Monday, 6 February 2012

The snow is coming down like a big fat blanket

Yeah, I can never think of anything original to put as the subject.  What more do you want than woo?
Psh, but anyways.  To a-start things off...
~Fart in Dutch--scheetje.  Ik heb een scheetje gemaakt!  Aha.
~You can't see a thing while riding in the snow.
But yeah, I suppose you've heard there's a cold snap going around Europe right now.  There's snow everywhere and it's been under -10 for the last week and a half or so.  Yep, that includes here in the Netherlands.  It snowed, oh, maybe 15 centimetres one day.  We were chilling at home and then WHAM.  It was snowing.  And man did it snow.  We had to catch a train that day and it was pretty miserable.  Trains get delayed, buses get delayed--Dutch people don't know how to deal with the snow!  We missed our train out to Nieuw Vennep and had to wait on a chilly train terminal for half an our or so, so we were thoroughly froz'd.  By the time we arrived, we were hardly thawed--only to have to wait another 20 minutes or so for a bus.  The snow was still coming down like a big fat blanket, but luckily there was an overhang to wait under.
Then, we waited on a bus for a while too.  There was a lot of waiting involved that day...  And it started HAILING.  What the wh--HAIL?  Gek.  Big ol' fat hails too.  It was all worth it though.  We met Nana, a Ghana guy who lives in Nieuw Vennep.  He has a strong believe in the Trinity, and didn't understand the reason he needs to be baptised again (he's met with missionaries before).  He lived in England before and requested to meet the missionaries once he moved to the Netherlands.  We had a great lesson with him--cleared up his trinity and baptism concern as best as we could.  We all made the conclusion that only God could confirmed the truth to Nana in the end and we all knelt right there in his apartment and he offered up a prayer.  After that, we explained how he would receive his answer from the holy Ghost and then Elder Frahm offered another prayer.  It was a super strong, super spiritually-tense moment.  We knelt there for a while, in silence.  Man.  Then Elder Frahm asked Nana how he felt.  "Good", he said.  "God is good."  Wham.  We committed him to baptism too!  He said that if he got that confirmation--that if what we claim is the truth--he'll be baptised on that date.  And, he added, his entire family too--because he's the head of his family.  Cue the jaw drops.  I'm super excited for Nana.
BUT brief interruption.  Guess where I am now?  Amsterdam!  Woo!  It's a zone P-day today.  SO we caught a train and currently we're sitting in a massive 10-story library.  What?  Yes, 10 stories.  It's huge.  There's a piano downstairs and somebody is busting some tunes.  They played "Mad World" just a little while ago.  That's what it's called, right?  Anyway, this place is crazy.  Haven't seen much of the rest of the city yet, but I'll take a bunch of pictures.
Antoine!  That's right.  We invited him on a church tour on Saturday.  He really opened up to us.  He has a rough life.  His family is back in Burundi and he hasn't seen them in a really long time.  That must be tough.  He told us all about the conditions back in his country too.  I can't even imagine what it must be like.  He was telling us his father was shot and killed a decade or so ago--and the man who did it is now in the Burundi Government.  Antoine has a project that he's started up to help the children in Burundi.  He wants to start an orphanage or relief groups of sorts and he's meeting with a priest from Paulus Kerk to do so.  That's what the whole 'startng a church' thing was about.  But near the end of our meeting, he kind of came to a conclusion.  He feels great about church--he says there's something special about it that no other church has--but if he starts coming to our meetings, Paulus Kerk would stop funding his project.  So that's what it boils down to.  I don't know everything that Antoine is going through right now, but that is certainly a difficult decision.  I can only pray that he'll make whatever decision is best for him.
As far as signing into the city goes, everything is all set.  The only thing holding it back is that birth certificate thing.  I talked with Elder Jones, and he said a while back the Netherlands made this agreement thing to simplify all the documents from different countries.  One of the only countries that didn't sign it, however, was Canada.  That's why they can't approve it here, but you have to approve it back on that end.  Does that make sense? 
We've been really busy lately.  We received a big list of former investigators we've been asked to check on and that's kept us real busy.  Travel has become a bit of an issue with the snow and all, but oh well.  We've had a lot of dinner appointments lately too.  They made a calender for us for dinner appointments, but I'm fairly certain everybody just wants a fill of Elder Frahm before he's off.  Hmm...  I hope that doesn't change when he is gone (in 9 days might I add).
 And also, I've stopped wearing Papa Joe's coat.  It's a good Fall/Spring coat, but not so great for winter.  I'm using the other one you packed me and it's working quite well.  OOO, one thing though.  It might be a bit of a stretch, but you know those hand warmers you bought me some while ago?  Those things are fantastic!  Somebody left a small box of them in our apartment and I used one for my feet the other day.  It worked excellent.  So...  That would make a great present, but I imagine mailing a box like that would be costly.  I don't need them.  I could do without.  But if you're feeling generous...  I can pay you back.  I don't think they sell them here, so...
Oh, and I got a letter from Courtney Smith!  Gasp!  I don't know if that's allowed...  But she just wished me well and said how great Brussels is.  She must be done her mission soon?
We've only eaten out a couple times now.  We got fries and a burger (fries are a zillion times better here), and a donar.  We don't eat out often. I BOUGHT MILKA BARS TODAY!
That's it for this email.  Glad to hear from you.  Loves yah lots, etc etc.
Hope you enjoy my pictures (which I'll send off sometime today).
Fijne dag verder!
Elder Burgess

Winter In The Netherlands
Winter in the Netherlands

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