Monday, 26 March 2012

Transfer #1

Ah.  *cracks fingers*.  Time to write another email.
And probably ignore that huge list of questions you asked me.
Where to start...  Shenanigans this week.  Good and bad.
FIRST, though.  I'm going to address transfers.  Did you set any bets?  Because if you did, Dad owes some money.
That's right.  I'm getting transferred.  Should make that package you sent me difficult...
Elder Mortenson is staying behind to train a newbie while I'm going to Eindhoven.  It's a relatively big city close to the border of Belgium.  But get this.  Who's going to be my companion?  Elder Coons (not sure how it's spelled), who was in Elder Mortenson's MTC district AND Elder Andrews.
Wait, what?
That's right.  I'm going into a 3-man companionship.  With a guy from my MTC district.  Yeah.  Officially blown away.  How crazy is that?  I can hardly believe it.  I thought I'd be super bummed to leave Leiden, but I'm actually stoked for this.  Sounds like it's going to be a crazy adventure.  Elder Klippel (office Elder)served in Eindhoven and he loved it.  Adventure, HO!
But, with our investigators, we had some craziness happen--as mentioned above.
Gabriel.  What a champ.  The guy just wants to serve God.  His momma is from Ghana, but he was born in Amsterdam and raised in Leiden.  He keeps mentioning that he lives in a medical centre of sorts and that he was healed from some sort of...ailment, but we're still not sure what.  He's obviously a bit slow--takes a second or two to register, but he's still just so awesome.  The other day, we had an appointment with him, and another directly after, with Dineke (I don't think I've mentioned her).  We had no joint teacher for her appointment though!  On a whim, we asked Gabriel if he would be interested in coming along.  Luckily, he said yes.  Bringing an investigator as a joint teacher!  I'm not sure if that's even legal.  Aha, Elder Mortenson and I just laughed and laughed about it afterwards.  It was super surreal.  "Did we just do that?"  Definitely a mission first--for both of us.
We also met with Abla earlier this week.  Sometimes, it seems like we're just reviewing things with her.  She's already got such a great knowledge of God.  Sometimes though, she gets distracted.  The other day, we brought Elder Benson with us.  Halfway through our lesson, she kind of squinted and cocked her head.  "Are you Chinese?" she asked Elder Benson.  He was taken aback.  "Somebody was Chinese in your family...  Your mother?  Father?  Grandma?"  Elder Benson laid it out that he was American through and through, but she was still unconvinced by the end.  So funny.  She's not going to make her baptism date though, because she hasn't been to church.  Elder Mortenson is going to get her back on track.
And Khalid.  I'm going to miss that guy.  He's so set on getting baptised, despite all the setbacks.  He's baptism date is set to General Conference Saturday, in the morning.  Looks like it's actually going through this time.  I'm super upset I'm going to miss it...
Miracle of the week...
Here's a neat little excerpt for you.  Not written by of the Sisters in Zoetermeer.  Can't remember her name.  I was there at the baptism and witnessed this little reunion.  It was super awesome.
Our biggest miracle this week is with Daniel. At the beginning of this week, he was struggling a bit with the decision to be baptized. He was kind of getting cold feet. I have to say, it was so bad that I started to consider dropping him if things didn't get better within the next few lessons. BUT... Then we had a big miracle. We invited him to George's baptism in Den Haag. He was telling us on the tram ride there that he was really too tired to go, but something inside of him told him to go anyways. When we got to the church in Den Haag, Daniel saw George and immediately walked over to him, gave him a hug, and they started talking. Come to find out, they are old friends from Nigeria. They grew up in the same town, about 200 meters from each other. They were so happy to see each other. Daniel LOVED the baptism, and felt the spirit very strongly. He also talked with one of the members from Den Haag that attended the baptism, and it turns out that they stayed in the same refugee camp in Germany years ago. Both of those men, George and Joseph, talke for a log time to Daniel about their decisions to be baptized. The spirit was so strong as they testified. The baptism talk was also so inspired. It addressed every question Daniel had about baptism. It was the perfect event for Daniel. After we left, Daniel told us that he will be baptized!!! What an experience.

Cool story, eh?

General Conference.  I had it explained to me...  But now that I'm going to Eindhoven, I'm not sure how it's going to work.  It doesn't run at the same time as back home.  That's all I know at this point.
There was one huge setback this week.  Well...   Viola invited us over for dinner.  It was a great meal.  She made us potatoes with this super delicious sauce on it.  We gave her a lesson afterwards and set some goals to help her quit smoking (we taught her the word of wisdom earlier).  Then, the next day, she phoned us and wham, she doesn't want to meet with us anymore.
We're not entirely sure why, but she said something like she's not sure what direction she wants to go in life right now and she needs to work it out.  Something like that.  We're going to meet with her tomorrow to figure out exactly what's wrong.  I fasted for her and I've been praying it will all work out...  Man, I was crushed when we got that call.  But...  I guess you just have to keep your chin up.
Also, we got to work with Elder Roemer again.  I told you about him right?  What a goof
"Chicken" guy stood us up.  We're meeting him tonight though.  If I remember, I'll tell you about it next week.  I hope something great comes out of it.  That'd be SWEET.
It's great to see (hear?  read?  What is it?!) how everything is going back home.  Sounds like things are going pretty smoothly.  See, the Lord really does answer prayers! 
The animals sound super funny.  Don't let that new cat get fat.  I don't want to hear about how cute it is, then come home to see it's a giant beanbag of a blob.  Ew.  Speaking of cats...  There was a cat--
NO, gotta tell this story first.
So the other night, we were on the bus, like usual.  A lady got up to get off and she looked down at something funny.  She acted all strangely, as well two or three girls up ahead.  Curious, I looked to see a SALAMANDER.  What the heck?  Without missing a beat, I jumped down and scooped the little guy up.  Aha, all the girls up ahead went "ew!"  Super cute little black salamander, maybe the size of my finger.  How it got on the bus, I can only imagine.  How strange is that?  We took it back home (because we were close anyway) and took some pictures before I let it out in the backyard.  Craziness.
So yeah, there was a cat sitting on the street.  We walked towards it and it just sat there.  I decided to stoop down and pet it.  Now, Dutch windows...are super big.  You can see into a person's house, through their backyard and into the person's house behind their house.  They might as well have no front wall, that's how big they are.  Anyway, said cat sauntered (is that a word you use for a horse?) up to a house nearby, where I stooped to pet it.  Turns out it was waiting to be let inside and when I stooped over, the owner looked out the window at the same time.  Our faces were like, 20 centimetres apart, through the window.  Yeah, super awkward.
Well, that's it for this week.  Thanks for all your letters!  I got a bunch this week.  From Sam, Brandon, Uncle George and Sister Rachwalski.  Thanks!  I loved each one!
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

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