Monday, November 30, 2015

The Journey of No End Musical has reached its end.......

The Singing Elders (Elders Shaw, Conatti, Muller and Hunter) Don't they make a great looking "boy band"! :)

The Singing Elders and sister missionaries!

The Journey of No End Musical has reached its end.....

That's right. This was our last week on the Singing Elder Project. We had our last concert in Utrecht Saturday, November 28th. We are done touring, and we are now preparing for our "farewell" concert on the 11th of December. It is going to be a crazy two weeks. There is a lot still to do and prepare.

So my week. This whole week has just been a blur. Tuesday we had a really great lesson with a less active Brother R---. We taught out of Jacob 1 from the Book of Mormon. He knows the Book of Mormon really well, so it is nice learning from him as well. We talked a lot about the Atonement and how it works. Really, really good lesson.

Wednesday we were in Belgium practicing for our Christmas concert. Our pianist lives in Ghent, and it's too expensive for her to travel all the way up here, so we drove down to work there. It brought back a lot of memories from my first two transfers in the land. We practiced in the Ghent church where I had district meeting every week, and we went to Ikea for lunch just like I always did. Aw man, the trunkiness!

Thursday and Friday we were working in Gouda. It was so good! The members there are awesome, as well as the missionaries. We had some really cool experiences, and I figured I would share one.

On Friday morning we were able to teach a lesson to a family with the Elders in Gouda. They are both relatively new investigators, and they were just the nicest people ever. He told us about how he had been going through hard times after losing his job (she still works) and trying to find a new one. He came to the point where he realized that God had a plan for him, but that HE needed to change things, not just sit back and wait for God to fix everything for him. He had such a great understanding of how we use our faith, it was incredible. He then told us about how he felt that some of the emptiness he had felt was gone after he prayed with the Elders (previous lesson) and after we sang for them. He also came to the concert on Saturday, and went to church the next day as well. SO COOL!

The concert on Saturday was pretty emotional for all of us. The whole day was. We did have an awesome group of people who helped us get through it. Shoutouts to Marcia, Lil, Debbi, Morgan, Mike, and Brother Jones! They kept us going, and they made us an awesome Thanksgiving dinner. It was divine.

The concert was incredible. There were so many non members there, the most I have ever seen at one concert. I was able to talk, and testify to a lot of them afterwards, and I know that everyone that I spoke to had been touched by the Spirit. It was the perfect ending to an incredible journey.

I love you guys, and I hope that you have a great week!


Elder Muller

Elder Muller's district before the last transfer - Love his reflection in the TV!

Beautiful Sister Missionaries

Saying goodbye before transfers

Saying goodbyes before transfers

Saying goodbyes before transfers.

I can't tell if that is a happy smile,
 or if they have him by the back of the neck! Or maybe he has become frightened of girls since being on his mission!

How Elder Hunter travels!

Elder Muller with a Zwarte Piet hat for Sinterklaas Day! Zwarte Piet is Sinterklaas's helper to pass out toys and goodies!

They ran into Elder Strikwerda! He has finished his mission and is showing his family around the mission! This is his mom and sister!

A wonderful dinner appointment with the Amersfoort Elders and members, and it looks like they got Sinterklaas Treats!

Another wonderful dinner appointment with members and the Amersfoort Elders!

Elder Muller taking a stab at opening his Christmas package from home!!

Elder Muller opening his Christmas Stocking from home!

Yes, his Mama sent him sausage!

This is Amersfoort in the Netherlands

Gouda, Netherlands

Awesome ladies cooking up a great Thanksgiving feast at the Church building in Utrecht. This is the meal before the last performance of the Singing Elders. Left to Right at the stove: Lill, Debbi and Marcia (in the front!)

Lots of cooks in the kitchen!!

These ladies take great care of my boy!! Thank you!!

The Thanksgiving Dinner!

Happy faces!

Here is just some of the food they had to choose from!

Smakelijk Eeten!

I just cannot resist posting pictures of Elder Shaw!!

Elders Conatti, Muller and Hunter

Elders Conatti and Hunter

Elder Shaw (posting a prior picture of him, but I find his pictures hilarious!)

Monday, November 23, 2015

I beguiled him, and he opened them!

November 23, 2015

Another Elder Conatti quote this week. Elder Conatti managed to convince Elder Shaw to open his Christmas package this week. That was his only comment about the matter. He also managed to get me to open just one of the presents from mine. Thanks for the beef jerky guys! :) (Elder Muller received his Christmas package from home!)

So sorry about last week, I didn't realize that the big email didn't send... It was supposed to, maar goed. (but, okay!)

This week was a really good week. We stayed and worked in Amersfoort, and went to Gouda on Sunday. Amersfoort is a really pretty city. Reminds me a bit of Belgium.

A link to tourist attractions is included:

Speaking of Belgium, just in case you all were wondering, the missionaries there are okay. They have been given instructions on how to deal with the current situation there, and they are all safe.

Also, we are going to Belgium on Wednesday! W00T! We are going to Ghent to practice for our Christmas concert (That's where the pianist lives). I'm pretty excited to be going back again. I'm really hoping that after the project ends, that I will go back to Belgie! (The Singing Elders have one last performance of their musical that they have toured the mission performing. It will happen this weekend in Utrecht. The Christmas concert is happening on December 11th. Elder Muller will be singing rather than playing the piano, hence why he is referring to where the pianist lives! He will not be hidden behind the piano, but will be front and center with Elders Shaw, Hunter and Conatti!)

So anyway, this week was really good. The members here in Amersfoort are really cool. It's a smaller ward, but the members that we visited are all really strong. They gave us a lot of food as well :) 

We stayed with the Elders in Amersfoort. They wanted a shout out on the blog, so Elder Byers and Elder D'Agostin, here ya go! I have to say they got us really good on Saturday night. We had been talking the night before about some crazy experiences we've had on the mission with like people being possessed and stuff. So we walk in after a long day of appointments and singing, and what are they doing? They are both dressed up sitting around the table with something that resembles a pentacle (wasn't actually), a cup full of red liquid, a blank teaching record on the pentacle thing, a cleaver, and spooky music. We got a little freaked out, because we walked in unannounced, and they were doing this. Apparently they were summoning new investigators. Turns out it was a joke, but if you knew these Elders, you probably wouldn't put it past them. ;)

What is a pentacle?

This week in Delft, Elder Hunter and I had a really good lesson with a less active man that we visit every week. We normally just read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and then discuss what it teaches and what we learned. This week we read in 2 Nephi 29. Now this chapter is a bit of a throw down/call to repentance chapter, but this brother really opened up to us for the first time. We have been visiting him every week for a while, but there was always a distance. He actually opened up to us, shared his conversion story, as well as his testimony with us. It was really cool. The next day we helped him varnish his floor. That was fun as well.

Here is a link to 2 Nephi Chapter 29 in the Book of Mormon. 

So really quick before I close this off, I would invite all of you to read King Benjamin's speech this week. I am in the middle of studying it, and there is a lot we can learn from it. It begins in Mosiah 2 and goes to Mosiah 5, if I'm not mistaken.

If you would like to study King Benjamin's speech in the Book of Mormon, here are the links to it. I have included Chapters 1 -5.

Cool beans. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! We are going to the missionary Turkey Bowl today, it will be fun. We are getting ready for the last week of the project. Pretty crazy that almost six months of work (for me, a year for Elders Hunter and Conatti) is coming to a close.

Love you all!

Elder Muller

Oh, again, no pictures this week. I'm emailing at a library in Amersfoort, and it won't detect my camera. Jammer. (Sorry)

We earned a Yaris!!

November 16, 2015

This is Elder Muller's email from last Monday. There were no pictures for this week.

*** Side note, so I thought I had sent this email, but I guess it didn't go through. I will write another one for this week****

That's right! We got a new car this morning. A brand spanking new Toyota Yaris hybrid. I drove it off the lot this morning. She's a beauty! 

Random item. Last night I had to take my first breathalyzer test. No I didn't get pulled over, the police had blocked off a road and were doing a random check of everyone who drove through. I passed. :)

This week. Man oh man. Just one of those weeks. Elder Hunter and I are both just done. After we are done emailing we are going home and sleeping. That is all that we want to do. We weren't traveling this week, just practicing, but we did visit Amersfoort on Sunday. They were so excited for us, that they had a potluck after church so that families didn't have to fight over who got to have us over for lunch. I think it's going to be a good week ;)

So on a sadder note we heard what happened in Paris and what France then did. It's very sad. There are French flags flying everywhere here as well as a lot of uniformed people walking around. Everyone is a bit on edge. We are safe though. We are stocking up on stuff today in case there is an emergency. 

This week I have been studying Paul a lot. There is a great scripture in Romans that is pretty well known, but I want to share it anyway. 

Romans 8:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

I know that to be true. No matter what we, or the world are going through, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. It will always be there whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not, it's always there. Through His love we don't just become conquerors, we become more than conquerors. His love can take us places that nothing else can, if we choose to let Him help us. 

Have a good week everyone. I love all of you a lot. Don't worry about me, I'm doing well. I'll talk to you next week. 

Elder Muller

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

An Update from the Mission President

Monday, November 17, 2015

Elder Muller did not send a group email this week for his blog. I am not sure why, but my guess would be he ran short of internet time at the internet cafe.

He has assured me in his message to me that he is safe, and they are being careful.

So since I don't have any email to share from him, I thought I would share the email sent to all families from his Mission President, President Bunnell. I received this Saturday afternoon, the day after the Paris attacks.

A note of information from President Bunnell:
In light of the recent bombing in Paris we would like to let the families of our missionaries know of the love and concern of each missionary we serve with. We are aware of the bombing in our neighboring mission, the Paris-France Mission. We are so grateful all missionaries are safe and in their apartment and no members have been hurt in the violence. We are in contact with the LDS Security professionals in Frankfurt Germany and receive daily update regarding any safety concerns in Europe. At this time there is no immediate cause for concern for our missionaries. We will inform you by our mission blog or email if any event arises that may involve our missionaries. We are praying for the safety of all the people of Europe and the many missionaries that serve here. Please join your prayers with ours. - President Bunnell

Thank you to all of you who have contacted me to check on Elder Muller. I appreciate your love and prayers for him. Please keep ALL the missionaries around the world in your prayers as well.

In absence of an update from Elder Muller, I would like to fill this post with some uplifting messages of faith and hope.  I do this to honor all of our young men and women around the world serving as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ in these very turbulent and dangerous times. I hope you will take a moment to watch these very brief messages.

The first brief message is the reason our young men and women are serving around the world. To bring the world the message of hope and love that is contained in the Book of Mormon. This is a short explanation of this sacred book. I know it to be true. I have read it and prayed about it. You can as well.

The next brief message is on courage, something our young missionaries need each and every day to do what they do. To get up at 6.30 every morning, to study independently and with their companion, to leave their apartments to walk the streets of their areas never knowing for sure who they will meet or how they will be received - will they be yelled at, will doors be slammed in their faces, with they have things thrown at them, will they be called various vile names? These 18, 29, 20 & 21 year old missionaries have to have faith and courage to do this day after day, away from their loved ones and support systems. They learn to rely on their faith and develop a deep and meaningful relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I hope that we can all learn to have a kernel of the faith and courage our young missionaries have. 

Learn from the life of Esther and other inspiring women the importance of trusting in God and courageously standing up for what you believe. 

The last brief message helps us to learn to turn to God in our times of need. I know from my letters from Elder Muller, that his mission has taught him to do this. 

Sometimes in life, there is no where else to turn but to God. Elder D. Todd Christofferson shares a personal experience that taught him to truly pray, recognize answers to prayers, and take life one day at a time:

May we find peace and comfort in these turbulent latter days. May we all find the courage to meet each and every day with faith and prayer.

Much Love,
A Missionary Mom

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lick your fingers and tickle my back....

Elders and Sisters climbed the tower again in Delft!

Elder Muller on the Tower

Happy Together! Elders Hunter and Muller on the tower!

Monday, November 9, 2015

"Lick your fingers and tickle my back..." That's a quote from Elder Hunter. I won't give any further details! ha ha

So this has been a really hard week. The most stressful on my mission, and one of the most stressful of my life. I won't go into details of why, but let's just say I'm glad it's over and that I have the opportunity to start over this week.

With that being said, I did have some really cool experiences this week. We had an awesome lesson with our investigator, G-----. We invited him to be baptized, and he gave us really the only answer that we as missionaries like to hear besides yes. That is, not yet because 'I'm not pure or clean enough'. That is me paraphrasing him, but in essence, he is humble and ready enough to be baptized, he just doesn't realize that yet! He went to church this Sunday in Den Haag as well, so we were really pumped about that.

We also had a miracle with the De B--- family. They were having some problems, and we have been supporting them spiritually, helping them pray and read and such. Tuesday was kind of make it or break it for them, but through some miracle their was a solution found that is going to help them a lot. So they both have testimonies of prayer. SO GOOD!

On Wednesday, we had an awesome first lesson with a potential that we found a couple weeks ago named E---. She's a Dutch lady, and she is just awesome! We are excited to start teaching her.

So this weekend was also pretty crazy. I "learned" how to drive stick in about two and a half hours, and then had to drive the whole crew to Groningen in the mission van. About a three hour trip. Pretty scary. I felt like I was about to crash the whole time. That thing is like a mini bus.

(Here is a link to a map of the Netherlands. It should be possible to zoom in and out. You will see that Groningen is way North! So they were in Utrecht working, and then Elder Muller drove them to Groningen and back! Elder Muller's apartment is in Delft!) 

We worked in Utrecht as well this week. The members there are really cool, and the Elders there are awesome.

Elder Hunter's birthday was on Saturday, so we got some good pics of that.

Real quick about transfers, I'm staying with Elder Hunter. Other than that, not much news.

In closing, I would like to share a quote from Elder Neal A. Maxwell that is in my scriptures,

"For the faithful, our finest hours are sometimes during or just following our darkest hours."

I know that to be true.

I hope that you all have an awesome week! I love all of you, and I hope to hear from all of you!

Elder Muller

On the tower with the Sisters!

Feet of the Sisters and the Elders!

View from the tower

Rotterdam in the distance. Picture taken from the tower.

Elder Hunter camping out on the balcony!

Roti - the greatest food you have ever had in your whole life! (It's like a chicken stew.)

Roti pancake-thing you use to pick up the chicken stew!

Enjoying a meal of Roti!

Camping out with the Utrecht Elders while traveling as the Singing Elders. Elder Muller is on the floor by the red blanket holding, Matthew, the Singing Elders bear! The cake in the forefront is Elder Hunter's birthday cake, made by a member!

Utrecht Elders hosting the four Singing Elders!

Monday, November 2, 2015

I'm at a Turkish internet cafe....

Den Haag LDS Temple by Night


I'm here in the Turkish internet cafe emailing again! So fun!

So we had a pretty good week. For once everything kind of went normally.

We had exchanges on Tuesday with the District Leader, so I got to go to Zoetermeer. It was quite the experience. My companion for the day was the District Leader's greenie, so he's only been out a couple weeks.  It made it challenging but fun. :) It's always an adventure when you have a younger companion, you normally have to take the lead, and be ready to jump in if they don't know where to take the conversation. Mostly just because they don't have as much experience. It was fun, we'd knock a door, my companion would say that we were volunteers from our church and we were sharing a book. Then he'd look at me, and I'd do the rest of the contact. Brought me back to the days when I was a greenie in Brugge with Elder Childs. Not having any idea what was going on, or what to say to keep the conversation going.

I've actually been thinking about the beginning of my mission a lot lately. I'm almost trunky for it. Kind of weird haha. Life was a lot simpler back then. It's very hard, but simpler I feel like. The mission is always hard though. Reminds me of the talk Elder Childs and I would listen to every day, Missionary Work and the Atonement, by Jeffrey R. Holland. "Why would we believe, why would we think, that it would be easy for us, when it was NEVER EVER easy for Him?" Salvation is not cheap, and I am so grateful for the Atonement of Christ that allows us to reach Salvation.

I've been learning a lot about the enabling power of the Atonement these past couple weeks. I'm coming to realize even more, how impossible missionary work is without it. The funny thing about the Atonement is that you can read about it, study about it, listen to talks about it, etc. But until you actually use it, you really can't understand it. That's what I'm trying to do. Use the Atonement every day, both the redeeming, and enabling powers.

From the Book of Mormon, The Book of Alma, Chapter 7:

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

 13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
Here is a link to the entire chapter:

That's all I have for this week. This email took a different turn than I thought it would, but I felt like I needed to share some of my ramblings with you all. :) This next week we will be in Utrecht working.

Love you guys!

Elder Muller

Making balloon creations with our investigator

Centrum (Center Square) at night

Contacting at night in Centrum

Elders Hunter and Muller