Monday, 20 February 2012

I need Dad's talking skills!

One day I'll regret not having proper subjects on these emails, but meh.
Yeah, the things I've learnt this week thing isn't working so well...  So ker-dropped with that
This week has been an interesting one, what with transfers and all.  So good ol' Elder Frahm is giggety gone, headed off to Hong Kong where his family is living.  I wonder what it's like there.  Meh.  So the day of transfers, I had to go to Den Haag to pick up my new companion, Elder Mortenson.  So I went there with another Elder and we chilled in the train station for an hour or so, then just went back to where we started.  Kinda frustration, but oh well.  On the plus side, I had the opportunity to see all the new sisters arriving in the mission (because they all stopped through Den Haag as well).  So that was nice.  Then, I got another treat by seeing the Elders (the group after us in the MTC) back in the office when we dropped off Elder M's luggage.  They're a swell group.  Apparently, one of them is super awesome in Dutch (probably better than me) and they're all just very motivated.  I loved seeing and hearing their reactions when you ask what their first impressions of the Netherlands is.  It was great to see them.
So Elder Mortenson, my New companion, has been out on his mission for about 6 months now--but all that time has been in Den Haag (the Hague).  So not only has he been in the same place, and the same apartment, but when he finally moved, it was just 20 minutes away.  Grappig.  He doesn't mind now.  Aha, I also thought it was funny that he has always been in a 4 man apartment too.  That's rarer.  Actually, our apartment is now mensen vijf (5-man) because Elder Benson is training somebody to replace him in the office.  5 people in one house.  Craziness.  NOT ONLY THAT, but the AP's stayed over one night too.  That's right, 7 people, one house.  That's got to be a record.  Needless to say, we didn't get to bed until late that night.
Elder Mortenson comes from Draper Utah (gasp, UTAH?  No, that never happens!).  He's a great missionary from what I see so far.  He hates doors so whenever we go finding, it's almost always street contacting, which is perfect, because now I realize how bad I am at it.  I don't know why, but it's hard for me to work up the courage to talk to somebody on the street.  I need Dad's talking skills!  But Elder Mortenson pushes me in that regard--which I'm very thankful for.  The only way I'm going to get better is by having a wee bit of a push.
BUT I have a small little...miracle to say.  Wham.  So last night, we had just under an hour to spare, so we decided to do some contacting opstraat in the centrum.  He talked to a few people while I stayed pretty much silent.  Finally, near the end, he said to me "I'm sitting down on this bench until you talk to somebody.  You've got ten minutes."  Uh, gulp.  So we stood there for a while, with me fighting with myself to just step out there and DO something.  Finally, I saw this one guy approaching and I just...walked up and spoke to him.  I don't know.  It was strange.  There was no little voice that said "he's the guy, go get him" or warm fuzzy feeling or anything.  I just went to him, you know?  Without hesitation, I just asked, "Pardon, manier.  Wij zijn vrijwillikers voor onze kerk."  And I told him we were giving away a book called the book of mormon.  "Oh, mormonen," he said.  Turns out, he knows us well.  You know the pannenkoeken house where we ate the first day?--where all the new missionaries eat?  He works there.  And when we mentioned that the Book of Mormon was written in another part of the world, he was really curious.  Long story short, he lives in Amsterdam, but he accepted the invitation for a free copy of the Book of Mormon.  We're going to send the Amsterdam Elders his number and they're going to give him a copy.  Anyway, it was a building experience for me.  I'm very hopeful for this guy too, he was genuinely interested.  The Lord works in interesting ways sometimes.  But he's prepared people, and they're out there.  We have to do our part.
Thank you so much for the packages by the way.  I was stunned, really, about your thoughtfulness.  Before I got the package, I was thinking about that kiwi T-shirt and how delicious Crispix is.  It's like you KNEW.  Mysterious.  You're so thoughtful!  I was feeling a bit blue the day I got them too--just what I needed to pick me up.  It meant a lot.  Thank you so much.
I have to wrap this up, so I'll be quick.
Antoine wants to start a church in Burundi, and that just got approved, so...  I'm not so sure what's going to happy with him anymore.  We committed him to come to part of church next week though, so that's a good sign.
Also, Khalid is moving forwards in bounds.  He's been taught before, and was close to baptism, but Word of Wisdom problems kept him back.  We just taught it the other day and he no longer has any problems with it!  Hallelujah!  We named off all the things it includes and he told us they all used to be problems, but no longer.  And he's come to church twice in a row.  I'm super excited for Khalid.
We also met a guy named Terry.  His thought process is a bit interesting--he moves at a million miles per hour and things get a bit scrambled--but he's interested in meeting with us at least 2 times a week.  So yay!
Things are coming together!
Love yah a billion!
Elder Burgess

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