Monday, October 26, 2015

4th letter from Den Haag, Netherlands -- Week 70

Selfie with Erfan
A beautiful fall day in the Netherlands

Hey Homies,

It has been an incredible week here in Den Haag! We saw a lot of progress in our investigators.

On Tuesday we had an Iron Chef activity at the church.  One of the members here is a really good chef, so she planned an Iron Chef activity that we could invite all of our investigators and less actives too. Everyone just brought whatever food they wanted and then we made it into what we could.  The food turned out awesome! There were a ton of investigators and less actives that came and they really enjoyed it.

Last week after church, a woman named Kulmina stopped on her bike and started asking me questions about our church.  We made an appointment with her and had it this week.  We taught her about the Restoration and it went super well.  She is from Indonesia but has been living here for 15 years, so speaks almost perfect Dutch.  She is super funny and outgoing and loves meeting with us.

We met with Erfan this week again and had a really good lesson with her.  She just moved in to her new apartment and so she is still working on painting and getting settled.  Every time we go she says "My tall Elder S, I have work for you!" and she has a whole list of things she needs me to do because she is too short.  I hung up all of the curtains, changed the lightbulbs, stocked the top half of the bookshelves and hung up some lights haha.  She is very grateful to have a tall friend!

On Saturday our ward had a fall partaaaay.  It turned out awesome and there were so many people there.  We ate dinner together and then afterwards there was a dance.  Both Kulmina and Erfan came. We gave them tours of the church and they both said they could feel the spirit super strongly in the chapel.  Kulmina came to church on Sunday and made a ton of new friends in the ward.  Erfan gives lectures every Sunday for the next month, so we still have to wait on getting her to church.

Daylight savings is the worst! It makes missionary work a lot harder.  Now, at 6 o’clock at night it’s pitch black outside.  People get scared when 2 dudes wearing black try to talk to them in the nighttime.

The work is going well in Den Haag and is steadily increasing.  Thank you all for all of your prayers and support!

Have a sick week.
                                          -Elder Steenblik    

Monday, October 19, 2015

3rd letter from Den Haag, Netherlands -- Week 69

At the tippy top of the tower in Delft.  It was a long way up, but totally worth it!
Elder Steenblik
Elder Steenblik
Farmer Steenblik
Farmer Steenblik at work

Hey Peeps,

This week has been absolutely amazing! To start the week out, we had temple conference.  Luckily, Den Haag is really close to the temple, so it was only about a 25 minute drive.  The past 2 temple trips took us like, 5 hours to travel! It is always so great to go through the temple with all of the other missionaries. And it is fun to do the session in Dutch.

I got to be a farmer this week! I went on an exchange to Zoetemeer with Elder Tolman and we did a service project for one of the members on his dairy farm.  We started off by feeding the cows a dump truck load of brussel sprouts, then hay and all this other random stuff.  We did a ton of other chores around the farm as well.  One of the things we did was trimming the cow’s tail hair.  Oh man, it was nasty! The tails were covered in poop and they would try to kick you when you grabbed their tails.  By the end we were all covered in poop, so we got to the point that we didn’t even care anymore.  I saw, smelled, and touched a lot of things that I am not proud of Haha.  It was a great one time experience!

There is also a member in Zoetemeer who is a yoga instructor and she gives yoga classes at the church once a week, so we decided to go.  Yoga was terrible! I thought it was supposed to be relaxing and that I would find my "inner peace." All I felt was pain! And believe me….. I am still feelin’ it.

We got a new investigator this week named Efran from Iran.  She is super cool! She is an author who has like, 15 books that have been translated into tons of different languages.  She has lived in almost every country that you could possibly imagine.  She is super friendly and was really happy to have us over.  We went and helped her paint her house and were able to teach her about the Restoration of the Gospel.

Sister Nyakoh, a sister missionary in Den Haag, is from Ghana and she made us some Ghanaian food this week called Fufu.  It was basically a big ball of yeast in burning hot soup.  The best part was, you had to eat it with your hands!  For sure one of the strangest meals that I have ever had.

We met with some less actives this week and are still doing our best to help all of them.

We were able to find 3 new investigators this week! The work is definitely picking up.  The Lord is blessing us and I can see his hand in our work every single day.  I am so thankful to be a missionary here in Den Haag.  There is nowhere else in the world that I would rather be!


                                                   -Elder Steenblik

Monday, October 12, 2015

2nd letter from Den Haag, Netherlands -- Week 68

Leiden, Netherlands
Leiden, Netherlands
Leiden, Netherlands
Ben at the Prosman's for dinner earlier today in The Hague.  (Ben is with their youngest son.)
Hey Everybody,

It has been an awesome week here in Den Haag.

Den Haag has a huge ghetto market with all sorts of fruits and veggies and what not.  On P-days we do most of our shopping there and the food is pretty sketchy, but we got like 10 bell peppers for a euro! What a steal.

This week I was on exchanges in Haarlem and Leiden.  They are both beautiful cities! Haarlem is where "The Best 2 Years" was filmed and Leiden has lots of awesome canals and windmills.  This is such a beautiful country!

This week Elder B and I were walking through the city contacting people while on our way to look up an old investigator.  Some guy behind us yelled "Hey, are you the Mormons?!" He is a 19 year old member and just moved here from Portugal.  He’s here to study, but had no idea where the church was.  I told him that I just had a companion from Portugal named Elder Da Silva.  It turns out that he and Elder Da Silva used to be friends back in Portugal! Small world.  We gave Elder Da Silva a call and they chatted in their crazy Portuguese language for a couple of minutes.

We were also in Zoetemeer this week working with the Sisters.  We had a lesson with one of their investigators and also had lunch with them.  They are both vegan, so we had some healthy lunch that consisted of dark wheat bread and hummus.  Needless to say, I grabbed myself a double quarter pounder on the way home.

The ward here is huge! There are about 150 active members and it’s the biggest ward in the Netherlands.  They were all so welcoming and happy to meet the new missionaries in the ward.  I am super excited to get to know them over the next several months.

After church there was a Suriname party in the Zoetemeer ward, so they invited Elder Bishesar because that’s where he’s from.  We went and had a huge feast of Suriname food.  Oh man, I wouldn’t mind eating Suriname food for the rest of my life!

We found a lot of potential investigators this week.  The amount of lessons and actual investigators is really low right now, but we are constantly finding new people.  We are hoping that we will be able to get some more lessons these upcoming weeks.  I don’t know what it is about Den Haag, but people just seem a lot more open and friendly than anywhere else I have served.  There are lots of different cultures in this city, and they all seem to be very friendly with us.  I could get used to that!

We had a great week full of miracles finding new people and saw a lot of success working with less active members.  This next week we will get to go to the temple as a mission, so that is gonna be awesome.

 Have a swell week folks!!

                                                 -Elder Steenblik

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015 -- Zuster Eliza Riley's mom, Alica is in the Netherlands picking up her up and SURPRISED us with some pictures of Ben today!!

Zuster Riley, Elder Bishesar and Elder Steenblik
Elder Steenblik and Elder Bishesar --  Companions
Elder Bishesar and Elder Steenblik --  Companions
Elder Bishesar and Elder Steenblik  --  Companions
Susie, Nancy and Catherina Van Empel, and Carter.  We have met some of the sweetest people because of Ben's service in the Belgium Netherlands Mission. (10-11-15)

Monday, October 5, 2015

1st letter from Den Haag, Netherlands -- Week 67

Last day BBQ in Eindhoven.  My roomies..... Elder Da Silva (my companion), Elder Gleave, Elder Steenblik and Elder Parr
Jeremie and Robbin from Eindhoven
I laid on my bed my first night here and almost fell through.  It looks like the missionaries before had too many bed-jumping parties.

Hey Guys,

Well, a lot of changes have happened this week.  I left Eindhoven and now find myself in Den Haag.  It was super hard to leave Eindhoven and the awesome members there.

On Wednesday we had transfer day and for once, went super well! We were home by 5 PM as opposed to the usual 9PM.  We went and ate dinner with the YSA's.  That was so sick! There is a group of like 20+ YSA's that meet twice a week and they always invite us to come eat dinner with them.  They are such a cool group of people and it was really fun getting to know all of them.

My new companion is Elder Bishesar.  Sorry we haven’t gotten a photo together, but maybe next week. He is from Suriname and that’s in South America right by the Caribbean.  There is a pretty huge cultural difference, but we get along super well and speak English with each other.  Man alive does that kid know how to cook! I have eaten like a KING this week.  He made lots of spicy rice dishes that are just baller.

We met with a guy this week named Arnold and he is a hardcore hoarder.  His house was unbelievable! It was floor to ceiling and wall to wall random crap piled up everywhere! Everything you could possible imagine from old board games to boxes full of broken glass.  We went and helped him and tried to make a dent in cleaning his house.  He was super grateful that we were willing to take the time to help him.  He said that he is interested in learning more about what we have to share.  Miracles of service!

Den Haag is a super cool city! It is weird because half of it is like big modern city buildings and the other half is old European buildings with Dutch canals.  Kind of like America and Europe had a baby.  Driving here is crazy! The intersections are pretty much a free for all with bikes, cars, people, trams and buses all whizzing through.  Elder Bishesar can’t drive, so that makes me the designated driver.  Yippeeee! My first day here the GPS was on the fritz, so I made a wrong turn and took us right past the red light district! Haha.  Whoopsie daisy!

We were able to watch all of the sessions of General Conference except for Sunday afternoon.  It was a great conference and I learned a lot.  I can only imagine how unworthy those new apostles feel of their new callings.  But if there is one thing I have learned on a mission, it’s that the Lord takes you with all your weaknesses and gives you the strength to perform your calling.

Have a great week!

                             -Elder Steenblik