Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Week

Hallo geliefde broeders en zusters,

This past week was Thanksgiving in America. Be of good cheer – I was well taken care of. We ate a blessed dinner at Claire’s apartment (an American working here in A’dam. She’s an incredible friend and I’m not just saying that because she reads my blog. It’s totally true). I hope your turkey and stuffing was as delicious as mine was.

I spent Wednesday this week in Brussels, Belgium. Yes, that is technically my mission and where you send all my mail (you are always welcome to send Christmas greetings to 87 Blvd. Brand Whitlock, 1200 Brussels, Belgium) but I am there but four times on my mission. Twice for legality documents and twice to enter/exit the mission. It’s a beautiful city. But they don’t speak Dutch.

We’ve worked a lot this past week (and will continue to do so this week) with the members of the wijk (ward) Amsterdam. I have a deep love for the members of the church here. They are so strong and so unique. I can’t imagine myself serving anywhere else (but transfers are next week…) I gave a talk yesterday in sacrament meeting (a bit nervous was I, maar het ging best wel goed) and one thing I highlighted about the members' missionary work is their homes. They have pictures of Christ and the temple hanging on their walls for every resident and visitor to see – it’s such an awesome missionary tool. I think it’s wonderful and I’m grateful I grew up in a home with those visual reminders of my faith.

Tomorrow: Zone Conference….at the
TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am beyond extremely excited to attend the house of the Lord to learn by the spirit and feel the powers of heaven. I have loved reading the Pearl of Great Price to prepare myself. Moses 7 is an awesome chapter about God’s plan. Expands my mind! I encourage those of you who are able to attend the temple. I sincerely miss that opportunity and realize how important it is to be worthy and able to attend.I love
you all indescribably.

Thank you so much for your letters (and the Christmas packages!) Jullie zijn geweldig!

Zuster Fritz

Monday, November 23, 2009

Noah's Ark and Africa

You people must think I can think of nothing better to write than the weather, but I must assure you that it is certainly letter-worthy. I have never seen so much rain in my entire time of living on this blessed earth. Last night, Zuster Fowler and I arrived to our appointment at the Zwaan's so wet that we spent a few minutes using their hairdryer to dry our hair and clothes. :) The rain was so heavy and fearsome, I was half expecting to see Noah's ark.

What a perfect segue into my next subject: Noah's ark. Serious. That is where I'm headed today. Some religious dutchman (almost an oxymoron, that one) made a replica of Noah's biblical ark and it sits in Zaandam for religious people like us to come and gawk at. :) It'll be pretty cool in the POURING RAIN today.

My apologies, I've said all I'll say about the weather.

I live in the Bijlmer in Amsterdam. I would describe it as the "Little Africa" of Holland. I can spend the whole day proselyting there and be the only white girl I see (besides my companion, Zuster Fowler). I absolutely
love the African culture here. Super friendly people. And they speak African English, which is a dialect they didn't teach me in the MTC, so it's kind of an immersion-type training, if you will. But it gets better every day.

Every soul we meet on the street in the Bijlmer adores Jesus and we have some pretty interesting conversations about faith and the like. Before we leave them, we always like to say a prayer with them. Africans do what we call "prayer talking." It goes like this: "When I say Jesus, you people say "Amen.'"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bike stil bij mij

What a day. Spent in Den Haag for choir practice. We're preparing for the Christmas concert series and we're pretty excited for the holidays.

The train ride to and from Den Haag was lovely. Low lands, green fields, farm homes, fog and rain. This certainly is a beautiful country and yes, we do baptize. (hahaha, playing off the old lie, "Wow, that's a beautiful country in which to serve a mission, but you won't have many baptisms." Well, I wish to dispell that lie. We've got another in Amsterdam this month.)

I wish to tell you all how much God loves me. I have left my keys in my bike at least five the Bijlmer and at central station...and it still hasn't gotten stolen. If I told any of the natives here, they'd consider that a miracle. Well, the blessings of a missionary, my friends.

We had such an awesome lesson this week with Mark and Lotte, two jovo's (young adults) that were friends of Kim van Dijk here in the ward. They came to a ward activity and then wanted to meet with us because they think we (the church) are way dang cool. Man, if every member could invite their friends to activities and church, the happiness we'd see and experience.

Zr. Fowler and I gave a workshop at zone interviews this week about trust. We read the story about Chief Captain Moroni to prepare and I love this man. Read his story. You will be moved.

Zuster Fritz

Monday, November 9, 2009

thermals. love them.

Hello my precious crowd. Thermals. Love them. It's been zeer cold and foggy every day. Good thing I get toasty warm riding my bike all over Amsterdam. I do love it, though. I love riding along the canals early in the sun-lit morning with the dew-soaked leaves strewn across the red-rocked paths and seeing the mist swirl above the still waters, the royal Dutch architecture rising vaguely across the canals. (poetess, or what?!) But seriously, words cannot even describe how beautiful this place of the world is to me.

Zuster Fowler and I have seen so many miracles this week. Our investigators are making so much progress and I am indescribably happy. I am happy because they are finding happiness in Jesus Christ, their Savior. I am happy because they are coming to know and recognize God's love for them more and more every day. I think of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18 where it tells us how great will be our joy if we can bring but one soul into the kingdom of God. How great must be Heavenly Father's joy when His children make good choices to bring them closer to Him.

I've also learned some of the greatest lessons this week about my own happiness. I read a letter from my brother David this week that truly helped my perspective change completely for the better. He compares God's love to the sun. It is always shining on the earth, but sometimes, as is with nature, we are left in the darkness for a time. So it is with us. Sometimes we feel alone and apart, but Sunday will come again. It always does.Let the sunshine come from within. :)

I love you, my zonnestraaltjes.

Zuster Fritz

Monday, November 2, 2009


A rainy week in Holland. Good thing we're changing things in A'dam. There are now only two elders in Amsterdam and so we've decided to expand our boundaries, which will require us to use more public transportation. Public transportation is more dry. :D

Well, we've seen many wonders this week. We had many investigators in church yesterday and that went super well. We may be strange as Mormons, but fast and testimony meeting is always a treat. :)

I was very humbled this week by one of our lessons with a young man from war-torn Ivory Coast, Issoufou. He's just arrived here as a refugee and has absolutely nothing. He has no idea where his family was taken to and witnessed the deaths of many friends in several attacks on his village. He is so teachable and when he prays (in his African language), you know he's really talking with his Heavenly Father. It's sweet.
After playing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing together at Marijke's baptism last month, Zuster Fowler and I were invited to play it again at a talent night in Hilversum (outside A'dam) this week. That was an awesome way to introduce many friends of the members to the church and we all had a pleasant evening. We brought Amy and it was good to have her surrounded by members in that atmosphere. It was awesome to use what talent we have to play beautiful songs of praise to the Lord. And to hold a violin again. :)

Here's my "geestelijk toetje" (spiritual dessert) for you all this afternoon: Ether 12:41 "And now, I would commend you to see this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen." Amen indeed.

We truly need grace. I have never felt more imperfect in my life - I need that peace and grace every day. Our desires matter, even when our actions fall short.

Love you all.
Send me Christmas cards. :)

Zuster Fritz