Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 4 ~ Tjonge Jongen! How is it already week four?!

How has it already been four weeks?! Holy cow.

This week was a little hectic because of the mission president training being held here! We were kicked out of the main building all week because that is where their training was and because the apostles and seventy were all in there! President Monson skyped in. So crazy! So we ate our meals in the gym, except for lunch on Sunday. For lunch we got to walk down to the Morris Center at BYU and eat there! It was so nice to be free for a while and be right next to my apartment I lived in all last year. Also, we had the opportunity on Thursday and Friday to have mission presidents come to our districts to teach us! President Cuvelier and his wife were the ones who taught us, and they are headed to Brazil! It was such a cool experience, plus I saw President Dixon (my dad's boss) and his wife who (hopefully) sent a photo of us to my dad.

We got to host the new missionaries again this week, and I got to host my friend, Sister Francom, who lived across the hall from me at BYU! It was so great! And sadly, the temple is closed for cleaning for the next little while, so we can't do sessions anymore. BUT, we got the opportunity to clean the temple! It was actually super fun! And yes, the rumors are true, we cleaned with toothpicks, and q-tips. Haha it was a cool experience. We cleaned the women's locker room and then afterwards they let us visit the bride's room! It was so beautiful!! Plus Sister Rowley's district was cleaning the same time as us, so I got to hang out with her for three hours. So blessed.

Sunday night was fun! They were showing a bunch of movies, like usual, and we really wanted to go to Meet the Mormons but it was full. So my companions and I went back to our classroom and pulled it up on, turned out the lights, put our feet up on the desks, and ate popcorn. It was THE BEST. Sometimes it's nice to have a break from being a missionary all the time.

I also chatted with Elder Nielson of the Seventy for a while and shook his hand! He was the one who spoke at our Sunday devotional and I taught him how to say Goede Dag! Whaaaat? It was so cool.

Quotes from this week:
"Why can't we have long hair? I mean we ARE representatives of Jesus Christ." -Elder Grondel
"I'm pretty sure I'd be a hippie if I wasn't raised in the church." -Elder Tolman
"Can ASL missionaries get the gift of tongues?" -Elder Tolman

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has the fullness of the gospel on the earth. I know that this truth was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God and it is the most correct book on earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it can help us with any problems or questions we may have. I know that if we pray to God, he will answer us through quiet thoughts, feelings, the Book of Mormon, and other people. I know that God is waiting to bless us. All we need to do is come unto Him.

Zuster Fordiani

1&2- Lechie, Zuster Smith, and me
3- Stoopwafels from Nederland!!
4- Movie night
5- Tramp stamps
6- Hosting

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week drie: Dat is leuk


Well another week has come and gone! We have two new investigators--Greet (who is our teacher Sis. Larson) and Julio (our teacher Bro. Bonney). So that's interesting haha. We committed Greet to baptism on July 2 and we're working on Julio!

The new Hungarians came on Wednesday!! Nine elders and five sisters! So our zone is a party now! Kickball gets pretty heated ;) But I love all the new missionaries! It's so fun to meet tons of amazing people from all over! I admire all of their strong testimonies so much. Missions are so cool.

Our two Dutch districts also got to host on Wednesday! It was so fun hosting the new sisters and getting to be the experienced one. I love helping others and hosting was the best! I love getting to share little nuggets of wisdom from my very limited knowledge ;) I hope we get to host again this week, because 750 missionaries are coming to the MTC this Wednesday, as well as 185 mission presidents and their wives. Crazy. We're getting kicked out of the main building all week and we have to eat lunch in the gym haha.

We started TRC this week, which is when we get to teach members who speak Dutch! It was a good experience!... Except for when I was reading James 1:5 and mispronounced a word and said the s word on accident. The member we were teaching randomly burst into laughter and then let me know what I had said. I can understand mostly when people are talking about spiritual stuff in Dutch, but once they start talking about regular things I get so lost hahaha. So the member repeated a story five times and we were not understanding him. On the fifth time I thought I finally understood what he was saying. I knew he said something about his parents and that they were serving a mission in the Phillipines and then something about his brother. So I said, "Dat is leuk!!" ("That is cool!!") But Zuster Mangum, with her better listening skills, realized that he had said that his brother passed away in a car crash two weeks ago, so his parents had to come home after just two weeks from their mission to the Phillipines. It was awful. I feel so bad!!! So moral of the story is that nodding and smiling when you don't fully understand doesn't always work hahah.

Apparently there are a lot of mistakes you can easily make in Dutch. For example:
Zuster Lechtenberg said in our lesson, "Jesus Christ is the kiss of God." (zoen vs. zoon)
Elder Guevara said, "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and die?" Instead of get baptized hahah. (doot vs. doop)

Haha and I love my companions!! Zuster Mangum reminds me of my sister Anna, so that is sooo great. And Zuster Lechtenberg is so fun! I'm so grateful to be in a trio with them! We party so hard.

Funny happenings this week:
Motra Saldana pulled out tots from her purse in pure Napoleon Dynamite fashion.
Elder Grondel said, "I climbed Mt. Everest once with my eyes tied behind my back."

And other funny things I can't remember... geez.

My testimony has grown so much here! It is really an amazing thing being surrounded by hundreds of missionaries every day.

Ik veet dat de kerk vaar is. Ik veet dat als u in Het Boek van Mormon leest, zult u antwoorden ontvangen. Ik veet dat als u naar de kerk gaat, zult u vrede voelen en meer over Jezus Christus leren. Ik veet dat Thomas S. Monson is de levende profeet en dat door middel van Joseph Smith, herstelde God zijn evangelie. Ik veet dat God echt en leifde is. En ik veet dat wij kunnen met Hemelse Vader en Jezus Christus veer leven. Dit zeg ik, in de naam van Jezus Christus, amen.

I know that the church is true. I know that if you read in the Book of Mormon, you will receive answers. I know that if you go to church, you will feel peace and learn more about Jesus Christ. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet and that God restored his gospel through Joseph Smith. I know that God is real and loving. And I know that we can live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again. This I say, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!


Zuster Fordiani

1- My awkward head chilling in the corner
2- Hosting
3- A cute photo I found from last week lol
4- Defying gravity like a boss
5- Our new zone!
6&7- Temple pics
8- Cutest puppy at the temple!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week twee

Goede dag!

I can't believe another week has already gone by! Time flies here in the "Empty Sea" ;) Lots has happened this week! We taught our "investigator" Juni four more lessons and committed her to baptism! Except she's moving for the summer back home, so we're getting a new investigator tomorrow. And ELDER BEDNAR CAME!!!! It was the coolest experience! He gave a great devotional about how Christ knows us "one by one." And then the choir (which I was participating in) sang a brand new song he wrote called "One by one." It was so spiritual and amazing. Haha I cry so much here at the MTC, because the spirit is always so strong!

We're doing an 8 day challenge in our district where we have to memorize 30 words and 5 phrases every day and a scripture every other day in Dutch. My companions and I have memorized Moroni 10:5, D&C 18:10, D&C 6:36. Today we're going to memorize Moses 1:39 for our lesson tomorrow! My Dutch has improved a lot and it's so amazing how much I already can say and understand! I had to say the opening prayer in Sacrament in Dutch and it went well! Our sacrament meetings are so spiritual and amazing! Because our district is made up of Dutch, Hungarians, Albanians, and Turks, we all sing the hymns in our mission language and it is the coolest thing ever. I seriously love it here.

Magic Tuesday was a magical, horrific, traumatizing experience. Yeah.

The Hungarians left this morning at 4 am for Hungary! It was really sad because they are all such great people. We're getting 15 new Huns this week though, so that should be pretty fun! I'm excited for some new competition in basketball ;) Seriously we play lightning every day during gym time and it is the best. I play lightning with all the elders and it's freaking baller. It's so fun! 

(This is from Olivia's letter to me) "I literally made friends with all the elders in the zone just from playing basketball with them. They all have respect for me now hahahaha because I make a ton of threes and I got Szuch Elder (the King of basketball) out during lightning three times in a row. I also made four threes in a row. It was sick. Seriously lightning is so fun. I randomly got super good at shooting without even practicing I feel like!! Haha I made seven free throws in a row!! so cool!"

Here are some other random, fun things that happened this week:
Elder Tolman forgot to take off his pajama shirt and was wearing it under his white church shirt when he showed up to class in the morning.
I learned that lieveheersbeestje means lady bug, and translated to English means God's little beast.
Elder Voigt cut his face eating a piece of elk jerky and made sure we knew that it was from the jerky and not shaving because in his words, "That would be embarrassing."
Some jokes from Elder Tolman:
How did Hitler tie his shoes? Little Nazis.
The scariest thing to read in braille is "Do not touch."
And a quote from Elder Grondel:
"Rice is good when you're hungry and you want 2,000 of something."

We have a good time ;) But seriously, choosing to serve a mission is the best decision I have ever made. I know I'm only in the MTC, but I already feel so much love for my fake investigators and the people of the Netherlands and Belgium I have yet to meet! My testimony has already grown so much and I am so happy to be a missionary.

Anyway, sorry this email is all over the place.

"The church is true, the book is blue, and Christ suffered for me and you." -Elder Jaunay

Ik houdt van jullie!!

Zuster Fordiani

1- The elders in their natural habitat
2- Temple walk
3- The zone
4&5- Squad photos
6- We love the temple!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week One!

Hallo hallo!

The MTC is so great! I'm loving it here! It is so spiritual and amazing. I'm in a trio companionship with Zusters Lechtenberg and Mangum and they are so great! We get along really well. Our district has three zusters, two elders going to Bel/Neth with us, and two going to Suriname! (They speak Dutch in Suriname btw). Then there's another district of Dutch as well that we love. And our zone also has the Albanians, Hungarians, and Turks. We room with the trio of Albanian motras and they are soooo funny! Our zone is the best!!! 

Dutch is coming along super well! The gift of tongues is real! Our first day of class we were just thrown in and our teacher was only speaking Dutch. And it was actually pretty understandable! But now we can understand a lot of what he says! We can pray in Dutch and we have already taught our "onderzoeker" (investigator) Juni in Dutch one time! Our second lesson with her is tonight and I'm really excited. The Heilige Geest completely guided our lesson plan and I'm so ready to teach her with mij collegas. 

Other fun things that have happened are that we got to go on a temple walk with our zone, did a session with part of our zone, played sand volleyball with the zone, watched the Character of Christ talk from Elder Bednar (it's SO GOOD, the rumors are true), listened to Sheri Dew speak at a devotional, and tons of other things! My zone is great and so is my district. So blessed. 

So "Magic Tuesday" is tomorrow... Only the Bel/Neth missionaries have to do it hahaha ask me about it when I get home. It should be interesting... ;)

I seriously LOVE being a missionary. It is the coolest thing I have ever done and the best decision of my life. I am so ready to share the gospel with the people of Bel/Neth! I want everyone to experience the joy of the gospel that has blessed my life so immensely! Putting on my tag every morning is my favorite thing to do, and I'm just so ready for the next year and a half. 

Ik veet dat Jezus Christus echt is. Ik veet dat als u elke dag het Boek van Mormon leest, zult u vrede voelen en een antwoord ontvangen. Ik veet dat de kerk vaar is. 
(Elder Steele, don't judge my Dutch too harshly) ;)

Ik houdt van jullie! Tot ziens!

Zuster Fordiani

1- My companions and me at the infamous MTC map
2- Sister Rowley!! I see her every day. #zegeningen
3- All the sisters in our zone :)
4- Temple walk
5- The zone
6- Our district #heeljoosh