Monday, September 28, 2015

The Streak is Broken!!!

Don't you just love how that crown looks on his head!!

What can I get you?

He doesn't make a bad looking bartender now, does he?! :)

Hello Everyone!!

That's right, it only took more than half my mission, but finally I'm not getting transferred, or getting a new companion. I'm staying in Delft with Elder Hunter, and, assuming he doesn't go home, I will stay with him.

Well there isn't a crazy bunch to talk about this week, but I'll do my best.

We had Zone Training on Thursday, and it was amazing. It was exactly what I needed to hear and learn. The training sessions given by the Zone Leaders and Sister Mashburn (Sister Training Leader) were just right on the spot of what I needed. They talked a lot about companionship unity as well as teaching skills. To improve our teaching skills, part of that was role playing with members! It was the first time I have done that, and it was soooo good. It made it feel a lot more real, and you really had to perform. They are members, and you are role playing teaching an investigator. It was awesome!

We also made an "I'm a Mormon" video for our Zone. I got a copy of it. By the way, it is me playing the piano at the beginning, but they cut out the video of me playing it... That's why I'm awkwardly just sitting there when it goes to my part.

We were able to visit a lot of members in Eindhoven as well this week. We got to meet some of the Eindhoven investigators as well as a lot of less actives. We had a really good experience with a family from Australia (and the Netherlands) whose daughter passed away a year ago. They day before we visited them was her birthday, so they all went to the temple together. It was a powerful visit discussing the Plan of Salvation with them. It gave me a lot of strength to see their strength. There were only tears of happiness, none of sorrow. They understood that they will be able to see their daughter again. So they aren't worried.

To learn more about the Plan of Salvation and how one family is able to keep an eternal perspective after a great loss, please watch this video:

The Plan of Salvation is so beautiful. It gives everyone a chance to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ and follow Him. It also gives us comfort that we can be with our families forever. One of the songs that we sing for members is "I am a Child of God". Maybe you have heard of it? But it's a song that teaches us the Plan of Salvation very simply and powerfully. In the song, one of the lines says "Teach me all that I most do to live with Him someday."

In D+C 14:7 it says:
Doctrine & Covenants 14:7 And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

It is that simple. That's the funny thing about the Gospel. It's soooo simple, BUT SO HARD sometimes.

To enjoy a short video of the song "I Am A Child of God", please watch this video:

Well that didn't go where I expected. But I need to respond to some personal emails, so that will be it this week.

We went to Parliament today, got some lekker (great) pictures. I got to sit in the chair of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Who gets to do that on their mission? Not many people.

Awesome.. Love you guys! Keep it secret... keep it safe...

Elder Muller

More pictures from the outing to the Parliament in Den Haag (The Hague)

The "Bezoeker" sticker means "Visitor"

Hmm, wonder where that shelf of books went?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Een! (One!)

Hitting their year mark in the mission! Sisters Mashburn and Lemich and Elders Muller and Hunter

Elder Hunter!

Hello everyone,

There is so much to write about this week. Miracles, crazy stories, just lots of fun.

So first off I want to finish what I started talking about last week but ran out of time.

So our Stake President asked us to share something very specific with the members when we visit them. It's a portion of a talk that Elder Holland gave called "The First Great Commandment".

It has to do with the conversation that goes on between Peter and Christ beginning with "Do you love me?" The reason we are sharing this is because President S. feels like there are a lot of members here (and I would say all over the world as well) who get a calling, or have a big awesome experience, and they make a lot of progress in their testimonies and in the gospel. But then they get released from a calling, or time goes by and they begin to forget the love they felt for the gospel, and they go "back to their nets". So our invitation is to read that portion of the talk, and make a personal written list of ways that maybe you have gone "back to your nets" in your personal conversion. I would invite all of you to do that as well. (We are also :) )
Cool I hope it makes a little more sense now.

So this week Elder Hunter and I hit our year mark! Crazy right? I still can't believe it. Everything has changed so much the past year, the mission, me, the world. I'm still in a bubble, it hasn't quite hit me that I'm over the hill. We didn't do anything too crazy to celebrate. We took some pictures with Sisters Mashburn and Lemich who also were in our group. No burning shirts or anything. (A tradition that some missionaries do is when they hit their year mark, they take a white shirt and burn it! I guess a sister missionary would take some thing from her wardrobe and burn it!)

This week we worked in Hengelo and Enschede. We had some really powerful spiritual experiences. On Saturday the church in Hengelo had an open house for their new building. There was an investigator there who has been part of the church for a long time, but she's never been able to get baptized because her mother won't give her permission. We were not able to visit them, but she brought her mother (who lives in Germany, and only speaks German) to the open house to hear us sing. She requested that we sing The Spirit of God (but in Dutch of course), which we did. At the end she was crying, and she told us that her mother had been as well. She said that her mother felt the Spirit for the first time in her life (at least that she recognized it ). I don't know if that will change the mother's mind, but it was a step in the right direction.

Here is a link to the song "The Spirit of God". It is a beautiful hymn - one of my (Mom's!) favorites. Made more so my favorite because when Elder Muller was but a wee lad, and we were living in St. Louis, he used to belt this song out at the top of his lungs in our Sacrament services! Bishop Kendall always loved watching him sing!

We also performed in Apeldoorn on Saturday night. It was interesting. I had been sick the past couple days, which with the nerves and Shephard's Pie culminated into some pre-show sickness. The performance was an answer to prayers for everyone in the project, and also many of the members and people who came. For me the answer didn't come until the next day, Sunday.

The first half of the program I made a lot of mistakes. I was really nervous, and it was one of those mind goes blank situations. Thankfully about halfway through (It's about an hour) I got my wits about me and ended strong. I was really worried that I had ruined it for some people, but the next day we were informed by some members from several areas about the after effects of the concert. Peoples hearts were touched by the Spirit. It was a confirmation to me about many things. First, this project isn't about us, about how well we sing, or perform, but about how well we bring the Spirit. Even though that wasn't my best performance, far from, we still had the Spirit with us, and people felt it, and they were changed by it.

A little bit more about what we do. After the concert ends, we invite everyone to stay in the chapel and talk with each other about what they learned and felt. That is the time that we as missionaries ask people for referrals, or try to help the person personally. I won't share any stories, but I talked with a lot of people, and a lot of people are going to be making a lot of changes in their lives because of the way they felt. AHHHH it's so great! The Spirit is awesome! :) It does so much for people that we never can.  

Singer Elders after the performance with some members. Elders Conatti, Muller, Hunter and Shaw

Well that's all I have time to talk about. We sang in Eindhoven yesterday. This week is Zone Training, which will be fun. We all made I'm a Mormon videos, so I'll see if I can get a copy of it.

Cool - that's about it.

We did service on Tuesday so there are lots of pictures of us in service clothes. Geniet ervan. (Enjoy looking at them!)

Oh, one more funny story. Last night we looked up a less active named Brother R---.  He is the only member in his family. When we walked to the door, they saw us from the dinner table (they had just finished). When we were talking to him, he told us that his wife told the kids that we were here to do the dishes. So we did!! ha ha. It was a great spontaneous service opportunity, and really funny. The kids were asking if it was a fairy tale.

Well one year down. 11 months to go. Here I come!

Love you guys!

Elder Muller

I am posting a lot of the pictures Elder Muller sent with the hope that other missionaries will see this blog, and they will find their pictures! I don't always know the names of the missionaries, but do the best to identify when I can!

Doing Sister Nyakoh's hair!

Elder Muller and  Sister Nyakoh

Elders DeBloos and Tolman (I think!)

Making lunch!

Another "model" pose by Elder Hunter! Elder Muller likes calling his companion a model!

Elder Muller claims Elder Hunter bought glasses to look like him!

After the service project...Sisters Hopkin, Mashburn, Nyakoh and Lemich. Elders Ocampo, Muller, Hunter and Tolman

Brazilian Buffet 

Elder Muller made it very clear....he did not eat that entire thing! They bring it to the table and cut pieces of meat at your table!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Oh! Bambi!

Elders Muller and Hunter

Love that smile!

September 14, 2015

Hello everyone, I have 14 minutes before this computer shuts down. Challenge Accepted.

So great week. I'm going to go fast...

Monday. Hands down the best spiritual thought I've ever had with a member family. They are a young couple, and they are incredible. We shared with them a talk called Feed My Sheep that Elder Holland gave in the MTC. (

We shared this as part of something that our Stake President wants us to share with the members, so I will ask of you the same. Watch that talk from the 40 min mark-ish, and then ask yourself, how have I gone back to fishing? How am I like Peter? I wish I had more time to explain it better. Next week!

So Tuesday we went to the hospital for Elder Hunter. Still no verdict. So we are waiting for a phone call today.

On Wednesday we had no appointments planned, so the night before we had figured out the areas that we wanted to find in, people we wanted to look up, etc. It looked like it was going to be a long hard day of finding (gotta love em!), but it turned into an awesome day of finding. From the get go we just started finding potentials. The first two people we talked with turned into potentials, and we came across an old potential on the street.

We had planned to go door knocking on a certain street that we had seen success on, and ended up having a "let in lesson" with a sweet, elderly Dutch lady, who also gave us a referral for her neighbor. It was awesome!
We did look ups that the ward gave us, less actives and formers, and almost every one was home. We either taught them, or set up a new appointment. We were looking up the last former before dinner, when we both felt like we should knock the rest of the street. We ended up with three solid potentials on that street, two of which were families. BLESSINGS! That night we looked up one of our investigators, and he let us in. We had a great lesson with him addressing some of his concerns.

It was just an awesome day! We ended with 7 hrs and 15 min of proselyting time, a bunch of new potentials, less actives, and lessons with investigators. It was great.

I think a big part of the success we had that day was prayer. After every "miracle" we said a prayer of gratitude. I think we prayed at least 20 prayers of only gratitude that day. It was awesome! Heavenly Father just blessed us!

I'm out of time. I love you guys, and I hope I can write more next week.

Elder Muller

So Elder Muller sent lots of pictures this week. Unfortunately, he doesn't have time to identify what they are! I have only a few with descriptions, but they are still beautiful areas of the Netherlands!

Inside the Dutch Parliament

Panorama View of Inside of Parliament

Elder Hunter on right side of picture!

Department of  Justice

View from Elder Muller's Apartment in Delft

Old Train Station - love the public transportation!!

New train station in Delft

Train Station...yes, those are bikes in the parking area!

A feast at a church building

More pictures of the feast!

Elder Hunter and Elder Muller

He captioned this one "FOOD!!"

Looks like they had mussels...wonder if Elder Muller had some!