Monday, 13 February 2012


to start things off
Things I've learned this week:
My new companion (stay tuned!)
Can't think of anything else
Here I am in Amsterdam again.  What ho?  Elder Frahm decided he wanted to spend his last P-day in the big ol' city.  Yep, we're in the giganitnormous library again.  Somebody was jamming Pirates of the Caribbean only moments earlier.  T'was awesome.  I'll take a zillion pictures.  Oh, and I forgot to send the thingy (camera memory card) last week, so ho hum...  It's coming, don't you fret!
So I'd like to start off by saying we went to a baptism.  Wow, that's great news!  Yep, but it wasn't ours.  The church building in Den haag is under repair so they had to come to Leiden to use our font.  Holy moses this keyboard is sticky.  Great guy though.  His name was Willem van der Spek (there's a million Willem's here).  The Spirit was so strong at the baptism.  I realized while we were chilling there that this is what it's all about.  Helping people make covenants with God.  It was awesome.  What's more, his wife had a very interesting story.  So somebody tipped her off that I was from Canada.  All flustered, she came up to me: "You're from Canada?  AH!  WHERE?"
"Uh, British Columbia."
Ah!  "the Okanagan."
Turns out, she has family in Vernon!  She practically grew up there!  She said she used to visit there all the time and told me of all the places in Vernon, like Okanagan lake and that 'haunted' cabin on the lake.  Craziness.  How small is the world, eh?  What're the chances of finding somebody else from the same area as me?  Her story was really interesting too.  She had a rough childhood and found Donny Osmond's music a great comfort in her life.  She joined an Osmond fan club thinger on the internet and met a man living in the Netherlands.  Long story short, they're now married and living in the Netherlands.  And she was taught by Elder Osmond, just before he returned home from his mission.  It's crazy to see how the Lord prepares people.  That the son of her idol just happened to be in the Netherlands the same time she was.  Both of them (Mr and Mrs) are from America too!  Now both the van der Speks are married.  Super cool.
As far as Antoine goes, he's kinda stopped progressing at this point.  He has a thing against coming to church right now.  There's the obvious project he has going on, but there's some other reason he won't tell us.  If he doesn't keep our commitments, we're going to have to drop him soon.  I'm really upset about that fact, but it's the hard truth.  We're here to help people change, and if they can't make that effort to change, we can't help them anymore.
We haven't met with Nana since last week either.
Khalid on the other hand, is promising.  He has dreadlocks and is AWESOME.  He's met with missionaries before, but is very optimistic this time around.  He didn't come to our ward on Sunday, but he made it to the Dutch ward, so that is great.  I'm really excited for him.
AND, we saw some success in Finding!  At last!  Oh, I mean...
We found a lady named Maria Tattiatiila;aihfd-vich (a Russian name or something) who was really excited for a book of Mormon.  We gave her a Dutch one and he said she would read it, but since she's sick and requires therapy, it might be difficult to get in contact with her.  Still, I'm very optimistic. 
We actually gave 2 het boek van Mormons away.  We found another lady who was also stoked to hear about the BvM.  She speaks English too, so we'll get to keep her.  And she's got a family!  Woo!
Don't worry about those foot warmers (hope you didn't send them...).  Things are warming up here.  However (and I hate to keep asking for things), if you do decide to send anything to me in the future, I wouldn't mind my iPod. It's a pretty small guy so shouldn't add any extra weight.  We're allowed to listen to certain music and it wouldn't hurt to have it around.  I could live without it though, so don't stress it.
Woo!  Jaedan!  That's super great news!  Now, if we could get Braden to consider a mission, life would be even better.
Ol' Elder Frahm is beginning to act how I did those last few days before I left.  It's a great smishsmash between "Holy man, this is really it" and "I'm super stoked"/"I'm super not stoked".  It's almost exactly the way I felt before I left.  Something to both look forward to and dread.  It was good to be with him though.  Even though I'm still confused why they would give an almost-gone person to a freshly-arrived person, I was glad to have him as a companion.  I'm curious to see what my new companion will be like.  Wh--MAN, I hope he knows how to cook.
Did I tell you how much juice we had last week?  A lot.  The juice was 3 jugs for 2 Euros, so we bought 6 jugs--but then the kantor elders came home with 3 more jugs--plus we got a huge thing of "squash", which is essentially a mix to make more juice.  I've been really well hydrated this week.
Another quick thought:
Sometimes I feel like a hoser because we'll be sitting there and Elder Frahm will say something and I'll give a lame answer.  It's not because I'm disinterested, just...distracted.  I get so wrapped up in what I'm thinking about it's hard to come back into the real world.  I imagine it's somewhat frustrating on his end.  Oh well.
But yeah, the cold snap is running its course.  The canal behind our house is melting at an impressive rate, so the ice skating will probably stop real soon.  I hope it does fast, because I've never wanted to skate so badly.  Picture the biggest ice rink you've ever seen, then stretch it for miles!  That was every canal in Leiden for awhile.  Missionaries can't iceskate.  So sad.
With regards to brunch with Pres Brubaker, I suggest you go for it!  Give him a call, I'm sure he'd be happy to meet you.  Just don't come and try to see me.
But yeah, living with the office Elders has its advantages.  My companion is going to be Elder Mortenson.  I've met him before; seems like a nice guy.  He's been out about 5 transfers or so.  Should be fun.
Well, tot volgende keer,
Doey!  Ik houdt van jullie!
Elder Burgess

The Hague Zone President's Training

It takes lots of concentration and diligence to be able to be willing to practice over and over again. The missionaries were reminded of the importance the Book of Mormon plays in true conversion.

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