Monday, May 25, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Enjoy to the End... WEEK 101!

Lieve Familie,

   Well here it is folks. My last week of my mission. 

   I am speechless. I feel like Ammon right now when he expresses himself in Alma 26:16 “...Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

  But I will try. 

    Before I even begin to say anything I am feeling right now I just want to express my love and gratitude for each and every one of you who have been apart of this epic journey; especially my family and friends. You have helped me so much. Through the thick and the thin you have been there for me and I could have never done it without you. I love you so much and am eternally grateful for the support, love, and encouragement you have given me through out these last 23 months. You have all played an important role in bringing me closer unto our Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you. I really appreciate it. 

   The mission has been the greatest experience I have ever had in my life. It has brought so many joys, so many trials, many many lessons, test, struggles, tears, happiness, love, understanding, peace, stress, lack of sleep, enlightenment, spiritual answers, confirmations, knowledge, faith, healing, change,  etc...  There are so many memories and thoughts flowing through my head. To sum up my whole mission in one word I would have to use the word LOVE. That is how I feel. I feel just love. Don’t know how to explain it. 

      My testimony is a testimony of gratitude. So grateful for the mission.
 A testimony that God is a loving Heavenly Father who loves, cares, and respects each and every one of His children. He and His son, Jesus Christ, are the source of true love. I am so tremendously grateful for being allowed to partake of the Lords work and do my part to reach out to his children in need and to share with them the Love the Savior and Heavenly Father have in store for them. After all, they both reached out to me in a way that I cannot describe. In a way that has brought a great change not only in my life, but in my heart. The Savior has become thee greatest example and hero in my life. I feel so privileged to have His Gospel in my life and in the life of the people I care most about, my family. The divinity of the Gospel, the Savior, and a loving Heavenly Father has never been more clearer in my life than now. They truly are the source of all good here on this earth and I am grateful for the patience and love that I have received from them. 

They live. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They love us and are waiting to heal us, forgive us, change us, provide for us, and hear and answer our prayers. Let us all take the first step to come unto them. 

Cant wait to see you all soon.


    Big Dude

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

We zijn er bijna! WEEK 100!!

Lieve Familie,

          It was great to see you all! You all looked soo good and I am just so grateful for the love and support that you all have given unto me the past 23 months; without it I would have never made it. You guys are more than awesome and more than the best, JULLIE ZIJN WONDERBAARLIJK! 

  This last week was a very interesting weeeek. It almost felt like a mini mission vacation.. It started off with Interviews with President and His wife, I really love them so much! President Robinson and Zr. Robinson are two very inspired disciples of Jesus Christ who I love and respect. They will be headed home right after me so I plan on keeping good contact with them. Following the interviews we spent the next day on exchanges with our good friends who you met on Skype. Got some good missionary work done and enjoyed every moment of it. Following that, we took our little mini mission vacation up to Nederland for the weekend. Elder Wilson had to go up to Den Haag to pick up legality papers so he could actually be legal here in this country and I was asked to speak at one of my good friends baptisms, Mark Heijdermans. 

So on our mini vacation I was able to visit dear friends of mine and say some final goodbyes. It was all soooo bittersweet! Harder than I thought it was going to be. The baptismal service was absolutely awesome! At this baptismal service I spoke once again about the Gift of the Holy Ghost- I love that topic because there is no better satisfaction that this life can offer than feeling the love and confirmation that your Heavenly Father loves you through the Holy Spirit. Seeing Mark enter the waters of baptism was like putting the cherry on top to ending this amazing journey I have been on. Mark is a great Dutch man who is the manager of a hydraulics company that he helped build up. Being able to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to help Mark come closer unto Christ was and still is a great privilege in which I feel extremely blessed and humbled for. Seeing him accept his Saviors love and the love of Heavenly Father truly inspired me and I am grateful for his example. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers. 

After this great mini vacation we returned to Belgium and were able to teach an amazing lesson to these two new friends of ours. Another Mark actually and his wife Kadiatu. The spirit was very strong as we were able to share the message of the Restoration with them and tell them how much Heavenly Father loves each of them. Their hearts we touched. Tears were shed and testimonies were shared. It was powerful and they both accepted baptism! Miracleessss:) 

So this last week just has been a very blessed week. The mission has been and still is one of the greatest journeys I have in my life. Not one prayer is said without thanking Heavenly Father for this privilege I have to give all my time, energy, heart, might, mind, and strength to serve Him. These last 2 weeks I am going to continue to give it all to Him.

Love you all so much, I will continue to pray for each and every one of you. Have a great week, be safe, party like its hot (weather is really getting HOT), go big or GO HOME, say your prayers, tell one another that you love them, and ENJOY TO THE END! 
Christ lives! 

    Big Dude

Pics: Here some pics of Mark!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Go big or go HOME! WEEK 99!

Lieve Familie,

        You people are the greatest people. There is just so much emotion and feelings that I cannot express with words that I have for you. I Love you with a capital L! 

  Well I believe I only got about 3 more emails after this one.. But who is counting? (Mom, we all know that you are!) Time just keeps going and no matter how much I wish it would just stop so that I could actually just soak everything in, it continues to tick. One of my favorite President Robinson quotes is: “Let the good times rollllllll”  -I am really putting this quote to application every single day. These last 23 months or so and especially these last couple of months have just been so bittersweet! So many good memories. It definitely was not easy, but as I truly look back and reflect upon this special time I have had, not one negative thing come into my mind. Gosh I am so thankful to be able to serve a mission and serve my Heavenly Father! What a privilege. 

     This last week was grrreeeat! Still not on a stretcher yet, however I really do feel like I am starting to need one.. Elder Wilson is a stud! I´ve almost got him in a stretcher just about every day. Hahah He just keeps growing and I have been learning lots from him. So happy to have a friend like him right before this journey comes to an end. We saw lots of miracles this week including finding 5 new investigators and we’re able to teach some killer lessons to people we had found the first two weeks of being here. The Lord alwaysss provides as long as you stay diligent and faithful, continually showing Him that you trust Him. 

    The Gospel is the greatest map to living a happy life. I have done nothing else besides proclaim the good news for almost 2 years and despite moving to a foreign land, learning new languages, being away from my family and friends, adjusting to a new life style, and overcoming many obstacles- I have never been more happy and content in my life. I know that the Gospel is real and that living accordingly to it brings the greatest joy and love into ones heart. That love is the Love of Christ. He lives and I have never been more certain of it in my life. He has the power to heal and the heart to forgive. His love is never changing nor never ending. It is the greatest feeling to be able to feel that this life has to offer. God is good people and He is our loving Heavenly Father. 

Love you all with every hair on my chinny chin chin! Thank you for the love, support, encouragement, and prayers. They mean the world. Have a great week and Enjoy to the End (it comes sooooon)! 


    Elder Coooookie

Monday, April 27, 2015

Accepting... WEEK 98!

Lieve Familie,

          What a week it has beeen! An exhausting week if I may just add.  My motto so far in my last transfer has been “go off in a stretcher”, or in other words.. FINISH STRONG! I feel like in the first two weeks of being here in Antwerpen I have succeeded in that. Elder Wilson and I finally got the bike situation figured out and since then it has just been worrrkk till you cannot work no more. The other night we were making dinner and before you knew it I was literally falling asleep while eating. It was pretty embarrassing. The exhaustion level just keeps increasing and increasing! But I believe that it is a good thing, to be honest it makes me feel a bit accomplished in a righteous way for the work we are doing:)

    It been back to the basics with LOTS of door knocking and street contacting- love it! And since we have been going hard lately, we have seen some cool miracles. We´ve been let in twice on the door (cool stories!) and probably given out like 3 book of Mormons a dayyy! So since the white wash we are slowly but surely picking things up and are planning on leaving this place better than the way we found it. Training has been fun! It’s pretty exhausting, just because I am stuck to do almost everything and all the talking, but Elder Wilson is probably the best 18 year old, fresh out of high school, Son I could have ever asked for. He is just willing to try anything. The other day I pretended to take a phone call while we were at the Centraal Station and told him to go give out 5 cards while I was “on the phone”. He was terrified. But with a simple “If your scared you should probably do it” encouragement he went out and totally killed it! It was so awesome.

   Antwerpen is a cool city. Super ghetto, but also very beautiful! The ward is cool.. Lots of old people I noticed, but still a great ward. 

    I am so excited to be re-united with you all again. Seriously I cannot wait! But I haven´t been able to accept the fact that my mission is coming to an end. Living this life for two years and giving all your time, energy, strength, etc. to it- forces this life to actually become your life. THIS IS MY LIFE- to be a missionary here in Nederland & Belgium and to think that in one day it is just going to come to an end.. I haven´t been able to accept it yet. I just can’t. At least not yet. However I recognize and understand that I need to accept it. There is nothing I can do about it. I need to accept the fact that my mission is coming to an end and that one-day I am going to have to take that nametag off my chest. Man ooh man.. BUT at the same time, that doesn’t mean that I need to change. That I accept it and never do missionary work again or that I come home and forget everything I learned on my mission and just adapt myself to those around me.  It all has to do with a change of perspective and attitude.

 NOWW.. This is a life lesson I am learning right now. Today in the world, there are things that are just hard to accept. People who do dumb things and or experiences/incidents that happen in our lives that can be difficult to accept. Some things we don’t have to accept and other things we need to; much like me and my mission coming to an end. Its time to change my perspective and attitude about it. After all, the past 23 months have just been a preparation for the future. Gosh I love my mission.

Well fam and friends. I love you. Love you LOTS. Be safe and have a great week. See you all in 5 weeks or soooo... ENJOY TO THE END! 
Christ lives! 


     Big Dude