Sunday, 12 November 2017

Week 46: Den Haag and Rotterdam Zone Conference and an Early Preparation Day

Well I write to you from a short week cause today is our pday. We are playing football as a zone, should be fun, as long as the rain stops... well not too much has happened this week. We went to the farm as usual which was fun. We went into the attic part of the barn and our job was to clean away all of the spider webs, the cobwebs. I have never seen so many webs before… we had these long poles thank goodness that we used to clear them away but they got so covered in webs it was ridiculous. Also there was mice running around the whole time and we had to make sure we didn't fall through the weak floor onto the cows below haha, but it was fun. We had a good time scaring each other pretending mice were running up each others legs and whatnot. We did the usual feeding cows and scooping their poop.

Something else cool that happened was zone conference. We gathered as 2 zones here in Zoetermeer. My zone, Den Haag and the Rotterdam zone. I got to see Elder Steele, Elder Cameron, Elder White, and a bunch of others. I always love seeing people at zone conferences. It was also really great because we went to the temple. We had to be there at 7:00 in the morning so luckily we live in Zoetermeer where the temple is! We didn't have to wake up at crazy times like some other missionaries. But ya we all met there and did the names we found for people. It was a really nice time. So much peace to be found at the temple. It was just a gezellig time. The rest of the conference was also good. The temple president spoke and so did the APs and President too. Afterwards we all talked and looked at our packages and letters and took pics with each other, fun times. Elder Cameron met a member who loves Canada and they brought back a Tims Horton's peach drink for him, so sick. I was talking with Elder DeRochie from Okotoks about Canada a lot and all the things that the others don’t get like Tim Hortons and coulees and Canadian Tire and stuff, haha, so funny. Oh ya and they sang to me cause of my bday and then I had to stand there for a minute while they all gave me compliments. I hated it, but people said nice things.

We had a good lesson with A. this week and his brother. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and the beginning of the lesson was just decent. We probably were talking too much but it was ok. They weren’t really getting it though and weren't feeling what we were saying. EB and I both knew that something needed to change so we began to testify and use our life experiences and from then on the spirit was more present and the lesson was so much better. Their perspective changed and it made more sense to them, they were feeling it in their hearts and knew that it was not only important for us but for them too. They like to know everything before they do something they said but often we learn a lot as we just go out and do. So we committed them to read and pray and hope and think that they will do it before our next appointment. We met at the church for that appointment and after they offered to drive us home which was super nice of them, because it was really cold and windy and dark and we were not feeling like walking and taking the tram... super cool guys.

Other than that we had random appointments and it was a regular week. We stayed busy doing things. We got the card game Phase 10 last pday so we play that at night. I’m glad the walls are really thick cause there is some crazy moments we have, haha.

Is your back still hurting?
1. My back is fine. I did buy a backpack though so that helps, cause it does hurt sometimes after long days with the shoulder bag but I am just seeing if I want to use a backpack full time. I'll have a pic of it for next week.

Did you get to see Matt?
2. Noooo, I was at the church here at the same time as him. I was in a different room and was waiting for his conference to end but we had to leave 2 minutes before he got out. We had a dinner appointment so I never got to see him but we were 10 meters apart from each other in the same building, ahha. Even if I stayed for a second to say hello it wouldn’t have been cool cause then I’d have to go and we couldn't even talk. So we still haven’t seen each other.

How was your visit to the temple?
3. great!

Hou doe,

Elder Fernhout
Spiffy new haircuts
Not the Zoetermeer Missionary Training Center!
Beautiful sky over the Zoetermeer LDS Temple
Elders Cameron and Geddes
Elders White and Fernhout
Zone Conference 

Monday, 6 November 2017

Week 45: Kringloops and Halloween

Well last Monday after Pday we went to a Kringloops which is always fun. Kringloop stores are pretty much thrift shops but cooler. They always have fun things to buy. I got a Dutch comic book for after the mission. Anyway, you should look up what a Kringloops is. Tuesday we had district meeting but EB also had to go to Brussels so we had to drop him off in Leiden. We waited for the bus half an hour but it never came so we called and they said they would come and pick him up from the church here in Zoetermeer. So we went there and a bit later they came in the mission van with a few other greenies. I got to see 2 other elders from Zwolle I got to know when I was in Emmen and they are great so that was nice. After they drove away we headed to district meeting where we did a Halloween game then continued on with the normal meeting.

Later that day when EB got back we had a dinner appointment that was really good. Family B is sick, they area a young couple who have one kid and another soon on the way. I asked what the name of the new one is and they said that it is Dutch tradition not to tell anyone the name of the kid until he comes out. The next day was trunk and treat at the church. That was really fun. We had a lesson with J and his kids just beforehand on prophets and that also went well. My costume was just my Eagles hat, haha. There were people from both wards there, the English ward and the Dutch ward so it was fun to talk with everyone. As missionaries we only got a little bit of candy, really fun though. Normally on Wednesday the missionaries put on an English conversation class which we invite people to and we teach them English. It was cancelled for the Halloween thing but still some people showed up. It turned out to be good though because they stayed and had a really good time and then we got their info and later that week had a really good lesson with one of them.

The next day we had another dinner appointment which was good as well, although I had to eat some fish… our dinner appointments are getting more and more! This week we worked a lot on making a digital version of our area book so we made a map of all our investigators, potentials, and members. It'll be really useful.

Saturday we went to the farm and helped out there, same thing as last time, feeding the cows and what not. Really fun though. When we got back we all had to put our clothes in the washer because they smelled so bad, haha. Later that day we had a lesson with the guy from the Halloween activity. Super nice guy, he even drove us back home after the appointment because it was raining. That night there was a speaker coming to the church, he studied the book of Isaiah his whole life pretty much and so he gave a lecture about it at the church. There were a lot of non-members there, it was pretty interesting too! But ya, then the next day was Sunday and that is always good. Great weather too! So ya, Elder Ballard and I found 2 new investigators this week, so that was sick.

1.  How is the work going? How is J doing and how old are his children?
2.  I think you said last week that you were going on exchanges.  How was that?
3.  Do you have birthday plans yet?
4.  Did you have more dinner appointments this week?
5.  Are you eating ok?

1. Good, J has a date which is the 18th, so really soon. We are inviting all to come to it. We really want his 3 kids to be doopt on the same day but we will see if that happens. We taught them the lesson on prophets and they are 16 then 14 then 9, I think.
2. We were supposed to do 2 exchanges but that never happened for some reason. One because EB went to Brussels.
3. Dinner appointment, other than that idk. Today I am buying a backpack for myself. My back is hurting lately.
4. Ya, EB and I are getting a lot of dinners lately, it's nice.
5. Ya, pretty good, we eat a lot of cereal. We bought 7 boxes last week and it wasn't enough and so we will buy even more today.

All is good here, living the Zoetermeer life.

Hou Doe,

Elder Fernhout

Monday, 30 October 2017

Week 44: Busy in Zoetermeer

So ya, the big news this week is the baptism of S. That happened Saturday and the days before included a lot of preparation and work on our part. Earlier in the week, Monday actually, we had a great lesson and got a new investigator. His name is G. He said he'd read in the BoM and pray about it which is all we ask! So that should be good. He is really cool and understood all of what we taught. All 3 of us elders taught the lesson together and had good switches and everything. It went well. On Tuesday we had district meeting. Our district is massive with 14 missionaries. I love it though because it's always fun to have a big district. There were also a bunch of people I knew from previous places, 2 other sisters and some of the elders. There are a ton of greeny elders I haven’t met yet in our district, including one who was trained by Elder Nielsen (a friend from Lethbridge), still have not seen that guy.

That day after district meeting we headed home because the meeting was in Den Haag. Back home we went to the church and made the program for the baptism. I used the one Elder Richards and I made for our baptism in Brugge forever ago. This one looks really nice, I made some improvements, haha. We had it all set and planned out but then people started dropping out like our witnesses and speakers! So it got really stressful trying to arrange everything. The next day was the day that Elder Balthar came in from Brazil. He speaks decent English, actually, and he has been on his mission for a year now but had to visa wait this whole time. His dutch is surprisingly good for having gone to the MTC a really long time ago. What is really cool is that when I was in the MTC we Skyped a few of the elders in Brazil and spoke Dutch with them. It turns out that Elder Balthar is one of the 3 elders I spoke with like 9 months ago! So cool. He went into his little email book and he had my email written down that I gave him way back then. So that was cool I thought. He is really funny and makes the 4 man really fun. He and Elder Occon speak so much Portuguese with each other I feel like I am now serving in Brazil. Also, I have begun to learn a bit of Portuguese, haha. I can make small sentences.

The day that EO went to Leiden we stayed back and had 4 appointments so we had a busy day. The first was a lesson on the Gospel of Christ and went pretty good I'd say. Halfway through 2 JW women knocked on the door which I thought was really funny cause they had no idea that there were 2 LDS missionaries in there teaching a lesson, haha. Also after they left we heard some yelling and she ran out there to see what was going on and just left us in her house… she came back 10 mins later and said a bunch of 8 to 9 year olds got into a fight. Apparently, it was 10 against 1… crazy, I think she said he is all right though. At the end of the lesson we invited her to baptism and she said that she is going to have to think about it because there are so many religions around her and she doesn't know which one to join. So we told her to pray and to read and she’ll get her answer.

Then we went to an appointment with J. and his 3 kids, they are the most positive investigators we have. The dad, J., is on date to be baptized soon and we are just working with the kids now. I respect that the father isn’t forcing his kids into baptism just because he is going to be baptized but he is giving them the choice. We had a good lesson and we read out of the BoM form 2 Nephi 31. After we read the chapter the youngest son pulled out his children's version of the BoM and related the story of Nephi and the plates and he told us that he liked how Nephi was so obedient. He is 9 but is soooo smart and it blew Elder Ballard’s and my mind actually. He really gets what we teach and makes his own connections. At the end of the lesson his daughter said a prayer in which she asked God if the elders will bring candy next time, haha.

The next day Elder Ballard and I were on the street walking and this group of old people called us over to talk so we did and while I was talking with the group this lady came to Elder Ballard and asked some random questions including can you heal me. Apparently she had back pain and wanted healing. So Elder Ballard told her about blessings and long story short he ended up giving her one right there in the centrum, ahha, cool though. She said she felt the spirit after! I contacted a few people I saw wearing Canada flags on their shirts and on their hats. It makes it fun for me to ask them about Canada but they usually have no connection.

So one day before the baptism we went to the church to learn how to fill the font and the first thing the guy tells us is that the building is booked for tomorrow at 2:00, which is the exact time of the baptism… so we had a stress moment and had to move it an hour earlier and call everybody. Luckily it didn't cause too many problems. The next day was the baptism day and it went really well and everything went smoothly which made for a beautiful service. S. really enjoyed it and told us he feels good feelings and a good energy. He is so humble and loving and even brought the refreshments for after the baptism.  He also stayed until everybody left and helped clean everything up, what a guy.

That night though we had 3 appointments and the possibility of 4 new investigators but all 3 appointments fell though. The next day, which was yesterday, Sunday, we had an appointment with this Polish person and there were 4 people home and we made a return appointment so we got 4 new investigators which is crazy! I taught a really good first lesson and one of the guys promised to read and pray about the BoM, so that was super sick.

1.  Tell me about your companion and the new elder from Brazil.
2.  Tell me about your appointments this week and investigators?  Are you focusing on finding or teaching or both?
3.  How is the ward and how was church on Sunday?
4.  How is the weather?  It is supposed to snow here on Wednesday and then the rest of the week so it is going to get cold!  Do you know if you will get snow in Zoetermeer at all?
5.  What is the best thing that happened this week?  The worst?

1. Elder Ballard is from Utah, well, born in Kansas but mostly lived in Utah and he is a basketball player, pretty good too. He has picked up on the Dutch super well and has by far the best Dutch I have ever heard after 2 transfers. Amazing, and it’s because he studies and tries hard. He has good motivation to work and is always stopping people to talk with them. He is fun to have here. For some reason a lot of the things he says and the way he says them remind me of Maddie and Jackie, haha, kinda has the same personality, you know fun and happy!  The elder from Brazil is funny and is a convert, both parents are not members but he has a strong testimony you can tell, cool guy.

2. J. is super dope, him and his kids are my fav investigators. We are doing a lot of both I’d say, for example on the walk to one of our appointments EB and I stopped a bunch of people and talked to them and got 2 potential investigators, so just both all the time. We have found a loooooot of potential investigators, haha. Also given out a ton of BoMs.

3. Great. They are pushing the ward members to do better at feeding us and we saw the difference. Our little calendar for dinner appointments is a lot fuller than before. I like the ward here a lot and EB and I have already made friends with the members. Church was fun, there was also a baptism from the other ward. J. was there with his kids to be able to see it so that was great.

4. Rainy haha, and windy. Probably no snow and if so then not for a month or so I’d say, but I’m not sure. We don't really get the weather ever…

5. Best was the lesson with the Polish people last night. EB and I were pumped after that. The worst was being called brainwashed by this crazy guy at the tram stop. He was really crazy and just kept yelling at us. All good though.

hou doe

elder fernhout

Monday, 23 October 2017

Week 43: First Days in Zoetermeer

Well, I could write a really really long email about everything that has happened but I will try to not do that! I’ll start from the beginning of the week. Tuesday was our last district meeting as a district which was kinda sad. Afterwards we all signed each others books and ate lunch and said our goodbyes. After that E. Rytting and I went home and cleaned the apartment for a long time. Also packed and wrote a little book for the next elders.

The next morning we woke up and made our way to the station with all of our luggage and stuff. Not fun. We got to Zwolle and met the ZLs who helped us onto our next train. Then from there I got off in the city of Gouda and ER stayed on. When I got off there E. Calmes met me and helped me onto my next train. Good to see him again! Then I got off in Zoetermeer. There I met Elder Occon and Elder Plant [trained by Elder Matt Nielsen], they are the other 2 elders who would be living in the same apartment as us. A few minutes later came Elder Ballard and yes, he is related to the apostle, 5th cousins. He gets asked that soooooo much it’s crazy, haha. From there we all took our luggage except Occon and traveled to the apartment. It was not fun at all, haha, but we made it. We got there and EO filled us in on the details of Zoetermeer. We were all pumped to work there, it is a great city and the missionary work is going amazing.

After about an hour Prez called and told EP that he is being emergency transferred to Groningen. He wasn't too happy about it and got stressed cause we had to leave right that moment. He was being transferred because there is a Portuguese speaking elder coming from Brazil and EO speaks Portuguese so he will be training him. He will get here tomorrow we think. So since Wednesday we have been working in a trio. A crazy day that day. So we were all stressed and tired and just done with the day when EO was like, oh ya, we are going to the temple today! We were all so pumped! So in Zoetermeer because the temple is here they call the elders sometimes to have us go help and that just ended up being on transfer day. How sick is that, Zoetermeer is so lucky, I love it. So ya, at 5:00 pm that day we went there and put in some work doing voorverordeningen. So nice.

The next day we got to work and let me tell you we went to WORK! EO is the same group as Ballard and Rytting so they are pretty young but Occon is a great missionary. We went out for the day and we were walking to the building where we were going to work and just on the way there he gave out 3 BOMs in 3 different languages. So let me tell you about Occon for a bit here. He speaks English perfectly and pretty dang good Portuguese, his Dutch is ok, and he can do parts of Spanish and French and a little Papiamento. So he is all around solid. He has soooooo much energy, like so much. So ya, he gave out a lot of BOMs then at the building we found a sick potential investigator and a few other cool things happened. In total for the day we found 9 really good new potentials, which, btw, is more than Elder Ballard and I combined in our last cities for the entire transfer. So it was a lot! We gave out 7 BOMs which is a ton! At one point we were at the centrum and EO wanted to stand in the middle of the stores and people eating and stand up and start preaching like the missionaries of old. He tried to get EB and I to do it but we wouldn't. So he gets up there and starts talking really loudly about the restoration with a BOM in his hand. After he got yelled at for a bit he came back and as we were walking away some guy who works at a restaurant came out the back of it and asked if he could learn more. We gave him a BoM and exchanged numbers and got his address. So ya, I love this place and these 2 elders are great. EB has incredible Dutch for his age and is so good at talking to everybody, just always contacting. Bold guy. We are going to have some good times this transfer. Another thing to put in perspective is that EB and I last transfer gave out a total 3 BOMs. That's less than half of what we gave out that day. We are ordering 5 boxes of BoMs this next transfer… that’s also crazy. I'm so excited! So ya I could go on forever about all the people we met and cool things that happened but I don’t have time.

The next day we met the ward mission leader. He's great, very on the ball about everything. He showed us around the church building and taught us the ins and outs. The building is soooo nice, big normal sized chapel like back home. That night we had an English class at the church that we teach to people who want to learn English. We met the sisters there, Zuster Cannon and Zuster Bitton, solid sisters. So in Zoetermeer there are 6 missionaries total for this small place. Last area we had 3 investigators, and for a normal place 8 is really good. Here we have almost 30… 30 people! That’s why it was made a 4 man. Our apartment is ok, the one in Emmen was bigger. We have only one bathroom but it’s all good. I like the apartment, it's homey and fun. We get along really well the 3 of us and play Uno in our free time. Also, I am so glad I have the guitar. We make up songs and sing and stuff all the time, it’s awesome, but don’t get me wrong, we do a lot of work.

Saturday we got up at 6:00 am and went to do service at a member's farm. Missionaries have been going there every Saturday for the past so many years. It's kinda famous in the mission. So I was really excited to go. We got there at 7:30 and met the owner. It is a milk farm. First, we cleaned up the barn for the cows, then he let the cows in where we had to put a collar on them and then we put some food down, things like brussel sprouts, which they like, and we put down a lot of those. But even better is that when stores have day old bread they sell it cheap to him and he buys it for his cows and so we had 4 wheel barrows full of bread that we fed to the cows and they loooooooove bread. It’s so funny, you hold up the bread and they all look at you then they just eat it up. The best part of the week was the temple, then feeding the cows bread, haha. We also let them loose after he milked them and cleaned up the area again. It took a few hours for all that but I took a lot of good photos! After we were done he gave us each a glass of fresh milk that was from the cows that day. It was cooled and really good. I was so tired the rest of the day.

Sunday was great. Our ward starts at 1:00 pm but the English ward starts at 12:00 pm so we go early and sit in a class and listen to the English then after stay for the Dutch and go to the other Dutch classes, good stuff. We saw the APs there who are in charge of the English ward. Oh, the day before we had a dinner appointment with family T. who are so sick. The dad made these absolutely delicious burgers, like so good. But ya church was great, we had a few investigators there, 5 of whom are going to be baptized in the coming 3 weeks. Between the sisters and us and the APs there is a baptism almost every week for the next month and 2 in one weekend. Good stuff.

1.  How did it go on the trains getting to your new area?
2.  What are your first impressions of Zoetermeer?  Have you seen Snow World?  I imagine missionaries are NOT allowed to go.
3.  What area do you cover?
4.  What area do the other elders cover?
5.  So you cover a ward now… how was church on Sunday?
6.  Do you have investigators to teach?  Is the work busy there?
7.  When do you go to the temple?  Do you have a name to take or do you have to find one?
8.  Did you hear much about the changes to missionary work?  They are combining missions and there is a new focus on using technology to find religiously minded people.

1. Ok, stressful and my shoulder had a great workout, just never a fun day on transfer day when you have to move. I had my sling bag and my duffel and my roll and my guitar and my bike which I had to personally carry all over and on and off trains all day, ugh.

2. I heard of Snow World, I don’t remember if we can or not but probs not. I'll have to ask. I love Zoetermeer.

3. Small area, just Zoetermeer and a little bit of the area surrounding it.

4. We are all in the same area.

5. Yes a ward! It felt like back home, although there was some stake event going on so there wasn’t that many people yet. It went well. We have a great bishop who served in Montreal on his mission.

6. Oh yes.

7. Nov. 5 but I already got to go! I'll ask the office to help me get a name because it is coming up really fast and they are happy to help out.

8. All I heard was that missionaries are getting smart phones but not here, haha.

Hou doe,

Elder Fernhout

Zoetermeer Temple

Service at the dairy farm
bread for the cows

that is a lot of brussel sprouts
Elders Ballard, Fernhout, and Occon

Cool building in Zoetermeer

Transfer day

Monday, 16 October 2017

Week 42: Overplaatsingen... transfer to Zoetermeer!


This week was of course transfer week. But it was also interview week and I also went on exchanges to Zwolle. So before I get to transfers I'll talk about the other stuff. In the beginning of the week we had an appointment with A. and T. and it went well! They are on their way back to the fold! We had a dinner appointment with N. and his family. We stayed probably longer than we should have but it was really fun. N. is probs my favourite person here!

Tuesday we had our interviews with President Bunnell. I love Prez. You can always tell that he loves you and sincerely wants to help, and not just for these 2 years but for the rest of our lives. He is great to say the least. I also made it on the Harvest Report which is like the weekly newsletter that gets sent to everybody every week. The photo of me at the graveyard got put in it! Cool stuff. It's hard to make.

My exchange with Elder Geddes, the district leader, was on Thursday.  I went to Zwolle to work there for the day. They had no appointments so we knocked for 6.5 hours. Yay. It wasn't so bad. We talked and had some good contacts although nothing promising. I was getting really mad at one point because people were being mean, haha, uhh, Dutch people. Also some people englished us which makes me more angry than anything cause like I am speaking Dutch to them then they speak English back, like why people? I obviously speak Dutch. But ya, fun times. I slept good that night. ER stayed in Emmen to work with 2 other greenies, they had a good day though. They had a dinner appointment and also found a potential investigator here in Emmen. I was glad that the weather was really nice though. Lately it has been like summer! I like it, not too hot or cold.

Friday was market day so we checked it out and I got some tourist stuff cause I was pretty sure I was leaving. I got a flag and some postcards. The market is always so cool. So many weird stands of food, and other things like linens and clothing and music and just everything. We visited these cool rocks called Hunebedden.  I included a bunch of photos of them. They are some of the oldest things here in the Netherlands, over 5000 years old.

During our weekly service appointment with T. she made dinner again and it was a type of stamppot called hutspot and it was even better than the last time, probs one of my favourite meals yet! Super good. Then that same night we got transfer calls. I was pretty nervous but usually they call at like 9:30 p.m. or even 11:30 p.m. so I wasn’t nervous at 8:00 p.m. when they called until I saw it was the Assistants calling! They talked to ER first and told him he will be going with Elder Kennel to open up Eindhoven which was previously closed. He will be in the same district as Matt! Then they told me I will be going to Zoetermeer! That's where the temple is! I will be with Elder Ballard who is from Elder Rytting's group so he is "young". I have only heard great things about him too so I am happy about it.  Even better is that I will be in a 4 man apartment. The other 2 I don't really know but they are also both younger than me mission wise. One of them is actually Matt's "child" haha [meaning Matt trained him], so I will be living in the same house as his old comp and my old comp will be in his district. I talked with Elder Tanner and he is really happy to be a district leader this next transfer! Other than that exciting news we had a lunch appointment with the other V. D.s yesterday after church which was really nice. We had pannekoeken. We will be busy these next 2 days, cleaning the apartment and making a whitewash packet, and packing of course!

1.  What is happening with transfers?!
2.  Did you have an interview with President Bunnell this week?  How did that go?
3.  Did you go on exchanges to Zwolle?  Who did you work with?
4.  How is the work going in your area?
5.  Did you get your parcel I sent this week with your birthday presents?
6.  Do you have to lock up your bikes?  Do bikes get stolen often? Is there much crime?

1. Naar Zoetermeer!!!

2. Yes, great.

3. Yes, Geddes.

4. Decent. We watched a Mormon Message with T.

5. Yes I did! Thank you so much! I opened it and shared the chocolate with the district which they appreciated. I liked it too. The rest I will have to open on my birthday I guess. I'm excited.

6. Oh ya. The front wheel too or they might take that and you have to take the lights off or risk them getting stolen as well as seat covers or any other accessories. Emmen is a good city where bikes don't really get stolen but any of the big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerpen and Brussles are bad. Some missionaries with nice bikes buy a secondary crap bike to use while they are serving in those cities so that their nice bike doesn't get stolen. Crime is pretty low otherwise.

That is all,

Love you lots bye!

T.'s dog Lillet
Beautiful tree lined street
Fairytale path through the trees

Monday, 9 October 2017

Week 41: #LichtNL

Ya, it would have been a huge pain to replace the card! and no I am still sick and so is Elder Rytting… we have no energy because of it. No, I don't need meds, I am ok. No sadly they don't do Thanksgiving here. Ya, our teacher here also gave a good lesson on that [rescue of the Willie and Martin pioneer handcart companies], we watched a little film with it as well. My hair wasn’t even cut in those pictures haha, but it is cut now.

Questions this week:
1.  When you went to Zwolle on exchanges with the new elders did you do most of the talking? (I bet your Dutch is getting better since you’ve been the senior missionary so much).
2.  Do you speak mostly Dutch to people?  Do most Dutch people speak English?
3.  What gospel topic are you studying lately?
4.  How is the new bike light referral program going, has that started yet?
5.  What is this new survey that you are using to find new investigators?
6.  How was church yesterday?
7.  Did you get to watch any other sessions of General Conference during the week?
8.  Did you have any funny experiences this week?
9.  What do you eat at dinner appointments?  Dutch winter food, like stamppot, is so good. I’m jealous you get to eat it!

1.Ya, I did all of the talking because people would refuse to talk to the greenies, haha. I'd say that ya my Dutch is good because I have to talk but also not good because I have no one to learn from...

2. Ya, it’s almost all Dutch in this city, which is really nice. But, yes, almost all of them speak English.

3. Lately I have been reading the Leringen Van President Howard W. Hunter. Its great! I read in Dutch which is also fun. We are doing a BoM challenge where we highlight the words baptism, repentance and love. It is going well.

4. It went live a few days ago, so nothing has happened for us yet. But this week we did run around doing all the old referrals that didn’t get done so that we could do the new ones. We had some fun times with that.

5. The survey is just 10 questions about family and faith and God and then from their answers we find what would be best to talk about.

6. Great. The testimony meeting was one of the best ones I have ever been to! It went long because everyone wanted to speak, haha.

7. Yup, I’ve seen them all except priesthood meeting now.

8. No, we did have a good funny dinner appointment with the VD's though. My nickname here is now Elder Fern Gully, haha.  Elder Rytting's is Elder Happy Meal because he didn't eat the food at the VD's and they joked that he was going to get a happy meal after we left, haha.

9. Ya, we had stamppot at the VD’s, haha.

Okay, well short email today.  Love you lots.

Hou doe,

Elder Fernhout

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Classic Dutch treat
Sun breaking through the clouds
Bicycle art
Lethbridge strength winds
biking adventures

Rain brings rainbows
Rainy Days

Cool Sun

Monday, 2 October 2017

Week 40: Ik Werd Ziek and Zone Conference in Zwolle

Well, this week wasn’t particularly special. Kinda lame actually but with some good high points. Some of the crappy things that happened were that I got sick and so did ER and I also lost the very important card that we use to travel anywhere. Buses, trains, trams, metro just anything so that sucks... but that happened only a few days ago so it hasn’t been toooo bad. [The good news is that he has now found it!]

On Tuesday we helped T. in her garden for a few hours. We moved some big tiles around and picked up a door for her, just random things that needed to be done. Wednesday we had zone conference which was definitely the high of the week. It was sick because it was combined with the zone from Amsterdam which is where E. Furniss is at. So when I got to Zwolle I got on a bus with a bunch of other missionaries but then just as the bus was pulling away I saw EF coming out of the station and it was really funny cause he made a funny face and I was like there he is!! Good moment. Then when we met at the church we talked a bunch. It was really great to see him again. I also saw a ton of others like E. Tanner who I sat beside and I saw the 2 from Matt’s group. There's just so many missionaries who I like and it was like a family reunion! Good times.

We also got a new way to contact people and they introduced a new referral program. Good stuff. Then the day after we went on exchanges with Zwolle. I went to Zwolle for the first time on an exchange and I was with 2 greenies. Our District Leader, E. Geddes, came to work in Emmen with E. Rytting. I was kinda bummed because we had a solid appointment in Emmen, as well as a dinner appointment, and then in Zwolle they had nothing… so we did a lot of doors, in the rain… but we had a good time the three of us. We even found a new investigator! We had some other good talks with people. One guy said we will talk again in 20 years and he said he knows that. So I asked him his name. It is Jan and so in 20 years I'll be lookin for him. Toeval bestaat niet! [Translation: coincidence does not exist]. The 2 greenies are E. Robinson from Boston and E. Eck from Utah, both are chill. I had never really talked to EE before but he's prettty sick. Loves skiing so we talked about that a bunch, he would fit in well with all the guys back home I think.

The next morning I was feeling really crappy but we had a pretty chill day ahead of traveling to Den Haag to pick up ER's ID card. That was a lot, a lot, of trains. We got some Subway there, then went to Leiden quick to scan his ID for the office, then we came home to Emmen, then we took another train to Coevorden to go to a dinner appointment with the Van Dammes who are a sick family. We talked about our families and Sister VD says to tell you that you are an amazing mum, haha [Sister VD sounds awesome :)]. After we took a train home. I was dead after. The next day we went to T.'s again to do service and she also fed us some food. She made stamppot! my first. It was really really good too. It had endive (lettuce stuff) and bacon bits and potatoes and that’s it. She also made some red beets in vinegar and sugar. All really good! We helped her in her garden again. It was raining the entire time though and we got really muddy, not particularly the best weather to do garden service.

Sunday we watched General Conference in the morning and then later that night with the VDs. They fed us dinner again, what is really funny though is that Zuster VD made oma soup, like it was just the same! [as the way Oma Fernhout makes it] and she said that her oma taught her and they call it oma soup, haha. So I told her about our oma soup. She thought that was super funny cause she hasn’t met anyone else who makes it like that. We had it during Conference.  Super nice of them! So I have only seen 2 sessions so far. That takes us to now.

Ya, I did hear about Elder Hales, just this morning though. I miss 7 layer dip. Oh and that's really funny that you made oma soup too! [and for General Conference as well!] haha. Noooo I can't believe we lost to Raymond!

1. How was Zone Conference?
2. What did they feed you at zone conference?  Dutch food?
3. How much of General Conference did you get to watch?  Did you watch it from the church?  Will you get to watch the sessions you missed sometime?
4. Did you have a favourite talk from General Conference?
5. How did the missionary work go this week?  Did you find any Fernhouts?
6. What techniques are you focussing on to find people?
7. Are you able to get around on the trains and other transportation okay?

1. Good

2. Uh, it was rice and chicken curry thing, so not really Dutch no, haha. It was really good though.

3. 2 sessions, both morning sessions. One from the church and one from the VDs. Ya, we will watch them at the church this week sometime.

4. I left my notes at the house on accident but my fav was Elder Waddell's talk.

5. Decent. Not too much time for any proselyting but a little in Zwolle, and no, no Fernhouts found, haha.

6. Using this new survey, we ask people questions and then from their answers we know how to best relate the Gospel to them. I like it!

7. Haha, funny you ask that this week. The week I lose my travel card.

Dat is alles.

Algemene conferentie is Dutch for general conference, btw.

Okay love you lots bye.
Flat Lelystat
He found a hedgehog!
Elder Fernhout and his trainees
Elders Fernhout, Tanner, and Furniss photobombed by a  Zuster
Elders Fernhout, Tanner, Furniss
Elder Fernhout with Zwolle Elders