09 September 2013

Week 12: Bike Issues, They're Real

September 2, 2013

Gleiefde Familie,

HOI LIEFERS! How are you people? Annie and Mark...whyyyy have I not received an email from you children? Spencer, you too! What the heck, you're just too busy LOVING YOUR LIFE at BYU (you're welcome) that you can't write me?? Who are you people?

I can't wait to bike in America. I have learned so many hilarious things (that are soooo smart) that Nederlanders do, and I can't wait to see the looks I get from Americans. Bikes here have an achter op. I don't think a lot of bikes in America have them, but it's basically a platform on the back wheel that you can put stuff on. Or sit on. We have made "achter op-ing" a verb. It's when someone is biking normally, and the other person is sitting on the achter op with their legs hanging off the side. Or, I've heard of some elders who have been standing on the achter op while the other companion is riding. I'm not that crazy yet, but I still have 16 months. I can also get on my bike like a Nederlander. Basically, you have your left foot on the pedal, and you push your bike with your right foot and then bring your right foot up and around while the bike is moving and then start pedaling. It's not that hard, but it took me a while to get the hang of. I feel so cool when I do it. You know you're a good biker when: story time. In my first week here, I was still getting the hang of everything. You'd think I'd be better at riding a bike, but I really haven't done it since...well, Russia, but I didn't do any heavy biking. Anyway, there was a soda can right in my trail, and I figured that if I aimed right for it, the chances of me hitting it were pretty low. I mean, according to my track record for that week, it would have been accurate. So I aimed with all my might right for that soda can...and hit it. WOO, I KNOW HOW TO STEER!

Bike with an achter-op (the platform on the back)

That said the miracles this week also have to do with bikes. One time, we went with the Elders to Hoogezand. It's a dorp like thirty minutes away from Groningen. My companion and I brought our bikes, but the Elders I guess were just going to walk. Good thing we brought our bikes cause the person we were visiting lived forever away. So we achter oped. I was on the back of Sister Hudson's bike, and the Elders took my bike. P.S. Sister Hudson was using a rented bike because she lost her bike key, so her bike was stuck in ANOTHER dorp south of Groningen. Good times. She and Sister Watkins (we were on exchanges) had to achter op from that place back to Groningen...like an hour and a half, and achter oping is NOT comfortable. Zr Watkins' butt may never be the same. Anyway, so we were achter oping to this place. All was well. Then on the way back to the station, we had to go really fast, so we had the Elders pedal, and we sat on the back. You don't have to touch each other while achter oping, but we shouldn't have been on the back of their bikes. Heavenly Father told us that by knocking Zr Hudson off the back of Elder Thomas's bike. She totally fell and hit her head, but she was fine! Just a little headache. I even checked her eyes that night to make sure she didn't have a concussion. She's good. But we won't be achter oping with Elders anymore. Next miracle. The next day, we were biking. Instead of going straight through a roundabout like we normally do, we were turning left, but I forgot, so I hit the back of Zr Hudson’s bike and fell. It was a pretty bad fall, I thought I was going to die, but I also came out unscathed. I didn't even hit my head! We definitely have Angels all around us like it says in D&C 84:88.

I gotta go, but I miss you people. Yesterday I got to speak German AND Russian! WHAT?!Yeah. A little German lady came up and was speaking German to us. She needed help, and I was able to help. I thought she was speaking Dutch at first, I could understand it so perfectly! Then my companion was like, What the heck is she saying? I COULD UNDERSTAND IT! I responded in Dutch, but it was just such a testimony to me that God knows us and will help us. He brought German back to my remembrance. I am so thankful. 

Do you know of any fun games to play with little kids?


Meg, go kill this mission. So excited for you. Spence, watch out, there ARE weirdoes at BYU. 

Keep up the good work, kids,

Zuster Heilner

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