Monday, April 6, 2015

This is why I hesitate...

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Elder Pugh and Elder Muller emailing today from the church building!
Hello everyone, I hope you've all had a good week wherever you are. It's been an interesting week here in Antwerpen; ups and downs. 

So first the subject. This is a quote from Elder Pugh. We were sitting in a dinner appointment when the wife started yelling at the husband. Elder Pugh turned to me and said, 'This is why I hesitate...' It's funny because he's going home soon, and we've been talking a lot about his future. Let's just say that ;) 

Anyhoo, The Week. 

It started off well, Tuesday we had a great district meeting, talked about companionship inventory, and how we can make sure we make the best from it. Companion inventory is when we sit down with each other and discuss our relationship. Our strengths, our weaknesses, and how we can help each other as companions and friends. Pretty cool. We do it once a week. 

Afterwards we had a surprise apartment inspection. Luckily we had cleaned our apartment yesterday (Monday), so it looked squeaky clean. #blessingsofnonprocrastination!

Nothing else too crazy happened that day. It was really bad weather out. It reminded me of Florida in the summertime around 5 pm. A lot of wind and rain. It was bad enough that some of the trams were down. We had dinner that night with the Evans, which is always an adventure. I love them. :) 

 Wednesday it was an up and down day. Elder Pugh and I both were not feeling very well, so we stayed in for the morning and worked on the area book. We did have a great lesson with a less active named Jen. He's a cool young Belgian guy that we've been working a little bit with. We talked about prayer and how we can use it to build our relationship with God, and how we can make better decisions with His guidance. 

Thursday was a pretty crazy day. We thought we had finally found a Russian joint teach for Yury, our Russian investigator. Our prospective joint teach was a young by the name of Jermaine.  (Joint teach is when a member is present helping the missionaries teach a lesson.)

Quick side story here, I guess. Jermaine is a recent convert from Estonia! He is 17 and he was here in Antwerpen for a school trip. What is the first thing he does in a strange country where he doesn't know anyone? Call the missionaries! (They can help you!)  So last week he called us and we met and taught a quick lesson with him. Turns out he can speak Russian (and American English.... Like he even said cool beans!) so we invited him on joint teach with Yury. Sadly something came up, so he wasn't able to come. 

Instead we shared the new church Easter video with Yury, "Because He Lives", in Russian. (Please watch the video here  At the end of the video there is an invitation, Find Him. That is what we discussed with Yury, and I'd invite all of you to do the same. What does it mean to Find Him? 

Thursday night was also pretty cool. We went and ate Chinese food with Boma and Tante Ingrid. (Elder Muller's Belgian Grandmother and Aunt Ingrid) It was really good. Elder Pugh and I LOVE Asian food, so it was quite the treat. We had a really good time. It's so cool being able to serve here!!!!!

On Friday the storm hit. It had been creeping up on me all week, but it came full force on Friday. I was sick as a dog. So we stayed inside the whole day. I slept for the whole day, and Elder Pugh... sat in a chair and was bored the whole day... haha. Nah, he kept himself occupied. That night we did go out and teach a lesson though. To Familie Grauwels-Alva, our miracle family. We also shared the Easter video with them, and asked the same question. They are so great. I really feel at home there. The kids are so crazy. 

Elder Pugh was telling them about how he almost died by getting hit in the head with a shot-put, and the oldest son just sat there and squinted at him saying 'liar.... li-ar.... liiii-aaaar' it was really funny. One of those things that you had to be there. Made my day.

Saturday and Sunday were great because it was General Conference!!!! About time!!! Thankfully a full day of rest left me feeling really better, so we were able to go watch it. We got to watch all but one session. The Sunday Evening. We watched Saturday and Sunday morning live, and the Priesthood and Saturday evening sessions recorded. It was fun. I learned a lot. You will have to send me your thoughts on the conference and what you've learned. I guess I'll share a few tidbits. 

I really loved President Uchtdorf's talk about Grace, I'm definitely going to print that one out and study it. Something interesting I noted was that he said, "His Grace unlocks the Gates of Heaven". That made me think. Christ has 'unlocked' the gates for all of us, but they are still closed. We have to choose to open them ourselves. We have to choose to follow Him. He's already made it possible for us to come in, we just need to make the effort to OPEN the gate for ourselves, that part is up to us. 

Another talk that I really liked was by Dale G. Renlund. He said something that went along with something I've been thinking and studying about. "A saint is a sinner that keeps trying". I think that's very true. It parallels something that I've thought about, and come to the conclusion of. Mistakes are proof that you are trying. 

I want to explain what Elder Muller was talking about when he mentioned General Conference.  General Conference is held twice a year, usually in April and in October. As far as our family is concerned, these are the best two weekends in the year! This is when we are able to sustain our leaders of the Church. And we have the opportunity to hear from the President of our church and the Prophet of our Lord. I realize to some those words will sound outlandish and some will laugh, but do you really think a loving Heavenly Father would shut communication down between the Heavens and the world? Of course not. President Thomas S. Monson is the current President and Prophet. Please don't let that word "Prophet" scare you into thinking we follow this man blindly....all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are admonished to pray and ask questions and receive their own answers. I bear you my testimony that I have done this, and I know that this Church is true.  My family spent our weekend at our church building listening to the men and women who lead our Church speak to us, teach us, and share testimonies with us. It was another glorious conference. As it came to a close Sunday, my emotions were tender wishing I could make others understand the truths that were taught this weekend. That I could be a better example of Christ and minister to my fellow brothers and sisters. That I could help bring His truth to my friends and family. The power of General Conference cannot be explained in simple terms. It confirms to me why I am here, where I have come from, and where I can end up if I can hold firm to the gospel of Jesus Christ and endure to the end. It is a message of joy and happiness, not doom and gloom.

The people who speak at General Conference are not assigned subjects to talk about. They all individually pray about what the Lord would want them to teach. And, without fail, every Conference you will find an undeniable theme. This Conference's theme, in my opinion, was about the importance of family and the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. 

I would anxiously invite all of you who have not participated in a General Conference to go to the link I will provide below and watch and/or listen for yourself and see if there isn't some particle of truth that you will hear from speakers, or from the marvelous music shared, that will spark that feeling deep in your soul to learn more. It is why my son, Elder Bryan Muller, has left his family and put his life on hold for two be a disciple of Christ and teach and serve God's children in the Belgium/Netherlands mission. No one forced him to go. He has prayed since he was a young boy to know if this is the path he should take. He received his own confirmation that serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was what he wanted and needed to do. As hard as it is for me to have him gone for two years with only weekly emails on Mondays and two phone calls a year, I know that he is where he should be. He is showing the light of Christ to people just like the wonderful missionaries did to me when I was living in Belgium. 

I bear you my testimony that I know these things to be true after much prayer and reading of the scriptures, including the Book of Mormon. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Well that's all folks, talk to ya next week. (BTW this time next week I will know if I'm getting transferred or not, stay tuned) 

I hope this email made sense... Kind of mixed up a bit. I'm sorry for any confusion. 

Love you guys!!!

Elder Muller

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