Elder Andrew

Elder Andrew

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Eli Mail 11/14/15 (Leiden, Netherlands) Letter 59

SPECIAL NOTICE FROM MISSION PRESIDENT BUNNELL’s 11-14-15 ONLINE BLOG: In light of the recent bombing in Paris we would like to let the families of our missionaries know of the love and concern of each missionary we serve with. We are aware of the bombing in our neighboring mission, the Paris-France Mission. We are so grateful all missionaries are safe and in their apartment and no members have been hurt in the violence. We are in contact with the LDS Security professionals in Frankfurt Germany and receive daily update regarding any safety concerns in Europe. At this time there is no immediate cause for concern for our missionaries. We will inform you by our mission blog or email if any event arises that may involve our missionaries. We are praying for the safety of all the people of Europe and the many missionaries that serve here. Please join your prayers with ours. - President Bunnell

Well, things are great here in good old Leiden. It finally feels like November now. The winds are blowing quiet harshly, and the air is getting nippy. I miss Wisconsin cold! Dutch cold is not the same! But man, this was a busy week. Our lease was up on our old mission office, and we luckily were able to move in across the street. We hired a Dutch moving crew to do it; it would have been a nightmare for Elder Cook and I hauling our 300-pound filing cabinets with mission records from the past 10 years. It was fun arranging things, and about mid afternoon the senior couple asked if we could order sandwiches from our favorite local sandwich shop. We ate amazing club sandwiches and pushed office equipment around, assessing the best way to arrange all the furniture. It just so worked out that I got the window seat, so now I look over the Leiden train station. I have even spotted missionaries hop on and off trains, but only quick glances. It's fun.

Missionary work is going great too. We are limited, obviously, but the task of balancing the two is fun. I have learned to love time management and just working under stress and then going out and sharing my testimony all evening. It's great. I am learning a lot right now. I am learning how important it is to be myself, to not only help the work in the area but to help my companions and myself. Sounds obvious, but for the longest time I cared more about the progress of the work than my companion – a sore mistake, and I am trying to be better. So, yeah, the office is allowing me to open my eyes and has allowed me to grow in so many unseen ways I can't even believe it. There's a really cool chapter in Preach my Gospel, a manual for us as people and not just missionaries, chapter 6 – Christlike attributes. I would encourage a little dive into the first page or so. What has been constantly coming back into my mind is the line, "Just as vital as what you do, however, is who you are." This line has become a part of me, and I realize that just equally important as what I say, is actually who I am. That goes for all of us.

Also, this Christmas I don't want a package. I just want to hear experiences everyone else has had. That would make me really happy this Christmas reading letters on Christmas morning. Simple hand-written letters with experiences from the past year. It doesn't have to be incredible; it can be as simple as something you heard or read that inspired you, but something that has helped you learn or grow. I would love to hear it.

Elder Eli Andrew

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