Monday, August 31, 2015

14th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 62

Reunited for the first time after 14 months.  Ben's MTC District.  Zuster Fredrickson, Elder Parr, Elder Steenblik, Elder Shaw and Elder Andrew
Elder Da Silva, Elder Morrell and Elder Steenblik
Now you can see why we call her Shakira! Elder Steenblik, Elder Da Silva, Jeffery and Shakira
We were helping Sister Van Empel move her couch up the stairs, but Dutch houses are ridiculous, so we tried for an hour to fit it up the stairs! I eventually just ended up taking a nice nap.
Just minding our own business and then..... BAM!!!!!!
Hey Errbody,

Well, it has been a super busy week.  We had a lot of awesome stuff happen!

To start the week off, on P-day we were on our way to go shopping and we got in a car accident! We were sitting at a red light and some dude hit us from behind.  He hit pretty dang hard, but there were no injuries and the damage was minimal.  Our necks were a little bit sore the next day, but that was it.  Now we have to take the car to the shop this week, so we will be without a car for a little bit.  I don’t even know how to get around this city without a car! This should be interesting.

On Tuesday’s we have started playing soccer with the boys in our ward.  We invite everyone in the ward and they all invite their friends.  We had about 16 people show up last week.  It is a good opportunity to befriend people which will hopefully lead to us teaching them.

I got to go on a split with Elder Parr.  We taught the Restoration lesson to a girl named Itgirl and she’s from Mongolia.  Yes, just like the Jason Derulo song… Haha.  This was the first time I have taught with Elder Parr since the MTC, over one year ago.  It brought back memories of the good ol days in the MTC.

On Thursday we had a Zone Conference up in Zoetemeer.  Elder Timothy J. Dyches from the European Presidency came and gave the conference.  It was a great conference.  Then on Friday, we had a Mission Leader Council with him as well.

We met with Shakira again this week.  Elder Da Silva speaks Spanish, so she was super happy to meet him.  We had a great appointment and at the end we asked if there was anything we could do for her. She said, “Yeah one thing.  I want to make a lunch appointment with you guys so you can come eat my food!” Haha.  I love Peruvian people.  She came to church on Sunday for the first time in a long while. The ward was great and made her feel welcome.

On Saturday we had a stake BBQ down in Belgium because Eindhoven is part of the Belgian Stake.  There were a couple of members there from Leuven that I got to see which was really fun.  We played soccer and volleyball all day with the members and investigators.  We started a game of football and some of the Belgian and Dutch people came and joined.  They had no idea what was going on! Haha.

We had a great lesson with Theo and Sylvia this week.  We invited a member to come on a joint teach who spoke Spanish.  Elder Da Silva and the member just went off talking Spanish the whole lesson, so I had no idea what was going on.  Every now and then, I would catch an “amigo” or “mucho grande” or something like that.   I felt like a greenie again! But I think it was a good lesson.

We met with Umu twice this week and she is doing great.

Oh, and one more thing.  We found Nemo!! We found a girl on the street named Nemo who said we could come by and teach her and her family.  Speaking of which, is it legit that they are coming out with a “Finding Dory?”

Anyways, that was my week in a nutshell. Have a great week everybody!

                                              -Elder Steenblik

Monday, August 24, 2015

13th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 61

Harry, Elder Steenblik, Elder Schmidt and Brother Stewart
Check out Zuster Fredrickson's rockin' helmet  --  Elder Steenblik,
Beautiful canal in Utrecht
Canal in Utrecht

Hey Everybody,

Well, lots of change has happened this past week! I have 3 new Elders living with me.  My new companion is Elder Da Silva and the other companionship is Elder Parr and his greenie, Elder Gleave.

On Monday night we met with a girl named Sarah.  Elder Harrop serves in our mission and his dad baptized Sarah back when he was here.  Sarah has kind of fallen away from the church the past couple of years, so we arranged for us to meet with her and we invited Elder Harrop as well.  We had a super cool lesson! She has all sorts of doubts and has been offended by members and let that shake her faith. We had a great appointment with her and are just working on strengthening her relationship with God. 

On Tuesday after our last district meeting of the transfer, we went out to lunch with some Belgian people that Elder Schmidt had baptized when he was in Belgium.  They were passing through Eindhoven on vacation and called us so they could see Elder Schmidt.  That was a really cool experience for him.  It was so weird to hear Flemish again! This was the first time that I actually understood everything haha. Back when I was speaking Flemish, I was still so new that I couldn’t understand a dang word for my first 4 months.

Wednesday was our transfer day.  Basically the worst day of my life! To sum it up, we woke up at 5AM and got home at 10PM.  In between those hours, I stood at the train station all day.  Most transfer days go pretty well, but every now and then, you have one where everything goes wrong.  That was this day haha.  All of the trains were messed up and we lost some people for a little while.  But all in all, everybody arrived in one piece.  At 9 in the morning my throat got a little scratchy, by 10 it started hurting and by 11 it was just on fire.  I could just feel myself getting sicker as the day went on, so that just added to the whole situation!

On transfer day I was talking with an Elder who just came from serving in Leuven and he told me that the Vanlangenaker family is fully active now! And the 2 kids want to get baptized.  That is great! Elder Cockbain and I started working with them when we were together.  They are a super cool family and I am so excited that they have finally made their way back to church.

These first couple of days of the transfer have just been super busy with planning.  We have had to plan our schedule out and a ton of other stuff, but it is finally all done so now we can go back to working outside. We have such a busy transfer.  It is going to be great!

On Saturday night it was Sister Van Der Riet's 80th birthday partaaay at the church.  There were tons of members and nonmembers, so we got to talk with a lot of people and meet some new faces.

We also have a new ward mission leader that just got back from his mission in France.  We are working with him to find ways to get the ward more involved in missionary work.  We are going to play soccer every week with the young men and they are going to invite all of their friends and we will invite our investigators.  We have also made a plan to invite the members to pray specifically for our investigators. Every week, we put together a list of a couple of names and give it to the members on Sunday and invite them to pray for those names.  The ward was super happy to do it and thought that it was a great idea. It is something simple, but it will help a lot!

Our 4 man is so sick! We have such crazy time together.  Elder Parr, Elder Da Silva, and Elder Gleave are all really cool guys.

That’s basically it for the week.

Have a great week!

                                                    -Elder Steenblik

Monday, August 17, 2015

12 letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 60

This was at Ben's dinner appointment last night.  Renata and Angelique are so good to the missionaries.  Elder Steenblik, Renata, Elder Schmidt, and Angelique
Elder Steenblik and his favorite 85 year old friend, Harry


I guess I’ll start with the good news.  I am staying in Eindhoven! I am so dang happy about that. Unfortunately, Elder Schmidt will be getting transferred.  He will be getting a greenie and training! Elder Da Silva will become my new companion.  I don’t even know the kid, but I have heard that he is great. Elder Parr (my MTC comp) will also be coming to Eindhoven with a greenie.  The 4 of us will live together, so that should be a blast!

One of the many reasons I am excited to stay is because of our new P day streetball tradition.  There is a super nice court here and there are always brothas playin’ ball.  We go every P day and ball them and have made some cool friends.

We had a lesson with Shakira this week.  She is a less active member who we haven’t been able to meet with in a couple of months.  Her husband is anything Anti-Mormon, so it is hard for her to get to church. She has an adorable 4 year old son who just adores the missionaries.  We are hoping to get her in church this next transfer.

We also met with a new investigator this week named Diana.  She is a woman from Curacao and has some spice to her.  She is so dang funny and our lesson with her was pretty crazy.  Her kids and their friends were in the living room observing us.  There was some 15 year old Jehovah Witness kid who just kept trying to fight against everything we said.  Diana basically told that kid to “shut it” because he was wrong.  Haha… it was sick.

On Thursday this week I was on an exchange in Amsterdam with Elder Neptune.  That is such a cool place! Everyone there is just so chill.  Probably because they are all high on weed, but still.  At the end of the day, we drove through the heart of Amsterdam to get home.  It is such a beautiful city.

We met with Umu this week and taught the Word of Wisdom.  The only thing she is going to have to work on is drinking tea.  That’s pretty dang good if the only problem your investigator has with the Word of Wisdom is drinking tea! She committed to stop drinking tea and to live it.  She came to church yesterday for the 4th time.  After church, we had 4 different members invite her over for dinner with us. Our ward members are amazing! Yesterday we had dinner at Renata and Angelique´s house with Umu and Harry.  Because she was a Muslim and has Muslim family, she has to wait to get her permanent residency permit for the Netherlands before she can get baptized.  She will know in October if she will get it or not.  If she doesn’t get it, she is going to move back to Africa so she can pick up her daughter and go find a safe place to live.  We are hoping and praying that it is the Lord´s will that she can get it and stay here and be baptized.

If you would all please pray for Umu, that would be just lovely.

Thanks for your support.  Love you guys!
                                                        -Elder Steenblik

Monday, August 10, 2015

11th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 59

This was at our last District Leader Council
Beautiful sunset in Maastricht
Checkout my new planner for next transfer.  Made it myself.

Elder Steenblik and Elder Schmidt
Elder Steenblik and Elder Schmidt.  Some members bought Harry a new oven, so they asked us to help them take it to his place.  We surprised him and pimped his crib out!
Hey guys,

The weather here has been pretty much all over the place.  One day it’s super hot and you are sweating like crazy, the next day pouring rain and cold.  Monday was a nice day so we went and played some B-ball at a nice court that we found.  We played a game with the two guys from the country of Georgia who were just jacked out of their minds.  It was pretty scary, but they were really nice and we balled hard.

On Tuesday, I was on an exchange in Eindhoven with one of my best friends, Elder Morrell.  We had an awesome day together and had a lesson with Theo and Sylvia.  Jack just got home from his mission in France 2 weeks ago and he came along.  We taught them about the importance of prayer and scripture study.  It went well, but we never really can tell how much Theo understands because of the language barrier.  They both came to church on Sunday as well.

Wednesday, I was on an exchange in Tilburg with Elder Byers.  Tilburg is full of crazy people! I have been there 3 times in my life and every time I go, there are at least 4 crazy homeless people or people high on drugs that give us hassle.  We even got followed by some guy for a little bit and had to flee the scene. There is just somethin’ in the water over in Tilburg.

Thursday, we were in Arnhem working with Sister Watts and Hermana Ramirez.  Hermana Ranierz only speaks Spanish and is learning Dutch and English at the same time.  Those are 2 dang hard languages to learn together! She is doing awesome with it though.

When we were on our way home from Arnhem, there was a line of policemen standing in the train station.  People always think that we are policemen, so I went and stood in the line to see if I would blend in.  Three of the cops started talking to Elder Schmidt and I and asked us who we were and what we do.  We talked to them and taught them about the church.  We contacted the PO-PO! I can check that one off my bucket list.  They were all really cool guys.

We had Mission Leader Council at the mission home on Friday and I needed a haircut.  On Thursday night at like 10 o’clock, I cut my hair.  It was going well and looked pretty average, but I needed Elder Schmidt to help me with the back.  He came over to help and within 10 seconds, I heard the dreaded words nobody ever getting their hair cut wants to hear.  "Oh Crap!" along with the sound of the clippers cutting off a chunk of hair.  Haha! It happened again! Elder Cockbain did the same thing to me back in Leuven! We did our best to fix it, but there is still a huge patch of hair missing on the back of my head haha.

We had a great Mission Leader Council.  I gave a presentation with Elder Neptune on listening.  That’s kind of funny because I am probably the worst listener I know.  My mind likes to wander into really intense daydreams.  But I learned a lot from preparing the presentation and hopefully will be able to become a better listener!

Well, that’s about it for this week.  We will be getting transfer calls on Sunday night and we are pretty sure that one of us will get transferred.  I hope that I get to stay in Eindhoven, but we will see.

 Have a phenomenal week.

                                               -Elder Steenblik