Monday, December 8, 2014

18th and final letter from Leuven, Belgium -- Week 24

Ben is going to miss these beautiful buildings in Leuven.  He's going to Lelystad where it's flat and no buildings.  He is going from one of the oldest cities in his mission to one of the newest.
Leuven is decked out and ready for Christmas!!!!!
Koen, Elder Benjamin Steenblik and Hans.  Koen is one of my homies.  He served his mission in England and joint teaches with us a lot.  (Koen and Hans are brothers) 
Heeeeey Yo,

Man, it has been an amazing week! We saw so much success this past week.

First off, we got an amazing referral!!!! It was a self referral from a guy and his wife and they have a baby together.  They have both been searching for the truth and found the church online and referred themselves to have a missionary visit.  We had a lesson with them and they are super positive! They committed to read and pray together this week.  At the end of the lesson, they even said that they felt something special when we were teaching them.

Unfortunately, Serre' was sick this week, so we couldn't have a lesson with her, but we had an awesome lesson with Bea.  We did a family home evening for her and her daughters.  We gave a spiritual message, played a board game and then ate brownies that Elder Cockbain and I made.  We all had a good time together.  This past week, they read Alma 32 as a family.  They also said family prayers! Bea didn't have to work this week, so she was able to come to church with her daughters for the first time.  They fit right in and everyone was really nice and welcoming to them.

The weather here is just the worst.  It has been constant rain for like a straight week now.  On Wednesday, I was on exchanges in Antwerpen with Elder Dallin Bosco, son of Robbie Bosco (some famous BYU player, I don't know) and it was super nice because we had a car.  I forgot how nice it is to be able to get in a car and crank up the heat.  Count your many blessings ladies and gents!

Now, it is time for the miracle of the week! On Sunday, during sacrament meeting, some random woman we had never seen walked in.  At the end of sacrament, we went and talked to her.  It turns out that she talked with some missionaries on the street about 8 months ago.  She never got lessons from them or anything, but she remembered talking to them for a brief moment.  On Sunday, for whatever reason, she just felt like she needed to come to church.  We scheduled an appointment with her for this week.  How crazy is that?!

There was also, Sinterklaas this past week.  That is where the kids put their shoes out on December 5th and Sinterklaas leaves gifts for them.  It is basically the Belgian/Dutch version of Christmas.  That is where they get all of their big presents, on December 6th.  Then on December 25th, they do little gifts.

I am getting transferred!!!! We have transfers on Wednesday, and I am going to Lelystad, Nederland.  That should be AWESOME!!!! I am a bit nervous though because my new companion, Elder Jeremy DeWitt has been out less than me.  (He arrived to the mission field on September 18, 2014)  Uh-Oh!!!!!!! I have always had a big/strong/trusty comp to look to when I don't know what someone said or when I don't know what the heck is going on.  This should be interesting!!

I am definitely sad to leave Leuven.  I have come to love the members in the ward and all of our investigators.  Plus, this past week has been the most successful week I have had on my whole mission.  Our investigators are starting to keep commitments and to progress and now I'm leaving as all the fun is about to begin.  I am super excited to see what adventures Lelystad will bring.  I will miss this place a lot.  The members are awesome!!!! There is a little 4 year old girl who is the cutest thing I have ever seen.  She always comes up to me and gives my knees a great big hug and says, "lk hou van jouw, Elder Steenblik."  (I love you.)  Presh!!!!!!! She doesn't speak any English, but knows every word to "Let it Go."  Haha, I got her to sing it for me.

Well, I am finally going to get to go to my fatherland! I literally know nothing about Lelystad or about my new companion, but I am super pumped.

Leuven, its been real.  Peeeeeeace!!!!!!

Love you all,

Elder Steenblik

Elder Jeremy DeWitt will be Ben's new companion on Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ben had to write something for our ward party on Saturday, December 13, 2014 and this is what he turned in.  (Willow Canyon 5th Ward  --  East Sandy Stake)

My favorite scripture about Christ, is Alma 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."

I like this scripture because it teaches us so much about the Atonement in one short verse.  Most of the time when we think about the Atonement, we just think of Christ suffering for our sins, but he did more than that.  He not only suffered for our sins, but as this verse says, for our pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind, even our pains and sicknesses.

That means that he has literally been through every sorrow that we have ever had, every temptation, every pain.  So, when we are going through a trial and we feel that nobody understands what we are going through, he does.  He has been through that very thing.  We can turn to him for peace and comfort knowing that he has felt everything and been through everything that we have.

Christmas here in the Netherlands and Belgium is pretty crazy.  They go hardcore! On the 5th and 6th of December, they have Sinterklaas.  The kids put their shoes out and Sinterklaas and his black helper, Zwarte Piet leave gifts.  This is basically Christmas for them.  They get all of their big presents on December 6th.  Then they have the normal Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Get this...... a 2nd Christmas on the 25th.  I could get used to that!!!

Well, I love you all Willow Canyon 5th ward.  I miss yallz and hope you have a Merry Christmas season.  Dooei

Elder Blink Van Steen

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