Hey everyone! We now come to the conclusion of week two here in Spijkenisse. A lot happened this week, including very "wisselend" weather again, ranging from the mild "partly cloudy with occasional sun" to "is it really raining again?" weather patterns. It is quite funny; the Dutch people are never used to the weather and always love sharing their opinion about it. I like it, on the contrary, but like the Dutch I also seem to have a comment always at the ready.
On P-day, after the normal weekly, chores we took the metro and played soccer with our zone. The field is located near the church building in Rotterdam North, and because it is in the middle of the city it has a tall metal fence all the way around it with netting above, so that it is impossible to lose the ball. We had a number of 10-year-old kids play with us, who were really good (as European children are), and we just enjoyed a few hours of solid soccer with a light mist that cooled us off. Some of the Sisters in our zone played college soccer, so it was pretty dang intense.
Afterwards – exhausted, winded, and hungry – we all treated ourselves to a "kapsolon." Located on almost every street corner in the Netherlands you can find "doner shops," which are basically a little stands where Turkish people who speak broken Dutch slice and sell meat off of a open rotisserie. In short, a kapsolon is basically a box of hot doner meat heaped upon an assortment of fresh veggies and topped with a number of spicy sauces. The meal doesn't feel too rewarding after a few hours of digestion, and you will usually have the after effects, which I call, "doner regret" or "doner burps," etc. But initial consumption is overwhelmingly tasty, and the aroma of a steamy box of goodness will overpower your senses. Well played, Turkish immigrants.
As for the work, we had a lot of great progress this week, including the mind bogglingly number of six investigators in church! It was incredible! I have also seen a lot of progress in a single woman we are teaching named Drucella. She has grandchildren back in the island nations of Aruba and other lands I don't know how to spell, and she is simply an honest seeker of truth. We teach her twice a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays, and her steady progress in the gospel really inspires me. As we have focused this transfer on Chapter 11 of Preach My Gospel, I have learned a lot about the importance of helping people keep and make commitments. And I have had the great opportunity to really apply that principle to Drucella. She always reads and is willing to pray and makes the time to go to church, which has lead to just her overall increase of happiness in her life. I have noticed her smiling more and just how much more joyful it is to be around the past few weeks, all because of her ability to follow through with things. I believe Satan tempts and leads us astray in more ways than we actually think, with feelings of laziness, boredom, or just lack of desire being his powerful tools. But as individuals with our own personal ability to choose, I have seen the rich blessings of overcoming the ease of laziness and just falling into bad habits or routines, and it has blessed my life as a missionary.
So, my prayer for all of us this week is that we can all find something to overcome. Something to personally work on. Because when we do we feel that refining power that the Savior can give us, and we feel those joyous feelings of the gospel described in 1 Nephi chapter 8 about the "tree of life."
Elder Eli Andrew