Monday, 17 September 2012

Lelystad, Netherlands ~ a new area.....again!!

A new area!  Again!  I'm starting to think somethings up.  I'm not really disappointed.  Thinking back, I recall President Burnham's words.  He told me a mission was great for meeting people.  Well, wham, here is  a whole new branch and area to get to know.  I guess it's just my job to go around and explore the mission.
Lelystad itself is a 20 minute commute.  We bought an abonnement (subscription) , which means we pay a lump sum to travel unlimited between the two cities.  Quite a chunk of cash, but goedkoper (cheaper) than paying each time.  The city is relatively flat, building-wise.  There are many skyscrapers and a few canals snaking here and there.  The place is built like a maze though, with areas or wijks (districts) and then street numbers instead of names.  The numbers are in no particular order though--and without maps on our phone, it's sometimes a nightmare to find where we're going.  Seems like a fun place.  Kind of ghetto-y in some places though.  The builder of the town thought it would be a good idea to build lots of cheap housing to build up the city really fast.  All that did was get all the foreigners and poorer people to move in.
The branch itself has a lot of ups and downs.  There are stronger members, but overall, the branch is struggling.  The members aren't as...strong as they could be.  We've got a plan to work with the JoVo's (YSA) of the ward.  The first Thursday we had a Jovo evening where we ate food and played chess and pingpong.  I surprised myself how good I was at pingpong--just as long as I took of my shoes first.
There's an Austrian lady in the ward.  She's off to Austria for the next little while for a treatment for her lime disease, but she'll be back in a couple of weeks--with Almdudler!  Apparently, you can buy it in a grocery store in town--for a bit of a price.  Worth checking out.
The gemeente (Branch)  President is a super cool guy.  He's only 26!  He's got a vision for the branch though, so hopefully we can work some miracles.
The apartment we live in is indeed above McDonald's, as well as a store called H&M.  The front of the building is opposite to our door and we live on the second story, so we pretty much never see either though.  Apparently, our apartment is highly sought after.  You can just barely smell the ocean if the wind is right.  It rains and blows like crazy.  Great gusty storms that swoop in, roar for an hour, then fade away just as fast.  Our apartment is one story, but very spacious and cozy.  We've got a nice speaker system.
Aaand yup, bunking with Elder Andrews again.  His greenie (Elder Pimentel) is super cool.  Very excited about doing missionary work.  He wiggles his tail as he anticipates going out and giving away another Book of Mormon.  Elder Pimentel is from everywhere.  He was born in Oaklahoma, but lived in the Netherlands and Sudan, to name but a few.  Elder Pimentel lived here a few years back, so his
Dutch is better than most greenies already--he actually took Spanish in the MTC.  Hmm...
Elder Shoemaker is a fun guy.  He's got a good smile and I can tell he's a hard worker.  No problems there.
Yummy ........... fresh Herring!!!
I didn't really get to say goodbye to anybody.  I haven't expected to move the last 3 moves, and this time wasn't much different.  I got a picture with familie Germann and Tauelen, the investigator who came to church regularly.  Sister Tauelen was making good progress.  We hadn't really even taught her much, but the ward swept her right in.  She's practically a regular now.  I wouldn't be surprised if she was baptized sometime in the future...
Also, I got a picture with Simon and Don.  We had a super-cool appointment with them Tuesday.  We sat down with Don and Simon didn't show up, so we began teaching Don the Plan of Salvation.  Just as we finished, Simon showed up and sat down, saying `yo, what are we learning today?"  To our surprise, Don insisted on teaching him what he just learned.  So Don went through the Plan of Salvation, telling him what each drawing meant (we did it on a piece of paper).  He did it perfectly too.  It was beautiful, how he explained it actually.  At one point, he said "Then Simon, yo gonna die.  You are gonna die.  Yo gonna die." He said it almost like a threat.  Simon nodded and said "Oh.  Yeah.  Oh, yeah." It was super funny.  Still, they both got it.  It was super cool--good thing to leave on.
Mom, I've only been here a week and we've had 3 or 4 dinner appointments already.  We went to one family's house and they had dragons everywhere!  4 or 5 dragon statues and a huge dragon painting hanging on the wall! Their kids brought down this huge star Wars lego set as well.  It was awesome.
Buuut yeah.  That's about all, right?  Back to good milk, good roads, and understandable accents.  Woo! 
Love the Nederland.
Oh....Dad and his injuries...  I can't believe you actually still go to the ER anymore.
Well, tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

On September 5 and 6, 2012 President Kearen, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and the 1st Councillor in the European Area Presidency come and toured the missionThese are some pictures taken of the Rotterdam and Antwerpen Zone Conference.

Elder Pimentel first assignment is Almere - to be trained by Elder B Andrews (from Evan's MTC group).  He is part of a foursome living with Evan.

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