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


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! 

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!