Last week I wasn't able to go to church, since I'm miles and miles outside of Amsterdam. This week, since I'm still in Zeewolde, I found a church nearby, only about 30 mins away... well, if you have a car. Since I don't, I had to use public transportation. Church started at 9:30, and fortunately had sacrament meeting last, because the first bus came at 9:13am. The bus took me to the town of Harderwijk where there was a train that could take me to Amersfoort, where church was. I had absoultely no clue which train station to get off at (since there were a number of stations with Amersfoort in the name), so I spent the majority of my traveling to church asking people how to get around. Thank goodness most people speak English!
Once I got to Amersfoort I thought I could walk to church, since I got there a little after 10, and the bus that would take me there wasn't scheduled to arrive until a little after 11. So, I started walking. OH... and let me not forget to explain that today has been extremely cold and rainy... not enjoyable walking - or getting lost in a city you don't know - weather. After walking for a while (in heels) and not finding first street I was supposed to turn down, I gave up. I thought... "Forget it! I'm taking the bus to church... at least I'll make it to sacrament meeting". Only problem was, I didn't know WHICH bus to take. Fortunately one of the ticket handlers from the train station was from Amersfoort and was able to steer me in 'some' direction. Every time a bus pulled up, I'd walk on, point to the word that the ticket handler wrote on paper, and asked... um, are you going here? Again... extremely grateful people speak English!
Well, I finally made it to church, and ahhhh... it was like I was home again. A great feeling. People were so warm and welcoming. I had about 4 or 5 different people offer to translate the meeting for me too. The one person who did was a lady named Ada, her husband Howard moved to Holland from England in the 50's.
They were such a sweet couple, and invited me over for lunch after church. They fed me until I thought I was going to explode... and stayed for a number of hours just talking. She spoke English as well as he did, even though she's dutch, since they've lived in England and Florida. They gave me their number and address and stated that if I ever need a place to stay to let them know. People here in Holland are so kind... and I'm especially grateful to have family wherever I go, through the church.