It was great! Highlight of the week was I got to pet a Weimaraner. It was so soft and cute and just like Oliver. I asked the owner (in Dutch haha) if it was what I thought it was and he said yes and he asked how I knew them. Then he let me pet it. I miss dogs a lot! The weeks are still going by super duper fast. This week we went to Gent 2 times and a place in Gent called Landegem. I have 2 photos of me there at the station. We went to Oostende a few times which is always fun. Oh we went to Brussels again for more paperwork for me. I am done with all that now though! I don’t yet know when the conference [in Keukenhof] is but I'm really look forward to it! This next week we will go to Brussels again and Gent again maybe and Antwerpen for a zone training. Yay, Kennedy had her baby! Ya it is getting pretty warm here too! Everyday has been sunny and hot it seems. Especially when you are biking around in pants. Ya let me know what your new calling is! Ah that’s so fun hanging out with the family [Noels are coming for a visit!]. I miss them all a lot. Send me photos! Today I finished my first full planner. I get to start a fresh new one today and it feels so good haha.
I just read all of my friends emails and I am so proud of you all! I love hearing all of your adventures haha. Missions are so great and I am so glad I get to be out on mine the same time as all my other friends. The time is going by super fast! I have completed one transfer of my mission and now Matt will be coming out here to join me in the Netherlands. It's gonna be... wait for it… legendary! (How I Met Your Mother reference) I will be “killing” ER which means he will be done his mission and going back home after this transfer. In mission terms I am ER's “son” because he trained me. Anyway I am going to be here in Brugge for the next 6 weeks and then probably the next 6 weeks too. I love it in this city so I’m fine with it!
We went to the little city of De Panne this week. Look it up haha it's really small, but I really enjoy seeing the little town life. It's really quiet and peaceful and feels like everything is really slow. It was also a really nice day weather wise. So we took a train to De Panne that went through a lot of little dorpjes which is the name for little towns. Quick fact about the Dutch language is when the “je” is added to words it means the original word is smaller. So schat is the Dutch word for treasure and schatje means a little treasure. You’d use it to refer to a child or someone you care about. Okay so we were taking the train through all these little dorpjes which was really cool to see. The city of De Panne is right close to the France border and also the coast. We wanted to take the short walk to France but didn’t haha. We went to De Panne to look up a referral we had received. We went to the address and it was a really nice little apartment complex. The person wasn’t home so we started heading back to the train station. We had only about 15 mins until our train we had to make. But we decided to go knock a few doors. The very first door we knocked was an older lady who we talked to for a while. We had a great gospel centered conversation and she ended up accepting a BOM from us. It was awesome and really amazing! We could have just gone and sat at the train station but we saw the blessing of using our time wisely. It was also really interesting to see how the Lord works. Almost as if he knew we didn’t have much time so we were led right to where we needed to go. Well De Panne is far away from us so we told her we would be back in several weeks and she said we could come back and talk.
We then came back to Brugge and did some more door knocking here. We were on this one street and the last door this girl answered. We asked her the question we sometimes ask people to start conversations which was “where do you find happiness in life?” She took a long time to think about it so I thought she was gonna say something really deep. Then she looked at us and said chocolate. Haha it was so funny for me. We usually get the answer of family or something along those lines but chocolate was so funny and true! We also had a great talk with her and she accepted a BOM as well. It was a great day! And just to give you perspective those were the 5th and 6th BOM I’ve handed out my whole 6 weeks here. So two in one day was pretty great for us! I was so happy.
Last Sunday we had dinner with this awesome family. There are 4 kids and they are all girls and they were all born in Belgium but the dad was born in Utah. They all speak English really really well and it feels like I am back home with a non-Belgian family. They are so fun to talk with. The dad served a mission in Spain and he makes really good food every time we go there. Last time he made a dish that he ate often on his mission. I can't spell the name of the dish but it is pronounced pie-eh-ah [Paella, and today is coincidently national Paella day]. It’s a rice dish traditionally made with rabbit meat and other meats they could find like snails… we had a chicken one though haha. It is made with a special rice and also with spices from Iran I think. It was so delicious! I just loved hearing the story behind the food from his mission and seeing how great a mission is for your whole life. He also shared some cool stories. I can't wait to be at that point in life haha! I love the mission life. It is going by so fast! I miss being lazy though, we aren’t lazy for a moment here. I am never ever bored. Which is nice. Sometimes we take short 10 minute breaks and even after that I feel guilty that I wasted that time. I think when I get back it’ll be really weird to have time to take a nap or to watch TV and do things that are less productive.
Something else that happened this week that was super cool was that I accomplished one of my mission goals to play street basketball with someone and then teach them. You know what I’m talking about, the typical missionary stories you hear about that sort of thing. We were walking and we passed this outdoor basketball hoop and there was this guy playing who looked about 25 ish or so. He was pretty good but we asked him if we could shoot around with him for a bit. Turns out he didn’t speak Dutch so we switched to English. Also didn’t work. He spoke Greek and only a tinsy bit of English. He accepted to playing with us and we asked him some simple questions about Greece and his family and things. We tried to tell him we have a BOM for him in his language of Greek. We told him we had to leave and as we were walking away he said “see you next Tuesday!” So I guess we are going back! I’m excited. We will bring the BOM in Greek and I am going to look up some words in Greek haha.
The Dutch word for this week is sinaasappelsap which means orange juice. Again I like this word because it is fun to say! It is pronounced sin-ass-apple-sap so pretty much how you would expect to say it.
In my reading this week I especially enjoyed reading chapter 18 of Mosiah. I underlined and wrote so many notes in that chapter! It talks a lot on the ordinance of baptism which is awesome. Its got some great verses that we use when we teach on baptism. I finished the book of Mosiah this week and the rest of the book is also great. But Mosiah 18 stood out to me! Oh and Mosiah 27:36, I read that and then I underlined it and wrote goals beside it haha. I like that scripture a lot!
Questions from home:
1. Where will you watch General Conference? Do you watch it the following week because of the time difference?
2. Is Elder Nielsen in your Zone? I'm thinking not because he is in the Netherlands. How many zones in the mission?
3. Any zusters in your district or zone?
4. I'd include pictures of Elder Richards but do you think he would mind appearing on the blog?
5. Did you hear much about the terrorist attack in London? There was also an attempt in Antwerpen, so be careful and watchful when you are out walking around. Does the mission advise you on keeping safe while out in public?
6. Did you get a helmet yet? Please get a helmet if you haven’t. I want you to be safe and to keep the rules :)
1. Nobody in the branch invited us over to watch it so we'll chill here at the church to watch it. They don't show it in church here so we'll just watch it on the computer.
2. No Elder Nielsen isn’t, there are 5 zones. All of Belgium is one zone.
3. Ya we have 2 zusters in our district and there’s a few more in our zone but I don't remember.
4. Nah he's cool with it. He just likes making faces. Just make sure I look good in it before you post them. I trust you by giving you all the photos. But not all of them I feel are blog worthy!
5. Ya I did but I didn't hear about the LDS guy... that's awful. We got a text a few nights ago telling us there has been increased terrorism activity and not to travel to Brussels or Antwerpen or be in large groups of missionaries or use public transportation or go to centrums. I fell safe here in my little city of Brugge though! What's funny is we got that text at night and we had to go to downtown Brussels the next day for legality stuff. It was funny because we used the train and tram and were traveling in a decent sized group of elders. But we were safe and I know they wouldn’t let us do that if it wouldn't be okay!
Love, Elder Fernhout
|Daffodils in Brugge|
|Daffodils along the roadway|
|Drawbridge letting a longboat through|
|Windmill at dusk|
|Pink sky Brugge|
|The sun is out!|
|Beautiful day in Brugge|
|Train station in Landegem|