Some of you may already know this, others not. I fell ill around the second week of November and was an invalid for about a month. Thankfully, I recovered in time for Christmas. Being so ill on a mission was an interesting experience. I listened to a lot of talks and music and also slept a lot. The long hours spent in bed or on the sofa gave me plenty of time to think and to reflect on my situation (though most of the time I was too tired or sick to really think at all). It was not the worst experience of my life, that is for sure, but it was far from fun. It was comforting to hear the concern that the members and other missionaries expressed at my absence. The worst part about it was that it occurred to close to the end of my mission. That was hard, since all I wanted (and want) to do is finish my work and make sure my knowledge is passed on correctly. But I returned to health and am back at my desk.
With the illness, I got out of the habit of writing these blog posts, so I let it all slide until now. My apologies to any (once) faithful readers out there. But the blog is back, for the next few weeks, until I go home. After that, I will post a link to where you can keep up with my post-mission activities.
Christmas in Leiden was once again fantastic. Christmas Eve was spent with the same two families as last year. After the Christmas service on Christmas Day we again went to the same family as last year and skyped there too. Since movies were not permitted this time, we just talked and had fun. On Boxing Day, we had another great dinner appointment with one of my favourite families. So yeah, I cannot really complain about my Christmas.
The events of New Year’s Eve were no surprise: lots of fireworks and explosions and police/fire engine/ambulance sirens. We had a nice view from our apartment building, being able to see the skyline of Leiden. It was an impressive sight for sure. We played some games and drank fake champagne.
As this month of January begins, I look ahead to the end to my mission and the time thereafter. This will undoubtedly be an interesting year. I am currently working on transferring all my tasks, responsibilities and knowledge to the rest of the office staff. Missionary work in the city is going well, in spite of frequent disappointing appointments or conversations, we are still working with a number of very good people. One of the best things about being here for so long is that I get to see how much progress some people have made.
“Non equidem invideo, miror magis” - Virgil