Thursday, January 7, 2010

December 21, 2009: I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...Oh wait, I'll have one!!!

Merry Christmas from Zwolle!!! I hope that you are all so excited for Christmas! I sure am! It will be so wonderful to talk to you. I am pretty sure that that will be the greatest Christmas present of my whole life to be able to hear your voices. I received your e-mail, Mom, and I think that it would work best if you called when it was 7:00 pm in the Netherlands, so I think that would be 11:00 am in Utah. We will be going with Tineke and her children to Groningen Christmas morning for a church service there and breakfast. We will then be back in time to go to dinner at Familie Spijkerman's at 4:30 and we are planning on staying there until 6:30. They live really close to the church so we will just go there right after and then I will get to hear from you!!!! If the family is there I would love to take a few minutes and say hi to everyone but I want to talk actually have a good conversation with you, not just short "hellos". I hope that that makes sense! Ohhh...I am getting butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it! Thank you so much for the Christmas e-mails, Mom, Dad, Brooke, Kelly, Marianne, and Jordan! I am so excited to read them! Dad, I received your package last Tuesday. Thank you so much! What an amazing present!!! It has been so much fun to open a new letter every day during my personal study and read the scriptures and your words of love and advice. The Christmas tree and those letters are the two greatest gifts ever! I have decided that instead of using the letters for the 12 days of Christmas, I am going to use them as the 12 months in the Netherlands. I am going to focus on one a month for the coming year! IT will be so amazing! Thank you!!! We have gotten so much snow in Zwolle! We even had a snow day yesterday...NO CHURCH! We were all ready to go to church and I was so excited to go (I love going to church here!) and then we got a call at about 8:30 from the RS president telling us that it was cancelled due to the bad weather. We looked outside and it was a total blizzard! We spent most of the day inside, making cookies, writing Christmas cards, making phone calls, and putting together Christmas presents for investigators. By 3:00 we were going stir crazy so we got bundeled up and headed outside to do some finding. It was still snowing pretty hard but it was so much fun to be out in the weather. We took the bus at 5:00 to Familie Spijkerman's for dinner and made it back by 9:00. This morning we took our bikes out and it is definitely tricky to ride in the snow but it makes for a lot of laughs! And it was just what I was dreaming for...a white Christmas! We had lots of appointments this week! We met with Kevin twice and he is still so excited to be baptized! We gave him a Book of Mormon on Tuesday night and he had already read to 1 Nephi 8 by Friday afternoon. He has a lot of questions but you can see that he is such a light in his eyes as he continues to read and learn more. We also taught Mike this week and that appointment went really well too! He hasn't come to church yet because he has a hard time getting up early but hopefully he will come to the ward Christmas party tonight! We should have quite a few new investigators there because a lot of the members are bringing non-member friends. It will definitely be a great missionary tool! On Saturday we went to another church's Christmas service and I felt a lot like Carli did when she attended those other church services for her school project. I have realized that my face is very honest and you could definitely see on my face that I was a little scared with the prayers and the dancing and the singing...I am so thankful to be a member of our church! We had a lot of success, though, talking to people and hopefully we have some of them coming tonight too! Well, I love you so much! It is not so hard to close this e-mail knowing that I will be talking to you in 4 days! I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he is our Savior and Redeemer! I pray that you will all have a wonderful Christmas...I'll be thinking of you!Love,Zuster Sharp

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