Monday, 18 September 2017

Week 38: A trip to Leiden

Hey again,

So this week we had nothing planned really but it turned out to be a busy week and not what we expected. Monday after we emailed we got a call from the office saying that ER needed to go down to Brussels for legality stuff so that means we had to meet them in Leiden at 9:00 in the morning. We had to sleep over cause it takes 3 hours to get to Leiden…that was Friday. So Thursday night we headed down to Leiden to sleep, the elders there are Steele and Gemmel. Both pretty cool guys so I knew it was going to be good. We got there at a good time and so we played some card games. It was a lot like Rummy if you have ever played that. E. Gemmel is from New Zealand and so I told him I used to live in Australia and he thought that was pretty cool so we talked about that and also rugby, haha. In the morning we dropped ER off and went back to the apartment to get ready. The Leiden elders were actually going on exchanges with the APs [Assistants to the President] so they came over and we all had lunch together. It was really fun to be with the APs in a not formal setting like a zone conference. They could be a bit more loose which was funny to see that side of them. Also both Leiden elders and the APs will all be home for Christmas so it was fun to hang with a bunch of old missionaries. I worked in Leiden for the day with Elder Gemmel and Elder Mackay which was fun. We had a car and drove to do some look ups and knocked a bit too. It was neat to see how they talked with people and their Dutch was great!

Also Elder Gemmel is dying [translation: is going home soon] so he wanted to sell his bike. It was given to him by another missionary who had just bought it but had to go home so Gemmel used it for a few weeks and so it is brand new practically.  It was originally 420 Euro but he was selling it to me for 100 and my other bike is not working too great anymore so I was like ya sure I’ll buy it. It’s a race type bike but also isn't uncomfortable. I took a few photos. I love it! It rides soooo smooth. Oh, also at the station later that day I saw a guy with an Eagles hat!!! [Elder Fernhout’s favourite team].  So weird cause I have only ever seen three NFL teams here: Raiders, Patriots, and now the Eagles. I tried to stop to talk to him but he had earbuds in and just kept going… sad.

We had service with T again this week and it was good. She had some questions about temples which I answered and after she told me that I have good Dutch so that was nice. We helped her make a shelf. I got the job to make the shelves in a box and ER to sand some planks. I measured the shelves I did with a level and they were pretty much right on. We also helped her carry some stuff around outside like bricks and tiles but then the rain came. We have had sooo much rain again. At least a few hours every single day… it has also been really windy. Anyway, we went to catch a bus after T's and this girl came to the bus stop as well. She began talking to us about the rain and when I asked her if it was always like this she was like, "are you not from here?" So then that launched into a convo about everything but she complimented me on my Dutch which is always nice to hear! That night we traveled to Leiden and the train passed over Lelystad, a part of the Netherlands that used to all be underwater only a bit ago. Anyway, I have never seen anything so flat in my life. I thought Emmen was bad but I couldn't believe it… there were no trees or anything just rocky grass forever.

We had the tacos you sent for dinner two days ago! So good! Thanks for that. Also at T's we had corn and it was not any where near as good as the corn back home. I miss that Taber corn!

Yesterday we had stake conference and it was fun to see a bunch of other missionaries, as well as go north to Groningen. I hadn't been there yet. After the conference I talked with some other missionaries I hadn't seen in a while so that was nice.

I heard from Opa that his dad was born in Hoogeveen. Do you know how close that is?! Super duper close. I go there all the time. It's 15 mins by train. Also, his opa lived in Nieuw Amsterdam which is even closer and he is also buried there, so of course I'll have to go there. All of these places are in my area which I think is super cool. I never knew.

Ya, I heard LCI is killin' it out there and that Football Canada tweeted about us! So great that Jake gets to be a part of that! Also, ya I thought it was super nice to get a note from the Primary. It made me remember that I have a whole ward back home supporting me! Ya, I can still use my planner, haha. Ya, it is really is green and lush here. Also I noticed the trees seem to be taller than I am used to. I remember how brown the coulees are and no leaves on the trees in Lethbridge. We have just have a washer, no dryer, so we hang all our stuff up. Some of the socks I have are super stiff after and others are normal, must be the material they are made from. I got the sweater in Belgium during sales, it was 6 Euro. Super nice for the temperatures lately.

Questions:
1.  Have you eaten herring yet?  If not, when do you plan on doing that?
2.  What have you learned from Dutch culture that you’d like to adopt?
3.  I looked up OV fiets, do you have to register to use them then?
4.  Do most Dutch kids have cell/mobile phones there?
5.  Can you take some companion photos?
6.  I saw a picture of Elder Rytting this week in Belgium (posted on Facebook), must have been with his MTC group?!  I didn’t see you in the picture, did you go too?
7.  How is the cooking going?  Are you getting more meals now that summer is over?
8.  How is the money situation?  Are you learning some good budgeting skills?
9.  So do you hear the dutch say “doei” for “bye”?

1. I haven't, haha. Uh, when I am forced to or when I serve closer to the coast. I will definately do it at least one time.

2. Wow, that is a good question. Uh, I guess how efficient they are. You definately see it in the way their transportation is all layed out and just how the people are is efficient. No time is wasted and they do it in the best way.

3. We just rent them with a card that we have that we use for everything: buses, trains, trams, metros, bike. Super nice and efficient!

4. Oh ya, and they get them pretty young. They use a lot more Samsung here than Apple I have noticed. They love technology.  They use it all over and implement it into everything they can. Even the advertisements at bus stops have a little nfc sensor you can use.

5. Sure

6. Ya, he went down there with some of his group. No, I stayed in Leiden for the day.

7. Decent. We made tacos and breakfast burritos and some other meals. We had a busy week and didn't get fed too much. T did feed us though! She always has super good tasty food and it is all healthy and full of veggies. I wish she could make all of my meals, haha.

8. Ya, I am doing great here! It’s cheaper than Belgium and we don’t eat out like ever. Also, I don’t buy any sweets really which are more expensive and I drink only water so ya it's good. I did buy that bike but it was pretty cheap.

9. Oh aaaaaaalllll the time! I say it now too haha. Like when you get off the bus you say doe! or doei or when you end a Phone call they say it like 3 times, haha.

Dat is alles.

Elder Fernhout hou doe

KD from home
Sock repairs
 A new bike
In Leiden with Elder Mackay

Monday, 11 September 2017

Week 37: Ik ben NAT

Well, this was the week of rain! There were 72 hours of almost straight rain... Kinda nice but at the same time not when you are wearing nice clothes and have to bike in it. We stayed mostly dry though. This one day we wanted to look up this referral we were assigned to look up. Only problem was they lived 2.5 hrs away by bike... or we could take a bus 1 hour closer and then rent crappy bikes from there and bike an hour. Either way it was going to be an adventure. They lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere. So we decided to bus then bike. Emmen was pouring rain but after we got a ways out of Emmen it was nice and no rain. We rented the bikes, you can look them up if you want they are called OV fiets, and we set out. The only map or directions we had was a little paper we printed off of google maps... took us a bit to find our way out of the city and into the country but from there on it was mostly smooth sailing. We had a little bit more difficulty finding their house but not too bad. It took us about an hour and a half to get there. The bike through the country side was super nice though and I loved it. There was a bunch of weird things out there on the farms. Things like egg vending machines, which I took a picture of, and also a fresh milk vending machine… cool other farms and houses. The person we were looking for wasn't home but her son was and he told us to come back Monday... we told him we live so far away and we exchanged numbers. Kinda of a let down for such a trip. So we turned around and biked to the city where we rented the bikes. In total we biked 35 km, not bad. Right when we got to the station it started to POUR rain. Super hard. It was funny cause there was a train that came and all the people were running out of it to find cover from the rain. We then hopped on a train home and there was this young couple behind us arguing in dutch. The gf was getting mad at her bf saying that he had a weed addiction. Then he said he didn't and she said she knows what an addiction looks like cause her dad had an alcohol addiction. Then he said “if you eat an apple everyday it doesn't mean you are addicted to apples!” I just thought that was pretty funny. Only in the Netherlands.

Friday morning we went to the market to look around as well as street contact. In Emmen they have a market every Friday morning and so we wanted to check it out cause we haven't yet. It was cool, lots of cheese and fruit stands as well as a bunch of random clothing and music ones too. I was looking for a fresh stroopwafel stand cause I haven't had one yet! but I couldn't find one... did find a good Turkish place though and we got a kapsalon. Even though it was raining at the time there was still people all over the market, it's like they don't even notice the rain.

I think it was last week when school started here. Emmen has a few colleges and other little schools and there are sooooo many students about. Emmen went from a quiet place to busy with young people! The buses are way busy as well as the train. I kinda like it though cause it makes Emmen feel less sleepy.

We had dinner with this one family and they gave us this cabbage casserole type of thing and it was great! It reminded me of some of the delicious cabbage dishes you would make, like that soup! Also I found this super good yogurt company called Danio. The yogurt is like the texture of whipped cream cheese. So good. The banana split is great.

Questions of the week:
1.  Have you had any Dutch cheese? Which is your favourite?
2.  Is there a regional food in your area?
3.  How did the missionary work go this week?  Did you teach many lessons?
4.  How is the finding going?
5.  What do you do for service?  Since you live with a lot of older people, I imagine there might be opportunities to help right where you live.
6.  Did you have any funny experiences this week?
7.  How was church?
8.  Did you travel anywhere this week? Where do you meet for district meetings?
9.  Your Dutch sounds so good ( I heard a little bit in the goat video).  So awesome!  Is the language progressing?

1. Yes, we have a chunk in the house that we use a cheese knife with to cut pieces off. It is gouda, which I think is the best.

2. Not really, they eat random things. Fish a lot, even though they aren't on the coast.

3. Decent, and a few...

4. Finding is still a struggle here, but it’s going all right I guess.

5. Just what we do for Tea. She bought a new garden so it will need some work. We like never see the old people in our apartment, I don't think they leave it...

6. I said that God has a body of flesh and legs instead of God has a body of flesh and bones... the Dutch words are pretty close to each other, beenderen and benen.

7. I love that vacation season is over. There are members who we have never seen come back now. This one family we met moved here from Miami 2 years ago. They are cool! ER and I also got to bless the sacrament which is always nice.

8. Zwolle and a little place called Stadskanaal and also Hogeveen which is where we rented the bikes. We meet in Zwolle.

9. Oh, haha, I didn't realize I spoke Dutch in that one haha. Ya, it's coming.

Word is arm, which means more, haha. You say it just like the English way.

Okay love you lots bye. hou doe.

Beautiful Dutch countryside
Egg vending machine







A member added memes to Elder Fernhout's planner

Monday, 4 September 2017

Week 36: Staying in Emmen

Okay, so this week a lot of stuff happened but at the same time not much... One of the best things was Zone Conference. I'll get to that in a bit. We also got transfer calls a few nights ago and it wasn't very exciting. Me and ER are staying together here in Emmen. I don't mind staying here though. 1 transfer would be really short so I am happy to stay. I like it here but probs will be done with this city after this transfer. In our zone there aren't too many changes either, just additions. There are so many greenies that a lot of people are training 2 people at the same time! We have three 3 mans in our district which means our district is 13 people now, which is huge! I love having a big district though. I heard about Matt. He is with a very new missionary and will be staying in Roosendaal.  He will be a DL [District Leader] there. Exciting for him! He said he's nervous but he will be a great DL!

Okay, so Zone Conference. So it was held in Zoetermeer, which from here takes about 3 hours to get to. And it began at 10:00 am, however, we had to be there at 9:30 am ... so that means our train left at 6:15 am and we still had to travel to the station from the apartment. So that was not going to be fun. We called the ZLs [Zone Leaders] and asked if we could sleep over in some city closer. They said yes and we got to go to a place called Deventer. That is the nicest apartment in the mission! It is huge! The Deventer elders live there as well as the Apeldoorn elders who are also ZLs. So we got to stay there with all 6 of us which was fun. One of the elders was Elder Blackwell from Taber. He's cool. His uncle is Bro Willoughby! So he's been to Lethbridge a lot. I told him where we live and he's like, oh by the Superstore? It was cool to talk to someone who knew Lethbridge. Anyway, the next day we got on a train and ended up in Zoetermeer awhile later.

Before the meeting began I got to reunite with all my buddies. I saw Elder Steele and my two MTC comps Tanner and Cameron and some other people I knew from before. It was so fun! I sat with Elder Cameron during the conference. Good times. I also met Elder Oliphant at the conference, the one that Maddie and Jackie know. He said that they are really good, like really good, professional level. [Elder Oliphant played in the orchestra with the twins in Utah - he played clarinet with Maddie who was the principal clarinet, Jackie the principal flutist].

Okay, the actual conference was great! I loved it, Elder Gary Sabin is a super cool guy. He talked for a total of like 3 or more hours I'd say. I have 3 quotes that I like from him. The first is, "you don't take the easy classes in school to grow." He talked about how if you only took classes like cooking and gym and fun option classes, you won't grow as if you took classes like calculus and sciences and things like that. Just like in life, you grow from the hard times more than from the easy times. And if you look in the BOM it is filled with people who are having hard times, it doesn't touch for very long on the easy times of the people.  The second quote is "don't trade what you want the most for what you want in the moment." Simple, but how often do we do this!? A bunch I'd say. We want to get a degree in school or lose weight but we decide to not study and do something more fun, or to eat a piece of cake or something. If we are able to focus on the end and broaden our perspective then we will more often achieve our goals. Think about what you are giving up when you are in the moment of the little decisions. The third quote is, "you'll never be happier than you are grateful." Have you ever seen a happy ungrateful person? Not really. If you are 30 percent thankful you will never be more than 30 percent happy, so simple. So be more thankful for things! He also proposed the thought,"what if every morning you woke up with the things you were thankful for the night before?" What would you say differently? I think my prayers would be a lot longer. But still, express more gratitude and be happier. I took many other notes but these are the main things I liked.

Random things paragraph. First, I have a bunch of music from other missionaries and one of the songs was sung by Tanner Linford, haha. [A missionary in Lethbridge that sang at Nick's missionary farewell and was a contestant on "The Voice"]. Pretty cool to have had that guy over to the house and now I'm listening to him on the misison... Also, we had an investigator ask us if you could give animals a priesthood blessing then asked if we would give her rabbit a blessing. Let's just say we did not end up giving it a blessing, haha. At one of our dinner appointments the family had pet goats in the backyard, I took a video of the 2 young ones fighting. It was pretty cute. A few days ago the JW girls knocked on our door. After they asked some questions about the Bible I asked them if they have ever heard of the BOM, they disappointedly said yes and walked away, haha. I lost the key to my bike lock... but the way it's locked I can still lift it up, so I carried it to the church from the station trying not to look like I stole it, haha. One of the members is gonna help cut the lock off.

Okay, now to read your email. Ya, September is here already! I can't belive how fast it is going! This past week we had, I think 3 [dinner appointments]. They fed us pizza at one, which was delicious. Oh, weird about Texas. There are few people in Sunday school but everyone says so much and has so many comments, the teacher doesn't even have to do anything cause people comment so much. They have to tell people to stop so they can bring up the next section. Ya, that is cool about our Proclamation a while ago, but it's cool they are putting theirs out there now! [Talking about the Church's "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and the recent Evangelical "Nashville Statement"].

Questions of the week:
1.  How was Zone Conference?  Did you get your package?
2.  How was travelling to Zoetomeer?  Was that your first time?  Did you see the temple?
3.  How was your week?  Best thing/worst thing that happened?
4.  How is the training going? (I remember you saying that ER he has a good understanding of gospel doctrine).
5.  How was the teaching this week?  Did you help Tea in her garden again this week?  How is the mother/daughter investigators, are they progressing?
6.  Can you think of anything I can send you for your birthday?

1. Great, yes, I got my package! Thanks so much! The pants fit great, like perfect and I have worn them everyday since I go them, super nice. All the other stuff was perfect too! I love the food! Also, I thought the Canada lights were funny because it's a Dutch company that makes them and on the back the instructions are in 6 languages and none of them are Dutch... but thanks for those too, they are perfect!

2. It went well, boring to travel there but back was fun. I had been there once before for the Keukenhof Conference a while back. I didn't get to see the temple ... we get to go there early November though!!!

3. The best was Zone Conference and seeing all the missionaries and to hear Elder Sabin. The worst was Tuesday... just a boring day where nobody wanted to talk and we didn't have any appointments. Not too bad though.

4. Decent. ER knows the gospel well and can answer all the crazy questions we get, also my random deep doctrine questions, haha. It's always fun to have those convos. We were up till 1:00 am  just talking one night, it was fun. Oh, haha, I didn't even read what was in between the brackets till now.

5. Not great, no we didn't. Ya, we had a lesson with the mum and daughter. They are progressing but everyone else decided to take a break from us this week it seems.

6. No, I can't sorry...

That is all,

Oh, the word is vos which means fox. I don't know if the Vos' already knew that but I didn't...

Elder Fernhout
Reminding me what he looks like
Zone Conference in Zoetemeer with Elders Tanner and Steele 
MTC Reunion, Elder Oliphant in background

Elder Fernhout's journal

Monday, 28 August 2017

Week 35: mijn spieren zijn dood

Goede Morgen,

Ya, it does [feel like summer is over], it is finally getting into the temperatures that I like and I can wear long sleeves somedays! Oh wow, it is still really hot there! I bet Jake enjoys that for football.

Oh ya that is cool, I always wondered that! [Emmen sits at 52 degrees north latitude, Lethbridge at 49 degrees]. Wow, I didn't realize I was that north! It is nice that it is cooling off but kinda sucks that the days are getting shorter because people don't like to talk when it is dark outside!

Ya, the Dutch is better now haha, also shorter! Ya honestly, in my BOM reading lately the words KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS have stood out a lot and I realize that everything we do depends if we keep the commandments. Also, if we do we have so many blessings and amazing things promised to us. So, ya, obedience is very important.

Well I had a real crap day on Tuesday, we had district meeting which was good. But then we had to travel a bunch and then travel to this far away dorpje to see an investigator. When we got to his door he wasn’t home and so we called him and he thought the appointment was for the next day. Lesson learned, ALWAYS call beforehand. Anyway, so then I remembered a potential we had found in the city and got his number. So I decided to call him. We had texted him a few times but never responded. He answered the call and said he would love to meet us and that he has time right now. He didn’t text us back because he didn't have the phone credit. So he gave us his address and we set out to find it. We were in a little dorp so I thought we could find a street called Stationstraat easy enough but let me tell you, we couldn't. We called him back a few times and his instructions were awful. We tried finding the street and asking people and they all pointed in a different direction. So after an hour and a half of walking in circles with no success we had to give up and look it up on the computer another day. At the end of the day we were doing some studies and this family in the ward calls and tell us how we were supposed to come over for dinner an hour ago.... I felt so bad after that, great way to end the day. Anyway, this person from Eindhoven called and he is an old guy who met Elder Nielsen. So he called me to tell me about it and it was a really nice chat. It was a great way to end the day.

On Thursday I think it was, I got to go on exchanges with Elder Geddes who is pretty cool. He came to Emmen for the exchange with me so that means I haven’t left Emmen for more than a few hours this entire transfer but I don't mind. On our exchange we didn't have anything to do and ended up looking up a few referrals we were assigned to look up. We biked from Emmen to a dorp called Emmer Compasscum to a place called Barger Compasscum and then back. It was a large triangle and was 32 kilometres, most of it into the wind. I enjoyed it though cause it was a good view and EG and I had good convos during the biking. When we got home I told him “mijn spieren zijn dood” with a laugh [my muscles are dead]. EG is a great missionary and in a group above others in his obedience!  He is a very good example for the rest of the district.

We also had the opportunity to do service for T again. We helped screw a fence together then took it to her garden where we made a path with tiles and sand. It was a big job!  I am glad dad taught me those skills! Also, she made us dinner, a soup. I loved it, it was full of veggies from her garden.  Missionaries cannot be picky eaters, it is important to learn to just eat the food. People say the gift of tongues is more than just languages, it’s also the ability to eat weird foods, haha.

Last thing. I gave my second talk in the transfer yesterday in church. My first one I felt like people weren't paying attention and I wanted them to this time. So I decided to tell a story and relate it to trials. It went well. It required some hard vocabulary but I did it okay. I was really nervous but all was well! I felt comfortable up there. People thanked me for my talk after which they always do, but it was nice.

Questions for the week:
1.  Did you talk in church recently? What was the subject and how did it go (did you shorten it from last time, jk)?
2.  Let me know when you have Zone Conference and if you got your parcel!
3.  How is the language coming along?  How did your goal go to speak Dutch this week?
4.  How is the training going?
5.  Did you go on splits this week?
6.  What did you learn about Dutch people this week?
7.  What did you learn about the Gospel or missionary work this week?
8.  I’m going to send you a birthday parcel in September sometime so that you will hopefully get it by your birthday. If there is anything specifically you’d like from home let me know.

1. Yes, haha, I did shorten it. Although it is really hard to stay under 10 mins. I ended up going I think 12.

2. Zone conference is this week on Thursday in Zoetermeer. It is the Elder Sabin conference so I am so excited, also to get my package!

3. Pretty decent, no I did and at my goal. I only did it a few times but I set the same goal for myself this week so I will try harder.

4. Ya, it’s alright.

5. Ya we went on exchanges, splits is with a member of the ward. Exchanges is with missionaries, but anyway, yup. The elder from Suriname is really cool as is the elder from Peru, they are comps and are both really good at soccer.

6. They have a really good ear for accents, like really. They always know that I am not from America when I speak English. I have been told so many times that I speak differently than my comps from America. It's so cool, I feel like American and Canadian English is pretty much the same but nope.

7. Ugh that’s a long question, I need to prepare in advance for... uh well preparing my talk I learned a lot about trials and found some good scriptures in the Bible. Just know that they are for our good and when you realize that it makes them easier to enjoy.

8. Sounds good about the package. I can’t think of anything I’d like... but I can start looking, haha.

The word of the week is Zoetermeer, which means sweet lake. It's also funny because it is where the temple is. So instead of the Salt Lake Temple we have the Sweet Lake Temple, cool.

Long letter his week! Love you lots.

Elder Fernhout


Monday, 21 August 2017

Week 34: Time is flying by in Emmen

Ya, this past week also went by really fast. I am feeling pretty good here in Emmen now. It starts in 3 weeks, I think [school in the Netherlands]. There was like 20 people in church yesterday; everyone is gone, a lot of people are in Germany. But even though there was no one in church we got a loooooot of dinner appointments. It was awesome. Ah, I remember going to that restaurant in Nevada like forever ago [Blue Iguana]! I loved it! Ya, driving 11 hours you could go to so many places here! They think that 3 hours is a really long drive then I tell them how far we drive and they are surprised, haha.

Ya, I made it really quickly to all four countries, it’s awesome. No, no passports [are required] at all [when crossing borders]. Thanks for the pizza dough recipe!

We met with a less active this week from Scotland and he is so cool. He told us a bunch of stories from his life that I really enjoyed hearing about. He said he’ll have us over and make us a meal soon. On the way to his house we biked through really nice country side around Emmen, I took some pics.

Just the usual questions this week:
1.  Can you take some photos of you and your companion out and about in Emmen?
2.  What Dutch church materials do you use to prepare your talks?  Does the Liahona come in Dutch?
3.  How is it going teaching your other investigators?
4.  Did you have many dinner appointments this week?
5.  What was the best thing about your week?
6.  How is your Dutch coming along?
7.  How is ER doing?
8.  Where/when is your next Zone Conference?  (maybe you will get your parcel!)

1. I did take some more this week.

2. Whatever we can, Liahona and scriptures and Preach My Gospel mainly. Ya, it does.

3. Great, Tea is getting into the BOM and has some questions. We just got another investigator and his mum. They are refuges and want to be baptized and are so cool. I can’t wait to go back. They made us a huge lunch and they didn't even know us. Just super nice, humble people. I don't have much time now to write but I will tell more about them later.

4. This past week was alright but next week is gonna be great. I haven't had stamppot yet though.

5. Probably those new investigators, they were referrals and like I said really cool.

6. Pretty good, my weekly goal is to only speak Dutch. The hard part is remembering to speak only it.

7. Decent. Dutch is slowly coming and he has a great knowledge of things which is helpful when our investigators ask us super deep doctrinal questions.

8. It is next week I think on Thursday, not quite sure though.  I think it'll probs be there.

Okay well word is trekken, which in its singular form is trek.  I think it’s funny because trek in English is like what the pioneers did when they pulled their handcarts and trekken means to pull in Dutch. It’s pronounced the same.
Biking through the beautiful countryside of Emmen 

Biking by the Scotsman
Dorpje of Ter Apel
Choose Jesus 


Some of the missionaries in the zone
video

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Week 33: Goeie Dag

Okay, so we had a pretty slow week but still had cool things happen like they always do on a mission. Emmen is famous for its zoo but what's cool is they used to have it in 2 parts. They decided to make it all into one part so the old part is in the centrum and is called the Oude Dierenpark now, which just means old zoo pretty much. So we went to check it out and it is now just a park you can walk around and it is really cool because all of the exhibits are still there but just without the animals. You can go into the lion pit and walk around the cool monkey area. A lot of people are always there so we try to get in some good street contacting. Probably the best thing that happened this week was I saw a puppy and not just any puppy, a super cute one. We were walking down the street and just in front of us was this puff ball of a dog and it looked like a young Porter so I asked him if it was an Alaskan Malamute and he said yes! He has only had it 3 days but it is a few months old I think. It was so so so soft and playful and just a happy dog. So I had to take a few photos with it.

On Tuesday we got haircuts by a member of the ward. They also fed us. Then they fed us again yesterday and then again this week. They are so so awesome! Anyway, the mum cut our hair and did a great job, it was getting quite long. We also went on exchanges this week. I stayed in Emmen with Elder Robinson from Boston, he is a greenie. And Elder Rytting went to Zwolle with our district leader Elder Geddes. It was cool, Elder Robinson is really chill and quite.  We did service for an investigator. We worked in her garden for a few hours, digging a trench to put tiles in it so the frambois roots don’t go everywhere. That took a while but I really enjoyed it!  It feels great to do some physical work. The investigator is also really super nice.  She’s an older lady who loves her garden! We borrowed a trench digging tool from another neighbour and he came to check the progress. He saw my Canadian shirt and asked if I was from Canada. I said yes and that I'm from Alberta. He told me he had a brother living in Lethbridge! I was so surprised, I was like, ya well that’s right where I am from. Haha, it was crazy so we talked a bit about Canada. It was awesome to have that connection, so weird too because both cities, Emmen and Lethbridge are so small!

Anyway, the best lesson we had this week was with an investigator we have and her 19 yo daughter.  They both want to be baptized and are well on their way to being gedoopt.  We went over for a lesson and they had lunch for us. After lunch I went to pull out my BOM for the lesson and they were like yay! a lesson! because the other elders only really came over to talk and eat and be friends which they said was nice but they also really wanted lessons and knowledge! It was really cool to see how much they wanted to hear our message. We had a great lesson and they asked a lot of good questions. We have another lesson with them today actually.

The word of the week is bloem, which means flower. I like it cause it is pronounced bloom, which just makes me think of a flower. It is a pretty word.

Questions for the week:
1.  How is the missionary work going?
2.  Did you speak again in church today or next week?  What do you do at church?
3.  Have you gotten to know the members at church better?
4.  Any dinner appointments this week? Is Dutch food different than Belgian?
5.  Are people nice to you generally?
6.  What do you do for service in Emmen?
7.  Any gospel insights or thoughts you have had recently?
8.  How is the training going?
9.  Any interesting cultural insights?

1. Decent. Asking for referrals and doing street contacting, but we work a lot with the people we know and a few less actives.

2. ER did yesterday, I will next week. Yesterday I was able to just sit and listen to all the classes without having to teach. I went to Sacrament meeting and then Sunday School and then Priesthood.

3. Oh ya, it is going great. Although it is vacation season and usually the ward is 2 times as big so I only know about half the members.

4. Ya we do, a few actually it'll be a good week. Yup and yup but both have different things that I like better. We did manage to find my favourite Belgian sauce here in the Netherlands though!

5. Ya they are, people in Emmen like us.

6. Last week we just helped out Tea in her garden, we usually do that once a week for a bit.

7. Good, better and best. This is something hard about being a missionary. At home you are on the right path and feel good about yourself when you choose good over bad, but as a missionary you feel bad when you choose good because you should be at better and it is really easy to choose good. But I feel bad when I know I can being doing the best out here. So lately I have been trying to take things to the next level to get to the BEST.

8. Good.

9. Not really, just that Europeans like Canadians better than Americans and I am so happy to be a Canadian!

Germany/Netherlands border
beautiful countryside
evening sky over Emmen
Alaskan Malamute puppy

Week 32: Hoi from Emmen

Hello,

Week was good. The ongoing struggle to find a good way to find people in Emmen continues. Usually if you have free time you can jsut go knock some doors but you can't do that here. The town is so small that it's been done so many times already! So we did try to use a banner but it's not very sturdy and the slightest bit of wind will make it fall so we had to hold it up.  Anyway, we are still looking how we can effectively fill extra time. Something that I've noticed about Emmen though is that the people here are really nice, at least compared to Brugge. In Brugge people would never say 'hello' back if you say something to them, a lot of the time they wouldn't even look at you. Here half the time people say 'hi' to us first and they are always smiling back too. I found out something cool yesterday at church. I was talking with the branch president's wife and I told her I was from Canada and she told me somehting cool about Vancouver. So there is a place near Emmen called Coevorden. and a looooong time ago people from that little town went over to Canada and established Vancouver. If you look at the word Vancouver is makes sense because "van" in Dutch means of or from and "couver" comes from coevorden. So cool! That can be the Dutch word of the week.

Oo pizza sounds good, for some reason pizza is really expensive here. We should try making it because homemade is the best. There is decent shopping here but nothing like Amsterdam or even Brugge.

Questions:   
1.  Do you have pictures to send this week? 
2.  How is the training going?  
3.  Did you find a place to get a haircut in Emmen?
4.  Do you cover any small towns?  Have you been to any?
5.  So you are learning the guitar?!  
6.  Is the language very different?  Are you picking up the accent?
7.  How is the ward?  
8.  How are Dutch people different than Belgians?
9.  Let me know what size Lululemon pants to send you and anything else you need. 
10.  Is the food very different in Holland?
11.  What have you learned this week about yourself or the Gospel?

1.  Yup, I included them.  Sorry, forgot the apartment ones again.  

2. Good, ER is doing well. His Dutch is slowly coming and he's got a bike now.

3. I just got off the phone 5 mins ago and arranged one with some of the members, haha.

4. Ya we do, a lot actually. No, but we might check them out this week

5. Yes haha. It's comign pretty good too. I'd say it was Elder Richards because he was really good and it was cool and fun to sing and listen to the songs. One of the elders was dying [mission lingo for going home] and gave it to me for free.

6. Ya it is, but it is a lot easier to understand!

7. Really small right now because everyone is on vacation! The ward here in Emmen is famous in the mission for being really cool and good and it's true they are all aweosme. Usually the elders here are fed every day but with so many people gone we have like 1 or 2 this week. Ya, we help out a bit. I've blessed the sacrament 2 weeks in a row now and besides giving a talk last week I gave the Young Men's lesson yesterday and in 2 weeks will speak again in church.

8. It's hard to explain.  Well this is kinda off topic but it's funny. Yesterday was testimony meeting and this new guy got up to bear his and mid way through he said, as you can already probably tell I am from Rotterdam and the whole ward laughed cause it was just so obvious from his accent that he was from there. I think it's so cool how people just immediatly know where you are from. But uh the Dutch people are different in many ways, one of them is that they bike a lot more. They also really like to out and about, on the streets walking around, just doing stuff.  Belgians are more inside and chilling.

9. Metal collar stays would be nice, uh, i'll have to check my size I forget.

10. Ya the mayo is not as good, haha, and neither are the fries and they don't have as many waffles, like none actually. Well, I have had a bunch of stoopwafels but those are a lot different.  Also, the Vla here is great and so many things actaully, the food is a lot different.  Oh and cheaper here too which is real nice!

11. That it doesn't matter what you say to people when you begin to contact them as a missioanry. If they are going to accept it they are going to accept it. There are people out there searching for the gospel and we are here to find those people, not to convince the people who aren't ready to be converted. But in that process we find a lot of people who are not prepared and are not willing to talk. But that's jsut part of being a missioanry and when you find someine who is ready it makes it all worth it.

Canada flowers
flat, flat, flat
normal day of work in Emmen
countryside
just flat 
nice street