Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 53 - April Fool's Day, Easter and One-Year-Mark

Easter pictures! We were both wearing yellow and there were daffodils everywhere in Zuidepark and it was Easter and Conference morning, oh how lovely eh? These pics were actually taken after some really cool conversations with people at the door/ on the street (we had 2 extra hours in the late morning)- we were curious how people would react on a holiday and all, but they passed the test, so friendly.
EFY 2016 CD album cover, I can see it already: "Bloom Where You're Planted" or something haha

 Goofing around on the tram: Zusters Bradley, Voss, and Faasavalu! Easter2015, it was a good one.
Why not? / Easter breakfast lol

 3 sets of twins! (; (Eliza is pointing to a pic of her identical twin sister who is currently serving a mission in Kosovo -
 C! I told her I wanted this pic to show my grandkids years from now how I spent #goodfriday2015 in the Netherlands so she agreed to document the occasion.. haha she's so cool.
Sweet of Zr. Faa but WEIRD ah I entered the MTC  a year ago!!

Familie Riley,
Vrolijk pasen! Was your pasen vrolijk? Hope so. (: It was a great Easter/ General Conference weekend in Den Haag (I was on exchanges)- I'm still digesting insights and truths from the talks and can't wait to study them more. Wow, huge overlying prevalence of the divine institution of the family. Truth remains truth regardless of how many people believe in it. 

So, on Saturday, Sister Voss (ah exchanges with her was so fun, she's just a fun person- I could talk [or sing] all day with her) and I went to pick up "the twins" (I know, it's politically incorrect and insensitive to not refer to identical twins by their separate and individual names- but in this case it is more convenient because there are 2 sets)- 9 year old Polish girls who love church and learning about God and were introduced to the Church by a member who babysat them and would answer all their questions (their parents who speak mostly only Polish are very sweet but have had bad experiences with religion in the past so aren't personally interested in coming to church/ learning more), and their Dutch neighbor friends. They had one bike and we both had one, so we caravaned with them riding on the back racks, serenading us with cute little Dutch and Polish songs. The were so cute but crazy- we were bringing them to a cute "High Tea" activity with all the women 8+ followed by the womens broadcast, and we took them outside to play "verstoppertje" (hide-n-seek) to get their wiggles out, and one of them popped out of a trash can after quite a few minutes of desperate searching haha! But it was so cool because we prayed that we could find Dominika, and we did, and the two friends want to learn more about God too, and their sweet mom said that's fine if we come by next week. 

That night, Sister Voss and I were heading home after a session of conference, and it was 20.30u - we could've easily said "yeah you know it's exchanges/ gen conf, let's go home now, it's almost 9 ya know" but Sister Voss said there was a nice Slovak lady she'd met a few weeks ago who lived in the neighborhood so we swung by with a BoM in Slovak and ended up having such a solid, spirit-filled first lesson ("RaD") with Bridgette, who translated for her mother Natasha and father Rudolph (the latter two spoke absolutely no Dutch or English, but were so kind and receptive). It was neat because I'd been talking with some missionaries about helping investigators to understand the inseparable connection between the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ (not necessarily only the connection between the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith- while that is of course powerfully important, first and foremost investigators can replace skeptic suspicion with comfortable trust when they understand that the Book of Mormon will bring a person closer to Jesus Christ because it contains the words of Christ), and we saw that happen with Bridgette as we taught the Restoration with an extra effort to tie everything back Jesus Christ. 

Speaking of cool RaDs, we went to C and Zr. K's (hasn't been to church for years- still friendly with missionaries, just busy with life and the excuses it brings(: )house for dinner and a lesson on Good Friday, and it was really neat- first of all, 22 year old C is so easy and fun to talk to and is patient with our imperfect Dutch,and she had such good questions- how exactly a prophet becomes a prophet, how what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane could pay for all the years of horrendous evil, etc. and she wants to meet again and come to church/ JoVo gezinsavond in Den Haag. It was cool having Zr. K there and involving her in the lesson and setting her up with opportunities to testify ("actually, you must've experienced this when deciding to join the church years ago- what did you feel, why did you choose to be baptized?" followed by a sweet description of her feeling the spirit fill her with warmth from her head to toes) and remind herself of the testimony she deep down still has. She did keep calling it "jullie kerk" ("your church")even though it's "onze kerk" ("our church") ha. 

Also, Lara, the 12 year old daughter of another less-active wants to be baptized at the end of this month- she is so strong! She used to come to Faith in God a few years ago, and still has her Book of Mormon from various Sisters who've been able to get in with them off and on, and she requested that her Mom have us come back over- and guess who's hanging out with them this afternoon (lunch and shopping)? I'm excited. (: She's so sweet and already gets made fun of by extended family members for being that weird mormon girl but she feels so good about the church and feels like when she prays, Someone is listening. Shamanta (the ward missionary young mom who teaches weekly yoga, she and Leah are good friends and have known each other for years) came as a joint teach and is so cool and afterwards shared some really cool notes with us from a recent fireside about "the six phases of faith," really interesting.
We're going to the temple on Wednesday, exciting.
Zuster Riley (:

 Zr. Palacio is a saint- she's Russian and served in Kyiev Ukraine and has a cute little son and is married to a cool Brazilian and told us great mission/ life stories and made us Easter treats and treated us like royalty in her home- thanking us for coming and making the day so uplifting and spiritual, aw!!! 

 This led to handing out a book and exchanging contact info with our friend standing here by the piano, yay music. This is at Den Haag Centraal.

Equestrian on the fietspad haha

 Zr. Faasavalu made some lekker pongi po po! You cook dough in coconut milk and sugar and it's lekker! (And technically it's vegan- maybe I'm rubbing off on her? (; Just kidding, this is a Samoan specialty. She made it when we went for some Surinaams eten at a member's house)

April fool's

APs' car on 1 April haha

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