Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Hello guys!!

Okay, so this week has been pretty sad. I had to say good bye to Clement on Wednesday which was really sad. Yes, I cried, but that´s not news, I always cry. Anyways, I really miss him, he was a great companion and a great friend. He was a really great guy and very trustworthy. But, it´s alright coz I get Elder Shaw. Elder Shaw is from Austin, Texas and has way too many interests for me to write down but he´s great and we´ve had a great time since he got here. 

This Christmas doesn´t feel too Christmassy but I´m sure as I continue to devote myself to the Lord, that it´ll still be a great Christmas!!
Anyways, so a couple of stories from this week: 

Firstly on Tuesday me and Clement stayed up till like 1am to pack his stuff but also to make sure the house was clean for when Shaw would arrive. That was probably the most tiring night ever. There was so much to pack plus in the process of packing the house looked a mess so we had a lot to clean up. But we got it done and when we went to bed the apartment looked great. Then on Wednesday me and Elder Shaw had a really long trip back home because we had to haul all of his stuff through the train and I´ve never had to do that because I´ve always had a car while on my mission. I was sooooo sad to see the car leave. It was soooo nice to have a car plus I´ve never not had a car which means I have to adjust to working in Den Bosch without it. But it´s worked out pretty great. 

So on Friday we had a lesson with our investigator Timo. Timo is sooooooo awesome. He´s 20 years old and me and Clement taught him for the last two transfers and he´s now had all the lessons and is getting baptised in January. But we´ve now decided to give him refresher lessons so we started with the Restoration. And it was so awesome because we would talk about one of the points and he would bear testimony. Then at he end of the lesson he said he was thinking about going on a mission which was AWESOME!!!!!!! He is like the perfect investigator and I can´t wait to see him progress!!!

Then a cool thing happened in another lesson. The investigator wouldn´t commit to reading from the BoM unless a sister missionary asked him to do it. So we pull out our phone and call a sister that we both know and she just commits him right then and there and it was such a funny experience. 

Okay, that's it for this week!
Elder Serra

Some Photos from the Christmas Zone Conference from last week:

Antwepen and Eindhoven Zones - Elder Serra right in the middle

Elders Brunner, Stanworth and Harry 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hey Guys!!

First of all, I want you guys to know that I miss you like crazy!!!!!!!!! It's almost been 4 months but it feels like yesterday I entered the mission field.

Ok, to answer your questions mum:

1.Yes, we still have p.day next Monday so I´ll email you and get all the details.
2. The family I'm spending Christmas with are the Stomps and I´ll get all the information I need on Thursday because that's when we have a dinner appointment.
3.Yes I loved the presents you got me. Can't wait for the ones on Christmas dAY!!!!
4. Conference was awesome!!!!!


On wednesday we worked pretty hard trying to get a lot of work done and contact as many people as possible since it was going to be Elder Clements last full working week. Then we drove down to Antwerpen so we could sleep at the apartment of the Elders there so we would be close enough to the chapel the next day. The Zone Conference was awesome!!!!!

I just loved being there with so many missionaries and seeing so many of my old friends, it was great. There we got taught a whole bunch of stuff that isn't really relevant for you guys so we'll skip over that. Then it was time for the leaving missionaries to say their departing testimonies. So Elder Clement went up and just bore testimony about what it was he learned while on a mission and it was great because these were all things that he'd taught me so I understood them and I feel better about what it is that I know because of him and how it will help me with Den Bosch. 

On Friday we went to the last singing elders concert and it was so awesome. The Singing Elders are beast!! They just sang awesome and made everyone feel the Spirit. Then after the concert we had to speak to people because that's the point of the concert, for missionaries to speak to member and investigators. That's when I met the people in the photo. They're from the Portuguese branch here in the Netherlands which is funny because I'm probably going to end up serving there (hopefully). 

Then on Sunday was Clement´s last Sunday in the ward. It wasn't too emotional but I'm sure they're going to miss him quite a lot. Also, a new missionary returned to Den Bosch after serving in South Africa so he was pretty cool. 

Then we finally got the transfer calls after the whole day. My new companion is Elder Shaw and he´s actually one of the singing elders and he´s pretty cool so it'll be great to have him as my companion. I don't actually know a lot else about him but I'm sure he´s great. 

Okay, I think that's it for this week. 

Elder Serra with an Elder (don't know who) and Carolina Serrano from Rotterdam at the Singing Elders Concert 

Elder Clement and a few of his buddies at the Singing Elders Concert!!!

Elder Clement and his two sons!!!!! Me and Elder Byers... I'm the better looking one of course eheh!!!

Oh, and I saw Elder Johnson at the Singing Elders Concert so that was great!!!!

Love you all so much!!!!!!
Elder Serra

On the 7th of December, Elder Serra Wrote:

Okay, to answer your questions mum:

Yes, I have a family that is giving us Christmas Dinner and is letting us skype but I don't know what time we'll skype because I don't know when my new companion will be able to do it since I don't know if he´s American or not.
I'll get the Christmas package on Thursday when we have Christmas Conference.

So I have a few pictures to send but what´s cool is that they´re from the last 2 P-days that I´ve had!!

The First P-day!!!
So we had to go to Den Haag (The Hague) on Wednesday to pick up my identity card from the Portuguese Embassy and we thought we´d have a nice day out in Den Haag. Then a member called and let us know we could have a tour of the Twede Kamer which is a political building or something. So we call President to find out if we can go and he told us that we could and to invite other missionaries which was great. So we invited the Assistants. So Elder Bonner is a... Marine which means that he is hardcore looking and was evaluating the security of the building and talking about how the guards should do better in keeping watch of the place. But he´s also pretty funny so hat was great. Then Elder Hirsch is the New Assistant and I don't actually know that much but he seemed pretty cool while we were with him. Anyways, the tour was pretty cool plus there were a whole bunch of cool places to see in the building. (Pictures to follow).
So then we leave and drive to Leiden so they can have a copy of my identity card in the office. So while we're in the office, Elder Clement goes crazy and reverts back to an Office Elder and just takes calls and has a blast. 
After all that we drove back home and thought a lesson to a guy called Sebastian and it was actually really sad to teach him because unlike most people we teach he wasn't even willing to try to read the Book of Mormon to know if it was true. He just sort of didn't really want to do anything hat required him to get a testimony. However, it made me happy to realise that all of the things which I was trying to get him to know about were things that I myself knew were true and that I had found out for myself were true. 

Then on Thursday and Friday we had exchanges which were extremely fun. While on exchanges I realised that there´s a lot that I rely on Elder Clements for and that if I want to become a capable missionary I have to try to become not only self reliable but better at doing the things that missionaries need to do. The last few days especially have helped me realise that in your mission you will always be trying to improve, no matter whether you've been out for 3 months or 23 months. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you continually use the Atonement as well as the resources give you by the Church to become a better missionary and a better Disciple of Christ.

The Second P-Day!!
So yesterday we went down to Maastricht or rather to Valkenburg which is a small town in the South of the Netherlands which is a pretty old part of Europe. So we went with our whole District to explore. There were caves with loads of Christmas Stuff in it which was great because it was the last cool thing Elder Clement would get to do on his PDay since his last would be spent cleaning our whole apartment because that´s what you have to do before the end of a transfer. We then went to explore the ruins of the oldest castle in the Netherlands....or something like that.... And it was great, got some great pictures of everything in there. 

Anyways, I think that´s it this week.
I love you guys soooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Serra

No pictures so far...I'll post them as soon as I get them!  

So, on the 2nd of Dec, Elder Serra wrote (we can call it a microscopic email, if you know what I mean...)

Hey Fam-Fam!!

Wow, this last week and a half have been busy. The biggest event (I guess you can call it that) is that we had Thanksgiving last Thursday and it was great. We first spent the day with a whole bunch of kids in a high school somewhere because the school asked us to go teach the kids about the Church! WHAT!!! Crazy right? So we got there and they were all cooking thanksgiving dinner. So we helped them out with that and we spend the day with them having some fun. We then ate dinner with them but that meant we had no time so they asked us to come back in January to give a full lesson about the church which should be great fun. Sadly, couldn't take pictures :( 

Next thing is we found some Geese in our city so that's fun. 

Oh, I've also been  making a few videos of things happening around here so that we can have a fun time so you'll see those in a second.... 

I guess that's it. Watch the videos and you'll see what I mean!!!!!

Love Elder Serra

A few moments later, Elder Serra sent another email:


It won´t let me send videos!!!!!! I´ll figure something out next week I promise!!! You can still have the Geese photos!!! :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

So you can understand, it was my birthday on Saturday, and I didn't receive any card.... obviously I complaint!!! (MUM)

Elder Serra's reply to my email this week:

Woah Mother!!!!! The card´s in the mail!!!!!!! Jez Luise......!!!! How could you not trust your beloved son to send you a card ;)

Okay, I actually don´t have a lot of time this week because today we´re playing AMERICAN FOOTBALL!!!!!! IT'S GOING TO BE AWESOME!!!!!! I´m so excited and we have to leave in a second so I´ll just briefly go through the things that happened this week! Also, I´m sorry but the camera wasn't working this week up until Saturday so I haven´t got any pictures but I´ll redeem myself next week!!! 

So firstly we had Zone Training were the whole zone got together and it was great to see Elder Stanworth and Elder Brunner (MTC Group) and catch up a little bit. The Zone training was so spiritual and I learnt so much about what I can do as a missionary to find the elect of Christ. It made me really happy that I was missionary! Is all I´m going to say about it!!!!!!

Then we had a whole bunch of exchanges with other missionaries which meant I got to learn a lot in terms of things I could do better as a missionary. I feel like this week I was able to grow so much in terms of what I can do to help others progress. 

Then I feel like it culminated in this experience:

So this week I found a guy at the door who was Muslim but had rejected the Muslim faith because it didn't have the answer to his questions about why we´re here. (btw he only speaks English) And so me and a different companion (Elder Clement was on exchanges) went in and thought the Plan of Salvation. At the end we thought him to pray and told him to pray with us.... He didn't say it out loud like mos people but he knelled silently and spoke to Heavenly Father for 8 or so minutes.... Let me tell you now... I could feel the spirit so strong and I knew that he was praying for answers even if I couldn't hear him and I knew that this was someone that needed the gospel and all that it contains. 
It was also nice to know that I know a lot about what I´m here to do and that´s awesome!

Okay, I promise to send pictures next week!!!!!

I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Serra

PS: For those of you reading this in the blog.... I DID NOT FORGET MY MUM´S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!

Since he didn't send any photos this week, here is the photos of his planner from last week's email (MUM)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hi Fam!!

Okay, This week has actually been a pretty boring week in terms of pictures :P

So on Monday we went shopping but we didn't really find anything cool but it was still pretty fun. 

Then on Tuesday I finally got a BIKE!!!!!!! And by the way guys, my bike is flipping awesome!!!!! It´s all slick and black... It´s Black Thunder is what it is!!! 

Yeah, we had the whole of Wednesday when we got to ride it until Elder Clement´s bike broke so we had to lock them somewhere and came back the next day :(. Sucks for Elder Clement... but at least he doesn't have to wear a helmet anymore. Backstory on that... No one here in the Netherlands wears a helmet but a sister and two elders got hit by cars (just some embarrassing bruises) and so now everyone has to wear one which sucks because it looks ridiculous. But there you go, we don´t get to wear them a lot. 

On Thursday we had a really nice boring day but at the end of the day I just felt good, like I´d worked all that I could and that felt great!!! Actually here´s something that I wrote this week:
 "I feel like the way you begin to change yourself while you´re on a mission is by immersing yourself in the work. You can´t attempt to change yourself without serving other people. You can only find yourself and who you can become as you serve and do your best to think about other people´s needs. As you do that, I feel like you begin to change yourself but not because you feel you want to become that, but because that person you´re becoming is who your investigators need. And it doesn't matter what those changes are, because as you try to become someone more able to help your investigators, then you become someone who is more Christlike. Then, as you because more like Christ, you do you realize that the change that you've made has also changed your heart and made you eligible for the peace and comfort the Atonement provides." 
That was a real nice realization I had and it made me feel pretty great!!!

Then on Friday I started making my own planner. So backstory, here in the mission you have missionary daily planners, like every mission but here you decorate the front and back so it´s more spiritually uplifting to look at. And because I´m a beast at Graphic Design :P,  I just made the best planner of any greenie missionary, not that I´m proud or anything!!! ;) 

And yeah, then we found a cool tower in Den Bosch that let us see pretty high up. 

Also something that was pretty great was that on Wednesday we went to check Anne (#not real name) up and make sure that she was okay because she hadn't come to church or answered any of our texts ad we were worried.... like freaking out "WHAT IF SHE DOESN'T WANT TO BE BAPTIZED ANYMORE...THIS CAN´T BE!!!!!" And then we checked her out and actually she was just sick and her phone was broken!!!! Woop woop!!!

And Yes, we've had a lot of D.A.s (dinners appointments) so that´s good, we actually didn't even have to cook this week!! How cool is that??!!

The thing in France hasn't changed our schedule at all. The President said something about it and told us the situation and just said to keep away from populated events so all good there!!! 

Okay, I think that´s it for this week,
See you next week!!! 

Black Thunder!!!

Us gone shopping, out on the town, you know!!

Us in a tower... not that cool but YOSO!! (not sure what this means!!)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hey Guys!!

So this week has been awesome!! 

On Tuesday we had to say goodbye to the Senior Couple that was working in our area #sadface. Buuut it meant we finally got to try Sister Hills fajitas and that was flipping awesome. We had great time and we had a lot of food plus, since everyone was american besides me, they all reminisced over America which was hilarious, literally, so much American pride you can't even handle it!!!  

Anyways, then on Thursday we had Harry van de Sande with us!!!! So backstory, Harry is a convert to the church and he´s like 76 years old or something. However, once he was baptized he loved missionary work so much that he decided to just become one. So he basically teaches with the missionaries in Eindhoven, and walks around with the missionaries and dresses like a missionary and, the best part, is that he´s done this for long enough so hat the church just decided to give him his own tag!! He´s like a fully qualified awesome missionary. Anyways, he came down to our city and we had boschebolle, which is basically a cream filled ball of yumminess!!! 

Then on Friday we found this awesome trail of trees as we were walking to an appointment and it looked like Narnia, so many leaves and it went on forever!!!

Also, I should have mentioned him earlier but I forgot... oh well! Theo is the first lesson I had to give in Dutch when I arrived here and he´s just the most carrying guy. He can´t physically go to church because he´s so old so we have to go to his house twice a week and he´s such a nice guy!!!! Pray for him, he´s pretty old and always tired!! 

Then last crazy story!! Late last night we had an undercover cop car stop someone in front of our apartment!!! it was bonkers!!!!!!! 

Also, last thing, last night was transfer calls and I´m staying in Den Bosch with Elder Clement for this transfer which is great because it´s his last!!!! Unless you´re getting transferred, transfer calls aren't really that exciting. But I found out that two people from my district got transferred so it´ll be fun to find out who the new guys are!!!!

Cool experiences this week, we taught a lesson to our investigator this week about what would happen when he became baptized and how it would be hard at times and he needed to trust in the Lord and he was just so ready for it. He told us how he´d been waiting a while to get bapized and that he knew that Satan would tempt him but he said he was ready, that he was committed to living his life the way he should and it was great, you could really feel the Spirit of what he said, I´m so happy that I was there to experience his testimony. We've almost set a date since he´s waiting for on of his friends from America to come visit and baptize him but he´s almost there!!!!!

Ok, I love you guys, I miss you all like crazy and I hope everything´s going good over there!!!!

Our last District picure together before the Hills left :(

Harry eating a boschebolle.... AWESOME!!!

Pictures from the Tree Trail (as it is now dubbed)

Theo and his wonderful smile!!!!!

Undercover Cop Car.... yeah, that actually happened!!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Here is an excerpt of Elder Serra's Email this wek:

Ok, Spiritual Experience Time!!!

So we´re out teaching this investigator and she´s 29 and has a baptismal date, let´s call her Marie #notactualname. So while we´re teaching it´s going great and were teaching her about the Holy Ghost and I share that scripture from 1 John 4 and I talk about the feelings that I had where I first read it and it was great, I could feel myself feeling those exact same things again and it was a real testimony to me that the Spirit will always testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel if you´re ready for it!

Funny Experience Time!!

So on Friday I went on exchanges with one Elder Roberts who is probably the best missionary at contacting people ever. Anyways, so we have a great days work and go home and when we get in, he brings out a small book that his girlfriend wrote him about how they met, and he reads it out to me. And that was the funniest story I´ve ever heard, I´ll have to email him for some quotes from it but it was hilarious!!! Anyways, another funny thing is that morning me and Elder Roberts made a video of us two.... I´ll send you the video next week, it´s hilarious!!!!


So we have 3 really

Marie #notactualname: I only met her last Thursday because we've always been on exchanges when we've had appointments with her so I don´t know a lot but she´s really awesome and came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it. The cool thing is that she´s only had 3 lessons altogether but is already looking to get baptized which is awesome!!! Also, she has a cool dog so that´s great!!!!!

Tom #notrealname: he´s been waiting to be baptized for a while but his parent haven´t been really up for it until recently. He´s 19 and has been to America with a Mormon family which is were he got interested. He plays rugby so he´s pretty buff. He´s also 19 so he´s like one of the guys. He´s a Homie!!!!!!

Artie #canttellyouhisname he speaks Portuguese so our lessons are in Portuguese which is great. He´s married to a Portuguese less active and has a lot of deep questions so let´s hope I have some deep answers. Anyways, he has been coming to church for a while and everyone loves him so let´s see if we can´t get him on Date..

This week hasn't been that hard... I had a pretty great interview with President so it sort of sorted out my whole week really ;)

Ok, I love you and Miss you guys a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On his Pday last week, Elder Serra had a visit from a family of his ward in England and had a really good time! Being spoiled is an understatement!! 

His smile says it all!

Thank you Donker's!!


And more food!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Hey Fam!!

This week has been great! Den Bosch is awesome and I´m really starting to love missionary work. It´s so fun and I´m glad I´ve found this joy in the work so early on. The language isn't so bad now, I can mostly understand what some people say but some subjects that I´ve never talked about still go over my head. Elder Clement loved the t-shirt you got him, and so did I, it was the best pun I've ever heard in my life!!!!!!!  

Well, this week has been pretty exciting!! On Monday we spent about four hours making cinnamon rolls for our old ward mission leader which was pretty fun plus they tasted awesome! As Elder Clement would say, we came up clutch!! Then exchanges on Tuesday and Wednesday were awesome. Me and Elder Gleave contacted sooo many people on Tuesday while we were travelling between appointements and found about 3 potentials which is awesome. Then with Elder Walker on Wednesday I got to go to Mastricht and that city is beatiful and it´s full of nice people so we got to contact a lot of people as they were walking in the Centrum. I really felt during those two days the gift of tongues working within me as I contaced people. Normally in Den Bosch Elder Clement contacts most of the people since he speaks the better Dutch but since I didn´t have him to save me on exchanges I just got into it and I really felt like they could understand me better than before. I feel like I´m finally getting a hang of contacting and speaking to people. It is by no means easy but I feel like the Lord is helping me and I guess that´s all I can ask for. 

Then we had the singing elders over... They´re awesome!!! It was soo much fun having them around bringing the spirit to us as they sang. After the concert I was so inspired and I felt like I really threw myself into the work after the concert and it was a great night's work. I´m so glad that I got to spend time with the singing elders who are such great examples of missionary work to me!

The singing elders are elders in our mission who go around and sing to members and less actives as a preview of the concert they will give in the area. The concert is about the life of a girl called Emma and they just sing hymns that talk about different stages in life.... it´s the best thing ever!!!

Well, I guess that´s it for this week! Love you mum!!!!!!! Hope the house is going great!!!!!!!!! Tell the whole family that I love them a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Serra

Elder Serra with Elder Clement ready to translate at the "singing Elders fireside" 

Don't know what that is??

Baking cinnamon rolls

A  boat trip inside the canals

Sunday, October 25, 2015

11/Oct 2010

Hey Guys!!!

Ok so my companion. Elder Clement is my trainer and he´s pretty awesome. From what I hear from other missionaries he´s the best Dutch speaker in the Mission and he sounds it too. He´s been out for 21 months and he goes home after he trains me which is end of December. The first twelve weeks are for training for new missionaries so he´ll be my companion for a while. He´s pretty great, no arguments or anything, just straight up trying to be missionaries which is awesome. He´s pretty good and is making me do and try new things like door approaches and setting appointments up in Dutch. I feel like my Dutch is improving but at he cost of me being very quiet right now. 

Holland was awesome when we arrived! As soon as we got there some of the missionaries took our luggage and the rest of our district had to ride the train to the office. While we were on the train I brought a Dutch book of Mormon with me and someone kept looking at it so President Bunnell asked if we could practice teaching her about the Book of Mormon and so I had to teach an impromptu lesson and place a Book Of Mormon.!!! That First day is a blur after that. I was soooooo jet lagged that I got in bed at 9 and slept all the way to 6:30. Best Sleep Ever!!!! However, my area, Den Bosch, isn't really like Holland. It´s got less canals and  less fields of flowers and stuff. It looks mostly like any place in England which sucks. 

My AREA!!! Okay, I gather from what Elder Clement says and what I hear from other missionaries that Den Bosch is probably the worst area. However, me and Elder Clement are sorta trying to solve that. We´re trying to come up with a plan for the Ward Mission Leader and we're really trying to find new ways to work in he area. Since we´re white washing (it means that two new missionaries get put into an area rather than only one.) it´s pretty hard to teach since we have a lot of things to organize but it´s alright, after Tuesday we should have a lot more time to start teaching. However, we've taught a few lessons and they've been pretty good. However, I think it´ll take a while for me and Elder Clement to to get used to teaching together but it´s fine! 

The Conference was awesome but we didn't get to see Elder Holland because we were in an interview with the bishop trying to sort out our plan of action for the ward. Can you send it to me sometime so I can maybe read it next P day or something???? Thanks. 

That´s great about Zack!!!!!! if you can, tell him I miss him and that it´s great he´s gotten baptized. Say I wish I could be there!!

OK, Tell Adriana I´m sorry I can´t reply but I´m supposed to reply to President Bunnel along with all the other emails and we´ve only got an hour every week. See if you can every who wants to talk to me send letters because then I can try replying during the week.

Okay, I love you all and I miss you like crazy. 

Love from Elder Serra

First photo of a Windmill! 

Before he got his "In Mission Call"

His "In Mission Call"

First Photo of a Canal

Ready to go to his new Home!

New flat!


Email from sister Bunnell:

Dear Parents of Elder Serra,

Your son arrived Tuesday the 29th of September with a smile and eagerness in his step.
We are delighted to receive him as one of our new missionaries here in the Belgium/Netherlands mission. We will do all we can to love and help him fulfill his call from the Lord to be that valiant servant.
His companion is Elder Clement and he will serve in the city of Den Bosch.
I am sending a few shots of him at the airport,with his companion and with President and me.
Thanks for preparing him to serve the Lord.
Sister Bunnell

His new companion Elder Clement

President Bunnell and Sister Bunnell with Elder Serra

The whole group

Very well fed I would say!

All safe at The Netherlands


Hey Family!!!!!

Ok so, the flight stuff. So on Monday we have the flight at 4:55 pm here in Salt Lake and it's a ten hour flight direct to Amsterdam. We arrive in Amsterdam at 10:55 am Amsterdam time. I'm calling you from Salt Lake Airport any time between 1pm and 4pm on that Monday, I think that's during the night for you guys. I guess if she (Elder Ord's Mum) wants then yeah sure. :P. I had to spend quite a lot to dry clean my suits so you'll need to add a bit more than you thought. Yeah, everyone in the district is travelling at the same time so it'll be great. 

Ok news. 
So over the last 5 weeks we've had cleaning assignments throughout the MTC and we clean the Gym on a Monday and another building on a Saturday and it's awesome. So in the Gym we started out with a girl called Megan as the cleaning leader person and she was great and she's actually arriving in the MTC today which is great coz she was so much fun... time to get emails you know ;) then a new girl called Sharon became the Leader and she is literally the most fun person, we see her most of the time when we go to Gym and she's hilarious and for our last cleaning assigment on Monday she's bringing donut! ;) Then in the other building there's a girl called Morgan and Morgan is engaged to a returned missionary and she's so awesome. Usually there's not enough cleaning to go around for everyone in the District and Morgan always picks me and Johnson to take a break and talk to her. And she's the most spiritual beast ever. I'll see if I can send you a link to her blog and you'll see, it's the best thing ever. So it was really sad having to talk about our last time cleaning with them but it was really fun ;)  

Now, Best experience of the week!
On Monday our other teachers Sister Schwab and Brother Wells were like 'Do you guys want to go do your investigator lessons in a two way glass room?' and were like YEAH!!! it was so fun. you get to watch people teach on the other side and you can evaluate them without them knowing. So a bit of Background! (I'll send you pictures of all these people later) So Sister Schwab is our teacher but she acts the part of Sam who's one of the other investigators we "teach" the same way Brother Klippel acts like Michael. So Sam has a problem with smoking and that's what we were trying to follow up on in this lesson, because we committed her to stop smoking the lesson before. So anyways, Elder Ord's Companionship goes in and teaches and it's great and then it's our turn. So we go in and we forget about whether or not they're watching and we just get teaching. So Sam tells us that she stopped for a few days but that she smoked like 5 times. At this point in the MTC experience, me and Elder Johnson are emotionally and spiritually invested in these "investigators" so when she says that we die inside and we go stern and tell her to try harder and that it's not just for the near future but it's for her eternal salvation and we really lay down the law as gently as we can. Then we teach her about having and exercising faith and that is what she needs as she tried to quit. So we finish and we come out of the lesson and later Sister Schwab was like "that was awesome... like you guys made me feel bad about smoking and I don't even smoke! You boys are really good at following up on commitments" and it was great. Afterwards, even though we weren't really supposed to teach her again before we left she's changed the schedule so that we can teach her again and it's just great!!!! My teachers are soooooo awesome, and I'll send pictures later about them. 

Adriana, I gained a few kilos which I'll drop in like 2 weeks with all the biking I'll have going on so aaha ;) 

Dad, I'll check out the talk later today and see if I can drop some comments for you, thanks for everything you guys are doing ;)

Some of the Teachers in the MTC: 

Goodbye America!!

Flight information

Love and miss you a lot!
Elder Serra!!


Hey Fam!!!

So this week I actually wrote down the things I wanted to say before I got here so it should be easier to write. First of all: I was wondering if you guys can send the missionaries to Britt's house. This week I've been really feeling that she'll listen if she speaks to the missionaries. Send the sisters there whenever you can. ALSO, send the new elders to speak to Daniel, (our sorta cousin). I read a scripture this week in 2 Nephi 2:8 and it really hit me that it is soooo important for them to know about this gospel.

Next thing, I forgot to tell you last week that me and Elder Johnson found out how to put EFY music on in the classrooms so we're having a ball when we have personal study and planning sessions. Planning sessions are 30 minutes long and we plan what we want to study. In personal and companion study we study for the lessons we're going to teach and we study how to better teach and then in Language study we learn grammar and things like that. 

Ok, On thursday we had lesson with Michael (Brother Klippel) and we made sure that we really showed our love and at the end, the teacher broke character and told us that it was such a good lesson and that he loved that we treated our investigators the way missionaries should and that we really were progressing. It's mostly because we've gotten really good at testifying of what we know. It was such a great lesson and it really helped us feel like we were on the right track. 

Then, (here's the funny experience) we had lesson with one of our other investigators Sam and we decided to commit her to stop smoking and to Baptism. HOWEVER, the word for baptism is "doop" and the word for death is "dood" and they sound pretty similar. SOOOOO, as it turns out I commited her to become dead rather than baptised at which point Johnson was like "DOOP, DOOP, NIET DOOD" and we had really good laugh about that :P oh well, at least she said that she's going to be baptised ;) 

Then that same day I got a 2 packages. One from Elder O'loughlin's family with a big old package of Swedish fish!!! BEST SWEETS EVER!!! and then someone called Samantha Marinho sent me a whole bunch of cupcakes. Could you find out who they are? :P 

When you sent me the Character of Christ talk, I was really happy because it's like my favourite talk (I heard it on my first Sunday in Movie Night when they show the Apostles speaking at the MTC in past devotionals) However, there were 8 letters so I thought that a lot of people had written me.... I died a little inside ;) but thanks for that talk, we tried to find a written version but found none anywhere. 

Now, a great experience this week! On Sunday we have a devotional and we had one of the directors of the MTC speak about the Holy Ghost and he would pick missionaries of the audience to share experiences with everyone. I really wanted to go up and at the last moment he picks me to be the last one to share. So I go up and share the experience that I shared with you last week. And it was great. And the bit that really makes me feel great is that people have been coming up to me since to say thanks for my experience!!!! it was great!!!

Now last thing that happened this week. Last night we had a devotional again but we have 1:30 to share what we thought about it afterwards with our District. However, after about 45 minutes, it sort of turned into a spiritual testimony bonding meeting and everyone just shared testimony and the whole time, I felt myself grow stronger in Spirit and it was amazing. 

Ok, Dutch Testimony.

Ik weet dat deze kerk waar is en dat als wij het evangelie volgen, wij kunnen tot God terugkeren. Ik weet dat Joseph Smith is een profeet van God en dat hij het Boek van Mormon is de woord van God. Ik voel de Geest als Ik het Boek van Mormon lezen and als Ik bidt en vrag God over mijn leven en mijn vragen. Ik weet dat wij kunnen antwoord ontvangen door gebet. Ik weet dat wat Ik schriff is de waarheid en dat Ik weet dar voor mijnselve. 

It's hard to write in Dutch so I'll leave it at that ;) 

Ok, to individuals ;)

Mum: Read 2 Nephi 22:2 ;)

Dad: Read your emails in a second ;)

Adriana: it's great that you're going on a Mission, start preparing now ;) Read DC 4 over and over until you understand it better than you understand how to bake ;)

Joana: I really miss your dancing....... don't tell anyone I said that ;)

Hugo, I'm going to send you some Swedish fish, I hope you get addicted ;)

Till next week ;)

Love, Elder Serra

Thank you Sam!! 

Thank you Elder O'loughlin Family!!

At the Devotional??

Elder Serra and Elder Jonhson


Hey Mum!!!!

Ok, to answer your questions:

Elder Johnson is from Salt Lake City and I think that's as much as I should say over the internet.
Dutch is going pretty good. I've started naturally pronouncing English words with a Dutch accent and yesterday me and Elder Johnson taught a 1 hour discussion with an investigator. It's not a real investigator but it was still a great lesson.
The most spiritual experience was this:

So on Thursday last week we had three lessons to teach. The first two went great and those are the ones that get evaluated every week so they can tell us how to improve. We taught two members but they both said we brought the spirit into the lesson and that we taught with good Dutch so we did great on those. Then we both had a great lunch and we thought the day couldn't get better. Then we got into lessons. Brother Klippel is our teacher and mum, he's one of the best people I know, I'll send some pictures next week(promise). Well, anyways, we got in lesson and Brother Klippel is one of the three investigator we deal with. He acts like someone he taught on his mission so the reactions and questions that happen in the lesson are pretty real (plus he's a great actor) so in lesson he talks about the investigator and gets us to think about what this investigator needs and whether we've thought about them like an investigator not a practice. Me and Elder Johnson realized we hadn't and were freaking out. On that day there were 2 other companion-ships that were teaching him. When the first one came out they were in there for 35 minutes and they said it went great. The next one spent 45 minutes in there and said that it went great but that they're Dutch sucked. Me and Elder Johnson decided to take a few minutes and go pray for some guidance in the lesson. I don't think I've said that many prayers that were as sincere as that one was. And so we got in there. I don't really know how but I started speaking and bearing testimony and every time I handed it off to Elder Johnson he wouldn't know what to say because the Spirit wouldn't let him, physically, and it would make me speak again and I started crying and I made the investigator tear up and I don't really remember a lot of what I said but when we finished and walked out, Brother Klippel broke character and got us back in and said "Well Done, he's got it, he knows how important this is for him and how much you love him" I've never been guided by the Spirit much but that was the first time that I was really an instrument in the Lord's Hands!!! It was the best feeling I had in the MTC.

Anyways, other things that happened, I'm addicted to a sweet from America called Swedish Fish! 
I saw an Elder Holland talk about Opening My Mouth and it really made me think about how much I was willing to open my mouth and speak to strangers but I am now!  Yeah, I'm really happy at the MTC and I can't wait to get out there. I'm also getting sorta fat but not really (yeah, I've gained weight) but it's okay because I'll be cycling for 2 years ;) Also, I'm like amazing at football around here but they wreck me at basketball every time! Oh right, I forgot last week to tell you, here at the MTC there is an Elder Mitchell who's from the Norwich Stake. I know him but you don't, ask Adriana or Christie, They'll know who I'm talking about. He's great and it's good to see people around. I'm going to the temple today as I have done the last 3 weeks and it's great there. I'll show you pictures of every one there ;) Last thing, if you do end up finding Elder Johnson's Mum send her this from me:

"Hey Elder Johnson's Mum!
I just want you know you raised the best son ever (exept for my mum but you know)! But seriously, he's like my rock here in the MTC and I really couldn't ask for a better companion. Sometimes we see other companion-ships arguing over trivial things and we say we're glad to have each other but I want you know (I can't let him know because I'm a man you know ;)) that he's the most amazing person I know, his faith is sooo strong it blows me away when he bears testimony in lessons. thanks for whatever you did with him :)
From Elder Serra"

Ok that's it for this week, I'll see you next week. love you all!

Elder Serra


Dear all,

Okay, Sorry I didn't really put much information on what's happened over here but I honestly don't have a lot of time but I'll try harder ;)

Well, this week has been so eventful that I barely know where to start!! Okay, well, on Thursday me and my companion where about to commit our 'investigator' to baptism when we found out our time with her was over. Oh well, we learned a lot though!! We then however got 2 new investigator that we're supposed to teach at the same time. They're Sam and Michael and we have to do it all in Dutch. On the day we got them we decided to go into the lessons with a script, just with a lesson plan and see how much Dutch we knew and so we spent all day Thursday planning for those lessons!! that was probably the hardest but most rewarding day we had here at the MTC. And the Most important thing to me specifically happened. It was the biggest testimony builder that I ever had. Read 1 John 4:7-21 some time...... It is now my favorite scripture. Later on Friday we decided to have a District Devotional and it was so spiritual it killed. Elder Ord shared a scripture and we all talked about our favorite scriptures and it was amazing!!! Right, My District!!! There's eleven of Us:

Elder Johnson (My companion/best guy I know)
Elder Ord (The funny one)
Elder Stanworth (the Muscle)
Elder O'loughlin, Elder Torrie and Elder Mostaler (The Brains)
Elder Meister (The District Leader)
Elder Needham and Elder Brunner( the Blond Pretty Boys)

Honestly mum, I couldn't have asked for a better district, these guys are amazing they're all from America except Elder Meister who's from Canada!!! I'll say more about them next week!! 

So on Sunday we got to go on a Sunday walk and I took way to many pictures just for you ;) it's beautiful and there's SOOOOOOOO many missionaries around the Place. Then we had a devotional with a Seventy, like we do every Sunday, and it was pretty GREAT!!! Then on Monday we taught our lesson and used that John scripture and it killed, it was amazing., or at least amazing for an unscripted broken Dutch lesson. Then we had a teacher teach us how to role play and we had such a good role play with another companion ship so me and Elder Johnson are having the best time teaching. Then yesterday we had Elder Oaks of the 12 speaking... HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!!!!!!!!! it was amazing. Also yesterday morning I had to give Elder Johnson a blessing cos he wasn't feeling too well but he's fine now ;) Ok, Last thing.... This morning there was a fire in our building!!!!! it's all fine but someone left and bagel in the microwave and went to the toilet but it's all good now!!!!

Love you a lot and I promise I'll get better at replying!!!! Love you!!!!!!
Elder Serra


Dear all, 

It is so busy in here and the schedule is soooooo tight but I'm loving it. I love that Hugo is missing me (as well he should) and tell him I love him. Ok, Because I have not time right now, I'll just tell you what the MTC is like.

There's sooooo many people here it's crazy. Everyone is always studying a language or teaching investigators or bearing their testimony to other missionaries in their Mission Language so it's really fun. I don't have time to put pictures up or to even look at the ones you've put up. I love my District here, they're all amazing. Elder Johnson, my companion is amazing, he makes me work really hard. The cafeteria serves some good food but yesterday we found a different cafeteria stand with AMAZING FOOD!!!! so I'm all good there. Right, teaching! So on our second day in we began to teach our investigator Henrike who  is a native Dutch Speaker and so our lessons are all in Dutch. On our first lesson we were too stunned at the fact that we gave a lesson to realize it but we didn't really start teaching him the right thing. The Spirit didn't want us to teach about the Plan of Salvation but we only really found that out when we decided on Monday to teach about the Restoration. Mother, the Spirit was soooo strong it was ridiculous!!!!!!!! and so yeah, that brings us up to today. Next week I'll go through everything that happens but today we lost some of our email time because we had to meet one of the District Presidents (nothing bad, don't worry ;)) ok well, love you all lotssssssssss

See you next week!
Elder Serra

So, on 21/08/2015 Elder Serra wrote his first email after arriving at the Provo MTC:

Yeah, sorry I haven't been able to reply until now since we're not allowed to reply until we've met with out branch president! I'm doing great! That's great that Hugo's finally lost another tooth, pay him well for that. My companion is called Elder Johnson and he's great, he's like proper blonde! We've been in classes like non-stop since I got here and I've learnt sooooo much, the Spirit is so strong in the place, it's ridiculous. Tomorrow I'm teaching my first investigator in Dutch with Elder Johnson (and yes, I know enough Dutch for that, how crazy) I'll tell you how it goes next week. Yeah, I have 10 other elders in my district and they're great. One of them is called Elder Ord and his birthday is next week (he turns 19) and I was wondering if you could make him a small cake with his name and the number 19 on it and then overnight it to me so we can make his birthday special that'd be great. Right, I've taken a few pictures but I don't have time right now, my P-day is on Wednesday so I'll do it then. Right, message you next week.
Elder Serra

Elder Serra with Elder Johnson

 The Netherlands!

His District

On the 19th he arrived at the SLC airport and some friends were very kind to pick him up and take care of him until he entered the Provo MTC (Thank you so much! Again... again... and again...):

Special friends that went to pick him up at the airport

On the 18th of August, Elder left his family and friends in England to go to the Provo MTC: