Monday, 30 July 2012

"Make sure your investigators are converted by the Spirit, not convinced by the missionary"

What you (Rylan) said about the Spirit converting is so true.  I've mentioned Joe Arthur a few times...  When Elder Leach asked him why he was baptised, he responded with somethingalong the lines of "because the Elders convinced me it was a good idea."  If that's the reason, it's a very poor one.  Now, we have to try and 'fix' something that should have been resolved before he was baptized.  Read the Book.  That's what our mission leader said.  Just read the Book.  It's so true.
Get Sasa to read the book of Mormon.  If not her, invite Elly to.  Hear that?  Elly, read the book of Mormon.  Ik dach je uit om dat te doen (I dare you to).  Heck, I bet even Julia would enjoy it.
There aren't many canals in Turnhout.  Actually, none.  But yes, it is extremely humid.
Aw, my poor, dumb puppy.  Listen, if it gets to the point where he's in pain, just put him down.  I'd rather him not suffer.
It really is amazing how destructive--or at least distracting--technology is.  If there's a TV on in the room--even if I'm not looking at it, my attention goes out the window.  It's impossible to focus!  There's a lesson in there somewhere.
Wow, Preston's calling to Toronto.  Wow, Jaedan leaving the MTC.  Neat.  Double neat.
Woo!  A whistle nerf football!  Thank you so much.  It's super cool.  We even got to use it.  It's almost a haunting sound--more like a howl than a whistle.
By the way, it's been a boiler here.  Seriously  hottest week of my mission.  It was hard to stay outside longer than an hour.  I must've drank 4 huge water bottles one day and didn't pee the whole time!  Yikes!  All is cooling down now though.  Probably the last of the summer too...  Good bye sun, goodedag regen
But man oh man, oh gee was this week busy. 
So that family we found last week?  I can't remember exactly what all I told, but we went over there on Monday and helped them in their achtertuin (backyard).  We mowed the lawn, weeded and cleared stinging nettles (bad stings hurt for days) and whipper snipped and before you knew it, it was 3 whole hours later.  Yipes.  As we worked, more and more girls seemed to appear in the backyard.  The mother has 3 children, but at the moment, the children of her sister were visiting as well.  I believe there were 4 girls, all around Elly's age (13).  They reminded me so much of Elly and her goofy friends.  All chirping away.
After we were done working, the mother invited us to a picnic.  Yes, that's right.  We picnic-ed.  On Wednesday, we met them by the park--on the hottest day ever--and spent another 3 hours with them, throwing fox-tails, howling-footballs and frisbees around.  It was a lot of fun.  We haven't actually taught anything yet (oops), but we're hoping that we're building a strong relationship.  The girls asked us at the end if they would see us again, adding "we really want to!"  Awesome family.  It's amazing how many languages some of them spoke.  Some spoke 3, the others 5.  Unbelievable.  I replied that I only spoke 1 and a half.
Anydoodle, if that much exercise and chilling in 'normal' clothes wasn't enough, we went and played football Thursday night as well with a few members.  I was so unbelievably sore this week.
But yes.  The windows of heaven are opened wide.  I think I mentioned that we had an appointment with Nathalie last week?  Anyway, she's a Dutch girl we found, around 23 years old.  We went to her house with our Branch President and had a very good lesson.  She's a bit quiet, but open to listen.  She seems to appreciate what we teaching as well.  Our first appointment, she said that she would try praying at the end next time.  So at our second appointment, I asked her if she would pray.  After teaching her how, she said a modest prayer right then and there.  That's pretty big progress--especially for her personality.  You don't expect that from much people who don't pray regularly. We've got a dinner appointment with her at our Branch President's house on Tuesday.  We're very excited.  Ah yes, and also, we gave her a baptismal date and she accepted.  Woo!
So much to say.
This Sunday was miraculous too. Joe Arthur.  We gave him a solid challenge to read the Book of Mormon--and to come to church.  So this Sunday, we rolled on in, to find him and his 3 daughters sitting attentively in their seats.  It was so cool to see him there.  One of the first things he said to me was "I read the Book, and it told me to come to church."  Wow!  That was an awesome moment.
There were 75 people in church.  For a branch, that's a lot.  Usually, there's only half that.  We had inactive's, visitors from Texas, non-member parents.  It was super packed.  There was seriously only 4 or 5 chairs remaining in the building.  It was a good note to send Elder Leach away on.
Say wha?
Dear ol' Elder Leach is a goner.  He's fleeing to Zwolle, and I'm getting Elder Moscon in return, who was in the older group in the MTC.  I'll miss Elder Leach for sure.  There are a few shenanigans in our district actually.  Every companionship is changing.  Elder Klippel (he stayed with me in Leiden) is coming down to Antwerpen, as well as two sisters in the MTC group below ours.  Elder Nish, my Canadian buddy, is also getting the boot.
Buuut, that's a huge letter.  Sorry.  So much happened this week!
Thanks for your letters and support,
And yes, our ward (Vernon) is super great.  I'm proud of all those munchkins roaming around.  Though, they're probably be hugekins when I get home...dangit. 
How's Brandon Goeders doing?
Also, what's Andrew's address?
And something is coming your way.
Well, mijn tijd is al op!  Ik ga weg nu.  Dag. ('My time is already on, I'm leaving now.')
Well, tot volgende keer ('until next time'),
Elder Burgess

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