Sister Kira Anjewierden
Zuster (Sister) Anjewierden has been called to serve in the Belgium/Netherlands mission, hence the Zuster. She reports to the MTC tomorrow, so I told her I'd get her post up today while she still has time to look at it! Go visit her blog for some great missionary inspiration and a series on sister missionaries that's a lot like Missionary March (and may be where I got the idea from ;] ).
Did President Monson’s announcement affect your choice to serve a mission at all?
The announcement didn't affect my choice, but it did affect the timing! I turned 19 just under a month after October General Conference, but I have wanted to serve ever since I can remember.
Why did you decide to serve a mission?
My choice really comes down to my love for the gospel, and my desire for everyone in the entire world to know about it! I wrote an entire blog post about it here! - http://zusterkira.blogspot.com/2013/01/why-im-serving.html
What are some things that you’ve done (so far) to prepare?
Spiritually - All the training on my Missionary Portal, receiving my endowment and attending the temple every week, practicing Dutch, journaling, attending my stake's Mission Prep Class(7:30am on Sundays, but SO worth it!), writing missionary friends, and practicing the lessons in Preach My Gospel.
Temporally - More shopping than I care to think about, filling a little notebook with workouts and hair ideas, helping deep clean the house, finding good music to take with me, and several other things!
Best websites/talks to read:
Oh my gosh, this is so hard! There are so many wonderful ones. But some of the ones that helped me most are these -
"Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer" - Richard G. Scott
"The Fourth Missionary" PDF - Lawrence E. Corbridge
What is the best mission advice you’ve ever received?
I know we've all heard it before, but President Hinckley's father's advice to him - "Forget yourself and go to work." Also, my mother's wise words on preparation upon hearing me complain about spending so much money - "Just remember it will all be worth it."
Favorite missionary scripture/quote?
"No Father would send His children off to a distant, dangerous land for a lifetime of testing where Lucifer was known to roam free without first providing them with a personal power of protection. He would also supply them with means to communicate with Him from Father to child and from child to Father. Every child of our Father sent to earth is provided with the Spirit of Christ, or the Light of Christ. We are, none of us, left here alone without hope of guidance and redemption." - Elder PackerAAAAND scripture:
Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
What is the best mission advice you could give to someone preparing to serve?
Keep busy! Don't let yourself be idle - Like the saying goes, the idle mind is the devil's playground, and he does not want you to serve! Look for a job, complete some projects, find some good people to spend time with. Occupy your time! I had five months to wait, and it FLEW by because I had so much I was doing!
How long did it take you to complete your paperwork and submit it?
Two weeks to finish my paperwork, then an extra week for my bishop and stake presidency interviews! I got my call about a month after the age change.
5 cool things about the area you will serve:
-The food. Belgian chocolate. Stroopwafels. Frites with mayo. Wheels of cheese. Speculaas. Freshly baked bread.
-The diversity. My mission is a melting pot of cultures! I have heard that, though I'm speaking Dutch, and a lot of people speak English, I will likely understand a lot of Flemish when I leave, and may also pick up little bits of French, German, Portuguese, Turkish, Indonesian... I have also heard that most of the recent converts are from across the world - students especially - and recently there have been a lot from Asian countries! PS, the diversity of the people also adds diversity to the food... Not a bad thing
-The architecture and scenery. New, crazy, modern architecture, mixed with centuries old, historically significant architecture all lining cobble-stone streets! So neat. Also, the dikes keeping a country that would otherwise be underwater flood-free. Windmills, of course! Scenery-wise, the Netherlands and Belgium are known for being green and beautiful. Also, the tulip festival. So many beautiful flowers! And the canals!
-The traditions. Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet. Wooden shoes. So many great things!
-The history. Castles and spots like the Anne Frank house, Het Steen, and Flanders Fields! My dad's family came from the Netherlands, so there is also family history there!
5 things you will miss about home:
People are a given, so I'm not going to count them. But my family does win out there!
-Music: Music is everything to me. I love MoTab and Hymns, but I will miss a lot of my favorite bands... Radiohead... Coldplay... The XX... Fleet Foxes... Bon Iver... Mumford and Sons... I could seriously go on forever. The other day my mom said, "We know what Kira will be doing the day she gets home!" And she's right. Listening to music. Haha. OH and playing! I will miss my guitar SO MUCH. I'm sure I'll be singing anyway, whether it's just around my companion or in church, so I'm not too worried about that one!
-Netflix: I love me some TV shows... Movies are all right, too, but TV shows win. Seriously, Netflix is one of my greatest technological friends. I've found so many wonderful shows...
-Design/blogging: I put these together because for me, they go hand in hand. I design things for my blog. I certainly don't think I'm great at either, but I love to do both. I'm glad I will still be able to email updates to my blog!
-Jeans: I love skirts, which I'll wear every day, and my sweats which I'll wear every night, but I am never more comfortable than in a pair of skinnies. True story.
-Reading: I had this grand plan to read a bunch of CS Lewis before I left... Didn't happen. Haha. I love reading secular books as well as religious books, but I am glad that my mission will give me time to become more acquainted with our allowed reading and the scriptures!
Thanks so much, Zuster! You will be great in Belgium/the Netherlands!