Monday, 28 May 2012

I felt my shoes melting at one point.

And no, that is not Dutch.
This week.  Gee, a lot happened this week.  So you know how I was saying that last week was such a stinker of a week?  Well dang, this week certainly wasn't.  We had 3 new investigators this week!  How cool is that?  I wasn't there for two of them.  I was on splits at the time with the District Leader.  But the third person we found was a bit more interesting.
So to start off (and to deviate a bit), my bike had a total of 3 holes in the rear tire this week.  Yep.  A hole a day, for three days in a row.  Believe me, it was as awesome as it sounds.  My rear buitenband, or...outer...tire(?) was really worn out and so naturally ended up scratching my inner tire a whole bunch.  Faithful, I tried simply fixing him up, but that didn't work so well.  That tire was pretty worn out......and so as we were riding to an appointment, my tire kept sinking lower and lower.  Eventually, I decided to ask somebody if I could borrow their fietspump (bike pump).  The guy gladly agreed and in no time the tire was filled again.  Then, when it was all done, we sneakily happened to mention that we were missionaries, sharing the good news.  Wham, turns out the guy was super interested.  We had an appointment with him a couple days later and he's was very excited to meet with us and attend church!  Coincidence?  Yeah...maybe.  Still pretty cool though.  His name is Sheka Kamaro and he's from Sierra Leon (speaks English).  Guy is built thick too.  You should see his biceps!  
My tire is all fixed now.  Had to replace the outer wheel.  Proud (...but humble) I was able to.
Things are going great with Isa too!  She set a date for July 14th (somewhere around her birthday).  The big question when we tell people seems to be "and what about her parents?"  Isa isn't worry about that anymore now though.  She said something like, what's the worse that could happen?".  I'm so excited for her!  
At the back of my mind though, I'm worry I'll be transferred yet again, before I see another investigator baptized.  ...But that's not important, right?
Ardette we haven't seen in a while...  I hope she's doing alright.  We have to call her.
Also, we had an appointment with a man named Raychel.  It was...not terribly exciting, to tell the truth.  It was just Harry and I (Elder Kunz was on splits with our District Leader because Elder Taylor was gone for legality reasons).  Raychel is from...Curisao?  He's got a wife and 3 children, but he himself is a bit slow.  He didn't have much to say.  His main question was why there are so many churches, but after that was answered, input dropped to pretty much to 0.  Still, he was willing to read in the Book of Mormon and we have a return appointment.  His wife seems a bit more lively, I hope she will be there next time.  What is extra cool is that the entire appointment was in Dutch.  I think I did pretty well.  Cool, eh?
Ooo.  So we had an dinner appointment, and afterwards we decided to knock on a few doors--to see what happens.  An older fellow opens the door and squints at us.  We tell him who we are--while he takes a drag on a joint--and he promptly replies "oh ja, kom maar binnen."  Uh...  Okay.  So it was super interesting.  Guy just started rambling, taking the occasional puff from his doobie, saying something about Jehovah's Witnesses, cops and the neighbours.  Yeah, didn't catch much of it.  He had no teeth and slurred everything he said.  We made an appointment for following Saturday and got out of there pretty fast.  I'm curious as to what will happen. 
This probably should have been at the beginning of this letter, but HOT DANG, it has it been boiling out.  It's been somewhere in the upper twenties--pushing 30--for a good portion of the week.  I swear I felt my shoes melting at one point.  I can't imagine being somewhere warm all year round...  like.....Florida?  Whoops.  Ha.
Man did it rain one day.  Gee whiz.  We left a member's house and it was beginning to spit.  Then WHAM!!  RAIN!!  I'm talking take two steps out of cover and you're already soaked kind of rain.  My entire backpack (and almost everything in it) was soaked.  All my pass-along two Book of Mormons that I carry.  Psh, gone.  Luckily, one area stayed pretty dry.  It had my origami paper and camera--both perfectly fine.  Hot diggety, it rained like that for pretty much evers.
Ah!  And my allergies.  I don't think my allergies have ever been worse.  I sneeze a lot, my eyes are itchy and all runny.  My nose pours like a.......something that pours a lot.  Gosh.  I've tried those pills I have, I've tried nose-squirt-juice-stuff.  Ooo.  I hope it doesn't get worse.  They've got those horrendous cotton trees on the way to church.  It's like it's snowing when you ride through those.
Buuut yep.  I think that's just abo--
WHAT IS YOUR WORLD-FAMOUS PANCAKE MIX?  I've wanted to know for about a zillion years, but I keep forgetting.  Tell me.  Also, we've got a waffle iron.
Anyway, peace OUT kerels
tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess
And we're making Harry dinner tonight.  We did last week too.  Who knows, maybe this will be a new Eindhoven traditie.  Maak dine voor Harry.
Harry is awesome.
We had butter chicken last week.  Lovingly donated by you.

Monday, 21 May 2012

"I want to be baptized."

I guess I should reciprocate that tiny email you sent me.
The end.
No, just kidding.
This week, not going to lie, was probably the worst on my mission numerically.
I won't say how much we got, but we were justified in our lower numbers.  Don't you worry.  We weren't slacking off or anything, we just simply had a lot to do--just not anything that would boost our numbers.  Psh, what are numbers anyway?  We had Zone Conference on Friday.  We took the train all the way to Antwerpen, which, might I say, is quite a different place.  The train station, which is literally four levels of trains stacked atop each other, is stunning and beautiful.  Then you walk outside.  Then, you take a tram.  Blech to both.  But nothing negative, right?
Anyway, President Brubaker interviewed everybody and gave a speech about leaving something behind for the Lord.  It was very interesting.  Probably the last time I'll be interviewed by President.  Also, probably his last Zone Conference.  Crazy.  He is pretty much gone.
We didn't get home that day until 8.
Then, on Saturday, we helped Harry van de Sande move.  We thought it was going to be a couple-hour activity, but nope.  It took the entire day as well.  That guy has almost as many books as the (old) library back home!  We managed to fit it all inside his new, 2-room apartment.  I have to say though, his new house is perfect for him.  He didn't need 3 flights of stairs like he did in his old house.  Now he lives closer and it will be far cheaper than before for him.  I feel so sorry for that guy sometimes though.  He does so much and has such a big heart--but doesn't have much financially.  He's got €5 to his name right now.  Poor Harry.  Man is he going to be blessed when he is called home.
I got your (Easter) package by the way.  Holy man, I am impressed.  That much candy in such a tiny package!  Thanks!  I'll be swimming in chocolate for the next year.
Ooo, I bought a new tie.  I love it.  Plus I picked it up for 5 euro.  Pretty thrifty, eh?
Which reminds me.  My watch battery died today.  We swung by Media Market and I bought a new one, as well as a flash drive card converter.  I'm going to back up all my pictures, in case the card I will send shortly gets lost.  Thought it was a good idea.  But!  A camera caught my eyeball in the store.  It was a Nikon Sharpshoot (or something similar), with 16megapixels, full 1080p video, 10X zoom and a few other gizmo's for €150.  I'm thinking about buying it...  For all that, it's certainly a good price...I think.  Elder Kunz was saying Nikon makes good cameras too.  I spotted a similar one, but made by Canon.  Think I should go for it?  The quality of the pictures would literally be double that of my current camera.  Well, everything is double actually...  But if the pictures I send are good, I don't think I'll bother.  I guess we'll have to wait for 2 weeks and see.  Either way, let me know.  I hope I can find it again...
Ooo, and something awesome happened this week.  Isa phoned us and said she had a surprise for us.  Mmm?  Surprise?  We met at the church (with a joint teach of course) and she whipped out a Book of Mormon and set it down on the table, opened to 2 Nephi 31.  That's when Nephi explains why Christ was baptized.  Gasp.
I pretty much got it at once, but I didn't say anything.  She went on, saying that she felt like she'd been blaming everything on her mother.  She looked at me and asked if I understood.  Certainly, but I wanted her to say it.
"I want to be baptized."
How cool is that?
Isa put her faith in the Lord by coming to church.  Now, she's trusting him more and taking that big step.  Baptism.  I'm super excited for her!  We're going to work out the date next week.
Also, it was Elder Kunz's birthday on the 19th.  Woo!  Happy birthday, him.
Buuut, that's it for this week.
Love yah lots!
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

The Wonderful Antwerp Zone
back row l-r  Elders Mohrman, McCarlie, Jones, Mower, Schwartz, Schow, McDaniel, Mathis, Burgess
middle row l-r  Elders Sanderson, Stanley, Nish, Taylor, Douglas, Kunz
front row l-r  Elders Merrill, Leach, Zusters Nielsen, Herring and Elder Andrews
We do it right in Antwerp..........we have fun doing missionary work!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Good talking to you yesterday

I'm typing on a North American standard keyboard.  How cool is that?  Now the question mark isn't where the 0 is.  Yay!
Anydoodle, it was great seeing and talking to you guys!  Holy man, I had been looking forward to that for a few days.  Surprisingly, it was more....casual than I was expecting.  I'm not saying that you guys are boring or anything but it just doesn't feel like I've been gone this long...   Makes sense?  Probably not. 
I love you guys!
And yeah, the Knudsons are great, aren't they?  They do so much for us, it's crazy.  When we left, they gave us 3 huge packages of Poptarts and a package of Nutter Butters too.  Wow.  What champs.  Their one dog is pretty crazy for me too.  Apparently, I look like its previous owner or something, so it goes wild when I come it.  Plus I pet it and play with it pretty much the whole time.  Mmm, pets.
Have I told you about the Van Emples?  I think so.  Anyway, they have 4 cats.  What?  Yep, 4.  One is a big ham and always walks in, expecting attention.  Psh, who am I to deny?  They hate it when I pet it though, because cat hair gets h'everywhere.  They walked out and he jumped up and I pet him a bunch before he jumped away.  They came back in and screamed. "Elder, have you been petting the cat again?"  Um, no.  How can you tell?  Cat hair everywhere.  More screams.
Not too much more to report this week admittedly.  Elder Andrews is gone up to Hengelo now.  We rode with him up to Rotterdam, dropped him off then simply came back.  It's kind of strange without him.  But we've adjusted quickly.  Elder Kunz gets his own room now!
Our house is nearing completion.  Mostly, they just have simple things left to do.  The trim, some painting upstairs...  Otherwise, all the big projects are done.  I'm hoping we can have our house completely back by the end of the week.
Ooo, so the other night we just finished planning when a neighbour lady came a'knocking at our door.  She was a bit drunk and spoke slurred Dutch, but eventually we understood that she wanted to give us a couch.  Flustered, we agreed (without thinking it over) and walked over to her house.  There was another guy there, also tipsy, who we talked to for a while. Both of them smoked too.  Bleck.  So we hauled this million-pound couch through her tiny dutch house and down some not-so-tiny Dutch stairs, then down the street and into our house (which has a tight Dutch entryway).  Oh mah goodness did that couch reek.  Smoke and cat and ruined couch.  Yuck.
In hindsight, we shouldn't have taken the stupid thing--in only proved a further nuisance for the Saldens to have to haul it out.  Still, it was an adventure--and we got the number of the guy that was there, who is interested in learning more about us.  Who knows, maybe it will be a great experience.
Isa came to church again.  Woo!
And we met with Ardette again.  She is in a precarious situation.  Tired to the bones, she said several times.  Her friend was there, chilling for a while, before Ardette mentioned that her friend was against joining the church because then "then your man will have several wives." We quickly corrected her, saying that polygamy is not practised in our church, but she kept pressing.  "it says in the bible that other men had several wives.  Why not today?" Simple, because God commanded it so, for His purposes.  Now, it's not needed.  It was in the past, but not no more.  The end.
Then, she started going off about how she thought it was a good thing.  It was unbelievable.  First, she was saying she didn't want Ardette to join our church because of polygamy, then she goes off about how she actually supports it.  It was ridiculous.
Still, Ardette was on our side and even explained to her friend about Joseph Smith and how he received inspiration.  There is much hope for her yet.
Otherwise, this week was relatively uneventful.  Fun, eh?
aaaand, with that, I say adieu
tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess
Also, I thought of something that you could send me......f you want.
Pictures!  I love pictures.
And I'm out of delicious popcorn.  How will I survive?!
Maybe a tie or too...  One of Papa Joe's.  Do you remember that one tie I have.  It's black...and  I have a picture of me wearing it in one of my little picture books.  I was wearing it the Sunday before I was supposed to leave.  I like that tie...  You can never have enough ties.  Well, that's not true.
buuut don't stress it.
I can't think of anything else.
Love yah, bye.

Monday, 7 May 2012

I, Eldercus Maxiburgimus hereby close my epistle

So yeah.  14 emails in my inbox.  All of them HUGE...all of them HUGE.  I have like, 2 minutes to write this now.
BUUUUT woe is me.
SO.  I bet you're curious.  Transfers?  Some craziness is going down this transfer.  Not all of which I'm sure about right now.  What I know for sursies is that Elder Andrews is leaving.  Wuh-gone.  He's going to Hengelo, leaving dear old Elder Kunz and I in Eindhoven alone.  Many people suggested leaving a 3-man in Eindhoven, but it was not destined to be, apparently.  But whammy.  Breda, (the sister city) is becoming an Elder city, which means Sister Palenikova will be gone, instead replaced by--gasp--Elder Mower.  Say wha?  That's right, Elder Mower (my MTC comp) is going to be in my district.  How awesome.
So yes.  Koningenin dag.  Whuh.  What a day.  Brett might have liked it, but it was not quite to my taste.  Seriously.  Picture a crazy party, with drugs and loud music and smoking and people EVERYWHERE.  Now picture it citywide.  Whoa.  It was absolutely crazy, but still kind of fun.  Everybody wears orange and carries a beer in their hand.  The orange part was kind of fun.  Also, they have garage sales in the street.  Okay, neat, "let's take a look" when SUDDENLY, we turn a corner and are thrust into the middle of a mosh pit.  They had concerts all over the city, with live bands and speakers as big as a car.  Pumping and shaking the foundations of every building within 3 blocks.  How didn't we notice?  No idea.  But we were thrown waist-deep into one of those.  So worried I was going to get beer all over me.  We finally wormed our way through of party goers--only to find a different concert.  We smooshed through four or five before we finally made our way out.  Nutzo.
ooo, this week I was sick too.  Cool, eh?  I was getting all sniffly and coughy from all the dust stuff a'floating through our apartment.  It only got worse and then I was pretty much sick.  All achy and sore and bleh.  Luckily though, the Saldens were working on our house, so I was able to stay home and recuperate.  It was pretty strange not doing work, I'll tell you.  My companions were super good with it too.  I stayed home and just slept.  It really helped.
But I also discovered that when you are sick as a missionary, people gush over you.  It's like having 6 moms.  The Saldens, the Everton's, our members the Van Emples...  Man.  I need a bag to carry all the medicine they gave me.  But I discovered something awesome.  2 spoon fulls of apple cider vinegar warmed up with water, with 2 tablespoons of honey is a miracle cure for sore throats.  Wow.  Write that one down, she's a keeper!
So cool news and bad news.  Apparently, our investigator Peter came to church last week. If you remember, somebody turned him away because he didn't have a tie on.  Well, last week the same person said the same thing.  How absolutely frustrating.  The Bishop made an announcement about it and everything and it happened again.  So Peter is pretty much never coming back.  GOSHDANG.
But on the bright side, ISA CAME TO CHURCH.  Whew!  She's the one who's mother is absolutely tegen de kerk.  If she catches Isa coming to church she's going to explode or something, I don't know.  But finally Isa worked up enough curaugegage to come to church!  It was so awesome.  I practically jumped for joy when I saw her walk in.  She had a great experience too.  Members came up to her and said hi, and sooo many people remembered her.  Elder Andrews caught her crying during the last hymn too.  Aw, so awesome.
Oh, and tell Jacob "happy birthday".  I hope the twerp is doing well. 
I'm really excited for Jeremy too!  I hope he likes that tie I got him.  Sorry I wrote down your name, Daddy-O, I don't know Jeremy's address.  Nice tie though, eh?  I thought it was a riot stuffing that thing in a small envelope.  How weird.
Oooo, I also forgot to mention...
our apartment is still under repair, but it is a lot better than it was.  My room is nearly completed--the floor is all put in.  Lament.  I have to admit though, it looks very nice.  I feel sorry for poor Elder Andrews, who has to pack up in all the disorderliness.  Won't be easy.  Hopefully it will be done in the volgende week.
Also, Elder Andrews just phoned his new companion.  Turns out the guy has an issue with his tailbone, and can't bike.  Also, they have no car.  Apparently, they spend over 100 Euro in bus tickets.  Elder Andrews just had a rage moment...
Aaaanyway, I've just about exhausted my time.
Therefore, I Eldercus Maxiburgimus hereby close my epistle.
Live long and eat hearty!
Uh, I mean...
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess.