Monday, December 28, 2015

Bribery Always Works! (Merry Christmas!)

  Merry Christmas from Delft!!

A manger scene made by Elder Muller's sister, Alyssa! She drew all the figures and numbered them for the day he was to add them to the picture! The manger backdrop was made out of a cardboard box so it would stand!

Merry Christmas from Elder Muller and Elder Foltz!! (in their pj's!)
Hey everyone! 

It has been an awesome week here in the Netherlands, and specifically, in Delft. I had a marvelous Christmas, and just a really good week.

So, here we go! First cool experience... 

Elder Foltz and I have found a new method of contacting that brings amazing results. A little back ground first. 

We had a semi-kinda of goal to get rid of as many of the "de Heiland is Geboren" cards ("The Savior is Born" pass along cards with the website of the new Christmas video.) as we could. In fact, we wanted to pass out all of them before Christmas was over. 

Here is a link to the video:

I have also received a lot of candy in the past couple weeks; way more than I can eat or should eat haha. So we decided to tape some pieces of candy on to the cards that we still had left (around 70 cards) and try to pass them out Christmas Eve, Christmas, and 2e Kerst. (2nd Christmas - celebrated the day after Christmas!) We didn't have any time on Christmas Eve with appointments that we had, but on Christmas we had about an hour and a half between appointments where we were just in Delft. So we went contacting! I filled a stocking with cards and candy, and Elder Foltz filled a Santa hat. We both put on Santa Hats and walked around the centrum (center of town) giving away cards. 

We gave away all 70ish of those cards in an hour and half! It was incredible! I've never given away that many cards that fast. People were also willing to stop and talk for a little bit about Christmas. It was such a cool miracle, and it really just made me feel the Spirit of Christmas even more so. I love being a missionary haha :) 

A quick rundown of the Christmas festivities. 

Christmas Eve: We had a lesson with a less active named V--. He was baptized just about 3 years ago, and only recently went less active. He is one of the coolest guys I have ever met. We taught him and his roommate, who was also really awesome. 

That night, we went caroling with the Sisters, and some older members of the ward. We visited less actives, and investigators, shared a short message, and sang for them. Brought me back to the Singing Elder days haha. 

When we got home, we opened presents, and drank hot chocolate and apple cider. And took our Christmas photo ;) 

Christmas Day: Woke up, opened more presents, and went to church for the Christmas Service. After that we came home, went contacting (see above story) and went to our dinner appointment to Skype. 

Christmas dinner with Family Brinkers

Elder Clukey and Elder Muller at Christmas Dinner

2e Kerst: (2nd Christmas) We had breakfast met zin 8 (with 8 missionaries) at the Family Scherf. The Zone Leaders and other Elders had a service project in a refugee camp, but my companion and I and the Sisters were not invited. (It's ok, we aren't bitter haha) We four didn't want to go knocking doors all day (especially on 2e Kerst, people would get angry) so we decided to go caroling again. It was a lot of fun, and we saw a lot of success. We got Ollie bollen as well (a very typical Dutch Christmas treat). We helped them teach a semi creepy guy who had asked to meet with them (one of the little known responsibilities of the Elders is to back the Sisters up if they have to meet with creepy people). Then we went back to Delft for our dinner appointment with Daan and Emma, two of my favorite people in the world. 

Ollie bollen!!

We had Gourmet (another very typical Dutch thing) with them, and Family Kleiweg, another young family. It was such a good evening. I love them so much, I think because they love each other so much, and you can see it. They are just amazing examples for us young missionaries. 

2e Kerst with Families Peschier and Kleiweg 

Well I'm out of time.  I hope that you all have a happy new year!  I love you all! 

Love you all! 

Elder Muller

I'm including many more pictures from the last few weeks. Elder Muller was able to finally send pictures again!!

Elder Foltz calling in the daily report for the first time!

Elder Foltz, Elder Muller's "Greenie"! (His son in the mission!)

Elder Foltz tired and weary! The life of a missionary!

The following are all from December 16th transfers:
The Den Haag District before transfers: Several of the Sisters and Elders were sent to other cities on the 16th of December
Elder Evans, Sister Mashburn, and Elder Bonner

Sister Huber


Elder Steenblik

Sister Mashburn

Sister Doxey

Sister Mashburn and Elder Tolman photobombing!

Sister Maughaun
Elder Shaw
Elder Childs! Elder Muller's Dad in the field! His first trainer in Brugge, Belgium. Elder Childs was returning home with honor after serving 24 months!

Three Generations: Elder Childs, Elder Muller and Elder Foltz. Elder Childs was able to see his "grandson", Elder Foltz!

Good-bye, Elder Childs! (Elder Childs had an important and huge impact on Elder Muller. That's what a trainer (father) can do!! And now a year later, Elder Muller is a father!

Elder Muller and "his" Yaris!

It was a sad day for Elder Muller. He had to say good-bye to "his" Yaris! No more Singing Elders means no more mission-wide travel, which means no more car! :(


Wonder what they are looking at!

Desperately trying for a good group selfie!

Elder Foltz
Elder Hunter with Family Brinkers. He is the Bishop of the Den Haag Ward.
This is NOT a look of happiness! This a look of utter PAIN!

Posters everywhere taunting Elder Muller! NO SPOILERS! He cannot see it until he returns home in the fall of 2016!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Old Father Christmas

This email was received on Monday, December 21, 2015. We have been traveling and just returned home, so I apologize for the late update! 

(Elder Muller was unable to send pictures again, so I "borrowed" some from a member friend who saw him on Tuesday, December 22!)

District Meeting 22 December 2015, Den Haag
Lill Stigter and the Singing Elders after the Christmas Concert!

District Meeting 22 December 2015, Den Haag

Hello and Merry Christmas everyone! 

I hope that you are all enjoying the season as much as I am. This past week has been really long, but really good.

So first off, my son, Elder Foltz. What to know about him. He's 19 and from American Fork Utah. He has never been outside of the western half of the US. He loves to read sci fi, and yeah. There you go. He's a good kid, I've been warming up to him, he's a lot different from any of the other companions that I've had, but that's ok. We've been working hard, and we are starting to see the blessings of it.

So small miracles that made my week really nice.

First, on transfer day I bought a bike from a missionary going home (got a really good deal on it). There were a few problems with it but I figured I would just buy it instead of looking all over the city for a bike I liked. Originally the plan was that I would have to leave the car in Leiden and take the train back, but they let us take the car instead on the condition that we brought it back that evening. So we get back to the apartment, unload all of the stuff (it's about 4 pm) and I call Elder Robison to see where I need to take the car. He said we could keep it until the next morning. BLESSING! Because we had it that one last night, I was able to stuff my new bike in that back, and take it to Den Haag and have it fixed by a member (Broeder Scherf, amazing man, I look up to him a lot). So that was a good start to the week.

Second, when we bought Elder Foltz a bike, I was able to talk to the shop  owner for about 20 min about the gospel while Elder Foltz was trying out different bikes. Really cool!

Third miracle, yesterday our investigator Cleo was going to come to church with us in Den Haag, but he woke up late so he didn't come. We were really sad of course. In Priesthood, Stacey, a member who knows Cleo pulled me out of the meeting really excited. She told me to invite Cleo to the Gouda dienst (service) for the YSA (Young Single Adults) that afternoon, so I did, and he came! (It was another miracle that he even got there because of train problems, but yeah, no time for that, suffice it to say it was a miracle) So It was really nice to have an investigator at church, even if it was in Gouda.

Cool beans, so the subject line of the email. That's what I feel like. This past week two of my companions went home, Elder Childs and Elder Shelton. It only really just hit me this week how old I am compared to all the rest of the missionaries in this mission. I only have 5 transfers left after this one. There aren't very many missionaries going home between now and then, only two groups before mine. It's really weird. I was talking with some of the other missionaries my "age" and it was really refreshing haha. We talked about experiences we had "back in the day" when we were still young missionaries with people who are married or engaged now. Its kind of freaky. Time goes by soooo fast. I'm going to blink and it's going to be over.

Maar goed, (But good, ) I really feel like some old ancient beast that nobody knows anymore. All these young missionaries are great, but it's just strange to not know who anyone is anymore.

Being a trainer is a lot of fun, it's challenging, but I like it. It's been strange having to do normal missionary stuff, but then having to do it all on my own because my companion doesn't know what to do haha. It is good though, I'm learning and growing a lot.

I hope you all have a merry Christmas! I will be Skyping sometime after 4 pm here. Either between 4 and 6, or at like 7 or 8 here. All the missionaries are going to the Bishop's house to do it, so it depends on what order we go in. I can't wait to talk to you guys though, it's going to be fun!

I love you all, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Elder Muller

Monday, December 14, 2015

Wees gewoon blij! (Just be happy!)

Rehearsals with professional violinist
Elder Shaw looking like he is not sure what Elder Muller is singing!!
Rehearsals before the Christmas Concert
After the Christmas Concert with Lill Stigter
Letting off a little steam!
Elder Shaw!! I think his facial expressions are hilarious!!

Hey everybody! 

Dang, it feels like it's been a looong time since I've emailed. It's been one of those weeks.

I don't want to get too much into what all happened this week leading up to the Christmas concert, mostly because it was all just craziness, but I do want to share an important lesson that I learned, and then discuss some other stuff.

First, transfer news! I will be staying in Delft! I am the only one of the Singing Elders who is not moving. Elder Hunter is going to my baby city of Brugge, Belgium. Elder Conatti is going to Sint Niklaas (also in Belgium) and Elder Shaw is going to Den Bosch, Netherlands. I don't know who my new companion is yet, because he's on an airplane right now!!! I'm training!!! Whooo! I'm really excited. I feel like it's exactly what I need right now on my mission. Being a trainer is going to make me stay on my A game. No slacking off or taking a break after the project, just full steam ahead. I'm so pumped to be able to learn and grow with my son! Another tender mercy, Elder Childs, my father, goes home on Wednesday, so he will live just long enough to see his grandson arrive. :)*

So yes, I will be spending Christmas in Delft. I'm happy with that. It's a great area. We have a lot of people that we are working with, and the members here are my favorite. Delft itself is also just gorgeous, so that's nice.

Cool beans, well on to what I wanted to talk about. Wees gewoon blij! (Just be happy!) That is the lesson I learned this week.  We hear all the time that happiness is a choice, but I learned that for myself this week. This past week was one of the most stressful weeks of my life, trying to prepare for the Christmas concert, as well as dealing with all the problems and issues that popped up (Nothing ever can go smoothly). However I learned that even if you feel that there is no way out, and that you can't possibly overcome something, if you feel like giving up, you can still choose to be and stay happy. It helps a lot! It can be really hard, especially if no one else around you is "happy", but you can always choose how you react to a situation. I learned that it's just easier to be happy than to be stressed. As long as you give everything you can to whatever you're facing and ask for help from the Lord, you don't have to worry, because you know that you did everything you could. There is no point in stressing about things that are beyond your control.

So that's what I learned this week.

The Christmas concert was amazing. It was a roller coaster for all of us, but we all made it through and everyone loved it. Last night we sang together for the last time as the Singing Elders, so that was emotional. I'm ready to move on though. I loved this project, but I feel like I can continue to learn and grow in new ways these next few transfers. After this, I have 5 transfers left. The Sisters from my group go home in 12 weeks. De tijd is zeer kort. (The time is really short.) President told me that he expects me to give my everything. That's what I'm planning on doing. Watch out Delft. Muller and greenie Elder are coming, and we now have 7 days a week to preach the gospel in your city limits. Brace yourself!

Love you guys!

Elder Muller

PS: This computer won't let me upload pictures so I'll try to do it at the church later if I have time.

Love you guys!

*So just to remind everyone what all this missionary speak is about! Elder Muller will be training a "greenie"! That means a missionary coming into the mission field from the Missionary Training Center! Just like Elder Muller did last October when he started serving in Brugge, Belgium. This means that Elder Muller is now becoming a Dad!! And Elder Muller's trainer, Elder Childs, is now a Grandfather!! Elder Childs is returning home with honor after serving his 24 month mission! He will get to see his grandson at transfers as the new missionaries come in, and the missionaries leaving for home depart!

(I'm uploading pictures from a member that was at the concert since Elder Muller couldn't send any!)

Real professionals...warming their voices with some herbal tea!

Elder Muller & Elder Shaw!

Sound system has arrived!

Savior of Israel (In Dutch)
Sound system being installed

Helping set up for dinner
Organizing the music
Looking like professionals!
Setting up the stand where they will perform
Taking time to open a gift from home!

Sound equipment ready on the piano