Monday, 2 April 2012

New home, new comp(s)

Woo!  In Eindhoven.  Where to start? 
First and foremost (what does that mean, anyway?) our address is:

Kluizenaarstraat 13
5641 He
Eindhoven, Netherlands

So, first tranfer where I´ve actually moved somewhere.  I´ll say, it wasn´t quite what I was expecting.  I begun packing a few days before, so the morning of I simply packed up my toothbrush and was ready to go.  I´m proud to say I did a great job packing and managed to smoosh all my stuff in those two suitcases.  It wasn´t as bad as when we left the MTC because there was no weight limitation on our bags of course.
Then, we simply left.  Because we found out Sunday night, we didn´t know who was going to be transferred.  Not going to lie, I was fairly certain I was going to tarry in Leiden.  So I didn´t take any pictures with anybody or really say goodbye.  We didn´t see any of our investigators those last few days either (sad face).  All those friends we made...simply left behind.  zo is het.  I have no idea what has or will become of Abla, Viola Gabriel or the rest. 
Khalid was baptised!!!-- His picture should be up on the mission blog soon.  WOOOOHOO!!
The rest of the trip to Eindhoven was both exciting but laborious.  Because we can´t be alone--even during transfers--I had to stop through Den Haag first, then through Rotterdam.  Oh, I got to see the new Missionaries coming through too.  Holy man, there´s a bunch of them.
So I hopped on the train with 6 of the new missionaries (10 newbies in total) as well as two other missionaries and we went down to Den Haag.  After a brief over stop and goodbye, a few of us hopped on a train to Rotterdam.  I forgot to mention I had my bike with me, plus my two suitcases the entire time.  Getting those guys off the train was the laborious part, as mentioned above.  We had some help, of course, but hauling a suitcase and a bike at the same time is not a really easy task.  Yep, so we got to Rotterdam after a short trip.  Rotterdam was a central meeting spot for a big chunk of the mission, so we had at least 20 missionaries in the train station at once.  I´d even wager to say more.  It was craziness.  There I met Elder Andrews and my new companion, Elder Kunz.  ELDER BURTON (original MTC companion)and ELDER STODDARD (MTC district) were both getting transferred, so they were there too.  It was awesome to see them again.  I haven´t seen Elder Burton since the first day we arrived here.  Four of our MTC group was right there again.  It was great to connect again.
After a long wait for everyone to figure out which train to catch, we slowly parted ways to our different locations.  We caught a 2 hour train to Eindhoven and meandered over to our house.
The house.  It´s 3 stories tall, but much older than the Leiden apartment was.  The floors are super gross because it´s so old and the wall is falling apart in one area and there is mold all over the bathroom ceiling, but it´s still pretty comfortable.  We´ve got a small backyard with a fiets shed, so that´s nice.  The second floor is more spacious, with a small counter separating the living room from the kitchen. Then the second floor has 3 rooms, excluding the bathroom, which we use for studying.  I´ve got a pretty big room all to myself, it´s awesome.  I´ve got a couple of chairs and a closet to put all my stuff.  Then upstairs is solely for the beds.  It´s a small little peaked room with floor mattresses and a roof access.  It´s pretty nice.
This week has been a blast though, getting to know Eindhoven, as well as my two new companions.  Elder Andrews is pretty much the same as in the MTC.  Funny, smart.  But now, his Dutch is absolutely amazing.  I can´t believe it.  He has better Dutch than my last companion did.  There´s sort of a bepaalde redden daarvan, but I´ll explain that in a bit.  Elder Andrews reminds me a lot of Jeremy.  Just a goof...  We have a lot of the same interests too, like video games--and he actually started writing a book before his mission.  Neat.
Elder Kunz reminds me of a happy puppy.  He´s just happy all day.  We have this (super junky) mountain bike that he rides sometimes.  He jumps off everything and whoops all day, wearing a huge grin the whole time.  He´s a good missionary though.  He has no fear of contacting people and sincerely listens during appointments.  He was Elder Mortenson´s companion in the MTC, so he´s been out 6 transfers.  Wham.
I´m super excited to work here in this area and with these people and--
AND HARRY.  Harry.  There´s a Dutch guy here named Harry who comes with us everywhere.  He´s 81 years old and just...hangs with us all day.  He´s pretty much like a fourth man.  He teaches with us, bikes with us, contacts with us--everything as far as missionary work goes.  He corrects and teaches us Dutch all day too, which I think is the main reason why Elder Andrew´s Dutch is so good. He´s a funny guy too, telling jokes and whatnot.  I´ve got great respect for the guy.  A ward mission leader who does as much work as the missionaries; a 81 year old hanging out with 20 year old kids all day.  What a champ.  So no worries about joint teaches anymore.  Psh, double no worries, with both 3 missionaries and Harry.  Time to get some work done.
This Sunday was interesting, as far as Conference goes.  We were only able to watch 2 sessions because of how the time change works.  Plus the website was down for a good while.  We watched the earlier Saturday session, then the Sunday morning session (at 6 pm) with a member.  It was great to hear President Monson speak.  I really felt the spirit.  What a guy.
And with the coming of Spring, our jackets go away.  We can finally wear short sleeve shirts and no suit jacket.  Thank goodness--though the sun has been refusing to shine lately, dangit.
As far as the city itself goes, Eindhoven is very new.  Everything is all spic and span--no windmills, no super old buildings, no canals.  It feels so much different than Leiden.  Still, I like it.  It´s a lot more open than most cities I´ve visited.  It´s considered more of a farming place.  Well, more like the country.  There´s a lot of fields outside of the city.  Also, this is where the company Phillips was born.  So 90% of the stuff here is Phillips.  Heck, our toilet is even Phillips.  What the--?  Since when did they start making toilets?  It´s a nice city though.  Clean, pure.... almost.  There are no red-light districts here, so no worrying about stepping down the wrong road by accident.  Phewf.
We are part of the Antwerpen Zone.  As far as our District goes, I´m not too sure how it works.  I know Sister Palenekova is part of our district--whew!--as well as Elder Taylor, who was in our youngers.  I´ll tell you more after district meeting.
Our ward is pretty awesome too.  I haven´t seen much of it (Conference weekend), but Elder Andrews says it´s unusual not to have a dinner appointment every night.  Stoked.  We have a sister we visit every Thursday as well, Sister Van de Riet.  She gives us a bag of apples every week.  But it´s dag impossible to eat them all, so we have a tradition of hurling them against the fiets shed.  Aha.  Apple moosh everywhere.  The birds come and eat all the apple chunks, so it works out great.
Don´t worry though, we try our best to eat all the apples...for the most part.  Though...we´re already out of apples...
Glad everybody is still happy back home.   
I haven´t got my package yet.  There´s a Zone conference around the corner, I´ll get it then.
My mission is whizzing by.  We totally reflected how long it´s been...I can´t believe I´m almost a quarter done!  That´s hard to believe....though the last few days have been a bit tiring.  We´re all such goofs in this companionship that we´ve stayed up past 11 the last few nights.  We spontaneously decided to bake a cake at 8 at night.  Then Elder Kunz asked me about Halo, and I had to tell him the entire storyline.  It took and hour and by the time I finished, we noticed the oven wasn´t even on anymore.  It took another hour to finish baking, but hot dang was it tasty.
Also, we have a jammer.  You know that little mixer/beater thingy we use to mix up jams?  Yeah, we randomly have one of those.  My companions were super impressed that I knew what it was.  What?  It´s just a jam mixer...
mmm, cake.
There´s a super awesome and super rich American family that lives here.  They shop at some import store, so they´re house is just jam-packed with American food.  They accept requests too, so if I ever want anything American, they´re totally down to buy it for us.  I requested Crispix.  Yay!
Well, *looks up* that´s a long letter.  Geniet ervan.
tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

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