Monday, 25 June 2012


Sad news.
Sister Moore passed away.  If you remember, she's the one who broke her wrist while she and her husband were renovating our apartment.  Can you believe that?  It's quite a shock to me.  Aparrently, she wasn't very healthy.  She was coughing during our mission conference.  She certainly didn't sound 100%.  Still.  Wow.  A senior missionary passed away!  Wow.
Belgium!  I'm in Belgium.  Weird.  Land of chocolate, waffles and bad roads inderdat.  Turnhout is a super cool city.  Very small--even smaller than Leiden.  Volgens mij.  A lot members and even investigators live outside the city, in smaller cities surrounding.  We have to take the bus often.  Which works out just fine.  They have these things called Buzzy passes or something like that, which is only 23 Euro for unlimited use of the buses for a month.  Dang, that is a good price.  Far better than Nederland ten minste.
By the way, it's speak your language week.
Zou ik alleen in Nederlands praten?  Denk ik niet.
So they speak Vlaams here. Vlaams/Flemish is actually Dutch. Just with local variations in word choice. It`s like slang words, or alternative words......a dialect, with a few different words here and there.  I guess the closest equivalent would be British English compared to American English.  Mostly the accent I think.  I actually find it easier to understand than back in Brabont.  Sometimes it just sounded like those people were choking.  I think I'm going to try to get this Vlaams accent down.  It's also far easier than Brabonts.
The ride down here itself wasn't too bad.  We worked it out, Elder Kunz and I, so that it wasn't so bad.  We left our bikes at the station overnight, so we could haul my stuff on the buses in the morning.  Then, I picked up Elder Merril at the station and said totziens to good ole Elder Kunz.  I'll miss that guy.  I'll certainly miss Harry too.  He has this tradition where departing missionaries give him a tie and he gives them a book.  Instead, I gave him a tie, a Canadian pin, a flag and even my books (all 3!!).  He's insistant to give them back, but I want him to keep them.  I really love that guy.
The apartment!  Man is it super modern.  As...far as Europe is concerned at least.  It's like a pie wedge, smooshed in between two little houses.  There's a big iron gate where we park our bikes behind.  You'd miss the place if you weren't looking for it.  It's about 3 minutes from the main station and just off the main centrum.  And yes, the biggest wall is painted purple.  We've got a dishwasher as well (which I discoverd today), but apparently it sucks, so we don't use it.
The aparment is two stories, with tile floors (which heat up), and one little washroom.  It's probably the nicest apartment I've been in, though not the biggest.
I'm hoping to set a pattern.  2 transfers in each area before I leave.  How much fun would that be?
Elder Leach is awesome too.  He reminds me a lot of Elder Burton, if not...louder.  He really likes to sing.  Vooral Disney.  He's from a bit of California, and a bit of Arizona (I just played a guessing game to figure that out).  He's a cool guy.  Nuff said. I think we'll get along just fine.  He's pretty sure that he's gonna be gone at the end of this transfer though.  He's already been here 4.5 months, and at the end of this one, that will make 6 months, so...  But hey, at least I'll be able to keep up my average of a companion per transfer.  And yes, he's the District Leader.
The ward is great too.  We've got a relatively young but strong Branch (ward).  There are so many kinderschnitzels (kids) running around!  I'm going to bring some Canadian candy next Sunday to give out.  I'm sure they'll love that.  The ward is very missionary oriented too.  The person who translates for General Conference is the Branch President here.  He's a fantastic guy, I can tell already.  There are quite a few African people in this area too.  So far the majority of the investigators that I've met have been African.  Woo!  It's like being back in Leiden. 
AAAAND.  Let me just say how excited I am for Kalvin and Jaeden.  Man oh man.  How cool!  That's so great that they're both going to cool places.  I wish I could have been there for Jaedan's farewell talk.  I just hope those Uruguain (?) people are ready for Kalvin!  So proud of them both.  I have no doubt they'll both excell.  Just remember to be yourself!  Let your light shine, as it says.
By the way......they have strange milk here.  You don't have to refridgerate it.  Wait...what?  Nope.  Niet noodzakelijk, hoor.  You just...let it chill on your shelf until you open it, then you stick it in the fridge.  So strange.  It's thicker or something too.  Not quite sure.  Apparently they super-heat it to purify it or something.  I don't know for sure.
We play Foetball elke donderdag (on Thursday's).  We missed it this last Thursday, which was actually good.  I don't have cleats yet.  I'm going to borrow some from a member, but if it comes to it, I'll just buy my own.  Gee, I wish I would have bought a pair back in Leiden!  Oh well, it'll be fine.
Also, Elder Jones is in our District, and Elder Nish ~  Canadian's. And Sister Herring, who loves volleyball.  She just texted us and said she bought a new ball.  We're going to try and play next P-day.  WOO! 
Well, I should get going now.
Happy Birthday to Greg.
Love ya lots!
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

My new address:

Driezenstraat 21
2300 Turnhout

Brother and Sister Moore

Elder Leach

Monday, 18 June 2012

This week was staight up awesome.

Where to begin?
We met with Joan again.  Armin Panhuizer drove us to Roermond and was our joint teach.  He is a super cool guy.  Fun to be around.  Plus he loves Halo!  Always good.  Have I already talked about him?  Anyway, our lesson with Joan went really well.  She enjoyed the video we shared and committed to read the Book of Mormon and even accepted a 'soft' baptismal date.  She agreed that if this is the route God wants her to go, of course she'll follow it.  We also set up two more appointments for this week--she's down to meet twice a week.  I'm very excited for her.
And actually, we got a new investigator that is also diggety down to meet twice a week.  His name is Peter van Mierlo.  I knew I'd love him right away when we came up to his house.  He lives on the outskirts of Eindhoven, in a forest-like area.  It was like biking in Scotch Creek!  And then his doorknocker is a dragon's head.  Ah!  So cool.  His case is a new one for me.  He was actually an investigator for the Zwolle Elders, but since he lives in Eindhoven, they 'passed' him on to us.  His girlfriend right now is an investigator (also in Zwolle) from a long time ago.  He has read the entire Gospel Principles book and told us in our first lesson that his objective of meeting with us is to eventually get baptized.  Wham.  Wow, glad we got that formality aside.  He's a super cool, interesting guy though.  I'm not sure where he works, but he makes fake gore for his job.  Seriously, he makes fake wounds, covers himself with them and lets emergency-response students practise on him (or something similar).  He showed us this book of some of the things he has done.  Looks like the real thing.  Burned faces, squashed fingers, lacerations... you name it, he's made it.  Ewie.
Thursday we had an ALL zone mission conference.  That's the entire mission meeting at once.  I'll tell you, it was so cool to see everyone again.  It was strange because it was also President Brubaker's last address to us.  Like his departing testimony.  It was somber and kind of sad.  President Brubaker and Sister Brubaker are super special people.  
Oh, and I heard a bit from Elder Mortenson and Elder Thueson.  They said Leiden is doing great.  Gabiel is just as awesome as ever.  And Khalid?  They said they take him joint-teaching all the time.  They said he just testifies like crazy.  Aw man, it just warms my heart to hear that.  This is what it's all about!
Speaking of which...
View New Image.JPG in slide show
Harry, Isa and Elder Shwartz
It was a great experience.  Isa was so incredibly worried the day of, she actually threw up three times!  Ah! When she got in the font with Elder Shwartz (remember I mentioned that he was the Elder that originally 'found' her - he is going home soon), she was just shaking like a leaf.  But then, WHAM.  She was baptized!  Afterwards, I swear she was just beaming.  She was so, so happy!  Gleeful!  The next day at church that happiness just continued to shine.  She received the Holy Ghost and even stayed for the entire church service (which she didn't usually do).  Man, the whole thing was just super awesome.  I've never seen her happier!
I'm really happy I was here in Eindhoven to experience Isa's baptizm............before I got transferred.
UUUURCH.  What?  Yep.  Got the call.
Looks like I'm off to Turnhout, Belgium.
I will be serving with Elder Leach.  
Honestly, I can't say I'm particularly excited to leave Eindhoven, or Elder Kunz.  But the work must go on!
Elder Kunz is getting two new companions, Elder Roemer and Elder Taylor.
Elder Taylor's brother ordered my books.  Isa is planning on ordering my books too!
Who knew that being on a mission would be such a "promoting" experience?
Anydoodle, super awesome.
Next time I write, I'll been in the land of chocolate, bad roads and waffles.
Tot Volgende Keer,
Elder Burgess

  (excerpt from Sister Brubaker's blog)

As President Brubaker and I walked into the church in Rotterdam, words cannot describe the overwhelming feeling that came over us, as we felt the love we have for every missionary in our mission.  They were all together for the 1st time in 2 1/2 years!
Elder Burgess's work station

l-r Elders Burton, Burgess, Andrews, Stoddard, Mower, Sisters Palenikova, Stout!
Evan's MTC gang

Monday, 11 June 2012

A strange week

This week was a busy one.  A bit strange too.  Our list of potential investigators is getting pretty long, while our straight-up investigators is...declining slowly.
Our appointments with Raychel, Sheka and Joan all fell through.  Technically, we're supposed to drop the two former, but I'm not quite ready to give up on them yet.
We had some miracles, and also some strange-ness-s.
So we were looking somebody up and this girl opened the door.  We introduced ourselves with a reply along the lines of  "Oh, I know all about you guys."
Uh...  You do?  Probably somebody who looked us up on line or someth--
"l'm a member."
Say again?  By what some would call a fluke coincidence, we found Mirielle, a member of about 4 years.  She comes from Surinam and has been here for about a year, but never made an attempt to reach the Church.  We made a return appointment and got to know her a little bit better.  She was excited to know the Church is about 2 streets away from her house and we gave her a Book of Mormon right there so she could begin reading it again.  Also, we're going to start teaching her the lessons, to kind of jump-start her back into Church.  The whole situation is just unbelievable.  Super cool.
And Isa!  She's doing great.  Everything is coming together nicely for her baptizm.  We've been calling her everyday to make sure she's on-track.  She had a long friendly discussion with the Bishop just the other night.  We're still very excited for her.
Also!  I lent Harry my book so he could read it.  He loves talking about it (though he mentions all-too-frequently the mistakes--- daarin).  He comments often how 'spannend' it is.  He usually goes to bed pretty early, but one night he stayed up until 11:30 reading it.  He's finished the first book already--within 3 weeks.  I'm going to lend him the second one today.  
So guess something else.  I have discovered that I like asking Muslim people where they come from.  In our area, they seem to come out of Turkey.  But when I asked a Turkish person that the other day, they kind of squinted at me with a smile and asked "Do you come from Turkey too?"  AH!  What?  No!  Apparently, I've just got that face.  I guess I've got more sun lately than I thought.  Okay, whatever though.  Just one comment, right. Nope.  I had a second Turkish person ask me the same thing.  GAH!  Goshdangit.  Isa only corroborated what they said.  "Yeah, you do kind look a bit Turkish." That's three separate people.  
Gerald--in a roundabout way--dropped us.  We showed up for our appointment, but a lady opened the door and told us he wasn't feeling well and he wouldn't be up to meeting with us again.  When I tried to push why, she only sent us away.  Hmm, okay...  Bummer.  He really seemed interested too.  Maybe we'll phone him and ask further.  I want to hear it from him.
We had dinner with the Knudsons yesterday.  Guess what they made us?  A full turkey dinner.  Stuffing, yams, smashed potatoes, the works.  It was unbelievable.  I've never had moister turkey.  Hot diggety was it good.  They told us too that they'd like to have us over at least once more. Hey, I'm not complaining. They will be moving back to the States soon.
Oh, and I got a new camera!  It's very nice.  If any of you back home want a decent camera, I could probably send the old one your way.  Gotta let me know right away though.
So the European Cup started.  We were heading towards the centrum when we saw a lot of people wearing orange, flocking towards the stadium.  It wasn't hard to figure out why.  Yep.  Needless to say, the rest of the night was essentially fruitless.  I've never seen the city so dead.  It was almost eerie.  The Netherlands lost too.
We went to Belgium!  It's certainly a different place.  There is a literal line between the two countries--in the road.  They don't take good care of their roads.  We got a ride from a member and as we approached the border, he said "Get ready for the quiet to go away..."  BRAAAAAAA.  Like going off asphalt onto gravel.  Ooo.  We went to Antwerpen for Stake Conference.  It was fun.  President Iring and President Nelson spoke.  The emphasis was on raising children in the Gospel.
By the way, it lifts my heart to hear that Braden is doing well.  I'm glad he's coming to church again.  I pray for him a lot.  I sent him a letter today.  He's like a brother to me.
Anydoodle.  Best of luck to you all.
Send me some love!
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

Monday, 4 June 2012

We went there, got an investigator, then went home.

I've probably exhausted all the forms of wham and diddely possible by now.
Nother week, nother adventures.  This week seemed to really blast by.  I swear I blinked and then Monday met me again.
As for our investigators...
Elder Van Overbeek (who was in Eindhoven just before Elder Kunz and I), phoned us up one evening and straight up asked us to see if we could move Isa's baptismal date sooner.  Umm...okay?  We asked how soon would be good.  His reply: "Mmm, next week would be acceptable." He wanted her baptized that very weekend!  So we called Isa up and put the thought in her mind.  After a few days, she made the decision to be baptized on June 16th.  I think it will be better this way, really.  The less distance between now and then, the more unlikely something will happen.  Plus Elder Schwartz (who was the one who found her to begin with) is leaving home soon, so this way he can attend too!  And...... this way I'll actually get to see one of our investigators get baptized!  Woo!  Isa gave us ice cream as well.  Ben and Jerry's.  Mmm.
As for fietspump (bike pump) guy, Sheka.  Our appointment fell through and Sunday evening was a torrential downpour.  He only has a bike, so I can't blame him for not showing up.
Raychel cancelled our appointment, but we made another for next week.
Congratulations for Kalvin by the way!  Give me his address and I'll try to send a "Gefiliciteerd" card.  Any projections on when he's going to get his actual call?  Super exciting.
So we've got a couple interesting contacts this week.  We got a referral from HQ this week.  A guy named Jason came in contact with the missionaries in Germany, and ordered a Book of Mormon.  The address was for a small city called Roermond, about 40 minutes or so away from Eindhoven.  With a few hours to spare, we decided to go check it out.
So we got there and knocked on the door.  A lady answers and we tell her we have a Book of Mormon for Jason.  Except she doesn't know any Jason.
We begin telling her about this Jason......who ordered a Book of Mormon.  Lives in Germany...  Caribbean...a music DJ.  Turns out his name was something somewhat similar to Jason, but not actually Jason.  We figured "Jason" must have ordered the Book for his Mommy (who turned out to be  a super spiritual/curious person).  So we gladly gave her the book and set an appointment for the following week.  I think it's super strange...  We went there, got an investigator, then went home.  Nothing else.  Strange.
We never went back to high guy.  We had another appointment instead.
Aha.  Also, our district leader, Elder Merril, wanted to meet our investigators.  So he planned an exchange on Saturday.  Little did he know we had an appointment with Sister Luid (remember, she's a little cra.....a child of God)!  Muahaha.  I went to Heerlen instead that day.  Can't say I was disappointed...
So I considered buying that camera again.  It was even 10€ lower this week.  I didn't buy it though.  I think I'll just stick with my camera for now.
My allergies have pretty much been the worst ever still.  I made the mistake of itching my eye the other night wasn't nice.  It got all watery and swollen and red and bleh.  I really hope the allergy pills you sent work.  I really hope ALL THIS RAIN we've been having will wash all the pollen away too.  It's been raining for two days straight now. 
By the way, I'm reading through Jesus the Christ.  Interesting book.  Sometimes it just flows in one eyeball and out the other though.  Now that is a heavy book.  I'm about 2 thirds done already.  
Ik hou van jullie!
Tot volgene keer,
Elder Burgess