Boy do I have stories to tell you this week.
So you might have heard, because somehow my mom already did, but I have been born in GENT, BELGIUM. (first area....people say they are born in their first area)
I was pumped when I first got the call. Cute Zus. Bunnell even made nice letters of our calls and gave us pictures and info about our area.
Mine looked beautiful before I even got here....also the next day when we met our trainers and some people who are dying...(leaving from their missions to go home) they were all super jealous of me going to Gent. They all kept telling me it is the most beautiful place in our whole mission, and they wish they could go with me...
Also I saw Cody Bean...I didnt get a picture with my camera, so hopefully he sent you one. It was good to see him. He also was raving about Gent. haha I am pretty lucky.
My Trainer is Zus. Robbins. She is an angel...I'm sure of it. Also she is such a pro with the language, so I have a hard time, not just letting her talk all the time. haha She is just so good, and well....Im just so bad. haha She is from Riverton Utah, and she plays the piano, and sings. Wonderfully I might add. She was asked to play for a performance at church yesterday, (this really difficult piece), and she just sits down and plays it like it was nothing. She is so kind to me, and always looking for ways she can serve me. It makes me want to do better in that sense. I love her, and she teaches me so much everyday. She is always also there to pick me up and tell me I am doing awesome with the language.
The language... haha well lets see.
Right now I am typing on a computer that is saying everything I am writing is mispelled. (so if so....thats why. whoops).
Also I am in Belgium....
You know how people say when they get off the plane in their area, that "this is not the language I learned in the MTC"...Well that's what I said. Only it is actually true. Because everyone here speaks FLEMISH!!!! ahhhhhhh haha
But literally. Flemish is still dutch, but a completely different dialect, that even some people from the Netherlands cant understand sometimes.
They dont use the gutteral g, and instead they roll their r's and do a gutteral r that is deep in their throat...Im working on it. But honestly I cant even roll my r's soooooo haha wish me luck.
That is one thing I was hoping I wouldnt have to deal with because I am not learning spanish, but they actually do roll their r's even with dutch. They just at the gutteral sound here.
Also they pronounce their w's normal here instead of like a v...(how I learned in the mtc).
What else? They have random words that only people from belgium say like french words: Merci and Seba...and then they have words that only people in Gent say...so there is literally a Gent's language. haha
They also are like canadians and add a random EH.
It is hard, because I can barely speak and understand dutch and now I am trying to learn how to speak and understand Flemish....
So what I am getting to is...pray for me. hahaha jk. But really.
It gets better every day though.
The food is pretty delicious here, and they are actually pretty healthy here and love vegetables. So besides the Fries that people literally make to eat for dinner haha they are healthy. Oh and they make yummy deserts for us at dinner appointments as well.
That is also wonderful, we have a lot of dinner appointments with ward members. So we get yummy foods.
The other night we had dinner at the Van Hoves. They are sooooooo awesome. I could understand the wife a ton, because she speaks more dutch then flemish, but her husband mumbled a little so it was hard. They live out in the country side, I forget where...our area is huge. So we had to take a train for an hour to get there, and they picked us up at the train station.
They were hilarious. The husband was showing us tricks and we had a barbecue and he was showing us dance moves haha it was hilarious!!! Super awesome family.
By the way: transportation is insane here. We ride about 6 buses a day and a train sometimes twice a day. super cool.
We also went to one of our minder actiev members for dinner (Less active) and she made us yummy pasta salad. She is from Nicaragua and was eating cow heart...haha so she let us try some. It was actually good, but chewy so probably not again. It isnt really normal to eat those things here, but she is from Nicaragua so she likes the organs I guess haha.
Title to the email: On our way to our first dinner appointment in Gent I have been to. With the Van Hees... (they are awesome by the way super funny they have two super cute little children). I dont have a bike yet, because we dont really need them in belgium... and they didnt live too far. Sooooooo I had to achterop on the back of my companions bike. haha and we had tried to fix her bike that day.
achterop-ing: you sit on the back of someone's bike on the bar, and you hop on after they start going. haha
So we achteropd all the way to the appt. and on the highway next to cars. I answered the phone spoke in dutch and looked at the map all while sitting on the back of a bike on a bar. haha it was awesome. Didnt even fall once.
Don't worry though mom, we found out it is illegal in belgium (not in the netherlands we think) haha after so I wont be doing it again.
Just know that I am a professional achterop-er haha;)
Also by the way it is hilarious to be in a place where I feel like the three year olds are smarter than me because they can speak perfect flemish.haha
So I have no clue where all the elders in my district went, I dont think anyone from my district is in belgium though.
We have 3 other elders in Gent who live in an apartment just next door pretty much haha.
Elder Lovin: is from Salt Lake. Elder Frederico: is from brazil. Elder Turner: is from Canada and is a greeny like me, but he was a visa waiter in vegas for a transfer. They are all super nice, and funny, and sometimes, we get to go to dinner appts. with them or run with them in the mornings.
My apartment is super nice. Like SUPER nice, haha I am pretty lucky, we have a ton of space, and it is pretty dang new and clean. Also becuase we take care of it and clean it.
also our runs in the morning we run down a tiny street with a random tiny little church. kinda cool.
This place is beautiful and some days actually pretty warm. I will send you pictures. The houses are tiny and it looks like almost streets in italy somedays with vines and cute brick houses.
It is wierd, because I always think about the awesome videos that show missionaries walking in streets smiling and laughing haha and that is totally me now.
We don't have any progressing investigators right now, so we just hand out cards on the streets or knock doors. Pretty crazy. I didnt think I would have to do much of that. But it is hard here, because you can't contact on transportation unless you actually have a conversation with someone so we do a lot of tracting and proselyting. And no one will sit by us on transportation, becuase nobody sits next to anyone if they dont have to here, or our name tags repel people which is sad.
The other day we had a lady that literally shut the door on us because she saw our name tags said Jesus Christ. SOOOO SAD!! I was like, "if you only knew what He has done for you lady" haha poor Jesus. He has never done anything to hurt anyone, only to help everyone and yet He is still being persecuted today.
Anyways. It is hard here, I am not going to pretend it isnt. But I absolutely love it. I love it when people are nice and still talk to us. We are meeting with people still so dont think that it isnt as successful here because it actually is. We just teach a lot of less actives as well. It is awesome. I love it here, and I wouldnt rather be any where else. No matter if the work is hard, God still needs the people to hear the gospel, even if they wont accept it. I have a feeling though that this week we are going to see soooo much success. We are going to meet up with a man who we gave the book of mormon to read, and a lady we met street contacting, who speaks english (YAY) haha to teach her as well. Super awesome.
I am super tired all the time, and the jet lag does not help at all. haha sometimes I think this work would be a lot easier if I could just get some sleep, but haha its great, and I learn so much every day. I also get to take a small nap today so thats awesome.
I forgot to see who's birthdays are this week. so Happy Birthday to everyone who has a birthday this week...haha sorry.
I love you all and miss you, but I love it here!!!
Dont worry about me here at all. I am totally safe, and protected.
Ik hou van jullie.