries... sword fighting while biking is not the smartest idea. Now if you try to record it at the same, also not super smart! Just think about that... Okay, now as a missionary I have this duty... I mean opportunity to share spiritual things. The highlight of my week. Now for those of you who may read my weekly emails, have read how hardit has been. I am just a struggle bus of a missionary and person. I do my best! Well for a while it has been hard to just simply feel a moment of peace, that my brain is at rest. On Tuesday morning, I woke up, worked out and started to get ready for the day. It was like a switch and had such a bright hope and motivation for the day. Ready for a full day of work. Started personal study, ready in the Doctrine & Covenants and it was about the book of Revelations in the bible. Asking questions and getting answers about the second coming. Going right over my head... weet ik veel! I finished the section, not really getting anything out of it, but ready to read and study more. But all of a sudden, nothing was coming to my head. Niks... what to study? I was listening to music and it was beautiful instrumental music floating in the air. I was asking Heavenly Father what to study. Give me a direction. Still nothing came... nothing was in my head. Then all of a sudden this voice came and said "Just be still. Do you feel that? I am giving you this time to be at peace." I all of a sudden realized what I was feeling. I realized that I had this feeling as if I was in the temple. There were no distractions, or fleeting, stressful, million thoughts floating. It was me, the Lord and music. So I grabbed my music, a blanket and sat on the porch. Just enjoyed this piece of heaven the Lord was giving me. With that, I just want to encourage you all to find a moment this week to feel at peace. Ask the Lord and most importantly allow him to take your weaknesses, worries, and stresses away. Even if for but a moment. Pray to him, feel him in your presence. I promise he will come as you go to Him. "Be still and know that I am God." I am thankful for a Father in Heaven, who knows me perfectly, and knows when to reach out. To humble me and I am thankful to recognize those moments. i love you all... so thankful for the letters and emails. It means so much! I hope you have a wonderful week! -- Zuster Young
Also cupcake decorating on Valentine's day!
Bowling for Sister Jensen's birthday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On a Train

Ah the good people of whom I call family and friends.. How is it? Needless to say I am a bit tired and thus weird comments come out. I hope you all had a fantastic week, enjoyed the Super Bowl and ate some good american food. Mexican food... Steaks... little things you just didn't quite realize you would miss. Finger foods! Everything is eaten with a fork and knife... Anywho, I can not complain because this place has got some delicious bread, cheese, and pastries! Okay you wanna know about this week... not a ton happened. The work is slowing down a bit here in Lelystad. No worries, every city goes through that cycle. We have had daily contact with Charlie!! It is crazy how much your heart grows for people while on a mission. This girl is so good. We have been working with her to build her testimony again... which she never lost. Charlie truly has a desire to serve a mission, now a lot of work needs to be done in order for that to happen. But if you have desires to serve god, you are called to the work and a way will be provided. We gave her a personal copy of PMG and she loved it! Saturday she came with us to an appointment with another less active. Home girl took over the show! It was so great, asking questions, pulling out the scriptures and leading the discussion. Atta girl!! We also went through the market in the centrum and I tried Kibbling for the first time.. it is some famous fried fish food, popular Nederlands eten. Well so many of my companions have talked about how good it is. We got some so I could try it. The first one was good, but then I could have gone without eating the rest. It gave me a pretty nasty after affect... Just look below! We were on our way home from MLC on Friday. We got on a train in Den Haag, it was very packed. Jensen and I were talking to each other in hard core NederEngles. There were two guys sitting on the opposite side. They over heard us, and asked if we were British. That is usually the guess. But nope... 'Murica! Anywho this led to a discussion with them, Zoer is actually Dutch but was speaking english with the asain he was sitting with. Zoer continued to ask us all sorts of questions. We ended up teaching at least two points from each PMG lesson. For the next hour we talked and answered his questions. You could see other people on the train listening in, twisting and turning their heads, trying to be sly but I saw you! At one moment the Asian got off. We told Zoer we could speak Nederlands... the look on his face, and the others around us. Priceless! We talked in Nederlands the rest of the ride. We exchanged numbers and will refer him to the Elders te Emmen. It was a very positive conversation, and the spirit was strong on that train. Those moments of realizing you stand out from the world. (: I have been getting us lost all over the place... and Lelystad is so tiny!! But I just get so turned around! Also it has been incredibly windy. You have to use all your might to bike, and to stay on your bike! It is nice though, it is spring weather so not really much of a winter this year. Knock on wood. Favorite quote of the week from my District Leader: "The question is... what can't Sister Young do?!" I was also told that I have a Belgian accent! YES!! Okay, I know this is super short... I apologize for that. Just know that I am doing my absolute best out here. I am striving everyday to serve the Lord and Heavenly Fathers children. I hope and pray you all are safe and happy! Tot de volgende week! "It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow that we are today." Joseph Fielding Smith -- Zuster Young This is Charlie...

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mac&Cheese and Cola

Who would have thought that Kraft Mac&Cheese and a Coca-cola would be such a comfort food. We found packets of the Kraft cheese and then made our own lunch and I had saved a soda... oh man, it was a piece of home and heaven! Well, we had a good week. Transfers went smoothly... as smoothly as a transfer day can get. I just love the rush of throwing bikes and suitcases onto a train! Then a huge gathering of missionaries in the middle of the station, people walking by with the strangest looks on their faces. Got to see some good friends go home and see a ton of new missionaries! My new companion, Sister Jensen, is wonderful. She hails from Portland, Oregon. This is her last six weeks in the land. Crazy huh! Two kills in a row. Next it will be me... weird thought. She is incredibly sweet and humble. Very understanding and funny. That quiet funny, you have to listen to catch her witty remarks! Charlie has called me the Batman of Lelystad and Sister Jensen is my Robin. This week we spent a ton of time with Charlie. I don't remember if I have talked about her, she is a less active we are actively working with. We have contact with her everyday! Charlie was baptized last summer, and due to a serious of events she has not been coming to church. She just turned 19... mission age! Two weeks ago she came with us to our District Meeting and watched the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast. She absolutely loved it. We met with her the next day and she told us that she wants to serve a mission!!! We met up several days this week and we have been working with her to clear things up, answer all her questions and going through the lessons. Pretty much doing mission prep and helping her get back to church. Which she came with us yesterday. Ya know, it never really clicked how hard it would be for someone to come back to church. There are so many emotions and factors that play into it. You gotta be sensitive to that, but with the guidance of the spirit you can know what to say and how to help them. Stapjes voor stapjes. I am so proud of her for coming. I love Charlie so much. This girl has become my top priority here in Lelystad. We have been able to click so fast and the spirit has whispered in my ear that she is the reason I am in the Lelystad. Well part of it. Charlie reminds me a lot of my sister Madison, so it is great to see her so much! Charlie calls me her "soul missionary". Kinda funny, but incredible to see how the Lord works, with his timing and he truly has a purpose for each of us. So I would ask you for prayers for Charlie, this girl is incredible. Has a lot of struggles and obstacles, but she will make a wonderful missionary one day. Well my friends, I don't have much more to say. Thank you for all the love and support. I am so thankful to be a missionary and here in Nederland. This is a hard country, but nevertheless the work moves forward. Never give up on the Lord. Continue to trust in him. He knows you. I love y'all and wish you a wonderful week! -- Zuster Young me holding baby Skye...
Sister Jensen and I
Transfer Day...
Then a Mormon family of Nederland... not a huge van or suburban but a ton of bikes!