Monday, February 29, 2016

Hey Guys!!!

So on Monday we had a great dinner appointment and also we taught in their family home evening. It was great and the kids were really still as Elder Shaw read from the Liahona in a very calm story-reading voice. Then we had Timo´s baptismal interview were I hear from Elder Crowder he passed with flying colors. 

Tuesday we Had a nice lesson and knocked doors. Pretty boring but in a way fulfilling. 

Then on Wednesday I had to go to Den Haag to figure some legal stuff for the office at which point both of our teaching appointments cancelled on us. We then proceeded to knock doors... for 5 hours.... yeah... My feet were pretty tired. However, we found some great potentials and me and Elder Shaw always make it fun. 

Thursday we had exchanges and me and Elder Crowder stayed here in Den Bosch. Then another 2 appointments cancelled on us... you can see where this is going. ;) 

On Friday we had to help the Zone Leaders out by going to Breda. But there were some problems so we had to wait in Breda for quite a while. However, we got to do weekly planning in a train station and that was a fun experience. Then we had a GREAT Joint Teach with Timo where the Bishop and his wife were great. Her and Timo shared some great experiences they had with the Spirit and it was a great last lesson. 

Then on Saturday we had...... TIMO´S BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it was GREAT!!!!!!! It didn't go as smoothly as it could have but Timo loved it and it was great!!! Then later that day another lesson cancelled. Then on Sunday we had his confirmation and again it was such a great Spirit that we could feel there. Also, his parents came and it was great to spend time with them and to see them be as happy for Timo as we were. 

Now, the week doesn´t really sound so bad. As a matter of fact, with a baptism how could any week be bad!? However, it was the feeling of it. The whole week me and Elder Shaw could feel Satan trying to try us as best as possible. The appointments were just one part of it. I could barely sleep this past week and same for Elder Shaw. We got to the end of church on Sunday after we had worked out everything and we felt such a load come off our backs. And we realised that he´d been trying his hardest to pull down our spirits and make this week... one of the best I´ve ever had... become also the hardest. However!!!! I can´t explain how happy I am for Timo!! Just seeing him get baptised and then later confirmed was one of the greatest blessings that I´ve experienced in my life. 

Elder Serra

A few cool missionaries!! 

Elder Gleave, award for my funniest exchange!!

 Elder Stanworth, you know all about him!

 Elder Thom who´s going home this transfer and will forever be known as the missionary with the best leaving speec... EVER!!!

I cut Elder Shaw´s hair..... too short... he now looks polish :(

Timo!!!!!!!!!  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture in his white clothes!!   I was busy making sure everything was getting done... sorry... :(

And Elder Crowder cleaning up the font after the baptism.

Hey Guys!!!

Well this week was great. It started on Monday when we taught an investigator that turned up in Church last week. Her name´s Loveth and she comes from Nigeria. We taught her about the Restoration and about where the Book of Mormon came from. When she understood where it came from she said hat it made so much sense and hat she couldn´t wait to read it (well actually she can´t read to well so we just showed her the app and told her to listen to it. We´re meeting her again on Wednesday so hopefully she will seem positive. 

On Tuesday we had a very normal day and a great dinner appointment where we got to see one of the members reading the Book of Mormon to his children and it was great!! 

On Wednesday we had Zone Conference. And it was great!!! I learnt soo much about how to follow the Spirit but also how about my capabilities as a missionary. I realized that although I can always improve, I have come a long way and I´m glad that I have to opportunity to grow further. That night we were able to teach a part member family. The missionaries have been going there for years but they don´t come to church a lot even though they believe in Christ and in the Church. So I got them to talk a little bit about their testimonies and about what they believed. And then  really felt the Spirit guiding me to what I should say. I testified that although Heavenly Father had blessed them with a knowledge that the Church was true, there was more light to be received and that the first step was to come to Church. They then said they would try. Bu I felt like hat wasn't a good enough answer and using the pen trick that Elder Bonner showed us in Zone Training I got to commit and they came!!!!! It was so great when we saw them in Church. And it was great to see the ward just rally to go and talk to them and make them feel welcome. 

Anyways, then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday we just went about normal business. Sunday We had some great lessons in church and it was a great end to a great week. 

Elder Serra

Here´s a few pictures of me and Elder Johnson!! We got to see each other at Zone Conference!!!

Also, How crazy is it that I hit my 6 month mark last Thursday!!!!!!!!! Time it´s just flying by!!!!!!! 
Me burning a "tie" for my 6 month mark!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hey Guys!!!

Well, this week has been sooo busy! It started on Monday when we ended up having to do service for the members we were going to spend P-day with. We had to help them save their hay for the horses they have. Apparently Hay can´t wet or it gets ruined? Anyways, that was an interesting P-day.

On Tuesday we had a really busy day. We ended up teaching 3 lessons and one inactive all the while spending the rest of the day on a bus or train. However, it was great day and it was great to be teaching so much. On Wednesday it was mostly the same except a lesson fell through which wasn't great but we kept going. 

Thursday and Friday were pretty normal days. On Friday we went to Timo and worked out a few more details for his baptism. We then taught him the importance of Sacrament. He then proceeded to tell us how he "did" sacrament. And I was amazed. He said he uses the time for the bread to think of Christ and what He did for us. To think of how grateful he is for His sacrifice for us and how it affects his life. He then uses the time for the water to ask Heavenly Father what it is that he can do better. To apologise for his mistakes in the last week and to ask Heavenly Father how he would be able to improve. He then said that he did that because the sacrament wasn´t for Christ. It was a gift to us and we should use it to better ourselves. We should use the gift of the sacrament to show how grateful we are for his sacrifice and we do this by trying to use it to become more like Him. I was gobsmacked. Here was a 20 year old who had been investigating the church for 7 months in total and he understood the sacrament better than some members of the church. He understands the sacrament, in some ways, better than me. I decided then and there to take the sacrament more seriously. Timo went from just being a great example of an investigator making a change to a great example of a disciple of Christ making a change. Timo has had that change of heart and I´m immensely glad that I have been here to see it happen. 

Sunday ended up being a great day. We had a great service and we had a new investigator just turn up. We have never seen her before but she just wanted to learn more about the church and now we have an appt. for this week so that was awesome. We then also found a new potential investigator who, after the contact,  winked at Elder Shaw. Yeah, he was pretty happy!!! 

Anyways, Lovess  
Elder Serra

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hey Famalam!!

Well this week has been pretty... interesting!!

Monday it started with some shopping around because I was starting to run out of clothes and Elder Shaw loves shopping... Not the most interesting but I now have a new jacket and shoes that make me look baller!! (That'means I look flippin' awesome)!!! 

Tuesday, we had no appointments so we decided to make it a finding day which means we knocked a lot of doors and taked to a lot of people. We ended up finding this street where we found 4 potentials one after another and made 2 teaching appointments. It was one of those days where you feel like you've really worked hard and been recompensed for it. It was also one of the days where me and Elder Shaw had a lot of time to talk to each other so it was great. Got to talk a lot about some pretty cool things and it was a day of companionship bonding.. or whatever you want to call it. 

Wednesday nothing much happened. Talked to a few people, looked up a few former investigators of ours and we had a hard working day. 

Thursday we had a great day with a great dinner appointment and with a lesson at the end of the day. It was with a very difficult investigator that we have who is doing all that he should, he keeps all of our commitments but he's still having trouble. However, we realized that he hasn't really been living the commandments which we feel maybe be hindering his ability of feeling the Spirit. So we've decided to start teaching him the fourth lesson and we hope that will help but we'll have to see. 

Friday and Saturday were the days were we taught Timo. Timo is progressing great!! We finally set his baptismal date, time and place with his parents and we've started to plan everything else for the baptism. Everytime we have a lesson with him, he's so willing to change and become a better disciple of Christ, I can't wait to see him grow in the church. 

Then Sunday was a pretty normal day. The only thing that's been hard this week was Carnival. Carnival here in Den Bosch is actually the biggest social event of the year for everyone basically. It's almost as if it's a celebration of beer. It is by far the craziest thing I've ever seen. Everyone dresses up and then just drinks. All night and all day from Friday to the following Tuesday. It made it really hard to work towards the latter part of the last few days because everyone at the door is busy getting ready to go and party. But I'm still pretty upbeat about the work we can do in this area regardeless which is great.

Ok, Well Love yous Guys
Elder Serra

Also, today I (Elder Serra's mum) received a fantastic email from Henk van Dam, a member from DenBosh, saying:

Dear brother and sister Serra,

Your son is at this time in our ward working and serving the Lord.
I like to thank you for all your efforts and preparing your son for this holy work. We enjoy his work and attitude.
This week was the second time he was visiting us and eat (all) our food, hahaha.
He is a good missionary and you can be proud and happy with a son like Elder Serra.
My wife an I wish you all the best.
See the attached 2 pictures.

Kind Regards,

Henk van Dam

At the Henk van Dam's house

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hey Famalam!

Well, this week has been great! We found a new investigator that used to be taught by the missionaries a long time ago except he´d been dropped by them because he hadn't been progressing. However, when we talked to him he was so ready to start making a goal towards baptism and he´s such a great guy. His name is Mano and he´s 67. He´s a pretty lively man who loves animal programs and has a big heart. I can already see that he´s willing to make a commitment and that makes me so happy. 

Anyways, something I started to realise this week as I´ve been working is that I have gained now such a deep knowledge of how to overcome trials. I have learned to rely on the Lord. I now know what I need to do to overcome my trials. I know that I need to refocus on the Atonement every time. If I´m having a hard time then that is because the Lord wants me to be become better that I currently am. That means I need the Atonement. I need to use it to become someone that is able to handle the trial. I also need to focus on my motivation. It´s all well and good to know that I need to use the Atonement but if I don´t want to become someone better, then I´m much less likely to use it´s enabling power. So I look at who I love. My family, my friends, my companions and my Savior. I gain strength to be better because I want to be better for them. And then I pray. I pray a ton. I pray to Him as if it all depends on Him. As if the outcome of my situation is in His hands. And then I work. I work a butt-load. I work as if the only way to succeed is by my own efforts, all the while remembering the One who gave me this ability to work. 
The trial itself isn't hard. If you were better than you currently are, it wouldn't faze you. The steps you take to become better to then face this trial, that´s what gets you. The work you do to better the person you are, that´s what takes effort, and that´s the real trial. 

Sorry but this week, wasn´t too eventful at least, in a way that I can say right now. For the most part we had a lot of appointments that were pretty weird and I think I´ll leave those for some other time. ;)

Love you guys!!!
Elder Serra

Some photos, courtesy of Elder Shaw:

Beautiful on the bus.

Elder Serra now has the award for, "Worst Picture Taken of Me Holding a Cat."

 The city is getting excited for Carnival.

A man in our ward makes knives. Basically the most metal hobby of all time. \m/ Look how cool these things are!