Friday, August 11, 2017

August 8,2017 Email ;D

Hello hello!!

Yesterday was BC day, so we emailed today!! I asked a couple of people what BC day is all about in transit to start conversations...they didn't really know what is was....but that's okay! Because I knew about a different message that could change their lives! ;)
The sun is shining out here in Vancouver! And it's RED!! Because of the forest fires going on all over British Colombia...apparently you can see them from space...the air is full of smoke and the sun is red! It's crazy! Some people are even wearing masks and there are people warning us every day not to go running or anything because the air is dirty. Whether it is related to the muggy air or not, we also hit a record here in Van City! 36 degrees!!! Apparently, it hasn't gotten that hot here since the 1900s or something. I don't remember the year, but a lady on the bus was very excited about it! ;)
Update on my missionary wardrobe: I have 3 pairs of proselyting shoes and all 3 now have holes in the bottom! :P They are my "holy" shoes. ;)
We had a wonderful meal with a sweet older lady in the ward who was baptized about 15 years ago. She fed us some mystery meat Chinese tasted good! She's Filipino and didn't want to cook, so she picked up some food and heated it up...packaging was in Chinese so...we all learned together! Sister Kim swears that it was all chicken except the short ribs...but I've had a lot of chicken in my life and I don't think I've had at least that particular part of the chicken....who knows! Tasted good! ;) As we were eating, she looked at me and said quite seriously "Do they sell chocolate in Utah?" OF COURSE!! I say, we love chocolate!! She was appalled! Since our religion is so prominent in Utah, and chocolate has caffeine in it, she was shocked that the state would sell chocolate! We had quite the interesting conversation. :) To say the least!

My spiritual thought today has to do with the above picture.. I bought this watch last P-day, because mine broke, and while riding the skytrain home I realized that the second hand was broken! What the...? I just bought it like an hour ago! Instead of taking it back, I decided to keep it. It still works, after all! But I was really thinking about that second hand...and I felt another little analogy coming on. :) Lately, I have been SO STRESSED about where I need to be, who I need to be talking to, I need to use EVERY SINGLE SECOND of Heavenly Father's time wisely!! That's true..every second is precious, but I realized that I wasn't living in the moment. I would be talking to someone on the bus, and be glancing out of the corner of my eye every other second at the front of the bus where it says what stop is next. When my second hand broke, I had to go minute-to-minute instead of second-to-second. A lot changed this week in my conversations with people as I really took this to heart! How much of our lives do we spend counting seconds instead of living every minute of our lives to the fullest capacity? I truly have seen a difference from living each minute of my days this week and plan to use each second of Heavenly Father's time I focus on each minute!

I am so grateful for every second that Heavenly Father gives us, and for every minute that I am able to spend as a missionary here in the Canada Vancouver mission!! There are miracles around every corner, and I am so blessed to be a part of them! I love you all and I love my mission! Have an amazing week!

Sister Van Valkenburg

Sister Kim made me some Korean food! Korean rice, egg, and seaweed! Did I mention that we have an entire cupboard dedicated to her seaweed? True story!!

Went to Chipotle for the first time in my life! It was delicious!! I will admit, though....I'm still a Café Rio girl at heart. ;) <3

Sunday, August 6, 2017

July 31,2017 Email :D

Hello hello!
Another week has flown by in Van City!! ...apparently that's what people here call Vancouver? Something. Idk. I'm trying to be cool and....*cough cough* anyway! :) It's Monday again and life is grand!

This last week we have been busy, busy, busy! We had quite the adventure Saturday and Sunday! A man in the ward informed me last Sunday that he would be singing in sacrament meeting and asked if I would accompany him to Come Thou Fount. uh...only my favorite song! Yes! Texted him quite frequently throughout the week...and he finally met us at the church SATURDAY NIGHT with the sheet music! We have 9:00 church, people! Turns out, the sheet music was NOT Come Thou Fount, but it was The Lord's Prayer!!! What?! This was no simple hymn, people I can tell you that! I couldn't back out at this point, and poor Sister Kim (Who has an amazing opera voice) ended up getting dragged into this wonderful ensemble! Hahaha come Sunday morning we walked up to the front during sacrament meeting and performed a beautiful rendition of The Lord's Prayer, me on the piano and Sister Kim singing a duet. We had angels helping us for sure, and it all worked out swimmingly! But boy oh boy was that an adventure! After that, we threw together a quick lesson and taught Primary as well! I love the opportunities that we have as missionaries! Though there is something that I learned through all of this...nothing is completely spur of the moment or "winging it" when you have prepared as Heavenly Father needs you to. I didn't completely "wing" the piano, because I have practiced in the past. My daily studies and experience in primary helped me to teach the sweet kids...and Heavenly Father knew exactly what I was going to face in that Sunday. He provided the means for me to accomplish the things that He commanded! :D

One day this week we were challenged by our District Leader to have the pamphlets in our mind when we talk to people. He promised that as we did that we would have the opportunity to use them to help people and teach the gospel. I was sitting on the bus, a bus that we had not planned on taking but followed the Spirit to get on, and a husband and wife sat down a couple seats down from me. I felt prompted to talk to them, and kind of yelled across the bus something about the weather. They smiled and started talking back! So I scooted over and had a really nice conversation with them about Vancouver, as they were visiting, and searched for something to share with them, keeping in mind the pamphlets! I asked them what brought them here, and instantly the mood changed. They were here for the burial of their 2 month old granddaughter. *enter Plan of Salvation pamphlet* I was able to bear testimony simply about how their sweet granddaughter is in a better place, and as they had to get off at the next stop, hurried and gave them the Plan of Salvation pamphlet. I have experiences like this every day, but this one really stood out to me because of the commitment I had made to a leader. I know that as we set goals and really aim to achieve them that Heavenly Father will bless us with miracles!

Another cool experience, we were able to have a last minute lunch with a returning less-active family, an investigator, and a ward member! That was a party! If y'all remember last week's email about a certain figit spinner and it's attack to my face....that was at their house! So for our message that we shared, we told the story of David and Goliath. XD I thought I was so funny! But in all seriousness, we shared about how when David prepared to face his giant, he selected FIVE small stones, not just one. And when he walked up to Goliath, he had his sling already in his hand. He was ready to fight. He was prepared! Sister Kim shared with us that in the MTC she learned of these 5 stones to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith, repentance, baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I know that as we carefully select our stones (may be more than 5) to face our giants, and walk toward them with faith, ready to sling, Heavenly Father will guide our stones to hit direct center! However, key points I learned this week...there may be many giants. There ARE. But we can only hit one at a time. And we have to ACT!  We can't just stare at the stones in the river or put them in our bag. We need to walk forward with faith. :) Random thoughts from Sister usual! :D

Funny story:
So we live in an apartment building with two other sets of Sisters and one set of Elders. So it's a weird day if you don't run into at least one other set of missionaries going in or out around the street we live on! We were doing out studies the other day, and we get a phone call around 7:30 from the Elders. "Uh...hey sisters....we were just dropping off a missionary and we forgot our keys....could you let us in? So sorry." We live on the 4th floor and the elevator was we hustled down in our fab workout attire and opened the door. A few hours later we were finishing comp study and receive another phone call from the SAME Elders! "Hey sisters....we've done it again! So sorry...." Hustled down...opened door....ran back up and went out to work! We came back to the apartment for dinner later that evening and saw that the management had taped signs on every door leading outside that said "No key, no entry! Be aware of those you are letting into the building!" I died laughing!!!! What a coincidence, hey? Apparently the same Elders called the other sets of sisters the next day...when they locked themselves out again. XD Too funny!!!

Oh goodness! Life is a rollercoaster, my friends! I am so grateful for all that Heavenly Father sends our way! All of the Goliaths are scary, though some may seem identical to one that you've seen before! I know, that no matter what, each time we sling our stones with faith, our arms get stronger, our aim is more sure, and we grow and progress along the journey that Heavenly Father has lovingly sent us here to earth to experience! I love you all! have a wonderful week!

Sister Van Valkenburg

We had a lesson with a sweet Chinese lady in the ward. She left the room for a bit and I snuck a pic....had to show y'all the traditional Chinese visit. Slippers for your feet, fruit, and nice china containing HOT water! So sweet! (Also is was quite hot outside so we were all sweating buckets as we drank the water! XD)

Driving home from the doc this afternoon...saw this exit....good thing I wasn't the driver! ;) Hahaha so close to the Border!!!
Inline image 1
Saw this cutie today!!! :D Sister Christensen came out with me and is now a Sister Training Leader opening up Langley!! I'm so proud of her and she is SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! LOVE HER!!!
Also a quick pic of the sticky note our apartment manager left us on his sticky note board he has by the elevator. This was during the time the elevator was broken. XD He leaves little notes a couple days a week to keep us giggling. XD Love him!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 24,2017 Email :D

Happy 24th of July!

Did I really not realize that it's the 24th of July until I read an email saying "Happy 24th of July!" ? ....maybe. To my credit, I'm in Canada! ;)

This week we got transfer calls! Sister Kim and I are both staying here in beautiful Vancouver! Woot woot!! I'm so excited for another 6 weeks with my sweet companion in this CRAZY fun city! We are going to see MIRACLES!!

This week was really fun with activities! We were able to attend a baptism, do a service project with the Relief Society making blankets, and then we finally had a fireside that us and the Elders in our ward cooked up! It was so good! :D :D Converts from our ward shared their conversion stories and we had a beautiful musical number with cream puffs and donut holes! The Spirit was so strong, and our Bishop said that he wants to make it a tradition every 2-3 months!! We were able to have investigators at each event, and I loved just sitting back and watch them just take it in! One of them, Christine, told me afterward when I asked how she felt that she just can't get enough of it! She said that it's something that she needs now. That she absolutely needs to partake of each week and every chance she gets! I'm so happy for her and I love watching her progress!!! :) I'm so grateful for the sweet people that Heavenly Father allows me to be with in this area!

A lot of other things happened this week, and I just love seeing the miracles every single day! One of the best things, at least to me, is that I was able to get to JACOB 5 in our reading!! Anyone who is reading with me and the mish read it this week too! ;) I've read the Book of Mormon several times, but this time I took the 3 days we were given to really dissect it! I wrote every part down and tried to just follow the timeline of the olive tree!! I LOVED IT!!! Highly recommended to everyone reading Jacob's so good! Heavenly Father just loves us so much and wants us to be NOURISHED by the good word of God!!! He knows our individual needs and He will make sure that we will get everything that we need to accomplish the things that He commands us to!

Sorry this week is kinda short...hope y'all have an amazing week! <3
Sister Van Valkenburg

Sister Kim is modeling my latest creation. Contrary to her beliefs, my apple/banana/bread pudding was a huge success! Hahaha
When you take your shoes and socks off to discover why your foot felt a bit hot and sensitive
during the day...dangit I bought these shoes like a month ago!!!
Previously mentioned has a hole all the way through...the other...perfectly fine!!! Riddle me that!
Now the important thing in this picture isn't me or Sister Kim's faces. It's the thing that she is holding in her hands. Have y'all discovered these yet? Or is it just a Canadian thing? Anywho. These little things are mesmerizing! Fidgit spinners I believe they're called.They're dumb, just hold it and spin it on your fingers...but this little spinner decided to play David and Goliath with me! I spun it, and the little white circle (the weight) flew out and hit me square In the face! Hahah I guess that made me David AND funny!

Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17,2017 Email :D

6 Months Serving:

Wow. You read the caption right! I set foot in the MTC 6 months ago THAT is weird!!! It's a weird thing to think I just don't! Haha! :D I took a bit of time to reflect this morning on where I have been and where I am now...HOLY GUACAMOLE!!! Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways my friends, and I am proof of that! I am so grateful for all that I have learned on my mission thus far, and absolutely can't wait to see who Heavenly Father is going to help me to become!!

As some of you may know, I am not the biggest fan of seafood! But I decided when I started my mission that I would try anything that is put in front of me and just ask what it is after! I haven't had any crazy experiences....but this last week we had a nice Korean meal provided by a Chinese couple in the ward for us. I found out afterward that the yummy food I had eaten was in fact squid and anchovies! ...amongst other things, of course! Yummy! XP

I had a really cool experience this week on a bus! I am trying to get out of my comfort zone more, and especially with bus contacting! I told myself while getting on the bus, that I would sit next to and talk to the person on the bus that I felt would be the least receptive to the gospel and that I would have the hardest time talking to! He wasn't hard to find! The wonderful son of God that I sat next to had bright green hair, more tattoos than not, and quite a lot of metal to match! The tattoos covered even his face as he had bat tattoos on his cheeks, and though it doesn't really matter...he didn't have eyebrows either and I thought that was peculiar. He had sunglasses on and a purple polo...I kid you not, he looked like the Joker! I popped on down next to him and said "I like your hair! What inspired it?" He replied "The Joker" Whelp. That was surprising! This young gentleman is named Isaac, and has a return appointment to meet at the church tomorrow to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can change his life! Will he show up? I don't know! But did Heavenly Father teach me an important lesson? OH YEAH!!! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone! :D

And now it's time for....another one of Alissa's analogies! ...catchy, no?
I have had a reoccurring dream on my mission that I just thought was funny or interesting until I was talking with Sister Kim this week, and I was able to recognize some meanings. She has had a very similar dream! She dreamt that she was on stage, ready to perform, but she didn't know the dance steps or the words. They asked her to do them, but she said that she couldn't...and wouldn't even try. She was frustrated because she didn't know what to do and couldn't meet the demands of those around her. As I listened to her dream, I was instantly able to connect that to her missionary work. She feels she doesn't know, so she says she can't and won't open her mouth. I know she has it in her, but she won't even try sometimes! I was then able to look at my dream. My dream I have had quite a few times and has been similar, with minor variations. I will be backstage, about to go on, when someone will inform me that I'm wearing the wrong costume, to go get my costume on, or that I'm in the production in the first place! I will rush around, trying to find my costume! Sometimes I can find it, sometimes I can't. Most times I don't even know what it is supposed to be! The time comes to go on stage...sometimes I'm handed lyrics to quickly read, sometimes I'm not! On stage, one of 3 things will occur. 1) I magically will know everything and give an "almost" flawless performance. 2) I will know nothing and try to find my way through, or 3) I will remember parts, and fumble through with either the help of those on stage with me or someone reading me my lines off stage. I distinctly remember one time in this dream acknowledging that I had had the dream before, and known what to do, but in that moment couldn't remember. WOW!!! What a perfect illustration of my missionary life!
Finding my costume, hurriedly reading the script and other preparation is my studies. It's my role playing and my meetings. When I'm out on stage, it's show time! I'm doing some proselyting, I'm teaching a lesson or I'm giving a training. When I rely on the Spirit (the voice off stage reading me my lines), my fellow missionaries and ward members (who are on stage with me) and my studies and experience, I will be more successful! I can look at my sweet companion and know, from my little experience so far as a missionary and in those dreams, that she needs to just open her mouth! WOW! Thank you Heavenly Father for this wonderful parable!

I'm so grateful for all that Heavenly Father gives us each day! It's the little things! The sun is shining, and the Son is always shining! Matthew 5:16!!!

Sister Van Valkenburg

Don't remember if I sent this...but we did blue face masks for the 4th of July! ...weren't that blue...but hey our faces are now...still about the same actually! Don't really get the concept..
Only sent this one for Sister Kim's face...XD We were locked out of a member's house this morning while we waited for her to get ready for the day...
My adorable mother sent us missionaries! (Twinkies) How cute is she?!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 4,2017 Email :D

You know...I'm not even mad that my P-day was moved to July 4th...because I REALLY
get to celebrate a good 4th of July!! Haha these Canadians celebrated on the first....(Canada Day) I didn't have the heart to tell them that they got it wrong...;) Oh well! We had a wonderful Canada Day where the streets were PACKED!! Especially at City center...wowie! We were shoulder to shoulder! That was really fun street contacting! There were police everywhere to do the traffic! I had one hand on my bag, one on my companion, and was smiling and saying hi to everyone else! We were able to have so many good conversations with happy people!!

This week is going so good! My sweet companion's leg has gotten a bit worse...and the other day she woke up and it was BOTH her legs! We were finally able to get her into a doctor, and the verdict is that it is her body's reaction to stress! How sad! :( I'm so grateful we were able to get that resolved, though! I just have such a strong testimony that Heavenly Father puts us with people that will help us grow! I see so many ways every day that only I can help her, and so many lessons that we go through each day that only Sister Kim and this situation could teach me! We see miracles every day!! :D

With this whole experience of being a trainer in a new city, I have been learning and growing A LOT!!! I spent a bit of time to reflect this week on what I am going through, really took time to get down on my knees and talk it out with my Heavenly Father. The answer that I got is that I need to take some time for myself. I have been focusing SO MUCH on my companion and how to help her, that I have neglected myself a bit! The scripture Mosiah 4:27 came up in my studies the other day and I know it was for a reason!

27And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order ; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. 

I am so grateful for the support system that we have in the church! I have really learned this week two things. Well, re-learned (because that's what you do in life and as a missionary! You learn and re-learn!) 1) Use the resources that you are given! They are there for a reason! Never be afraid to ask for help! It doesn't show weakness! (contrary to my natural thought process) and 2) Take some time for yourself. You need it!

One of my favorite people this week is a sweet investigator named Bernice. I don't know if I have mentioned her yet, but she is 89 years old and has more spunk and sass than I think I do! And for those who know me....yeah. She's sassy! ;) We go and help her with things once a week and we teach her a lesson once or twice a week. She is awesome! She doesn't' remember everything quite as well as she used she reads it over and over again! She absolutely LOVES the missionaries! And she talks every time we come about how she just feels the spirit and no matter what kind of a day she is having, she always feels better when we come! I don't know if she will ever be baptized, we hope so, but I'm so grateful that she is able to feel and recognize the spirit!!! :) That is SO IMPORTANT!!!!!! Her neighbor across the street came over one day when the Elders were helping her. We are teaching her now, too! She's awesome as well!

Another cool experience this week: I was on the bus talking to the people around me, and such when I heard the words "Aaronic Priesthood" behind me. And it wasn't Sister Kim! I turned my head slightly, and saw this young boy, age 14-ish talking to his friends about THE PRIESTHOOD! I didn't know who the guy was at the time...but I was instantly so proud! I listened in a bit as he explained to them what the Priesthood is and how he is able to have it! We got off at the same stop, going to a dinner appointment, and this young man, named David Johnson, introduced us to his friends! Not only that, but he walked us to our dinner appointment (we didn't know where to go) and explained to his friends who missionaries are and how excited he is to one day serve a mission! He is going to be an amazing missionary!!!

Man! There were so many miracles this week, all small but significant! Our teaching pool is growing, my Spirit is rising, and my smile gets bigger every day! I love serving my Heavenly Father! I love wearing the name of my Savior on my chest and being able to tell people every day who I am and who I represent! I pray to always live worthy to represent my Savior!!!

Keep smiling! Enjoy your week and know that a little missionary in Vancouver Canada loves you!!!

Sister Van Valkenburg
Canada Day picture! Isn't the city beautiful?
Just one picture of a park like 2 blocks from my house...blessed!
This is Brother Lee! Him and his wife (photographer) had us over for "real Korean food" for Sister Kim! I ate the whole thing with chopsticks! And, of course, we sat on the floor.
Cliché selfie, but red white and blue for my country! woot woot! Oh..and my tan lline is definitely not going away any time soon...XD

June 26,2017 Email :D

Hello hello!

I am a little bit less scatter-brained than last hopefully things will go a little smoother! hahaha Sorry about my crazy email last week! Also, Exactly one year from today I will be on a plane home. Most-likely. Weird.

This week has been amazing! :) We are getting to know the area better, didn't get completely lost at any point, and the sun is shining! :D This week we also said goodbye to President and Sister Burt. They leave on Thursday...and I'm still a bit in denial about that! They have changed my life with their love, example and leadership! This Saturday we were able to go to Richmond for the evening and the ward there threw a huge party for the Burts. It was so sweet! I cried. They will always have a very dear place in my heart!! <3

This past week has been quite the adventure physically! My sweet companion woke up one morning and couldn't feel her left leg! That was quite a nice surprise for us! She told me that she was in a car accident 2 years ago and that afterwards she couldn't feel her leg for a whole month! She just shrugged it off and we went to work! (After calling the nurse of course) As the days have gone by, she has gained feeling in her leg...but that feeling is pain. :( We are working on getting her a doctor's appointment, but in the meantime we are just doing our best! She is such an amazing example to me of perseverance and dedication! Because of this challenge, though, it is taking us a lot longer time to get around. Double and sometimes triple the time. It has been a blessing! It has been hard, but I have been able to finally see that just because we move slower, doesn't mean that the work needs to be moving slower! Heavenly Father is still sending opportunities and miracles our way! One of those miracles came our way yesterday as we were on our journey home from dropping by someone's house.

We were at our bus stop, and checked the time. The bus wasn't coming for 20 minutes and there was nobody in sight to talk to. So, we started walking to the next bus stop. And then the next..and the next! We finally sat down determined to just wait it out, and hoped for somebody to come that we could talk to! Almost as soon as that thought crossed my mind, a man came up and sat down on the bench next to me. I turned to him and asked how his day was going. He opened right up! He told me about his family, his kids, his job, how his dad just died, how he feels about it, everything! I was able to share the whole Restoration with him and give him a Book of Mormon! Unfortunately, he will be moving to White Rock soon...but I was able to get his number right before he got off the bus, and we have been in contact! Miracles!

Another miracle happened this last week that started on the Skytrain. It has really grown my faith in just talking to everybody! Last Saturday, we were on the skytrain, and I got talking to two guys that seemed to be in their late 20's. They weren't too interested in the gospel, but we had a couple more stops to go, and one of them, Caleb, was pretty keen on just talking. So I just kept talking to him about Vancouver and why I'm here and what I do and he told me about places to go see. At the end of the conversation, I felt prompted to ask him if there was anyone that we could pray for. He said he couldn't think of anyone. So, also following a prompting, I gave him our number and said to call or text us if there was anyone. Then we got off! I didn't think about it again, until he actually texted us Monday! He said that he had thought of someone. His friend, Gabe, that was with him! He just didn't want to say anything in front of him! As we texted, Caleb also said that he had questions about our church's beliefs. I invited Caleb to come to a baptism this weekend, and he came! We passed him off to the YSA Elders, and he is now a new investigator of the church, reading the Book of Mormon and soaking it all up! MIRACLES!!!! :D

I am so grateful for the blessing of being here! I talked about it a couple weeks ago, but really the miracles and blessings are ALWAYS all there if we just look for them! God is so good! The church is true, and it WILL change your life! Just open your heart. :) I love you all! Have an amazing week!!!

Sister Van Valkenburg

June 19,2017 Email :D

​​​​​​​​Hello hello!
I have arrived! I'm here! I made it! I'm in the big city! I wanted to sing "Good Morning [Vancouver]!" But that's the wrong word and it's I didn't ;) (Apostate doesn't mean it's bad, just that I'm not supposed to sing it on my mission. No worries folks! you can still sing it all you want) Wow! I'm here! Can you tell how well my brain is working right now? No bueno! I'm still so overwhelmed but so excited! And there is peace in my heart for sure! I know that I am where Heavenly Father needs me to be! Day 1, I actually took a greyhound up here to Vancouver! Along with what seemed like the rest of my zone in Kelowna! Hahah we had a lot of transfers! But I was able to come up with beautiful Sister Limb, who got transferred to Delta! She's going to be amazing! We said goodbye to our companions (love you Sister Miller!) and got on the bus around 8. Along the way, everyone got off the bus and at the last stop I sallied forth to meet my new Sister Training Leaders! Sister Hunt and Sister Herd are the best! I'm so excited to be working with them this transfer! I was SO PUMPED to be with them! I knew that my "trainee" wouldn't get here until Wednesday and I wouldn't meet her Thursday, so I had 2 days to learn the ropes from these lovely missionaries! Psych! I was paired up with Sister Zhang, Mandarin speaking YSA, while waiting for my companion! She is so cute!! Sadly, I don't have any pictures, but we just had a blast together! She was also waiting for her new companion. I learned a bit of mandarin, which turns out is really needed here, where like 90% of the population is Asian!

The day finally came on Thursday, where I was able to meet my new companion! Introducing: Sister Kim! Hailing from South Korea, she is so beautiful and sweet! No, she did not know English before the MTC, so we are going to have fun as I teach her not only missionary work, but English as well! :O And maybe I will be able to learn some Korean while we're at it! ;) Heavenly Father definitely has some miracles up His sleeve for this transfer, I can just feel it! :D

We have been able to visit some members in the hospital, meet the wonderful ward, and just contact everywhere! Some of the contacting has been on purpose, and some has been on we don't have a car or GPS! We have bus routes and a sky train! It has been a real adventure learning how to get around Vancouver for sure! It just blows my mind as we walk around how much love I feel for each individual person! I am so grateful for the calling of being a missionary here! There are so many people to talk to and so many lives to help turn to God! It is such a privilege being able to bear testimony to everyone I see that I have in my possession a book that can change their lives and a gospel that has been restored with the book that will bless them more abundantly than they could imagine! There will never be a shortage of people to talk to here, that's for sure and I'm so grateful for that!

Keep reading the Book of Mormon! It will change your life! And something that has really helped me this week, in probably the most stressful week of my mission, know that God has a plan. Know that He will take care of you. Know that despite how inadequate you may feel or how lost, He will always know exactly who you are, where you are, and where you are headed. I'm so grateful for the gospel! I'm so grateful for each and every one of yoU!

Sister Van Valkenburg

Sister Clark, my MTC companion, is also training!! It was soooo good to see her again!
Our new companions were also MTC companions!!!!! They're both named Sister Kim!! Go figure!!! :O
What do you do when you're waiting in the elevator?! Hahah I love my sweet companion!!! She's SO GOOD!