Hey everyone! It has been a little while, but Elder Andrew is back with a fresh new update from Deventer, the Netherlands. These past couple of weeks have wiped me out, especially with the craziness of "Konings Dag." I hope everyone is doing well, spring is coming in at full swing now and it's now the best month of the year, May!!
I'll start with this past Monday when we slept over with the Hengelo Elders. We jumped off the train Sunday night after having a fun conversation with two European girls that lived in Rexburg, Idaho for a year, and wandered through the centrum of Hengelo towards the sound of a tumultous parade. We watched as a band of instrument players did a funny routine including riding and standing on bikes while playing. It was mildly impressive, but it made me laugh because of how much of a classic Dutch move it was – of course, it would include bikes. But King's Day was awesome. We arrived at our stand at around 10am, loaded with Book of Mormons and pamphlets. For whatever reason, King's Day is a day when everyone takes their junk and just throws it on the street to try and make a few bucks. It is usually accompanied by an enormous amount of alcohol and music from an assortment of cheap European bands. The sun was shining luckily, and as the hours passed by the amount of people in the centrum of Enschede seemed to increase tremendously. We rotated in and out of companionships at the stand, two or so missionaries guarding the goods while the rest walked through the busy streets, talking with people and attempting to have conversations in the parts of town where music wasn't blaring. In total, we were out buzzing around the streets for over seven hours, starting at 10 a.m. and finishing up around 5:30.
I also enjoyed a deliciously overpriced lunch that included a German bratwurst. Because Enschede is so close to the border the Germans just hop over to make some fast cash on King's Day. I first attempted to try to order in Dutch and was very shocked at the weird sound of German in reply. The conversation was quickly ended by me giving up and saying the word "wurst". It was an interesting brat, because the bun only fit about 1/4 of the actual piece of meat, so you had brat hanging out on both ends. It looked pretty funny (and no, Dad, I did not put ketchup on it this time, so you can be proud of that). By the day’s end we had acquired a nice handful of potentials for the Enschede Elders and a lot of very good conversations and curious people.
As we (the Enschede, Hengelo, and Deventer) Elders all left we ended up walking through a concert. As we attempted to walk across the outskirts, crunching on an innumerable amount of plastic beer cups, two very ditsy Dutch girls started jumping around and riding us missionaries around like a train. It was a little frightening in the moment but an hilarious way to end King's Day, and we all had a great laugh afterwards.
There are a number of other awesome things that have happened this week, but sadly the time is just too short to include them all. Elder Da Silva and I have been having a really great time together thus far. We've been seeing cool, daily miracles and fun dinner appointments. The work has been going up and down a lot lately, and it has been kind of hard for me because we just haven't been able to find anyone really solid yet, but the Lord is blessing us.
Enjoy your week every one. I look forward to talking to some of you on Sunday for Mother's Day!
PHOTO CAPTION: The three companionships working Enchede on King’s Day. Elder Da Silva is behind Eli. Next to Eli is his MTC companion, Elder Steenblik.