Monday, February 16, 2015

Miracles Are Happening

February 9, 2015

Hi Mom and Dad and familie and friends!

Wow sounds like you guys had a great week. I can't believe Caleb is home already! I'm happy you guys went to his coming home dinges (thingamajig) at the airport. Let Grandma and the familie know that I love them and say, “Hi” to every one for me! I'm really thankful for what you said about enjoying the mission and that there really is no other time like it in my life. It is a consecrated time and I was struggling with enjoying the work until about a few weeks ago. I really do love this work and I know the joy and peace that comes from living and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A district goal of ours this transfer is to find meaningful scriptures out of the Book of Mormon and the Bible that are applicable to our lives. One I really like is Mosiah 2:41 “And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”

This was a crazy sick week. I went on exchanges with the DL's on Thursday in Gent, and then on Friday I went straight to Antwerpen for exchanges with the ZL's. It was a really great experience and we talked to a guy who was from Oregon! We gave him a Book of Mormon and it was sweet! He was a really cool guy, and we shared the promise in the last chapter of Moroni with him. He said it was quite a promise and we exchanged numbers. That was in Gent, so I'll see if they ever follow up with him, or if he gives them a call. Jenny got baptized this week! She has been investigating the church for 15 years and she made the decision a few weeks ago. Lindstrom and I were the two witnesses and it was a really cool experience. She was a little scared about the water but she did it! The next day we stood in while she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and she cried afterwards and the Spirit was strong. Also, one of the new members received the Aaronic Priesthood! He is an awesome guy and set a great example for his dad, who wants to wait to find out more about the Priesthood before he gets it. Miracles are happening, and I'm so happy to be here doing Christ's work.

Lindstrom and I also had quite the experience yesterday with a member who fed us. We had some soup which was lekker (delicious) and then came out the main dish. He dished it up for us and put steaming hot cow tongue on our plates :) It was really nice of him to make it for us. He also made homemade chocolade mousse for us after, which was heel smak (very tasty). Love you guys!!! Have a great week!! Love you guys!!!!!!!

Well Cared For In Kortrijk

February 2, 2015


Jammer (bummer) the Partiots won :(  Kortrijk is awesome!!! The members are great here and we have dinner appointments almost every night! We got a ton of food in church yesterday from the members and the chocolade (chocolate) here is lekker (delicious). We are going to have two baptisms soon, one being this Zaterday (Saturday) which is awesome. People speak a lot of French here, but also Dutch. Every one speaks at least Dutch and French here, and ten million other languages haha. The French key board is a bit different with key placement, and there are letters with things above them and you have to press shift to use the numbers. I'm getting used to it. Caleb goes home so soon!!!!! The missionary whose blog you read is a ZL in Rotterdam right now and he served in Kortrijk last year. He's been on his mission for a while and he's an awesome guy. The son and dad who he saw get baptized are in the ward I am serving in now, and Elder Lindstrom and I are teaching them the lessons again because we have to after they get baptized. They are an awesome familie, and I hope they all get baptized! Tell the missionaries in our ward that I say, “Hi” and I also thank them for serving! Elder Lindstrom has been out for a while and speaks really good Dutch. He's going home in three transfers. I love you guys so much and I hope you all have a fantastic week.

Ik willen jullie een geweldig sneeuw dag te hebben!!!!

Settling In

January 26, 2015

Hi Familie!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for sharing the stories about moving the rock and the mountain with me, and for telling me how everything is going on back home. The transfer is going well and I got the train out to Kortrijk just fine. I’m typing on a French keyboard so well see how it goes :) It’s been pretty rainy and cloudy here, which kind of stinks, but it doesn't sound as bad as Danbury haha. It’s great to hear from you and it’s awesome that you got Nan a photo album of the Utah trip. Belgium is so different and sooo European! All of the buildings are super close and old. It’s beautiful. The people are pretty difficult to understand down here, but I’m getting used to it. The members here are awesome and we get a ton of dinner appointments. I love you guys so much and I’m so happy that Cierra got accepted to BYUI!!!! Do you know if Erik got his mission call yet. I can’t find the question mark on the keyboard haha. I’ll send pictures of the awesome city next week. Still settling in and getting used to everything. My new collega is Elder Lindstrom and he’s awesome. I love you guys so much! Have a great week!

-Jeremy :D

Happy almost Valentine’s Day!!!!


Monday, February 9, 2015

Off to Belgium

January 19, 2015

Hi Familie!

On that note, I got called to Kortrijk in Belgium!!! It's on the France border and a ton of people speak French there! It's the farthest south in the mission we can go and I heard that we see more of the Paris/France missionaries than of our own missionaries. I'm really excited to have this opportunity, but I'm pretty nervous to. I heard that we shouldn't drink from the faucets, but I think it's okay if we do. It's a completely different culture down there than here, and I'm going to learn how to speak Flans (Flemish). They use a few different words for things than in Dutch, and the g's are soft, and the w's sound like w's instead of v's.

Erik emailed and told me that he handed in his papers! I can't believe Caleb is coming back so soon! I said good bye to the de Graaf’s yesterday and they want me to come back and visit after my mission. I'm so grateful for my mission and for all of the experiences I am having. I really liked hearing about the experience that Kaylee and her companion had, where they were able to help bring comfort to the woman who was usually unkind to the missionaries! It's true, you never know how much you can help someone just by saying or doing a simple thing.

Haha Dutch people do like to keep eye contact and they also love to use their hands when they talk. Dutch men are usually really funny when they open their door. They get a really painful look on their face when they try to read our name boards and then they usually have a strong opinion or just say, “No” and close the door. Haha some people are nice too.    

So, we got a ticket this week and had to pay it. The ticket was because we left a garbage bag out by the dumpster because it was jammed and wouldn't open. We paid for three garbage bags and thought that would be good and we left them next to the dumpster (like everyone else did) and the police showed up at our door with evidence that we left a garbage bag by the dumpster. Thus I am in sore need of money right now.

I'll send some more pictures tonight! This week hasn't been very eventful and we've been doing a lot of door knocking. Thanks for the beach pictures! Can you send some family pictures, as well as pictures of Nan and Gramps with me, and pictures of extended family? Love you all and have a great week!!!!

Transfer Calls Are Coming

January 12, 2015

Hi Mom and Dad and Everyone Else!,

I got a pen!!! Thanks for giving a speech for me! That was so cool to hear that the Danbury Exchange Club honored Eagle Scouts! That’s awesome that Eric is going on a mission! I can't wait to hear where he'll be sent to. There's a lot of European missionaries in the ward now. There are a ton of people from Suriname who moved here and that's basically all the people we talk to in Lelystad. They're the only ones who are open to at least hearing about religion haha. I haven't met anyone who has been affected by the plane crash but it's still pretty big news here and the government of Nederland is pushing to get more information about it from Russia and Oekra├»ne. I know a few elders who just went to Suriname and it sounds like a pretty sweet mission. Thanks for the quotes! They're quite uplifting and inspirational. Our recently reactivated member is doing well, we are going to try to give one of our investigators a baptismal date next week, and her husband isn't really too interested in church right now. We're going to try to give him a baptismal date, too. We'll see how it will work out. They're both working on the Word of Wisdom, and we'll explain it more to them next week. We visit a member who can't come to church for health reasons, but is so awesome. Transfer calls are next Sunday and I think I'll be transferred! I don't know if I will, but I think I will be. This has been a pretty good week, super windy and rainy and lots of talking to people. We had a Vietnamese loempia which was delicious. It's pretty much just a fried roll with chicken and vegetables in it. We handed out a book of Mormon yesterday and a lot of people want us to come back and talk to them! I'll send more pictures tonight. You guys are awesome. Love you!!!

Groetjes, Jeremy

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

January 5, 2015

Hey Familie!!!

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!!!!!!!! Wow, this has been such an amazing year with so many opportunities and blessings. I'm so grateful for you guys and for my mission, and all of the opportunities I was able to have. This year is my full year dedicated to serving God. I'm so grateful that I was called here and for all of the experiences I've had, and all of the things that I've learned. Something I've learned while I’ve been out on my mission is the blessings of trials. Trials can be tough times that get our spirits low and we can feel alone or just beat. What I’ve learned, is that Heavenly Father gives us trials to strengthen us. Trials are times that God gives to us to make us stronger and more mature. Trials are such a blessing and when we are faced with a trial, remember Heavenly Father, and that He is always with us. He wants us to learn something and become more like Him. The next time you recognize a trial, pray for help and look for the things that you can learn through dealing with the trial in a good way. Chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel is about developing Christlike attributes. For family home evening, you guys should read the Christlike attributes and look up some of the scriptures that are given.

It's so good to hear from you all and I’m so excited to hear about Cierra and Kaylee and how they are doing! Elder Steenblik and I were able to go up on the roof of our apartment during Ouders Jaars Avond (old years night) and see the vuurwerken (fireworks). It was something I’ll never forget. As New Year’s came around, the sky was lit up with fireworks everywhere. It literally looked like a movie. Everywhere we looked, 360 degrees, there were fireworks. It was amazing. Everyone was outside throwing fireworks around and it was an experience I’ll never forget. It was so cool. We had a good week but we didn’t get to proselyte on Wednesday because we all had interviews with the mission president and had to go straight home. We talked to a lot of people this week and knocked a lot of doors. We have to record our finding time now and we are striving for 2 new potentials every day. We've had faith and we have almost met our goal this week.

I've eaten all the food you listed and it's all delicious. The poffertjes are only in Belgium but they're pretty much just small oliebollen, I think. We had veel oliebollen on New Year’s Eve and appelflap. It's tradition here for everyone to eat oliebollen during New Year’s feestdagen and it's awesome They're doughnut balls that they fry and put poeder suiker (powdered sugar) on. It's deliciousness. Love you guys so much!!!!! Have a great year and a great week!

Groetjes, Jeremy