Monday, 31 July 2017

Week 31: Transfer to Emmen

So, yes I now have a new companion and his name is Elder Rytting from Lindon, Utah. He's cool, we should have a good transfer or what is probably going to be 2. Getting from Brugge to Leiden and then to Emmen was a huge pain. Started with me sleeping in Antwerpen and we got there late cause our correlation meeting went late. So I left there and it was in Gent so I traveled back to Brugge then I had to pick up my bike from Bro Pace cause he fixed it because Elder Steele broke it. Anyway, that's another story. So we got the bike, then got my bags from the apartment and rushed to the bus station to get to the train station. I managed to fit everything into my one big bag so I only had to deal with the one bag. Problem is that it was 100 lbs! I also had to carry a bike and 2 backpacks and also a guitar without a case. Then I got to Gent and picked up another elder who was also heading to Antwerpen. We met in Gent and I had to say a sad goodbye to EF. It was a great 2 transfers buddy! The other Elder I was with had more bags than he alone could carry so it was not fun to get all of our stuff around. In Antwerpen we met the ZLs [zone leaders] who took us to the apartment for the night. It hasn’t been used for a transfer so there was nothing in it and I was so so so hungry cause I didn't have time to eat but there was no food. The elder I was with was carrying around a can of peaches though so we had that, haha. The next morning I woke up at 5 am and we got ready and left. Still no food. As I was taking my big bag down the stairs it got away from me and rolled down the stairs and hit the wall, the metal handle on it broke so the rest of the day I had to carry it weird and I ended up getting huge bruises on my calves where it hit me all day. I also had to wear a suit and it was hot and we had to run a lot too, going from train to train, then we got to Leiden late. Anyway, that's where I picked up ER. We traveled from there to Emmen which is also really far from Leiden like Brugge is. Thankfully he didn't have a bike. We also got kicked off a train for not having a bike pass at one point and we got home at about 9:30 at night. A very long hard day to say the least. Okay, now that my complaining is out of the way I can continue. No, wait I have more, sorry.

So we get to the apartment and the elders who were here before left a mess, so much crap and clothes. I went around with a garbage bag and filled 3 of them with stuff! 3! It looks a lot better now. Also when an area is white washed they are supposed to leave a little book about the area and the people and things like where to get haircuts. They didn't do that.... all they did was write a few things on the whiteboard and nothing else. So that was not nice at all! We were so confused and still kinda are, haah. Also, there was a paper on the board saying that one of us had to give a talk on Sunday… that was in 3 days. So I had to prepare cause I wasn't going to have my greenie do it. It turned out to be not so bad though cause I enjoyed studying and preparing for it during my study time. It made studies more meaningful because I had a purpose and was gathering information and stuff. I was so afraid it was going to be too short though! I was more worried about that than the language. And because I can’t speak too great I used a lot of sections from a talk I found in the Liahona and from the scriptures, haha. I never did time my talk though. So yesterday I go up there to give it and it was going great. I wrote it in English and translated it on the spot, I thought that would be easiest and it worked well. Then after a bit one of the councillors tapped me and told me to save time for the others, so I wrapped up quick and sat down. I had ER time me and I was speaking for 20 mins!!! I couldn't believe it, I was so embarrassed, they had to cut out one of the speakers! Great way to introduce myself to the ward. They gave me another paper and I have to speak again in 3 weeks, it'll go better this time though! 10 mins is so short though!

The rumours about Emmen is that the ward is really awesome, and it’s true, they are really cool. After church this family asked us over for a bbq so natuurlijk we said yes. So in the ward there's this old couple and their 3 kids and their spouses and kids. Just them makes up half the ward. They were all at the bbq and we got to know them and it was awesome, they are all so cool and fun. Also the dying missionary [not really dying, but done with his mission] who just left Emmen was there with his parents. So we got to talk to him a bit and ask him questions. We had a good time us all!  They live in Germany because it's cheaper and really really close, so I have made it into the 4 country club now! They drove us back home after which was nice so we didn't have to use the buses. My greenie doesn't have a bike yet so we do a lot of walking.

Ok, I’m really interested to hear about Emmen!  Here are my questions:
1.  What were your first impressions of Emmen? 
2.  How did it go picking your new companion up in Leiden?  28 new elders is so many!
3.  Did you get see Elder Nielsen this week at all? 
4.  Where did you end up staying the night before you went to the mission office?
5.  How is the ward in Emmen? How was your first Sunday?
6.  How different is the accent? Can you understand the people okay and can they understand you?  
7.  How is it going whitewashing the area?  
8.  Are you in an apartment?  What is it like?  
9.  In what city are the next closest missionaries?  Is your district and zone very big?
10.  Does the church have a computer?  Is that where you will write from?

1. The train to get here showed us a lot of nice counrty side, it felt really really nice to have no sound around us and just open fields. So I enjoy that. Also I thought Belgium was really flat, but somehow it is flatter here. I can't explain it, it is just so so flat.

2. answered

3. No! but I met his MTC comp who is really cool. Also, now Matt and I are in the same country it is cheaper to text him so I did that a little.

4. answered

5. haha, also answered

6. Ya it's coming okay. Its easy cause it’s not Bruggs, which is the Brugge accent, but it’s hard because I have to adjust to a new accent. I'm doing pretty okay though. In a week I should be fine. Ya they understand me. They can easily tell I served in Belgium. They say I have a Belgian/English accent, haha.

7. Pretty rough actually. The other elders didn't leave much help and so I am not sure what to do all day cause all the other elders who served here told me the same thing and that was to not go door knocking. First because it's been done like a thousand times already and 2 Emmen is the JW home base for Europe.

8. The apartment is really nice. Ya, I’ll send pics for next week. It is in an old folks home so it’s quiet and big. It's one of the best ones in the mission. Also the walls are super solid so we can play music pretty loud. We are on the main floor and there is no one below us so we can do workouts and stuff and don't need to worry about that.

9. Zwolle is next closest. Ya, our district is decent. About 11 missionaries I think, it's an odd number cause there is a 3 man companionship.

10. Yes, but only 1 so we are at the library now.

Oh and a funny story to end off. So when we first got there and I was cleaning up I saw a jug of water. So I put it in the fridge for later. Then the next day we got groceries and one of the things we got was syrup stuff to flavour your water. When we got home I poured a glass of nice cold water and put a bunch of the syrup in. I took a big gulp and I thought I was going to die. I put the cup down and sat down on a chair and just breathed for a bit. I was in so much pain, it tasted like I drank acid! My throat was in so much pain. ER thought I was joking so he also took a big sip from his and right away spit it out. We wondered why the syrup tasted so bad! Maybe it had gone bad? Maybe we put too much in? So we did it again with about half the amount of syrup, again it was bad! Worse actually! So I thought the cup was contaminated with the syrup and got a new cup. I needed to rinse my mouth out so I poured just a cup of water and this time it was also awful!!! I was so confused! It was about at that point, 3 gulps later that I realized that what I thought was water was actually vinegar, haha. We felt so stupid. There’s got to be a good lesson there. Mum, your always good at relating those things... but ya, we had some good laughs and still are.

Anyway that's all, love you lots

Elder Fernhout
The church in Emmen
Flowers in Emmen

Elder Steele with Elder Fernhout's bike
Cool shot of Elder Furniss
Visiting members before leaving Brugge
More visits with members he will miss
Studying for his talk
Bowling with the District in Gent

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