Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Settling In

July 13, 2105

Hi everyone!

I'm back to typing on a normal key board in place of a French one and it feels really weird. It was really sad leaving Kortirjk and my heart was broken leaving everyone behind, but they all told me to work hard, and as a missionary I will grow as I go out of my comfort zone. I learned so much from serving there and I love everyone in that branch. I know that I'm here for a reason and that as we strive to do our best and trust in the Lord, we will be blessed. I love it here in Hengelo and we have a house instead of an apartment! We already have a new investigator and the work is going really well. Elder Solomon is a great missionary and a very hard worker. I'm happy to be here and I know that as I help others, the time here will fly and I'll enjoy it. We were knocking doors the other day and it was really sunny and hot, and this lady opened the door and let us in! She's from Armenia and she said that they have a custom there that anyone who is from God they have to let in haha. We talked with her about the restoration and she loved it. She had been meeting with Jehovah’s Witnesses for a while and had stopped for about a month, and then she said she prayed and we showed up at the door a few days later. We'll meet with her this Zaterdag and see what she thinks about the Book of Mormon. I love you guys so much and I'll try to send more pictures. Church was great and we have a great ward. They sound so different and everyone says I have a Flams accent haha. Love you guys! Have a great week!!

Love, Elder DeWitt 

Heading to Hengelo

July 6, 2015

Hi Everyone!

I got the call last night about transfers and I've been called to serve in Hengelo, Netherlands. I'm going to miss Kortrijk and all of the members here a lot. I called all of them yesterday and said, "Bye" to them. They think I'm going to come back to serve in Kortrijk again later in my mission haha. I would love to. I know that I'm going to Hengelo for a reason and I can't wait. It's going to be a great experience meeting new people and getting used to Nederlands again instead of Flams. The Leman's have a book that all the missionaries write in and I still have to do that. They're such a good family and they've really given me a lot of support while I've been in Kortrijk. I'll trust in the Lord and I know that it will be good for my progression in Hengelo.

Kaylee's home! I'm so happy that you guys got to spend the 4th of July with her. We went to the Brobbey's on the 4th and they fed us chicken (kip or kieken in dialect) and salad. We have correlation there every week and they're such a good family too. We went to another member’s house after, and she fed us the same thing haha. It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun watching fireworks with the Hippens and the Summerhays. The Tour de France is going on today and it's a pretty big thing. Some of the missionaries are going to watch it and we might see a little bit of it. The Belgians and Nederlanders love biking. It's been really hot this week but the temp is starting to cool down. I love you guys! Have a great week!

Love, Elder DeWitt

Last Week in Kortrijk

June 30, 2015

Hey everyone!

We went to Oostende on Monday and had a really busy day planned for today but an appointment fell through so we can email right now. We finally got a fan for our apartment and the new member who just got baptized is doing great. We had an appointment with him, and there's such a change in him. He has a light in him and it's amazing to see how the Spirit works. We had a lesson with one of our investigators today who is trying to find a job right now and it was a really good appointment. We shared Ether 12:6 with him, “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” By the end of the appointment he was really happy that we came and he felt peace. He prayed and it was a really great personal prayer to God. This is most likely my last week in Kortrijk and I'm going to miss the Branch here a lot. If I visit after my mission I'll have to visit Kortrijk for sure. Tell the missionaries that I say, “Hi” and that they're in our prayers as well. The weather is getting really hot here and Elder Jones got pretty burned when we were at Oostende yesterday. It's a nice beach and we played rugby :) We also washed a member’s roof this week and got to talk to a lot of people. There are a lot more students in Kortrijk now because it's summer vacation. College students are usually pretty chill but aren't really interested in learning the gospel. Some are curious and want to know more about the Church, which is still good. We got a call from the Paris/France missionaries and they told us there would be a new member coming up to Kortrijk who is moving from Wallonia, which is the southern French speaking part of Belgium. I love you guys and it's crazy that Kaylee is home! If you could send some cool hymns that are in Celtic form, Island form, and upbeat/not Motab form that would be awesome. Also some Iz Kamakawiwoʻole or Hawaiian music too. Love you guys. Have a great week!

Love, Elder DeWitt

P.S. Don't let Kaylee hang out with the missionaries too much, she has to start a new adventure :) Beste!  

Our Branch Loves Us (and We Love Them)

June 22, 2015

Hey guys! 

I saw all of the pictures of Cierra and her graduation! I'm really happy that a lot of the family came to the graduation and that you had a good time at the dinner too. Elder Jones and I had a crazy week. I was to Gent on dinsdag (Tuesday) and to Antwerpen on Woensdag (Wednesday). We had back to back exchanges with the Zone Leaders and District Leaders. I got back on donderdag (Thursday) and we went to our investigator’s house for an appointment in Ieper. We knocked on his door and he wasn't expecting us and he was sick. He let us come in and was so happy that we were there. He said he thinks he's going to die soon and then asked for a blessing. We gave him one and he looked a lot better after. He was so thankful for everything and it was a really spiritual but also very unexpected experience. We left the appointment and someone from South Africa came up to us and told us he knew us. He told us that the first missionary who talked to him was named Angelo and that’s the name of someone in our ward who served his mission in South Africa! I don't know if it was the same Angelo but that would be really cool. We got his number and we are going to give him a call. Friday was a little more rustig (quiet). We went to a new member’s house and ate, and then went to the Leman’s and ate, and talked to people on the street. Zaterdag (Saturday) was the day of our investigator’s baptism! He showed up and I gave the opening prayer, and when he went in the font, he kind of kneeled down, went all the way under, and then couldn't get back up, but every thing worked out. It was a beautiful experience and de Geest werd aanwezig (the Spirit was present). We ate at a member’s house, visited a less active family from our ward, and then went home. It was 11:00 at night and we were wondering why the District Leaders hadn't called for numbers, and then I remembered I left the phone in my suit pocket and the battery had run out. We plugged it in and we had six missed calls and found out that our entire ward was scared and going crazy and our District Leaders, Zone Leaders, and Mission President didn't know where we were. We had to call everyone and tell them that we had misplaced our phone and that we were in our apartment safe and sound. On the positive side, we know that our Branch loves us :) Say, “Hi!” to Kaylee for me when she arrives! Tell her that she's awesome and that she served a great mission! Love you guys! Have a great week! 

Love, Elder DeWitt 

Grateful for Every Second

June 15, 2015

Hi Guys!

I can't believe Kaylee is coming home so soon. Tell every one I say, “Hi!”  Geef de groetjes aan iedereen (Give my regards to everyone). Tell Brother Capone I'm doing well and that I say, “Hi.” He's such a cool guy. So much is going on back home right now it's great. A lot has been going on here as well. Our investigator is getting baptized this week, we had an awesome lesson with another investigator and set a baptismal date with him. He was born in Belgium but his parents are from Italy. We've been seeing so many blessings and the Lord's hand has been in my life every day. This Sunday was Father’s Day and we went over the Leman’s and had a big party (feestje) with the rest of their family. There was a ton of food, and we played soccer. Haha one of the Leman's said I live here now because I've been in Kortrijk for so long. I love it here, but I think I'll only have about three more weeks in Belgium. It's been such a good time here and I'm so grateful for every second. I've learned so much from my companions, experiences, and ward members. When Kaylee gets home, greet her for me. She's been a really big influence for me while I've been out here on my mission. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you and I hope you have a great week. Thanks for encouraging me to go on a mission and to leave my comfort zone to try new things. You taught me to always rely on the Lord and that has been such a great blessing to me. I love you, Dad. 

Love you guys!

-Elder DeWitt 

Everyone Here is Family

June 8, 2015

Hi Everyone! 

We had a really good week and our investigator’s new baptismal date is set for June 20th! He wants our Ward Mission Leader to baptize him; and he's doing really well. We have 4 investigators in Ieper right now and a few people here in Kortrijk. The weather is getting really warm and our ward members are all doing really well. President and Sister Robinson are going home this week, and we'll see out new Mission President soon. Pray for our ward member’s sister. She lives in New Jersey and has a disease that she might die from any day and it's really tough for her right now. It was a really nice fast Sunday. We got to hear the testimonies of a lot of the ward member. I love Kortrijk and I've learned so much from the members here. They have such a strong faith in Jesus Christ and they know that if they trust in him and put him first, every thing will be okay. Everyone here is family and it's an amazing branch. We got to go to Antwerpen this Saturday, and a family in our ward brought us home. There's a group of singing elders that travel around the mission and perform musical numbers and they’re really excellent. 

I can't believe Cierra is about to Graduate! Love you Ci, keep up the good work and have fun too. It's good to hear that Kasey is doing well. Kaylee comes home from her mission in two weeks!? That's crazy. Enjoy the weather and have a great week. Love you guys! 

Elder DeWitt 

Their Burdens Were Made Light

June 1, 2015

Hi Guys!

Wow so much is happening back at home. How is everything going with Kasey? Is she doing alright? That's crazy that Silas is engaged already. Tell Caleb not to get married before I get back haha. My new comp is Elder Jones and he's a really cool guy. It's really fun serving with him. A lot of my friends from the mission went home this transfer and they sent me e-mails already. They were home and on the beach with their families haha. It's so weird to see that. We had a really good week and our investigator finally told us that he drinks. I've been praying he would tell us or that something would workout. I'm really happy that he was honest with us and we had three investigators in church this week! I know two of them want to get baptized, but they have to overcome some addictions and our Branch President is working with them. We're meeting with them every week, and it's going really well. We're going over a member’s house tonight and we're going to share Mosiah 24 with her, about how Alma and his people were persecuted, but they prayed in their hearts and their burdens were made light. I think it will help her. Kaylee gave me the idea. Eric is doing awesome and the Lord will watch over him. I think it's funny how the guy gave the missionary back his bike and helped him up. It's cool that people still believe in God in some parts of the world :) Love you guys! Have a great week!

Love, Elder DeWitt

Through the Atonement We Can Change

May 26, 2015

Hi Everyone!

That's awesome that you guys had an opportunity to be great missionaries and to go help out the missionaries with service. I hope you all had a good Memorial Day! Cierra sent prom pictures and I really like the Bull's Bridge picture you sent. That’s great that Cierra got the John Lynch Scholarship from the Catholic War Veteran Scholarship dinner. I'm sure Gramps was there too :) I had a great week and we set a baptismal date with one of our investigators. We set a date before we knew that he had a drinking problem, but he's still not telling us and I don't know what to do. It's a complicated situation, but I'm sure everything will work out. I'll keep praying. I'm staying in Kortrijk this transfer and Elder Jones will be my new collega (companion) He'll be my first younger companion. It's going to be awesome. I'm almost done reading the Book of Mormon for the third time and I don't have words to describe what that book means to me. Every time I pick it up and read it, I know it's true. I learn something new from it every time I read it and I know it's through the Spirit that I'm taught. It's brought me so close to Christ, and I know that through the Atonement we can change. I really like what Kaylee's investigator told her, “Stay strong and continue to believe that there is good in the world. That is advice to live by.” I love you guys and have a good week!

Love, Elder DeWitt

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Enjoy Rather than Endure

May 18, 2015

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for the awesome letter this week! That's so great that you guys are being such good missionaries. It really made me happy when I read that you guys had an investigator over for dinner and that you're having the missionaries over. They really appreciate it, and it's really good what you guys are doing. Haha I remember bringing Cierra every where on Prom day, to get her nails and hair done. It was a lot of fun and I'm happy I got to do that. I really want to go to BYU Hawaii! Aunt Mary sent me pictures of the lake and of Joey and I. Those were such good times. I love it here on the mission and I know I'm learning so many things and growing and serving the Lord. I'm really so grateful to be here and I really like the message that Kaylee sent: “I’ve been thinking this week how the gospel is worth sacrificing for. When we, as church members, tell people that we teach Sunday school, fulfill callings, leave school to serve missions for a year and a half to two years, sometimes it’s hard to believe. One of my District Leaders asked us one time, “Why do you get up at 6:30 every morning?” To make this short, the gospel is always worth it. It’s always worth getting up at 6:30 for. It’s always worth all the effort we put into our callings. When we lose our lives in service is when we truly find it.” I also know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a beautiful message that brings joy and peace into the lives of people. Elder Cook (the elder whose blog you saw) gave his dying (end of mission) testimony the other day at a zone conference and said something that was really good. He talked about how people always say endure to the end on your mission, but he told us all to enjoy until the end. This is a good life quote and I know that there's no reason to have to endure but rather enjoy. I don't know if I shared Mosiah 2:41 with you guys. It's a really good scripture that I think goes well with that testimony. 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 Goth hath spoken it.” 

Elder Price and I had a great week and we were in Ieper quite a bit. We had lessons with our investigators and also visited Hill 62 in Ieper today! It was an amazing experience. We got to walk around in trenches and experience the history of the land. This land is so rich with history.

Love you guys! Have a great week!

Love, Jeremy

Didn’t Catch Any Cats

May 11, 2015

Hey Guys! How are you all? It's been a long time :) haha It was so nice to talk with you guys yesterday and I love you all so much. Thanks for the inspiring words and for all the love and support you give me. Elder Bednar’s talk was great and it's so true that if we keep our focus and Christ, we have no reason to doubt or to fear. He loves us and he wants us to return to live with God again. We had a great week and the Ieper Cat Festival was really cool and traditional. There was a big parade, but we didn't catch any cats. We've been talking to a lot of people on the streets with all of the festivities going on, and it's been really cool to see a lot of the traditions here in Europe. We're going to Gent today to sight see and it's beautiful outside. I love you guys so much! I don't have too much to say because I talked with you yesterday. I love you guys and I wish you the best this week. What is Cierra going to do until she goes to college in January? She should be a life guard for the summer. Is she driving yet? haha Love you guys, Have a great week!

-Love Elder DeWitt

Looking Forward to Mother’s Day (and Kattenstoet)

May 4, 2015

Hi guys!

Just came back from Antwerpen for zone P-day. We all played voetbal and it was a lot of fun. Elder Price and I had a great week. We went to Ieper a lot this week, but only two of our appointments went through. Our Branch President came with us and bore his testimony. It was really awesome and he told our investigator about his conversion story and how cool the missionaries are. It was really cool to hear him say so many good things about us and what the missionaries mean to him. We had our first meeting with our new Ward Mission Leader, and it went really well. He's very enthusiastic and really wants to get baptisms and get the ward involved. He knows a lot of the African community in Kortrijk because he is from Africa. He's a really cool guy. Elder Price is almost dead (finished with his mission) and my year mark is coming up. It's been a weird experience, the time goes really slow sometimes but when you look back it seems so fast. We also visited a less active family yesterday. They're from Russia and they're really cool people. I talked about how Kaylee was on a mission in Oekraïne and they said Ukrainian Russian sounds different. They have two daughters and they translated some things for their mom to us because they have better Nederlands and they speak Russian with each other. They're cool people but they're really busy. We shared a scripture verse with them and we'll probably try back in two weeks.

This Mother’s Day we'll be Skyping at our Branch President’s house, and I'll be Skyping around 6:00 my time. I can't wait to talk with you guys! We'll also be going to Ieper on Mother’s Day because they're having a historical festival called Kattenstoet and throwing stuffed cats off of the Stad building. Way back many years ago there were too many cats in Ieper because they had a bunch brought in to get rid of the rats, but then there were too many cats and they threw a bunch off the top of the Stad building to get rid of them and that's what they're celebrating haha. If I don't e-mail Nan tonight it's because the library is about to close, but you can tell her that I got her letter this week. The fast on Sunday was also really good and my testimony of fasting is much stronger now. I love you guys! Have a great week! I also got to see Elder Warner today (my trainer!) He told me to say, “Hi” to you guys and he still thinks you're really awesome. He really likes you're conversion story.

Love, Jeremy 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Busy Week

April 27, 2015

Hey Everyone!

We had a really busy week taking trains to Ieper and all over the place. Elder Price and I went to Ieper a lot this week because we have two new investigators there. One is the guy who lived with Buddhist monks, and the other is one of his clients who was at his house when we first met with him. He is meeting with missionaries and members of many religions to find out where God wants him to be. We had a great lesson with him about the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. We asked him if he would read the Book of Mormon and pray to God to know if these things are true, and that when he comes to know if these things are true through the Spirit, if he would be baptized by some one holding the priesthood, and he said, "Yes!" He's really sincere and wants to know more. That’s really great that the investigator that the sisters found is coming to Church! You should invite her over for dinner with the missionaries.

I can't wait to talk to you guys on Mother's Day! The plan is to Skype around 6.00 pm my time. Those are the plans as of now, but I'll email more info about that next week. Tell Caleb and the guys at work that I say, “Hi!” We're going to Brugge today to do some sight seeing. How is Kasey doing? We just got a new Ward Mission Leader in Kortrijk. His name is Brother Brobbey and he's from Ghana. He's awesome and the ward is going to fast together for one of the members. A member was reading in Alma where they talk about how they gathered often and fasted for those who needed help. We're Fasting to help this member gain a testimony and to feel the Spirit. Love you guys, have a great week! I can't wait to see you all on Mother’s Day!

Love, Elder DeWitt

Relying on the Lord

April 20, 2015

Hi Everyone!

This was a really amazing week full of miracles. We had a great lesson in Ieper with a man who used to live with Buddhist monks and he showed us a picture of him in his robes. He had a bunch of friends there too! They all want to learn more and I can't wait to go back and teach them more about Christ. He's a really sincere and happy guy who has a lot of interest in the Church. He's awesome and wants us to come over twice a week so he can learn all of the lessons. I'm really relying on the Lord and praying. After the lesson we had with him this week, we went to go see a cool ceremony they hold in Ieper every night at the Menen Poort. We saw an American family whose son had just come home from his mission in Québec just three weeks ago! It was cool to talk with him and they bought us hot chocolate!

This weekend we went to Antwerpen for ring conferentie (stake conference) and it was awesome. On Sunday we went to Brussels for the Sunday session of ring conferentie and James brought us, the member who was recently baptized last year. It was an awesome experience and my Dutch is getting a lot better. I can understand a lot more and speak a bit more fluently. Haha I love it here in Kortrijk and I'm so happy I'm staying. It's awesome that Cierra got to go to Italy and see all of the amazing sites and do all the cool things she did! Definitely tell her to write it down in your journal. What does she want to major in when she goes to university? I've been thinking a lot about school and I really want to go to BYU Hawaii when I get back and maybe study Marine Biology :) I don't know yet though, I still have a while to think about it.

I'll be at my Branch President's house for Mother’s Day and we'll probably Skype around 12:00 or 1:00 my time. I'll let you know when I get more information. We went to a really good Potluck dinner and had a ton of lekker food. We had soup, a lot of rice, chocolate mousse, pasta, and a bunch of other stuff. We didn't make anything, but we will next time. I saw on billboards that Jurassic World is coming out. Are you guys going to see it? Love you all and I hope you have a great week! Visiting the concentration camp was a very emotional experience, and we were all sad after we left.

Love you guys!!!  

Elder DeWitt