Monday, March 9, 2015

1st letter from Hengelo, Netherlands -- Week 37

Wow, it has been a crazy week! So much change in such a short amount of time.

Last Monday after we finished emailing, we went to dinner with our district.  We had 3 missionaries going home in our district, so it was basically our last supper together.  We went to some fancy all you can eat Japanese Steakhouse.… It was amazing! All you can eat sushi, chicken, steak, duck, lamb and salmon.  You name it! Restaurants are super crazy here and charge you like 3 bucks for every glass of water you get, so we had to ration it.  We were dying of thirst and had the genius idea of going to the bathroom and drinking out of the faucet.  Every missionary at our table made like 3 trips to the bathroom every couple of minutes, but they never caught on to our crafty plan.

Well, Elder Alston is home now! It wasn't too hard this transfer having a companion that was going home.  I will be honest, his last 3 days were pretty hard for me.  Seeing him pack up and get ready to go see his family and friends and everything made me a little homesick for a couple of days, but nothing too extreme.  The day after he left, I was back at it and forgot all about it.  I had an amazing transfer with him.  I learned so much from him and we had a blast together!

On Wednesday I arrived in the great city of Hengelo.  On my first day here, I got to give a Baptismal Interview! Luckily in English and it was a super cool experience.  She was super ready and wanted to be baptized.  She is from China and her grandma had taught her about Joseph Smith when she was a little girl, so she had been prepared.

Our house here is freaking huge! It isn’t as modern and fancy as my last one in Lelystad, but it is enormous.  I think that it is the biggest in the mission, so that is awesome! We live in a cool neighborhood and the kids are always out front playing.  Elder Frisby and I were upstairs planning and we got some Nerf guns and were shooting the kids out of the window on the roof.  Then a huge Nerf war broke out between us and these kids.  We let them know who the boss in Hengelo is.  You better believe that!

It’s finally getting warm here! On Saturday we drove to a baptism in Apeldoorn with the Zone Leaders and had the windows down cruisin.  We even hit up the McDonald's drive-thru on the way. Oh how I have missed a good drive-thru! On the way back from the baptism, we had to fit 4 people in the back of this tiny European car.   I could barely fit if I was the only one!  We had people laying all over the place and were crammed in.  Worst 20 minute car ride of my life, but it was fun!

We have had a couple of lessons this week with Arabic speakers who only speak a little bit of Dutch or English.  It is super hard to teach them because Arabic is such a different language.  At least with French and German, it is at least in the same ballpark.  Even the names of the books in the Book of Mormon are different, so it takes like 10 minutes just to find one scripture.  We were still able to get through a lesson with them and answer their questions using the Book of Mormon.

We had church here on Sunday and the ward is amazing! There is about 50 active people and they are all super strong in the gospel.  Everyone has callings that they fulfill and are such a loving ward. Every ward I go to, people seem to know another Elder Steenblik from the past.  Some of their parents were baptized by Steenblik’s, and there are a lot of people who got their patriarchal blessings from an Elder Steenblik way back in the day.  They were all happy to welcome a new Elder Steenblik to the ward.

And once again, they speak a different language here.  Every time I get transferred somewhere, they talk completely differently than the other people! Haha!! So now I have to learn the language again. Greeeat!!!!!!

I am super pumped for this transfer in Hengelo.  It is going to be fantastic!!

Ya’ll take care now.

                                           -Elder Steenblik

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