Sunday, January 26, 2014

Jake's Mission Call

Jake received his mission call on Wednesday, January 23rd.  Just like Megan's call, Owen was on a business trip.  Jake was in Logan so we had to try to find a way to talk to each other with a tool that would allow 3 calls.  We chose ooVoo!  It worked great.  Jake called from Grandma and Grandpa Israelsen's house with about 25 of his friends and family members, Rachel, Elizabeth and Laura were in Denver.  Owen was in Souix Falls, South Dakota.  Laura decided to add one more screen and video tape the whole exhange!  Congratulations Jake!  We all had guesses around the world but not one of us guessed Sweden, Stockholm!  He enters the MTC on June 7, 2014!  Yeah!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas 2013, Skyping with Zuster Israelsen, Jake home and all the Traditions, Complete with Chinese Food on Christmas Eve in Denver and Belgium!

Megan's Package from Belgium!

Christmas Eve! 
Some of it was delicious and some was a little nasty! 

Chocolate Letters From Netherlands!

New Pajamas!

Sister Israelsen (can I call you Megan when we pick you up?), I Loved, loved, loved talking to you on Christmas! It made me miss you even more. I'm not trying to truck you out, but I can hardly wait to see you in April. It just makes me realize that you only have a few months before we see you. I am very excited to come to Europe! During our conversation, I could tell that you were having a difficult time with your companion. I didn't mean to "shut you down" about talking about the situation. I just didnt know if they could hear you in the other room and I didnt want to make it any worse. I'm guessing from your short comments that your companion can be difficult at times. I hope you are able to handle it okay. All I can say, is that I had one companion that I had the hardest time getting along with (and I thought I could get along with anyone). I was wrong! He just rubbed me the wrong way. I did everything I could to get along. I did splits with the other Elders as often as I could and I let the Zone Leaders know that I was having a hard time with him. I found that when I tried to do things for him, I felt better about myself and it felt like it helped us get along. I am sorry, if it is difficult right now. I know that the mission President must have really trusted you to let you know that he was giving you a difficult assignment. Hang in there. Your mother must really be in tune with you because she felt like something was up when she asked about you companion.  Stay close to the Lord, and pray for help. He will help you get through this difficult time. Not only that, you only have a limited amount of time to do everything that you want to before you are done. Dont let a difficult companion hold you back. Do your best and the Lord will back you up and give you strength. Hang in there sweetheart. I Love you!! So, I guess Grandpa has been telling everyone that he was able to talk to you in Holland and us in Denver all at the same time. Uncle Neal called to tell me that he was very thrilled. Even though he didnt say much and didnt understand your dutch. He was still thrilled. Grandma loved it also. I was really scared that I would not be able to get them up and running on that program. We had a few technical difficulties but in the end it worked out great! The Bishop, wife and family all seemed to be pretty fun. It was so nice of them to let you do all that at their home. I just wanted to let you know that anyone that wants to come over and stay with us, they are welcome. Your mother is waiting for your friend to email her about work/study. She hasnt been able to find her email. please let her know that she would be welcomed with open arms . We would love to have her, just have her email right away.  I am excited to meet some of the people that you have been serving! Of course we also want you to see a few of the sights.  This is the final streach, do your best and keep your head in the game. I Love you! Dad

How are you?  It was so amazing to see you on Christmas.  I keepthinking about seeing you and what we talked about.  You look so goodand have come so far with your testimony and you Dutch!  Wow!  I amglad it worked out to add Grandma and Grandpa even though they didn'tquite get the screen right so you could see them well.  :)  We havebeen enjoying your box all week too.  Jake even used the black ballcandies with his friends - if they lost on a game, they had to eat thecandies.  We've been eating the sprinkles on toast for breakfast.
It has been nice to be home for a break!  We've done a few thingstogether like go to the Hobbit and some restaurants.  Elizabeth haskept up her Mathnasium schedule and we even tried some shopping afterChristmas - it was crazy busy!  Jake wore one of his new suits todayto church.
Jake and Rachel have been out late with friends and everyone is offschedule getting up late and going to bed late.  Dad and I have stillbeen getting up so we are exhausted.
We fed the missionaries tonight - all 4 of them.  One of the eldersplayed football for BYU and he can eat!  We had them and the Ellis'sfor dinner.  We had hoospot and sausage casserole in honor of ourDutch side.  I finally finished the dishes!  I cleaned all morning andgot food ready before going to church and playing SINGO for sharingtime.  The kids had Bingo cards that I had made - actually SINGO cardswith the names of Christmas songs and then pictures of Christmasthings.  They got to have Sunday Sundaes for memorizing their articlesof faith.  They got a topping for every article they had memorized.It was kind of gross to see the kids who had 13 toppings.
We are all going to ride indoor race cars tomorrow - Dad got it forChristmas for everyone.  I am a little worried about it but he is veryexcited and I guess we are all going to try it.
We have been working on our trip a little bit and need to finalizemuch more before going back to work but one thing we finalized was torent a flat in Den Haag from April 1-10.  We are staying on the coastright next to the large hotel where you got your picture taken.Hopefully that will be close to everything you want to do.  We willrent a car so we can do whatever you want.  We will fly back to US onthe 9th or 10th.  We are hoping to finalize flights tomorrow.  Anyway,it is still a ways off so keep working hard.  This will probably besome of the most productive months you have on your mission.
I was concerned about your companion and you after talking to you.Are you sure you are okay?  I talked to Kris about multiplepersonality and she said that MPD is a dangerous disorder and makes aperson totally unpredictable.  It isn't a matter of standing up tothem, it is dangerous for her and for you.  I guess I am surprisedthat a condition like that made it all the way to the Netherlands.President Toombs sent 3 new missionaries home this week because theyhad unresolved issues and health problems.  I guess I am surprised andthought that the screening was more rigorous than that.  Is she aGeneral Authority's daughter?  Please don't be a hero.  Tell youPresident if you are having any issues and move on.  She may be muchbetter off returning home than having you cover up for her and herproblems.  You shouldn't have to deal with that on top of everythingelse.
It was wonderful to meet the Bishop and his family!  What a complimentto you to have the sister's requested to move to that ward.  I amconfident that you are an amazing influence on those Young Women.Please take care and ask for help if you need it.
Love you,Mom

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