Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Sinter Klaas on December 5!!!

Monday, Nov. 29, 2010
Hey Family! How was your Thanksgiving?! I have been thinking about you and how thankful I am for you all week! I had a FABULOUS Thanksgiving! I started the day out bright and early (3:50 to be exact) by putting the pumpkin in the oven. Yeah, I had another one of my crazy ideas! I decided on Wednesday night that I just couldn't go another Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie! The only problem is that in the Netherlands you cannot buy pumpkin in a can. We have a pretty great "Better Homes and Gardens" recipe book in our apartment and it tells how to use a real pumpkin for making pies and different pumpkin desserts. So Wednesday night I got started by cleaning the pumpkin out and cutting it into bakeable pieces and then I finished it off onThursday morning. We went over to the church at 9 on Thursday and we took our pumpkin pie and other Thanksgiving treats with. We went there to help the Primary presidency clean up and pack up all of their materials in preparation for the church renovation. After a few hours of working, we surprised the presidency with fresh pumpkin pie and whipped cream, along with a vegetable and cracker platter with ranch dip. We had a fun little pre-Thanksgiving feast for lunch! Afterwards we did some finding and had a few appointments before going to Familie Koot's for the real feast. They had everything you could imagine! The whole table was filled and their home was filled with warmth and love. Along with us and the Elders being there, another young couple and little girl from the ward came and another young couple who are not members plus Br. and Sis. Koot and their 4 little kids. I think that it was the closest I could get to really feeling at home for the holiday and it was wonderful! We were stuffed by the time we left there to go to institute at the church and then we had to stop by one more member on the way home because she had made us something special for Thanksgiving. We were treated like royalty! I haven't wanted to eat for the past couple of days because I have been so stuffed! But I will never forget the wonderful memories of this last Thanksgiving of my mission!
This week was a week of member work! We spent a lot of our time serving and helping those in need in the ward and it has really helped me to feel the spirit of this Christmas season! On Saturday we went to Jolanda and Jeroen's house because Jeroen (a non member) wanted to teach us how to make Speculaas and Kruidennoten, two of the most famous treats baked for Sinter Klaas. It was so great to be able to learn from him! He is not investigating yet but I feel like every time we see him he gets closer and closer to Christ. After we baked many cookies we packaged them up to give to investigators this week. It will be fun to share something with them for this holiday season! And as we were headed from Jolanda's and Jeroen's we even found a surprise stuffed in our shoes from "Sinter Klaas"! The members make sure that we are taken care of!
We taught Iteke this week and she had read the pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation and she began with the Book of Mormon. She really is worried about changing her beliefs but she feels the spirit as she reads and I know that God is aware of her and will help her. We didn't have any appointments with Cevesta this week which is just too bad! He was just really busy. Suleyka is doing awesome! We had a few appointments, she came to institute and dinner with a member, she came to church, and she fasted with us yesterday to know if she should be baptized on December 18! She is really progressing! She'll be coming with us to a couple more members this week so it will be really good! Rose and her two grandchildren came to church yesterday too! We hope to teach them tonight!
Thank you so much for your love and support! I love this season that we have to celebrate the birth of Christ. Even though we will be far apart for the holidays, my thoughts and prayers are always with you! I can feel your warmth and love all of the way over here in the Netherlands! I love you!

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