Elder Andrew

Elder Andrew

Monday, March 9, 2015

Eli Mail 3/9/15 (Deventer, Netherlands) Letter 32

Wow, it feels like I haven't sent an email for quite a while, but it really has only been a week, apparently. I hear talk of possible warm weather ahead in Wisconsin, and I know the Netherlands is right ahead of the curve, so there definitely is light at the end of the tunnel. This week was quite crazy with the hustle of transfers, crazy trains and starting in a new city, so I'll hop right into it.

Elder Da Silva and I waited all Sunday evening, slightly on edge, in case of an "unexpected" call. Finally 9:20 p.m. rolled around, and we assumed we were safe. But the slightly heart-breaking call did come, and I received the bittersweet news that I'd be leaving. The last two days were a rush of visits and packing, including my last few appointments with investigators. (Sometimes you can get away with scheduling more appointments with people if they know you're leaving. It's mostly just a nice way to get people progressing and such). Wednesday morning rolled around, and I had a blast getting to my new area. I saw my trainer and a few old companions for the first time in months, which was great, and we even went out for ice cream in Utrecht Centraal to celebrate the reunion. My new companion is Elder Clukey. He's just finished with his first couple transfers, and I'm what they call his "breaker." (Breaking him from his trainer). Clukey is a fun guy out of Maine, 18 years old like me, with a lot of fun energy and a geeky side, which is nice change of pace. We do pretty well together thus far, and I'm really excited for what the future holds this transfer.

Now, Deventer. Not too big, but I love it. When I got here, I could not believe how quiet it got during the evening. I'm so used to busy Amsterdam lights and all sorts of business, and when I arrived here I discovered very quickly that the city goes to sleep at around 7:30. No one is outside, and most people don't even answer the door – crazy! But it's good. We just have to keep ourselves busy and work smart with the evenings. Another highlight of Deventer is that we have a "jovo centrum," which is basically the really nice home of a missionary senior couple where we hold weekly family home evenings and institute on Mondays and Fridays.

PHOTO CAPTION: The deck to Elder Andrew’s apartment in this interestingly designed building in Deventer can be seen two levels up directly above the mailboxes.

We had a really awesome miracle on Saturday when our investigator, Alice, was baptized! Now, it's kind of a long story with her, but basically she was found almost a year ago by the Deventer Elders, but later in the fall she moved to Zaandam where I began to teach her. She's a Chinese student here just for studying and job opportunities but who agreed to talk to the missionaries when approached at the door. I don't know if I ever mentioned her in my weekly letters in Zaandam, but I loved her humble prayers and deep desire to find out if there really is a God. It was super interesting and a new challenge to teach an a Chinese person, someone who grew up with no concept of God at all. A few weeks ago I found out that she had moved back to Deventer, and I called the Deventer Elders just to check up on her, and I was happy to hear she had a baptismal date. Fast forward to this Sunday afternoon of last week: I felt like I should call her, so I did. I told her I was really excited for her, and it was a nice check up. That evening I received the call that I would be transfered to Deventer. I don't think it was coincidince at all. It was a pretty incredible miracle that I got moved there right in time for her baptism. Super cool experience. That was the miracle of this week, the much anticipated baptism of Alice (that's her English name, FYI) that I got to be present for.

PHOTO CAPTION: Elder Andrew’s ward building in Apeldoorn is likely where Alice’s baptism took place.

I'm loving Deventer and am looking forward to learning this town frontwards and backwards. Sorry, I didn't have much time to write you all this week, but I hope this will suffice! Love you all. Have a great week!

Elder Andrew

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