Monday, March 28, 2016

Hey Guys!!!!!

Well, this week has been exciting in a whole different sense. Starting on Monday we had a nice P-day. We had a lesson with an inactive member and he says he's going to start taking the steps towards coming back to church. He's a great guy and I have faith he'll do great now that he's really committed. 

Then Tuesday. That was a day and a half. It started with the call in the morning about Brussels. We didn't realize what had happened but the Zone Leaders told us to just not take any trains and buses which wasn't sooo bad because we had to work in Brugge anyways. However, it was a pretty sad day in terms of contacting. People everywhere wouldn't talk to us because they couldn't believe that a loving God would let something like that happen. However, we ended up talking to a woman who after expressing this 'concern' we talked to her about the agency of men and what a gift for good it could be if only we tried to learn of and live like our Saviour. She was really interested and we have an appointment in a few days. A true testimony that the work of the Lord cannot be stopped even on days like Tuesday. 

Then Wednesday we actually did have the events affect us a bit. We normally go to another city to work on Wednesday but because we weren't allowed to take buses we had to cancel a few lessons. However, that meant we got to get a hold of a lot of potentials here in Brugge so no time wasted I guess.

Thursday was a normal working day were we actually had a really interesting lesson with an old lady that had already read the Book of Mormon and the Bible. She was actually so familiar that she was trying to use the Book of Mormon to say that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are the same. She was brought Catholic. However, to teach, me and Elder Leigh realised that we would need to learn a bit more and then practice how to explain it in Dutch. And it actually made for  a great realization about my knowledge of my Saviour. The reason why it is so difficult for other people to understand the difference between God and Jesus is because there is barely any. We are on this Earth to achieve perfection. Perfection is an attribute that gives us or anyone who has it, a certain look or glory. You look and feel and act different when you are perfect. Both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are perfect. They give off the same glory and to someone without a personal relationship with either of them can easily confuse them. Not only that but to describe perfection in one is to describe perfection in another. They are both so similar that the only difference is that one is the Son of the Other. That one is the Father of our Spirits and the Other the Saviour of our Spirits. We worship them both because of their perfection but we worship One because of the Plan he has made for us to be perfect and the Other because he has made that Plan possible. And so, as when meeting twins, the only way you will come to know who is who is by building a personal relationship with them. 

Well, then on Friday we found out that the Brussels Elders were going to be coming over to work in our city because theirs is too dangerous. So since then it's been pretty fun. We've had the opportunity to really get a lot of work done with contacting different people and getting to a lot of the referrals. 

Well, Then Easter Sunday came around and the funniest part was a dinner appointment we had with a family from Brugge and it was so nice to spend time with them on such a special time of the year. 

Elder Serra

Elder Leigh!!!

Me and Elder Leigh found a beach, it was pretty sick!

Antwerpen and Eindhoven Zones

Hey Guys!!!!!!!

Well, this week has been great, it's been pretty exciting. So it started on Monday when we had a zone p-day in Antwerp which was great because I got to meet the whole zone who all seem awesome! We also ended up talking to a guy on the way back who was pretty interested so we got to set up an appointment with him for this next week. 

On Tuesday we had Zone Conference which actually ended up taking up most of the day but it was a pretty great way of spending the day. I really learned a lot from the Zone Leaders. It actually got me thinking a lot about goals and how I've been going about setting goals for my mission. I realized that I've been going through my mission without a specific goal or goals. I have my purpose and I strive hard to accomplish it but I realized that I wanted more things to come out from my mission than just the accomplishing of my purpose because although that is the minimum we should do as missionaries, I feel like he expects us to improve beyond that. Like Pres. Ballard said “I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”. And so I've decided to try to do that. To come up with so some goals for my mission and try to go further than just the minimum.

On Wednesday we had few appointments fall through but no worries, because we taught a lesson in Arabic! Now, just so you don't assume that the gift of tongues works better in me and Elder Leigh, you have to know that we just had them read the pamphlet and somehow got out of there with a commitment to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. However, it was a pretty funny experience for us.

Thursday and Friday were just normal working days. Saturday we went on splits with 2 members and taught a few lessons. I went to teach to of our investigators who both come from the Philippine and guess what?! We got to baptismal dates so were really great and said they would be willing to make the goal to get baptized. So that just brightened our day right up. 

On Sunday we also had a pretty normal day. We were expecting a few investigators but they didn't come which sucked. However, both of the Philippine investigators said yes to coming next week so hopefully we'll see them then.

Elder Serra

Monday, March 14, 2016

Hey Guys!!!!

Okay, well, this week has been EXCITING!!!!!! Let´s start at the beginning.

On Monday after I emailed me and Elder Shaw had to go get the bike lock on my bike because I lost the key... yeah, learning responsibility on your mission is hard. So anyways, we get the lock broken and then we go tot say goodbye to one of my favorite families, the Van Dam Family (Pictures below) and they´re awesome. It was really sad to say goodbye to them because they really were great. I can´t wait to come back here after my mission and visit them though! 

Then on Tuesday I had dinner with another amazing family, the Noot Family who are also amazing!! The dad of the family makes knifes as a hobby so we went and ninja chopped some bottles with his biggest knifes.... it was awesome!!!!! It also happened to be their little boys birthday so the whole family was around. Anyways, someone brought the cutest dog ever and I really want one!!!!

Wednesday was HECTIC!!! Wake up and get everything ready then I had to get a train to Eindhoven then wait an hour and ride all the way to Dordrecht then wait 20 mins and then take a ride from there to Antwerpen and another hour wait till I got on a train to Brugge. Just to give you some time parameters, we left Den Bosch at 9:37. I arrived at Brugge with Elder Leigh at 16:29.... And that was just to Brugge. The bus ride to our apartment is 20 mins plus we missed the first bus so... We started working at 6pm! However, it didn´t matter because I was in a great city with a great companion! Brugge is great and I have wanted to serve with Elder Leigh for 3 transfers now so I´m a happy duck!! Saying goodbye to Elder Shaw was pretty hard though, he was a great companion and a great friend. I love the guy and I hope I get to see him before he goes home in June. That´s still a while away so it´s okay. 

Well, then Thursday and Friday we worked a lot and had a lot of fun. People here speak Dutch but it´s a different accent. Flemish is what that´s called. so rather than two languages put together (Dutch and French) it´s more like Ducth with a heavy french accent. Either way, it takes a while to get used to. But, it´s pretty fun. I actually haven´t been in Brugge too much because we work in a lot of other small towns but what I have seen is pretty beautiful. (pictures to come.) 

Then Sunday I met the ward. It´s actually a branch of about 30 people... maximum. However, they were all very friendly and I felt welcomed at once!!!! 

Anyways, that´s it for now!!!!! More news next week!!!!!
Loves, Elder Serra   

Timo´s family!!!! (Timo´s mum is the first woman I´ve hugged on a mission because she´s soooooooo awesome!!!!)

Last picture with Timo!!! :(

Family Klevers!! They´re awesome!!!

Family Van Dam.... It wasn´t her best day but look at that guy´s hair!!

Last picture with Harry Van de Sande, best missionary I know!!!!!

Pictures of the Den Bosch Dragon. I was living next to it for 5 months and never took a picture :P

Cutest dog ever!!!!!

The first spot were I contacted someone on the street in Den Bosch. 

Elder Leigh looking fab!!!!

Some cool buildings in Brugge!!!!!!

The bell tower in the centre of town!!! It´s huge!!!!!!

Me with the funniest dressed lady in Brugge! Not really, she´s someone we do service for but she does dress pretty weird :P

Hey Guys!!

Well, the calls have come in and I will be............ GOING TO BRUGGE IN BELGIUM!!!!!! My first actual transfer!! My new companion is Elder Leigh who is a great guy. He was in my first District once I came into the mission and he´s such a great guy, I just love him to death so this will be a great transfer. I´m so excited that I get to serve with him in such a great place. 

Okay, so a breakdown of the week:

It started great on Monday were we had a lesson with a new investigator called Bao. She´s from Vietnam and she speaks.... a lot. But we had a great first lesson and she was still interested so we made a new appointment for following Thursday. That was a pretty good day considering it was P-day but we still got to teach a lesson! 
Tuesday we had 3 lessons planned and District meeting so it was going to be a great day. 

Tuesday we went to district meeting where we were surprised by our District Leader, Elder Crowder, with some confetti as congratulations for Timo´s baptism. We took it very humbly ;) Then we had to go to our lessons. However, we had to wait for an hour and half for the first lesson since he forgot we had one. And the other two weren't home... But we found some cool people knocking doors so that worked out great.

Wednesday was a normal day. We worked in a small village that day where there were a lot of rich houses. We didn't find a lot of people but we worked for a long time and that´s always satisfying. 

Thursday we taught the inactive family that came to church a few weeks ago and they´re preparing they´re daughter for baptism which is great. Hopefully it will get them to try to be more active. 

Friday was dinner with Timo's family!!!!!!! It was such a great appointment. Elder Shaw is a great cook and so is Timo's dad so the two of them made dinner while me, Timo and his mum played cards. However, the cards were massive... like big, big cards so it made for a funny game. Afterwards we actually got to share with them a spiritual message and they liked it so much that both me and Elder Shaw got a hug from his parents!!!! If you knew his parents, you´d understand why it´s so special for me and Elder Shaw that they like us.

Saturday we got calls and I found out I was going to Brugge!!!

Sunday was my last Sunday in Den Bosch and it was actually really sad. I've been here so long that it´s become sort of home away from home. I´m going to miss so many people here and I can´t wait to come back to visit!

Sorry, I forgot my camera, so no photos this week, but I´ll email it all on Monday ;)

Well, that´s it for this week!!
I´ll tell you more next week!!
Loves, Elder Serra

Since there was no photos, I just googled some!