Elder Andrew

Elder Andrew

Monday, March 30, 2015

Eli Mail 3/23/15 (Deventer, Netherlands) Letter 34

We had a pretty busy week here in Deventer – a few uphills and slight downhills – but everything is working out great. I'm excited to see that spring has had its official start, so let's start pushing for the warm summer again!

I haven't mentioned this yet but we have a senior couple here in Deventer, and every Monday they host a Family Home Evening and every Friday an Institute of Religion class. They're a wonderful senior couple, Elder and Sister Kleyn, and I love their great company here in Deventer. (Interesting side note: Elder Kleyn was born in Zaandam! They are Americans at heart but Elder Kleyn has Dutch roots). I love Institute. We are currently in Doctrine and Covenants, and I find it quite interesting – all the little gold mines that are in there. It's also a great place to bring investigators, too – a comfortable environment with a good amount of members.

Elder Clukey and I had a pretty cool miracle this past Wednesday. During our first couple days together we found a potential in a more rich neighborhood. I had voted to just stop and move somewhere else because of the lack of success, but Elder Clukey urged us forward, determined to just try every door. It paid off when we got a potential, a women at the door who had friends in the states who are Mormon. We talked about families and said we'd return the next week. The next week came and we pulled up on our bikes and approached the front door. She opened it to our surprise and ushered us both in. Elder Clukey and I both exchanged glances as we stepped in the front door. She told us a lot about her life, how despite everything Christ was there for her. It was quite inspiring – a women who had drawn closer to Heavenly Father during challenges instead of blaming God and distancing herself from Him. That's a big step of faith, trusting God, especially when things seemingly don't get easier. We taught her a fairly good first lesson and she gladly accepted a Book of Mormon. All in all a wonderful experience, until we got the sad news that she wanted more time, a month to be exact, before we can contact her again. But who knows what will happen!

This past Friday was some Nederland thing called "Nederland doet" or something of the sort. Basically, the whole mission got to do service on Friday. It was great! Our district was assigned to go to Eschede to read to old people all afternoon. We all arrived and no one was there for the first hour, so we got to basically just talked and cracked jokes until the librarians were all ready. It was an interesting experience going to a nursing home with lots of old people just staring at you. There was a weird sort of quietness there, and the usual weird hospital smell. I mostly just had a conversation with my old person, who had lived in Australia for many years. I had found a Harley Davidson picture book in the library and entertained him with some good old Wisconsin fame, but we ended up mostly just talking. I asked him for life advice, just to see what he would say. His reply was to "find a job." He had started working at the age of 14 and hadn't stopped since, and he said the most important thing was finding a job. I could certainly argue that a little bit, but it certainly is important to find your place in the work force.

Last note for the week is the miraculous difficulty of getting to church yesterday. We caught our normal 8:30 bus and arrived at the station to meet our newly baptized Chinese student, Alice. We waited there for the train but were disappointed when the train was canceled. In fact, we quickly discovered that almost all the trains for that day had been canceled! I suppose Satan didn't want us at church or something. So we had to get a ride to church (thank you zone leaders) and were an hour late. Later that day we found out the sad news: a train had hit a car somewhere in between Deventer and Apeldoorn.

PHOTO CAPTION: De treinen zijn allemaal kapot! (Translation: The trains are all broken.)

I've been enjoying reading General Conference talks in preparation for this coming General Conference, and I hope everyone else is getting excited too! Have a wonderful week everyone! 

Elder Andrew

PHOTO CAPTION: Alice, who was baptized during Eli’s first week in Deventer.

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