Hey, friends and family! It's super exciting to have summer really starting to roll, now. It's been surprisingly mild here, but I'm okay with that since this country doesn't have air conditioning. We had a pretty successful week here in Deventer filled with lots of bike riding, a solid amount of teaching, and also very healthy eating.
We had a number of cool things happen this week, one of which was being taking a train ride down to work in Zutphen, a city comparable in size, and also beauty, to Deventer. I have barely worked there at all, which is kind of cool because it just opens up a whole city 1for missionary work. We walked around, had a few decent conversations with people, and eventually resorted to belling or buzzing people up – nothing too special. I have seen a surprising amount of success from it (bell-ups), and when we push the little button in we generally have a 40% chance that we will hear the click of the front door, indicating they let you in the building. It sounds sketchy, and perhaps it is, but you generally climb a few flights of stairs and meet the person and introduce yourself right at their apartment doorstep, and then it just turns into a normal door approach. The beauty of it is that you contact people who generally have not been contacted before. It is a double-edged sword, because you may climb about five flights of stairs for someone who sees the nametag and immediately has no interest. Overall, we get a few great potentials just from doing these "bell-ups" every once in a while.
PHOTO CAPTION: See Zutphen in relation to Deventer.
This past Friday we had the Assistants to the President over for a short, five-hour blitz, in which both companionships exchanged and worked with each other for a few hours. Elder Amos and I were in the car, but we discovered that the electronic way of paying for parking in the Netherlands wasn't working for us, so we spent almost an hour just trying to find free parking. It was quite funny. We had a very good exchange, and I learned a lot from him, just from the style of how he works and conversationally. This week we also met several times with Kenny, who still has a baptismal date for July 4th. We had daily contact with him, whether it was texting or a lesson, so that made it especially meaningful to him. We taught him the word of wisdom with the Deventer senior couple, and we discovered he has started smoking again since he arrived here in Deventer around three months ago. I, being a little inexperienced in how to go about a problem like this, was very pleased with the advice the senior couple, the Kleijns, gave him. They spent time also as "addiction recovery missionaries" so their advice and testimony was crucial and really had an impact on Kenny.
Other than that, things have been pretty normal here. We have a large number of new Elders coming in these next two transfers, along with the new mission President, so we have that to look forward to. I have loved my time with President Robinson. He and his wife have shaped and influenced me in countless ways. I will never forget the advice Sister Robinson gave about always having a strong testimony about the Book of Mormon, how we need to spend at least 15 minutes a day in it, along with many other precious things I have learned from their example.
Have a great week, everyone!
Elder Eli Andrew