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...


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.


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.



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.


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:


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.



Zuster Heilner

Temple Conference