This week was just amazing! We started off by celebrating Sinterklaas with the Beute Family. Sinterklaas is the traditional Dutch Christmas. It is highlighted by Sint (Santa) and his black slaves (Zwarte Piet). It looks roughly like the picture below. The Tradition is that Sint brings gifts for the good kids and the bad kids get thrown in Zwarte Piet's bag and taken to Spain to be a slave. Suddenly getting coal for christmas doesn't sound all that bad :) Celebrating sinterklaas depends on the family, but most will only do presents on sinterklaas and no presents on Christmas. It's kinda cool because then Christmas becomes a day only about being with the family
Now that you know what Sinterklaas is all about, you understand how awesome it was when Sint (The Beute's 4 year old son Ayden) and Zwarte piet (Me-haha) came to visit! I was Pakjes Piet meaning I was in charge of giving out the gifts to everyone in the room while Sint read from his "big red book" to see who was naught or nice. Ayden had a ball as Sint because it gave him a chance to boss everyone around for a minute haha, I love kids! I'll send you photos of me as Zwarte Piet with Sint.
Thursday we had a conference with Elder Johnson from the Area Presidency. He gave a great talk about Maintenance and Yield. Roughly, he was praising the members and the missionaries who are low maintenance and high yield "investments." He said that the best missionaries in the mission aren't always the leaders in the mission, they are the ones that the Mission President can put anywhere with anyone and not have to worry about them. It was kinda fun because it reminded me of when president said that about me when he told me that I was going to go to Hilversum. One of the things that really touched me is how Elder Johnson described being low maintenance. He compared us to cars saying that even a low maintenance car still has to go in for an oil change or a 30k miles check up. Low maintenance doesnt mean NO maintenance. We all need maintenance, but those that are "low maintenance" are the ones that use the scheduled services to the fullest. We are able to be "serviced" every week with the sacrament or every 6 months at general conference. I invite you all to become low maintenance/high yield members by serving faithfully in your callings and taking advantage of all the "service" opportunities that we are given through the restored gospel.
Lastly, This week marked the start of a new facebook campaign in the mission. We are sending out the "Joy to the World" video to those that order it on facebook. So far we have recieved around 240 requests in the first 4 days. This means we have been working like crazy to package, label, input info in the referral system, and more to fulfill the requests. We have been working way hard, but there really is nothing that compares to the feeling when we get a new email notifying us that there is a new request or bringing hundreds of envelops to the post office with a video that is going to bring joy to those that receive it and its message. I think that is going to be the main focus this week, im excited!
Life is Good