Wednesday, July 27, 2016

4 - "By the Grace of God"

Monday, July 25, 2016

Good morning everyone! 

By the Grace of God I am here emailing again. By the grace of God, a great saying taught to us by the one, the only, Brother George. He has an amazing testimony, and truly understands the role that grace plays in his life. I love that man! He always gives thanks for the grace of God, and rightfully so! 

So this has been a really strange week. We had a lot of good stuff happen, but we also got destroyed a couple times. So Elder Richards and I are taking it a bit easy today, trying to recover. 

I'm not really sure what I want to talk about today. I'm just figuring this out as I go :)

Yesterday (Sunday) we taught the lesson in de Jongemannen class. (Young Mens)  We taught about De Geest van Openbaring ofwel, The Spirit of Revelation by David A Bednar. (April 2011 Gen Conf) and these videos -> 

We discussed with the young men about how THEY receive personal revelation. The process of revelation, and why it's important to recognize how you receive your own revelation. We also discussed the outlines in Alma 5:45-46 and Alma 26:22.

Alma 5:45-46
45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?
 46 Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.
Alma 26:22
 22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

I'm not really sure what to write about. I guess I will just share my testimony then. 

I know that this work is true. I've seen the hand of God in it. To tie it back to the subject line, it's by His Grace that we are able to accomplish the things that He has commanded us. There is a scripture in Alma 12 that says, "And God gave unto them commandments after having made known unto them the plan of redemption." The knowledge of the Plan of Salvation is the basis of everything we do in the Gospel, it is the "why" of everything. What was the church Restored? Because God wanted His children to know His plan for them. Learn about it, if you don't know what it is, ask the missionaries, they can help you. :) 

Answers to almost all of our questions in life can be found in some way in our understanding of the Plan of Redemption. Learn, live it, Love it. 

Have a great week everyone!!

Elder M. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Den Haag Zone Leaders & Companions: Elder Muller and Elder Richards

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What up Iedereen!?!? (Everyone)

It's been another week here in the mooie stad achter de duinen. (beautiful city behind the dunes) We had some pretty cool experiences, some long days, and of course, transfers! 

Like I said last week, I stayed in Den Haag with Elder Richards. Almost everyone else in the zone got moved around, so we have a lot of new blood. 

We had lots of meetings/trainings this week to prepare for the new transfer, so that took up most of our time. 

So I don't have a WHOLE lot of time today, so let's continue where we left off last week hé? 

Spiritually born of God, right? Cool Let's examine that concept a little more. 

Let's open up to Mosiah 27:24-27 (It's a footnote to Alma 5:14) 

24  For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.
25  And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;
26  And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
27  I say unto you, unless this be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off.

So this teaches us that if we want to be saved we MUST be born again, we must be changed from a carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness. Notice that it's not just being baptized, but it requires a change of heart. To bring the analogy of physical birth back into play, before a baby is born there is a hole inside of the heart between the chambers. After the baby is born, that hole closes. Part of birth is having a literal change of heart, so it would make sense that being Spiritually born also means having a change of heart. 

I'll share one more scripture, and then I have to run. Mosiah 5:7

"And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters." 

When we are baptized, we are spiritually born of Christ. He becomes our father. That's a pretty deep subject that I'm not going to go into. But these are just some of the insights that I've been finding in my studies lately. Thank goodness for the footnotes in the scriptures haha. It's pretty cool what you can find just by tracing scriptures back to one another. 

Have a great week everyone! 

Love you, bye. 


Enjoying food and sunshine

The view from their bench

The view from their bench

Sister missionaries with Elder Richards photo bombing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Koning der 's Gravenhage

Monday, July 11, 2016

"Now I am the voice, I will lead and not follow, I will believe, not doubt, I will create, not destroy, I am a Force for good, I am a Leader. Defy the Odds, Set a New Standard, Step up!"

Mission President Bunnell

That's right folks, I am officially the King of Den Haag. I'm staying for my 9th transfer in this ward. That is more than half of my mission. :) I couldn't be happier!

So on to this week. We had a lot of exchanges. You know that you had a lot of exchanges when one of your companionship goals for the week is to see each other haha. We survived, and we will be staying together for my last 6 weeks on the mission. 

I had the opportunity to work with my good friend Elder Da Silva this week, which is always a pleasure. He is also super happy because Portugal won the European Cup. Congrats to ya!

So on to what I wanted to talk about this week. Conversion. Oohhhh a big scary word right? hmm hold on to your pants folks! We are going for a ride! 

So, Elder Richards and I have been talking a lot about conversion lately. It has been a focus of both of ours of late, and so we started talking and studying about it together, and then went that extra step, and started involving members. Yup, we went there :) 

Cool. So Conversion. What does it mean? I think most of us know, if not, we have an idea. The biggest struggle is always, how do I become converted, how do I stay converted?... etc. That's what we've been focusing on. 

Well to start off, we are going to have a small Dutch lesson. So in Dutch, the word for conversion is "bekering" U bekeert zich. You convert yourself. If you take the concept of that word in Dutch, it means something like coming back onto the correct path, or turning around. The word "to turn" in dutch is "keren". You can see that "keren" is the root of "bekering" That's an interesting concept, because what does making a course correction have to do with conversion? If you are converted, than you are on the right course right? 

Let's dig a bit deeper. Bekering also means something else. It means to repent. I find that very interesting. In English, we use two different words, conversion, and repentance, but in Dutch they are the same. In order to convert yourself, you need to repent. It also explains that concept of making a course correction. So simply put, if you want to become more converted, repent more. So simple to say, so hard to do haha. 

I've got a little bit of time, so I'll share a bit more. 

This week Elder Richards and I studied the chapter in the Book of Mormon that so many people regret studying, mostly because it makes you feel like an awful person. Alma 5. That's right, we dare. 
(A link to this chapter:
So we've been discussing verse 14
 14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
This can be broken down into three questions, of course. I only have time to talk about one, so I will leave the rest to next week. ;) 

So, what does it mean to be spiritually born of God? Well the first thing that I think of is baptism. Baptism is the fact that we symbolize starting a new life as a covenant child of God. We learn in the Bible from the teaching of Christ that this is necessary for salvation. "Unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." 

However, I think this has a deeper meaning, otherwise Alma could just ask, "have you been baptized?"  But he asks "have you spiritually been born of God?"  So we took this question to some of my favorite people on planet Earth, Daan and Emma Peschier. Emma pointed us to a scripture in Moses that opened my eyes to a lot of things. 

Moses 6:59 

59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;

Let's think about birth in a physical sense. A baby is surrounded by fluid in the womb (water), when a baby is born there is blood, and our spirits enter our bodies at some point in the whole procreative process (don't ask me when... but it happens). So is it also when we are spiritually born of God. We are baptized (water), we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost (the Spirit), and we are cleansed by the Atonement of Christ (His blood). Our physical birth is a mirror image of our spiritual rebirth, and vice versa. Being spiritually born of God is not only being baptized, but I believe that it means that we receive of the Atonement of Christ in its fullness.  

 *drops mic* Inline image 1

Love you bye.

E. M. 

to be continued... 

Sister Bunnell sitting down


A ferry for bikes only

Elder Muller in front of the Haarlem Train Station

Elder Muller in front of the Haarlem Train Station

Best Family Picture Ever!!

Elder Muller and Elder Da Silva

Elder Da Silva

Monday, July 4, 2016

We're in This Together

Hey everybody!

This has been a really fast week, so sorry if this email is a short one. It's just gone by really fast, I just realized that I haven't even taken any pictures this week... Holy Cow. 

Well, I will talk about some stuff that I've been studying. So I'm almost finished with the Book of Mormon in Dutch. It is a goal I've had my whole mission, and I've started, stopped, started, stopped.. yep you get the idea. Well THIS time I was determined to finish it before my last transfer, and I will. I just read through the Book of Ether this week.

As I was reading in the Book of Ether in Chapter 3, something stuck out to me that I hadn't noticed before.

And it came to pass that the brother of Jared, (now the number of the vessels which had been prepared was eight) went forth unto the mount, which they called the mount Shelem, because of its exceeding height, and did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass; and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried again unto the Lord, saying:
 O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.
 Behold, O Lord, thou hast smitten us because of our iniquity, and hast driven us forth, and for these many years we have been in the wilderness; nevertheless, thou hast been merciful unto us. O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people, and suffer not that they shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness; but behold these things which I have molten out of the rock.
 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.
 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.
What I had never noticed before is the fact that the brother of Jared goes to the exceedingly high mountain BEFORE he melts out the stones. I had always pictured in my head that he melts out the stones and then takes them to the mountain. Of course the mountain symbolizes the temple, so I think it's a very powerful lesson, that not only can we go to the temple to come closer to the Lord, but also, we can work on our problems there and receive that extra help. 
Of course we can't always bring all of our problems to the temple, but I think it also shows the importance of keeping the Lord close in our lives, especially when we are facing challenges. The brother of Jared didn't receive the task of solving the problem of light and then leave and try to figure it out on his own. He knew that on the mountain he was "closer" to the Lord. He kept him close. I think this is a good pattern we can follow in our own lives. Keep the Lord close. 
I love you guys! Sorry there weren't any pictures. I believe that there was one taken at a dinner appointment, so I'll throw that one on here. 

E. M.