Monday, August 31, 2015

Amigos...ik heb zo veel gegeten! (Friends, I have eaten so much!)

Elder Muller driving in Arnhem

Elder Muller reunited with his former companion, Elder Paur. Zone Conference

Hola Amigos and Amigas!

So this has been another great week. I figured I should stop saying crazy, awesome, interesting etc. because every week is like that. So from now on, just insert one of those adjectives in there. :)

So the lowdown on the week.

Monday we had dinner with the Stake President and his family, and it was soooo much fun. They are awesome. Right after that, we went and taught one of our investigators, G-- Ming. He is so sweet, he texted us and asked for an appointment. Here is one of his texts. "How are you brothers? I'm at home reading Mormon. Take care my dear teachers!" Just one of the sweetest and humblest guys I've met. We had a really good lesson with him.

On Tuesday we worked with the Zone Leader's in Delft. With the two companionships combined we had more than 7 hours of contacting time, which is awesome!

Wednesday we taught K-- and H--. K-- is a less active member, and H-- is her husband who wants to get baptized. They are really cool, and really Dutch!

Thursday was Zone Conference. It was the best Zone Conference I've had on my mission. Elder Dykes of the Seventy came and spoke to us. It was exactly what the mission needed. We talked a lot about working with members, gratitude, becoming Master Teachers, planning, just a little bit of everything. It was very uplifting and motivating. Elder Hunter and I made some great companionship goals the next day that will help us apply what he taught. It's going to be awesome! :)

Thursday we also traveled to Arnhem to start working there for the project. We visited a lot of members and had some cool experiences.  

Just the important bits:

First, I have grown to respect and love Elder Hunter even more this week. He is amazing. On Wednesday an old injury started bothering him again. (For the sake of privacy, I'm not going to say what it is.) He worked the entire week in Arnhem without murmuring or complaining even though he was, and still is, in a lot of pain. So please pray for him. Today we are going to the hospital to see if he needs surgery. (which if he does, he will have to go home, so please please pray for him)

That aside, we saw miracles. I might only be able to share one because of the time,...

So we visited a lady in Arnhem with the Arnhem Sisters missionaries. She had invited her neighbor over to hear us sing. As we were talking with him before we sang, he brought up that he had been searching for God and faith. We discussed it a little further, and we all new we needed to teach him the Restoration. Elder Hunter turned to Sister Watts and was like, "RAD him." (Restoration and baptismal invite) which we did. Met z''n 6! (ummm, how do you translate that? all 6 of us!) (A little more clarification. So the four Singing Elders were visiting with a member in Arnhem. Arnhem has two Sister Missionaries, so there were actually six missionaries in her home at this meeting! Can I just say, having six missionaries in your home at one time is so powerful and Spirit-filled. So Elder Muller is explaining that they taught the Restoration of the restored gospel to this gentleman, and invited him to be baptized. And he got to hear this lesson from not one or two missionaries, but from SIX missionaries! Powerful!)

This man was incredible. One of the greatest, if not the greatest first lesson I have ever been a part of. He understood every point, the need for the proper authority, the role of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. Everything that people normally struggle with, or don't understand, he just knew. It was awesome! That lesson gave me a testimony of the music project. This is what we do, provide a way for the members to give missionaries referrals. How easy was it? "Hey neighbor, there are four missionaries from my church coming over to sing for me tonight - would you like to come listen?" Something like that, and now the Sisters are teaching someone who has been searching for the restored gospel for a long time.  SO COOL!

So that's about it, I need to run before the computer shuts off. The subject is just because I ate SOOOOO MUCH this week. Back to back dinner appointments, it's been great.

I included some pictures of a couple people we visited. N-- and V-- moved to Arnhem, so we got to visit them! Also a less active named P--.

Love you guys!

Elder Muller

Singing for members in their home! A family from Rotterdam now living in Arnhem! Elders Hunter, Conatti, members, Elders Shaw and Muller

A family from Rotterdam now living in Arnhem! Elder Muller and Elder Shaw!

Dinner with P---. Elder Muller, Shaw, Hunter, Conatti, friend, Sister Watts and Sister Meaghan

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


A sure sign you are in Europe when they have to put instructions on how to use a soda fountain properly! (Rough Translation: "The perfect glass of a cold drink" 1. Full your cup with 1/3 ice...that is a bit less than a half. 2. Choose your favorite cold drink...preferably before you are ready? 3. Fill the rest of your cup with the cold drink and enjoy!!

Dinner with an Indonesian family, and they made the Elders a FEAST!!

Elder Hunter, Elder Muller's new companion!!

Note: Elder Muller is now having to email from an internet cafe in Den Haag, so he has only so much time to write before the computer shuts down. :(

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hey everyone, 

So my first week in Delft has been fun. I have a lot to write, and not a lot of time, so here it goes! My new companion is Elder Hunter!!!

So I was going to write out the story of transfer day, but it's too long.... I'll write it in a letter and send it. haha Let's just say that it was the longest transfer day that either of us has ever experienced. It included people jumping in front of trains, my name not being on the transfer plans, rescuing Sisters, teaching like bosses, visiting almost every major city in North and South Holland, scaring the heck out of a brand new greenie and his trainer at 10 pm (not on purpose), being mocked by two old Dutch women, and driving in Den Haag (that's a scary movie right there, this city is crazy!), That is just the beginning!

Anyhoo, on to the rest of my week. 

I love Delft. It is awesome. It's one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, in fact most of the Royal Family is buried here. It also has one of the largest universities in the Netherlands, so lots of students! 

I love Elder Hunter. I knew in the MTC that we were going to be companions, I just knew it. We are having so much fun together. I don't think that they realized what would happen when they put us together. It's good crazy though, to quote Olaf from Frozen, ''All good things! All good things!" 

This week we really focused on the music project. Yesterday we began traveling to prepare the wards and members in the area of the next concert. A little more background info. 

So we perform once a transfer. This transfer it is in Apeldoorn, in the Netherlands. Every week we visit and work in a different ward. We go to their Sacrament Meeting on Sunday, perform a song, and make appointments to visit them during the week. That's what we did yesterday. 
When we visit them, we explain a little more about the project, what the project's purpose is, what their role is, and then we sing for them. Pretty cool!

This next week we will be visiting the members in Arnhem. 

Cool, so now for something completely different.

This week has been interesting for me personally, as is every week of a new transfer. The title of my email last week was reboot, and that is what this past week has been for me. A reboot of myself. My last couple days with Elder Shaw we talked a lot about the whole "full missionary" thing. I wanted to talk more about it, but I don't feel like it's the time or place. One comment though, I do think it is something you will never recognize in yourself, but others will. 

Maar goed (Okay, good), Shaw and I discussed our personal dedication to the work, I personally felt that the last couple transfers I've become too comfortable with where I am spiritually and as a missionary. I want to change that. This week has been a great launching platform. With a new city, new companion, new every thing you have the opportunity to make a truly fresh start. 

Side note, I really don't know where I'm going with this. I'm just writing stuff that is coming to my mind.

Elder Hunter and I have discussed where we are personally as well. We have been very open with one another, which is awesome. I think we are going to help each other a lot, we have a lot of the same goals, a lot of the same things we want to improve, and we both have been 'rebooted' into the work. 

So the computer is about to shut down, so sorry I have to cut this short. Maybe I'll finish my thoughts next week. Love you guys!

Elder Muller

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Elder Muller's District

August 17, 2015

Hello everyone, 

So more news, transfer calls were last night... And I am getting transferred again! Elder Shaw and I are getting whitewashed out of Capelle aan den IJssel. I will be going to Delft with Elder Hunter, and Elder Shaw will be in Schiedam with Elder Conatti (the other singing Elder). So Shaw is repeating what I did last transfer. He has to move apartments, areas and companions, but stays in the same ward. Really weird. One of the Elders te (from) Schiedam, Elder Garcia, will be going to Capelle, so he and Shaw are switching places. Really weird transfer, still trying to figure it out. Oh, Elders Neptune and Ames, when you read this, Shaw isn't happy..... :)

So this week has been pretty crazy. I had a fun exchange on Tuesday with Elder Drinkwater, a greenie who is serving in Spijkenisse (Spike City in English). He is probably the greenest kid I have ever met, but in the best way. He has a ton of greenie fire, and is just a sweetie pie. 

Wednesday and Thursday we practiced. Wednesday here in Rotterdam and Thursday in Leiden. On Thursday night, after practicing the whole day, we decided that we were going to change the format of how we perform. Previously they stood in front of music stands while they performed. Thursday night at 8 pm (the night before the performance) we changed it so that the script is inside of books, and they read it like a story. No music stands. So that made it a little more stressful for the other guys. I just focused on learning the last two songs. 

Thursday night we slept over in Leiden so we could get practicing early Friday morning. We had quite the adventure. Everything was just going crazy. It was probably one of the craziest days of my life. We did Yoga in the morning in suits... mark that off the bucket list, Elder Hunter ripped his pants, two hours before we had to leave for the performance... so we had to get a member to repair them. Just a crazy day. 

The performance went pretty well all factors considered. The JOVO´s (Young Single Adults) loved it. I got to see some of the JOVO´s from Antwerpen, which was pretty cool. 

The concert went really well. I was happy with it. 

President and Sister Bunnell came as well, and we had dinner with them afterwards. They are just the sweetest people on Earth. I love em!

The drive home was insane. Elder Hunter and I went crazy. We just reminisced about the MTC and were having a great time. We got home pretty late, around 2 AM. X( 

Saturday we went to the baptism of one of the Schiedam Elder's investigators. Awesome! Sorry my thoughts are going very random right now haha. 

Weeeelll I'm excited to be going to Delft, it's a really cool city. I will be in the Den Haag ward, though I won't be there much. This Sunday we start traveling, our first stop is Arnhem. If any of you have heard of A Bridge Too Far, that's in Arnhem. :) 

Yerp. Elder Shaw and I are sad that we aren't companions anymore, but we will see each other 4 days a week...  Being a Singing Elder is weird. 

Anyway, I didn't take a lot of pictures this week, mostly because we were so busy. I will try to get more for next week. The computer is having trouble uploading them today, so I don´t know if I can send any home. 

Tuesday we get 30 new greenies. The entire mission is being Rebooted. Half of the areas are being whitewashed. I don´t think there is a single person not getting transferred. I´ll miss Rotterdam, but I am happy to move on as well. Five cities in eight transfers, and eight for eight on companions. Funny to think that in six weeks I will be halfway done. Pretty crazy!

I wanted to talk more about the full missionary thing next week. I am pretty tired. I got some interesting responses, so I want to address them, but I have no zin (ambition or desire)right now. Sorry this email is so weird. Elder Shaw and I are just exhausted from this past week. 

Now I´m just rambling, so I will be quiet. 


Elder Müller 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Being A Full Missionary

August 13, 2015

This is Elder Muller's email from Monday, August 10, 2015. We have been out of town for Elder Muller's sister's wedding, so that is why I am a bit late in posting.

The Beach!! P-day, August 3, 2015 
A great P-day/Birthday for Elder Muller. The beach on August 3, 2015
Hello everyone!

Another week has gone by, and it is hard to believe that transfer calls are this Sunday. Seems like we only just moved to Capelle. 

So this week we did nothing but practice pretty much for the program. We had a couple good lessons with some of our investigators, but we needed to focus on the music project. This Friday we are performing at JOVO (Young Single Adult) camp, and I only know about half the program. Pray for me please! :) 

So a little bit about last Monday to go with the pictures. It was my birthday (thank you everybody for the cards!) and we went to the beach at Hoek van Holland. We got a little sunburned, but it was the perfect birthday P-day. We played Frisbee and just chilled, it was awesome! Made me think of Florida. To explain some of the pictures, Elder Andrew (who is from Baraboo, Wisconsin for all the Schaefer clan) was just digging up sand with his feet, when he found a ball. We kept digging and found a treasure trove of stuff. Pretty great. 

Elders Muller, Andrew, Drinkwater and Shaw

Buried treasure!!

So, because I don´t have a lot this week to write about, I figured I would talk about being a "Full Missionary". This is something that Elder Shaw and I have been discussing and what we are trying to achieve. 

So to begin with, let's talk about obedience, and exact obedience. So there have been a lot of discussions in our mission about exact obedience. The biggest problem that I have seen with it, is when missionaries talk about how being obedient bring blessings, and being exactly obedient brings miracles. Now see here we have a problem. If you take the statement literally, we will never see any miracles. Why? Because no missionary will ever be exactly obedient. No matter how hard you try, no matter how obedient you think you are, it is impossible. We are human, and we all make mistakes. So that is the basis of discussion that I have had with a lot of missionaries. A lot of missionaries talk about how "if we are exactly obedient, then ________". For me it is like perfection. In the scriptures it talks about "be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect" (Matt 5:48) Now perfection is the ultimate goal for everyone who is trying to live the gospel. Will we ever attain it in this life? No. So to me talking about exact obedience, is like discussing perfection. It is the vision, not the goal. (For further study on Vision, Goals, and Plans, see Preach My Gospel, Chapter 8)

Click this link to read the manual Preach My Gospel:

So for a while, I had been stuck. I of course do my absolute best to be obedient, as do most missionaries, but for me I don't like using the term "exactly obedient" because if I say that, then I feel like I am lying to both myself, and whomever I am talking to. 

This past week we had a really awesome lesson with a less active name I---. He is solid. He taught himself the lesson. We sat down and just started talking with him. By the end HE had covered all the points of the 1st lesson by himself. His wife is a former investigator that we will hopefully start teaching again soon. As we were discussing her concerns with Ivan, he said something that struck both Elder Shaw and me. He said (something along the lines of): "You know, I expect full missionaries. You can see it in some of the Elders, they are only quarter, or a half of a missionary. I expect and want a full missionary, and that is what M--- (his wife) needs. Full missionaries."

Elder Shaw and I talked about that a lot, and we both felt like it was revelation for us. Being a full missionary. We decided that was the perfect answer to our dilemma. So that is what we want to be. We are still working on the exact definition of a full missionary, I know what it means, but I can´t describe it just yet. Our new goal is to be a full missionary every day. I will probably continue to give updates in that line of thinking as it develops, but I think it´s a good start. 

Well I hope you all have a fantastic week, I know this is a big week for the Müller-Schaefer clan as well as the Jarvis crew, so yerp!

Love you guys! 

Elder Müller 

...Here are some additional questions that I asked Elder Muller to answer for the blog:

Some questions for the week that you can answer in your email: 

1. Can you share the songs you are learning for the program, or are they original numbers?

Nope. We do a mixture of stuff. If anyone has seen Our Story Goes On by the Navoou Pageant, it is similar to that.   

2. Do you still have a baptism planned for 15 August?

Nope. They both went on vacation....  

3. How do you manage to keep up with teaching your investigators and doing the Singing Elders responsibility?

Very carefully. It is hard work.  

4. Have you had the opportunity to sing for members in their homes? If yes, is there ever a chance for us to get a video?! :)

We sing a lot in members home when we invite them to the concert. I will talk more about it once we start traveling.  And, no, we cannot record it.  

5. How far is your apartment from the church building?

40 min give or take.  

6. Do you email from the church building?


7. Are you getting fed by members or are you living off of your shakes you make in your blender?!

This past week we had 1 dinner scheduled, and then two more just popped up, as well as two lunch appointments. We are fine. We spent 20 euros on groceries today. Pretty dang good! 

8. Do you know approximately when you might be getting Ipads?

President R. said before the end of the year. Who knows! 

9. What was your favorite meal this week? 

Ruben's fried chicken. He is the chillest guy ever, and we all love him. He is getting ready to go on a mission soon.  

10. What was the funniest experience you had this week?

So to get into the metro stations here, you check in with an OV chip card, you hold it against a sensor, and then the gate opens. So we were running for a metro, and Elder Shaw checked in, heard the beep and just ran right into the gate before it opened. Really funny

 Pictures from August 3rd and August 10th:
On splits contacting on bikes with the new mandatory helmets

Homemade dinner of pork burgers and fruit shakes!

Favorite place to get Donors. This man loves missionaries, but sadly is selling his business

Last donor sandwich at their favorite donor shop

Elder Shaw! He makes the greatest facial expressions!

Odd flavors...baguette with garlic butter flavor!

Elders with their great friend, Ruben!

Dinner with Ruben!

Elder Silva with a full belly!

Beach Day!

Elder Shaw continues to refuse to cooperate with Elder Muller's request for selfies!! Pretty cute!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lightsaber Battles and Pizza

(I am traveling this week for Hillary's wedding (Elder Muller's older sister), so I am unable to post pictures this week. Will update blog when I return, and add pictures then!)

August 3, 2015

Hello everyone! So it's my birthday today--yay! Not everyone is lucky enough to have it on a P-day, so I am very lucky!

So today we are going to chill on the beach with some other missionaries. It is like 25° Celsius today, so it is perfect weather. I am excited!

So run down on the week. Biggest thing was our super member present referral RAD.

So last week we received a member referral, a rare jewel in this mission, from a less active member. We were able to teach her this week in the member's home (that is what a super member present lesson is... A lesson taught to an investigator in the member's home) and it was just awesome! We taught the first lesson (RAD). Our joint teach was awesome. There were several times when the lesson was getting off track, but he always just brought it right back for us. It was awesome! The lady we taught, E---, is awesome. She is already trying to quit smoking, and is gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. She read half of it in a week! She is pretty solid, and we are excited to begin teaching her. 

We had a couple other lessons this week which was nice, but mostly we practiced. A lot. Like a good 10 hours every day. We were pretty tired. We have made a lot of improvement though. It is hard work, but once we get everything down, it is going to be awesome

So my mother sent me a list of questions that I guess people have asked, so I will try to answer some of them. 

1. Singing Elder Project. People would like to know specifics. Rehearsal time, songs, are you performing in Dutch or English? How many hours a day do you practice. Where do you practice? How is the learning curve coming? How long is the performance.

Like I said, we rehearse 4 days a week from 11 to 8 with an hour for lunch, 12 songs, mixed English and Dutch (depends on if we have a translation). We practice either in Rotterdam or Den Haag. Performance is around 1 hr 30 mins. 

2. How is wearing the helmets going? People are asking if you have had any things thrown at you yet, and people are curious why they would throw things at you.  

meh about as well as we expected. People laugh and make snark remarks. Cars honk at us. 
Here because they have bike roads and everyone bikes, it is culturally not acceptable to wear helmets. The only exceptions are if you are handicapped or on a race bike with spandex on. 

3. How do you get around in  your new area? Bikes, bus, or walking. How far is your apartment from your church building.

Mixture or all of the above. Mostly metro, tram, bus, and walking, so we don't have to wear helmets!

5. Where is Elder Childs that you got to be on exchanges with him. Is he your ZL.

Yes, he is my Zone Leader! (Elder Childs was Elder Muller's trainer in his first area in the mission. He was also his Zone Leader in Antwerpen!)

6. Do you get to sing or just play piano. What part to do you sing if you do sing.
both Bass 

7. People want to know the differences between Belgium and Dutch food. Which is your favorite?

Not much. I feel like the Dutch eat a lot more Asian and Suriname food than Belgians. I prefer the Belgian food, but I am biased. I feel like they eat more traditional food. 

8. People ask me about the culture. Could you talk about that sometime. And people ask the differences between Dutch areas versus Flemish areas. And they want to know what your prefer.

Well they don't like each other! They both think they are better than the other, and that is all I am going to say about that. 

9.I have been asked by several people if you have any more funny pedestrian crossing signs to share. Those were a big hit on the blog!!

I will keep my eye out for more. 

Cool, that is about it, I think. Elder Shaw says hi! 

Oh, subject line. Inside joke. 


Mr Wonky (my comp name, Shaw is Skinny Britches)