Monday, January 25, 2016

Hey Guys!!

Well, Surprise!! I´m staying in Den Bosch!. Well, I got to say, it took a bit of adjusting. I was so convinced that I was going to be transferred that when I found out we where staying it shocked me so bad. But I get to stay here with Elder Shaw and I get to see Timo get baptised and I get to work with some awesome people that me and Elder Shaw have found this transfer. So I´m expecting some big things this transfer. 

Well, on Tuesday we had 2 appointments fall through, plus a dinner appointment so actually it was a pretty bad day on paper. But I remember that day as a day where I felt complete and satisfied. I had done missionary work and that felt great. It´s got to do a lot with the fact that I´ve started to get this prolonged perspective that I´m working with Heavenly Father. It doesn´t matter what happens, I´m on his team and that´s the right team so why be troubled right?

On Wednesday we had a interviews and I´m glad we got to do that. I spoke to president and it was awesome to just talk about my growth as a missionary.  I know that the decision for me to stay here in Den Bosch is inspired and I´m glad I have this chance. 

On Thursday I actually saw something funny. As we were studying in the morning I saw a drug deal go down.... so that´s fun. 

From Friday to Sunday that prolonged perspective (that I´m working with Heavenly Father) was tested as 5 more appointments fell through and as more people that we wanted to look up weren't home. However, I saw the fruits of persistence on Sunday. We gave Theo, that old member of the ward a blessing. He was a bit ill and had a cold and he didn't look too great when we got in there. After the blessing though we saw just perk up and him becoming more and more full of energy and his voice didn't sound so scratchy. By the time he saw us to the door, he was doing great. Then we went to look someone up who let us right in and after we´d talked for a bit let us end with a prayer. I said it and afterward she said "I liked that. That gave me a very good feeling." and it was so great to see that she was able to recognize the Spirit working in her. So, a lot of appointments fell through. But I would go through one of these weeks all over to have those two miracles happen again.

Well, that was about it for this week.
Elder Serra

Some photos from Elder Shaw's Blog (with the usual silly faces!!! And a photo from the mission blog (Elder Serra still doesn't have a camera... - of even if he did... ;) 

Tho hanthom!

Elder Serra and the captain.

Eindhoven Zone Conference

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Hey Guys!!!!

So, on Monday we went and were present at this Catholic "Discussion" which was talking about why Catholics worship saints. Not saying that they´re wrong or that they´re misguided but it was a nice confirmation for me that the gospel is true and that Catholics be crazy. Very nice people, but just slightly... off. The church is so true that it´s impossible to deny, especially when you hear about what the natural man has come up with to replace it. But, they were definitely nice people doing their best to follow Christ and that was something to admire.

On Tuesday we had Zone training which was great and really made me see where I can improve myself in terms of my teaching skills. Also, it made me realise that it doesn´t matter if I´m a good teacher if I can´t communicate with the people so I´ve decided to take a new and improved approach to Language study. (Thanks to Sister Bunnell and her comments).

Then the rest of the week just sorta went by. Nothing incredibly exciting. We taught a few lessons and found a few people. I guess the most exciting thing was finding that student housing is a gold mine for knocking doors. But besides that, nothing too exciting. But I feel like that´s what a mission is like. Every day isn´t a monumental spiritual moment. Sure, you get PLENTY of those, but for the most part you´re here to help others grow and not to look for moments like that in yourself. So you suddenly realize that you can´t think of anything excititng because you´ve gotten lost in the work. You´re just out there doing it and it feels great but nothing monumental happens. Juts very normal days that go by so quick because you´re doing the Lord´s work and you don´t even realize how fast it´s going. Because nothing monumental happened this week, it´s probably been the fastest week of my mission.

Anyways, that was my rumble this week.

See you next week

Elder Serra

Zone Conference (photos by Renata Verboeket)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hey Guys!!!!!

Well this week has been pretty exciting. It started out great on Monday and Tuesday with a great lesson on Monday and District Meeting on Tuesday. Just to let you guys know that Elder Crowder is just rocking it!! Even though this is his first transfer as a District Leader, he´s just great, he´s just such a great missionary and I really know I can trust him in anything. 

On Wednesday though we found out that Timo couldn't get baptized on the 23rd and it´s moved to the 27th of Feb, which sorta sucks but he´s so awesome that I doubt he´s not going to be baptized so I´m just a bit sad that it´s not this transfer and I may not watch it happening, but as long he gets baptized I´m happy. On Thursday we had a great exchange with the DL and I was with Elder Jones. In the morning I got to study in the Eindhoven apartment and it´s great because that place is just so peaceful and I received so much revelation and I felt so guided coming out of that study. I felt like I had a lot of goals for what I want to achieve in this transfer and I really felt the Spirit guiding my studies. 

I don't know if it was because of the studies or not but on Friday we had a great day. We taught a new investigator called Femke and it was such a great lesson that it was easy to see that this is the sorta of people that I´m here to find. People who are ready for the gospel and want to learn more. Afterwards we had a lesson with a less active old man called Br. Palmans and he was so nice plus he comes from Groningen which means he has a cool accent. Then we had 2 lessons. One with Timo and another with Annemiek. But Timo, who is so ready, came with us on JOINT TEACH with Annemiek and he was so great!!! Just testifying of everything we said and proper laying down the law about what Annemiek needs to do. That day I went to bed so tired but so content with the work that it was great!! 

This week I´ve really started to realize how much I love this work. Although I especially love Den Bosch, I realize that I want to serve these people so much and I´m so glad I have such a long time to do it. I don´t think I realized how much the work is changing me but I´m definitely not the kid who left almost 5 months ago.

In other news, we locked ourselves out of the apartment (again)... obviously we still had a lesson to learn here... ;)

PS: the camera is acting up. I can take pictures but it keeps deleting pictures that I took a while ago and it´s slowly just eating up all the pictures. Plus it won´t take video anymore..... I think it´s time to get a new one if hat´s okay.

Okay, I think that´s it.

I love you guys!!!!!
See ya later
Elder Serra

Some photos and comments from Elder Shaw:

This is Theo! A wonderful member of the ward. He´s a sweetheart!


Beautiful Boxtel!

Also Boxtel.... But not quite so beautiful

Monday, January 4, 2016


Hey Guys!

Well, this week was great. We started the week wanting to get more working hours which meant we tried to work very hard straight from the start. On Tuesday we had a great day looking people up and making sure to try to find a lot of potentials which was great fun. It gave me and Elder Shaw a lot of time to talk and get to know each other. We really got to talk a lot about what it means to be a missionary and ways in which we could improve. 

On Wednesday we had a lesson with our favorite investigator Timo and it was awesome!!!! He committed to baptism on the 23rd of January which is AWESOME!!!!. I get to see one of my best friends get baptized!!! He´s such a great example of someone who is ready to live the gospel and who is trying his hardest to be better.

On Thursday we had a crazy night full of bangs outside our window and it was so much fun to see how crazy the Dutch people get. It was also great to spend that time getting the area book organised and making goals for this year. I feel like we now have good direction and we´ll be able to work a lot better.  

Then This Sunday I had a great epiphany. As everyone was doing their thing I realised how much I love this ward. I came to this ward at a time where it was having a hard time and over the last two and a half transfers I´ve been able to see it grow and develop. I realised that Den Bosch is my Baby City because it´s the city where I first served but I realise that it is also my baby city, the city that I´ve tried my hardest to make better and that I´ve put a lot of work into. I love this area, despite how hard it was in the beginning, and I´m so glad that I got to work here. Whenever I leave this area, I know that I´m going to miss it a lot. It has been such a growing experience for me. I love this work and I´m so glad I got to see it flourish here in Den Bosch.
Loves Elder Serra

Some pictures and comments form Elder Shaw with his permission... again... since Elder Serra doesn't send photos!!! Glad to have found Elder Shaw's Blog!! (Elder Serra's mum)

Well, I tried to take a picture of the intense fireworks, but you can´t really tell just how nuts they are. Last year in Haarlem was even better, though (Elder Shaw). 

This is how Elder Serra did the dishes when we were required to stay in on New Year's Eve (Elder Shaw).

I seriously can´t get enough fun pictures of this kid!!!(Elder Shaw) 

Hi guys!!

Okay,  the answers to some questions:

Yes, I loved the gifts and they´re hanging all over the apartment!!! I especially loved the ties!!!! I´ll send a little something about them home later.
Yeah, the ward sent me a whole bunch of letters that I just loved reading and if you could tell them that I loved them that would be awesome!!!.

I loved just seeing everyone on Christmas day and just talking, it was extremely fun and a nice boost.

Timo´s lesson on Sunday was great!!!! He´s such a beast and he just ended up bearing testimony again. Can´t wait for that kid to go on a mission!!!!!

So, this week:

So this last week has been pretty difficult. It actually started pretty well with a lesson with a member who´s struggling with his testimony. So you know, he wanted it to be about motivation and we went in and tried to teach how to use the things that he wanted to motivate him and I think that it really helped him. It was such a great lesson and we could feel the spirit so strongly. 

Then on Tuesday we had our first exchange of the transfer. I stayed in Den Bosch with Elder Wilson and it was a great exchange. It was sorta sucky that the two lessons I had set up fell through but we ended up having a great time contacting that day and we found a lot of potentials. It was great to talk to Elder Wilson about the city and everything that´s going on. I think it was the first ever exchange where I felt that it was for a purpose and not just for fun. All of the exchanges I went on when I was Elder Clement´s companion where for him to help the other missionaries get better. But since I had him the rest of the time, I just received that help a lot more often. However, with Elder Wilson, I was really able to analyse myself and how I can better help others in Den Bosch.
On Wednesday, I spent the day on Splits with Elder Crowder and it was great. It was so fun plus we had a great chat about leadership and things you need to do as a leader to help others and it helped me realize that I have a pretty great District Leader. On Christmas Eve we spent some time contacting and looking people up. It wasn't the most exciting day... We then went to a part member family and had a great dinner with them.

On Christmas day we spent some time contacting and looking up members that were alone and giving them a bit of a spiritual boost which made me feel great. We then skyped our families!!!! So I was pretty exciting to skype my family since it´s been a while. It was so great to talk to them and share spiritual experiences as well as funny ones. After we hanged up, it was a nice feeling to have talked to them but also I feel ready to continue working. I was worried that after I spoke to them, that I wouldn't feel up to working or that I´d get trunkie but I felt so great because I had gotten to do something great and fun but I also knew what I was here to do. 

The last thing this week is that I had a bit of an epiphany on Sunday. I was thinking to myself, why is it that this is so much harder than I thought. I've always felt great working and I don´t feel like giving up at all but sometimes I look at what I´m doing and what needs to be done, whether it´s for Den Bosch or for investigators or for members, and I think, Why am I finding it so hard? And I realized that before my mission I had never been in an environment that required me to become better at almost all times. I continually try to improve myself everyday but that´s pretty hard. Not only am I not perfect but I´m also not relatively old by mission standards. However, I still try and I find myself looking at the person I was and thinking that I have changed a lot. I am by far a better person than I was and its great to see that in myself. However, it´s also a humbling and sorta exciting experience to understand that I still have a long time where in can better myself more.

And it's pretty much this week!!

Here's some photos, courtesy and comments of my companion, Elder Shaw:

This is the new companion! Ain´t he a looker! I love this kid! (Elder Shaw's words)

This is Elder Serra jokingly trying to find an uncomfortable position to sleep in.

This is Elder Serra genuinely just tuckered out.

Ain´t he a cutie. I take a lot of pictures of him. He´s very photogenic. (Elder Shaw's words)

Cookies Elder Shaw made. We were on a train to Eindhoven.

Apparently Elder Shaw loves to take pictures with cats!!!!

This last one has a bit of a story. WE locked ourselves out of our apartment. We spent an hour and a little bit more removing the door from it´s hinges with the help of Rudy, our building handyman. After forever we finally got back inside. Yeah, we´ll do better at remembering our keys after that ordeal. Yep. Elder Serra's not happy!!!

Okay, I love you guys!!!!!!!!!

Loves, Elder Serra