Monday, November 30, 2015

9th letter from Den Haag, Netherlands -- Week 75

Zone Turkey Bowl -- 11-21-15 This is what Elder Eli Andrew (one of Ben's MTC companions) wrote about the Turkey Bowl in his E mail this week.  "We met at a big, open field in Den Haag.  We brought three zones together and played a brawl of four games simultaneously.  It watered down to just the football lover group, and then we took it seriously.  It was a very clean, no hard feelings, and as Elder Steenblik said, "it defied all my expectations!" He had been waiting for the Turkey Bowl the whole year, and it made me happy to see how happy he was about it."

Elder Morrell and Elder Steenblik  --  MVP's haha
Selfie with Sinter Klass -- He is basically Santa dressed up as the Pope with black helpers.  Oh, and lives in Spain. 

Hey Guys,

So last Saturday we had our Turkey Bowl and it was so sick! We combined with 3 zones so there were about 60 missionaries that came to Den Haag to play football.  It was a blast! Right as we started playing a huge storm blew in and just started pouring freezing cold rain on us.  Some real football weather! It went away after about an hour and by that point, we were soaked to the bone, but it was super fun.  We played for like 5 hours and man was my body feelin it!!! Haha you should have seen it, all of the missionaries in our mission were limping on Sunday because we were all so sore! We left it all on the field.

We had a great Thanksgiving! We ate dinner in a city named Zoetemeer with the man who baptized Elder Bishesar's dad back in Suriname.  After dinner, we got to go to the temple and do a session with our ward.  That was an awesome experience!

Erfan is doing well.  We met with her this week and taught her the Plan of Salvation very slowly and simply.  She came to church on Sunday again and loved it.

We had an awesome appointment with Sister Chavez and her son.  She hasn’t been to church in a couple of years and her son has only been once or twice.  He is 8 years old and is the coolest kid you will ever meet! He talks like an adult.  Not because he uses bad language or anything, but because of the words he uses.  I don’t even know what they mean! He just totally bore his testimony to us about how he knows that there is a God.  He said "But I don’t view him as a big great power, I like to think of him as a father." This kid gets it!!! We didn’t even have to teach him that haha.

We got a referral this week, so we were super excited to go look him up.  We drove to the address and it took us right to the Red Light District.  Dang it… We got Punked!

We had our Mission Leader Council this week in the mission home and Sister Bunnell made us a huge Thanksgiving feast and we even got to take the leftovers home.  I have missed some nice American food. The McDonalds just isn’t doin the job anymore.

It has been a great week and I hope that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.  Thanks for all of your love and support.  Have a fantastic week!
                                                                      -Elder Steenblik

Saturday, November 21, 2015

8th letter from Den Haag, Netherlands -- Week 74.... a few days early

Isn't this picture just so adorable???? A lot of the train stations here have pianos that you can play if you are waiting for a train, so I started playing a couple of hymns and out of nowhere a group of 8 little toddlers came and started dancing in circles around the piano.  Sister Webster (my piano teacher) would be so proud!
Elder Steenblik, Elder DeWitt and Erfan -- Check out our matching ties
Zwarte Pete and me  --  (Dutch Santa's black helper)


My P-day is on Saturday this week because today we are have a zone Turkey Bowl activity.

On Tuesday this week, I got to go on an exchange with Elder DeWitt! Oh man that was just a blast.  It has been a whole year since we were companions! Boy does time fly because it feels like just yesterday.  We reminisced about all of our good memories in Lelystad.  We have both changed a lot in the past year, so that was also cool to see.

We had our Zone Training on Thursday and it went very well.  Glad that one is in the rear view mirror.

We met with a less active woman this week named Regina and made some crazy food from Suriname together.  It was made with the root of a tree and I still have no idea what exactly what it was, but it was super good!

We had some really cool lessons this week with investigators and less active members.  We are still working hard on trying to get some baptismal dates.  Hopefully we will be able to get a couple in the next few weeks.

Well, we gotta get goin’ to the Turkey Bowl.

Have a great Thanksgiving everybody!

                                                 -Elder Steenblik 

Monday, November 16, 2015

7th letter from Den Haag, Netherlands -- Week 73

Hey Guys,

Well, we had transfers this week and luckily, we both stayed.  Transfer day was just a long day of standing in the train station helping people get to where they need to go.

We had a lesson this week with a woman named Paula that we found last week.  She is from Columbia and speaks pretty good Dutch.  There were a lot of words that she didn’t understand, so when she didn’t know a word, I would just say the English word with a Spanish accent and she could understand it every time! Haha.  Spanish is so easy! You just add an "o" or an "a" to the end of everything and say it with a Mexican accent.  She is super awesome and very positive.  She came to church on Sunday as well and loved it.

We have also started a “Sports Night” at the church.  We just invite everyone we can and anybody is welcome.  Missionary work and sports at the same time is a good deal!

We met with Erfan this week and had a little Dutch lesson with her.  She is trying really hard to learn Dutch so we are teaching her while also teaching her the gospel.

It has been a long week of planning.  We are giving a training to our zone this Thursday and we only had one week to prepare it, so we are still trying to get that all organized.

The weather has been pretty much garbage this past week.  Lots of rain and wind! What a great combo.

As much as I miss music and TV and everything, this week I have really realized how nice it is to be able to block everything in the world out.  We have heard about some of the crazy stuff happening in the world with the terrorists in Paris and everything.  This will be the only 2 years in my life where all I have to worry about is helping others, so I might as well enjoy it!

Life is good folks.  Thanksgiving is coming up and then Christmas! I am so pumped for Christmas. Have a lovely week.

                                            -Elder Steenblik

Monday, November 9, 2015

6th letter from Den Haag, Netherlands -- Week 72

One guy we talked to this week was so impressed that we dedicate 2 years of our lives to the work of the Lord, that he gave us some food.  It is a Caribbean snack.  Basically, pita bread filled with cheese and then deep fried.  Boo Yaah!

Dinner at Erfan's  --  One big happy family in Den Haag

Well, let’s start off with the transfer news.  Elder Bishesar and I are both staying in Den Haag! I am super happy to be staying with him for another transfer because we have had a blast so far.

This week I went on an exchange to Amsterdam with Elder Bonner.  That is such a beautiful city, but so sad that it’s so filthy.  Literally the whole place smells like weed!

I also got to go on an exchange with one of my MTC companions, Elder Andrew! We have had the chance to go on quite a few exchanges on our missions which are always fun.

It is super interesting to do finding here in Den Haag.  It is a mixing pot of cultures.  Basically every person we talk to comes from some other country.  From China to Bulgaria to Columbia to Nigeria. Literally everywhere! We have met people from so many different cultures.  There are parts of the city where when you look around, every woman you see is wearing one of those headdress things.  Definitely a big change from Utah!

We had a dinner appointment with Erfan this week and the other Elders and the Sisters came as well. She made us some delicious Persian food!

We had a really cool miracle this week.  We had a lesson and we were about 15 minutes early, so we decided to knock a door.  The very first door we knocked was a woman who looked very sad and she let us in.  She went on to tell us that her brother just died yesterday.  We were able to just quickly assure her that she would see her brother again and we testified of the Plan of Salvation.  That was just a cool testimony builder how the Lord leads us to people who need comfort.  That is something I have seen countless times on my mission, and maybe the people don’t want to be taught and aren’t itching to be baptized, but they are people who need the comforting words of the gospel.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am sure pumped for Christmas. Have a great week!

                                     -Elder Steenblik