Weest Gegroet!!!Man, where to start....
This week has been like the greatest week ever!
On Wednesday we went to the Salt Lake temple and it was superamazing! Just to feel the Spirit and be at so much peace... :) In the Celestial Room I was able to talk to some of the sisters in my zone and it was so great to share that spiritual moment together :) With one sister we shared our favorite scriptures and things that we'd learned on our missions :) Then I also saw some people from Canyon Rim in the temple! :D Then we went to Cafe Rio with our zone and since it is located in Canyon Rim I saw some people from Canyon Rim again! :D Pretty great! Then we practiced our musical number for zone conference and we sang 'Away in a manger'.
Thursday we had zone conference! Oh my! That was sooo great! They talked a lot about being the fourth missionary, being completely devoted and dedicated to this work and surrendering yourselves to the Lord. I also had to present a training with Sister Orellana on conducting companionship inventory, that went pretty well :) It was super scary though! A story that the assistants shared was 'The Three Trees'. I invite all of you to look it up and read it. It is such a beautiful story! Another story that is worth reading is called 'The Other Wise Man'. It made me cry. It reminds us of the true meaning of christmas :)
Ok, I promise you that you will fall of your chair when I share the next thing with you.
Friday we had our Mission Christmas Devotional. Guess who came to speak to us...? ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND!!!!! :D :D :D Gosh, words can't describe the Spirit we felt! He told us that as he shook our hands he interviewed us as he was looking into our eyes. He told us that he could tell that we were great missionaries! :D
As he was speaking he allowed us to ask him questions and most questions he got were questions about what we could do better. How we could teach certain principles better, etc. You know what he told us? The only thing we could do was to let people feel the Spirit, help them have a spiritual experience when we teach them and that people have their agency! But he said that he was impressed by our desire to constantly improve and that that said something about the quality of our mission. He also pretty much told us that we needed to stop being so hard on ourselves. I'm not telling you all of this to boast in this mission or in the missionaries, but it was so amazing to hear from an Apostle of the Lord that we were doing a great job! :) He also talked about how we were angels and how angels administer to us, that all we need to do is believe. 'Believe in all that can be' as the Barbie song says :)
In the evening we had our Christmas dinner and it was sooooooo much fun! It was so great to see all my missionary friends and enjoy our Christmas together! I just looooove this mission and the missionaries here!!! :D In the bags we got some...stuff...personal grooming items and stuff :) Gosh, it was so great! Then after the Christmas party we talked and talked. Elder Scherf and I (he is from the Hague ward in the Netherland red.) were able to talk! That was kind of fun! :) Some 'Nederlandsheid' is pretty nice sometimes ^ ^ That same night I went on my first exchange! I went with Sister Brown and she is from Virginia! Guess what?! She knows Elder Kemp, hahaha! They're from the same stake :)
Ok ok, and then something else this weekend! Last night we had a stake fireside and it was on the Dutch Potatoes Project. It would take too long to explain it, but pleeeease look it up at https://history.lds.org/article/dutch-potatoes-video?lang=eng . It is such a touching and amazing story about World War Two and the Dutch and German Saints! Anyways, the people who were involved in that project live in our stake. They migrated from Germany in the 50's and their last name is Schmidt. Hmmm...who knows a famous piano player with the last name Schmidt?.... muahahha, that's right! John Schmidt! He came to perform that night! He grew up in this stake and those people are his parents! :D He was soooo amazing!!! The Spirit was sooo strong that night! I got to shake his hand afterward too! :D I'm never going to wash that hand again, hahaha! Oh wait, too late...I already did...But anyways...that was pretty awesome!!! And guess who showed up at the fireside?! It was Jeanet Zwiers (I always forget her married name) and Marijke Shuttle and a couple of other Dutch people! :D I have a picture, so you might recognize some people :)
I have loved every minute of it! I love being a missionary right now! I know that my Redeemer lives! I know that He loves us! I know with all my heart that He knows us, understands us and cares about us. I know I have shared this scripture with you a billion times already, but Alma 7:11-12 has become my favorite scripture on my mission :)
The Atonement is real! We can all make it back! We can all change and start over again. I testify to you that it is NEVER too late! There is ALWAYS a way back. All He asks of us is a willing heart and mind! Surrender yourself! In the arms of His love there is safety and healing. In the arms of His love there is hope and peace.
I love my Savior and I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to represent Him, serve Him with all my heart, might, mind and strength :)
God be with you till we meet again (on Thursday! :D)
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! And the Dutch people yesterday reminded me of the way to say it in Dutch: Prettige Kerstdagen!!!
Lots and Lots of LoveSister Spijkerman <3