Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year from the Netherlands

Dec 29, 2014

Hi Everyone!

Thank you so much for the email and for the pictures! It sounds like you had a great Kerstmas with the hele familie (entire family). Cierra looks really happy and Kasey looks content with the bone she got. It was so great to be able to talk with all of you, and I really enjoyed seeing everyone. I had a really good week and it snowed two days ago for the first time! It's getting really cold now. New Year’s is almost here! Are you guys doing anything for New Year’s? Are you still on vacation from school? We have interviews on New Year’s Eve and then we have to go straight home to our apartments. We can look at vuurwerken (fireworks) from our window but we're not allowed outside. We have already seen and heard a bunch of fireworks and they're really loud here. It’s normal to see the fireworks, like the ones on the Fourth of July, around here. Every one lights them off and they're so loud! I'm so happy to hear that you had a great Christmas with the familie. Tell everyone I say, “Hi” and that I love them! That’s so awesome that Cierra gets to go to Italy so soon! Send lots of pics, Ci! Say, “Hi” to any missionaries you might see when you're there! Tot volgende week! Love you guys! Also we went caroling in Den Haag! It was loads of fun and the people loved it. We hopped on the train with the zusters and went to Den Haag and met our zone in the station. We went in the middle of the busy centrum and began to sing Christmas hymns and fun Christmas songs. It was a little awkward at first but then people began singing with us and taking pictures with us and taking videos of us. It was really fun and we spread some Christmas spirit. 


Groetjes, Jeremy


Fijne Feestdagen!

Dec 22, 2014

Hi!

This has been a really great week and Christmas is coming up so fast! The Christmas spirit is really strong, and we went caroling the other night with the zusters. Dutch people don't really know what caroling is and a few of them didn't know how to react, but some of the people we visited loved it. The zusters made them cookies and one of the people we visit weekly, who is an older guy, loved it. He opened the door and we started singing and he was dancing and had the biggest smile. He can't make it to church because of health issues but has a sterk (strong) testimony. He's awesome. We also talked to Canadians on the train ride to Almere today and it was cool. We heard them speaking English and we asked them where they were from and we started talking to them. It was awesome to talk to people from Canada!

It's good to hear that Kasey is doing well. Pet her for me. Dogs live so long in the Netherlands. Whenever we ask people how old their dog is they always tell us that they're 14 or 16 years old. Send me a picture of the tree! I saw the video about Christmas and I love it. We share it with less actives members and pretty much everyone. It's called Hij is het Geschenk. He is the Gift. I really like what Kaylee is doing in her mission, by doing what Christ would do. What are you doing for Kerst (Christmas)? We had an awesome ward party last night and the members decorated the chapel and some people performed a musical number. There was a cool slideshow with scriptures and bible videos. It was really festive and we sang Christmas hymns and the koor (choir), which we are in, sang a musical number. It was a lot of fun and the ward members are great. You should watch all the bible videos, they're really good. I love you guys and I can't wait to talk to you!!! Have a great Christmas week and a Happy New Year! Fijne feestdagen!


Groetjes, 
Jeremy


Happy Christmas, Almost!

Dec 15, 2014

Hallo Eidereen!

This has been a really great week and it sounds like you are all doing really well. I'm so happy to hear about all of the things you guys are doing and happy to hear that Kasey is doing well with only three toes on one paw now. :) I'm still in Lelystad, but Elder Warner got transferred to Heerenveen up north. My new collega is Elder Steenblik, and he is awesome. The language is still tough but I'm praying for help from Heavenly Father. I know that I’ll be able to teach through the Spirit and do what God wants me to do.

There is a ton of Christmas stuff outside right now and a lot of festivities in the Centrum. There's a Christmas market in the Lelystad centrum and they play Christmas music all day. We have to contact a ton and it's a little scary not being able to turn to Elder Warner if I don't understand someone. Elder Steenblik's Dutch is pretty good but I'm going to have to start speaking better Dutch. It's a little stressful taking over a city, but I love it here. There's a new greeny zuster in Lelystad, but Zuster Adams is still here. Zuster Adams has been here since I was a greeny in Lelystad. I didn't go back to Belgium yet because the trip was moved tot (until) later. The cookies look great! Did you all make cookies? Did Dad make a Grinch cookie? I saw the picture of Kaylee! She has a huge poofy coat! I'll send more pictures next week. We are emailing in Almere today with no USB ports. You can make me a Skype account so we can talk on Christmas, but I'll find out more about it this week and let you know.


I really liked the story that Kaylee sent and it really helps. I really like D&C 42:6 too! I love you guys so much! Have a great week and Happy Christmas almost! I didn't realize how close Christmas was. Remember that Christ is the first gift of Christmas :) Also I've found that prayers really are an amazing gift. When we pray we communicate with God and He wants us to. He really does hear our prayers and answers them in the best way. We may not see the answer right away or recognize it, but God always does what is best for us. He knows us better than anyone and loves us. We are his children and he wants us to have peace and joy in this life. Love you guys!


Transfer Calls

Dec 8, 2014

Hi Familie!

Wow thank you so much for that e-mail. You guys are receiving so many blessings right now. I love you so much and tell everyone in the ward that I'm really thankful to them and that they're awesome. I'm so happy that Aunt Ro got to go to the Stake Christmas concert. I love our family so much. I got the Christmas package you sent! Andddddd TRANSFER CALLS! I'm staying in Lelystad and Elder Warner is leaving to go up north to Friesland. Elder Steenblick is going to be my new collega and he is only one transfer ahead of me. I don't know how we’re going to be able to buy bread haha. I heard he's a great missionary and 6'5'' haha. I'm going to have to rely on the Lord to learn how to speak Dutch. It's very traditional to get chocolate letters during Sinterklaas. We have about 10 and are going to give them away during district meeting haha. Happy Birthday Mama!!!! How old are you? Just kidding. Elder Warner was sick this week and was throwing up but he's better now. Tell everyone I love them! Love you guys!!!!!!!!! Also Elder Warner thinks you guys are awesome and loves your conversion story. We didn't watch a Disney movie yet. We do that on Christmas day. Love you! Doei!
















Monday, December 1, 2014

Zone Conference

Decmeber 1, 2014

Hi Familie!

It’s been such a good week and transfers are coming up. Elder Warner and I are going to get split up, but we don’t know where we’re going yet. I’ll probably stay in Lelystad and Elder Warner will probably get sent somewhere else. You guys all sound pretty busy and it’s great to hear about your Thanksgiving Day.

I saw the picture of our front yard. There’s so many trees and so much snow! It hasn’t snowed here yet but I think it will this year. It’s always cloudy and it’s getting a lot colder now. We went over to the De Graaf’s and had a Thanksgiving dinner and decorated for Christmas. It was sooo fun. They had Bing Crosby and Elvis, and 50´s Christmas music playing. This Sunday, I taught Gospel Principles class about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and blessed the sacrament in Dutch. It went well. 

Zone Conference was great this week and Elder Moreira came. He’s one of the Seventy and he was awesome. He’s from Portugal and he was so funny. He came and said the apostles told him to tell the European missions to have more faith and obedience and he had a great message. He didn’t slam us or anything and he delivered his message really well with a lot of love. Haha, he also talked about how he met his wife after his mission and it was really funny. He’s a really animated guy and his English isn’t the best, but he still got the message through. He said he walked up to her and the first thing he said was, “I’m going to marry you because I love you. Go home tonight and pray about it and say my name in your prayer.” He said the next day he talked to her, he asked her if she got her answer and he said, “You don’t have to tell me your answer because I already know. We have an appointment tonight.” It was so funny when he told us, and it all related back to his message somehow. He had just got off his mission and so he asked her on a date using missionary terms. He was a really funny and spiritual guy.

We’ve been contacting a ton of people in the Centrum, because everyone is out Christmas shopping. There’s two days of Christmas here because the second day, everyone is passed out from drinking too much. We’ll probably spend our time at members houses and we get to watch a Disney movie! So awesome. I love you guys so much! And I got my Christmas package. Thank you guys!!! Love you!



Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2014

You made Stamppot!!!! I love it, it's delicious. You guys are awesome! We had an awesome week. A member had us over for Thanksgiving who is originally from Idaho. I don't know how she ended up here in Nederland but there was so much food. There was a ton of Turkey and mashed potatoes and deliciousness and they sent us home with a ton of food here. Her husband is not a member of the Church, but he's still a cool guy. Caleb is training a greeny and he's on his last or second to last transfer now. I emailed Kaylee last week and this week. I'm so happy you guys celebrated Grandpa's birthday and all got together. The De Graaf’s are going to have us over this Vrijdag and we're going to set up a bunch of Christmas decorations and a tree! I'ts going to be so fun and gezelig. Gezelig is a word they use a lot here, but there's no English word for it. It kind of means cozy and relaxed, and chill, and fun. It also depends on the context you use it in. I'm going to Belgium this week again to finalize legality stuff and it should pretty fun. You guys don't have to send me those soundtracks but it would be nice :) Also, it would be great if you could send some cool instrumental hymns.

We have mission conference this week and a member of the 70 is coming. Can't wait! I love Christmas and the whole Christmas season. The mission is going great and Naomi is getting baptized on 7th Dec!!! Love you guys so much and I really liked the quote you sent this week. Christian is a member who Elder Warner reactivated a transfer before me and he's a really cool kid. He goes on a lot of joint teaches with us and is with us almost every day. He may serve a mission, but I’m not sure. He's in university right now, and school here is a bit different. He has to wait until he finishes certain semesters. It would be awesome if he went. Are you reading a Corrie ten boom book? She's a really good author. Happy holiday season and I love you familie!



The Best Mission in the World

Hi Familie!!!

Everything sounds really awesome at home! I'm so happy for Cierra and she's awesome. Sounds like every one is staying busy. You chose Nederland for the Missionary Month activity!!!! It's the best mission in the world. I love it here so much and life is good. Europe is really great with languages. A lot of people know English because of school and because of Hollywood. Almost everyone here can speak at least three languages and I'm definitely going to give my kids early language lessons and only speak to them in Dutch. Andddddd you should invite the Elders over more because Sisters get way more dinner appointments than Elders do. Just letting you know. :) I talked to Caleb this week and he only has two transfers left! It's crazy! I also got new missionary tags that say Elder De Wit on them. Know it's a real Dutch name. I think I may have seen the De Wit statue while I was in Den Haag!

We got to go see Sinterklaas sail in on Zaterdag and it was so cool! I'm definitely going to bring my kids to see it. It was so fun and there were a ton of people there. It was kind of like Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Most people celebrate Sinterklaas on 5 Dec. On 25 Dec is when actual Christmas is, and people recognize it as the day when Christ was born. However, there are not many religious people here. There are a few Catholics, Protestants, and people who go to the Pillar.

I really love it here. I've been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon, and my testimony in Christ has grown so much because of it. I know that Christ died and atoned for all of our sins. Every unfair thing in the world, and everything, can be made right through the atonement. It's also so important to have the Spirit with you at all times. There’s a really good quote in one of President Uchtdorf’s talks. “The more you trust and rely on the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create." I love that quote. Corrie ten Boem is awesome. There's also an awesome quote from her which I have in my journal and I love to read "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God". 

Love you guys sooo much!!!! Groetjes,

- Jeremy




Two Christmases

November 10, 2014

Hey Familie!

You've had an awesome week! Sounds like you had a fun Halloween. Will Kasey be able to walk after her toe is amputated?? I really liked the inspiring words you sent me. The horse meat I had was cut really thin, but it was pretty good.

I've had a really good week and we've been knocking on a ton of doors. Lelystad is still a new city and there is a lot of development in the outskirts of the town. We bike there a lot. We biked to a new neighborhood and two people who were walking outside said, “Hi” to us! It was cool. The weather here is getting a bit colder and everyone is getting ready for Sinterklaas. There's a bunch of Christmas lights up in the Centrum. We are going to the Lelystad Harbour to see Sinterklaas sail in. It's a really cultural thing and sounds really fun. There's basically two Christmases here. There's one in the beginning of December where kids get small presents and every one parties, and the other one is the actual Christmas. It's supposed to be centered around Christ, but people here party and get presents. New Years Eve here sounds like it’s going to be awesome, but missionaries have to be back in their apartments by four o’clock. There's a ton of fireworks all night.


The work here is going well and Elder Warner and I talk to a bunch of people about the Gospel. We talked with a philosophical guy the other day and it's interesting to see all the points of views everyone has. He already has a BvM. He hadn't read it yet. He said that he would, and he'll call us if he has any questions. Love you guys! Have a good week! I'll send some pictures next week. We're e-mailing in Almere right now in the biblioteek and there are no usb ports in the computers here, so we can't send pictures. Love you guys!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Halloween in Holland

November 3, 2014

Hi Familie!!!!

I know I say this every week but I love hearing about all the things you guys are doing! I hope Kasey is okay. haha I remember going to the vets with her when she had to have her nails trimmed. I´ll keep her in my prayers.

How was Halloween? We had a great week in Lelystad. We carved pumpkins with the ward and helped out at a church dance. They really went all out and decorated the entire church with decorations. It was really cool. Elder Warner and I worked in the haunted house and scared people all night. It was so much fun and it felt like trunk or treating back home. haha A member who was in the haunted house, dressed up like a witch, kept swearing at people. There were containers people put their hands into and they had to guess what they felt. Just to scare people she said it was…. Well, you can take a guess. Elder Warner and I just looked at each other and started laughing when she said it because it caught us so off guard. Elder Warner explained to me that American swears don’t really mean anything here and people say them all the time and don’t think much of it. However, there is an English speaking ward in Holland and they went through the haunted house, too.

I ate horse this week! It was pretty good. Tell everyone in the Ward I say, “Hi!” A good Dutch recipe that’s really common here is called stamppot. You can look it up online. It’s really good. It’s mashed potatoes with herbs, veggies and sausage. Do the Netherlands as your host country for Missionary Month!!!

I decided that when I get home I want to take Italian classes, so I can go to Italy and do family history work. It’s so awesome that you guys are working on it! Jesus the Christ is such an amazing book. I love reading it and the guy who wrote it has so much knowledge. I began to read it, but I don’t have much time between everything that needs to be done. My Dutch is coming along, but it’s still pretty difficult. I love the language but it’s hard. I know with the Lord’s help and the gift of tongues, I’ll learn it. Faith and the Atonement has been the focus of my studies this week, and I love the Atonement. You should read Preach My Gospel and study the lessons. It’s an amazing book. If anyone has questions about the church, go straight to Preach My Gospel. Ít’s an inspired book and it states everything so clearly and gives scriptural backup. We may teach a guy who is Jehovah’s Witness. He’s really chill and would be awesome to teach.


I love you guys so much, have a great week! To answer your question, we exercise in the morning. Biking is also good exercise and we bike everywhere. We ride the train a lot, too. We have NS-Business Cards which the Church gave us. They’re sweet and really official. And also, thank you so much for reminding me about Elder Bowen and Elder Levitt. It really helped me remember why I am on my mission. You should email them. They would love to hear from you guys. Love you!


Temple Conference

October 27, 2014

Hey Familie!!!! I made it through my first transfer! I'm staying in Lelystad with Elder Warner but one of the Sisters is leaving. She is moving to St. Nicholas in Belgium and it's her last transfer. Zuster Robbins in coming into Lelystad and she's from my MTC group! I love seeing all the pictures from home. Belgium was so awesome. I had a Belgian waffle and it was delicious. I did use the public urinal but made sure there were no Zusters around. I found out that there's actually a wall that people pee on in Belgium. They also just pee in centrums (centers/squares) against walls. You can pretty much go anywhere in Belgium.

Temple conference is when we meet up with other zones and go to the temple in Zoetermeer. We went through a session and it was all in Dutch. It was so cool and really spiritual. I love you guys so much. So cool that Molly is going to the Phillipines!

This week was great! I saw a wild hedge hog! We finished at Mona's and went deur tot deur for hours this week. A lot of people go to the Pillar Church and they don't have the time to talk to us. I love missionary work though. We've also had some really spiritual experiences, as well. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and knows each and every one of us personally. We are truly his children and he has a plan for all of us and wants us to reach our full potential and experience joy in this life. I know that we can do this through living the Gospel and I know Christ died so that we can return to live with him and God for eternity. God has so much love for us we can't comprehend it and he is never angry with any us. He is pleased with our lives and when we use our agency to come closer to him. I love you guys so much and Happy 17th Cierra! Thanks for the pics! 

                                                                 Den Haag Temple




                                            Here is Mona’s front and back yard that we built!


Brussels

October 20, 2014

This has been an amazing week. We have been working a ton in Mona's yard and finally finished! We are going back to get pictures and help her move stuff, but we're basically done now. The Elders from Hilversum came up and helped us place tiles down and finish the back patio. The Zusters are training a mini missionary this week. Shé is from Friesland, which is the northern Providence/region of Nederland. Temple conference was awesome! We all went to Zoetermeer and I saw Elder Morrell, Elder Reece, and the sisters from my MTC district. It was fun to meet up again and see everyone. The temple is beautiful in Zoetermeer. We also got to go to Brussels in Belgium this week! It was so awesome and historical. It is so European and we were pretty much tourists for the day. We had to get Legality papers and stuff and it was a ton of fun. Happy Birthday Cierra!!!!!! Best wishes to you and I love you! You're the best little sister ever. This is going to be an awesome year for you. Hope you have a great B-Day! Love you guys so much and here's a bunch of pictures from this week.

There's a picture of a public urinal which was in the middle of a busy intersection in Belgium. haha Belgian people use it because it's free and you have to pay to use bathrooms in stores or in restaurants. People spoke French in Belgium too. It was cool. Love you guys!
















Friday, October 17, 2014

Still Learning the Language

October 13, 2014

Hi Familie!!!

The pictures from home are awesome!! I'm so happy you guys are having such a fun time back home. The leaves are awesome! It's great that Sears called Cierra back too! I pray for you guys every day and everything is going great here!

We've been working a ton at Mona's and we are almost done building another patio in her back yard. It looks really good, but it's a ton of work. The Lord is definitely helping us. Ik ben so blij van jullie. We went to Naomi and Jos's last night and Naomi said she would get baptized!!! Jos is still looking for his answer as he prays and studies the Book of Mormon and the Bible. So cool though. It's awesome that they're accepting the Gospel and finding out for themselves which is great.

We are teaching a woman who is from Croatia and she has a family, but they don't want anything to do with God. We are really pushing eternal families and hopefully we can meet with the entire family soon. We are going to visit an investigator tonight to see how he's doing. He has a drug problem, but he feels the Spirit when we come over and we're going to try to help him. We're going to the Batavia with the zusters (sisters) vandaag (today), for p-day. I'll take a ton of pics. It's a really old ship that we pay 11 euros to go on and look around. Can't wait! It's getting colder here and I'll get a coat soon. I may get boots, but I’m not sure. I think we get iPads in December.

Love you guys so much! Ik houd van de werk heer en ik houd van jullie so heel vele. Ik weet dat het evangelie van Jezus Christus waar is, en ik ben so dankbar for de gelekenheid om ik heb te dienen de heer. I don't know if my grammar is correct, but it's a simple testimony. I can understand a bit better when people speak now, but I'll understand a sentence and they'll have already said two more sentences. My collega Elder Warner is awesome and helps me out a lot. Funny moment this week: We were “ alleen standing” which is when all the single members in our ward get together. The missionaries come too and I gave a small spiritual message/thought at the end. When I began I said “Ik heb a klein boodschap voor jullie" which literally translates to “I have a small message for you all" but in Dutch it is slang for “I have to pee.” Everyone laughed and I didn't know why. Then Elder Warner told me what it meant. It was really funny.

My birthday was awesome and we celebrated it at a member’s house. The sisters gave me a scarf and sweets, and Elder Warner got me a tie! They're so cool. Love you guys so much!!!! I'll send a ton of pictures next week! 

                                                               

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Week Full of Blessings

This has been such a good week full of blessings and General conference was so good! We went to the Degravs for the first session on Saturday and we also did service at their house. They had a trampoline and we bounced on it for a while after we did service. They're such an awesome family. It felt like we were all at home watching conference. Everything sounds great back at home! I pray for you guys everyday, and Kaylee as well. Kaylee and I e-mail every week. I loved the talks in conference and it's awesome that you've been having the missionaries over for dinner. This week we taught a bunch and have been doing a ton of service. We are pretty much doing a construction project for an investigator. Her name is Mona and she is from North Africa. We took out two trees from her lawn, leveled the ground, placed sand down, and are in the midst of placing tiles down and building flower buckets out of bricks and cement. I'll send you pictures when we are done. We told her that we used cement before for an Eagle Scout project and she thinks we're professionals. We told her we're not but she doesn't care haha. I love you guys so much and I feel so old. I forgot my birthday is this week! We have Temple Conference next week, and we get to go to the temple every six months! I'm really excited about it. I'll be able to see some of my MTC group! The temple here is a lot smaller than Utah temples but a bit bigger than the Manhattan temple. The weather is starting to feel more like fall here! We've been rained on once or twice and got completely soaked. I'll probably get a jacket this week or next. Love to hear about back home! Can you send me pictures of the trees? The leaves here only turn yellow. Love you guys!!!!


P.S. I went on my first exchanges this week too! I went with a ZL (zone leader) and he had a car! I haven’t been in a car for so long! Den Haag is so big compared to Lelystad.

                                                           

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Loving it in Lelystad

It's so good to hear from you guys each week and to hear about life back home. It sounds like you guys are having a great time! It's so cool about family history too! It's really cool that you bring Melinda places now too :) I love hearing about life back home. It's been such a busy week and I love it. The work is great and my Dutch is getting a little better. I'm learning to love the work and love the people. The first week I got here I was really tired all the time and nervous to knock on doors and talk to people, but now I love it. I'm still tired all the time, but I love it anyway.

We are teaching a lady from Croatia in English right now and we are teaching a lot of other people in Dutch. Naomi and Jos are people we are teaching who are really interested and missionaries have been teaching them for a long time. We have been doing a ton of service for a lot of nonmembers and members. We are winterizing lots of members’ yards and there are huge spiders everywhere in Holland!! There are tons of them.

The food is really good here. Even the cheap stuff is really good and fresh. The sisters in Lelystad brought over crêpes today because it's Elder Warner’s Birthday today! He is now 20 years old. He's awesome. He's really smart and his mother was born in Nederland. He has a lot of family here and speaks really good Dutch. I've learned so much these past two weeks and I love it here. We talk to so many people each day. While we were doing service one day, a surfer guy came up to us and told us that what we were doing was really cool. We talked to him for a bit and we're going over his house tonight to talk with him about God! Missionary work is the best and life is really good. A lot of people we talk to aren't interested but we've had really interesting conversations anyway. I can understand Dutch better than I can speak it.

You'll have to tell me where the statue of Johan de Witt is, so I can get a picture. A lot of people ask me if I'm Dutch because of my name, but they all say there is an extra T at the end of my name. They say that is how people from Belgium would spell it. It's also really funny because whenever I tell people I'm from America, they look really surprised and think I'm from somewhere in Europe :) Kinda cool. I got my bike this week! My companion is also really interested in your conversion story and thinks you guys are really awesome. Here are some pics! Love you guys sooo much! We found a cool half pipe this week. I don’t know if I sent you a picture of the view from outside of my apartment last week. I'll take more pictures this week for you guys. I also had herring! It tasted like raw fish and it was really squishy. We also eat a lot of rice and chicken, and a lot of vegetables are incorporated with the meals here.


                                                               


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Serving in Lelystad

September 22, 2014

HI FAMILIE!!!!

This week has been amazing! It's so good to hear from all of you! I'm so happy for Cierra and all of the great things that are going on in your lives! The Lord has blessed me and my companion sooooo much this week! We have been knocking lots of doors and doing a lot of finding/contacting. There are so many great people in Holland and I love it here. We bike a lot and I may get a free bike from a member. Not sure yet, but if I don’t I'll get a bike. I love you guys so much and it's so good to hear how everything is back home.

Europe is so different and I have to get used to it a little bit. My collega is awesome and he's really knowledgeable. I've learned so much! During the flight here I sat next to Elder Hirsche. It was an 8 hour flight, I think. It was so awesome to look out the window and fly into Europe. The sunrise above the clouds was so cool. We stayed at a hotel the first night, and it was awesome. I've never been so tired in my life, but I love it!

We went contacting for the first time while we walked to Leiden to get legality things done for Belgium. It's so European looking here and it's really cool. The language is soooo hard! I'm starting to understand what people are saying but it's the hardest thing I've ever done, trying to understand Dutch people all day. We went to a family’s house for dinner from our ward and they're awesome. Their son is serving in the US right now. The culture here is really cool and it's fun to talk about God with people here. Many aren’t interested but they think it's really weird that we would believe in God. There's also a lot of Catholics in Leiden or Lyden. Not sure how it's spelled. We've been so blessed with finding willing people who want to listen to us. It's really diverse here and there are people from all around the world. We are teaching a guy right now who’s from Suriname. He's had a really tough life but we're teaching him and the Spirit is sooo strong in our lessons. We also found a ton of new people this week who want to hear more and we scheduled appointments with them. 

Church was awesome and we have a pretty good sized ward. It's not like the size you guys have, but the Spirit is there and they're such good people. A family came to church because their church was closed and we taught them later on in the day. It was awesome. The Lord is giving us so many blessings. I gave my testimony in church and introduced myself in Dutch. I don't know how well I did, but everyone smiled and it was nice. Everyone asks me if I'm Dutch because of my name, but they all say there is an extra T at the end. Kinda cool. The name must have gotten changed when our ancestors came to America. Also, when people find out I've only been here for a short time, they're really impressed and surprised and it's a great conversation starter. We also have a ton of service work and it's awesome. I love you guys so much and I love hearing how things are back home. I know this is where the Lord wants me to be.      


                                                         

The Lord's Mission

September 13, 2014

I can't wait to get to Nederland, but I'm pretty nervous. I can't wait to see my mission leaders and open my call to see where my first area will be. The flight is going to be long and we should arrive on Tuesday morning. When we get there, we take a nap at the mission home, then they take us to a crepe restaurant. You can look at the mission blog to see us, and I'll send pictures home. We also take pictures the first day at cool places. It's crazy because we are going to be doing missionary work in Europe in a few days! Love you guys! Happy Saturday!

I can't wait to tell you all about my travels and my first few days in Nederland! I think we can e-mail you a short letter when we arrive! Love you! Pretty nervous to go but I know I'm on the Lord’s mission and He will work through me. Helaman 10: 4-5: 


 "4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.

 5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will."


                                                           

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Leaving on Monday

September 10, 2014

We leave the MTC on Monday!!!!! (Mondag) Everyone who was here when we arrived have all left for their missions and we're the last ones out. It's sad saying bye to everyone when they leave the MTC, but it's also a cool experience because we know they are going out to serve others. The Dutchies, us, are the oldest district in our zone now and a ton of new missionaries came in last week. We have 65 missionaries and they're all going to Sweden, Norway, Suriname (also Dutch speakers) and Denmark. It seams so real now that we are leaving so soon! We practiced street contacting the other day in our classes and I realized I don't know any Dutch. Haha. I know enough, but I think I'm going to learn a lot when I'm out there. Our teachers said to always talk to people when we are not doing anything, so we get better at the language. I know I'm going to look really dumb for the first few months, but that's the best way to learn! I really can't wait to go out and serve the people of Belgie and Nederland. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the best gift I've ever received, and it is the best gift I can ever give anyone. Brother Joseph Sitati from the Seventy said that in the devotional we had last night. I love that and I know it's so true. The Gospel brings so much joy and peace into peoples lives and I can't wait to share it. Brother Sitati is from Nigeria and he and his wife both talked last night.

Ik weet dat de Evangeli van Jezus Christus waar is, en ik weet dat het Heer roep mij tot deinst op de Belgie en Nederland zending. Ik houd van jullie and ik weet dat onze Hemelse Vader houd van ons ook. Ik kun belofte jullie dat de heer zullen geven jullie meer zegeninen als jullie volgen de geboden van God. 

This is kind of a testimony, hope you like it! I know I got a bunch of conjugations wrong but it was off the top of my head. We have been teaching Amid and Hans most of the time we have been in the MTC, and we got them both to commit to baptism! I know we couldn't have done it without the Spirit because Elder Morrell and I both say words that we would never have remembered with out the Spirit guiding us in what to say. Brother Egget is our choir director and he's awesome. We sang Hope of Israel last night for Tuesday Devotional and it was the last time we will have the opportunity to sing in the MTC choir. It was soooo good. He told us that we are on the Lord's mission and He works through us. We don't have to worry about trying to prove the gospel to people, but to invite them. That is what we are called to do and the Lord will guide us. 

I got a slight Euro hair cut today :) the sides are short and I left the top how it was. Looks pretty sweet. All of my suits are dry cleaned, and the luggage is going to cost $100 for the flight. Elder Morrell and I are going to teach new missionaries tonight for "People and our Purpose." It's basically a room full of new missionaries who came in today. There is an investigator and Morrell and I are going to be in front of everyone, attempting to show them how to approach someone and begin to teach them. Wish us feel success! “Feel Success” is a phrase in Dutch which basically means good luck. 

We also found out a lot about Nederland this week, and we're going into a part of the world with not many morals. They explained to us that religion was always forced upon people in Nederland in their history, so they're really skeptical about missionaries and it makes sense. The teachers are going to tell us some investigator (onderzoeker) stories on Saturday. The investigators, who the teachers are acting out in the MTC, are based on real people they taught and baptized on their missions. 

I can e-mail you guys again this Saturday. Ik houd van julie! And it sounds like every thing is going well back home! Love to hear from you guys! 

                                                       

Can't Wait to Serve

September 3, 2014

Hi Familie! 

This week was great and we are leaving so soon! Can't wait to get out into Belgie and Nederland and serve the people there. We had a really good devotional last night about converts and how half the people in the Church are inactive. It's so important to reach out to everyone and show them the love of Christ and let them know they are our brothers and sisters. Everyone in the Church should have a friend they can hang out with outside of Church in the ward and they should be asked to speak in sacrament so they can feel that it is their church and they belong. There was a bunch of great stuff he talked about. Elder Amos, who just left for Denmark, sent me some pictures from there and said it looks a lot like Holland and it really amazing. He lives in England and I think he's been to Holland before. I think we do have an iPad mission and yes it's okay to send me world news. All of our Swedes and Nords left this week and we are getting 36 new missionaries today!!!! Our zone is going to be soooo big. It's going to be awesome. We're also getting some more Surinames. Suriname is in South America but they speak a mix of Dutch and a native language. It's really cool. “Fawaka me brada” means “What’s up brother.” It's great to hear about everything at home! We also talked to an elder who is in the MTC and lives in Rotterdam! We got to talk to him and it was pretty sweet. I finally got to hear what a native Dutch speaker sounds like. He is going to Suriname. He only goes to English classes because he already knows the language, so we see him around campus sometimes. We got Amid to commit to baptism!!! We have had really great lessons with him and we feel the Spirit so strong each time! He is actually Brother Lewis. We have another investigator, who is acted out by Broeder Klippel, but it’s really hard to teach him. He's really uninterested and sad all the time and he falls asleep on us when we teach him. I think Broeder Klippel is just trying to give us a hard time, but it's probably realistic how some people are there. He shared some stories with us about people he met in Holland and he said he cried in public the first three weeks he was there because the people are really blunt and truthful. He said he taught a lady on the street and then she told him he was wearing the ugliest tie she's ever seen. Haha. I guess we have to learn to love the people there though, no matter what they say to us :) He also told us he made life long friends on his mission there, and once you become friends and show the people you really care about them, they open up to you. I really liked the quotes you sent this week about the port of Heaven. That's so awesome that Aunt Mary helped out the elders and talked to them! Ik houd van jullie! Love you guys so much and I pray for you every day! Ik weet dat de Kerk is vaar en ik weet dat Hemelse Vader houde van ons. Not sure if that is correct but it means "I know the church is true, and I know that Heavenly Father loves us". Do you know what number I should call when I'm at the airport? Mom's cell, dad's cell, home phone? Can’t wait to talk to you next week! I'll be on at around 10:00-10:30ish, if you want to e-mail back and forth. I'll take more pictures this week!  Love you guys! 

                                                             

Halfway Point

August 27, 2014

Hallo Familie!


The Danes left on Monday but new ones are coming in today! We finally made it to the halfway point and there's only three weeks left in the MTC! I'm going to keep in touch with Eldste Amos who just left for Denmark. He's from England and we became pretty good friends. This was a really good week. One of the Seventy came to speak for devotional. We are teaching Amid as an investigator and he is Atheist. These lessons have been the most fun to teach and I've felt the Spirit the strongest during them. I want to get out into Belgie and Nederland soooo bad so I can share the Gospel with the people there. I already love them and I really realized it when we were teaching Amid. There are going to be so many people like him and it's really amazing to care about them because they are children of God. Becoming like Christ has been so important for me. It's so important to love everyone and see them as they could be and their full potential. I'm on my mission to help others reach their full potential which is what God wants for every one. The language is really hard and I feel like it's going to be impossible to learn but I know the Lord provides a way for every missionary while we are on His mission. I got my bag and my card and everything you sent. Thank you! Kaylee sounds like she is enjoying her mission and Caleb and Dalton are having great missions. Dalton already tore two pairs of his shoes because he walks so much in Brazil and I can't believe that Caleb is almost done! People in northern Nederland are really strict with schedules and they don't invite people in their house if they're not expecting them. They also speak really gutturally and it gets more relaxed in the culture the more south you go. People in Belgie are more relaxed and speak softer and it's a whole different dialect. It rains about 275 days a year on average in Nederland and on the coast it rains 300 days a year. There's also a lot of biking, but there is more walking in Amsterdam and Den Haag because they're cities. When we leave I may get a phone card to call you guys or do you want to send me a go phone? The Icelandic missionaries also left this Monday and there are only 6 of them in the world! It was pretty cool that they were in our zone. They were all really smart and awesome guys. They had to stay here for nine weeks because the language is really difficult and ancient. The grammar for Dutch is really different and the phrases and vocab are really tough. The grammar is like Yoda. I would say, "We are to the church going" instead of “We are going to the Church.” In Dutch it's, “Wij zijn naar de kerk gaan.” Ik houd van jullie! (I love you guys!) The MTC is making me crazy but the days go by so fast. I love the work and I know I'll love my mission. Thanks for the quotes! Can you send me news from the outside world and sports news and stuff? And can you get more people to send me dear elders and packages? I also got assigned the New DL (district leader) so I have a lot of meetings to go to and I get the mail now. The best part is the mail. The meetings can get boring, but they are also uplifting. 

                                                                         

Magic Tuesday

August 20, 2014

Sounds like everything is going great at home! The MTC is really great and I love it here! It's a miracle how much the Spirit can teach and guide us. The language is going really well and our district is only going to speak Dutch next week and no English. I'll have to carry around my dictionary the whole week. We hit the two week mark, and the Swedes and Danes are leaving in two weeks. We'll miss them a lot but new Nords (Norwegian) elders and zusters will replace their classrooms, which are right next to ours. Last week we had Magic Tuesday which I forget to write about last week. Pretty much Belgium needs a blood sample and stool sample....... We're the only mission in the whole world who has to do it. Pascal who was our first investigator two weeks ago is now our teacher and he's a great teacher. Kaylee sounds like she is having a really successful time. There are a ton of missionaries here who are going to Russia. Elder Homer and Elder Summerhays are emailing me now. Love you guys! 

P.S. 
I kind of want to get a Euro suit when I'm out in Belgium and Nederland :) And I think we have to buy iPads while we are there if we want to use them. Leifde jullie! It means “love you” but I probably have the wrong conjugation. We go to the temple every p-day so I will be going today. It is awesome that I get to go so often! I got a mystery package with popcorn and candy in it. Still don't know who it was from. 

                                                                          

Arrived at the MTC

August 13, 2014

The flight was good and I arrived in Utah at about 10:00am. The Roberts picked me up and they took me to In-N-Out Burger before they dropped me off at the MTC. They were really nice and they had one of the Summerhays’ little cousins with them too. I got to the MTC and I got a host. He took me through a bunch of buildings and I got all of my books and they put me right in my Dutch class with Broeder Klippel. All he spoke was Dutch the first day. Shortly after I got to class, my companion came in. Elder Morrell is my companion and he's awesome. The MTC has a great Spirit about it and every one is really encouraging and nice. The food is good and the people here are great. The language is difficult but I know that as I make my will one with the Lord's, he will help me. We had a devotional and one of the Seventy talked about how we are on the Lord's mission and if we have faith, it will all work out. I know the language will come and I love it. Elder Morrell, mijn collega, and I have four sisters in our district. The other Dutch district has four elders and two zusters. We are basically one district when we are out of class. We taught Pascal our investigator and it's getting easier and easier to understand him. It's hard to talk and put sentences together using the correct grammar, but I'm working on it. I know Pascal is just an actor, but I feel the Spirit when we teach him and really want him to feel of the peace that the Gospel brings. The Dutchies are on the same floor as all of the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Surinamese. The Surinamese missionaries are also learning to speak Dutch. They are going to the West Indies. I didn't receive any mail yet. 2007 N 900 E unit 87 is my address, I'm pretty sure. I'll send some pictures this week, and will send more next week. Love you guys!