Monday, 24 April 2017

Week 17: Brugge, Den Haag, and Oostende


Ya it was really great! [Keukenhof flower festival] Super beautiful! Ya he [Elder Matt Nielsen] went a day before I did. Ugh I would have loved to go to the Harry Potter parts of the park!!! Ugh butter beer!!! What no way you saw them!!! [The Evans Family at Universal Studios] haha that's so weird…

Anyway my week was pretty great, kinda slow but I am just loving being here which makes it go by fast. I ran out of journal pages and I am now writing in another journal I had brought with me. I haven't missed a single day yet of writing in it! This week we went to Den Haag, ER had a meeting he had to go to and I tagged along. We left at 9 in the morning and didn't get back until 10 at night haha. It was a long long day of travel but I really enjoyed it because I got to see and experience more of the Netherlands which is all new to me. It takes about 3.5 hrs one way. And we took trains to get there and back. I was able to understand all the people there so so so much better! They speak so much clearer than all the people in Belgium. I can’t wait to go to the Netherlands, don't get me wrong though I love Belgium too. We got some Suriname food while we were in Den Haag which is super good stuff. It was a frybread stuffed with chicken curry and wow it was good. On the way back home we lost our phone on a train, and didn't realize until we were almost home. We tried to get it back but it looks like we are going to have to get a new one. And hopefully it comes soon! We have to go to the church to make calls…

We were walking down the street of the Centrum in Oostende and it was really busy and there was this big black dude with dreads walking down the middle of the street pulling a box of puppies. It was so weird, like the box didn't even have wheels or anything and had about 9 pups in it. They were so cute, I think he was probably doing it to get attention from girls. While we were in Oostende we went to this old less active lady to teach here and she is French but speaks decent English. It's really funny though because she mixes up the words terrific and terrible which makes for really funny conversations about really awful things. For example our joint teach brought up the subject of genocide, thanks a lot for that, and she said it was terrific. I had to try so hard not to laugh.

Mum, I am only gonna say this once haha. I wish I would have stuck with piano... Ugh I play it all the time here. I am practicing hymns and I actually still remember a decent amount from lessons. I was able to practice a hymn good enough to play for district meeting. 2 hands and all. It's so fun now! Anyway ya I'm gonna keep practicing that.

Cool miracle this week. We were in Oostende after already having a great day and we went to catch a bus to the train station. It pulled to the stop so we started to run towards it but it left. So we began to walk to the tram halte, or stop, and we saw it pull in so we ran to it really fast and would have made it but the road in front of it blocked our path. So we began to walk back to the bus halte and another bus was pulling in so we sprinted and the driver noticed and waited for us. We got on and this old couple was eyeing us. They told us to sit with them and they talked religion with us and they speak not great Dutch because they are from Armenia. Really cool people who gave us their address so we could come by sometime with an Armenian BOM! It's gonna be great!

Scripture this week is 3 Nephi 13:19-22 these have been my favourite ones for a while now. Shows you what’s important in this world and where to put your heart to find true happiness in life.
Word of the week is DIER which is pronounced deer and it's funny because it means ANIMAL so I call all animals deer now haha.

1.  Has your branch closed down now and how is the church in Gent?  How many members, is it a branch or ward?
2. You didn’t finish your answer last week on the most common type of dog that you see there ….
3.  Did you do anything fun for Easter?  How do they celebrate it there that is different than home?
4.  Have you gone back to teach O again?
5.  Do you think Elder Richards can leave you his helmet when he goes home?
6.  You look like you have lost weight, have you?  Is it from all the biking?  Elder Tanner is looking thinner too!
7.  Is there anything specific that you would like me to include in my prayers for you?
8.  Did you go anywhere this week?  What are your Pday plans today?

1. We have one more week of church left in Brugge then to Gent. It will be a new ward of about 130 people! It'll be like back home almost!
2. Oh ya sorry, it's a Shiba Inu.
3. Heck ya! we went tracting!!!!
4. No we lost our phone which makes it hard to arrange things and also he got sick, but soon!
5. That’s what we planned.
6. Ha I hope so but it’s hard with so many people giving us treats to eat and crap.
7. To be happy! Don't get me wrong I am happy but can always improve.
8. Den Haag! Also we went through Delft, Matt's area and it is really pretty, so is Elder Cameron's area which is Dordrecht. We made plenty trips to Oostende. Not much for today though, might go to Antwerpen for a zone Pday but we'll see.

Okay love ya bye

Tapestry shop in Brugge
Brugge is known for its tapestries and lace
Branch President's dog that Elder Fernhout loves
Somewhere in Belgium
Belgian countryside
Train Station Den Haag


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Week 16: A visit to Keukenhof

Hello from Germany!!!! jks still in Belgium.

Awesome I hope the team does well this year and so far they are! [LCI Rams Rugby] Ya the parcel will come but they won't bring it to me until the next zone conference which is like weeeeeeks away but thanks in advance!  Adventures... Keukenhof!!! It was so so so good! I didn't get to see Elder Nielsen yet though, soon hopefully!

1.  Did you go to Keukenhoff? Any where else?
2.  When are transfers?
3.  Do you know what they are going to do with the Branch and missionaries in the area? Will they move you out? When will you know?
4.  What is the most common type of dog you have seen in Belgium?
5.  Are still playing soccer in the mornings?
6.  What topic are you studying in your personal studies?

1. Yup and I'll explain below.
2. Transfers aren't for another few weeeks. ER leaves for home May 3 though so sometime before that.
3. Ya we found out Saturday that our branch here is closing and we will have to go to church in Gent, sad but probs for the best.
4. haha the little ones that are called
5. ...Sometimes
6. The BOM haha I am almost done reading it again.
7. Ya they have 2 days of Easter here it is awesome.
8. Yes it looks great now haha.

So ya Keukenhof was lit. There were so many flowers! We slept over at the Sint-Niklaas apartment so we didn't have to travel as far. We still had to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to walk to the station because buses don't run that early. Then we took a train to Antwerpen where we met the rest of our zone and took a massive double decker bus to the Netherlands. The drive was so long but it was worth it. We went to a chapel where we had a conference with another zone and then we all travelled to Keukenhof which is another 45 mins north. It was insane there with flowers and tourists. After that we all got back on the bus and traveled back home which took 5.5 hrs. Ugh we got back home at like 11. Worth it though. I was taking so many pictures there, and my little camera does really good actually! (thanks Dad!) I also met Elder Mancer, he knows a lot of people from back home like the Baldersons. Matt called me a few days ago! I got to talk with him over the phone which was so nice. I didn't even know it was him at first then I realized and freaked out a little haha. Also on Saturday we had a dinner appointment with this family I love and they fed us ribs. Not just any ribs, homemade ribs that he was preparing and cooking for 3 days. They were so good, 3 different kinds and also minced lamb and chicken and homemade potato salad and also coleslaw, ugh it was dellicious! I also recieved my package from Gma! Shoutout to her for that! It was aweosme and just in time for Easter!

Love you bye

The Extra
Funny thing that happened was about a week ago when I was doing laundry I put all the dish rags in the kitchen.  ER picks one up and says, "you know this is a pillowcase right?" I did not, I asked him why he let me use it to dry my hands and dishes with it for 8 weeks and he said because he thought it was funny.  It was pretty funny, it also blew my mind.  I had no idea it was a pillowcase haha!

Well, you've heard that it rains a lot here and that is true but when it doesn't the birds still want to eat worms.  So what these smart birds do is go around in fields and they will stomp on the ground going in circles.  They do it because it makes the worms think that it is raining!  So the worms will come out and the bird gets their meal.  It's really interesting to watch and it's actually kind of cute watching them do their little dance of death.  Another cool thing is the ice cream trucks here.  Instead of playing music they drive around and when they see people they pull a rope which rings these big bells they have on the outside of their truck.  Then when they stop everyone can go buy their stuff.

A bit ago we helped a member move their dryer and washing machine to the second floor.  It wasn't very heavy and it wouldn't have been hard if the stairs in this country were built right!  All the stair cases here have no room.  They are usually really steep and the steps are short and tall.  So that made it difficult but we did it without denting the walls.

If you notice I think 2 weeks ago I have a photo with Elder G. Williams.  We were on exchanges and I stayed here in Brugge again.  EW is the replacement for Elder McConkie who was transferred out the last transfer.  He is one of our district leaders who serve in Brussels.  We had some fun, he has never served in Belgium before so he is still adjusting to the Dutch here.  So together we had a fun time figuring everybody out.  It's fun going on exchanges because I get to see and test my skills without ER, skills like navigating around and stuff.

We helped a member move a few weeks ago.  Well I did and ER went on splits with the ward mission leader and someone else.  ER went to an appointment we had and I went to help move.  Crazy time! We ended up having to do more work than we thought and I couldn't help any longer because we as missionaries have to be back at a reasonable time.  It turns out the ward member kept helping after he dropped me off and he was there until 4 in the morning! craziness.  So we brought him chocolates the next day to thank him for all the work he does.  He called us to say thanks and also to come eat them with him because we are only here for 2 years.  Such a nice guy! I found out my favourite chocolate here is the truffles! They are super good.  Their other chocolate here is also really good but I find Belgium shines when it comes to truffles.

Apparently when I was on exchanges in Brussels a long-time ago those 2 return sister missionaries thought I was "precious".  They told that to the Brussel Elders.  I say it's because I am but ER says everybody says that about greenies because they are just so innocent.

I miss music a lot but I found a band here that I am allowed to listen to, their name is "For King and Country".  They have a lot of really good songs.  I also like "Rend Collective" and "Kings Kaleidoscope".

We had a cool miracle a little bit ago. We went to this address thinking it was a less-active member.  Turns out she moved but the guy who answered the door is super nice and friendly.  We told him who we were and he said to come in and tell him more.  It was late so we said we would come another time so he agreed.  He was an Iranian guy and he was really polite to us, like I have never met anyone so polite ever, haha!  We went back for our appointment later in the week and it went really well!  He started off by telling us his whole life story.  It took like 30 mins.  He said he wanted us to get to know him.  He told us he has no friends and all his family is dead.  He's been trying to make friends for years but no one is nice enough.  He thought it would help if he learned Dutch, so he did and he speaks very well but it hasn't worked.  I felt so much love for him and just wanted to be his friend! He also told us about his desires to have a family and other life goals.  In that appointment it just really hit me how much the Gospel/church has helped my life and how it could help him.  I just wanted to share it all with him.  I really hope he becomes a member because he is awesome.  He told us that he will listen to all we have to say and if he feels that it is right and it makes him happy he will join the church.  So needless to say I am happy to be going back.

Scripture of the week is Alma 47, whole thing, what I think is cool, I love to look at this chapter as seeing Amalickiah as the devil trying to tempt Lehonti, and then seeing how that worked out.  Really cool and applicable to us.

Dutch word of the week is Hoe which is pronounced as who but means how, which can get really confusing.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Week 15: From Not So Dope To Doop!

First if you don't know doop means baptism in dutch. It is pronounced the same as dope. This week started off not so dope though. ER and I got the worst haircuts ever last week. Like so so so bad I can't even describe it. I took photos but they don’t show it. It was so bad that every time I looked at ER or myself in the mirror I couldn't stop laughing. I was crying from laughter the whole day and my stomach hurt. I felt so bad laughing at ER but I couldn't stop! We are almost bald and he used those hair thinning scissors which made us look like we got electrocuted and our hair started to fall out or like someone switched our shampoo for hair removal stuff. You can see our scalps and our hair isn't even it is all different lengths. It also looks like tufts of hair are falling out! Anyway the week ended doop because we had a baptism! His name is Stanley and he is from Ghana. He is the first baptism in Brugge for a long time, the last time was 5 years ago. So that was awesome!

Ya I do notice that I understand people more and more, it is really nice to be able to see the progression. Oh wow well I am glad Kennedy is alright now! I got an email from Aunt Karen with photos which was nice, I'll try to write her back today. No way!!! Gospel Doctrine class! I am so happy for you! I wish I could do it with you, I feel so much more confident in my teaching skills. You will do great, and if you have any questions ask me and I'll try my best to help you! Oh and something you have got to have with the nasi is peanut sauce! It is so so good. Anyway let me know how that turns out.

The following is a bunch of random things…

Something funny that happened on the train this week was we were sitting down and a bunch of teenage girls were near us singing to a little speaker they had. I turn to ER and say "French singing is so weird!" then ER turns to me and says “that’s Dutch" so I mean I guess I haven't come thaaat far in the language but we both thought that was really funny. I mentioned we had a little fire last week. So ya that was fun, we were making a pizza in the microwave because we don't have a stupid oven like all the other apartments. We left the pizza and come back and the whole inside of the microwave was on fire! ER told me to grab the fire dingus [extinguisher] then he took it and I was so excited because he was just about to spray it when the fire put itself out. I have never seen a fire dingus in use before so I was disappointed but it was good that we didn't have a big fire!

A little while ago I bought a soccer ball and we go play soccer at a near by field in the mornings. I run around the field a bunch and then ER teaches me a little. He is great at soccer and used to play at a pretty high level. We have a lot of fun in the mornings now! Another thing I went a whole day without wearing a shirt and tie a little while ago. That's the first day since I left from home! I don't mind wearing missionary clothes though. We cooked nasi for a family this week. The wife was hit by a car and she can't cook so we did for a night. The husband is doing a lot of work. They were really thankful for us and thought it was crazy that the elders were cooking for them! I think they took photos and put them on Facebook. Yesterday in sacrament meeting there was a mum and her 2 children visiting from America and the mum served here 25 years ago. She got up and bore her testimony in dutch for everyone. It was really cool.

Scripture Alma Chapter 36 is all great but Verse 3 is what I like (trust in God!)
Word is snor, which I like because it sounds really funny and it means moustache which is awesome. It is pronounced snoar.

Questions from home:
1.  How is the work going?  Are you teaching anyone on a regular basis? Did Stanley get baptized?
2.  How is the weather?  Does it rain everyday?  Is it warming up?
3.  What can I send you? (I haven’t mailed your parcel yet, I’m still trying to track down journal filler pages.  Were you able to see what brand of planner you have?)
4.  How is Elder Richards doing with the little time he has left?  Is he someone you will be friends with after the mission?  Would you like to go to BYU (it is a great place, haha)?
5.  Did you ever get to give the guy you met playing street basketball a Book of Mormon in his language?

1. Yup Stanley is baptized now! Work is going alright. We don't have any other super positive investigators but we are working on that. There is a video referral program going on right now so we are getting a ton of referrals.  So we will be running around checking those out all week. I can't remember if I said this last week but there is a new video released by the church for Easter. It is short, like 2 mins and it is about peace. It is really good! We share it with a lot of people.
2. Weather has been so flippin hot! Yesterday was insane. Not one day of rain in a while actually. I am disappointed. I haven't worn a coat or anything for over a week straight. I NEED to buy short sleeve shirts soon.
3. Oh I thought of something but now I forgot. I'll make a list of a few things during the week. And yes I took a few photos of my journal for you.
4. He’s doing fine.Ya I’d like to be. It’ll be a while till I'm back though. Ya he loves BYU.
5. Funny story we went back the next week with a Greek BOM but he wasn't there. So we walked around a bit and then there was this dad and 2 kids there playing. We approached him and asked what language is best for him to speak with us in. Turns out it was Greek so we shared the BOM we had with him and he said we could talk more sometime. So that was awesome.

Anyway that's all,

love ya bye (thats how we end all phone calls with other missionaries here in the mission)

Elder Fernhout

The District

Monday, 3 April 2017

Week 14: General Conference in Brugge

Hello Familie,

Another great week. I am so grateful that I am enjoying my mission so much. Ya I got to watch a bunch of conference. All of it except for the last session and priesthood session. But I'll watch them sometime this week. Ya Sabin's was great eh! I loved it too! I am appreciating conference so much more on my misison than I did back home. I take good notes and really try to listen. It goes by so much faster haha! And it is more enjoyable. Really missed 7 layer dip though! Sounds like someone listened to the talk on goal setting haha. Who was that? It was a good one I remember. One of the apostles. Goals are so important! I have learned that. YA! Olivia sent me a video of her opening it. [Her mission call to Germany] Crazy! I am so happy for her and what a cool place to go to! It will be interesting to see how well we can talk with one another when we get back! I am so excited for her. We found out that President Uchtdorf is coming to the misison but we don't get to see him... so mad. Matt will get to see him though.

My favourite scripture this week is Alma 12 verse 24. But the whole chapter is great!

Also, the word of the week is napraten which means parrot. It's funny because na means after and praten means talk so it's like "after talk". Cool eh.

Questions from everyone as I write here in the living room:
1. Camille:  What interesting/best meal have you had from a member?
2. Thomas:  What are the nicest people/members you have met?  —I think I might know the answer to this, the one where the dad is from Utah ;)
3. Jake:  Is there anything you want me to look up on the internet for you (since I have access to it and you don’t)?
4. Grandma Noel:  Are you getting enough to eat and are you teaching anyone?
5. Maddie:  Who is your favourite Belgian King?  Haha, her real question is …. What made you laugh the hardest this week?
6. Andy:  What is the weirdest person you met so far?
7. Mom:  Do you know when you go to Keukenhof yet?
8. Mom:  I’m following up on the commitment you made, did you get a helmet?
9. Uncle Mike:  Where is Elder Richards from?  What are his plans after his mission, BYU? What was your favourite conference talk? Mike says one of his favourite chapters in the BOM is Alma Chapter 5.  Do you have a favourite verse in Alma Chapter 5?

1. Ooo, we had something called witlof. So good. It's leeks which I found out are actually good tasting which are finely chopped and then that is rolled in a piece of ham then its all covered in cheese sauce. But it was more intricate than that and it was so so so good!
2. Ya haha you do know the answer. The mum I think is Belgian.
3. No but thanks. I will in the future probably!
4. Yup we eat a lot and we have lots of people to teach!
5. Haha I thought she was serious at first ha I don't know any kings. Ha that made me laugh. Uhm probably when we accidentally had a small fire in the microwave or when I almost accidentally biked into the canal! haha good times. I'll tell you about both of those in next weeks email which I'll write today.
6. Oh man so so so many. This isn't the weirdest but we knocked on this one door and the guy who answered was about 20 yrs old and he was wearing a dinosuar onesie with a head and tail and he had the front zipper open and he had nothing underneath. Then he went off about some religious theory about water. IDK it was real weird.
7. Ya it's next week I think or the next one ha not sure.
8. no
9. ER is from Logan Utah. He plans on going to BYU after his misison. He already went there a year before the mission. He is not sure what he wants to do but I think he'll end up in teaching. He is very smart. He might work at the MTC for work. That was my suggestion and he liked the idea. Fav talk was Sabin. Verse 46 becasue we see that even after he saw an angel he still fasted and prayed many days and the HG is what confirmed to him the truth.

I really enjoyed hearing all your questions! The computer I usually write the extra on last week is not good anymore so I couldn't write any extra. I'll try to do it today. Hopefully it works today!

Love Elder Fernhout
A trip to Ostende on pday

School chalks are the best!

A trip to Antwerp
Train station in Antwerp