Monday, December 29, 2014

SNOWWWW.. WEEK 81!!

Lieve Familie,

            SNOWWWW!! My first time seeing snow in almost 2 years just happened this week!! It snowed (on Friday night and Saturday) surprisingly A LOT here for Nederland and lets just say... you could definitely tell that I was the only driver on the road that day that knew how to drive in snow conditions (donuts, drifting, etc.) hahha joke. But seriously seeing the snow was so great and for a little bit I felt like I was back home in Salt Lake. Yes I did have a ``ski trunky´´ moment, however it was much needed! My comp loved the snow also.. We ended up having to do lots of driving that day due to missionaries getting stuck in cities (all trains stopped working) and other emergencies inside the zone and about 3/4ths of the time Elder Lee was fulfilling the stereotype of Chinese people with Cameras in their hands; he probably took about 100 photos of miscellaneous things in the snow. I loved it! 

           Well it was great to see you all and talk to guys on Christmas. Sorry if I was a little weird or awkward. Holidays on the mission are cool, but they definitely are different (especially Christmas). It was great to see all the new people added to our fam and the new one joining. I loved all of it and I love you all! 

           This week was a great weeek. Christmas eve was spent doing service, teaching, and cooking for members. Yes you better watch out peeps my cooking skills are going UP! Elder Lee is like a professional cook so he is teaching me how to make gourmet food! 

Following Christmas day we spent ``tweede kerst dag´´ caroling to members in Den Bosch as a Zone and watching the faces of people being filled with joy and the Christmas spirit. It was great, however, I need to definitely work a little more on my singing voice. Saturday night we spent with Barry (our Chinese investigator) and had dinner with him. We ate delicious home cooked Chinese food that he made and also that Elder Lee made. It was 3x´s better than Panda Express! Lekker Lekker Lekker. 

          This upcoming Saturday we are planning to hold a baptismal service with John. It would be great to see him baptized and see some fruits of our labor. So pray for him! Other than that we have a good week planned and also have New Years, which is world war 3 here in Nederland. Looking forward to it! 

         This email is already long enough, but I will just end it by saying a couple of things that I have learned since June 12, 2013. I have learned that all trials in our lives are really just blessings in disguise, without them we would never learn or grow. I have learned that lust and love are not the same thing, that there is a big difference between temporal happiness and eternal happiness.  I have learned that Charity is a gift from God and that all gifts/talents in which we possess ``cometh of Christ´´(Moroni 10:18). I have learned that we must first seek to understand before being understood. That life is sometimes not fair, but that is why we have the Gospel: 

 ``The gospel isn’t a guarantee against tribulation. That would be like a test with no questions. Rather, the gospel is a guide for maneuvering through the challenges of life with a sense of purpose and direction.”

In all honesty I have learned lots. More than I could even write down. I am so grateful. Look back on this last year, the year of 2014, and ask yourself
  ``what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?´´  (alma 26:2)

We have all been blessed. I am looking forward to learning more this upcoming year and getting closer to our Savior and our Father in Heaven. Out of all the many things I have learned, thee most important is the reality of the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. 


Love you all and have a great week. Enjoy to the End!

Love,

    Big Dude







Monday, December 22, 2014

CHRISTmas.... WEEK 80!

Lieve Familie,

              ITS CHRISTMAS!! 
           
            This last week has been great. Our Zone Training was a success and we finished off this week with a new baptismal date and are also expecting a baptism in 2 weeks and then another one the following week! So the work in Eindhoven is looking real good. Elder Lee and I are really just having so much fun. This kid is awesome and it is so fun to do the work with someone who stays so positive and loves to laugh. He is also helping me with my Chinese:) We are both super excited for Christmas!

Well For Skype this Thursday..... I will be calling around 7pm here in Holland so that should be around 11am or something there in SLC. I am very excited to see you all! Can’t wait. 
Since we will be talking on Thursday I am not going to spend too much time emailing today but I do just want to write you all a couple of words..

Thank you so very much.

             Thank you for the love, the support, the encouragement, the friendship, the everything! This time of year I am so full of gratitude. In fact, soooo grateful that sometimes I just can’t hold my emotions together- It is rather pretty embarrassing actually. I’m so grateful to have each and every one of you in my life. So grateful for all the many friends I have made while being on my mission. And I am put to silence when I just think about how grateful I am for the Gospel, for Heavenly Father, and for Christ. You cannot describe what being on a mission really is (well at least I can’t) because it is just so personal. It has been thee most personal experience of my life and I cannot describe it. Coming to know Christ and His Gospel has impacted me and changed me. I received so many conformations this week over the Divinity of Christ and the love that Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us. I see miracles everyday and truly do seek after the spirit in all that I do. I am SO grateful.

I miss you all and love you all so very much. Enjoy to the End! 2 Nephi 25:26

Love,

   Big Dude







Tuesday, December 16, 2014

THE SHANGHAI BROZZZ... WEEK 79!

Lieve Familie,

            My love for you all is something I cannot explain. I have tried to do it several times through email and also while talking with others, but it just doesn’t seem to manage. It is much like having a testimony of the Divinity of Christ or of the Gospel.. We cannot physically explain these things, but we just know that it is real and that it is true. We know that there is something there that brings joy to our hearts and our souls. It is powerful and calm. Brings purpose and direction in our lives. But it is something that cannot really be physically explained. It is truly a gift given to us from our Heavenly Father that I am so grateful for. Grateful for you guys and grateful for the Gospel. It’s allllll trueee. 

            This week was quite the fun and stressful week.  I got my new companion and let me just say.... LEKKER! Elder Lee is his name and we instantly clicked. He is from Singapore and ooooh boy I love the Chinese spirit. He is so Chinese it blows my mind! Love it. I think the first three days together I got my 6 pack back from laughing so hard. We truly are a ``Gangnam Style´´ but on steroids. He made the big jump from just being a normal missionary to ZL, so it has been quite the blessing to bring him up to speed on his new life of giving trainings, planning, traveling, and being constantly stressed out. We definitely are just making the best of it! 
            We have had to spend the last 3 days pretty much inside doing planning and giving trainings. Last Friday we had our mission leader council with all the Leaders from the mission at the mission home. I was asked to give a 15 minute presentation, which was very exciting. I am grateful that the spirit was able to help me out. Following that we made the long drive back to Eindhoven and gave another training Saturday morning to all the District leaders. The rest of the weekend was spent planning for our big Christmas Zone Training that we will be giving tomorrow. It has been some of the craziest and most stressful 4 days! But I am grateful to have Elder Lee because he has really helped out a ton and has been such a blessing to have as a companion. Really looking forward to the rest of this transfer!

            Well Christmas is coming up and if you haven´t seen the new Film on LDS.org or the Mormon Channel called ´´He is the Gift´´ I invite you now to go watch it. I am so grateful for all the many gifts I have had bestowed upon me through out my life and also grateful for the many gifts that I have worked for. I want you all to remember that..
  There is no such thing as a possession in this life, everything is a gift. 

Everything we have received is a gift from our Heavenly Father. He loves us and cares for us. He has given me so many snickers bars through out my life and through out my mission he has constantly been nourishing me with my ``Daily Bread´´ (Matthew 6:11). I love him and am grateful for his son Jesus Christ. 

Have a great week fam bam! Be safe, make good choices, tell one another that you love each other, and Enjoy to the End! 

Love,
    Big Dude

Goodbye to Rudolph
 Elder Lee and I

Planning/Preparing (kill me now)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Best time of my life....WEEK 78!!!

Lieve familie,

             First things first....  I love you guys and miss you all like crazy.

              However, I love and have such a deep appreciation for my mission. Looking back on the past 19 months or so it is easy to say ''Wow those 19 months were some of the best months of my life''.. I feel like many people say that about their mission which is great! I hope everyone can say that about his/her mission or his/her time of doing the work of the Lord, but what I really hope for is that people actually believe in what they say and, that they can say it with conviction. That is something I can be humbly proud about because I cannot only say that but I can say that with conviction and surety!
THESE LAST 19 MONTHS WERE SOME OF THE BEST MONTHS OF MY LIFE!!!!

 I am unceasingly grateful for my mission and the things I have learned. I hope and pray that I can apply all that I have learned. 

Well anyways, this week started out once again pretty interesting. Last week Monday we were in the hospital until 3 A.M. helping an Elder who is sick and going through some tough times. Following the 4 hours of sleep I got, it was time to hit the road and get to our meeting in Breda. Following that I spent Tuesday working in another city with another Elder. (Elder Nielson)- he is definitely one of my bros. It was a great day but also very exhausting. That night we planned to get to bed on time, but once again 12:30 came rolling around and we still weren’t in bed.. So lets just say the first couple of days were spent with very little sleep! The rest of the week was great. I got to work in 3 other cities (Breda, Vlissingen, and Roosendaal) all with different Elders and with some sisters. We saw lots of miracles in their cities such as setting a new baptismal date, finding many potentials/new investigators, and teaching less actives. I have really learned (and still learning) how to glorify in the success of others. It’s been a valuable lesson!

So yeah this last week just seemed to fly by! Time seems to just be speeding up right when I hope it would slowww down. The gospel is so true and I cannot deny it. I just cannot seem to stop talking about it with others or thinking and pondering about the truthfulness of it. It constantly takes my breath away just like a fat kid going up a flight of stairs. It really is becoming a part of me and I love it. 

Family I love you all so much and miss you guys like crazy. My testimony grows and will continue to grow as long as I make time for it and give water on my spiritual seed. I invite you all to do the same and while doing so; find the positives in others and yourselves, listen to and search for the promptings of the spirit, eat a cheeseburger, love one another, and ENJOY to the END. 

LOVE,
     Big Dude

  

PS.... I will not be getting transferred which I am so excited about! (Love it here in Eindhoven) and I will be getting a new companion... Elder LEE! He is from Singapore and it’s going to be GEWELDIG!! 


This is after the gym last monday.... GOT SWULL!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Lessons to be learned.. WEEK 77!


Lieve Familie,

         Life is so good. Life is so great. But that is only because I choose that. 

        This week was full of so many ups and downs (every week in the mission life). I only spent one day working in Eindhoven this last week while the other days were spent working in other cities, at meetings, giving trainings, preparing, and visiting beloved friends. I am so grateful for the mission because it is so rewarding. Every day you can learn something new. Every day you experience something new. Every day Heavenly Father gives you that snickers bar that just satisfies your hungry. This journey is something I will never regret.

       After a rough start at the beginning of the week (having to deal with missionaries in the hospital, missionaries wanting to go home, and many other problems) the Lord gave me a great snickers bar and treat at the end of the week. We had great conferences and meetings with Elder Moriera who came and toured our mission. He was very inspiring and I learned a ton. Following his meetings in Zoetemeer and Leidschendan, we had some extra time in which I was able to make a couple of quick stops to visit old friends in Den Haag. (Familie Muntinga and Familie Scherf)  <--T´was GEWELDIG! Then yesterday at church our top investigator, John, came to church and we were able to teach him following the service. It was a great way to finish off a week that didn’t start too hot! 

    But there were important lesson to be learned/ re-learned... such as:

It can be so easy to look at the negatives in life or in others, but so assuring and joyful to look at the positives in life and in others. Have you ever been happy while dwelling on all the negatives in life or looking at all the faults that others posses? No. Definitely not, yet we tend to do that a lot. It is just a simple lesson to be learned. Think positively and you will be more positive. See the good in others and you will be full of appreciation. Be thankful and you will be happy. Love and you will feel love. It is so simple, but I feel like we are taught this valuable lesson daily. It goes along perfectly with the saying of-->  Is the glass of water half empty or half full? In life we all have our freedom to choose, but I hope that we all can just choose to be happy or choose to see the good in life and in others.

 A scripture that really impacted me this last week was Matthew 7:3 -->
 “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:...”  
Let us not judge or assume, and get over the imperfections of other. Lets just see the good in others and Enjoy what life has to offer. Enjoy the snickers bars that Heavenly Father gives you because he is just going to keep on giving you more:) Life is good if you choose to see it so!

Love you guys. Love you all so much and miss you all more than a fat kid misses McDonalds. 
Have a great week, be safe, make good choices, pray often, and Enjoy to the End!

Love,
    Big Dude 





Monday, November 24, 2014

G.R.A.T.I.T.U.D.E. WEEK 76!


Lieve Familie,

           Family I just want you all to know that this week while I was reading my emails, I had a tear or two come down my face followed by watery eyes that filled my heart with joy. Joy for a lot of things. Joy for my mission because without it I would be lost. Joy for each and every one of you because without each and every one of you I wouldn’t have made it this far. Joy for the Gospel. Joy for Christ. Joy for friends. Joy for light. Joy for just about everything this life has to offer. What a blessing it is to feel joy and love in our lives. To be honest I have come to the point where I can’t even express my gratefulness because I just turn speechless. Speechless and humbled. It’s great. Life is great and so is Heavenly Father. 

         This week was full of activity. I spent 2 days here in Eindhoven without counting the weekend so nothing was new with that. I really enjoy working with other missionaries and just getting lost in the work. Week after week I am amazed at how dedicated and committed 18-20 year old young men and young women are when it comes to serving the Lord. It really is humbling.  It’s funny because we are told to work with others to help, encourage, motivate, and lead them. But every time I feel like I am the one who is learning and being taught; the one being re-encouraged or re-motivated because of the amazing examples I see. There really are so many amazing missionaries here in this Mission and in our zone. I am grateful for their sacrifices they have made to take part in this Labor of Love. 

         Thanksgiving is coming up and welllllllll to say I am thankful and grateful is an understatement. This Thanksgiving for me will be spent in Zoetemeer as we will have the privilege to listen to Elder Morieria who is apart of the quorum of Seventy. It will be a great experience and I am excited. Hopefully he doesn’t chastise us to bad, but if he does I am more then open to feedback and will accept it. The real thanksgiving party here will be Friday- some of the members are going to throw a big thanksgiving feast for us! I am very excited and very thankful that they are willing to take care of us. 

          Well Fam and friends I don’t really have much else to say because I am hitting my “speechless mode” again. I am just so thankful and grateful. I hope and pray that you all will be safe and blessed this upcoming week. Just remember to stay thankful and grateful. Enjoying to the End is so real to me and I invite you all to truly just ENJOY all things that come into your life. God has a plan and I know it. I love Him and I love His son, Jesus Christ. Be safe, have fun, make good choices, help another, stay grateful, and.....

Enjoy to the End! 

Love you all so so so much.

     Liefs,
        Big Dude


THE TURKEY BOWL