Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Milkshakes for days....

July 27, 2015

Hello everyone,

So it has been another week in Rotterdam. To be honest, it was a bit tough. Right now it is vakantie tijd, (vacation) so everyone is gone, including most of our investigators and members. So we have been doing a lot of street contacting to try and rebuild up our teaching pool. 

This week did have a lot of fun moments. Elder Shaw and I have this ghetto blender that we taped together with duck tape, and we have been using it to make milkshakes. They have been pretty good, we mixed in a variety of fruit and stuff. Nice refresher at the end of the day. 

Wednesday we had interviews with President and Sister Bunnell for the first time. It was really great. They are awesome, and the mission loves them already. I have no worries or concerns. I know that they were called of God to help and lead us. I am excited to see where the mission will go under their direction. There have already been changes and improvements that are helping us. We are focusing much more on speaking Dutch and improving our language skills. 

I also went on exchanges with my dad, Zone Leader, Elder S. Fred Childs. It was great to be reunited with my dad. It was a lot of fun. In an effort to be healthier, we made health shakes. They looked really nasty, but they actually tasted pretty good. Pics are shared. :) (Elder Childs is Elder Muller's first trainer in the mission field, hence the missionary term "Dad"!)

The rest of the week we practiced for the Singing Elders program. We are learning some really cool songs. Our next performance is in a couple weeks in Hengelo. 

So that's about it I think. I know it's not much, but it's really all I can think about sending right now. 

I hope you all have a great week!


Elder Müller

Elders Muller and Childs

Elders Muller and Childs

Elders Muller and Childs

Elder Shaw, Elder Muller's Companion for this transfer

Monday, July 20, 2015

Draag Altijd Bescherming (Always Wear Protection)

Elder Muller climbed this windmill

July 20, 2015

Hello everyone. I hope you are doing well. This will be a pretty short email, because there is not much to say. 

We had a pretty weird week. We had to take care of a lot stuff with apartments closing and moving stuff out. 

We had a fun P-day last week. We had lunch with a family who lives in a windmill (Yes, people do actually live in windmills here....) and they gave us a tour. It was really cool. We got to climb one of the blades. 

We had Zone Conference this week, our first with President Bunnell. It was really good. They focused on what their vision for the mission is going to be. "Hands to Serve, Hearts to God, and Love the One". 

Also a new rule has come down to our mission from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We now have to wear helmets while we bike (hence the subject of the email). Previously we did not have to wear them, because culturally you just don't do that here. People laugh and throw stuff at you if you wear a helmet, so we will see how long that rule lasts. It is almost more dangerous to wear a helmet here than not, so PRAY FOR US!

The rest of the week we practiced for the singing elders program. 

Well that is about it. I know it is a really short email, but there is not much more to tell. 

Love you guys, 

Elder Müller

Elder  Shaw Loves Cats

The car Elder Muller drives - an Opel Corsa - Elder Muller barely fits in it! I feel badly for the poor Elder that has to sit in the seat behind him!  For those who don't know, Elder Muller is 6'5"! He has to learn to parallel park. Elder Shaw is impressed with this attempt! (The driving test in Florida does NOT include learning how to parallel park!)
Windmill they climbed was built the same year as the Declaration of Independence.

Climbing the windmill...I am not sure if this is allowed!

Elder Muller "driving" the windmill!

The view of Rotterdam from atop the windmill

The crew below!

Still climbing!

Elder Muller made it!

The climb

The climb continues (not sure I am thrilled he's taking pictures while climbing!)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pak zijn been man!

Tripanionship of Destiny! Original companions from the MTC!
 Elder Da Silva, Elder Muller, Elder Matos

July 13, 2015

Hoi iedereen! (Hello Everyone!)

So it has been probably one of the craziest weeks of my mission. I feel like I say that a lot, but this really was just insane. 

So the first two days were cool. Elder Hills and I finished strong with some great lessons together.

My new companion is Elder Shaw. His grandpa is William Shaw from the Melbourne ward. He has been to Melbourne a lot, so it is kind of crazy that we are companions! (The Melbourne Ward is another LDS building that is very close to us!)

Elder Muller Driving!
So something fun about this week. We performed in Groningen, Nederland. Luckily I didn't have to. My predecessor, Elder Reese, played. I was still there however for a very important reason. I am the only one out of the Singing Elders who can drive. Yerp. So Tuesday night I found out that I would be getting my license on Thursday and driving to Germany. Yes, Germany. It was about a three hour drive, the longest I think I have ever driven, while also being the first time ever driving in Europe, and with three other Elders in the car. It was absolutely insane. Thankfully angels were watching over us. So yeah, I am now in the four country club. We can go to four countries in our mission, Belgium, Nederland, France, and Germany. Now I have been in all 4. :) (Interesting fact is that Elder Muller has been to those four countries before serving his mission....just never when he was old enough to drive!)

So a bit about the music program. The weeks before the performance, we travel to the wards in the area we will be performing and visit members and investigators. We sing for them, and we invite them to attend the concert. That is why we were in Germany visiting members. That is what we did for Thursday and Friday. Saturday the group rehearsed for the concert. 

It went really well! There were more than 200 people there, and it generated a lot of referrals. The trip back was crazy as well. We didn't get on the road until almost 10pm. We had to drop people off in Leiden and Delft, so we did not get home until 2:30 in the morning! That made for a very short nights sleep. It was a good day at church though, even though we were half dead. (Missionaries have a curfew of being inside by 9.30, and lights out by 10.30! And they get up at 6.30 AM!)  Elder Shaw was "born" in Rotterdam (mission wise) so he already knew all of the members and at least half of the area. That makes it nice for me because it is less pressure on my shoulders. (Elder Shaw served in this area when he first came into the mission field.)

This week we will be busy practicing and still somehow keeping our investigators progressing. FUN!

So the title came from a dinner appointment we had this week. We were playing with Legos with the kids, and they had this giraffe they had made. We were just messing around, and he ended up missing a leg. I pretended to be really sad and freaked out, and so the 8 year old girl turned to her 5 year old brother and was like "Pak zijn been man!" (grab his leg man!) Just the way she said it was really funny... I guess one of those things you have to be there. 

Anyway, we have to get going for a lunch appointment, so this will be the only email I am going to be able to send. We didn't realize how long it would take to get here from our new apartment. *sigh* We will have to get used to not living a three minute bike ride away. 

Have a good week everyone!


Elder Müller

Elder Muller Driving....Aaahhhhh!

Elder Shaw and Elder Muller

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It's like a virus, a virus of righteousness! Or a debacle!

Elder Muller's District

Elders Muller, Silva, Hills and Da Silva!

Having Fun!

Monday, July 6, 2015

So this is going to be a weird email I think. A lot has happened. Honestly I don't really remember a whole lot that happened, mostly because things have been overshadowed by the events of the past couple days.

I will hit on a few points. We were able to teach the first lesson to E--- (the guy from Albania who has come to church twice now, I think I talked about him before) and set a baptismal date with him for August 15th!! WHOOOOOOO!

I also had a really great exchange with Elder Warner in Rotterdam Zuid (South). We taught the sweetest English lady ever. We also threw down on a potential investigator in their area. She just kept asking us questions on the door, and we spent an hour answering all of them. She couldn't believe that we had all the answers. #BecauseItsTrue

We also had a crazy lesson with a guy named O-- from Sint Maarten. That's where the virus part of the subject line comes from. (the debacle I will discuss later). He was talking about the light of Christ and how it's like a virus... A virus of righteousness! Then he started beating his chest. It was just an insane lesson haha.  

So this week has also been really really HOT. The temperature broke records here. Thankfully we've been keeping up with appointments and/or getting milkshakes to get us through the day. :) (Very few places are air conditioned.)

Also, for the 4th of July, we had a BBQ with a family. It was a lot of fun, and they actually had REAL HAMBURGERS! What people here call hamburgers are totally different than American hamburgers. Unless you taste it, I can't describe it, but it's not ground beef. We actually had American style hamburgers which was a nice treat. 

So on to yesterday, the debacle. 

First off, church. Church was very good. An investigator who we haven't had contact with in almost seven weeks showed up to church for the first time that I've been here, and stayed all three hours. Cool miracle to end the week.

After church it got a little more complicated. You see, le Tour de France came through Rotterdam yesterday, starting at 12.30 (which is right when church ends).  The entire city center was shut down for the race. What was even cooler, is that our apartment is right next to where the race came through!

This is a map of part of centrum (center) of Rotterdam. The red line is where the race went, and the blue dot on the island right above is where our apartment building is. It's a two minute walk. 

Inline image 1

Pretty awesome. We watched them ride through on the street. We were maybe 15 centimeters from the bikers!! They were so close to the edge of the road, it was ridiculous! They almost took out a couple people.  

 le Tour de France

So Sunday was also a special day because it was transfer calls. So everyone knew that this transfer was going to destroy the mission. We got a new mission president this past week, 45 Elders have gone home the past two transfers, and we've only received 18 to replace them. Nobody realized just how crazy it was going to be. 

So I am getting transferred. I'm not really sure how to explain where I'm going, but I'll do my best. Rotterdam Noord (North) is being closed,  Elder Hills is whitewashing into 's-Hertogenbosch with a greenie. I am moving to Capelle aan den IJssel with Elder Shaw, and will now be the piano player for the Singing Elders. (<= description below) So I will still have the same area, but we are moving apartments to the other side of the city. Which is really, really annoying. There are whole reasons behind it that I won't go into, because you kind of have to be here to understand, but its pretty lame. So I am half white washing. New apartment, same area, different companion. Elder Shaw was born in North, so thankfully he already knows the area and the members a bit. That will be nice. 

(Let me try and explain this transfer lingo Elder Muller is using! There have been great changes in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission. As of July 1, many missions across the world had new Presidents beginning a three year mission. These men and their wives spend three years in these missions running them. They are also unpaid by the Church, and are doing this on their own to serve in furthering the Restored Gospel. Elder Muller's mission has received a new president. In the last two transfers (which happen every six weeks), 45 Elders have completed their missions and returned home. But only 18 new Elders have entered into the Belgium/Netherlands Mission, so you can see that leaves a big gap of missionaries to fill areas. The big difference is partly due to the wave of young men and women who entered the mission field when the age was lowered in October of 2012. Young men can now serve at 18 (it was 19), and young women can serve at 19 (it was 21). Our missionary force is still very high around the world, but it just so happens not many have been assigned to Elder Muller's mission.

So his apartment is being closed, and he will be moving to the other side of Rotterdam to a new apartment for Elders. So white washing means the two missionaries come into an area where neither have served before. Usually a transfer will be one missionary of a companionship so that at least one knows the area and members. So Elder Muller is "half whitewashing" because since his new companion started his mission in the Northern area of Rotterdam, he is familiar with the area! It is all very complicated in this transfer! That is why Elder Muller is saying it is so crazy!

Elder Hills is moving into a new area with a "Greenie", which is a missionary just coming into the mission field from the Missionary Training Center! Elder Hills will be this young Elders trainer! They are being "white washed" into an area that Elder Hills has never served, so he knows no one there, and doesn't he know the area!)

So Singing Elders. This was something that I figured would be coming my way. Our mission has four Elders who tour around and perform a musical performance in order to generate referrals. I will now be part of that as the Piano Elder. This also means that my schedule will change. Instead of being a normal missionary, we will now work in our area only on Monday (which is p-day), Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday through Sunday will be used to practice, or traveling to different areas to arrange performances. It will be quite the change. We will travel the entire mission to perform.

So I'm really not sure what to expect these next couple transfers. I will be in this group for probably six months or so, a quarter of my mission. It means I'll be here in Rotterdam for a long time most likely. Thankfully I really like it here. It's going to be a crazy couple days.

OOOH something I forgot to mention last week cause I ran out of time. E--- went to the Temple to do baptisms! WHOOOOOOOOOO! #TempleAchieved (This is the young lady who was just baptized!!)

Well I hope you all have a good week!

Elder Muller

Choose Jesus!