A 'Most Treasured' Gift

With all the 'stuff' they have sent from the MTC, we received Dutch Hymn books (Lofzangen) which are interesting to try to read the titles of songs and figure out the English counterpart.  If you know me at all, I'm sure you are not surprised that I asked about a Children's Song Book which the Primary uses and found out there is one in Dutch.  I made comment to my Dutch tutor from the MTC, Amber DeGroot, that I wanted to get one when we came to the MTC in April.  It will be one book that goes on our mission with us.  Well, to my great surprise Zuster DeGroot came to visit me in the hospital and the first thing I told her was "Ik ben blij!".  She stayed for a short time and had to leave, but when she returned later that afternoon she brought me a personal copy of Kinder Liedjes as a get-well gift.  I was touched.  I had a hard time keeping the tears in check.  What a lovely and treasured gift from the wonderful sister who is 'mij te helpen Nederlands te leren'.  Bedankje Amber.  Ik hou van jou. 


Opps! Time Out!

Always the Lord has a different time table then our own.  My health is no exception because I had just been given a clean bill of health on all my medical tests required for the mission.  Then, on March 22, 2012 after a day of Parent Teacher Conferences at the elementary school (which, by the way, I really enjoyed visiting with each and every parent and student that day), I suddenly felt like I was going to faint and was very nauseous.  I excused myself from the last Parent Teacher conference with Heather Robison.  I didn't get far, just outside my door and collapsed into the chairs set up for conference.  I waited for the ill feelings to pass and the next thing I knew, I had pass out and was on the floor of the hall. Still feeling very ill, I went back inside the room and asked Mrs. Robison to get Ms. Harrison.  Well, thanks to those at school who would not let me go home, but took me right to the emergency room at Fillmore Medical Clinic. (It was probably the fact I was throwing up blood!)  Come to find out, I was going into shock because of loss of blood--I had internal bleeding.  After stabilizing my condition, I had my first ride in an ambulance all the way to Utah Valley Medical Center in Provo where I began my three day stay in ICU at UV Medical Center where they determined I have multiple ulcers that had been bleeding for a while.  Thanks to the family and friends that stopped to visit because it helped the days pass a little faster as I slowly recovered.  On Sunday, March 25, I was able to return home to finish the recuperation.  I am now at home  'minding my business' and healing. I am doing great!  The speedy healing has everything to do with the Lord.  Thanks Alden and Scott for the priesthood blessing on the 22nd.  Alden, thank you for giving the blessing in Dutch.  I understood most of it and was deeply touched. Thanks everyone for the flowers, balloons, visits, cards, calls, and meals brought to us.  I am especially touched by the cards that were made and delivered from my wonderful first graders at school.  I love each of you to pieces.  I am so impressed with you guys all the time.  Alden and I both feel extremely dunkbaar (grateful) for our zegeningen (blessings).  Because of the timing and the circumstances surrounding this unexpected event, I count it as a very 'tender mercy'.  The Lord knew this was going to happen when we were called as zendingspresident en collega (mission president and companion), and He still called us anyway.  We are in the Lord's hands and are moving along on His timetable.  Now, back to our zending (mission).


No Time to Waste

We are in the thick of things!  On March 20, 2012 we will spend two hours with the Europe Area Presidency in a training with all other newly called Mission Presidents of the Europe Area.  I am grateful for the technology that will allow us to sit in front of our computer and be taught.  We are already scheduled for another Seminar for Mission Presidents and wives with the Europe Area Presidency in Frankfurt, Germany on August 11-12, 2012.  We will have been in Europe a little over a month.  Things are moving fast.  On Friday, March 23, 2012 we will spend two hours with one of the General Authorities in another meeting of this type.  We are becoming so trained and so tutored we feel like the water is about at eye level and rising.  And we are kicking as hard as we can and that's what makes this experience so FUN!  :)


Studeren en leren (To Study and To Learn)

Homework!  This is what it looks like twice a week as I Skype with the MTC for Dutch tutoring.  Amber is a wonderful lerares (teacher).  She recently returned from serving a mission in the Netherlands.  She is kind and supportive of me as a beginning beginner.  Working on prayer right now.  For the next 3 1/2 years my prayers will be in Dutch.  I surprised Alden the other morning when he asked me to say our family prayer before I left for work.  It was pretty simple and I could only use simple sentences, but I gave it a try.  We were both in tears before I finished.   I blessed the food on Sunday for our family dinner and the real stretch for me was to pray in Dutch at our Stake Primary training with Holden Ward Primary  on Sunday.  Thank you sisters for allowing me that opportunity.   All I can say is it's the gift of the Spirit.

THE Mountain!

Remember the 'mountain to climb'? Forget that!!   It came as an avalanche.  This is just one boxful of materials. Of course we have to have two of everything--and in two languages. We have received additional boxes and I have lost track of the FedEx packages that have been delivered. And the phone messages!??!  Every night I come from work there is at least one message from either the MTC or the church office. (They are all from different people.) The latest message came from Bailey Moving.  "We are calling regarding your overseas move with the LDS Church."  When I got that message last night I realized THIS IS going to happen.  'Keep hands and feet in at all times', the ride begins.


We've been called!

On February 10, 2012, Alden and I met with President Eyring at the Church Administration office.  What a wonderful experience to spend almost an hour with a prophet of God! Because the Missionary Department contacted our Stake President, President Monroe, and asked him to contact us regarding a mission possibility, we began this roller coaster ride on January 18, 2012.  So after our visit on February 3, 2012, with Elder M. Russell Ballard, we were aware that this might be a mission president call.  Still, it was hard to believe the words spoken when President Eyring called Alden to preside over the Belgium/Netherlands Mission and called me as a full time missionary to serve as his companion. We joyfully accepted. Tears flowed freely among the three of us as we sit silently for a moment and felt the confirmation of the Spirit and allowed the reality to sink into our hearts.  President Eyring pointed out that rarely do Mission President calls come with an assignment at the same time as our did.  He wanted us to know that while in the temple, President Monson had approved our call and at the same time approved our assignment--Belgium/Netherlands Mission.  Our first reaction was 'it's a dream come true'--this is a miracle.  In all of our 'desires of the heart', this is one desire that the Lord did hear--to serve our mission in Holland for 18 months.  But to go as Mission President and companion and serve for three years, wow! It just takes our breath away.  We still wake up at night and have to get our thoughts around it againWe are indeed blessed and acknowledge His hand in our lives and this callWe are overjoyed, excited, and extremely humbled by this call from God. We have been buoyed up and sustained by all the happiness, support  and well wishes from our family, our friends, professional colleagues, and our ward and stake family. Thanks to everyone. Now comes the 'mountain to climb'. Life for us has changed forever, it has taken an eternal course correction.