Hey, everyone! Yes, the time has finally arrived: Elder Andrew finally adds another edition to his weekly letters. These past few weeks have just blown past, and I am excited to tell you all about it. I would first like to give a personal "thank you" to all those who have given me so much love and support the last little while. I am super grateful for your supporting me supporting others, if that makes sense.
Well, the time finally came this past week when Elder Heinricks and Elder Clement, our office trainers, had to leave. It was a little frightening at first – the thought of taking over all the financial affairs all by myself – but I am doing alright in that regard. My job depends on careful mental and time organization. I have a lot of things to do, and the mental organization that has been required is stressful, but it keeps me busy and loving it. This week was transfer week, one very busy week for our office crew. There're all sorts of background operations that take place beforehand – getting accounts set up, getting missionaries legalized … all that jazz. Tuesday morning we "suited up" and three of us headed to the airport in the mission van to pick up luggage. Now, because of the beautiful clear blue sky and Elder Clement's intense fascination for commercial airplanes (he can list off a hundred facts about a plane in the sky – the brand, passenger size, you name it) we actually spotted the Delta flight carrying all the missionaries. So, we had an exciting day of doing presentations for the greenies, going out to eat, and just getting to know them. I valued the experience a lot, and I find it incredible just to be able to be part of their initial experience on their mission and to help let that mission enthusiasm grow. So, I was busy mostly this week preparing for the new missionaries then doing a huge amount of back work to catch up on the usual week's load of financial work.
But amidst the chaos of transfer week, Elders Cook, Evans and I had a very unique teaching opportunity this week. Now, for a little back-story: Last week we went out like normal on the streets, walking and talking, when we stopped two young teenage boys who were midway talking with each other. We started up a conversation, and they shot us down pretty fast with the whole, "I am totally not religious at all" thing. We were just trying to push it a little farther in an attempt to make them think about something deep and meaningful amidst the normal Leiden night life, when Elder Cook implored, "Well, do you know anyone that would be interested?" That's a pretty common comeback for us missionaries on the streets: asking for referrals, and when we did the two looked at each other, exchanged smiles, and burst out laughing as they said, "Yes, we do know someone." We beckoned further, with a "why not?" attitude, and the two happily gave us a number of girl they knew that was supposedly "religious." I was definitely as skeptical as could be, but we called the number a few days later, and Elder Cook found out she had been to Salt Lake before and wanted to make an appointment. I was taken aback a little, surprised that something might actually come from this seemingly not-so-promising number. We showed up for the scheduled appointment, and we taught a really great lesson to a nice 19-year-old woman. We testified hard about Christ's Atonement and the power that it brings into our lives. I hope she felt the Spirit, because I did. After the great conversation about the nature of God to the importance of families, she was especially excited about the Book of Mormon. So, there you have it: just another "mysterious" way in which the Lord works. He tends to be very good at that.
More is to come, but for now I hope you can all share with me the excitement of being able to hear the powerful words of Christ spoken by modern-day prophets. My prayer is that we can all find time this weekend to give an ear to a few sessions and to listen especially to the things the Spirit may prompt us about while we listen.
Have a fantastic week!
Met vriendelijk liefde en groet.
Elder Eli Andrew