Monday, February 23, 2015

11th letter from Lelystad, Nederland -- Week 35

Hallo Schatjes!

Here are a few answers to your questions.

I have been loving serving in Lelystad! It is a different city for sure and although it’s not the prettiest, I love it.  (I’ve heard it has even been voted ugliest city in Europe a time or two.) The members here are awesome and have such a strong branch.  We have about 70 active members at church every single week.  Lelystad is the only place in the Netherlands or Belgium, where you will just be walking around outside and see members all over the place.  The culture here is really different than the rest of the Netherlands as well.  Families are a really big thing here and there are lots of young and old families all over the place.

Missionary work here is very different as well.  We live in the center of the city, so when we are outside finding or walking from place to place, we literally see the same people every day.  We usually see them multiple times a day.  We have nicknames for every single person in Lelystad, so we have to be creative when trying to find new people.

As far as dinner appointments go, we usually get like 4 a week.  There is a food here called Nasi and it’s Indonesian.  It’s basically rice, meat, different spices and what not.  It is super good, but this past week, we had it for lunch at district meeting, dinner that night and then our next 2 dinner appointments also made it! We had Nasi 4 meals in a row and I’m starting to think that I never want to see rice ever again in my life.

We got poured on this week! Since it is so flat here, after it rains for a little while, the water has nowhere to go and just piles up.  It’s basically like riding your bike and walking around in an inch of water everywhere you go.  That does a pretty good job of keeping your feet wet all day!!!!

We have some good stuff planned for this week to keep us busy.

 Have a lekker week!
                                                 -Elder Steenblik

Monday, February 16, 2015

10th letter from Lelystad, Nederland -- Week 34

This is the process of trying to get warm water.  We use every pan we have to boil water.
Valentine's Partaaaay
Valentine's Partaaaay

Wat is boven honden!?

Happy V -Day to all my Homies out there! I hope everyone had a great week and felt the love!

This week has been very, interesting.  On Tuesday, it was like 8:30 at night and we were doing some bell-ups.  That’s when we go to apartment buildings and they have to buzz you in.  We like to do it when it is dark outside because knocking doors can be a little intimidating for people.  The first one we did actually let us in which basically never happens, so we were super shocked.  We went into this sweet little 65 year old woman’s apartment and talked with her.  Never before in my life have I seen so much stuff crammed into such a little apartment.  I did not fit at all and it was super crazy! We finally fought our way through the knick-knacks and made it to the couches.  The woman told us that she had met with the sisters a couple of years ago and had a Book of Mormon.  We started to teach a little lesson and just got to know her.  Then it got weird! It basically just turned into a yearbook signing.  She got her Book of Mormon and wanted us to sign it.  There were 6 other sister missionaries who had signed it and left a little note.  Even President Robinson had signed it at some point. Then she got cards and started writing us little notes.  She has never actually read the book, but loves people to sign it. Haha.  It was super strange and it was late so we had to go.

On Valentine’s Day, we had a dinner appointment with the Sisters at a member’s house.  The member invited 2 of her other friends and you will never believe who showed up.  The woman that we had a lesson with from above! We had dinner and she wanted Elder Alston and me to sit by her.  Whenever she talked to me, she would call me by the name of "Lover Boy.”  She went on and on at dinner about how she had never seen 2 more beautiful men than Elder Alston and me.  She was getting super flirty! Afterwards, I was sitting on the couch and she came and tried to sit on my lap! Hahaha.  Oh man, it was just such an awkward situation.  Best Valentine’s Day ever!

In other news, we have had no hot water this week! The only water we have is freezing cold.  Every morning we have had to fill the bath tub up with freezing cold water and then add a ton of water that we boiled on the stove.  It’s pretty ghetto! I’m getting a taste of what it’s like to serve in Africa.

That is basically it from this week.  A couple of other lessons with some less active members here and there.  Things are going good.  The church is true and God loves you!

                                           -Elder Steenblik

Monday, February 9, 2015

9th letter from Lelystad, Nederland -- Week 33

Hey guys, so I have to make this email pretty fast!

We had another great week! We started the week off meeting with an inactive member named Lenny. We have been trying to get something set up with her for weeks, but haven't been able to.  We finally got one this week and went and visited her.  She is from the great land of Brazil.  We had a lesson with her and in the middle of the lesson, she forgot she needed to go pick her kid up from school.  She invited us to come along, so we walked with her and waited outside while she went in to get her daughter.  Elder Alston and I were just standing outside of the school waiting.  People were all staring at us because they thought we were going to abduct a child or something.  It was a little awkward for a bit.  She was in the school for like 10 minutes and we thought she bailed on us and sneaked out the back or something.  Haha, but sure enough, she came back out.  We had a good lesson with her and talked about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon.  We are going to try getting weekly appointments with her.  She is super cool!

I saw a really cool miracle this week.  There is a less active member named Chaim that we have been working with for the past couple of months.  He suffers from depression and has been going through a really hard time.  We finally got another appointment with him this week.  We thought about what to share him and we thought of a good Mormon Message, "The Hope of God's Light."  We showed it to him and it was so personal for him.  It was exactly what he needed to hear.  He asked us how we knew to show him that video.  It really showed me how the Lord truly inspires us, even when we don't know it.  It has been amazing to see Chaim's change over the last 2 months.  When I first got here, he was deep in depression.  He came to church on Sunday for the first time in a long time.  It is so cool to see how the Atonement of Jesus Christ has changed his life.  It truly is a miracle.

In other news, I gave myself another haircut this week! No chunks of hair missing this time, but it sure is short.  Probably the shortest my hair has been since I was like, 10 when Carter used to buzz me.

Well, time is up! Have a super duper week. 

                          -Elder Steenblik

Monday, February 2, 2015

8th letter from Lelystad, Nederland -- Week 32

Ben's sweet ride after a discussion.  Burrrrrrr!!!!!!
Elder Benjamin Steenblik doing his well deserved snow angel
We made Olaf!!!! Olaf and Elder Ben

Hoi Thuis Jongens!

So, to start off the week, we had a Zone Training.  On the train ride there, the train just stopped in the middle of nowhere and we just sat there.  Then the conductor came on the intercom and said that we were stuck there because there was a bomb scare at the station up ahead.  We sat there for 20 minutes and eventually just turned backwards and went to the Airport station.  We had to take a huge detour and it was a huge pain.  To sum it up, we were 2 ½ hours late for training.  We made it just in time for lunch, so I wasn’t too upset.  The "bomb" ended up being a garbage bag duct taped to a pole.  And it shut down the station and trains all day.  Good gravy!

We went to the Birthday party of an inactive guy that we work with named Bart.  It was the most awkward hour of my life! Haha.  It was just 8 other people sitting around a table and they were all like a million years old.  As soon as we came in, they all started yelling at us about what the Bible really says. Then they all started fighting with each other about religion and everything.  One guy even rage quit and just stood up and left.  Yeah, we crashed that partay pretty hard! I was hoping they would pull out a delicious chocolate sheet cake, but no such luck!

We got nearly 2 inches of snow this week! WOW!! I was on exchanges with Elder Brown and when we got out of an appointment, the snow was just coming down.  We kind of just spent the last half hour of our day building a snowman and making snow angels, but I feel like it was well deserved!

This week has been so amazing and I really can’t believe it! We have had a rough couple of weeks, but it was all leading up to this week.  Every person that we have been trying to work with for the past couple of weeks was actually home this week! We taught 5 first lessons to new people.  2 of them were people that had been taught by the missionaries before, and others were people we found over the last couple of weeks.  We had an amazing lesson with Rebekah yesterday.  Rebekah is the girl we found a couple of weeks ago when it was 8:50 at night and "the last door."  The spirit was super strong in the lesson and we have another appointment with her this week.  We have been working hard here doing our best for the past month and the Lord is blessing us with miracles.  It’s amazing to see how sometimes, you will work hard for a whole week and see nothing, and then the next week, have all sorts of lessons.  It has really strengthened my testimony that as we work with diligence, the Lord will bless us with His work.

It has been a solid week and we hope this week will be the same.  Just a quick shout out to my Patriots for winning the Super Bowl! #Pats4life

Love you all,
                                    -Elder Steenblik