Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 74 - Groningen

Sleepover in Amsterdam before zone conference!

We went to Koen's beautiful childhood village of Norg in the province of Drenthe with Marjan and Koen (both super cool newer members) and hiked in the beautiful nature and had dinner with his Dad (who taught me a bunch of cool new Dutch idioms) and saw some hunebedden (megaliths). We took lots of pictures on Koen's phone, so stay tuned for some more eventually.

I met Emalina, a super sweet mom from KOSOVO.. we were looking up a potential who lived on #33 of one of two streets and she wasn't the potential, but she was so nice and friendly and we totally bonded over the fact that I have a twin sister who lived in Prishtine and she wrote a note in Albanian to send to Madi, sooo cool. (:  

Zuster Hansen!  

Hoi Familieeee! 

Wow, what a week, so much happened.. for example, Thursday was probably one of the busiest days of my mission, rushing from appt. to appt. and eating on the go and swinging by cookies to investigators/ less-actives who lived in the neighborhood and every lesson going through (!) and collapsing into bed at the end of the day completely exhausted, just how I like it ha.. 

so I mentioned teaching a second Amir who wasn't the original potential investigator young Iranian student, and this first Amir also told us the address of his uncle who lives in our neighborhood, but when we went to swing by an Arabic BvM for his uncle last week, a friendly young Dutch guy (definitely not Amir's uncle) answered the door and made an appt. We had such a cool RaD with him (hij heet Bryce, trouwens) and his dog in the sunshine sitting in his front yard, and he wants to come to Institute this Thursday and even asked if he could bring a friend! He is seriously so open and interested in developing faith, even though he's grown up totally nonreligious, and Z. Karlson and I bounced off of each other teaching the points of the Restoration and it went a lot smoother than, for example, J, a young mom who lives a few doors down who we taught a very rushed first lesson to (she had to leave soon to pick some kids up from school and had forgotten agreeing to meet but was super nice and still let us in).. J doesn't feel the need to meet anymore but is grateful for us coming by because it reminded her to pray and read in her Bible more. 

I was pretty disappointed that neither of our baptismal dates - P nor J- came to church as planned and promised, BUT G, and A and his girlfriend S and their adorable baby, Max, all came and stayed for the potluck and loved it. A is this super nice young Dad who I met briefly at G's BBQ, and then we ran into him downtown (near his work- he's a sound engineer) and recognized each other and we're meeting up to teach him at an ijssalon on Thursday. He'd mentioned that his (Indian) gf would be interested in coming to church, so when we texted him about the potluck, they said they'd be there. They are so sincere and friendly and easy to talk to and seemed to really enjoy sacrament meeting, and he had a lot of questions and observations about how it compared to his Protestant upbringing. The story of how they met is pretty great- S was getting her MBA in Bombay and jokingly made a fake FB account of a blonde girl in Zwolle and somehow added him and after he realized she wasn't Dutch, he still liked her personality and when she revealed her identity they decided to meet up in person and the rest is history! Apparently she's an amazing vegetarian cook and is having us over next week to teach us some secrets. (; When I saw and briefly met A at Gillian's BBQ, my first thought was that he looked like an apostle from the Bible video and really felt like I needed to talk to him some more for some reason, but he disappeared.. so pretty cool that we ran into him again downtown!

There's some construction going on near a bridge and fietspad that we have to cross to get to the city, and I had the brilliant idea to take a shortcut.. that was accidentally via the freeway with no bike paths to be seen, so next thing we knew we were hopping medians with honking, angry Audis and BMWs whizzing past.. I just hid my face in my cone of shame aka helmet (nah I'm really fine with helmets by now, it feels cozy and safe and who am I trying to kid, we stick out and look peculiar anyways).. but oops, my bad haha it was funny. (;
Good luck in Provo/ Albania/ Niceville en waar dan ook! 
Veel liefs, 
Z. Riley (:  

District meeting (thanks for the photo, Elder and Sister Romig!)

We had a lesson right here with Amir (this nice older man from Iraq who grew up Catholic and is so nice but there's definitely a language barrier with his limited Dutch and English and our limited aka nonexistent Arabic).. I actually was trying to call a potential, also named Amir, who we met on the bus on our first day of the transfer- a young Iranian student, but ended up calling this Amir from the phone who had met with sisters a few months ago and wanted to meet.

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