Sunday, 15 April 2018

Week 67: Overplaatsingen!

(April 8, 2018)

Transfer day was fun, I got to go to Amsterdam Centraal and chill for a few hours with some other missionaries until Elder Peck got here. The next 3 days we had service planned each day and they all fell through… but luckily I was able to make new appointments for this upcoming week.  I had to do a baptismal interview for this 10 year old girl though she wasn’t feeling ready so we didn’t do the interview but it turned into a lesson. It went well. She and her mum are form Brazil so I was able to use the little bit of Portuguese I know to get along with them. She set a new date to be baptized, the 21st of this month so that is good!

When I first got to Alkmaar this one lady took us out to eat at a restaurant and it was really good and she took us again with Elder Peck. It was fun to go there again. The restaurant is like Hu Hot, so good! We got to watch some more General Conference talks at our dinner appointment. The next day we had to go to Amsterdam for a meeting with the Zone Leaders to set some goals and come up with some plans for things and that took awhile but was good. Then we came home and we had an appointment fall through so we worked in the area for a bit. It was a beautiful day though and it was so nice to be outside!

Sunday was great because we had some tourists at church, and some were from Pincher Creek, so that was special! I translated for 9 people which was nice because it kept my mind off of how hungry I was because it was Fast Sunday. Translating is weird but enjoyable, and if you mess up they don’t know, haha. We also went up to Den Helder to see M. He is doing well.

Elder Peck is from Rexburg, Idaho, and is pretty chill. He is cool and a very positive, smiley person. His last city was Gent, so Belgium, and his last comp was Elder Adema. So now he is serving in Alkmaar with Elder Adema's grandparents. The beginning of the week was spent helping Elder Crow get a few things finished and pack. He painted the back of a guitar. It looks really good, I’ll include a photo of it.

1. How are your investigators?
2. Tell me about your new comp!  Can he cook, haha?
3. Did you travel anywhere this week?
4.  You mentioned last week you had a lot of appointments, was it a busy week?
5.  Did you have many dinner appointments?
6.  Did you get to finish watching the General Conference sessions?
7.  Do you have any insights to share or spiritual thoughts from your studies or scripture reading?

1. Great, a lot of dropped appointments though.
2. He can't cook, haha... but he can play guitar so I enjoy that a lot!
3. Amsterdam, Den Helder, the usual.
4. Should have been!
5. 2 and this week we only have 3...
6. I have half a session to go.
7. I read the story of Ammon and we can learn a lot from him and the way he acted.

I think that’s all,
Elder Fernhout

Guitar Elder Crow Painted

Saying goodbye to the Zusters at transfers
Transfer Day

Missionary work in the BNL Mission  

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Week 66: Pasen!!! En Algemene Conferentie

April 2, 2018

On Saturday we had a good stamppot dinner with some of the ward members before General Conference and then Sunday morning they did a breakfast before the priesthood meeting, so that was nice. I found a new favourite Dutch treat called zuikerbrood, best way to describe it is it is like banana bread but with cinnamon roll ingredients…lekker.

Wednesday was one of the best days because we had a dinner appointment with a great family as well as an investigator who came named K. She is super positive and after we ate we extended a baptism date and she accepted! She likes reading in the BOM. I am so happy to be staying here to see where it goes! I left that appointment with a huge smile on my face haha. Well, we actually had a ton of appointments this week although a few fell through. We were already having a rough day and then this one guy decided to get mad at us for knocking his door. He told us that respect is super important and we aren't respecting other people cause we go around making people believe and bothering people. We tried to tell him that all we do is ask people if they want to take the opportunity to learn more and if not then we go and don’t come back. He was not having it and told us he has read all the books and that he knows everything. We told him he hasn't read the BOM and he said yes he has. Then he asked if we have read the Koran. Elder Crow actually has so he said yes then the guy asked him what the first work is to prove he has. He didn't know so I asked the guy what the first word in the Bible is and he just looked at me and asked the same question. We went back and forth a little and he was being unreasonable... Elder Crow was like okay we are going and shook his hand then he went to shake my hand and I was so mad so for 5 seconds I waited and then I shook his hand and then he says that EC was nice and friendly but I wasn’t because I paused… then EC was like “hey, you don't know this guy, you can't say that" which I really appreciated because I was so mad at that point. We then left and EC was like, "wow I had to dial in a new level of patience for that one." He thought I was going to punch the guy, haha. I would've just walked away before I did that though. We were both pretty heated so we went to the Lidl and got ijscream and took it home to eat.

I got to do another baptismal interview for the elders in Zaandam. It was with this super chill guy named F. from Togo.  I asked him why he wanted to be baptized and he told me about this really cool dream he had where a bunch of cool stuff happened and that is why he has a lot of faith and will be baptized on Saturday. On Saturday, we had an appointment with a new investigator from Poland. We got there and her husband was there who we never met before, he is super cool! He is from Iran and we talked with them about the Restoration and it was just such a good lesson. We gave them a BOM each and they said they will read it! I said a prayer before we left and she seemed to really appreciate it, that touched our hearts a bit. They are such a nice couple, definitely an eternal marriage type, haha.  Other than that we had a full weekend watching General Conference which was nice.

1.  Tell me about transfers!  Are you still in Alkmaar?  Do you have a new companion?
2.  How do you feel about the transfer call?
3.  What did you do for Easter?
4.  How much of General Conference did you get to watch? Where did you watch it?
5.  Do you have a favourite talk?
6.  When will you get to watch the other sessions because of the time difference?
7.  Did you hear about the changes in the church programs?
8.  How was the work this week?
9.  When do you go to Keukenhof?
10.  How has the weather been for you there?

1. I’m staying, Elder Peck is my new companion, he is coming from Gent.
2. Great, very glad I am not being moved.
3. Eat chocolate, go to conference.
4. 2.5 sessions.
5. The mistake one was great as well as the forgiveness one.
6. This week I think.
7. Yes.
8. Really good. So many appointments! This next week we are also booked solid.
9. End of April I think.
10. Delightful

Word is knee, it’s the same as the English word except you pronounce it with the 'k'.

Okay that is all!
Elder Fernhout

Zuid Scharwoude

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Week 65: HARING

(March 26, 2018)
Last pday was great. We traveled to the museum and took some pics with the “I Heart Amsterdam” letters, so that was cool. Then we went inside the Rijksmuseum. I was so happy to go there! First of all it was a super duper cool building and second I had never been to a really nice art museum. I also always love going to Amsterdam. I took tons of pics inside the museum, and yes I took some of the Van Gogh paintings that were there. There were 3. There was also some other pretty famous paintings. They had some really huge massive ones. They had other cool things like ship parts and miniature models as well as a whole room of cool old weapons. One of my favourite things though was the library of cool old books they have all about art, I think. I also took pics of that. I loved it, there was so much to see. However, the coolest thing that I saw was a little self portrait that I found. It was done by a guy named Edgar Fernhout… how cool is that!!! I need to learn more about this guy haha! I took a few pics of that too. So weird to find my name in the Rijks Museum! I wonder if his temple work is done...?

The weather has been okay, not too bad not too great. It hasn’t been too wet so that’s nice. Ya, I am also really pumped for General Conference! It is at the church and they are going to have some food for us! They will have stammpot in the evening and a solid breakfast for the priesthood session. Sadly, one of the session goes from 10:00 pm to 12:00 pm Central European Time so we won’t be able to watch that and it will have to be done on a different day. I don’t think they will do anything cool here like the parade they had in Belgium last year. It'll just be like back home I think.

M. dropped us, that was expected though. We had a great lesson with K. She is very positive and made a comment that she has found the true church, she is so cool. We didn't have that many appointments this week which means we had time to find and find we did. We found 17 people this week, it is was crazy. That's the most I have had in a week. So the next 2 weeks we have now a lot of appointments! We had an app with this guy who spoke Arabic and pretty much zero English or Dutch. Our entire lesson was translated through someone on the phone he called. It worked well and we gave him an Arabic BOM. He liked it and said he would read it. I am learning a few Arabic words because we meet so many people.

Then on Friday we had interviews and I got my package and then we traveled home to Alkmaar with the Zaandam elders. We went on exchanges and all worked in Alkmaar. It was great. I was with Elder Duwors. He is from all over cause his dad is in the military but mainly from the Seattle area. He is cool, we worked hard and found 5 new investigators. We got lost looking up a referral but it was good. We treated them to pizza for dinner. Saturday we had volleyball which is always fun! Sunday we had potluck which is my favourite. We also had a good app with an African family. They all speak Dutch and French, except the wife who only speaks French. It was fun to speak the very limited French I know but if you can say ca va and allez you are set. They thought that was funny. They got really excited when we explained the Restoration and the BOM. We gave her a French copy and she reads it a decent amount! Oh I forgot we had a dinner app with fam M. and they heard I haven’t had haring yet so they got some for me and I finally ate some. It was really gross but honestly not as bad as I thought it would be... I definitely only had the one bite though…got some classic pics.

1.  Did you have any activities this week where you could get the Easter parcel I sent?
2.  Did you go anywhere this week?  Anywhere new?
3.  How is the missionary work going in your area?
4.  Tell me about what you did last PDay, did you make it to the museum?!
5.  Did you have many dinner appointments this week?  (Stammpot and worst sounds so good!)
6.  Transfer calls are next weekend?  When will you know what is happening?
7.  Where will you watch General Conference next week? At the church or a members house?
8.  Did you get a new bike mileage counter?
9.  How has the weather been?

1. yes interviews. thanks for the package! very much appreciated!
2. nowhere new. biked through a cool forest but that is all.
3. great lately! hope I don’t get transferred.
4. yes and I loved it. took many photos. met some Canadians, one from Red Deer.
5. nope but it was all good.
6. Saturday. I will probs stay here with a new comp.
7. at the church but then we will miss some sessions so we will watch that here at the church on another day .
8. I actually found my old one!!! I was so happy .
9. warming up a bit.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Week 64: Fiets Problemen

It was a pretty decent week. We have done really good actually at only speaking Dutch. We held district meeting in English and some people we teach are English but other than that we only do Dutch. We have noticed that during our lessons and talking with members the Dutch comes out better than it usually does. My talk also went really well in Dutch and I felt very confident. Also, we are getting a new mission prez in a few months and he is Belgian so we will probably be forced to speak more Dutch than we are now.  It’s preparation.

Tuesday was a great day, we had district meeting which is always fun. The training was on area books and our job was to get everyone to bring theirs then we would all clean them up together.  Our area has 4… it was quite the job. It's hard to bike in the rain and wind with a bag full of binders. We came back for our app with K and that went really well. It was our first with her. She asked if we do child baptism and I said no and she liked that, I grabbed the BOM to share a scripture and thought this is the perfect time to share Moroni 8. So we gave that to her as 'homework'. We will see how she likes that. We then watched the restoration video with her. That night we had an app with fam J, that was fun, they are a really nice family. We played some guitar for them. They made a delicious stamppot and worst dinner with spek (type of bacon) and other Dutch lekkers.

Well the rest of the week we had some great dinners with members and it was fun. We had a lot of time to work but then everyday we had some new issue. One day Elder Crow got really sick for like 2 hours… the other he had some bike problems and only his 2 slowest gears worked... that was funny to watch. His legs were going so fast and he went nowhere. But before he could fix it we had to bike to an app so he had to use it haha. Another day we had to get it fixed.

1.  Did you get your parcel/parcels from me?
2.  Transfers must be coming up soon again?  When are they, I’ve lost track!
3.  How was the work this week?
4.  How is the biking going?
5.  Did you travel anywhere?
6.  Did you have many dinner appointments?
7.  How are District Leader Duties going?
8.  What is the best thing that happened this week?
9.  How are you doing with your goal to speak Dutch?

1. yes
2. 2 weeks ish
3. rough, we had no new investigators this week and we did not want zeros so we skipped one of our studies yesterday as well as half of dinner so we had time to find and we did. It worked. 2 new investigators. super cool.
4. really good. we do it a lot and I like it, lost my bike computer though...
5. Heiloo, Heerhugowaard, Den helder and Amsterdam
6. 5 so yes. but this next week we have 2… sad. Although we do have an exchange with the Zaandam elders so that'll be fun.
8. Watching EC on the bike or watching the old people navigate Facebook during our dinner app when we try to get them to share a vid on there.
9. really good.

that is all
elder fernhout

Week 63: Het Gaat

Week was good. Not too much has happened. Well, actually a lot did but nothing too interesting. The week did go by really fast though! Monday we had a dinner app with the branch president and his wife and with all the 30 plus singles in the ward. That was really weird and also really funny. They are all pretty savage to each other and it was fun to watch all these older Dutch people making jokes and talk and have fun, while we sat there at the end of the table silently eating our stampot and worst... I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Tuesday we had zone training which is just zone conference but with only our 1 zone when it is normally with at least 2 together. It was nice though with only a few people. I got to see Elder Blackwell which is always fun. He is almost done his mission! The conference was very spiritual and we all felt that. The assistants did a great job. That took the entire day to travel there and back and everything. Thursday we went on exchanges with the Amsterdam elders. Elder Crow and I decided to both go there. We got there a bit later than planned. I was with Elder Flores from El Salvador. It was fun to work with him because he is a very sincere and hard working, spiritual guy. We were street contacting and this one guy was like oh hey I know that church that's an American church and you are both from SLC right??? It gave us great satisfaction to say that not only are we both not from Utah but not even from America! We worked on the same street for like 1.5 hrs and got wrecked so went to another street where he says they usually have decent success. So we went there and also got destroyed… just wasn't our day. That night we had some fun because Amsterdam is a 4 man and plus us makes 6 total. They have a bunch of guitars and this one thing called a pickup which basically turns your aucustic guitar into electric. That is super fun!!!

We came back to Alkmaar the next day in time to travel to Zuster VR's to help her in her backyard. We cleared a whole bunch of bamboo out and are building a little fence out of it. I had to saw this bush out of the ground. It is always interesting there. But it is fun and feels good to get the place looking good! Service is great, especially on the mission. The next day was called NLDOETDAG, which is just a day when the whole country focuses on going out and doing service. You sign up to projects and it's great. We went to this one school, elementary, and helped clean up the front area which was a little park. We trimmed this one tree structure and put stones in the ground. The coolest part was that halfway through when we were eating lunch (it lasted 8 hours), this random lady comes in and told us they were having a reunion from a class that was together at this school  30 or more years ago. Coolest part was that one of the people coming was Marco Borsato, a famous Dutch singer!!! So yes I got to see him. That was sick. I didn’t get a photo though… The service went well and I was able to talk with this one lady about the gospel. She was extremely respectful and at lunch asked if we wanted to pray, so we did! That was cool. Her little daughter who came asked why we do that and she gave a little explanation. I gave her our number and told her to call if she has questions or wants service done.  That night we played volleyball with some members of the ward. That's always super fun.

Sunday was good. I give a talk next week. The weather has definitely gotten better. It reached 15 degrees on Saturday!!! Wow. I know right it, is beginning to set in for me too. I have been gone a long time haha. I think back on Brugge and the people there and it feels like that was people from back home. It was so long ago. Sunday we had Elder Ademas parents come from Emmen, it was really nice to see them. I love seeing people from my old areas. I sat by them in sacrament and Br Adema put his arm around me and made a few jokes. The connections you make with people as a missionary are so great. I often feel loved by people.

1.  Did you have Zone conference this week?
2.  Did you get your parcel and can you use what is in there?
3.  Does your helmet help you be more visible, do you have to “turn” the lights on or do they turn on automatically?
4.  How is the missionary work going?  How are your investigators doing?
5.  Did you have dinner appointments this week?  What do you make to eat in the apartment when you have to make dinner for yourselves?
6.  Do you eat out or eat street food much?  What kind of food do they sell on the streets?
7.  What missionary skills are you focusing on developing lately?
8.  I’d like to hear how you feel your testimony has grown, in what areas of the Gospel?
9.  Best thing that happened this week?

1. Yes. Almere, far away but not too bad. No specific focus.
2. No!! They forgot it but will bring it this week when someone comes to check our apartment for cleanliness.
3. Oooh yes. I love it. I turn them on.
4. Great, slow.
5. A few. Home we made pannenkoeken with bacon and cheese and melted chocolate, healthy right. Also mexican food. Other than that we had dinner app or on zone conference day we got Subway on the way home.
6. Not often. They have a lot of snack bars where common things to find there are Dutch version of burgers, fries, chicken, that kind of thing. There are a lot of Turkish places all over which is my favourite!!! Oh this week we also went to this Indonesian restaurant by our house and that was super super good! Also common here.
7. Elder Crow and I made a goal to only speak Dutch the rest of our missions so that is going well. We are trying to improve our language.
8. I got no time for that now. You will be glad to know that I haven’t missed a day in my journal for over 2 weeks now though, so things are being recorded!
9. Yesterday we went to a church of one of our investigators. It was at 3:00 pm so we went after ours. It began normal and quickly went down from there. Some of the songs were nice and the people were nice too. It was like 70 percent in Spanish and 30 in Dutch. Kind of odd. This one preacher lady was getting super hyped and was like yelling into the microphone at the top of her lungs in Spanish going freakin crazy and at the same time the person translating into Dutch was also yelling and trying to keep up with her. That resulted in us not being able to understand anything and having my hears being blown out… madness. About the 3rd time that happened I almost got up and left. Then she invited people to come forward and she put her hand on someone and was blessing them, I think… she used oil. Then some other person fainted on the ground. Everybody was chanting and had their hands up as if there was a bon fire and their hands were cold… super weird. Afterwards we went up to our investigator and she said “so when is your service?” We walked out and told each other we were happy to have shared that special moment with each other, haha. That was fun. Oh ya it was a pinkster church, if someone would have told me that before we went in I wouldn't have been so surprised. So ya that was cool.

Dutch word : zwaartekracht means gravity but the literal translation is black strength...

Elder Fernhout