Monday, February 29, 2016

5th letter from Almere, Netherlands -- Week 88

Soccer P-day with our district  02-29-16
I've gotten to the point of my mission that all my clothes are falling apart

Elder Steenblik jammin with his homies

Hey Guys!

Well, I heard that Leo finally won an Oscar! That is fantastic news.

We had a busy week this week with exchanges.  On Tuesday, I was on an exchange in Almere with Elder Fairbanks.  Elder Smith had the car, so Elder Fairbanks and I had to bike around and use a map.  That was the first time I had biked in Almere, so we got lost a lot.  I always feel like such a moron stopping my bike and looking at a map haha.  People just laugh at us because they probably don’t even know what a map is.  We were missing a piece of our map and it’s the part that was going to tell us where we needed to go, so we decided to ask some people where the street was that we were looking for.  We had to knock 4 doors before we could even find someone that would listen to us long enough that we could ask them! Everyone else just said "no interest" and slammed the door! Man oh man…. Even after 20 months these Dutch people still test my patience.  Haha, but I do love them!

I was also on an exchange this week with Elder Gemmell and he is from New Zealand.  We found some hand warmers in the apartment, so he took some.  He had no idea how to use them and he thought that you had to put them in the microwave to get them warm.  You should have seen his face when he opened it and it started getting warm! Haha he could not believe it.  His mind has officially been blown.

We met with a less active woman this week named Valarie and she is from Suriname.  She hasn’t been to church in over a year, so we were just straight up asked her what the reason was.  She went on to tell us that Sunday is the day that she catches up on her TV series.  She showed us her iPad and she has a full on schedule of the week and when her TV shows are on.  Uh, I think we might need to re-evaluate some priorities! Now don’t get me wrong, I have watched more Netflix in my days than I would like to admit.  But c'mon! It has actually been super nice, kinda hard, but super nice to go 2 years with no TV and video games.  It is a good feeling to never be wasting any time.

Things are going great with Rashida.  We had a lesson with her this week and the Bishop came on a joint teach.  She had lots of questions about baptism.  We taught her about how when we are baptized, we need to do it in the right way with the right authority.  It made a lot of sense to her and she said that she felt good about it.  We want to set a baptismal date with her but it is difficult because her husband is in Nigeria right now and he won’t be getting home for at least another month.  Maybe even longer.  We want to make sure that he is well aware of what is happening.

That’s basically it, I think.  Have a great week everyone!

                            -Elder Steenblik

Monday, February 22, 2016

4th letter from Almere, Netherlands -- Week 87

Workin in Mrs. Steenblik's kitchen
Hey Everybody!

It has been a good week and we have found some new super cool people to teach.  This past week the weather has been beautiful.  It was still freezing cold, but the sun came out! It wasn’t as humid so it didn’t feel as cold.

The work in Almere is very different.  Usually the night hours of missionary work just drag on because it is cold and dark and people don’t like you talking to them in the dark.  Almere is an opposite story.  The nights are always boomin! We have had a lesson or a less active visit every single night.  Throughout the day is the tough part.  There is literally nobody home during the day because they are all at work in Amsterdam.  We are still trying to find out how we can best use our morning and afternoon hours most effectively.  It is still a work in progress.

This week we were in a neighborhood and Elder Smith remembered that he had taught someone in the area back when he served in Almere a year ago.  We looked her up and she was super happy to see us. Her name is Rashida and she is from Nigeria and she is super funny.  Rashida lost contact with the Elders when she went back to Nigeria for a couple of months.  We had a lesson with her this week and then she came to church on Sunday as well! We are really excited to work with her.

We had a Zone Conference this week in Amsterdam.  President Bunnell trained on how we can use the spirit more in our missionary work and how to recognize the spirit.  Something we could all do a little better at.

We also met with a man this week named Jentinus.  He also lost contact with the missionaries like, 5 years ago.  He told us that he was a Bible guy and that he wasn’t interested in the Book of Mormon.  We went and studied in the Bible with him and by the end of our little lesson together he was interested in the Book of Mormon.  It was cool to see how his mindset had totally changed as the lesson went on and the Spirit had helped him open up.  He committed to read and pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

The Lord truly has been blessing the work in Almere.  We are starting to get a pretty solid teaching pool and are still seeing lots of success with less active members.  Thank you for all of your support and prayers!

Have a baller week.
                                         -Elder Steenblik

Monday, February 15, 2016

3rd letter from Almere, Netherlands -- Week 86

Me and my Valentine.  (Elder Smith and Elder Steenblik)  We made doughnuts with a member for a V-Day party at the church

Yo Peeps,

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope that you all had a great V-Day.  It has been a fantastic week for us here in Almere.

This week we went on an exchange in Amsterdam.  There is an awesome American member in their ward that took us out to eat.  We went to some super awesome pub in the city and got ribs.  Oh dang, they were good! It was cool to get a little taste of the Amsterdam nightlife because we don’t get much of that as missionaries.  If you guys ever want to make the missionaries in your ward happy, just take them out to get ribs!

We saw a lot of cool miracles this week.  There is a less active woman that we are working with and she has a 13 year old son who is not a member.  We invited him to go to the young men’s activity this week to play laser tag.  He attended that and also came to church on Sunday! We are going back this week to meet with them again.

We also had a lesson with the Steenblik’s this week! We stopped by and gave them a Book of Mormon and shared an explanation about what it is and where it came from.  They were very grateful that we shared it with them.

We got a couple of new investigators this week which we are pretty pumped about.

We had another week with lots of appointments with less active members.  It is always really interesting to see what the reason is that people don't come to church anymore.  This week we met with a woman who used to be a fully active member.  She told us that this can't be the true church because if it was, there would be more black apostles and prophets.  She also told us that the picture we use to represent Jesus is white, and that is racist.  I was just thinking, so if the prophet was black then you would know that the Book of Mormon would be true? If our picture of Jesus Christ had a different skin color then that, you would believe that Christ restored His church to the earth? People just worry about the little silly things and let it destroy everything that they know and believe in.  Just focus on the important things! And don't let those types of things ruin your faith.  Christ is our Savior and Redeemer no matter what His skin color is.  That is my rant for the week.

Have a great week folks! Love you guys!

                                             -Elder Steenblik