Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's Week in Nederland

This was an interesting week for us here in the Netherlands (Nederland). We started the week off with a District outing on Monday to Kinderdijk (windmills). It was a very different scene with the ice and frost. We had a great time there at our favorite local place. In the afternoon on New Year's Eve, we received information that a member sister and her husband from Aruba (Caribbean Dutch possession) were at the local hospital for her cancer treatment and needed contact with the church. We took the Elders there with us and met Ingrid and Roland Odor (odoor). They are very nice, active members who needed some help. We had a nice visit and promised to take Roland to church (which we did today). We then went to a member's home (Erkamps) and enjoyed the Dutch treat of oliebollen and apleflaps (deep fried round scones with currents and apple slices baked into batter). We got the elders back to their place by 7 pm and returned home ourselves. We then experienced the thousands of fireworks that were shot off here in Rotterdam. We thought that we must have been transported to a war zone when at 10 pm the intensity of the fireworks increased to an amazing level. For the next three hours we listened to and watched out of our apartment window as the local citizens really went all out to celebrate. Smoke enveloped the area and the fire and police personnel were kept very busy. On New Year's Day we left at 10 am to deliver late arriving Christmas packages to missionaries. We were amazed at the piles of paper and trash that had been left on parking lots and streets from the night before. The roads were quite empty when we started a 125 mile loop to play FedEx. Along our route we passed along a canal in Gouda, where dozens of ice skaters were enjoying the new thick ice. The temps were in the mid 20's to it was not miserably cold. On Friday we went to a care center and made our weekly visit to Sister Matilda Slingerland. The holiday staff there was short handed and that made things interesting. That evening we went to another member's home and enjoyed a nice meal. We enjoyed visiting with them. On Saturday we drove to Hilversum to honor Nellie Maas (Van Scheijn) on her 80th birthday. We baptized her and 5 of her children 40 years ago. It was our third visit with her during this mission. It was good to eat lunch with her daughter Ellie just before that. It was nice to see some of the rest of the family, including grandchildren and great grandchildren. Then we returned to Rotterdam for another baptism in the R'dam North building. Wei Wei, a Chinese student, joined the ranks of the church. This week it is back to normal (whatever that is).

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