Monday, July 27, 2015

9th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 57

This is the new motto that Elder Reese and I are going to live our lives by.  "Do T-Swift!"

Goedemorgen Meisjes!

This week has been a little all over the place.  The first couple days of the week we couldn’t get anything going.  Our appointments cancelled and nobody that we looked up was home.  Everyone here is on vacation! Every summer the schools and businesses go on break for a couple of weeks, and basically everyone leaves on vacation! The people that actually stay home have the mindset that they are on vacation, so they don’t answer the door or want to talk about anything. It is super hard to find people. We will knock 15 doors and only 1 or 2 people will be home.

I was on an exchange this week with Elder Leishman on Tuesday and Elder Crowder on Wednesday. They are both greenies and have only been here for 2 weeks.  They are great! They speak super good Dutch and are extremely hard workers.  I stayed in Eindhoven for both of the exchanges and we spent a lot of time finding.  One of the ways we have found to keep busy during these vacation weeks is doing service for people.  We helped a man in his garden this week and he was grateful for that.

On Thursday we went on splits with 2 of the ward members.  I went with Harry.  It is crazy because he is 85 years old and still bikes around with us and does missionary work.  Boss!

Friday, I was on an exchange in Vlissingen with Elder Reese.  We spent the whole day on public transportation! Vlissingen is all the way on the coast and it is a really big area, so we spent hours and hours on buses and trains that day.  We had some good lessons with their investigators.  We taught a guy from India who is some sort of Rebel group leader fighting for religious freedom.  The government issued a death penalty on him, so he had to flee here.  Then he met the missionaries on the street the other day and has been taking the lessons.  Super cool dude! I also wore a helmet for the first time that day.  Oh man! People already yell at us and honk, but in that space of 1 hour where I was wearing a helmet, I had more people yell at me than I have in the past 6 months! Hahaha.  We are special.

We met with Umu this week and were able to set a baptismal date for the 29th of August.  Things are just dandy with her.

We had another missionary get home in our ward this week.  On Sunday, he invited us to his open house after church to go talk to some of his nonmember friends.  Before we left, he gathered everyone together and asked us to give a spiritual thought.  In front of like 30 people, we just whooped out a spiritual thought about families.  All of the nonmembers seemed to like it.  Who doesn’t love a message about eternal families???

Well, that’s it for this week!

Keep it phresh.

                                   -Elder Steenblik

Monday, July 20, 2015

8th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 56

Elder Schmidty-Pie and I at Zone Conference

Hoi Jongens

What a spectacular week it has been! We had such an amazing first week of the transfer.

To start the week out, on Tuesday, I was on an exchange here in Eindhoven with Elder Harp.  We were knocking doors in the rain and some guy felt bad for us so he invited us in for a cup of coffee.  We went in and just started talking to him about what it is we do.  He said that we need to just “live life” and go do some drugs, smoke and drink.  We told him how being addicted and controlled by drugs and other substances isn’t “living life” at all! We need to have an eternal perspective.  There are so many people here who are just so caught up in the world.  We were able to give him a Book of Mormon and by the end of the lesson he was actually a lot more open.  We just hope and pray that he will actually give it a chance and read in it because we know that it can change his life and bring him true happiness.

We taught an investigator twice this week named Lee.  Lee is so cool! He is from Florida and has been living here for about 8 years.  I have never met anyone more prepared to hear the gospel than Lee.  He used to be a Roman Catholic, so he has a good Christian background.  We have taught him the first 3 lessons and are meeting with him again this week.  Please pray for Lee that he can get a clear answer that this is what he needs to do! He says that it makes a lot of sense and it feels right.  He has a baptismal date for the 15th of August that we are working towards.

Umu came to church this week for the 2nd time! We met with her and taught her the Plan of Salvation. We are going to meet with her this week and hopefully can set a baptismal date.

We had a super cool miracle this week as well.  We went with our ward mission leader to look up a less active member and when we got there, she had a friend visiting named Timothy who had lots of questions.  He said he believed in God, but didn’t know who God really was.  We were able to teach him the restoration lesson and at the end the less active member testified of the things that we taught.

We had a ward blitz where the young men came and we went and looked some less active members up. We looked one member up and her car was broken down.  She had us push her all the way to the mechanic! We were all in our church clothes at an intersection pushing the car and there was a huge line of cars behind us.  Haha.  It was a good experience.

We also had a Zone Conference in Antwerpen, Belgium this week.  I gave a presentation on “making a language study plan."  Yippeeee.... Haha! I tried to make it as funny and interactive as I could.  Overall, I think it went pretty well.  President and Sister Bunnell did a great job as well.  They are amazing! We received terrible news though, we are going to have to start wearing helmets! Nooooooo!!! We have had too many accidents in our mission in the past couple of months, so Church Headquarters is making us buy helmets.

The work here is going super well and we are seeing miracles daily! This is for sure one of the happiest times of my mission.  Elder Schmidt and I are just having a blast.  Thanks for all your prayers! We can truly see them being answered.

 I love you all.  Have a great week errbody!

                                        -Elder Steenblik

Monday, July 13, 2015

7th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 55

This is the only picture Ben sent this week, but he wanted all of you to see what they had to deal with.  Ick!!!!

Hey Guys,

Well, we had transfers this past Wednesday! I am with Elder Mark Schmidt from Walla Walla, Washington.  He is super cool and we get along very well.  He loves to play basketball, so we shoot some hoops every now and then.

For the first part of the week last, Elder Holt was super sick so we just took it easy.

Elder Schmidt and I did a ton of planning the first couple days of this transfer.  That’s one thing I am not the biggest fan of is planning for hours on end.  But it sure does help later down the road!

We have a member here who is a super good missionary.  She is always getting referrals for us and helping us out.  She called us this week and told us that a friend was coming over to visit her, so she wanted us to just "stop by."  We got there and the friend wasn’t there yet, so she gave us some garden tools and we just started pretending that we were working in the garden.  Haha.  Her friend came and we told her about who we were and had a great conversation about the gospel with her.

On Thursday we had lesson with a new investigator.  We were able to teach the first lesson, the restoration.  We don’t get as many chances to teach the restoration as we would like to, but that is for sure my favorite lesson to teach.  Every time I teach it my testimony of the restored gospel is strengthened.

Our shower exploded this week! I went to the bathroom and all of this muddy, hairy, slimy, orange, smelly goo had leaked all over the floor of the shower.  Plus the drain was clogged.  We had to shower at Elder and Sister Butler’s house until we got it fixed.  We got it fixed and cleaned everything up, but now there is a big nasty orange stain on the floor.

On Friday nights we have Family Home Evening at an older member’s house named Sister Van Der Riet. The Butler’s (senior couple) and Harry come as well.  We played UNO last time and boy did it get intense! People started yelling and personally attacking each other.  It was a sight to see.  Haha.  The Dutch take their UNO very seriously.

Before I got to Eindhoven, I called and got the address of the house and sent it home.  I got an email last week from a guy who said that he kept getting letters addressed to an Elder Steenblik and he didn’t know why.  He Googled my name and found my email.  It turns out that the address that I sent home was the wrong one! For the past month he has been getting my letters.  Haha.  Luckily he was nice enough to find me and not just throw them away!

It has been a crazy week trying to keep track of all of our investigators and less active members, as well as the investigators of the Elders who just left, and all of the planning that we have to do.  We are trying to balance all of that.  We certainly have a plate full.

 Have a great week!

                                                   -Elder Steenblik