Monday, March 28, 2016

3rd letter from Geel, Belgium -- Week 92

Elder Steenblik at a castle in Ghent  03-21-16
Elder Steenblik and Elder Waters in Ghent 03-21-16
Elder Steenblik taking a selfie  03-21-16
Ghent  03-21-16

Happy Easter Everybody!

I hope that you all had a lovely Easter weekend.  As I am sure you all have heard, it has been an absolutely crazy week in Belgium.  On Tuesday one of the terrorist attacks was at the airport in Brussels. All 4 of the missionaries that were injured are from the Paris mission.  My prayers go out to them and their families as well as everyone who was affected by this attack.

Because of the attack, we were not allowed to ride public transportation this week.  We had managed to schedule a couple of appointments this week but we had to cancel them because we had no way of getting to them which was a real bummer.  We hope that we will be able to reschedule them this week. We are allowed to take buses now, but still no trains.

We spent the whole week in Geel and we found some cool potential investigators.  My bike is still in the Netherlands and Elder Waters doesn’t have a bike yet, so we did lots and lots of walking this week.  Boy were my legs feelin it by the end of the week.  At least they are getting swoll right before I come home!

This week we did have an appointment with an investigator named Jennifer and she is from the Dominican Republic.  She committed to come to church on Sunday, and she did.  The best part is, she brought her 2 kids and her husband! There are a ton of Spanish speaking members in the ward who did some beast fellowshipping.  We were really happy that she made the step to come to church and it seemed like her whole family had a great time.

Also, this week our shower went AWOL.  We woke up and the drain had exploded with tons of nasty hairy sludge.  We cleaned it all up and when we came back, it did it again! Except this time there was toilet paper.  Now, how in the heck did toilet paper get in there? I will tell you how.  The whole pipe got clogged, so anytime you would flush the toilet, it came out of the shower drain! I have terrible images and smells burned into my brain now.  Luckily a plumber came to fix it the next day.  Let’s just hope that never happens again.

I am grateful during these difficult times for our Savior Jesus Christ who gives us hope.  I thought of a scripture this week in the Book of Mormon.  These are the words of Mormon to his son Moroni.

"My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever." Moroni 9:25

May Christ lift us up through these times of trial.

               -Elder Steenblik

Monday, March 21, 2016

2nd letter from Geel, Belgium -- Week 91

Me and my Boo

Hey Folks,

I am alive just in case you were wondering.  There has been lots of sketchy stuff goin’ down this week with all of the terrorists and what not.  We were actually in Brussels on the day that they had a shootout with the terrorists that were involved in the Paris attacks.  Crazy!

This week we spent a ton of time traveling.  We had to go to Antwerp on Tuesday for a zone meeting and we went to Brussels on Friday so that Elder Waters could do some legality stuff.  Plus we spent a ton of time traveling in our own area to look up look ups and to go to our dinner appointments.  Our area is massive, and we have over 20 referrals that we need to look up from a campaign that the mission is running.  This week will also be full of trains and buses.

The work is slowly moving forward.  What we have found in our first week here is that everyone in Geel hates us haha.  Not everyone, but a lot of them.  Geel is a small city, so most of the people have already been contacted by the missionaries, multiple times.  We have been focusing on other cities in our area to try and find some new people to teach.

We had a couple of lessons this week but nothing too exciting.  One of the guys we taught talked the whole time about how Jesus was not crucified, but he and Mary took a ship to France and smoked weed together.  Now there are some interesting beliefs!

This week we had a dinner appointment almost every night, with the sisters in our area.  The branch has been taking good care of us!

Nothing too special this week.  We are just working to find new people.  We hope to see success this week with the referrals that we have received.  Thanks for all of your prayers and support!

                                                  -Elder Steenblik

Monday, March 14, 2016

1st letter from Geel, Belgium -- Week 90

Elder Steenblik and his "greenie" Elder Waters from Idaho Falls
I made it back to Belgium!!!!

All you can eat ribs with my old district last week in Amsterdam

Gueeeess who's in Belgium? This guy!

On Wednesday we had our transfer day and it was a looong day.  I left Almere at 7:30 AM and we didn’t get home until 8:30 PM.  I have a son! I am training a missionary named Elder Dakota Waters from Idaho, Falls.  He is a super funny guy and we get along great.  We have been having a blast in Belgium together.

We are in the city of Geel.  The work in Geel right now is basically nonexistent.  We are both new to the area and don’t have one single investigator at the moment.  We are going to be working hard these next couple of weeks to find some new people to teach.

Our first day here a member came to our apartment and gave us a huge box of chocolate! So we have basically been living off that for the past week.  We received a nice warm welcome from our neighbor our first day here by him leaving us a note on our door saying if we “don’t be quiet” he would break all of our bleep bleepin bones.  So if I disappear, it was the guy downstairs!

Man alive do I miss a car! We come home at the end of every day and our legs are killin.  We do a lot of walking here and our area is really big which means we also have to take lots of buses and trains.  The problem is that the buses only leave once an hour which means we sometimes get stranded in a city for an hour.  That happened to us this week, so we just talked to people in the area and we ended up finding 2 potential investigators because of it! Glass half full.

My very first Sunday here I was asked to give a 10 minute talk....on the law of chastity! Wow, what a first impression I made haha.  The branch here is awesome! There are actually quite a few members and I think there were around 50 or so.

The weather here has been great.  It has been sunny every day and not too cold.

I am sooo happy to be back in Belgium! I have missed it so much! I have missed the waffles, all of the terrible funky smells, the cobblestone roads, the church bells, the chocolate, the Flemish language, the nasty carbonated water, the fries, the billions of cranes, the friendly people, everything! I am excited to get to work with Elder Waters and build up the work in Geel.  Have a great week!

                   -Elder Steenblik