These past two days have been special because I have been able to see clearly that my Heavenly Father watches over me at all times and in all places.
To give a little background about this family from the Netherlands, let me start by saying they are my favorite guests that have stayed here by far! The first day they were here, last Saturday, I checked them into their flats and they greeted me in English which made it easy to communicate with them. They were very excited about how nice the flats were and the kids were excited to explore. Before I said goodbye I learned that the mom’s name was Ester and I told her that if she needed anything I was just upstairs. What was cool was that she was the first person who actually took me up on that offer! First she came to ask me about the recycling and then later that day her kids came knocking on my door asking for help to set up their television set! I was nice to be able to help them.
Fast forward to Monday morning, Ester came knocking because their fire alarm was going crazy due to smoke in their kitchen. I ran down the stairs after her and discovered the culprit was a overcooked piece of toast. The family and I assembled to open the windows and press the button on the fire alarm to reset it and stop the loud beeping noise! Once the crisis was adverted, I returned to my flat, but not before learning about a birthday tradition from Holland that started when the mother of the current King of Holland was born. The queen was born around the 1930’s when there was an economic crisis, and as a way to create a cheaper alternative to birthday cakes, a company came up with a colored sprinkles business. Basically you take a piece of toast and put some butter on it, and then you top it off with sprinkles. When a baby is born, they have blue sprinkles to celebrate if it is a boy, and pink ones if it a girl! It’s pretty cool, and that is what some of the kids were having for breakfast!
Later that evening, Ester came knocking on my door and invited me to dinner with her and her family! It was amazing! We ate some vegetable spaghetti with sides of blueberries and tomatoes and pickles and just talked. I felt very loved that evening and after dinner I was blessed to draw with the kids a little before calling it a night. Before I left, Ester invited me to come swimming with her family the next day!
I think it had been a year since the last time I went swimming and it felt great! I played some marco polo with Nout and Guus and watched carefully as Guus took a dive from the high jump in the deeper pool! I also played a game I learned from my cousin Karen where you stand in a circle and say, “This is a game of concentration, no regrets or hesitation, category is,” and then you say a category to start listing off words quickly without repeating a word that was already said. It was a very good day, and Ester was even kind enough to take me grocery shopping afterwards!
The Lord truly sends angels to minister to us, and this family was no exception.
Recently when I was taking a train, I ran into a lady that was asking for directions, and we got to talking after I found out she was learning Spanish on Duolingo. During our conversation I was talking about how I learned Spanish and Portuguese and we talked a little about Jesus Christ. I felt sad to learn that this woman had come to the conclusion that Jesus was not a good person because of all the unfairness and violence that exists in the world. I can’t change her opinion, but I can testify that our Savior Jesus Christ is the greatest person there is! He gave his life for us and every day he does everything in His power to help us find everlasting joy and peace. I can not blame Him for the harmful decisions of others or even my own harmful decisions, but I can look to Him for strength to overcome my weaknesses and learn to become better. I can also turn to him for peace and the capacity to be patient and forgive. He loves us so much and so does our Heavenly Father, and we can turn to them always!