Monday, September 28, 2015

18th and final letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 66

Elder Smith and Elder Steenblik at Zone Training
Elder Steenblik being a sloth
I will miss the Eindhoven church and the members so much

Elder Jordan Bishesar from Paramaribo, Suriname will be Ben's new companion starting on Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Hey guys,

We had an amazing week this week.  We started out with Zone Training on Tuesday and it took lots of planning to get it all ready.  We spent so much time preparing it, but it turned out great and was all worth it! I gave a presentation on always remembering the Lord.  I challenged everybody at the end of the day when they are praying, to look back on their day and see how they have seen the hand of the Lord in their life that day, and then thank the Lord for those blessings.  The Lord´s hand is in our lives every day and sometimes we fail to see that! It was super fun preparing it and giving it at Zone Training, but I am sure glad that it is over! What a weight off our shoulders.

We found some really cool new people to teach this week and set some good appointments for next week.  We definitely saw a lot of miracles finding people! We met a woman knocking doors and she said that she was a huge Donny Osmond fan.  I talked with her about Donny Boy for a while and then we started talking about faith.  She said that she actually had a Book of Mormon in her house that her friend had given her years ago! She was really interested in us coming back and explaining a little bit more about the Plan of Salvation because her father passed away about a year ago.  We are really excited to start teaching her.

There are 4 Elders in the mission who are putting on a concert devotional in a couple of weeks, so they came and worked in Eindhoven this week to promote their concert.  We had a couple of dinner appointments together with 8 missionaries, so this week has just been a partay!

On Thursday night we traveled up to Nijmegen to give a baptismal interview.  I gave it to a guy named Jeffrey and he was so cool! He was really prepared to be baptized.  Throughout the whole interview he was testifying of how he had gained a testimony of every principle that we talked about.  Then on Saturday night we got to attend his baptism.

We also did some service for a less active guy in the ward this week.  We helped him and his girlfriend move.  They were both very grateful for our help and invited us over for dinner this week! We are also going to play soccer with him every week.

This week has been a wet one.  Every time we are outside we get soaked! At least it hasn’t been too terribly cold yet.

Well, now to the juicy stuff.  I am getting transferred on Wednesday! I am going to Den Haag! (The Hague.) My new companion will be Elder Bishesar.  Eindhoven has been absolutely amazing and I have loved every second of it! I loved serving with Elder Da Silva as well and these past 6 weeks have been the happiest of my whole mission.  I will miss the members here so much.  But I have heard nothing but good things about Den Haag! (Other than it is the worst driving in the Netherlands.) Dang it! Haha, but I am super excited.  I am so grateful that I had the privilege to serve here and I look forward to what the future has in store.

 Peace out Eindhoven!!!  It has been real!!!!!

-Elder Steenblik

Monday, September 21, 2015

17th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 65

Mission Leader Council on Friday, September 18, 2015
Check out these slippers that I got from Elder Butler.  Pretty sick, right?
Elder Steenblik, Elder Parr, Elder Gleave, Harry, and Elder Da Silva
Elder Steenblik....... Mr. April 2016 in September 2015
Hey, Yo,

It has been a super busy week! But we haven’t really even had that much time to work in Eindhoven.  We were all over this week working at different places in our zone.  That makes it pretty hard to build the work up in our own area when we are gone all the time, but our overall task is the success of our zone.  So, that is what we have been doin!

On Tuesday I was in the beautiful city of Nijmegen with Elder Smith.  We had about an hour to work before dinner, so we decided to go find some new people in a neighborhood.  We were walking to the neighborhood and we saw a guy at the bus stop covered in tattoos, smoking a cigarette, and not very happy looking, but we felt like we should talk to him.  We approached him and before we even said anything, we were both kind of expecting that he would just shew us away.  We started talking to him and he told us that his father had just passed away 3 days ago.  His bus was right around the corner, so we were able to give him a Book of Mormon and we gave him a chapter to read about the Plan of Salvation.  All we had time to do was to just testify of eternal families and of the Book of Mormon and then he had to get on the bus.  He was very touched that we stopped to share a message of peace and comfort with him during this hard time in his life.  That was just a cool little miracle that reminded me that the Lord guides our steps to the people who need to hear the gospel.  If we would have been a minute and a half later, we would have missed him.  It also reminded me to see people through the Lord's eyes.

On Thursday we went up to Arnhem to work with the sisters and it was about a 2 hour train ride.  We got on the bus to go meet them and it took us clear out to the middle of nowhere! The bus lines had changed, so it took us a different direction.  By the time we were able to get a bus back to the station and then find the right bus, it had been a 3 1/2   hour journey.  Then we had the 2 hour train ride home. Public transportation makes me more tired than a full day of work!

Friday we had Mission Leader Council at the mission home.  We learned about goal setting and planning and all that fancy jazz.  We will be training on goals and planning for the next 6 weeks.

I realized something that I really miss this week.  We were out working one evening and we saw a dad playing badminton with his 2 kids.  I realized how much I have missed seeing families play together! In America you see families with each other everywhere (at least in Utah) but here that is almost unheard of.  It was adorable to just see a young family having a good time together.  I have really missed seeing that.

We have an awesome week planned this week! I am super excited for it.  I really appreciate all of the love and support from you guys.  I am having such a great time out here.  It is no doubt the happiest time of my life thus far.  I am so grateful that I get to be a representative of Jesus Christ in the Netherlands.  What more could a kid ask for? Life is good everybody…… Enjoy it!

Have a great week!

                                    -Elder Steenblik

Monday, September 14, 2015

16th letter from Eindhoven, Netherlands -- Week 64

Our ghetto oven doesn't work well, but they still tasted great.  Thanks!!!! (I sent Ben a package with his favorite Betty Crocker cherry frosting and white cake mix.)
Elder Ben with Sister and Elder Butler (Taken today)
The Van Empel's and Elder Steenblik
This is in the city, Breda

Hey Peeps,

To start the week out, we had an awesome lunch with Jacky.  It was a huge Peruvian feast! Her son Jeffrey was super happy to have us over.

On Tuesday after our district meeting, I was on an exchange with Elder Bruno.  We met with Natalie and had a super good lesson with her.   She came to church on Sunday as well for the 2nd week in a row and even gave the lesson in one of the primary classes.

We were able to get contact with Umu again.  She has been in Belgium for a week and a half, so we couldn't meet with her.  We had a lesson and watched a talk by President Monson with her about serving others.  She is still praying and reading in the Book of Mormon every day.  At the end of the lesson she said an awesome prayer asking to know if President Monson was a true prophet of God.  She also thanked Heavenly Father for blessing us with patience for her and that we are always stopping by to check up on her.

We worked with the sisters in Tilburg this week as well.  Sister Cowles and Fredrickson.  They are both super cool sisters.  They just barely opened up their area 3 weeks ago and they started with nothing.  We had lunch with them and did some finding for a couple of hours to help them build the work up in their new area.

To be honest, it was a pretty rough week as missionary work goes.  We had lots of lessons planned that fell through and we got dropped and also had to drop quite a few people this week.  This is a good chance to find some fresh new investigators.  We will be doing quite a bit of finding this upcoming week. We hope and pray that we will be able to find some new people to teach.

We are also losing the Butlers this week.  They are a senior couple in Eindhoven and go home tomorrow. They have been so much fun to get to know.  They will sure be missed by us as well as the whole ward.

Have a great week everybody!

Enjoy college football.....

                                              -Elder Steenblik