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...