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 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!