Monday, June 29, 2015

So I guess I'm coming home sooner than expected.

Enjoying Rotterdam

Elder Muller & Mama G

Elder Muller & Mama G!

Hey everyone! 

So to be totally honest, this has been a really tough week. One of the toughest on my mission. Thankfully, Elder Hills and I pulled through, and it ended really well. 

We often hear about how the week before someone's baptism is very tough. Satan will try very hard to stop people from making that covenant. Well, we learned that he works just as hard on the missionaries as he does on the person who is getting baptized. But just like my mission scripture, D&C 63:47 says, if you stay faithful, you can overcome anything. (This is the scripture Elder Muller chose for his mission plaque, and for us to remember while he is serving.)

Anyway, I am only going to talk about the highlights of the week, which were the past two days. 

So Saturday was really crazy. We had to get everything ready for the baptism, and it was just crazy. The baptism was so awesome though. A little bit about E-- first. 

E-- from China!

E-- is from China. She came to the Netherlands for school, and now works in Amsterdam for an accounting firm. (She has a Masters in Accounting...I would die with all that math....says the kid studying computer programming!!) She has a friend in Utah who introduced her to the Church. She started meeting with the missionaries right about the time that I came into the land. 

But back to the baptism. It was so cool. She was so excited. She brought two friends who are not members, and her parents Skyped in from China for the service. There were also a ton of missionaries! She has been taught for awhile now, so a lot of missionaries came for the baptism. I was a witness, so I was able to see everything up close during the ordinance. (A baptism has two witnesses who stand on either side of the font to make sure the baptism is done correctly, specifically that the ordinance is said properly, and that the person being baptized is completely immersed in the water before standing back up.)

When she stepped into the water she was really nervous, but when she came up, she had the biggest smile and look of joy on her face. In that moment, my heart about burst. All those silly cliche things people say about baptism and missionary work are true. I experienced it in that very moment. It made the whole thing worth it. All two years I will serve, every struggle I have had, every trial I have had to overcome, was worth it when she came up out of the water. I know, cliche and lame, but it is so true!

Yesterday was also amazing. She was confirmed in Sacrament meeting, and she started crying during the blessing. The Spirit was just there, everyone could feel it, including E--. After church, we had a lesson with her, and we asked her why she had cried. She was like "I don't know! I never cry unless I have a good reason. But when he said "Receive the Holy Ghost", I just felt excited, and I started crying!" We were able to bear testimony that she felt the Spirit. AHHH SO COOL!!!! 

Here is a link that will explain the ordinance of Baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost:

Elder Muller and E-- before she enters the waters of baptism!

E-- and Elders who have taught her

So I´m out of time, we have to leave in five minutes for an appointment. 

I love you guys, and I hope you have a good week. We get a new Mission President on Wednesday, so we are all sorts of nervous/excited. 

Love you guys!

Elder Müller

Oh, the title is because the Missionary Training Center changed their transfer schedule, so everyone one who goes home after this November 2015 will have their mission shortened by one week. :( 

Yes, Elder Muller shocked me with the subject of his email and waited until the very end to explain what it meant! Not a nice thing to do to his mother!! I read the email THREE times looking for what happened that he was coming home, and on the third time I finally scrolled past his name and saw this little comment along with his link to pictures! I decided rather than clearing this up at the beginning of this post, I would make you all suffer just like I did, and wait to the end to find out!! He is such a stinker! Actually, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt....I think he probably forget to mention it in the email and remembered just as he was about to hit send!

Elders with E-- at her baptism!

Elder Muller and E--

Elder Muller and E--

Elder Muller and E--

Elder Muller and Elder Paur...former companions in Rotterdam

Take a closer look...a product called "Jelly" by Dr. Oetker, aardbeiensmaak (strawberry flavor) PUDDING!!  Are you kidding me??!!! Pudding???!!

Netherlands version of strawberry jello! The 'best' of American Cuisine!

Monday, June 22, 2015

We Had a Baby!!

Street called Florida Way!!  How cool is that!!

View from Elder Muller's Apartment
Yep! This week the Silva team and I hit our 9 month mark. I didn't even realize it until they told me. (Elders Muller, Silva and da Silva have been on their missions for 9 months! In missionary terms, that means they have been serving long enough to have had a baby! I think this is their own joke!)

We made a picture to celebrate the occasion. 

Ummm...maybe a bit disturbing!

This has been probably one of the busiest weeks of my mission. I know I taught the most lessons I have ever in one week. We had a solid week though. It was nice.

Tuesday was really crazy. We just taught lessons the whole day. I was on exchanges with Elder Torniainen, and we just had the most solid day ever. We taught three really good lessons. One was with J---, who is getting baptized in August. We taught the first part of the second lesson, Het Heilsplan. (The Plan of Salvation) She had a lot of really good questions, and it was just a solid lesson. Also, last week she wasn't sure if she really wanted to get baptized, but she prayed about it, and is now sure that she does. So cool! 

Here is a link to read and understand the lesson Elder Muller taught on The Plan of Salvation: 

This is also worth mentioning. Elder Torniainen is gluten intolerant, (gluten free, but not girl free ;) )

It was a challenge to  make food for him, because we had a lot of gluten filled food. We decided to experiment. We took some potatoes, peppers, spices, and onions, and fried them up. Then we took some chicken and marinated it in spices. We cooked that up too. It was one of the best meals I've ever made. It was really good. Who knew that gluten free could be tasty!? *joke*

That night we decided to look up J----, another one of our investigators. She was supposed to get baptized this past Saturday, but she fell off the face of the Earth a couple weeks ago. We had tried to get in contact to no avail. I felt like we should go look her up, so we did. She was home and let us in. We were able to work through her concerns, and she is back on board. She probably won't get baptized just yet, but we are teaching her again. She is probably the coolest investigator I've taught so far. :)

So I'm having internet problems, so I'm going to have to wrap up before I can't send anything at all. 

Sorry about that. We were really busy this week, and we are excited for next week. E--- is getting baptized whoooo!

Saturday we had a kerken nacht (Church Night) here in Rotterdam. All of the church buildings in the city stood open, and everyone was welcome to come inside. To promote it, all the churches came and sang Happy Day in the middle of the markt bij Blaak.(market by Blaak - a market square) I uploaded a video and some pictures of it. 

Elder Hills and I are doing great, and we are just staying super busy. Probably the most success I've seen so far.

I love you guys, and I hope you are all doing well.

Tot volgende week! (Until next week!)

Elder Muller

Baptismal Font

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Rotterdam Kerken Nacht

Waiting for the Tram

Elder Muller and Elder Hills

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Trust your neighbor, but brand your own cattle!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hello everyone. It´s been another crazy week here in Rotterdam. The work here is exploding, and we are just running from appointment to appointment. I love it! 

So this week we found/were given three new investigators. Two of them we found, the other walked into church... More about that later.
So we had Zone Conference this week in Apeldoorn. Our last one with President and Sister Robinson... :'( It was a very good Zone Conference though, so they ended on a good note. (This is Elder Muller's Mission President and his wife. Their three year mission of serving as the President of the Belgium/Netherlands Mission comes to an end at the end of June. The Mission will be assigned a new Presidency beginning July 1, 2015.)

Sister Robinson talked about the blessings of the temple, and what endowed members of the church are promised in Doctrine and Covenants Section 109. It was really powerful. 

Here is a link to the section Elder Muller is referring to:

President Robinson talked about personal accountability, 100% of the time. (the subject of my email is also a quote from him during the Conference... He's so funny :) ) He also took a trip down memory lane and talked about how the mission has changed, how it's improved, and what we as missionaries need to do to keep it moving in the right direction. I could tell it was bittersweet for them.
This week we also had exchanges with the District Leaders. Elder Shelton and I were here in Rotterdam, and we had quite the day. We had four lessons planned, and all four fell through. We did manage to get in with someone else though, his name is T---. He's  from South Africa. . He's a really cool guy, and we had a good lesson. 

That night on the way home, we got stopped by this really just wacko lady. She was telling us that everyone who is born is registered with the Vatican and we are all living 2D lives. Just really weird stuff. Here is a summary: The moon is artificial, vaccines are poison, so is drinking water, your name isn't real, we have to break free from money. Also the best anti-Mormon argument I've ever heard---- Did you know that the angel Moroni gave Joseph Smith the gold plates? Yep. Do you know what happens if you take away the i from Moroni... what do you get? Moron... yep we're all morons. (this is just a sarcastic rant btw)  Yeah, it was just a weird discussion. We had fun with her though, because she kept contradicting herself every 10 seconds. It was so dumb haha. Crazy people are crazy.

We had two cool miracles yesterday. One in Elders Quorum. 
(this is one of our three hour blocks of Sunday service where the men 18 and older meet in a class called Elde'rs Quorum, and women meet at the same time in a Relief Society meeting. The Relief Society is the largest woman's organization in the world. It is made up of all women in the Church 18 years and older.)  As the meeting started, man walked in and sat down next to me that I hadn't seen before. Turns out he is from Albania! A friend had told him about the Church and he was interested so he decided to come. He stayed all three hours, and we set up an appointment to teach him this week. Pretty cool. 

The second one happened last night when we were trying to look up a referral from some other missionaries. We had the address, but it was missing the apartment letter (ex. 125a). So we were in the process of awkwardly ringing every bell with 125 on it, asking if it was the guy, and then if it wasn't offering them a Book of Mormon. Such is the life of a missionary... always awkward. Anyway, we got through about four doorbells with a couple more to go (lot's of apartment 125's) when once again we did the awkward contact. This guy let us in though! He was like "Oh Mormonen... kom maar boven!"
(Oh, Mormons! Come on up!) and we were able to share a short message, and set up an appointment to teach the first lesson. Pretty cool! The Lord is blessing us a lot here.

(Elder Muller and his companion must have been in a high rise building with many different apartments with the number 125. They would have to ring all the doorbells on the bottom floor to gain access to come into the building!)

Well that's all for this week folks. Have a good week. And remember, when nothing goes right, go to bed.
Love ya!

Elder Müller

Monday, June 8, 2015

Niks moet...Alles mag...

The Robbins Family in Rotterdam with Elder Muller!!!!

Off to work they go...on their way to an appointment to teach about Christ

Hallo... met de Elders van de Kerk van Jezus Christus... Wij zijn niet momenteel bereikbaar, maar je kunt toch een boodschap achterlaten. Dus, doe maar alstublieft, en wij zullen zeker naartoe luisteren. Alstublieft. Heb een goede dag. Even kijken... have reached the Elders from the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints... We are not available at the moment but you may please leave a message, and we will for sure listen to your message. Please! Have a great day. Until later....

Gosh dang I miss the Elders te (from) Capelle (City name). That was their voicemail. It´s really funny because just the way Elder Bean said it. That and "boodschap achterlaten" is also slang for something else.... (I do not know what the slang is Elder Muller is referring to so I cannot translate!)

No niks moet... alles mag. That´s something Elder Hills says all the time. It means nothing must... everything is allowed... very loosely translated I guess haha. 

So this has been a loooong week for me. I got sick last Monday night with a cold, and I´m only just starting to get over it. Thankfully we´ve still been able to go out and work. 

So here are some highlights from the week. 

We were able to set a baptismal date with one of the Capelle Elders investigators named Jennifer. She and her daughter want to get baptized in August. We had a really good lesson with them about the Big 3; prayer, scripture study, and keeping the Sabbath holy. It went really well, and we taught it completely out of the Book of Mormon. Something we have been working on together is making lesson plans to teach as much as possible directly from the scriptures. It´s been going pretty well so far. She and her three kids also came to church and stayed the whole 3 hours. Rock solid! :)

We were able to use another one of those lesson plans with one of our new investigators that we found last week. Taught her the Plan of Salvation reading out of 2 Nephi 2 and Alma 40. It was really powerful to see just how much of difference it makes in our teaching. The words of the prophets are so much more spiritually powerful than anything we can do (besides maybe baring testimony) It´s really affected the way our lessons go, and the willingness that our investigators have had to keep their commitments. I feel like they are feeling the Spirit a lot stronger when we teach this way then perhaps before. 

(If you would like to read these chapters Elder Muller is referring to, please just use the links below:)

Anyway, that lesson went really well, and at the end she asked US what she needed to read for next time out of the BoM. SHE GET´S IT! AHHHHHH! It´s so awesome when investigators understand that we are helping them take action, not just spewing information!

Another cool lesson we had was with a potential we found last week. His name is Dwight, and he just moved here from Jamaica! He´s a really chill Jamaican bro, and we taught him the Restoration. He is committed to reading and finding out for himself if it´s true or not. We have another lesson planned for this week, so we are hoping that he´s going to become a solid new investigator. 

So this week we had a cool surprise... I got to see the Robbins family! wat leuk!  (What fun!...The  Robbins family are friends from ours here in Florida! They are vacationing in the Netherlands and Germany, and last Friday they delivered two care packages that I put together for Elder Muller!! I got to send him some favorite foods!!) We were able to arrange a meeting between two appointments that we had. It was really fun to see all of them, and it was also really funny because you could tell from a mile away that they were an American family. It´s funny, because we are just so used to European styles, and they were very American. It was a nice change haha. They took us out for a quick ice cream before we had to leave for our other appointment. It was pretty cool to see them. 

Anyway, I´m about out of time. I wish I could write more, but so goes it. 

I´ll talk to you guys next week! 


Elder Müller

(If you would like to understand more about the Restoration that Elder Muller is teaching, please watch this short video explaining how the gospel was restored.

Monday, June 1, 2015

GEDOOPT!!! (Baptized!)

Elders Jones, Bean, Paur and Muller on transfer day!

Transfer Day!
Elder Bean waiting to board train to the airport! He is going home!
Hey everybody, its been crazy here. 

Transfers, three baptisms, all this and more coming up this week in my email. 

So Elder Paur is now in Genk Belgium, and I am with Elder Kyle Weinheimer Hills. And it´s great, I love it. 

Transfer day was long, as they always are. It was really sad to say goodbye to all the missionaries dying (going home). By the way, with the pictures... You will see what happens when Elder Shelton gets a hold of your camera! (Elder Shelton was another companion Elder Muller had in Antwerpen. Lots of unusual pictures this week! Not many I can post...too blurry or just of random objects!)

A sample of Elder Shelton's pictures!

I asked Elder Bean for his last piece of advice to get me through my mission. 'I don't know.... I guess you will just have to figure it out yourself.' He is so wise. 

Elder Hills and I are doing awesome. We have hit the ground running. We found and taught two new investigators. One of them was a referral from Koningsdag, (The Kings Day which was celebrated a few weeks ago) and the other was a man we found on the street this week. We also set up two more appointments with people we found. It's shaping up to be a busy transfer. 

So this weekend has been pretty crazy. There were three baptisms. Two were on Saturday. One was our investigator, V---, then there was another little girl baptized that evening. On Sunday the Zusters te Dordrecht (Sister Missionaries from Dordrecht) had a baptism, and we had to be there because it's our building... So we pretty much lived at the church this weekend. 

Here is a link explaining the ordinance of baptism and why it is so important.

V--- baptism was really good. It was very spiritual, and just a good baptism. I was also privileged to be in the circle when we gave her the Gift of the Holy Ghost. That was really special for me. Probably one of the most powerful experiences I have had so far. Something else cool, I was able to play a duet with Brother and Sister Gruppman. Sister Gruppman is a first chair violinist, and Brother Gruppman is the Conductor of the Orchestra at Temple Square. He is part of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which is why he lives here. That was pretty cool! He and I accompanied his wife (playing violin) on the piano together.  

Here is a link explaining the Gift of the Holy Ghost:

The second baptism on Saturday was pretty crazy. They are a Spanish family, and it was a Spanish baptism... It was a feestje (a small party)! They had a full meal, music, and dancing after the service. It was great! 

Saturday night we had an interesting experience. We were out contacting, and two people walked up and asked us if we were talking about 'geloof' (belief or faith). We responded yes, and began to have a conversation. Turns out they are Born Again Christians, and they pretty much tried to convert us haha. It is always funny when people try to do that. It always helps us learn as missionaries though. We learn from the good ways that people approach you, and the bad... like this time. 

The best thing to do when contacting, and it is something that we are always told to do, is to just share our testimony. Missionary work doesn't work if you try to convince people you are right. As missionaries, we invite others to come unto Christ. We avoid arguing or trying to 'prove' that we are right, as these people attempted to do. 

They quoted scripture and tried to show us how we were wrong, and how we had not received the Holy Ghost yet.  It was actually pretty funny. They invited us to their church service and told us that we needed to 'be humble and accept that maybe we didn't know everything, and maybe we were wrong, God still loved us, and he would manifest Himself to us.' (rough translation) We accepted the invitation to attend their church one evening, and when we in turn pulled out the Book of Mormon, shared Moroni's promise, and invited them to read it, they refused. 'They didn't believe in our church or our prophet, so why should they read the book?' Funny how being humble, and seeing if you could learn something only went one way.... 

Here is a link to Moroni's promise. Moroni is a prophet found in the Book of Mormon. I read this promise and did as it ask, and I gained a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I hope you will take a moment to read this, so you can better understand what Elder Muller is talking about.

Like I said, I learned a lot from that situation. They were people who were strong in their faith, and I admire them for that, but sadly they just didn't understand how missionary work goes. We will still probably try to go to one of their services on a week night, just so we aren't, ourselves, hypocrites. Would not want that! 

Well that is about all I have for this week. Hope it wasn't too weird of an email. It has been a weird week. 

Salut! (Good bye!)

Elder Müller


Elder Shelton with Elder Muller's camera!