Monday, June 29, 2015

5th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 53

Harry made us some escargot for dinner.  Taaaasty!!!

Elder Ben
The glorious moment captured in a photo.  Liquid heaven!
Matching tie Daaaay!! Elder Steenblik and Elder Holt

What’s up homies??

We had another week full of exchanges and all that good stuff.  On Tuesday we were in Breda for district meeting and afterwards, I went to Vlissingen with Elder Hunt.  Vlissingen is like a 2 ½ hour train ride away and all the way on the coast.  By the time we got to Vlissingen, we had to go straight to a dinner appointment and didn’t get home until 8 PM.  We only had 1 hour to go do some missionary work and we didn’t have any lessons scheduled, so we went and did some contacting, ON THE BEACH! Don’t worry, it’s not a beach like you’re thinking with bikini girls everywhere.  But there were people fishing, a couple people swimming and a ton of people playing rugby and volleyball and what not.  Oh man I have missed the beach so much.  It was just lovely, and guess what I found at a store there???? GATORADE! Hooooly schnikes, it has been a year since I have had a Gatorade.  The treats here are for the most part better than America, but that is one thing that Europe is lacking in…. Sport drinks.

Wednesday I was in Roosendaal with Elder Hosea.  We taught a cool lesson to a man from Africa.  He told us how every time he reads in the Book of Mormon, he feels something.  He has no idea what it is or how to explain it, but he feels it every time he reads.  That’s called the Spirit my friend! We went through Lehi´s dream with him and he loved it.  He wanted to study it even more after we left.

Thursday I was back in Eindhoven with Elder Lundberg.  We had a service project for the neighbor of one of the members here.  We weeded his garden and cut his knee high grass.  He was super grateful and told us that we could come back to share a Book of Mormon with him.  The miracles of service!

All of the people here are freaking out about the whole gay marriage thing going on in America.  We had a lesson with a less active woman last night who told us how the church needs to get with the times.  She said that marriage has adapted and so should the church.  We taught her how just because the ways of the world change, does not change the commandments of God.  I thought it was really interesting how in the last General Conference, there were a ton of talks given that talked about families and marriage and how important they are in God´s plan.  Then like 2 months later, this happens.

I hit my year mark this week as well! Freakin’ crazy! One year ago, little Elder Steenblik left home not even knowing how to use an iron or even a washing machine! I had the chance to look back through my journal entries and pictures over the last year this week.  It is crazy to see the difference from then and now.  It has seriously been the greatest year of my life.  I have been so many places, met so many people, have had so many experiences, learned priceless things.  I will be honest, it has probably been the hardest year of my life as well, but I wouldn’t change it for anything! What an honor it is to be a full time servant of the Lord.  Thankfully I still have a whole year left!

Things here are going great.  Awesome 1st year of my mission and I am super excited to see what the 2nd year has in store.  Thanks for all of your love and support.

Love you guys!

                                                       -Elder Steenblik

Monday, June 22, 2015

4th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 52

Graffiti here is actually good.  Look how dang detailed this guy is!
Elder Ben
My boii Harry and I

Hey Jongens,

Holy schnikes, it has been such a crazy week! We literally had an exchange or splits every single day this week.  It’s the most tired I have been, ever! I fell asleep every time I sat down.  Haha

On Tuesday I got to go on an exchange with one of my best friends on the mission, Elder Morrell in Amersfoort.  We had a super good time and taught a cool lesson to an African woman about prayer and scripture study.

Wednesday I was in Nijmegen with Elder Wolchijn.  Elder Wolchijn is so sick! He has had a crazy past. He was born when his parents were only 13 years old and his life has been full of gangs, drugs, street racing, fights and what not.  He converted to the church and ended up coming on a mission.  I have so much respect for that kid.

Thursday I was in Den Bosch with Elder Bean.  We looked up a less active woman from Brazil and she let us in and it turns out that her husband wants to be taught!  We got to know them and had a lesson with them and the Den Bosch Elders are going to start teaching him.

On Friday I was finally back in Eindhoven! I was on the road for 3 days straight days and it was nice to be home.  I was on an exchange with Elder Reynolds and it was kind of hard because I have barely even worked in Eindhoven because I am always gone to another city and I am still getting to know the city.  We had another appointment with Genzeer, the less active guy from Sudan.  

One bad thing about always being away on exchanges is using other missionaries bikes.  They are always way too small for my body and super ghetto.  My bum was feelin’ it by the end of the week! But the good news is that I am building up a leather hard callus.

Saturday morning, we went to Breda to work with the sisters there.  Their ward had a service project that day so we helped them do a deep clean on their church building.  Afterwards, they had a nice ward barbeque.  There was a woman there who told me that her Father´s family was baptized by an Elder Steenblik years ago, but she couldn’t remember the first name.  2 very old women there had gotten their patriarchal blessing from a Steenblik, so that was pretty cool! After the barbeque we came back to Eindhoven just in time to catch our ward picnic.  We have a ton of youth in the ward who all love soccer, so we played a soccer game with all of them.  Our Saturday was basically spent ward party hopping.  Haha

We have 2 young men in the ward who are preparing for missions, so we are working with them a lot bringing them on joint teaches to help them prepare.  Our ward mission leader, Brother Stewart also likes to come with us.  He is from Ireland and everything he says is hilarious! It’s even better because he sounds like the Lucky Charms leprechaun.

Next week we have another busy week full of exchanges, but I am super pumped.  Exchanges are always fun because you get to go to a new city and get to work with other Elders, but man alive are they tiring! Happy Father’s Day yesterday to all of the fathers out there.  


                                                  -Elder Steenblik

Monday, June 15, 2015

3rd letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 51

Elder Ben
Last time seeing President and Sister Robinson
Elder Steenblik, Elder Jesse Holt and Zuster Aubrey Watts
Eindhoven is huge when it comes to graffiti and it's everywhere.  This one is pretty sick!
Elder Steenblik with his homie Genzeer
Ben's kitchen
Ben's tiny stove and tiny fridge
Ben's TINY bed under the window (Bless his legs and back!!)
Ben's closet on the right
Ben's bathroom/laundry room
Ben's study area
Ben's front room
Ben's stairs in his apartment

Goede Dag Jongens,

This week we had our zone training! It is nice to have it over because it was a little stressful preparing for it, but it went great.  It was down in Antwerpen Belgium.  Every time I go back to Belgium, it just makes me miss it! Hopefully I will have the chance to serve there again.  For the first 2 hours of our training, we were combined with the Belgian Zone and President and Sister Robinson gave their final presentations.  It was nice to hear from them one last time.  Then we split off with our zone and started our training.  It was crazy because we ended up having way less time than expected, so we were scrambling the whole time to rearrange everything.  It sure kept us on our toes! Elder Holt, Zuster Watts, and I all gave presentations.  After lunch, the district leaders did workshops.  It was an awesome day.  We left at 6 15 in the morning and got home at 8 45 that night.  We were pretty dang pooped!

We eat with a woman named Sister Van Der Riet every week and this week we decided to cook her some food.  Elder Holt and I made 3 huge plates of taco salad with Doritos and French fries in it.  It actually turned out amazing, but I hated cooking it.  When we were walking the pans to the car, Elder Holt tried to set the pan down in the back and dropped it! Now there is taco salad all over the back of our car and on a nice warm day, you can smell some delicious Mexican food in the car.

We met with a less active guy this week named Genzeer.  He is from Sudan and he is just a total Bro.  He was baptized when Elder Alston was here and he is just so nice and happy.  Hopefully we can get him to church soon.

Saturday, we had District Leader Council with all of the district leaders in our zone.  Afterwards, we all went out to eat at an awesome Italian place and the calzones were enormous.  The food took forever to come out and we had to travel out to Maastricht to work with the sisters, so we had to hit the road right after.  We ended up getting stuck in traffic and by the time we got to Maastricht, we only had 30 minutes to work with the sisters, but it was still great.  Maastricht is super a beautiful city!

We also met twice this week with an investigator named Frank.  He is a great big tall Dutch guy.  He loves parables and deep metaphors and what not.  He has a super good knowledge about the gospel, but is a little bit scared to come to church.  We are trying our best to help him take that step and come to church.

Elder Holt is an awesome companion and is a super good worker.  He is 6 years older than me! At first I didn’t really think much of it, but then I realized that when I was in 6th grade, he was a senior! He is even older than my older brother, Jake.  We get along super well.

On Sunday we had a guest service at church, so all of the members invited friends and less active members.  The running count of Peruvians in the ward is up to 11.  There are so many that we had our gospel principles class in Spanish! We get lots of Peruvian food throughout the week which is just lovely.

This next week is going to be super busy with exchanges and splits and all of that good stuff.  I am loving every second out here.  The church is true and God loves you.  Deuces.

                                                  -Elder Steenblik