Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Week #26 I'll just get back on the tree and keep climbing....

A giant Ferris wheel in Antwerpen! Most of his pictures are atop this monster!

The Diamond Wheel - sitting by the Central Train Station which happens to be in the Diamond Sector of Antwerpen....hence the name!

"The Crew" before getting on the wheel!! Elders Lyman, Pugh, Sisters Young and Thomas, and Elder Childs! Elder Pugh is looking quite apprehensive!

Is it almost over???!!!!

Elder Pugh - Elder Muller says he is terrified!

Looks like a great preparation day activity!

Central Train Station from high up on the Ferris wheel!

The beautiful Cathedral of Antwerpen in the distance on the right of picture.

City view from the Ferris wheel!
(I get to do lots of translating for Elder Muller in this email!)

March 23, 2015

Hoi iedereen... (Hey Everyone)

Ik wil gewoon in het Nederlands vandaag schrijven. Nee, grapje, maar ik zou moeten proberen om mijn Nederlandse schrijf te verbeteren. Dus, wij gaan verder.

(I am going to write only in Dutch today. No, just a joke, but I do want to try and improve my writing in Dutch. So, we will continue...)

First, the subject... 

So last night on the way home from our dinner appointment, we (Elders Muller and Pugh and the sisters) did a little activity. We came up with an animal that describes each one of us. Elder Pugh is a monkey, Sister Thomas is a fox, and Sister Young is a dolphin. They decided I was a sloth... Hurtful right? Nah, not really. They meant it because they said that I'm just a really chill guy. I just always do my thing, slowly climbing the tree, and that if I fall off the tree I get up and just keep climbing. I'm still not sure what that's supposed to mean, but oh well. :)

So we had a pretty fun week. We had some cool experiences, I have decided to only share the highlights instead of doing a day by day summary... 

We had a really fun dinner appointment with Familie Boegaerts op Woensdag Wednesday). They live right outside of Mechelen (this is the city we lived in and where we met the missionaries!!!), and their son, Michael, just got home from his mission in Lyon, France (Formally the Geneva Switzerland Mission :) ) a couple months ago. They are just a super solid, super cool family. Sister Boegaerts is just disappointed that we moved from Belgium. She says that I should be in the Young Single Adult program here!

We had a cool miracle that night. Michael drove us home, but we did some less active look ups with him first. We stopped by a guy who we've been trying to get in contact with for awhile, but is never home. That night he was home, and we got to talk to him for a bit. He committed to coming to church on Sunday (which he did!) and we were able to set up an appointment for this week. 

On Thursday we had a really cool miracle as well. We had given a Book of Mormon to a younger guy named Maxim about a week ago. We were just knocking doors, and he said his mom would be interested. We set up an appointment and went and taught her the first lesson. It was really cool. It was what we call a RAD (Restoration and Doop Baptism). We teach the first lesson and invite them to be baptized. 

On Friday, we had a similar experience. About a week ago, we received a referral from the Zusters te Antwerpen (Sister missionaries in Antwerpen). They had talked to a man in Centraal Station who was a recent convert here on vacation. He gave them his brother-in-law's info who happens to live right by our apartment. We looked him up and did the same thing as with the other woman. This one was even cooler though, before we began teaching he was asking us where the church was and if he could come. He's just really ready. He is a refugee from Iran living here in Antwerpen. His wife is also a recent convert which is why he is interested. It was a really awesome lesson. 

That night we also had a really cool lesson with a less active family. It was one of the best appointments I've had here in Antwerpen. The mom is from Peru, and the kids are half Peruvian and half Belgian. The two boys are about our age, and it was just a lot of fun. It was the perfect mixture of spiritually powerful testimony and discussion with having fun and showing them that missionaries aren't robots. :)

Saturday was also pretty special. We went to Rotterdam for the baptism of a man named Sjaak. Elder Pugh had found and taught him, but was transferred before the baptism. We got permission from President to go to the service so Elder Pugh could give one of the talks. It was really fun. Nederland is so different from Belgium though. It makes it even weirder, because the signs and everything are all still in the same language, but the way people speak is almost totally different. #DialectLife 

The baptismal service was really cool. What made it even cooler for me was that I got to see Elder Hunter (from my MTC group) again. It's been almost six months since we've seen each other. It was really funny because we didn't know they would be coming. I walked into the hallway and we both saw each other and then froze. He was like "No way" (in a Scottish accent of course :) ) and we just had one of the strongest hugs I've had in my life. It was great, I missed that kid. He is part of a group of elders called "The Singing Elders". They've put a musical program together, and they are traveling stake to stake and preforming. The idea is to help generate referrals by inviting non members to the activity (that's the members job). It's had a lot of success in Nederland, and will be coming to Antwerpen in late May. 

Well those were the highlights of my week. Something that I've been learning is just how powerful hard work and obedience is. We've seen the blessings of it the past couple weeks. President had an awesome picture of a runner at the end of a race, totally just wrecked, he left everything out on the field. As missionaries we have to do the same if we want to be successful. 

Well I hope you all have a good week. I love all of you. 

Elder Muller

This looks like it must be an early morning picture! Notice the white shirts and ironing board in the background!!!
Traveling back from Rotterdam
Elder Muller, capturing a cow!

Where our family rented our van when visiting in 2008/2009!
Apparently, Elder Muller almost broke his toe last Monday when they were playing indoor football (soccer)...this is the first we knew of it!
This is now a chocolate shop, but it used to be a beautiful tapestry  and souvenir shop. Many of my tapestries are from this shop. So sad.
Roads in the middle of nowhere that Elders Muller and Pugh walk to find people and to go to dinner appointments!

A cool sculpture in Antwerpen where we used to take pictures of the kids when they were small!

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