22 December 2013

Week 27: Crazy Week!

December 16, 2013


Geliefde Familie:


THIS WEEK. Was crazy. My companion was sick for TWO DAYS. I was dying to get outside, but she needed the rest. We also did a lot of traveling. We had a Zone Conference with Elder Teixeira of the 70 in Amsterdam so I got to sleep at Zr Hudson's house!!! And I got a lot of good advice from her. We stayed up until like 11:30 but I really needed to talk to her, so I was happy. Elder Teixeira is from Portugal, and he had a lot of really good things to say. Apparently he sort of chastised the other group though. He just taught us a lot. But since we were inside for two days (well really only one because both days we just went home early because we called Zr Robinson because Zr GW was not feeling well later in the days) we were really motivated, so we had an AWESOME week. Not that numbers are everything, but we got 4 new investigators. BOOM.

One of the assistants to the president called me on Monday asking if I could do a part of the opening exercises at zone training. He told me they're trying something new and reading two pages from the white handbook; so I got to prayerfully choose what to read.

I was just telling my companion that it wouldn't feel like Christmas this year because I don't have caramel, but then I GOT CARAMEL! You beautiful people. Thank you, thank you! I kept all of the other things in that package wrapped, I will open them on Christmas. 

Thank you for sending me to a good school so I know that you can't end a sentence with a preposition. I probably break it all the time, but at least I know it's wrong. And it helps Dutch too!

I sent you guys a letter on Tuesday with more details. Hope you get it soon!

We had an appointment with a member fall through on Saturday, so we went door knocking and got let in to this family's house from Sri Lanka! Only the dad speaks English, and basically no Dutch, but we taught them and they said we can come back! We even found the Tamil BoM online for them so they can read it. Miracle! And we didn't have to stay all night in the freezing, so that was definitely a plus. 

I CAN'T WAIT TO SKYPE YOU! Send your info to Sister Kitchen. She speaks English. I'm so glad you saw the picture on Facebook! Brother Mraz called me on my first day here and told me he knows Sister Casey. That was so cool. 

IK HOU VAN JULLIE!

Annie, good luck with the gifts. Spencer, I hear you're a lady killer. Mark, you're just the best ever. All of you, good luck on exams. I will talk to you soon :):):):):):))))))

Love, love, love,


Zr Heilner

15 December 2013

Week 26: Winter Wonderland! See you in a year!!

December 9, 2013
Maastricht WinterWonderland
Geliefde Familie:
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
AHHHHH I don't have a lot of time because our ward mission leader wanted to take us to some caves today, which was really cool, and I have sweet pictures, but now P-Day is over soon so I gotta hurry.

Last Monday, I went to the centrum of Maastricht where they had a winter wonderland (Christmas Market) and a Ferris wheel which was basically as high as climbing the clock tower without having to go on the stairs, so score. 




What's your Skype information? I have an appointment with Familie Kitchen on Christmas and they need it so we can Skype you people!! :):):)

Can I have my good camera back? I really miss it. This one is not fantastic. 

So we hardly ever bike here compared to what we did in Groningen. But we do have hills. I'm really thankful for the extensive biking I had because now I have strong enough thighs to do anything, but my companion got mad at me for going too fast one time...Mom, thank you for having a great sense of direction. Let's just say my companion didn't learn Maastricht, so I've had to, but I have learned it pretty fast so it's going well. 

I was reading about Samuel the Lamanite fortelling Christ's birth and I remembered Dad in a loin cloth over his clothes at the Crespo's that one year. Lol.

So we have to go on a lot of trains because we are far away from EVERYTHING. AND the trains are sometimes not reliable. It took us like five hours to get back to Maastricht from Breda...haha. We are getting pretty good at train contacting. 

I GET TO SEE SISTER HUDSON THIS WEEK. I'm sleeping in A'dam on Wednesday because we have mission conference with a member of the 70 and we do NOT want to be late, especially because you never know when the trains are going to have problems. 

Can you send me some of those toe warmers? You know those? They're flatter than hand warmers. My toes get really cold and it makes missionary work a lot less optimistic. 

Sorry this email was kind of lame...there's so much more I want to write.... But it's good...

GUESS WHAT, my release date is 9 Dec 2014, so...see you in A YEAR OH MY GOSH

IK HOU VAN JULLIE.

Zr Heilner


06 December 2013

Week 25: This is Pretty Different

December 2, 2013
Maastricht
 Geliefde Familie: 

In good and bad ways. Good ways: I basically live in Germany. It's BEAUTIFUL oh my gosh. We ride a lot of trains (yussss) and I love seeing the hills and cute little towns everywhere! Of course, it's also giving me a lot of time to brush up on my train contacting skills, which, for the last six weeks, have not been used that much. Another good thing is my companion. She and I were in the same MTC group, and we seemed pretty different, but before I got to Maastricht, I made up my mind that I was going to love her with my whole heart no matter what. We are indeed very different, but she is so easy to love. Her mom is Brazilian and her dad is American. She's the nicest person. I think our trainers were pretty different, too. Another cool thing: my first morning here, Zr Kohlert called me on the phone!!!!! I almost died. It was the second time I got to hear her beautiful voice since we'd been away from each other. I was so happy. She's still in Antwerpen. I have big plans that after this transfer, she'll come join me in Maastricht. That'd be so fun. My apartment is super close to the centrum, like a 10 minute bike ride, which is beautiful compared to Groningen. Here's the address:

If you would like Katie’s new address, please email me (Rosemary) at rheilner@gmail.com (Katie would love letters for Christmas!)

Bad ways: Idk what it is, but it's just a really different attitude here. Like...we do NOT have very many appointments. And that's, like, fine with my companion. Not really fine with me. President said if we're doing our best to have two appointments every day and talking to at least ten people every day about the restoration, we can be having one baptism a month. We were pretty much at that point in Groningen. We're going to get Maastricht like that too. The shower can't decide if it wants to be hot or cold, and we have to reset the water every time we shower haha. I really do like it here a lot though. Especially since I am already seeing improvements in our numbers. Phew. 

So I'm not claiming that my Dutch is great or anything. In fact, it should probably be a lot better. But I feel like I should thank German again for being so beautiful. I feel pretty confident about Dutch, and it's because of German.

So apparently you guys did something right with the Gouts. When I told them I was being transferred, Broeder Gout said, "WHAT?! We wanted to have you for Christmas!" and they said when you guys come to NL to visit, you can stay at their house. We will be taking them up on that offer. I love them. He gave me a hug that night too...hahaha. Missionary life. 

Spence, there's a member here from Portugal and he talks JUST LIKE YOU. It's so weird. He's got the nasally thing, and his humor is even kinda like yours. And his mannerisms and everything. It's so cool. 

I had 3 American Thanksgivings this year. And one Filipino. Beat that. 

Fambam, I know this is the most important work in the world. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here. It's really hard and sometimes I don't like it, but it's so worth it. Chris sent me the greatest email of my life today bearing his testimony. IT'S WORTH IT. I know the Book of Mormon changes lives. I know it makes even the happiest people happier. I know it's true.

IK HOU VAN JULLIE,


Zr Heilner

Maastricht




26 November 2013

Week 24: Gone are the days...

November 26, 2013

Geliefde Familie: 


...of only wearing one pair of socks

...of going outside without tights

...of saying "it hasn't frosted this year yet!"

...OF MADELINE BEING YOUNG--happy birthday pretty lady! Miss you Pfortmiller girls <3

...of Groningen.

Yeah, I'm getting transferred. I'm going to miss it a lot here, but I have only heard good things about my new city, Maastricht. My ward is English speaking though...so that's kinda lame cause I would love to improve my Dutch. I will still be teaching Dutch people though, so that's good. I'm going to miss my angel of a companion, but I think I'll have a lot of fun with Zr Greenwell. She's hilarious. She's only been there one transfer. I am VERY close to Germany and even closer to Belgium! I'm stoked. It's going to be a good area. 

Grandma, I want you to know that that skirt you gave me that you used to wear...I wear it like twice a week. I love it. Thank you so much. 

Sometimes weekly planning takes FOREVER. I mean, it always takes about 3 hours, but sometimes it feels like a whole day, and there is nothing worse than being inside and feeling like you should be outside. But then you start to get stressed and feel like you're useless so it just is not that fun. Last week, we were really excited to get outside because we had a really cool appointment, but then it fell through, so we had no plans for the evening. After talking for 3 hours about what you can do for your investigators and then not being able to meet with any of them was sort of discouraging for us. Solution? We sang and danced to "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" before we left the apartment. It was awesome and it totally worked. We got some really cool appointments for this week when we went out contacting with a good attitude.  

We had Thanksgiving on Sunday with the Romigs.  It was the best.  They are the best.  They decided to have Thanksgiving early because of transfers this week.  They wanted our old district to be able to celebrate together. They made your sweet potatoes, Mom!!!

At the Romigs for Thanksgiving—yaaaay!

It felt like home at the Romigs because we got to make the sweet potatoes:)


Hmm, what else. Oh yeah, we are trying all sorts of Dutch goodies, but at the store we saw something that said "Kartoffel Marzipan" and since we both took German we were intrigued and bought it. Ended up being little potato-shaped and colored pieces of marzipan haha. Delicious. 

Dad, yes Brugge is in my mission. I hope to open it up for sisters one day. 

I love this country (and continent, let's be real) more and more every day. I am in my dream scenario. Serving a mission in the most beautiful place on earth. My life is so good.

IK HOU ZOOOOO VEEL VAN JULLIE. Bedankt voor de liefde en steun. Ik ben zo dankbaar. Ik weet dat deze kerk waar is. 

Dikke knuffeltjes,


Zr Heilner
We had to hang up a CO detector. Dad, thanks for teaching me how to use power tools.



With the 96 year old missionary-loving man in Groningen

24 November 2013

Week 23: Good Week Busy Week

November 18, 2013

Geliefde Familie:

Really, this week was quite busy. I was so tired. I AM so tired. I'd rather be tired than bored though, so this is good.

Let's see, highlights of the week. I know some people do it by day of the week...I think it'd be boring if I did that personally. Hmm. First, the Gouts! Broeder Gout took pictures of the house and showed me! And he even printed me an A4 sized picture of Maddie. You must have told him how much I love her because he gave me a page protector for the picture too. I love it. Also, as always, thank you for replenishing my stock of American peanut butter candy. Knowing your daughter’s peanut butter needs is a sign of true love.

Well, this week we hit a new low for white-trash. Remember when we went to that little town outside of Moscow and we all got holes burned into our coats? Well I decided I was going to find a solution so I put black duct tape over the little tiny holes so feathers don't come out and guess what! It works. I refuse to get a new coat. I love mine. Duct Tape and all.

There's a really sweet inactive lady in my ward that we visit upon request of her son, who is not a member and usually takes the 40 minutes to tell us about how hard his life is. He says he's got "burn out," a real medical condition here where you get more vacation time. In America we have the same thing, but you people probably only know it as "life." I told him that everyone gets tired and if it's really that bad, then he's probably going to die soon if he doesn't take it easy and read the Book of Mormon. He's ridiculous.

I went to Mass this week! Made me think of you, Norns! I felt the Spirit for sure. I love knowing that Heavenly Father is present wherever people are worshiping him. We had a really cool appointment with the girl that took us to Mass afterward, too. She thought we had a special way of converting her by having her read specific verses in the Book of Mormon...she thought we tricked her just like "Mormons tricked Ann Frank” by baptizing her....ugh. The internet.

I know that as we read in the Book of Mormon, our testimony grows extremely. I've seen the converting power of the Spirit through the Book of Mormon. Read it. I know it's true and I know that it was translated by a prophet of God. I know it helps us in our lives. It gives us peace when nothing else in the world can. It gives the formula for how we can get back to our Heavenly Father and live with him for eternity.

IK HOU VAN JULLIE. This is so important to me. I'm so glad they called me on a mission. ;)

Keep the faith, stay strong, power through, all the motivational things I can say...

Love,


Zuster Heilner

Sint Erklaas is in Groningen this year! This was the centrum on the day that he came. We were contacting for a little while before an appointment so we could catch a glimpse, but we didn't really see him. Jammer.

Elder and Sister Romig.  They are the greatest!

18 November 2013

Week 22: I just had the coolest day! Obviously because it's Annie's birthday.

November 11, 2013



Ellen took us to a really old castle with a beautiful garden

Geliefde Familie: 

Okay, so let me explain why I am emailing at two different times. Last night not only did our first plan fall through. Not only did our back up plan fall through. Our second back up plan also fell through. Zorg niet, kinderen, I always have another plan. BUT, my brilliant companion was like, "Hey, remember when our neighbor invited us to come over sometime for tea? Let's go!" So we went and asked about the holiday. Today is basically Dutch Halloween. It's called St. Martin. It's only celebrated in the north. We basically needed an excuse for her to invite us in, so we were like, "we just wanted to know what protocol was. Like, how much candy should we buy and how late does it go?" Cause since today is P-Day, we can hand candy out for a little while! They sing a song and carry lanterns and we give them a snoepje. Pretty excited. ANYWAY, she offered to show us around the province! So we went all around province Groningen today. It was so cool.

St. Martin! Kids came to our door! We gave out candy and mormon.org cards

Grand Canyon! Also, listen people; I'm NOT fat, okay? It's the coat.

So I keep hearing that missionaries in America aren't allowed to go door-to-door anymore. Can someone verify this? They seriously just get enough appointments? I had four appointments planned the other day, which is pretty good, and they ALL fell through. UGH.

Things here are just really different in the Church. I mean it's all the same, but I've never seen a high chair for feeding children in Sacrament Meeting in America. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough. Other super different things. I said at a family's house, "We are here to help YOU with your missionary work" and she said to me, "Sometimes it feels like we're only here to help YOU." Well...if that's the feeling the Holy Ghost is giving you...HELP US. Also something frustrating. We all have those sacrament meetings where we're like, "wow, I hope there aren't any investigators here..." well I had one of those last week and we had six investigators.

MIRACLES THIS WEEK. Seriously. I feel like a TON of my plans fell through, but we saw so so so many miracles. Basically, everything fell through one night, so we went to look up some potentials. Met their family, and they're SO prepared. But the wife is 8 months pregnant and is having problems, we found out when they cancelled our last appointment, and is now in the hospital. So...hopefully we'll be able to visit her. Another miracle. My bike broke YET AGAIN. I wanted to kill somebody. Especially because it was literally the day after I picked it up from the shop. But I took it back, and the nicest man ever fixed it for me for free. He was even making jokes because he could tell I wasn't very happy. And then he showed me how to use a binnen band to "tie a bunch of Bibles more easily to my bike." So basically he's the best.

Just learned that this library closes at 5, which is now. uuuuh we are going to go to the church later to send pictures. I have cooool pictures. I saw Germany today!

I love you people so much. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNIE! Keep it classy. There's a letter for you in the mail.

Oh before I forget, the Facebook that has pictures of me in an eating contest is called "Groningen Jovos" oh and the blog of the senior couple here is romigscalledtoserve.blogspot.nl I thiiiink.

IK HOU VAN JULLIE

tot straks, ik zal meer bij de kerk email. uh, google translate that.

Zr Heilner

Our cute neighbor, Ellen, offered to show us around Groningen Province. This church was closed but she just asked the person who lived right next door if they had a key and they gave it to us so we could go inside!


At the castle, we ate apples from the trees...hehe. Ellen did it. When in Rome, right?


GERMANY! A little island called Borkum...you can barely see it. James, it's in your mission!

Pretty sweet sun dial

17 November 2013

Week 21: Mystery

November 4, 2013


Me 'n Mystery ;)

Geliefde Familie:

Well. I have the best family ever. They send me locks of my dog's hair (happy birthday, Fat Dog) and peanut butter m&ms. And hand-warmers, which are going to become a necessity very soon.

James, I am still DYING that you're going to Berlin. I have members in my ward right now that live in your mission! LSDJGHDSK SO COOL. Say hi to President Kosak. 

So. This week was also kinda rough. It's pretty frustrating because we HAVE people to teach, but they're not easy to get appointments with. At all. A lot of them look really positive though. We had four appointments for Tuesday, which is a lot, and they ALL fell through. In other news, Chris got the Priesthood on Sunday! He is doing SO well. He came on a joint teach with us on Saturday, where he bore an incredible testimony and inspired our Chinese investigator to pray alone one more time to try to get an answer yet again. He said he would do it, so hopefully he gets an answer that he recognizes soon. Anyway, back to Chris. He also gave us a referral (the first member referral I've seen in WEEKS) and had just gotten it because he was basically contacting while he was waiting for us to get to the appointment. He asked us for some copies of the Book of Mormon for his friends and some pass along cards that he could give to people. He's just so good. I'll get to go to the temple with him in a year, I know it.

So Mom, you asked if I got to do anything cool for Halloween. It's not celebrated here. Actually they have their own thing in Groningen next Monday, but it's different. We just got a new senior couple though and they are quite American, so they did an activity for institute, which we got to go to. It was a lot of fun and I FORGOT MY CAMERA!  But apparently the pictures are on Facebook somewhere. How do I know that? I did an eating competition and someone in my ward told me about seeing it on Facebook haha. 

So I got a new bike! Yay. I love it. I named it "Mystery” because I think it's ironic. That's kind of a cliché horse name, and it's my steed ya know? And also it's spray painted black. Then of course on Saturday it broke. Same thing that happened to my old bike. But I decided it was worth it to fix this bike because I actually really like it. 

This is so hard you guys. I'm not talking about the Muslim women that open their door a crack and tell us we are wrong. I'm not talking about biking 40 minutes in the freezing rain. I don't even really know what makes it so hard. It is working though. We are on the edge of something so big. Keep working. Keep the faith. Stay strong. We are so blessed to have this in our lives. Don't take it for granted.

IK HOU VAN JULLIE!

Love,

Zuster Heilner

Trying to be artsy but my camera would only focus on the molen

A Zr. who went on a mission and always gives us advice



06 November 2013

Week 20: I feel like a real missionary!

October 28

Gliefde Familie,


I did a lot of walking this week. And knocking doors. That's why. It's so frustrating. Most people here haven't seen "Hastening the Work of Salvation," so they think they don't need to help us. This work is not us anymore. My companion said, "We are here to help the members do missionary work, not the other way around." And also, "missionaries are full-time teachers, that means members are full time finders." I think she read that in the Liahona or something. IT'S SO TRUE PEOPLE. A member of the bishopric called me on Sunday seeing if I could give a talk the next Sunday and I basically took it as an opportunity to tell everyone that they're missionaries and we need them. 

So yeah, this week was really kinda hard. I don't usually get home sick, I don't usually feel like I'm not getting anywhere, but this week I kinda did. But it doesn't matter because if I focus on my needs less and just do the work, the Lord WILL provide, I know it. 

Temple conference was so cool. We watched the old video but in Dutch. It was sooooo awesome. Everything in Dutch. It was kinda hard actually finding the temple, but we did it and it was awesome. That's my miracle this week. 

I love you guys so much. Miss you! Especially around the holidays, but it's okay because I'm helping other people be together for eternity. 

My companion is an angel. Seriously, she is amazing. She told me president was sending her to me because she needed a break but I'm afraid it's just as hard here. Maybe she doesn't have to worry about me, but our appointments keep falling through and stuff. UGH. 

Anyway, yeah, I got a new bike. I needed to. I have had signs enough. My last bike actually broke too. 

I didn't get a new coat because I have a wonderful one. Seriously, I am soooooo glad you sent me the one from Russia. I just wish it had a hood. If you can find a cute rain hat...that'd also be good for Christmas. Buttttt you know you're Dutch when you can bike and hold an umbrella. And HOLLA AT ME GURL I can do that.

IK HOU VAN JULLIE!

Love,
Zuster Heilner
Missing Her!

Cool map in the station that is so old that it doesn't include Flevoland


05 November 2013

Week 19: Livin' the crazy life in Groningen...ALONE

October 21, 2013

Geliefde Familie:


Amsterdam!

Jk, I'm not alone. That would be breaking some serious white handbook rules. But Zr H is officially gone, so I'm the only one that knows where everything is. And the most experienced Elder left too, so I kinda feel like their mom a lot haha. Basically, what I have to say about this week is that I am alive. I DID IT. I was pretty stressed about getting to some dinner appointments that are outside of where we usually go, but somehow (not somehow, by the Lord) I figured it all out. It's absolutely amazing, this work. The Lord qualifies the called. 

In other news, nothing dries here. My gloves and ear cover got wet one day, so I put them by the heater to dry and they were still soaked when we had to leave in the morning. WHAT?!

I'm actually in Amsterdam today!!! My companion was just in Amsterdam serving, and we have Temple Conference tomorrow, and since we live in the boonies, we are sleeping in A'Dam today, and since it’s P-Day, we came early so we could do sightseeing! And Sister H is serving here...so it was for fun too hehe. 

Dear Young Women of the Plano 9th Ward, thank you guys for writing me! Go on missions. They'll kick your butt, but you'll be so glad they did.

So Dad always would tell me cool tracting stories. Not necessarily "cool," I mean, most of them are just funny, like putting panty hose over someone's face or underwear on someone’s head (do we see a pattern here...?), but MOM! What are yours?? I guess if there was a theme for mine for the last two transfers, it's that if Zr H ever didn't like food people gave us, it would either mysteriously end up on my plate or in my bag.

ALEX ELIZABETH SELF. Have you gotten my letter yet? I hope so. It's on a really cool card. I love you. What is going on in your life?!

My companion is great and really neat. She's basically an angel.

Well, friends, I love you. So much. Do family history, I know that the more we learn about our heritage (and let's face it, we have cool heritage on both sides), the more we learn about the Lord's hand in OUR lives. Go on joint teach with the missionaries. They need you guys. Bear testimony to everyone. This is the most important thing. Ever.

IK HOU VAN JULLIE!

Love,

Zuster Heilner

Temple Conference