Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Week 10: I didn't want to say I told you so, but uh, I told you so....

Elder Childs wearing Elder Muller's coat...he was cold!

Pictures that Alyssa and Jaedyn sent Elder Muller!

Wow what a week!!!! So much has happened I hope I can get it all down. 

First off, I would like apologize for my last email, I was rushed for time so I'm sorry if it didn't make any sense. :) 

So we had Zone Conference this week, which was a ton of fun. I've had a ton of cool experiences that I hope to be able to talk about. 

First off, travel to Zone Conference. This is where the subject line comes in, haha. 

Elder Childs wanted to get up to Nederland pretty early, because it takes a few hours to get there. Last time he left in the afternoon, and got there at like 11. 
We wanted to travel with other missionaries, but everyone was leaving later. Elder Childs tried to convince them to leave earlier, but nobody would have it. So we left at like 4. When we got to Ghent, we discovered that all of the trains to Antwerpen Centraal were canceled. We didn't know why, but nothing was running that direction. When we were on the train to Ghent we were fine, but we had over-stopped for about an hour for lunch with the Ghent missionaries. Elder Childs was frustrated haha. That's when he said 'I didn't want to say I told you so, but uh, I told you so.... ' 

Elder Childs...Not happy...can't get to Antwerpen!
BUT this is important.... Everything happens for a reason!!!! We managed to catch a train to Brussels, and happened to jump on the train that we were planning on catching in Antwerpen. It runs from Den Haag to Brussels via Antwerpen, and by some miracle we caught it in Brussels before it left. We only had one problem, we didn't have enough time to buy tickets to cross the international border while we were in Brussels. We called up the Lokeren Sisters (they owed us a favor, also, they had managed to get to Antwerpen by bus I think) and asked them to buy four international tickets (We payed them back :) ). While we were doing this, a young man man (maybe mid or late twenties ) sat next to me. He heard our discussion and asked what we were trying to do. We got to talking, and ended up talking the whole way to Den Haag. Sister Johnson and I (a Ghent Sister) actually ended up teaching him the first lesson on the train. He was super interested about everything. It was really cool! We managed to get to Nederland ok. We stayed with the Den Haag Zone Leaders and to Elders from Genk Belgium. 

Zone Conference was really cool. It was on Thursday. I got to see both of my MTC companions!!!! It was a totally awesome to see both of them. I was surprised to see Elder Matos, he had gotten into the land the week before. He got approval from the MTC doctors to go, so he's here now!
The talks were awesome. President talked about obedience, and how through obedience both our faith and love for God and Jesus Christ grow.
Sister Robinson spoke about the Dress and Grooming standards. I'm doing just fine with that haha :)

During Zone Conference they are visited by Area Authorities from Church. Elder Morierra is an Area 70 from Portugal. THERE ARE CURRENTLY EIGHT QUORUMS of the Seventy. Each quorum may have up to 70 members. Members of Quorums of the Seventy are often referred to simply as “Seventies.” Seventies are called to proclaim the gospel and build up the Church. They work under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the Presidency of the Seventy
Some Seventies are assigned to headquarters administrative functions, but most live and work within a specific geographic region of the Church. Like the Apostles, they also travel frequently to visit and teach congregations of the Church.
Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy are called to serve until the age of 70, at which time they are given emeritus status (similar to being released). Members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy typically serve for three to five years; after this time, they are released. Members of the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy are considered General Authorities, meaning that they have authority to serve anywhere in the world. Members of the remaining quorums are called Area Seventies, and their authority is limited to the area where they serve.
Sister Moreirra spoke about loving the people. It was harder to follow her because an Elder was translating for her, but it was still really good.
Elder Moreirra was really good. He spoke about a lot of different things. Mostly about faith and and becoming more like Christ. He gave us all an assignment, to study the life of Peter. Look to see what changed in his life that made him the powerful witness of Christ he was. It definitely helped me a lot, and I learned a lot from him. One thing that I've really been working on is becoming converted unto Christ. On a mission a testimony is not enough, I've already found that. You have to be converted to Christ. I encourage you all to think about what that means. I'm going to try to talk more about Elder Moreirra next week, I forgot my notes, and there is still more I need to talk about :).

Here is a surprise link that I found to a song performed at the Zone Conference Elder Muller is talking about. Elder Hunter and Elder Silva are performing with Elder Cooper, and Elder Bishop on the piano. Elders Hunter and Silva were with Elder Muller in the MTC, and also performed in the MTC Choir along with Elder Muller.

So after Zone Conference we headed back to Belgium. We actually stayed with the Ghent Elders because we were doing a district split. Elders Lindstrom and Schmidt from Kortrijk needed me and Elder Goff to go with them because they were double booked. Elder Goff went and did a baptismal interview with Elder Schmidt, while me and Elder Lindstrom looked some people up and went to Correlation Meeting.
Something awesome happened to me and Elder Lindstrom. We looked up a guy that they had given a Book of Mormon a week and a half before. They had tried calling him to follow up, but with no luck. We stopped by and tried to set up an appointment. He asked us if we had time now and let us in. We asked him if he had read any of the Book of Mormon, and he told us he had read all of it. WOW!!!! That never happens! We proceeded to do what we call a RAD (Restoration and Doop Datum). We teach the first lesson (the Restoration) and then invite them to be baptized. It was totally awesome! He wants to be baptized and come to church. So cool! There are people who are ready and waiting to hear the truth of the restored Gospel. They are waiting for the opportunity to receive it. Our job as missionaries and members of Christ's church is to help them
Alright I don't have enough time to talk a whole bunch more, but I want to finish my thought from last week.
Most of this is a quote from Elder Holland, but with some of my words thrown into it.
Why is this hard? Why is missionary work so hard? Why isn't the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia because of being in the baptismal font all day? Why don't more people listen to us? Why do people fall away from the Church? This is the true church right? Christ leads this church right? Why isn't it easier?
Maybe, just maybe, it's because Salvation is NOT A CHEAP EXPERIENCE. This is Christ's church. Why would we believe, why would we think that it would be easy for us when it was NEVER easy for him. If Jesus Christ can fall to his knees in agony calling out abba, Father, Papa, well no wonder that salvation is not a whimsical thing for a missionary, or a member of His Church. This is the Living Son of the Living God asking if there is some other way! Maybe, just maybe, missionaries, investigators, and members have to feel something, something, of what he felt. A token sacrifice. Just remember that when it's hard, and you ask why it's not easy, you weren't the first one to ask that question. Someone a lot greater, and a lot better asked that a long time ago. For Him there wasn't, and maybe in token sacrifice, it isn't always easy for us. When it is hard, when we are rejected, cast out, spit upon, made a hiss and a byword, we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the greatest life this world has ever known. No wonder it isn't easy.

I am including a link to a six minute video about the talk Elder Muller is referring to: 
The written talk in its entirety is here:

Tot volgende week.
Elder Müller

Elder Muller in a tunnel in Ieper, Belgium.

Brugge at Night

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