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: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/5)
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

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