Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week 18: Operation: Destroy Antwerpen is a go. Initiating in 3... 2... 1...

January 26, 2015

Operation: Destroy Antwerpen is a go. Initiating in 3... 2. .. 1...
(O:DA is our plan for missionary work this transfer... We're going to wreck this place with the gospel :) )

Well everyone, it's been a great week! We finished strong in Brugge, and now I'm in my favorite city on Earth! 

This week has been full of miracles already. In the first three full days I was here, we set three baptismal dates! It's crazy! That's more dates than we had progressing investigators in Brugge. Let's just say my faith has grown exponentially these last couple days. Here's the low down. 

Monday, last P-Day in Brugge. Elder Hunt and I did the te Groot with a Frikadela XXL challenge. We couldn't finish. Then we went shopping. It was fun. We had dinner at Familie Collin, my last meal haha. 

Elder Muller with Familie Collins in Brugge.  His last night there!

This is the food challenge. "The Large Fry with an XXL Frikadela" Obviously, you can see the scrumptious large fry baskets - which could feed several people, and the "sausage" on the side is called a Frikadela..it is really good and I don't have an English translation for it! Just some yummy food you get at a Belgian Frituur!

(From here on, Elder Muller writes his days of the week in Vlaams (Dutch)!)

Dinsdag (got to throw in some Vlaams here) last district meeting. Really good, reviewed everything we had learned this transfer in form of Jeopardy. Then we made personal pizza's for lunch. Headed back to Brugge so I could pack. 

Last District Meeting

Elders and Sisters from Elder Muller's Ghent District

Last District Meeting for his Ghent District!
Making pizzas at District Meeting! Since they were personal pan pizzas, I am sure Elder Muller made his without cheese!

                         Making personal pizzas with his District

Woensdag transfers!!!! Really short transfer day for me... Took the train to Antwerpen, dropped my bags off at the new apartment, and went to work! We found a really good positive area and found a lot of good potentials. It was a great day. Miracle of the day, we had a "let-in lesson". We knocked on a door, and the guy let us in and let us teach the first lesson. It was super cool. 

Donderdag: Lot's of lessons... That fell through. BUT we had one really cool one with a guy named Frederick. He's from Suriname. We taught him about prophets, and set a baptismal date with him! Super cool!
Vrijdag: Lot's of lessons that fell through, but we had a cool one with a guy named Eric. Recently baptized at 16. He's a super cool kid, loves the church and has a great testimony. That night we had dinner with Bishop Staepels and his wife along with the sister missionaries.  Really fun. They also have a missionary journal, so I got to write in it! (Our family started a missionary journal while still living in Belgium. We try and have all missionaries write in it before they leave our area. Since joining the Church, we have lived in Belgium, Rhode Island, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio and now Florida! We have lots of different missions represented in our journals! Sixteen years worth of memories!)

Zaterdag: SNOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW so we weekly planned. We had a great lesson with a guy named Mark. It was even cooler because we had a less active as a joint teach. (A joint teach means they have a member with them helping to teach the lesson.) We taught Mark and his girlfriend the third lesson, Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was super awesome, because they asked us if they could be baptized. Two baptisimal dates!!!! We were really pumped. 

Snow!! Their version of a snowman!!!
Zondag: Church and stuff. Church was cool, me and Elder Childs had to introduce ourselves to the ward. We had correlation afterwards, went home and finished weekly planning and went to our dinner appointment. That's been our week!

Love you guys!!!
Elder Muller

Last Night in Brugge
So long beautiful Brugge!

Statue of a Missionary...Elder Muller is wondering if they will get a statue as well!

Someone with the name Muller already lived in his new apartment building!

Random Sign!!

What is an American School Bus doing in Belgium, and how did it get there?!!

Elder Muller's new Antwerpen Companion, Elder Shelton

Having some fun in the city!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 17: The Book of Mormon is true because starfish are weird.....

De Elzepoort

Here is a link to the description of the Elzepoort. Click on the translate button to read it in English!


De Ezelpoort

Christmas Night with Familie C. (Elder Muller Skyped from their home..and I promise that is not alcohol!!)

Monday, January 29, 2015

So I guess I should explain my subject lines from my last two emails... 

Week 15: 30 lbs of Bread. There was a lady who gave us 30 lbs of bread. Yup. I guess I forgot to mention that.

Week 16: 3 for 3. 3rd transfer, 3rd companion. :)

Week 17: The Book of Mormon is true, because starfish are weird

Elder Hunt and I were talking about starfish (don't ask me why... we just were) and we were thinking about just how weird it is that you can cut them in half, but they will just grow another starfish (and more things about just how starfish are weird in general) Elder Hunt just couldn't understand how that was possible, so he just turned to me and said. "The Book of Mormon is true, because starfish are weird." (I will now refer you to Alma 30:44 in the Book or Mormon)

But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is 
God; yea, even the earthand all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion
yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is 
Supreme Creator.

Here is a link to the entire Book of Mormon

SOOOOOOOOOOOO, it's been a weird week. But first the good stuff. 

On Monday night, we had an AWESOME time at Familie P. He is a less active member with four non member daughters that we've been working with. This was only the second time that I've been there when all four girls were home, and the first time it was actually a set appointment. It was sooooo cool. We've been working with Brother P. since before I got here, but it's been harder with the girls (He's a single dad, and they have school... ya busy schedule). 
It was just so awesome. They are probably the coolest people I've worked with. They had us over for dinner, and we just got to know them and taught a small lesson. IT WAS SOOO COOL! They just talked with us for like an hour and a half! The best part, we went back yesterday and all four of them were home AGAIN! Aw man, the Lord blesses you hardcore after 12 weeks of nix. They have so much potential, and are just an awesome family. I hope I get to see them again. 

Elder Muller with Familie P.

Elder Hunt was sick from Woensdag tot en met Vrijdag, dues wij hebben niet zo veel gedaan. Spijtig, maar wat is er te doen? (Elder Hunt was sick from Wednesday through and including Friday, so we didn't get very much done. Too bad, but there wasn't much we could do about it.)  (From Amy: I am just still so thrilled that I can continue to translate what Elder Muller is saying!!)

So I studied most of this week. I studied a lot. The Ghent Elders came down a couple times and did a split so we could teach some appointments we had, but other then that, I studied. (Because our missionaries are always in a companionship, when one is sick, the other companion must stay with them in the apartment. Now let me explain why this is hard....missionary apartments are not equipped with any electronics...no TV, no radio, no smart phones, no computer/internet, access. So that leaves them with only all of their study materials to read, so those days can become long.  They were able to have the Elders from Ghent come to Brugge and trade out with Elder Muller. One of the Ghent Elders would stay in the apartment with Elder Hunt, and the other companion would go with Elder Muller to teaching appointments and to go out and proselyte.) 

So a bit about what I learned. In 1 Nephi 7:16-18 we can learn some cool stuff.  

16 And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts.
17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.
18 And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again. 
So this is an example of how to use the Enabling Power of the Atonement in your life. We find all the steps necessary to active it in our own lives in these three verses. 
First, activate the redeeming power of the Atonement in your life. (that's another thing... pretty similar, but a little different)
Second, notice that Nephi says 'according to my faith'. We need to have faith, and exercise it, but we also need to realize that our faith isn't enough. We need to turn ourselves completely over to the Lord. Do everything we can do, and then acknowledge we need his help. 
Third, ask for specific help. If you notice, Nephi doesn't ask for the bands to suddenly fly away or something, he asks for strength to burst the bands. He's not asking the Lord to make his problem go away, he's asking for help to overcome the challenge. Too often we think that God will make our problems just disappear, that's not the case. He will help us overcome them though. 
Fourth, recognizing His help. Nephi did not 'burst the bands' but the Lord loosened them. We need to look out for the help we are given. It might not be what we ask for, but help will come. 
Ok reallllly quick about transfers. Guess where I'm going.....
As of Wednesday I'm serving in Antwerpen!!!!!! Elder Shelton will be my new companion. 
And that's not all.... Guess who got voted in to Antwerpen Zone Leader? Elder Childs!!!! We're serving in the same city again!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!! I'm sooooo excited. This is going to be a great transfer. I don't have my address yet, but I'll send it next week. 
Okay, so let me just say that this is amazing!! We didn't expect Elder Muller to stay in Belgium, and never in a million years did we think he would be transferred to Antwerpen!!  Heavenly Father has a purpose for Elder Muller. He is blessing him beyond measure. Most missionaries in the Belgium/Netherlands mission never get to serve one transfer in Belgium let alone two transfers in two of the most beautiful cities in the country! And two of the cities closest to Boma and Tante Ingrid!!!  This means Elder Muller will continue to be able to see them!!  And he is excited about who the new Zone Leader is because Elder Childs was his first companion and trainer when he got to the mission 12 weeks ago!!!
ik hou van jullie!
Elder Müller
So as most of you probably know, there has been a lot of terror activity recently in Paris, and the Belgian authorities thwarted some massive terrorist plans in Belgium. The Belgium Army has been mobilized to help support all of the police efforts around high target areas. This includes the Diamond Sector in Antwerpen which is down by the Centraal Train Station. It is an overwhelming thought to think of Bryan walking streets with police and soldiers patrolling with automatic machine weapons. So please keep Elder Muller and all of the Belgian people in your prayers during this very stressful time.  Elder Muller sent us a picture of a free speech protest march they saw. He was unaware at the time what it was for, and unaware of the heightened alert status in Belgium. 
Je suis Charlie

My favorite artistic treasures from Belgium are my wall tapestries of my two favorite Belgian cities...Antwerpen and Brugge!! These beautiful tapestries hang in my living room. For the first 12 weeks of Elder Muller's mission, I had his picture taped to the Brugge tapestry....and now I can move it to my Antwerpen tapestry for at least the next six weeks!!  I love knowing exactly where he is....I won't always have this blessing as the transfers keep moving him around, but as of now, I am feeling blessed! Antwerpen is like a second home to us! He will walk the streets where he walked as a child, and he knows all of our favorite cafe's, bakeries and frituur (fry) shops!!
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Elder Muller Called to Serve the Lord in Antwerpen, Belgium

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Elder Muller Called to Serve the Lord In Brugge, Belgium

Week 16: 3 for 3!!

Belgian Beaches on the North Sea

Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 7:24 AM
Subject: 3 for 3!

Hallo dames en Heren welkom in de trein naar transfers!!!! (Hello Ladies and Gentlemen..Welcome on the train to transfers!)

Yup transfers are next week, and I'm getting transferred! I don't know where yet, but we had interviews with President this week, and he told me to pack my bags, it's time to leave Brugge behind. It means I have one week left to enjoy this city!

We had a great week this week. Most of the week I was not in Brugge. On Monday we took some Elders through Brugge, and then went to the beach in Oostende with them and the Elders and Sisters from Gent. It was fun. 

Tuesday we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Lyman in Antwerpen. We're basically the same person, so it was a ton of fun. We both love programming, both play the piano, and both live in Florida! We did service for a member by fixing his computer. Pretty fun. We had some cool lessons. We went over to Boma and Tante Ingrid's for dinner. It was awesome. Boma's cooking is still fantastic!
Elders Muller and Lyman having dinner with Boma and Tante Ingrid
Dinner with Boma and Tante Ingrid!

Quick side note... I keep forgetting to say this in my emails. For all you BYU fans out there, you know Robby Bosco? His son is my Zone Leader :) He raised him well!

On Thursday we had exchanges with the District Leaders, I was with Elder Neptune in Gent. It was a bunch of fun. Elder Neptune is a super funny guy. Great missionary as well. We went home teaching with a member which was fun. We also attempted to teach a Bulgarian guy who doesn't speak any Dutch or English, so that was fun. Normally they have a translator, but she was sick, so we had to do it on our own. That was interesting. 

On Saturday we had district meeting and interviews with President. District meeting was awesome. We learned about the 'Hill's and Neptune Pyramid of Success' (Hill and Neptune are the names of the Elders who are his District Leaders! I will have to ask Elder Muller to elaborate on this lesson since he doesn't in this letter!)  It was pretty great. We have great district leaders, and a great district. We have a bunch of fun together. Interviews were good. That's when President told me that I needed to get ready to go. I'm happy that he did, because now I can say goodbye to people. Normally you only get two days notice.  

Yesterday was pretty fun as well, we had church, and I had to give a talk. That was interesting. Then we went to a less active we've been working with. He actually had a friend there, that we had an appointment with later that night (he was a referral from another member), so we had a sick less active/member present lesson. It was really cool. 

Well that's about it for this week. Next week I'll be packing my bags and shipping out of Brugge. I'm going to miss this place, I've had a ton of fun, and my companions are just awesome. I hope I can keep up the streak!

Ik hou van jullie! (I love you all!)

Elder Muller

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 15: 30 pounds of bread?

What up folks! I have no time because of things that happened, and if I go over we miss the last bus and have to walk for an hour home.

That being said. Nothing much happened this week. It was Elder Hunt's birthday on the 31st (New Years Eve) and because Belgian/Dutch people get crazy that day, we had to be inside our apartments by 4:00. Made for a long day. We had fun though. Played some games, and ate some lekker kip aan 't spit. 

This week we had a mini miracle. Last night we decided to look up a potential that me and  Elder Childs had found, and who we've tried to contact a couple times before with no luck. Well tonight she was home, and she accepted the Book of Mormon and made a return appointment for next week! It was super cool, because this is the first person in the nine weeks I've been in Brugge, whom we've contacted on the street and actually gotten an appointment with. What makes it even better is that she was someone I contacted. :) (Contacting means that we approached them, and began talking about something. In her case, the family and how cool it is.) We really needed that because the work here is pretty tough. We mostly knock doors all day, and don't normally see a lot of results. Really gave me the boost I needed to get my head back in the game. 

We had a fun P-Day today. We took some Elders around Brugge, and then we went to the beach with them and the Gent missionaries. Pretty fun. 

I'm going on exchanges with Elder Lyman, my Zone Leader, we have a lot in common, so it's going to be fun. (one word. Linux) 

Well that is about it. I'm out of time. I need to go grab a bus before it's too late. 

Tot volgende week

Elder Muller