Monday, February 23, 2015

Let the GOOD times roll! WEEK 89!

Lieve Familie, 

          I have an unchangeable love for you all and for my mission. I’m so grateful! I have learned so much on the mission and it has seriously opened up my eyes and saved me from a deep sleep.  

        This week was fly. Fly as in, ridiculously fast and incredibly awesome. It was full of meetings, training's, and baptisms! I spent Wednesday in Amsterdam doing work there with the AP´s and talking to President about things. It was great. Saw lots of miracles and truly just felt so spiritually uplifted. Amsterdam is one crazy city-although its got nothing on Rotterdam Zuid as far as being in the ´´hood´´ goes.  Thursday we spent the day in Gouda for a bit working with some sisters and then headed back down to Rotterdam Zuid in the evening so that we could hang out with our friend Silve. We ended up cooking him REAL American cheeseburgers (it’s been a long long time since I’ve had one of those). He loved it and so did we! Following that we headed up to Leidschendam for a leadership meeting at the mission home. It was so spiritually uplifting and edifying! President Robinson is a boss and so is his wife Zuster Robinson. Love them! 

         The weekend was just as busy as the week... we gave a training Saturday morning and then headed back to Rotterdam Zuid to hold the baptismal service of Silve. It was a great baptismal service and I am so grateful for the ward members here who helped us pull off a great service! The spirit was there and Silve is a changed man because he now notices the influence of Christ in his life. Life is just so good and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have so much love for everyone. 
         Sunday, Silve was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful to be teaching him with Elder Holt and that we have been privileged to witness him coming closer to our savior. Following church we headed back to teach our good young friend, who I wrote about last week, and lets just sayyyy.. I have learned a lot from her! She is so great and awesome. She even came to church. The appointment was awesome! Elder Holt and I were really able to just open up to her and share some personal experiences that we have had and how we both have had troubles with gaining a testimony. Elder Holt is a homie! I am always so amazed by the power of the spirit. Man I am really going to miss Rotterdam! 

   As you can see this weeek was just busy busy busy. I don’t even know what else to write about. I guess if there is one thing that I KNOW the spirit has re-taught me this last week was the importance of seeking self-improvement. We all come short of perfection and we all make mistakes. Self-improvement is a long process that takes time and effort. But it does begin on your knees followed by getting up and DOING. We need to be doers of the Gospel not just believers.  Like the goodól Michael Jackson used to sing:

I'm starting with the man in the mirror,
I'm asking him to change his ways,
And no message could have been any clearer,
If you wanna make the world a better place,
Take a look at yourself and then make a change

Faith without works is dead peeps. 

I miss you all dearly and love you even more! You are all in my prayers. Have a great week and Enjoy to the End! 


    Big Dude

Photos from Petra

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Alles heeft zijn tijd" WEEK 88!

Lieve Familie, 

          I swear the longer you are on your mission the faster time just keeps going. Sometimes I wish it would slow dowwnn! Butttt here we are again; another Monday, the begining of another new week, and another day here on the mission. I am so grateful for modern technology that enables us to be able to communicate one with another through email. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t get to hear from you guys weekly (probably lose my mind!!). There are just so many things to be thankful for. Gosh I love you guys!

       Well this week flew byyy! Once again it was a busy week with exchanges and working with other missionaries. Elder Holt and I finally got back together on Friday night and we're just so beat up from the week that before 10pm we found ourselves dead asleep in bed. The exhaustion level just keeps increasing, but we stay positive and definitely have a good time with the zone! The ward members here are also just great. They take such good care of us and I am so grateful for that! The mission is just awesome.

      I just want everyone to know how grateful I am for the Gospel. 

This last week we were asked a question at a member’s house about why we have chosen to ''stay on the path''.. Or you could say, why have we chosen to stay with the gospel in our lives. Now the young friend of ours who asked us is 18 years old and she has been in-active for quite some time (being a young adult and staying active with the Gospel in Nederland can be very difficult). We were all able to be open and give our answers/bear our testimony. It was a great opportunity and lead to the young friend of ours asking if we could re-teach her the lessons. So that next Sunday (yesterday) after church we went back and taught her. It was an awesome experience because we were  able to just get personal with her and really put ourselves in her shoes/relate to her. Truly was grrrrrreeeeaaaaattt! 

Nowww.. everyone has a story behind them. I am a firm believer that we are all converts. Everyone in the church or who has a testimony is a convert. At one moment in our lives we have all had, or maybe still have to, make the choice to be converted to the Gospel. Or in other words- to give it a try. To be truly sincere, open, and humble enough to go seeking after the truth and to do so with a real intent. I respect and admire all those around me who have chosen to believe and have chosen to "stay on the path". I am so ridiculously grateful for my mission and all those who helped me get on one and also all those who have helped me to keep going. I know my mission has truly awakened me to the reality of the Gospel and gave me that chance to truly go seeking after the truth. Growing a testimony is a process and having one is a gift. It has taken me 20 years to have the gift that I have now and I am so incredible grateful that Heavenly Father has been so patient with me. However, it doesn’t mean that it is strong enough. Having a testimony is like driving your car up a hill.. We either give it gas and move forward or do nothing and move backwards. Lets all step on the gas and come closer to Him. 

Familie ''Alles heeft zijn tijd'' (everything has it's time) and also, everyone has his or her individual time. I am grateful that my time is now and has been for the past 21 months to truly come to know. Life is sooo good! 

I miss you all like Nemo misses his dad in Finding Nemo and love you all even more. I have a never-ending love for you! 


   Big Dude

Monday, February 9, 2015


Lieve Familie,

       Ooooooh hemeltje. I honestly don’t even know what to say in this email. How about we start with the basics.. 

  I LOVE YOU! Seriously the love I have for you guys just keeps growing and growing and I don’t think it is ever going to stop growing. I don’t talk about this too much, but being away from you all has been definitely super difficult. But at the same time so rewarding. Rewarding in regards to the fact that I have had 21 months or so to just get to know who my Savior is, who Heavenly Father is, and who I am. It has been the best journey I have ever had in my life. No regrets, just lots and lots of memories and lessons learned. But with that being said, I miss you all terribly. I still think about you all a lot and just reminisce about the many memories we have had together and look forward to the ones coming in the future. Lets just ENJOY to the end! 

 I was able to spend time with Petra on Tuesday and eat dinner with her! It was so great. She is so awesome and I am so grateful for the Gospel that brings us together. We talked a lot about Alma (her son) and mannn.. I really miss that man! SHOUT OUT TO ELDER ALMA ALADE! (Took a lot of photos with his stuff on and laying on his bed).

This last week flewwww by! I worked in 3 other cities on exchanges (Utrecht, Ommoord, and Capelle) and worked a lot with the other missionaries. It was a week full of hard work and, not going to lie, some hard exhaustion. I just seemed to get so exhausted nowadays.  Following that, Elder Holt and I got to get some goodól work done here in Rotterdam Zuid. We were able to meet with our friend Silve, who now has a baptismal date for the 21st of Feb. He is a really good guy and possesses many Christ-like attributes. Since working with him, I have been reminded of how Christ and His Gospel can change someone’s countenance; I have seen that a lot on my mission. The influence of Christ and His Gospel brings a tremendous change of goodness in everyday life and being able to see that everyday on a mission is so thrilling and humbling. I love it. I have also grown a deep love for going to church and partaking of the sacrament, even though I did almost fall asleep. 

The Gospel is just so great. I love it and know that it is true. 

Life’s good peeps. God is great. And ENJOY TO THE END! 

       Big Dude

(Sorry I didn’t have much time today to email!)

Pics... with Petra and the stuff of Alma. 

          The view from our apartment with the big HUGE moskee.. Oooh boy. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

JA Maaaaaaannnn! WEEK 86!

Lieve Familie,

             Thank you all so much for the love, support, encouragement, motivation, friendship, continuous care, and the prayers. Really it humbles me every week to open up my email and see/feel the love from you. I feel so blessed to have such great people around me. The Lord is so mindful of each and every one of us. I appreciate you all and am extremely grateful. You guys rock! 

        This last week was great. Seriously can’t say one bad thing about it. Being back in Rotterdam Zuid has just been eye opening and I really am loving the atmosphere here. It’s just my type of rough and tough work. The people here don’t like to waste there time and are very straight forward so it gives us the opportunity to just talk to people straight up; or in other words- to just be bold. I love it! Since we have no car and we don’t have to travel nearly as much as I had to in Eindhoven, we get more time on the street just walking around and walking some more and then just walking a little more (we walk a lot) and talking to people. It’s been back to the basic missionary work that I have truly so dearly missed (knocking doors, talking to peeps on the street, in the trains, in the trams, teaching lessons, etc). It’s great!  I believe mastering the basics is what it’s all about- in life and also in the Gospel.  Elder Holt is a homie! He is a great example of sincerity and Christ-like love. I have a lot to learn from him and I am very grateful to be serving with him.

        Last Wednesday we gave our 4-hour training that I thought went pretty well. It’s always a long week of planning and figuring things out the week before so I am glad that it is all behind us now and that I can just put all my focus back on doing missionary work.
Cool story...
     Last Saturday we challenged some kids to a soccer match out on the streets. (Elder Holt is also a great soccer player) We ended up playing in this huge cage right outside of the big shopping mall here. We made a wager with the homies, that if we won.. They would come to church the next day. Well Elder Holt and I played in our white shirts, the other two elders in our area showed up also (however they were in their sports clothes) and we played some 4 on 4 voetball against these kids. Yea we dominated. Won the whole tournament and next thing you know we had quite the audience watching us -no one expected a bunch of white dudes, 2 in white button up shirts and slacks, to put up a fight. Great proselyting activity;) Anyways after the hour and a half of playing all these kids in voetball we called it a night. Sunday happened and your never going to guess this... we walked into sacrament and BOOM! There they were.. The four kids sitting there waiting for us. They were all between the ages of 13-17 and they joined us for church. They took the bus and everything and got to church completely by themselves. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?! hahaha it was so great and so awesome. We now have it set up that everyday Saturday evening we will be playing these guys and there friends. Who knows maybe we'll just get the whole gangsta neighborhood in the church:) 

     Familie and friends if there is any type of spiritual message I could give to all today, it would just have to be the basic fact that life should be fun. We are here to Enjoy and not endure. Of course there are many things in life that come our way that force us to endure, but there are so many opportunities, especially during those enduring moments, to dig deep and find joy in life. Attitude and perspective are everything. We stay positive and have an eternal perspective, we find joy. 

    “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”  It’s our choice to be happy and have joy. Soooo make the right choice and follow Him. 

Life good. God is great. I have a testimony of the Restored Gospel that continues to grow everyday. Christ is my Savior. I am enriched daily by his endless love, mercy, and patience. 
 I miss you all so so SO so so much and love you even more!  Enjoy to the End!

  Big Dude