Tuesday, 22 October 2013

I have a testimony of being tired

Ah. 112 entries. A fine round number. Let me just take a moment to thank all my fine blog-followers. Thanks, Blog Followers. I appreciate your care, love attention and prayers. Mayhaps I will also take a moment to look over my mission this fine day. As things wind down, I have to take a look at myself. I feel different, but at the same time I feel the same. I've experience so much and learned so much more. Or maybe the other way around. It was amazing to see how the Lord answers prayers--immediately sometimes. I'm very thankful for the people I've been able to meet as well. Companions, members, non-members... I've met some of the greatest people in the world, in all regards. I think back on the words of my stake President. I'm bad with details, but he promised me that a mission would be a perfect opportunity to meet lots of people--good for my writing. Well, he was certainly right. I've taught--and helped--people with faith to move mountains as well as the godless. If there's one thing that sums up missionary work the most for me, I think it would be Family Stroobonts. What a cool, prepared family. It was such a joy going to their house, eating delicious food and teaching the Eternal Gospel to eager ears. Sitting in the warmth with a blistering cold outside, teaching the gospel. Wow. And seeing them all get baptized. What an honour. You know, I feel as though I've been there for the Lord--for every special assignment He's given me. There's regular missionary work (trust me, that's the best mind), but then there are those specific tasks you are meant to fill. Every time the Lord gave me one of these, I stepped up to the plate and gave it my all. I have a testimony of being tired as butts. I have a testimony of zombies. We have to kill those zombies. Those nasty self-limiting-beliefs that hold us back from reaching those safe houses. We have to throw down our toasters and let people know that we're real, and not the undead horde. Bikes to ride, people to help, life to live. Met hartelijk bedankt, Elder Burgess

Friday, 18 October 2013

Zombies and brains everywhere

Well, Zombie/NerfGun Pday was the greatest thing ever made.  Ever.  We had a total of 12 people there, including the district, Elder Andrews, and 2 members.  IT was so rad.  Between us all, we had 2 electric guns, 2 revolver guns--one with a crossbow scope--a disk launcher, a shotgun (that was mine), and a bunch of pistols.  Zombies and brains everywhere. At one point, it was just Elder Andrews wielding duellies and Elder Robbins with an electric gun.  They stood there valiantly, defending themselves against the zombie hordes.  Just as the last fell, Andrews asked, "Are we the only ones left?" "Yes." Without hesitation, Andrews drew his pistol and shot Elder Robbins in the head, grabbed a handful of ammo and sprinted away. Oh man we were yelling, "What a dirtbag!" With terrific zombie roars and the endless moan of the undead, all us zombies rised again and in an endless onslaught, threw ourselves at the last survivor.  I managed to get him too.  Out of ammo, he was powerless as a zombie pushed past the bodies of its fallen fellows and tackled him, devour his guts.  As he fell over against the door, his body hit the doorhandle and he tumbled out the door and partially outside.  IT WAS AWESOME. The loudest scream that day was from Sister Nelson, who after killing a zombie, sidled closer to investigate its remains.  Little did she know there was still some fight left in it and it rolled onto its belly and crawled with horrifying speed towards it.  That was me again.  It was seriously one of the funnest P-days I've had on my mission.  Somehow, I'll have to organize another later. Otherwise, it was a pretty standard week.  We had a miracle though.  Elder Losee had felt prompted to visit a certain street and so he did.  He talked with a lithuanian man who said they could come back later. So we did. When we knocked the door, a lady answered, saying her boyfriend was upstairs and preoccupied.  She asked then, "What's the difference between your church and the Catholic church?" and bode us to enter.  Perfect! We then shared a super cool conversation with her and taught the Restoration. I believe she mentioned she wasn't religious, (and obviously enjoyed her alcohol), but was very open to learn more--partially to improve her English--and accepted a Book of Mormon.  she was also Lithuanian by the way.  It's not every day somebody just straight-up lets you in.  Really neat.  Follow up for suresies. Also, we decided to go look up a member in a neighbouring city.  We hopped in the bus, away we had an appointment in a while, but supposing the bus would be short... Nope. We sat on that dang bus for an hour!  Rode it right to the end.  The adress we had was for Willemstad, but the street itself was in the nearby Helwijk.  Worst name ever for a neighbourhood.  Anydoodle, as we got off, somebody approached and asked in English if we were from Canada.  He had noticed the flag on my backpack and decided to ride until we got off so he could chat.  Neat.  Quickly switched to Dutch and talked to this guy.  Maybe about 18.  Very friendly and helpful, a true champ.  We gave him a card and everything.  We'll see what happens I guess. Afterwards, we went to the members and had a cool chat.  We talked about our missions and a bit about hers with her non-member husband.  He's a swell guy and is actually supportive of her, though he himself is not interested.  At the end, I also discovered he was a Halo fan.  Augh!  Awesome.  He drove us home as well that night.  Insta-friend engaged. Otherwise, we didn't get to meet with most of the people we usually meet with.  The weather went sour and rainy and I almost got sick.  Just avoided it.  A lot of other people did though.  Dangit.  We went to the military family in Breda again.  I held an AK47.  Whoa. Well.  Well. Next week should be interesting. Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 7 October 2013

Like I have time to daydream anymore

This past week was admittedly slower. Another one of those weeks where helping out the district is the main priority. We went over to Tilburg on Thursday and roamed around. It was interesting, because District meeting was pushed to that day because of interviews. Ah, interviews. Both Pres Robinson and his wife sat down and basically said, "Well, you're leaving in a while." Gee, thanks. They both personally thanked me for everything I've done. I guess daydreaming about dragons is rewarding after all. Just kidding, like I have time to daydream anymore. But yes. That thursday morning, I had the thought, "we should go to Tilburg today." I didn't mention it later until both Tilburg and us stood on different train tracks waiting for the train. With literally 2 minutes left before it came, I turned to Elder Losee. "Quick, do you want to go work in Tilburg today?" "Yep." And we were off. We sprinted down the corridor and onto the train and sat down beside them. They were pretty surprised. I was able to spend the day with Elder Frisby again. I really enjoy spending time with him, actually. He's a funny guy, but a dedicated member and missionary. I can't remember if I mentioned it, but he's a convert of a couple years. Later in the day we had an intense appointment where the Breda Sisters handed an investigator to the Tilburg Elders. He was an intellectual guy, but we were able to connect with him and my testimony quite touched him. Also, that same day I saw somebody catch a fish. We killed that zombie (that voice that tells you not to contact somebody) and spoke to him and I showed him a picture of the fish I caught. He only laughed. We also met with our Congo friend and her children. I love that little family. The young boy is always smiling and happy. Reminds me a lot of Witse Stroobonts. We called this fammy-jim-jam after conference and unfortunately, they couldn't find the broadcast. The young boy asked to use the phone and excitedly he asked us how the conference was. "And was the Prophet there?" Of course. "Whoa. Was he a real Prophet?" Of course. "Whoa." Such an adorable kid. We're hoping to meet more with this family this week. Love them! We also met with our Thai friend again--the pal of the less-active member. Gee, now that I can't list off names, life is getting confusing. Anyway, we watched the Restoration DVD and shared about prayer. It was a good lesson filled with the Spirit. Saddle sore is gone. Woo! We also visited an inactive member that had a grand total of 17 dogs. Holy Man. Yep. 17. He's a dog breeder. He has Dalmatians and French Bloodhounds. It was a crazy, hairy house, but he was super friendly and very nice. He's in some financial problems right now. Not much we can do there except support spiritually. Bummer. So last week we were heading towards the station with the Vlissingen Elders on the back of our bikes. Suddenly, a bike we had been borrowing tachoed! The wheel simply bent over. We were in a rush, so we locked it up against the side of a building and began to run. Not only did we miss the train, but that same bike was stolen the next day. Beats me why somebody would want a broken bike, but okay. Sorry Bishop, we uh...lost your bike. He wasn't upset. It wasn't a good one anyway. Oh! Don't tell him that. General Conference was a good one this year. I had trouble taking notes though, I'm not sure why. I especially enjoyed the Sunday morning talk giving by Pres Eyring. Very emotional and spiritual. I feel sorry for our poor Prophet though. Everybody here commented on how much older he looks. After hearing all his adoration for his wife, I think I can understand why. Still, his words and testimony touched me and I felt uplifted. Thanks. That's what I'll say when I meet him. If...I meet him. So today we have a zombie Nerf gun pday. It seems my central theme this transfer has been zombies. I just gave a District meeting explaining how small disobedient habits or ideas are like carrying a toaster in a zombie apocalypse. It's just a bad idea. You have to throw down that toaster and grab a bigger weapon! What survivors will want to come with you to the safe house if you're carrying a toaster? Just dumb. Although it's all about zombies, all my district trainings have tied in perfectly with each other. They all are truly inspired by the Lord. It's amazing to see how the members of the District have been able to catch the fun and use the tools I've presented to truly improve their work. I can't take any of the credit. It was like the pen wrote the trainings, and I simply added in zombies. But yes. Our Zombie/Nerf gun Pday. We're all going to the church today to have a giant battle. We've all acquired Nerf Guns and we're going to have a big jamboree. You bet there will be blood and gore and mauling. I've been excited for it all week. Should be fun. Our washroom had mould. I killed that mould. It's been a good week. Very spiritually uplifting. I enjoyed it very much. Onward to success. Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 30 September 2013

Adventures. Tired as butts. Spirit.

Dear everybody. This week was a blur. The end. Kidding. But seriously, Holy Moses. I blinked and suddenly it was today. Let me go through the rundown. Oh, by the way... I've got zombie butt. No, not really. Let's just say I have a nasty saddle sore right now that's giving me no end of trouble. Let's also just say that it's extremely awkward to talk to Sister Robinson about it. The solution, don't ride your bike, dummy. I rode my bike, dummy, and now it's worse. Arg! Zombie butts aside... I went to Vlissingen for the first time on Tuesday. It's a fun little city by the coast. The Elders there live in this super ghetto apartment building way up high. It's filled with fruit flies. Seriously, on the windowsill and on the stairs there was a one-inch pile of the little guys. Bligh. Who knows how that happens. As we exchanged, Elder Robinson left the phone on the bench because we traded halfway. We were pretty far onderweg (on route) before he realized and we had to go all the way back. It wasn't there. So we went the rest of the way back to Roosendaal and just slept over. Yep, met z'n vier. Four people again. But we made it back to Vlissingen and worked there for a day. Fine and dandy. The next day we went to Antwerpen for a Zone conference. It was good to be back in the Belgium funk. We had a super awesome training. Sister Robinson gave a powerful one, tying in current world events to tell us that we're building safe places for people in these perilous times. It was strong and applicable, wham. Then, Elder Andrews and I were asked to give our testimonies because we're leaving relatively soon and this is likely our last zone conference. Oh man. I was barely keeping it together when Elder Andrews was done, then I had to get up. I bore my heart and soul. Gee. It makes me emotional just thinking about it. I bore my heart about the power of change that comes through the Atonement--and how I've seen that same power save lives. I also bore my testimony of prayer and the miracles that I've experienced through it. I was a marshmallow wreck. It made me really tired too... Pfft, like I'm not tired lately. On Thursday, I felt as though we needed to go to Vlissingen to assist the Elders there--they didn't have a phone after all. So we quickly hopped on a train and headed over, not knowing if they'd be home or where their home exactly was. When we arrived, I felt a good feeling, like we were supposed to be there and we started in the general direction of their building. As we approached, we saw them whisk through an intersection on their bikes and called out to them. Turns out, they had felt they needed to turn around just before then. Miracle! So we traded companions and worked with them for the day. Super fun. This same week, they found 5 new investigators and now have 2 new baptismal dates. Woo! Then Friday. Mmm. Friday. I saw Elder Wayman for the 3rd time on my mission. He's happy and doing well, so that was nice. But yes. Friday, Elder Losee went with a big group down to Brussels. Everything was fine until a missionary in my District, and another missionary got lost--in one of the largest cities in Europe. I'll spare the details, but eventually they were picked up and eventually they arrived in Roosendaal at 9:30--only to catch the wrong bus. We sent a search party after them and we finally picked them up at a gas station, buying food. We all swung home, but by then it was 10:30 and there were a total of 8 missionaries in our apartment. I think what got me the most frustrated about the whole event was the attitude of these two missionaries; total disregard, no regret, no concern. I'm mostly over it, but still somewhat steamed. Oh well. It was an adventure I guess. We literally had to take an hour and a half nap the next day though. We couldn't function anymore because of how exhausted Elder Losee and I were. Bligh. But that same Friday evening, we had a dinner appointment with Family Hendricks and their friend from Uganda. She's a super swell lady--has a great drive to accomplish. We talked, laughed and shared a strong spiritual message at the end. Sister Hendricks personally came and thanked us in church, saying how much her friend loved the evening. We'll be working with our new Ugandan friend in the future, you bet your bottom. Otherwise, most of our attention was on the District this week. We also went to the Murton's. Br. Murton was in the military forever, so of course he has all sorts of military gear. And of course we took some photos with his gadgets. Of course we're going back to take more. He's a super friendly guy. He had a crazy mission in Ireland as well - - back in the day. His mission was basically him and his companions beating up gangsters. I won't tell you how many elbows he broke. Over two dozen. They made tacos and root bear floats. Ambrosia. Adventures. Tired as butts. Spirit. Just how a mission should be. Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 23 September 2013

My oh-so-favourite dragon lesson

Finally I have some time to actually email. 30 minutes to do everything last time? Psh. Now I have some more time. Oh my, I am tired. Every member of the District has heard that every evening this week. Yep yep. I don't think I have ever been more tired. I'm being honest. I'm exhausted. We had a crazy beginning of the week. The Vlissingen Elders stayed over Sunday evening. Now, whenever anybody stays over, it's usually bad news bears because we all stay up laughing at zombies and gas. Then, the next evening they slept over again because they had to swing back through to Breda for a District meeting anyway. Surprisingly, we got to bed on time. But then because of legality trips, they had to assist us in an appointment and then forgot their keys--again sleep over. That's 3 days in total. This week was just one giant successful whirlwind. So, when I have bad numbers in a week, you might notice I say something, "but it's not about the numbers anyway." And when we have good numbers, it's something like, "but it's actually all about the numbers, anyway." In any case, we had really good numbers this week--we taught a lot and found a lot of new people. Let us explore. We headed over to a semi-active friend in the middle of the week. He might be the coolest guy ever. He has a nice family, nice dog and nice cat and lives in cozy city in a cozy house. What's more, and arguably cool, he's not allowed to work because of an injury, so he is paid by the government instead. Arguably cool. He loves bikes and motorcycles and anything that can zoom and is certified to fix all the above. He loves video games too. He's been a member for a while, but has recently made the decision to become active again. Whew! We were able to teach a small lesson to his wife as well, who is a non-member--who for now also shows little interest. So that was fun. Then that same evening we swung by our Congo friend. We helped her with her light fixtures and met her 3 children, 11, 8 and 1 respectively. The 8 year old boy loves us too. He reminds me a lot of Witse Stroobont from those many moons ago. Full of innocence and smiles. We taught he again Sunday evening and this time the 11 year old daughter said the closing prayer with a bit of help and prompting. Super cool family. We also have another family from Congo who's somewhat inactive, so we're hoping they'll become best friends. Speaking of which. We met with one of the daughters of so-said member Congo family. She's super awesome. She brought along one of her friends for the appointment as well, who's actually from Thailand. Le gasp! Friend Thai loved our lessons and together they came to church this Sunday. I commented on how long church was for strangers, but she shrugged it off, saying she thought it was actually okay and how friendly and warm everybody is. Ooo? Super awesome! Speaking of church. We also went to visit a family who has 2 children that aren't members yet. They came as well, pushing our number of church attendance up to 3 investigators. This family is super awesome and we taught them my oh-so-favourite dragon lesson. They enjoyed it and the parents appreciated the work we put in. We're planning to meet with them weekly and hopefully before long we can set a date for the children to be baptized. It's exciting here. Every less-active member we've been working with so far has produced a non-member for us to teach. Gee whiz, I hope it can always be this way! Sooo. I don't know if I mentioned this person already, but Tilburg elders found somebody langs de deuren for us. They followed up with him and he referred them to another person. We'll call person number two "buddy". So we swung by buddy's house to see if we could meet and he swung the window open and yelled a bunch of curses, saying our book was craziness and that God doesn't exist. Startled at first, we listened a bit and tried to say our own part. He stopped and said, "You really want to talk to me?" Yes. "Really?" Yes. "Fine, I'll put on some pants and come downstairs. Then we'll talk." Wait, pants? As he did whatever he was doing, Elder Losee and I said a quick prayer in our heads and he opened the door and bid us to enter. He was holding a joint and a beer and I suggested we come back when he was sober. "Bull-diggety," said he, "I'm never sober!" Uh. Okay. I guess we'll come in. So we went inside and he actually left the door unlocked, saying he didn't want to hurt us or attack us. He simply wanted to share his opinion and he thoughts in a very non-offensive, straight-up way. And share he did. Even a pirate would be ashamed by his language. Oh ho ho. Holy Moses. Buddy reminds me a lot of Brett mixed with Jesse. He has a very poetic, rhythmic way of talking--"perpetuating the situation"--but he's also seen the dark side of street life. Now, when I say share he did, I mean he told us everything. And he has done everything. Yep, everything. With the life this guy has had, I can't blame him for doubting that God even exists. He has had it rough. But I really admire him for the situation he's building. He's stopped dealing drugs and he was just promoted at his work, so things are picking up for him. As we talked, he commented how much he truly respects our discipline and conviction. He loves us a lot. I honestly wanted to get up and hug the guy too. We super connected with him. He said along the way that he finds it unfortunate that we talk only about God and not the human intuition and mentality--but at the end he admitted he's sitting 50/50 whether God exists or not. Right now, he doesn't think so, but he said that he could be convinced. He said that he's been reading the Book of Mormon fairly steadily and that he would continue to read. It is truly a difficult situation to try and describe, even for me. My heart just goes out to him. He's screaming for the atonement, but he doesn't know it. And with his situation and belief, simply handing him the atonement will probably not work. We're going to have to be his best friend and teach him through love. Pray that the Spirit will work through the chemicals as he reads and as he meets with us. Gee, I'm just tired thinking of all this stuff. Tired tired. Well....we're going to go relax for some of this P-day. BYE!! Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 16 September 2013

Destroying our own personal zombies

Whoa, wow! Only 30 minutes to email. Wham, fingers, AWAY! So this week was fun. I'm not sure how I can sum everything up. Surprisingly standard. We're still working on finding investigators to start teaching, but we've managed to get some already. We're getting there. We're working with a less-active member right now who is super cool. We went over to her house and brought a couple from the ward with us. It was a super spiritual lesson and our less-active friend even had one of her friends there too. By the end, she asked her friend to come to church next week and she agreed. We gave the new person a Book of Mormon as well. So yay! Also, we went to a neighbouring city called Bergen op Zoom and got so totally lost. It was ridiculous. Man oh mighty. But chickety-check this out, DAWG. We wandered around until we found a bus and hopped on that sucker. After one stopped, I recognized the street and we hopped off. We went and looked up the person and she let us right in. Crazy! She was taught not too long ago by the sister Mmssionaries, but for some reason they stopped coming by. She had even come to church with her whole family and everything. She's from Congo, but speaks okay Dutch. We shared a quick but good lesson and made a return appointment. We're going back Wednesday to eat food with her. I'm really excited. It was a miracle we found her. This past Sunday was super awesome. It was a unit conference so there was a bunch of people there. During sacrament, they played a beautiful song on the piano and clarinet. I felt the Spirit powerfully. After that, the Bishop gave a great talk with really spoke to me. Fun fun. Otherwise, everybody here in this district is super awesome and we all love to laugh. I prepared a district meeting last week about Zombies. I drew one on the board and said, "this is Bert. He is a zombie. Is he virtuous?" Psh, of course not! Shoot him! I then compared Bert with self-limiting believes--those nagging thoughts at the back of your mind that say you can't do something. The district meeting was wrapped around destroying our own personal zombies that are trying to keep us back from reaching safety--and bringing survivors along the way. The zombie-proof-safe-haven was the 5th Stake here in the Netherlands, which we're all trying to ultimately reach and the steps along the way, or Safe houses, are baptisms. So, our goal is Operation Bert--to baptize at least one person per companionship in the month of October. I'm super excited. It was probably the best district meeting I've given so far. Thank diddely everyone loves zombies here too so they all got the reference. We had a zone P-day today. We all shipped off (after Vlissengen Elders slept over) to Eindhoven with Harry and Elder Andrews to play the goofiest game you'll ever see. It was soccer, but with one of those exercise balls that comes up to your waist. It was outrageously fun. Well, the library closes in 5, dus HOUDOE Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 9 September 2013

That means I'm a granddaddy.

AGH! GYPSY LIBRARY. We have to pay for time and I only have 20 minutes. Gads. Next time I'll start with emailing you guys. Barst. So much to say. Well, here we are in Roosendaal (I spelt it wrong last time). The Kermis (carnival) followed me from Alkmaar and has now situated itself in the centrum here. Roosendaal is a super flat place with a very large centrum. It's much bigger that Den Helder. There are also no seagulls. Our apartment is about 15 minutes away from the station. We live above a little shopping centre in a 2-story flat. Our neighbours down the way are like the Dutch version of hillbillies. They've moved some furniture outside their apartment and are always sitting out there having a fun time. I always wave--I think they're so funny. The ward is also very cool. There are only about 10 members in the Roosendaal area that we cover. Maybe more, I'm not sure yet. Br. and Zr. Hendriks are two people you will probably be hearing a lot from. They're 80 or something and our best friends. They live really close by and are super member missionaries. We went to go see if they had any bikes for my baby boy and Br Hendriks made a point of saying to the store owner that we were volunteers from our church at least 3 times. Super duper. We go to the Breda ward, which currently has sisters. The ward is pretty excited to have Elders back though and we've already been invited a few times for dinner. This place is cool. My little baby boy is Elder Losee. He's from St. George, Utah. Yep, another U-tard. He's a cool cat (home schooled) and a good contactor. He's got a good testimony and a strong desire to do the work. He likes a lot of the same video games as me, so we're going to get along quite well together. So for the first few days, the Eldersfrom Tilburg were bunking with us. TheĆ­r apartment isn't quite done yet. There were a lot of zombies roaming around that house for a few days. It was really dangerous for a while. Thank goodness I brought my Nerf gun with me, so we were able to defend ourselves until the zombie strain ran its course. Still, I don't think it's exactly smooth sailing from here--I hear rumour that the disease may have spread to the whole zone. We may have to gather together and collect all the weapons. We've got to fight off this terrible plague. We've seen a few cool things here already. The Tilburg Elders found us two cool people to teach and through our own efforts, we've found a few people who've invited us to come back. It's a bit overwhelming having to deal with a zillion things at once, considering elder Losee is new and doesn't really understand the language, but I'm keeping up. Today we went to a district leader thingus. Elder Andrews and Harry were there, among a few friends. It was good to see them both--especially because we were back in Eindhoven, where I served with both. Strangely enough, Elder Andrews was actually transferred back there as a zone leader. I'm super jealous of him. Did I mention Elder Rozendaal was training as well? That means I'm a granddaddy. Woo! Heritage! And yeah, Elder Giles is training too. I don't know if I told you, but he's a fan of the child's show, my little pony. Well, it turns out that his trainee is also a fan of that show. Small world. I couldn't believe that... So we saw a tandem bike for sale the other day. I want to swing back there and see the price. If it was decent, I think we'd consider getting it. Oh man would that be goofy. Chances are, we won't get it, but can you just imagine? Too funny. time will tell the tale I suppose. Well, I'm just about out of time. Diddely dee, Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess Evan's new address: Lindenburg 29 4707 CR, Roosendaal Nederland

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Off to a new adventure. AWAY!

Yep. Another week. I've got all good news too! First of all, TRANSFERS! And I'm gone. I'm not sure how to make this more exciting. I'm opening and training and district leader. Holy Moses, can you believe that? I'm being replaced by Elder Kemp and his greenie (it takes 2 to replace me). I'm going to for sure miss Den Helder, but I was here for 4 transfers. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to be seeing something new. And new it will be. I'm going to Rozendaal. Not Elder Roosendaal, but the city. Weird, right? It's kind of smack-daddy right in the middle of nowhere--in that happy no-man's-land between Belgium and the Netherlands. I've been there a couple times, but I've never seen much of anything. As far as the ward or branch goes, I have no idea. It doesn't have it's own unit, so we're going to have to be going somewhere else to meet on Sundays. Somebody mentioned that the Stake President down south had a prophetic dream or something that one day Rozendaal will have it's own ward. Gee, no pressure right. Largest focus: FIND FAMILIES. Elder Mower told me this past week that his goal before he goes home is to find the one. I'm hoping to find the one family. That will be super cool. I wonder who my little baby boy (newly landed companion) will be? Also, I'm pretty sure Elder Giles will be training as well. Should be fun. I heard from Elder Wiscombe very fleetingly. Actually, he called Elder Van Komen and was very, very chipper. He sounded happy and well. It warms my heart to hear that. All that's happened with him recently truly is a giant answer to a lot of prayers and worry. God works His miracles, just give Him some time. We ate dinner at Katie's this past week. Holy Moses, I'll miss her. She is so awesome. We ate Foo foo, a crazy mash-potatoe-ish meal. Super delicious. You eat it with your hands and everything. This weekend we worked out butts off. Ooops. Yep. I am now buttless!! They opened up the city Hoorn and it was our job to go and get the apartment ready. Elder van Komen and I stayed behind to set up some of those build-it-yourself Ikea closets while Elder Douglas ran around picking up furniture. It was tiring! We were there for like 5 hours or something. I rather enjoyed it, actually. The city is beautiful, very Leiden-esque. Except the house was filled with big fat spiders and mouse poop. Not a Sister city, thank diddely. That evening we went to the church and helped in the garden too. Both my companions came home with nasty blisters on their hands. Now, apparently I don't get blisters or don't work hard enough, because I was fine. I think I'm used to setting up those kinds of things anyway, because I wasn't sore after either. I've never had a blister in my life, by the way. The next day we did even more service. We helped in the garden of a cool member and helped another recent member move out. Work work work. It was very, very tiring. Slept well though. On Sunday, a missionary in the Alkmaar branch came home from his mission. They had a special service for him, all Vincent-themed (that's his name). He served in France and Switzerland. It was a strange voorspelling (how do you say that in English? forecast). It was like looking into my life several months from now. Ooo, eerie. there was much food eaten and merrymaking had. And oh-so much more merrymaking to be had. Off to a new adventure. AWAY! Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roosendaal

Monday, 26 August 2013

It was just what I needed

Anyway.... Life is certainly different with the Zone leaders. I now get to see a little bit more of the 'business' side of things. I'm not sure if this week crawled by or flew by. I think it just kind of sat in the back of a car and let it be carried by. Oh wait, that's me. The Zone leaders here had a lot of things to regelen...uh. Regelen? Arrange! Yep, they had a lot to arrange and of course I tagged along. We probably drove for like, 6 hours this week. I don't complain, but I'd rather be out on a bike talking and teaching. What must be done must be done, eh? Elder Douglas is familiar to me. Soft fuzzy dome and a big heart. He was in the MTC with me actually, so we already knew each other. Elder van Komen is a bigger guy. Baseball player. He has a very strong personality, but strives to learn more and to have the Spirit with him. So big physically as well as spiritually. Both of these goofs like to have those fake kind of arguments. It reminds me of Elder Giles and I. If you didn't know better, you might think they hate each other. There is a lot of gas passed and a lot of laughs had. Huh? Was that out loud? This week we went down to Amsterdam to work with the Elders there. I had the fine opportunity to work with Elder Burton back in Den Helder too. I love that guy. It was awesome to be able to say, "We're Canadians and we're talking about..." Ah. Canada. Also, at one point it was Elder Burton, Taylor, Douglas, Mower and I all in the apartment. We were all at the MTC together. Oh diddely it was so awesome to see and work with Elder Mower again. We listened to one of our favourite Christmas albums and shared memories of Leuven. It was just what I needed. Yeah, I'm not going to lie, I've been in what the Sisters in Haarlem called a "poopy-feeling-funk", but being with all these great people has helped me come out of it. Also, we went back to one of our 'fun ladies' in Schagen. Turns out she's the mother of a certain Karin Bloemen (a super-famous Dutch singer). Anyway, she had read 20 pages in the Book of Mormon and had all sorts of questions. We answered them graag and encouraged her to keep reading. I wasn't expecting to have an 80-year-old progressing investigator ever. Still, she's really coming along. Otherwise, we haven't really met with anybody else this week. Oh, a young girl was baptized in Den Helder. The daughter of family Jobst, who loves Canada. It was a good service. I brought Elder Christensen, who was my district leader back in Leuven, with me. It was a miracle he came because he was able to play the piano and made the service that much better. It was a good time. Then, I talked about Halo with the Jobst's son. Halo. Mmm. SORRY I didn't get Mom anything. I'll buy her a waffle......in...several months. I guess I can get Dad a waffle too. You should have gotten that theme shirt Dad. Aha, it would have been so funny! YOU GOT A NEW CAR?! What happen to the Jetta? Also, Katie is doing well. I promised her we'd come by some time when you guys pick me up. She's looking forward to that. ALSO, some time along the way, I picked up a prepaid phone card. I can pick up a used phone for dirt cheap and use the SIM card to make some calls while we're out and about. Hopefully we'll be able to meet all my best friends! I hope so. Diddely do. Nothing else to say. Thanks to everybody who wrote me! I appreciate it! To all my Blog followers, thanks for being blog followers! Loves. Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 19 August 2013

An interesting twist

Well. Well. Yep. Yep. I'm not sure where to begin. So this week Elder Wiscombe and I went contacting in Schagen. We knocked on a door and noticed the person had the same last name as 'farmerfriend'. So, after the owner answered and said "not interested" we asked if he was a relative of 'farmerfriend'. He said yep and promptly closed the door. Pretty innocent interaction, right? Apparently not. We got a call from 'farmerfriend' the next morning and he doesn't want to meet with us anymore. Wham. He even went to a JoVo camp and really enjoyed it. I talked with somebody who had spoken to him about the camp and the person said that 'farmerfriend' has an interesting relationship with his family. So we had hit a heartstring that was better unstrung. I think perhaps this was a really roundabout way for the Lord to say, "Listen guys, you're going to fast with him. Slow down." Yep. Got the message loud and clear. He still wants to come to church once and a while, but for the next while, he doesn't want to meet with us, the missionaries. I think he thinks we're too extreme or something. Bummer! I miss him already. On the plus side, we met with two fun ladies this week. We brought a member who served his mission in Canada as well to our appointment. He was a great joint teach. Both the ladies were fun and bubbly and willing to learn more. We'll see what comes of them. Both rooted pretty strong in what they already believe... We actually saw a fair amount of success this week as far as making new friends. We knocked on a door in the evening, a lady answered. We offered a Book of Mormon, but she told us she wasn't religious. I asked her simply if she believed in something and she hesitated, then saying that she wasn't sure, I testified that God exists and loves us. Elder Wiscombe then slam-diddely-ed her by saying you could find help and answers in the Book of Mormon. We had a laugh saying how God could visit us, but not...physically. Cracked a few jokes about him coming and knocking on the door. Still, she took a Book of Mormon. She kind of looked at it then asked, "so you just give this away? Just like that?" I explained that we do indeed give it away without 'strings attached' but that we would prefer to come by and explain it a bit more. She agreed and excitedly said she will read it that very evening! Woo. Cool lady. Not much heard from 'tattoodaddy' or 'flower-named-lady'. Also... Elder Wiscombe was transferred early due to medical complications. I've been temporarily placed with the Zone Leaders, Elders Douglas and van Komen in Alkmaar until the end of the transfer. Half my things are still in Den Helder and there is work to be done there, so we'll be travelling back and forth periodically. An interesting twist. The chances therefore, of me staying in Den Helder for 5 transfers jumped really high. I don't think they're about to send 2 new Elders there, so I'm expecting to stay. Huh. Unfortunately, that does indeed mean that work in Den Helder is going to take a significant setback. The members were disappointed, but they understood. I'm going to miss them. Well. I think that sums up everything. It's raining katten en honden (cats and dogs) here and we were going to have a sport P-day today. Hmm. I've got some dice, so we might do dice instead. Jam jam. Diddely-do. Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 12 August 2013

Almost indestructible.

I'm kind of tired this week. There's a lot to do and deal with. Monday we went to the Marine Museum in Den Helder. We brought a member along with us who has been through a million times, so it was like having our own personal tour guide. I would have liked to be in there longer, but time was short. Still, it was cool to see all the boats and stuff. We got to go on a submarine. They lived in about 8 metres of space--most of which was filled with their equipment. The bunk beds in a submarine are literally among the torpedoes. You get up in the morning and conk your dome and BLAMO. No more you. Our farmer friend is still the coolest ever. We met with him 3 times this week and he even came to church. He's so cool. He says he feels this is all good and wants to be baptized on the 31st. The only thing that could hold him back is the fact that he wants to continue attending other churches. I feel like we've missed something. Still, with a good heaping of H2G, he should turn around. He's reading and praying and doing everything he should to get an answer. Plus, we got to visit his farm yesterday. It was so cool. We were biking in the middle of nowhere when we got smashed by torrential rain. Thank diddely I had my super umbrella and a jacket, so it was survivable. Elder Wiscombe only had one of those fold out umbrellas and I was worried it was going to simply blow up from the wind and rain. If you live in a rainy place, a super (storm) umbrella is where it's at. Almost indestructible. I have to figure out a way to bring it home. But yeah, farmer's farm is super awesome. Monday evening we got a call from the Den Haag elders saying somebody had ordered a Book of Mormon. Tuesday evening we swung by to the person's house. We spotted it and noticed the door was open and starting making jokes. "Yeah, he'll probably let us right in and asked to be baptized or something." This shirtless guy covered in tattoos comes to the door with a big smile. "Ah! I was expecting you guys! Come on in!" Wait... what? We sat down with this person and he told us that he's been looking for a church to join, but none others do it for him. He found ours online and researched basically everything. Seriously, this guy told us he thinks the word of wisdom and law of Chastity are awesome. He said he loves everything in our church and feels good about it. Near the tail end of the lesson, he mentioned he has 2 big goals in life right now: move to America and get baptized. How do you spell "Golden" again? He has a dragon tattoo, is an ex-soldier and has 4 young children. What could be cooler? Unfortunately, he and the mother of his children are separated (he went on a rant about how living together instead of marriage is a foolish practise), so I haven't actually met his kiddies yet. Also, he split on a 3 week vacation a little east. He's not too far away, so we'll keep in contact. It's amazing to see how the Lord blesses us. First our farmer friend, now tattoo-daddy. We worked our butts off and didn't see too much success, but the Lord made up for it. Also, we spoke with our flower-named friend. It was interesting, because we just went by to get her number, but she started the conversation saying how she wasn't terribly interested in going deep into religion right now and blah blah, but after simply chatting for a while, she opened right up again and was laughing and smiling. She said "see you later" as we left too. The Spirit worked inside her heart. All we had to do was be there. Hopefully we can meet again soon. Another interesting note. Br. Sante passed away on saturday. I can't recall how much I told you about him, but Elder Giles and I worked with him a little bit. His skin cancer came back not too long ago and it went super downhill from there. Within a couple weeks, he was gone. We went to Hospice to go see him, but discovered that he had passed away that same morning. Leaving the place, a combinations of feelings overwhelmed me. Hospice house was the very last place on earth I wanted to go too. The memories of such a place and sorrow for Br Sante's death got to me and it is a strange thing to admit I started to cry. I remember Elder Giles getting very frustrated with that man, but despite obvious things to be angry about with Br. Sante, I loved him. I truly did. I had compassion and charity towards him. A great deal of my sorrow was to think that Br Sante could have secured a better place for himself after this world. The church reached out to Br Sante in his last days, and as far as I've heard, he reached back. God rest his soul. At least, not long after I pulled myself back together, we were at it again, preaching the gospel and laughing. Can't let things tie you down. The work goes forward. Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess ***I am getting your emails, dearest mother, but there are always too many questions! Plus, sometimes you send it to the wrong email address... ***Oh, I bought something Dutch-like this week.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Fluffy bunny finding, for the win.

You sit down at the computer and think, "Okay, I've got plenty of time," and play to email your parents last. 2 emails later, you finally start emailing home and you glance at the clock. 10 MINUTES?! Fly like the wind, boys! ZZZZWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM! This week was interesting. There, done. Woo! But really. Did we mention our bestest new friend is a farmer? I'll call him farmerman, or something similar. Gee, farmerguy is the coolest. He called us this week to set up an appointment. He said something like, "So you guys wanted to come over and talk about my baptism?" "Yes, we want to make a plan so that you're ready when the day comes." "Awesome, seems like a good idea. We'll meet at the church in 2 days." Whammy. This guy is so golden he shines. I thought he was indeeed a gold farmer when I first met him. No, he kweekt...farms tulips. And rents his land for camping and stuff. Love him! So I got to go back to dear ol' Leiden the other day on exchanges. It was a weird experience for several reasons. Weird in a good way. It was first off cool to just be in the city. Man oh mighty I love that place. Second, Khalid called while we were there. I can't really disclose anything, but he's doing well. The phone was choppy, so we couldn't talk that long. Also, the streets were PACKED. Polar opposite of Den Helder. We were strolling around, talking to some friendly people when we spotted a furry thing coming towards us. Was it a fluffily kitty? Nope. A puppy? Nope. A BUNNY! This thing was ninety percent fluff. It stopped close by so Elder Huff and I tried to see if we could touch it. Before you knew it, were were taking pictures of either one of us holding this thing. So adorable. A young lady strolled over and asked if we were having fun with her rabbit. Oh yeah. We were soon talking about missionary stuff and we offered a book of Mormon, but she offered for us to come chill by her friend. So, in the cool of the late day, we sat down on some grass and basically taught the Restoration to these two young people. The guy was super excited and said that their friend would also love to hear what we share. We walked away with his number, email and a promise for dinner in two weeks with all four people living in their apartment flat. Diddely. Fluffy bunny finding, for the win. Also, there seems to be this strange pattern where I suggest something wild to do while contacting, and Elder Wiscombe says, "Let's do it." Wha? You know that goofy thing where somebody tucks thier arms around their back and somebody else stands close behind and sticks their arms under their armpits, so that it looks like the arms of the one behind are the arms of the one ahead? Yep, we did that while knocking doors. Three people asked us to come back later. Probably the single most goofy contact EVER. It was exciting. Also, we found another friend this week! She's named after a flower. We found her bike contacting. We met her a few days later on a bench and shared the first lesson. She's super friendly and super awesome. At first, she wanted to give us our book back, but at the end, she promised to do her best to read it. We walked over to the church afterwards and she got to see it. Gee, time's a winding down, isn't it? Can you believe I've only got until November? Gee. That's just around the corner. I wonder if I can still do NaNoWriMo (National write a novel month) with only half the month left. Expect to see nothing of me for the latter end of November. I'll have a lot of catching up to do. Well, tiddely dee. Tot volgende week, Elder Burgess. **I read about the crash in Spain in the newspaper. Some Dutch person wrote a comment in the newspaper opinion section that said something like, "If a train crash occurs, it's considered a disaster. But tell me this, if a truck filled with pigs going to the slaughterhouse crashes, it's considered a traffic accident. We should care more about animals!" Dutch people are sometimes ridiculous, I tell you. They love animals too much. They had another one about the running of the bulls. "It's barbaric and insane. But what about the bulls? We should care more about animals!" Oh, ho, silly Dutch people. **Elder Wiscombe's rear tire exploded. Well, it went flat. The front tire literally did explode. Bike repairs, HO!

Monday, 29 July 2013

He'll get a spiritual witness in no time and then wham.

Well yeah. Yeah yeah. It was a long week. Summer vacation is in full force now. Which is bad news for missionary work here in Den Helder. I'll spare you the gory, zombie-gut-wrenching details, but we did a lot of finding this week. But some great things happened this week! Our dear friend... Well, by the way, there's been a new rule passed that says we aren't allowed to sent the names of the people we're working with. So you'll just have to sort of figure out who I'm talking about. Our dear friend who ran into us and came to church last week also came to a movie night at church on Friday. We watched the Other Side of Heaven. We were worried that we wouldn't have the chance to go to the movie, but our dear friend saved our butts. He really enjoyed it and it was a great movie. It seemed to actually spur my companion for the better as well, so it was fun. A heartwarming tale. Not only that, but we invited our friend to dinner Sunday evening and he came to that too! Holy Moses, he's so positive. We shared the Restoration lesson and suggested a date to work towards and he was very excited. "That's awesome, yeah! That's great. Is this really something that can happen? Really something I can work towards? Yes, I'll do it!" Woo! I have no doubt he'll get a spiritual witness in notime and then wham. All the blessings of the gospel will be his. Otherwise, we're having a hard time finding investigators and keeping them. Our pals with the big dog have been flaky lately. I hate it when we go over and people say, "Oh yeah, we'd love to meet! Send us a text later and we'll arrange something." IF YOU EVER ANSWER!. Gyarg! But meh. Aha, but we had a bunch of fun this week. Daddy-O's suggestion to reward good behaviour came in handy and we set a goal and reward one day for contacting 35 people on the street. Elder Wiscombe's reward was McDonald's (he eats nothing but garbage). Mine was icecream or something, I can't remember. But anydoodle, we headed off to an area with 25 people left to contact and only about 2 or less hours. So we quickly made up a game. If we didn't contact somebody in 7 minutes, we had to knock some doors. Everytime we talked to somebody, the timer would reset. Plus, we had to do a different contact everytime, asking a different question or using an object. So far, peopple have learned about the gospel via a lighter, an orange, an umbrella, shoes and a few other things. Oh man, it was a blast. We had some pretty embarassing contacts--but it was okay! We didn't dwell on the bad and kept pushing on. We even got a few positive potential people out of it. The most positive person of the day lived in another city out of our area, arg, but that's okay. Also, we said a small prayer on Saturday because we weren't sure what to do. It had been a while since we met with Anita, so we swung over there and 4 interesting things happened. 1, Anita's sour daughter is getting sent off to girl boot-camp, 2 her son finished 1 Nephi, 3 an inactive member is dating Anita's other daughter and the two are interested in joining in on the lessons and 4, Anita gave us 2 referrals. Wham! It was a super miracle, because now we know where to put our focus. Win! Well, I'm not sure what else to say. We are indeed working more with the members. We'll see what happens there. We want to get more involved with one of the young men specifically. He wants to organize a soccer match with some of his friends and us. Seems like a good opportunity. Oh, also, we played volleyball last monday. It was awesome. Except some old guy was there, trying to tell us how to have fun. He was super annoying. He announced at one point that nobody was allowed to serve more than three times in a row. It happened to be mine turn as he said this, and despite him, I served a fourth time and we kept playing. Wham. It seems like I have less time to focus on myself lately. According to my Daddy-O, that's a good thing. Gee, I sure hope so. I suppose he's right after all. But no focus on myself means no thinking about dragons. Snarl. Oh, and this will come off as strange. One of the sisters in the district likes half the video games I like, and another likes the other half. I'm worried... (not really) Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 22 July 2013

Staying positive, eating 4 kilos of popcorn.

Emails are shorter and shorter? It's because every week I have less and less time! Fifteen minutes? Fingers, don't fail me now. This week was a bit slow. I keep saying we have to work with the members, but I'm not quite sure how actually. I've decided to hand the reigns over to Elder Wiscombe (who's from Utah by the way), because he seems to have more experience in that regard. We met with our Russian friend and his girlfriend this week. They are super awesome and positive. They got a kitten last week and it is adorable. All paws and sharp things. You put your hand anywhere near there and it's like being hugged by a cactus. So adorable. We also visited our good friend Lot Fi. I don't know if you know him? He's super funny. He's got the greatest expressions ever. He's a bit sad, so it does him good to have a visit. Something stinks in this room. On a light note, I fixed my old race bike. 4 shops declared it dead, but I took her hips apart and discovered she just needs a minor replacement. So I swung by the store and 11 Euros and an hour later, she was up and walking. There were some kinks, but now all the soreness is worn out and she's running like a charm. It says Champion along her back, so that'll be her name. High ho Champion, AWAAAAAY!!! MIRACLE! So somebody passed us last week and asked if we had a pamphlet for him. It totally caught me off guard. I offered a book, but to my surprise, he said he already had one given to him by his grandma. We saw it later by the way, it was one of the 1968 editions (yipes!). But he took the card and promised to call us. Aw. Dang. There goes that fish. BUT THEN HE DID. Ah-whaaa? Yep, he called us later in the week--because he promised of course--and told us he would be coming to church that sunday. Ah-whaaa? We saw him saturday and he said, "tot morgen!" BUT THEN HE DID. He was actually there before us. He stayed for the full 3 hours and loved it too! He told Elder Wiscombe later that he's trying to decide between our church and another to join. Time to pray. We'll be seeing him this week. It's vacation time now. We have about 6 names on our list to look up that say, "come back in August." Dangit. GUESS WHAT! It's transfers this Wednesday. Yup, should have told you. Maar vrees niet and wees niet bevreesd (but fear not and do not be afraid), I'm staying! Yay! I'm pretty excited actually. Elder Wiscombe was really excited. I think he likes serving with me. Cool. Looks like I'll be here for 6 months then. Can you believe that? My district also changed. I'll now be in charge of Den Helder, Alkmaar (who became new zone leaders--they made a new zone!), the Leiden office Elders and Heerlen zusters (sisters). Should be interesting. I'm kind of chapped that I don't get to work with the previous district anymore. I really loved them. Oh well. New challenge, ho! We went back to Callantsoog, Elder Wiscombe's favourite place. We went to visit a member and they invited us in their beautiful house, then we came along to have pizza at a fancy smancy restaurant downtown with yet another family. It was so good. Afterwards, we got gourmet ice cream at this giant ice cream parlour. Seriously some of the best ice cream ever. That was a fun day. Staying positive, eating 4 kilos of popcorn, flying like the wind. What could be better? Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 15 July 2013

Uncontrollable excitement!

We went to an aquarium. It was super cool. I touched a shark and a stingray tried to get me. I got him instead. Then we went down in the basement where there was a giant whale skeleton. There was also this piece of flesh chilling in a tank beside the skeleton. I read what it was, but didn't understand it and snapped a photo. Later at home, a dictionary revealed its secret identity. I have a photo of a whale's "geslachtdeel". Why anybody would save that part of a whale, I don't know. Ugh. This week was pretty stellar though. We were actually super busy! We found a bunch of new, positive people and had some great appointments. Our friends on Texel are super awesome and we got to go there twice. Elder Wiscombe found a lady while we were there and the next time we went by, her friend was there too! Both of them came this Sunday--they were picked up from the boat by the same member that came on Joint teach--and really enjoyed it. Woo! Also, we found the girl with the dragon tatoo. Ah! She opened the door and had this long snaky dragon all across her shoulder. Before anything else was said, I blurted out, "That is the coolest tattoo ever!" She was actually super interested and we'll be coming back in a week or two. People aren't too keen on having us over during the vacation. It makes things a bit difficult, but we're working with it. We also went to a pretty place called Callantsoog. A super tourist place. Most of the houses we knocked were rental homes for travellers. A lot of German people... Elder Wiscombe absolutely loved it and felt the Spirit super strong and everything. We did some awesome contacting there too. It's so much easier to do missionary work when you're having fun and enjoying it. Aha, did you like the lego? Did you open it? I haven't got my allergy pills yet... BUT I did get the giant bag of popcorn. I have to say, I think that's my favourite gift through the mail yet. Uncontrollable excitement! I took my old bike's wheel apart this week. Turns out I just have to replace the axle. I'm going to see if I can buy my stallion a new hip today. She'll ride yet (stallions aren't girls...). We figured out that Anita isn't strict enough. We chatted about it and Elder Wiscombe and I figured that our parents are awesome because they set the rules and if you cross them, you get punished. Anita sets rules and kind of...does nothing when they're broken. Therefore, no fear to break the rules. We're going to start working with the whole family closer--especially the number one troublemaker. We'll see what happens yet. In any case, we're giving a little less 'attention' than before. We need to get back over to Mr. Buff... Otherwise numbers were pretty good this week (not like those mean anything) and spirits were high. Thanks so much for your prayers. It made a huge difference, I could feel it. Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

Monday, 8 July 2013

It was kind of a derp moment

Hmm, no letter from Mom. I guess she finally stopped loving me. Gee, I've been trying my best for years. Well, we sort of hit rock bottom this week. I've been trying to increase my finding skills, but we aren't seeing any results. We're only working with one or two people this week. Anita has made it pretty clear that she's not ready for baptism. Sigh. I'm not sure what to do. On the bright side though, Elder Wiscombe and Elder Stoddard found a super positive person when they went to Texel the other day. She let them right in and they shared a quick message about the Book of Mormon. We're heading there wednesday for another appointment. I don't know. I guess the hot weather has finally hit. In this city, the people that don't leave right away chill at the beach, at the festival or remain inside 500 square metres of the centrum. The streets are dead empty. It's eerie actually. Doors are empty too. It's so clear we need to start working with members to get the job done. It was kind of a derp moment when we talked to a family on Sunday and they said, "Gee, we want to do missionary work but we're not sure how!" That's our job to teach them, dangit. Off we go! Buuut we have a bunch of plans, schemes and ideas to pick up the work. Number one is designing a system to keep track of which members need to be visited. The plan is to meet with every active person at least every 3 weeks. Anybody can afford that. Also, we're coming up with some ideas to have fun. Aha, a member gave us some vla on Sunday. Vla is like pudding, but then...thinner? I'm not sure. It's a smash of pudding mixed with whup cream. But then...you eat it with whup cream. We happen to have some whupcream back home. I want some vla now. ANYDOODLE, the Keuters gave us some vla and I shoved it in my backpack. We started walking around a super rich part of town and I suggested to do some Vla contacting. To my surprise, Elder Wiscombe agreed and snatched the Vla and knocked on a door. "Hallo," said he, "we're sharing a message that's sweet, and delicious--like vla!" Oh diddely it was an adventure. One lady opened the door all excited. "Oh," she said, "I was expecting visitors." "Well," was my reply, "We brought some vla." "What? Vla? What in the world are you doing with vla? Why would you fellows just have vla with you?" I kind of shrugged and laughed. She still doesn't know why. We then used it to contact somebody on the street. After doing a super corny vla-gospel comparison, she just raised a brow at me. "Is this a joke?" she asked--in English. I shrugged. "Yeah, sort of. We do this all the time and sometimes it gets boring. So, to make things exciting, we do something creative and strange once in a while. It gets us talking and it's fun." She had to laugh. We actually shared a super cool conversation and everything. She hinted that she was searching for the truth too, but her stinker husband would be against meeting with us. Blast! so close BUUUUT, a few doors later, we met a super cool guy. If I would have thought about the situation even a little bit, it would have been too strange. Two young men, holding a bottle of vla, trying to teach the gospel to a shirtless buff guy. Uh, okay. He turned out to be super cool too. His Daddy is a member or something and he was down to getting a Book of Mormon and for us returning in a few days. Wha? Yeah. Thanks vla, thanks. It's clear to see that as you enjoy the work and keep your thoughts away from doubts, the Spirit will lead you and touch the hearts of those you talk with. I hope we'll be able to come up with more activities. so far on the list of things to use: a yo-yo, a small raptor figure, masking tape, a rubik's cube and a guy in a jar. Adventures, AWAY!! Hopefully things will turn around soon. Summers finally here and she's pounding at the doors. It's toasty outside. Den Helder is literally the best place to be during the summer though. By the coast, it doesn't get especially hot and the evenings are always cool. Staying over at other apartments last week made me realize how hot it is out there in the real world. Woo! Count your blessings. Loves! tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess ps ~ "I did send a letter.....he did not recieve it." :)

It was...strangely unceremonious

The alarms are going off now.  WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!  Super eerie.  It's hard to get used to those things...
I decided to write my email first this week before answering all my friends.  But diggety dang it, there's always something to do on a computer.  This week was downloading the special missionary broadcast they have.  I'm curious to watch it.
Well, I gave my first District Meeting.  It was...strangely unceremonious.  After all the numbers, announcements and introductions were done, I only had 15 minutes to deliver what I wanted to say.  "Uh.  You guys are doing great.  Work with members.  Do it."  Gee, I think I can handle this whole district leader thing after all.
So this week got totally exploded.  We got a call Tuesday evening.  "Ah!  Elders, District Leaders are now supposed to get their licenses and Elder Wiscombe has to get his legality.  We're going to Belgium tomorrow." Uh, what?  Ker-whisked away!  Schwoom!
So that evening we stayed over in Amsterdam.  Keep track now.  Monday was Den Helder, Tuesday Amsterdam.  We're up to two cities.
So then on Wednesday, we went on a million-hour trip in the mission van with Elders Christensen, Huff (both in the office), Douglas, Mower, Wiscombe and I.  It was crazy fun.  We went to this crazy thing called the Antonium.  It's like a gigantor statue of 4 or 5 balls stuck together with tubes.  You bet your bottom there were more than enough jokes made about that.  Ahem.  But yeah, we shelled out some cash to go walk through them.  Seriously, this thing was like, 120 feet tall or so.  I got some fantastic pictures.  One room made the entire thing worth it.  It was all dark except for this big ol' ball suspended in the middle.  Crazy shapes crawled their way across it, projected by...projectors.  There was a low beat humming through the room and whenever something interesting happened in the music, lights would flare all around.  It was crazy.  You bet your bottom again I got a video.  You'll get to see it later.  I could have spent forever in that room.  Super relaxing.
Then we finally made it to the huge legality...building in Brussel (close to Leuven!) and tried to get my license.  Now, usually, an American simply has to show his Amercian license and his Belgium legality card, and they give him his international license.  It would have been the same, but apparently, they only accept 4 provinces in Canada--British Columbia not being one of them.  AAAARRGG!  So instead I have to take 2 tests to get it.  I probably won't do that though.  Not really worth it.  Plus, they switched a law in Belgium, so we'll have to go back again to get Elder Wiscombe's legality.  Dang it.
So that night, we came back and slept over in Alkmaar, because the next day we had to return again.  Yep, that's city number 3 we slept in.  So on Thursday, I waited around in the office forever for the Den Haag Elders to come pick me up.  Luckily, Elder Pitts was also waiting and we had some Nerf Guns so it wasn't so bad.  Still, we were there a while.  Eventually, the Den Haag elders came and got me (they had forgotten) and we swung back there and had an appointment.  Elder Wiscombe came back late in the evening and we slept over in Den Haag.
Ding ding ding!  City number four.  We have a winner!
I considered going on exchanges the next day to hit city 5, but decided that was a bad idea.
Despite only working like, 2 days in Den Helder, we had a really good week.  We had a lot of appointments with Anita.  Unfortunately, she's kind of plateaued right now, but we'll be working closer with her.
We also got two new investigators!  A guy born in Russia and his girlfriend. They're both Christrian and promised us to read the Book of Mormon.  We committed them to a soft baptismal invitation and everything!  Super awesome.
Oh, also, I gave a 20 minute talk in Sacrament this Sunday.  That talk you sent me came in handy.  With some major adjustments and translation, it turned out quite well actually.  Thanks.
Well, off to another week!
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burges

Monday, 24 June 2013

Going by ferry is super relaxing

I'm getting sick.  It stinks.  I've never blown my nose more in my life.  Ooo!  I've gone through 2 toilet paper rolls.  I was sneezing so hard, a dog started barking at me.  Did I mention that already?  I'm fighting the flu right now.  I had to visit the toilet a lot yesterday.  Nothing projectile is coming out the front end yet, but I'm worried it will soon...
This week went better.  It did.   We have a new person with a baptismal date.  She's from Venezuela.  How do you spell that?  Anyways, she's super open to investigate and wants to come to church some time.  She lives super close to a member, and he invited to drive her there one day.  Whew!  She's got a hectic schedule, so we'll see when she can make it.
Anita is doing very well.  She's getting excited for baptism and is almost done with smoking.  We made some posters and hung them around her house and showed her friends, saying that she's trying to quit so they can't smoke inside or give her cigarettes.  We're very excited for her.  And she came to church!
We went to Texel this week to visit our good friend who owns a restaurant!  Going by ferry is super relaxing.  All the seagulls flock the boat, screeching and snatching anything that people throw overboard.  I wonder what would happen if you threw a baby......awful thought.
The island itself is gorgeous.  It's officially on the list of places to visit.  I would love to visit our friend and eat at his fancy smancy restaurant too!  That would be so cool.  He's got some...interesting opinions about religion and has been inactive for longer than I've lived, but with some coaxing, we committed him to read the Book of Mormon.  We'll see.
Katie is doing great too.  We're going to go by this week and eat some African food and have Family Home evening.
As far as Elder Wiscombe goes...
He's a shorter fellow and loves singing.  He kind of reminds me of a Lee.  And of course we talk about video games!  All the classics too.  One of our combined favourites is Banjo-Kazooie.  Awesome game.
So many emails to answer, sorry!
Life as a District Leader is new.  Well, hardly.  It basically means I have to call people a bunch and make sure everybody is following the rules.  Most of the time, I enjoy calling people.  It's more difficult if you're super tired and fighting the flu.
Things have been going a bit slow with finding lately.  There's nobody on the streets!  We're going to shift gears and focus more on the members. That's where we see the most success anyway.
Bummer about the ________.  Taking a 'break' from the church when anything bad happens is the complete opposite of what you should do--especially if you have children.  You need the church--the spirit that is there and especially the Sacrament.  It's so important to take the sacrament.  I can't stress it enough.
Good for Adam!  Tell him, good for you, Adam!
Well, that's all for today.  Sorry, I'm not feeling so hot...
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

Den Hagg Zone training ~ May 16th
 Lunch is served in the hallway of the Leiden Church.  This should bring back fond memories to many, many missionaries!

 Elder Wright, Elder Burgess and Sister Larson

 Sometimes, it never ends! Elder Burgess, Elder Huff, Elder Giles

Elder Christensen and Elder Burgess
Elder Burgess, Elder Giles
Elder Suckow, Elder Giles, Elder Burgess

Monday, 17 June 2013

Sometimes stinkers like that need a little stink

Happy Pappy Day.
I'm really late on emailing today.  Holy Moses.  I had 16 emails today.  Fweeewf!   That's a lot.  Thanks to everybody who emailed me this week.  Saweet.
Well, life as a District Leader is a lot different than I thought.  Today we had a district leader council thinger, where the DLs all met together and discussed things.  Things were discussed.  It was fun and got me stoked to help this district out.  Apparently I have a great responsibility and people look up to me and blah.  Stuff like that.  I kind of like it so far.  I won't be giving a district meeting this week because of  Zone Training. We'll see how it goes next week, eh?
Elder Wiscombe is a cool cat.  He's kind of eccentric.  Really likes music and loves super heroes.  We both love old timey Nintendo games and could spend hours talking about Banjo Kazooie.  He's a bit hesitant with his Dutch, but we're going to smash that into perfection.  Or at least improve it I suppose.
Otherwise, this week was oddly...slow.  Sometimes, you have it where all the people you usually meet with have something else to do or are sick.  As it is, 3 of our investigators have a bug or something and can't meet.  Can't do anything about that.  Dangit.
But, we had some interesting lessons.  We've seriously met with some of the most talkative people this week.  Holy Moses.  We had more than one appointment stretch 2 hours. Bleh. On the bright side we met with Lot Fi again .  He's going through some difficult times right now.  Plus he bought a kitten.  So cute.
I think Elder Wiscombe was through having long-winded conversations because at one point, while I was taking pictures of a water chicken in a nest, some guy leaning against his fence called over to us . He started ranting on about how religion is all evil and the stories in the Bible were fake and blah blah.  I pretty much told the guy to shut up so I could testify but he was too stubborn to even listen.  Elder Wiscombe said, "Stop.  You've got your opinions, we've got ours--and we're leaving." Bam, he turned the other direction and walked away.  The old guy and I were dumbstruck.  I toodled on after my companion, leaving that guy frowning at his fence.  It was awesome.  You know what, sometimes stinkers like that need a little stink back.  Does them good.  I had a good laugh about it later.
Looks like it's on to a bunch of contacting this week.  We haven't found any new people in a while...  We'll see.
You should see my potato.  It's growing like crazy.
Well, that's it for this week.  BYE
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

**I bought some organic allergy pills from a member this week.  He owns one of those hippy stores and my allergies were super bad, so I decided to see what nature had to offer.  Holy Moses.  Nature sucks.  I sneezed about a zillion times that day.  It was so bad a dog started barking at me on the train--I guess he thought I was offending him.  Dangit.

Elder Wiscombe
Elder Giles is on the right - they were in the same MTC district.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Ooo, I'm getting goosebumps just talking about it.

Holy man.  Where can I even start?
It was a fantastic service too.  We were somewhat worried this week about Katie, because she always gave us vague answers how she was doing on the Word or Wisdom.  Our district leader cleared that right up--she's taken to drinking Hot Chocolate instead.  Wham.
The service itself was simply beautiful.  We had a short meeting between church and the baptismal service to hammer out all the details.  Katie took a moment to thank the leaders of the church, saying how she felt like a stranger at first, but now she feels right at home in our branch.  It was heartwarming and the Spirit was so strong.  Katie looked so nice in white.
Both her sons and the eldest girlfriend came to sacrament as well, and stayed for the service.  Sa-weet!
Elder Giles and Katie got down in the font and you could tell they were both nervous.  As Elder Giles put her under the water, she began to struggle and didn't go all the way under.  So he tried again, but this time as she struggled, he shoved her under the water.  Holy man was it funny.  She came out and laughed and said, "Oh thank you, Jesus!" A member later commented she was nearly shouting hallelujahs as she came out.
Sister Keuter and Sister Hall gave wonderful talks and because conference is next week, we layed our hands on Katie's head and I confirmed her a member and gave her the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  When it was all said and done, tears were streaming her face.  I have never seen her happier.  The Holy Ghost was so strong the entire service.  Ooo, I'm getting goosebumps just talking about it.  It was so beautiful and so perfect.  Wham.  This is what it's all about.  Bringing souls to Christ.
I've learnt a lot about the Holy Ghost this week.  He is present as you exercise the Priesthood.  That much was clear as Elder Giles gave a blessing of comfort to Arcando, Anita Boutee's young son.  Also, the Spirit comes to us in calm, peaceful times.  This week, as Elder Giles was napping, I sat down on our comfortable couch with a tuna sammich and a bag of cheezies and simply stared outside in the blue sky.  There was relaxing music and I took a moment to ponder and appreciate everything the Lord has done for me--including sending his miraculous son, Jesus Christ, to perform the greatest act in history.  I thought about the atonement and what it has done for me and I was overwhelmed by warm fuzzies.  It was small and simple, but yet so grand.
Spiritual mode, downshift.
So we finally gave those Jellybeans to Solymar.  This is literally the text we got later, "Soly heeft genoten van de Jellybeans alleen was ze te gulzig met eten...  ze heeft 2 dagen buikkrampen gehad omdat ze de halve zak had opgegeten (Soly has enjoyed the Jellybeans.  She was greedy with food ... she had 2 days abdominal cramps because she has eaten half the bag.).  Hahaha."
Solymar literally ate half of the bag in less than a week's time had stomach cramps for 2 days.  Yikes!  Oh man, you should have seen her face when we gave them to her.  Her eyes were like saucers.
Mission succeeded.
Good for Levi (Boswell).  He's a champ. Tell him he is good guy and a champ.
I bought a new bike today for 25 Euro.  I'm going to sell it to somebody for 25 Euro.  Woo.
Oh teh noez.
Here it is.
And I'm becoming the District leader of a new district.  Huh?  I didn't even know.  It's Den Helder, Almere, Lelystad and Lelystad 2 district.  They're putting Sisters in Lelystad.  They bought a new apartment that they were going to put the Lelystad Elders in, but I guess they get the shaft and have to continue living in Almere.
Our friend Elder Giles is but a dream now.  He's getting the boot all the way down to Leuven.  LEUVEN!!  I'm so excited for him, holy Moses.
My new companion will be Elder Wiskom.  I actually don't know how it's spelt.  ADVENTURES, AWAY!
Well, life is now interesting.
We met Daisy and Libeth this week.  That's about that.
A super cool family gave us a referral to visit their friend this week.  We went by and it turns out she was super positive and awesome.  She called up the family right away to thank them for sending us to her.  We have a dinner appointment with her and this family tomorrow!
Well, this week was awesome.  Next week should be interesting...
tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

Monday, 3 June 2013

Good news/bad news and some bodily complaints

Twyla's getting married?  Her email didn't say anything about that, did it?
Today's email will start off with bodily complaints.
Number one, I think I have a kink in my shoulder now.  Gee, I sound like Dad, don't I?  At least it's been a year already before I've decided to mention anything.  Gee, maybe that's a bad thing.  Anyway, I hope it's just a kink and will work its way out or something. Secretly, I'm hoping I'll have to have a triple XL bypass or something and they'll have to replace it with a robot shoulder.  Get some cannons installed while they're at it.
Also, about two or so weeks ago, I totally tripped on a dumbbell while we were shooting each other with Nerf Guns.  I smashed my toe like a...something...that smashes a lot and it still hurts.  Again, I'm hoping a massive surgery and robots will be involved.  Maybe just some neosporin.
So as you may or may not know, Katie is getting baptized next week!  Which brings us to the good news and the bad news.  Good news: she's for totally ready.  She came to church and was just gobbled up by the Branch when they heard she was getting baptized.  They hugged her and a dozen people were chatting with her.  She went and had a talk with the Branch President to solidify some details.  She came to dinner last night via an invitation by a family--the Keuters--and talked our ears off.  Holy Moses is she funny. She has some outrageous stories too.  She used to live by an army base and all their old bombs started blowing up, shooting the other bombs everywhere and killing all sorts of people.  Through miraculous means, nobody was inside her house at the time--when she came home, the place with filled with bombs that had been thrown through the air!  Her husband started collecting them until a bomb squad showed up and carefully removed them.  Oh wow.
But for shizzle.  She is totally going to get baptized.  We are super duper stoked for it too.  That's the good news.
The bad news is that her boys baptism is going to be delayed.  We were going to have to push their date back anyway because they haven't come to church, but then Papa called.  He gave Katie permission to be baptized, but not the boys, saying things like we were trying to brainwash them and turn them against him and bleh.  He said that the boys needed to know what they were getting into before they just went up and joined something.  Which, actually, we had to agree on.  It is certainly no end to Katie's boys journey.  It simply means they will be baptized later--which in itself was a roundabout miracle.  Their date had to be moved anyway.  Wham.
Our good friend Anita Boutee came to church too!  Holy man.  After a week of church focus in our lessons and calling her every 10 minutes the day before Sunday, she finally came!  Woo!  She loved it too.  She was laughing and smiling and talking with Katie.  It was fantastic.  Some people (don't matter who) thought it would be better to drop Anita B, but her coming to church showed them, didn't it?  I mean, Christlike attributes are great.  Like being correct.
Seriously though, Elder Giles and I prayed to know whether we should continue teaching Anita, despite the advice of others.  We were both impressed to indeed continue helping her.  Christ never gave up on his disciples.  Neither will we.
Plus we met with her son, a 16 year old, talented individual.  Quiet but clever.  His momma keeps instructing him to meet with us to gain confidence and happiness and he's finally doing so.  Cool!
Things are going great in Den Helder.  The work is really moving on.  We met with two ladies this week, one of them being American, and helped them in their garden.  When we came over lady, the Dutch lady mentioned she had forgotten the name of Joseph Smith and looked it up online.  That means she's been thinking about it.  She was very excited when we showed up to help in their garden again.  Woo!
We planted a weed, a potato and a garlic in some dirt this week.  We'll see what happens.
Adventures, tally-ho!
tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess
Also, the Jelly-beans have finally arrived.  Tim and Solymar are very busy right now, so we haven't had time to drop them off...

Monday, 27 May 2013

When you're doing good work‏

You know when you're doing good work when you come home reeking.  Weew!  Just take one sniff and blargh!  Get those clothes off!  Get in the shower!  Wash everything ASAP!  Gyar.  We taught a few smelly people this week.  Does that sound bad?  We had one specific appointment where the guy was smoking weed the whole time and this gigantor monster of a dog was rubbing against us and getting slobber h'everywhere.  This same dog was once attacked by another dog and he won.  Ripped the other sucker open.  Our eyes shot open.  "Nice doggy..."
Speaking of dogs, Elder Giles got attacked by one this week.  I'm not sure if anybody back home is aware of this, but I can't look strange dogs in the eyes too long.  I told Elder Giles this, but I suppose he didn't listen.  He was on exchanges in Alkmaar, and they went to visit an investigator.  The man's Rottweiler was chilling in its basket and Elder G thought it was a good idea to go pet him.  The dog growled, but Elder G only reached out further and WHAM.  They dog bit his hand (but Elder G was making a fist, so no fingers were lost) and his hip.  Elder G had a bloody spot on his hip about the size of a watch face.  Chubbo, the Rottweiler, got him through 3 layers of clothing.  When we informed some members the next day, he was whisked off to a clinic to get a shot.  Luckily, he has already had a tetanus shot, so he didn't need another.  Walking in the clinic and getting fresh band aids cost 107 Euro.
The mission doctor called up later and informed us to watch the dog. If Chubbo gets sick or dies in the next 10 days, Dear old Elder Giles will be belly-up in a month--he said with a smile.  Gulp.  Dog's healthy, so is Giles.  He'll be okay.
So yes.  This week suffered due to some mashed up exchanges and switches.  Elder Giles had to go down to Brussels and we swapped with our leaders once or twice.  In total, he's spent 2 days in Den Helder this week.
However, we had a solid appointment with Sherry and her daughter, Sharry.  Mind numbing, right?  Turns out, both of them are super positive!  Sherry said at one point that she's been searching for the truth for decades, praying for God to reveal it to her.  Wham, we promised like wild of the divinity of the Book or Mormon.  Holy Moses, this'll be great.
Unfortunatly, with all the confusion, we weren't able to meet with many of the 'regulars' this week.  Sister Boutee is indeed doing very well, and has cut down to 2 to ZERO cigarettes a day.  That progress is astounding.  It was literally 1 to 2 per minute when we first met.  She's very tired--understandably.  She rescheduled to get baptized in July.
But Katie rescheduled to be baptized on the 9th of June.  She told us that she feels like God is telling her this is the way.  WOOOOOO!!  That means she'll be baptized in this transfer, so Elder Giles and I will both be here.  Her 2 children, Joost and Martijn will be following her example the week after.  Holy Moses.
We haven't seen Lot this week.  Apparently, he's a busy guy...
Astrid Grootjans is officially reactivated.  She made plans with the Branch President to go to the Temple to do a baptism session.  Woo!  I can claim no credit by the way, as much as I'd like to.
Things are still chugging along.  Chug.  We ate fish this week and het was LEKKER (it was fun).
We have some slam-diddely appointments lined up for next week and some families to visit.  Missionary work, HO!!!
tot volgende keer (until next time),
Elder Burgess

Oh, the package arrived with deoderant.  Thanks!  No Jellybeans so far...

Monday, 20 May 2013

Miracles out the woz‏

Holy man, it's been one of those weeks.  A crazy week where everything goes incredibly right.  I have to say, a lot of things happened this week that Elder Giles and I had been hoping for--not even actively praying for.  Craziness.
...but I'll start at the beginning of the week.
Elder Giles doesn't really like watching the Preach My Gospel DVDs we're supposed to watch.  At one point, somebody is tearing up in one of the videos and Elder Giles said, "Gee, why don't people tear up in our lessons." Psh, like that's a measure of how good we are.  Anydoodle, we had two people tear up this week.  Weird.  One was an inactive member who, after a decade or two of not coming to church because of her non-member husband, decided to simply come back.  Wham.  We're going to reteach her the lessons to get her acclimatized, so to speak.  Right off the bat, we asked the simply question of who God was for her and bam, the tears started coming and she bore a simple but beautiful testimony.
Also, that same day we met Lot Fi.  Well, he met us.  We went to go buy flowers for a  member who had knitted me a pullover and on our way back, he said hallo to us.  Apparently, missionaries had come in contact with him several years ago, but had actually made an effort to avoid him.  Don't know why.  Lot Fi is probably the most animated person I have ever met.  Holy Moses.  He's desperate to talk with people about God and his beliefs, but nobody will.  He was ecstatic to meet with us.  When we went over, we simply listened as he essentially bore his soul to us.  At one point, while telling us a spiritual experience he had, he was indeed tearing up.  Lot Fi is one of the more Christlike people I've met, I'll tell you.  He's also a riot. Oh man is he entertaining.  At one point, he hugged one of his plants.  Aha!
I'm happy to say that Sister Nunez is now reactivated!  Woo!  Reactivation's kind of stink because on paper, there's nothing to show numerically.  But whatever.  A reactivation is as good as a baptism.  The Salazar's are nearly reactivated and the above-mentioned lady is well on her way.  The work is progressing here!
We challenged Sister Boutee to quit smoking cold turkey.  Unfortunately, she hasn't yet, but she is still reducing bit by bit.  We can't get her to church though, which I believe is really holding her back.  Hmph.
I've been hoping for a family to teach for a while.  While knocking doors, we found one! Woo!  She was diggety down to meet with us again.  She's Dutch too.  She blew off our appointment, but we'll see yet.
Also, we're teaching somebody named Sherry.  Ooo, weird.  She's Antillean, but super similar to Katy.
KATY!  Katy is doing awesome.  She came to church again and commented on how she had felt the Spirit super strong upon leaving the building.  I think the big difference is that we introduced her to the members better, and she made some good friends.  Both her children are on board to get baptized as well, so it's turned into a teaching jamboree.  We taught her oldest son, Martijn last night and he was very open to the Plan of Salvation.  He's a rapper.  One of his songs was a hit on a hip hop station too.  Rappers seem pretty common here...
Jurgen is busy moving, so we couldn't meet with him this week.  But next week, oh ho ho.
We found a Hungarian lady on the street not too long ago.  We finally went over and had a...interesting lesson.  Her boyfriend was there and he was smoking weed.  Still, he's a strong believer and exploded right away telling us all the things he believes.  Our joint teach was amazing.  By asking strategic questions, our joint teach made the man realized that he believed in the same things as us, but just slightly skewed.  By the end of it, this man was basically agreeing with everything we said, whereas he was before a bit...tegenstrijdig (contradictory).  I felt bad, because the Hungarian lady just kind of sat there, looking awkward.  They have an enormous dog.
Buuut it was a good week.  Prayers were answered, lessons were learnt, and numbers were good.  Can't complain right?
Also, I found a new bike.  Aha.  It was in a closing-down second hand store.  They offered to sell it for 25 euro, but after checking the chain and riding it around, I offered 20 Euro and snagged it.  It is a surprisingly good bike actually.  I cleaned the chain and oiled the heck out of it and now it works just fine.  Again, can't complain.  It's not as beautiful as my old bike, but Rust Bucket does the trick.  Thank you, Rust Bucket.
Also, I met some of the new 19 year old sisters.  One of them had been following my blog before she left.  Kind of a...awkward conversation.
tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess