All packed up.. / I'll miss ya, Zoetermeer!
With D, M, and B- they are so sweet and heard I was leaving so invited me over to say bye/ give me a little gift/ sip some tea & nibble some cake..
... but haha I had to snap a picture of this, only in Nederland: Diane was giving us a tour of her house and when we got to the moestuin she showed me the onion, beet, and other plants (her husband's) growing there.
Saying bye -- no, see you later-- to these lovelies!!!
L, L, M
We climbed the Haagse Toren and ate there for a netjes last district lunch, and we brought Alexandra, an awesome investigator of ours. (:
Groetjes uit Groningen- I feel so blessed to be back, it's been a sweet reunion seeing everyone again.. my first night we had a lesson with J, the mother from Curacao who we worked a lot with last summer (I guarantee I wrote home about her and her daughter in those emails home ha) but who has been really flaky with the sisters lately, whose name popped into my head as soon as I heard I was coming to Groningen.. basically, we've had two really cool lessons since then (her husband, F, joined in on one- he's never done that before) and she's talked to her boss so she can come to church this Sunday and is working towards being baptized on 26 September! AH that would be so amazing to be able to witness that.. she still has questions and doesn't feel like she has quite gotten an answer, but is realizing what this gospel could mean to her and her family (ie temple sealing, Priesthood authority) and that it's time to take some action.
On Thursday we went to Institute and it was really neat- K and M were there, and they are so spiritually self-reliant and love the gospel and along with M, this amazing recent convert (beautiful, smart, and sweet 26 yo Dutch school teacher [teaches religion, actually] who ordered a DVD and BoM half a year ago out of curiosity and the rest is history) are running the JoVo scene up here (along with E. and Z. Romig of course who I get to serve with here as well as Den Haag!), they are so good.
Church was so great, I love the people here. It's handy because whenever we have down time, I seem to remember a less-active/ potential we worked with in the area, and we've had some cool instances getting let in (ie M who hasn't been to the church in a while because she can't stand an older Dutch lady in this ward but was happy to see us again and for the spirit we brought, or BH who wants to cook for us again and have another lesson at his cool parents' house- very kind and hospitable Dutch family).. but in addition to seeing people I loved 16 months ago, I'm excited about these cool new people.. P, an older Dutch man who is working on weaning off of drugs and is very nice and friends with recent convert S, came to church in a suit, and we met a really cute young mom named J who we set up an appt. with next week..
yes, every other smell and sight and feeling when biking around the city either gives me deja vu and I look around for Zuster Meier/ Wood/ Koulen (&Broekzitter!), or just overwhelms me with a vivid flashback of a specific conversation/ lesson/ inside joke/ contact last summer, it's pretty trippy.. but I'm not going to live in the past, reminiscing on those golden days in Groningen, because there are more NEW golden memories to make these next 6 weeks with Zuster K. (: I know that everything good, beautiful, satisfying, true, honest, uplifting, and worthwhile in this life traces back to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that's something that interests and affects everyone. I'm so grateful for this knowledge of restored truth and Heavenly Father's plan and answers.. it makes me happy, and I want to share this happiness with those around me and see if it can mean something to them.
Tot volgende week!
Zuster "Smiley" (how Broeder Gout welcomed me back in sac. mtg. yesterday, aw!!)
(when I come to Netherlands to pick her up) I will be wearing nametag and skirt and I think getting up and studying, yay we'll get to do that together Zuster Riley Sr. hehehe and 6:30 am is nothing compared to seminary.. except jet lag oops..(: Love you and know that Groningen is taking good care of me and don't worry, I don't have time to be trunky, too many cool people to meet and teach and bond with and serve. (; I sure am excited to see you, though- and can't wait to show you a glimpse of everywhere/ everyone!
Liefs, Z. Riley (:
Heeyy Zuster Karlson (:
LOVE this beautiful place!
Taking a sec to plan
This cool festival set up in Noordeplantsoen park.. love this cool college city (downtown Austin, TX vibes)
Haha our investigator -in the white shirt with a mic-, G (from Curacao in the Dutch Antilles), organized a neighborhood multicultural BBQ and soccer tournament and asked us to present something and sing as guest speakers during lunch.. so we traded off explaining some basic Restoration points to 50+ wiggly kids (and their parents/ aunts/ uncles/ etc. listening in) and then sang/ danced with the Elders to "Volg de Profeet," then sealed the deal by showing "Dankzij Hem" on a big screen.. we undoubtedly looked ridiculous singing, but some kids joined in on the chorus (we had a big poster and tried to make it interactive) and they all loved an Elder's dance moves, and I met 5 really solid people throughout the event who gave me their info and want to meet, so I'd count it as a success!