This blog is for family and friends who wish to following Trevan as he sacrifices his time and talents to go forth and teach the Gospel in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission for the next two years. Follow him as he grows through experience, challenges and triumphs throughout his mission. May our prayers provide him comfort and protection as he serves the people in his mission and may we all be inspired to be missionaries in our own lives.

Friday, November 28, 2014

November 25 -- We Thought It Would Be Sick Until We Got Sick

Christmas decorations by our apartment
In order to begin each of our teaching points here we talk about the crazy weather in America haha its so mild and warm here.

The transportation was all shut down because it is all run by a system called De Lijn who protested against government taxes being increased so they did it to cripple Antwerpen and Belgium for a day.

We did stuff we needed to around the apartment like weekly planning, area book, and 12 week training but then went and talked to people and ended up getting a lesson with an investigator that made a baptismal date too!

From time to time, missionaries get certain ideas that seem like they will be out of this world amazing. Thus, last Sunday we set up 8 meal appointments and FEASTED this last week. Thursday I was on exchanges with Elder Bosco and we legit had a breakfast appointment eating loads of Belgian crepes at a members house. a breakfast appoinment. haha. Then an hour late we had a lunch appointment with family schiltz and she made BUCKETS of spaghetti. the most unbelievable thing on my mission so far was when I thought i had pulled it off and forked down all the spaghetti, and sister schiltz brought out another huge bowl. and of course we had the traditional dessert after as well which only poured more salt on the wound. Elder Bosco and I then waddled around to appointments that day and ended with a dinner appointment in Mechelen with members that are renowned for their food. terror to our ears. We ate like 4 witlof stalks each which are like the size of enchiladas and apple pie. I have never been so full in my life and I thought i was dead. and you have to eat everything because during the wars people starved so it is custom that they eat EVERYTHING. So sick that night haha

fall in our park by the apartment
But the Lord prepared us well with all that food because the next day we had 5 appointments and they ALL went through! We taught Fredrick who is a man that has been investigating for a year but won't give up tea (stupidest thing in the whole world) and doesn't understand the resurrection. hah. and he had no idea what the Holy Ghost was. until now. we went in with the goal to DTR with him and figure what in the world he was thinking. but it went GREAT. and Elder Shelton taught so well about baptism that he accepted a date for January 11th to be baptized! MIRACLE. Then we taught Gerald about baptism through authority and the 10 commandments by reading the story of Abinadi and Alma with him which really helped him understand how there are stories in the Book of Mormon. He is reading and is in the middle of 1st Nephi. Coming to church is the hard thing with him so his date is moved back a bit... bummer.

WE ate with members after that and taught a part member families' niece who is returning to England to reactivate her mom. right? so cool. then we taught Eric and his mom so told us a story about her praying and singing and then we starting praying and singing hahahahaa Antwerpen is little Africa I swear. She is crazy but she came to church and loved it! Then we taught Kjelt who has a date as well and he LOVES everything we say and gets the Book of Mormon. Best part is that he is Belgian and loves to talk to us which is different from usual here. Church is a little hard for him though too. It takes centuries to travel around this place so getting people there is difficult.

thanksgiving at the schiltz met ze 6
That was all in one day.

Yeah it is nuts. we finished this week with 12 lessons which is unheard of for this mission. some companionship's teach maybe 1 in a week. MIRACLES are happening here. its so neat and we are praying it will continue.

We also got a cool potential who is a US MARINE has a bullet in his arm and has killed a man in Afghanistan. I don't know if I'm allowed to think that is cool but it is. call me apostate. We see him tomorrow and his name is Blake Alexander. if that's not a cool name then I don't know what is.

Familie Schiltz went to to extreme efforts for us Sunday and gave us an American Thanksgiving dinner which was sooooo sweet of them. We had a 9 pound turkey, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pies, and vegetables. They went all the way to Brussels to get American food for us. AHHH i love them so much it was so sweet of them. They are going to London Monday so we had to say goodbye while they are gone on their 2 week temple trip.
Schiltz family 

WE had our Turkey Bowl today which was AWESOME and its not cold here at all. maybe 40s. all of our how to begin teaching points are about the deep freeze in America right now haha so thank you for your suffering, you are helping progress the work.

I hope you all have an AMAZING thanksgiving. My favorite quote from this week came from Allison's email in North Carolina: It's having an attitude of gratitude that can turn a dinner to a feast, a house into a home, and a stranger into a friend. YES. Just do it.

also, i think there should be missionaries in our ward still at home. I have found that as a missionary, if you can have a really good relationship with a certain family in the ward things so by so much better and happier. especially if the missionaries there have such a small area and cant do much tracting. help them out. have them for dinner often. every week. do it because they can be example for the other kids because that is huge for us to be that here. if you get good relationships with them and talk to them you will be able to see more firsthand what it is like for me here. also, this is kind of scary but if they have investigators, meet them and fellowship them. member missionary work is soooo important and if you care the missionaries will love you and always remember you as someone who they loved and the investigators could make outstanding progress if taught in the home of a member. it is scary. put try to do it. please. that's one thing that is cool here when we could do it. that's why i love Antwerpen because i have members i lov so much like that. i will always remember them. I have ladies at church who give me cookies because they know i love them and a lady who made me soup because i said i didn't have time to eat dinner. they are so funny and so nice here hahaha i want that to be with the missionaries at home in our ward too. my favorite people are the ones who care about missionaries, their struggles, and provide ground for them to talk. Because really, Ive learned that all day everyday you are doing something that everyone else hates and everyone out in public hates you for what you are doing. so having a member family that brings you in is everything. i feel like the Boise mission could be a hard one too. do it please. send pictures of them too

sounds like you have had a nice break. we are caroling tonight to people in the ward that are less active.

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

yeah? call me professor snape. he turns out to be the good guy in the end anyway. #antwerpencentrumgotnothingonme. " (above pic)

Sint-Niklass -- November 17, 2014

St. Nick has arrived here in Belgium and has been visiting places in the Port of Antwerp which is just north of the Church and then he goes and visits Sint-Niklaas (appropriately) which is basically my favorite town in Belgium. They do celebrate Christmas here on the 6th and they say it is all really racist becasue the elves here are called Zwarte Piets which translated means Black little Peters or elves with relation to Sint Pieter. Just to clarify.

Miracles are happening in Antwerpen. It truly is a city of so much potential and strength. Our biggest miracles was the baptism of our investigator Eric Apentang who is a 16 year old student from Ghana. His mom finally returned from Ghana and was able to be here for the baptism which was the reason it was put off for so long. She loves the church. She thanked us all so much for what we have done with Eric and as we teach him the lessons again she wants to be involved and is receiving the lessons from us as well. Eric will be confirmed this next Sunday in sacrament meeting which will be amazing for him and her both.

We have 3 more baptismal dates set with the most solid being that of an investigator named Gerald who loves the idea of the Plan of Salvation so much. We have been able to connect it really well to everything else with the Book of Mormon mostly and he is set to be baptized December 7th. The ward has been fellowshipping him so well and he attends a family home evening lesson with us every Monday. Our other two dates are named Kjelt and Almina and both are making slower progress but have committed to baptism and have strong testimonies of Christ.

We do a thing here called stuffing the funnel which is putting as many people into a figurative funnel and then people will come out the bottom and be baptized although many will fall out of the funnel. And we have so many investigators its kind of nuts haha it takes a while to travel everywhere but Wednesday Thursday and Friday we were hammered with appointments which is good and we taught some awesome lessons. A member in the ward here leaves tomorrow for his mission to Suriname and he came with to teach a Suriname investigator of ours so that was the highlight of those days with Kjelt Eric and Gerald being in there too. We have a family here who is the Evans family from England but have lived in America and stuff but they are HILARIOUS. They are the most sarcastic and dry humor people on the planet that I absolutely love being with them. We have been teaching their niece as well who goes back to England soon to be baptized and get her mom and family reactivated into the church with the help of England missionaries.

I was in Sint-Niklaas again this week for exchanges with Elder Van de Merwe which is double win because I loooovvvveeee Sint-Niklaas and Elder Van de Merwe and I just sing country songs and talk about college football and the olympics and world cup all day long. The best. WE taught a family that day too which is neat because here in Europe the family is bascially dead sadly so that was really neat and they are genuinely interested. It was the funnest day of the week by far.

We decided to go to Gent today which is about a 45 minutes train ride through the picturesque Belgian countryside where we toured a castle and cathedral that were created in like the 11th century or something. It was district P-day but the Elders from Genk came so Elder Morrell was there which always makes it a good time haha he will come to BYU with me I just know it. He is in the pictures with me below.

I'm gonna start writing down more funny things that happen to me because right now the ones I remember are the dumbest things but they are hilarious to me so hopefully better ones will come soon haha

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

Monday, November 10, 2014


I hope you have tuned in to the world news lately because on Thursday I was in the midst of it. We had a surprise trip to Brussels to pick up our identification cards and it was the day of the opstaan or resistance protest riot against the government. right? from the moment we got off the train there were MD-40s and firecrackers going off everywhere with people wearing blue red and green as the protested the streets of Brussels. It was the best. I kid you not people were waving flags from the windows and blowing whistles and blowing things up everywhere. And Brussels is french speaking (also outside mission boundaries but that's another story) so I felt as if I was living a real life Les Miserables movie. Loved it. Car bombs are pretty cool in real life.

ERIC. Yesterday Eric was baptized! We have waited so long for this and he was finally able to do it with his mom here. It was really great, they came to church and she loved sacrament meeting and gospel principles very much and relief society more with the teacher being from Ghana as well. The service was after church and about a third of the ward was there for him. I was able to play the piano for intermediate with the songs i brought and everyone said they liked it. It was neat to see the ward and bishop emphasize his family here in the ward. that's what he needs because he was alone for so long. it really helped him a lot. we should be teaching his mom this week too which doubles as a recently baptized lesson and a member present lesson with Eric there. She isn't a member (yet) but she wants him out on a mission in 2 years like us. So cool.

That's the real big news. Baptism and bombs. Welcome to Europe. We had 7 investigators in church yesterday which is unreal. A girl contacted US on the escalator to a tram stop and so we gave her a Book of Mormon and her FAMILY came to church yesterday. In an essence it worked as buy one get three free. haha. and Gerard is our super solid guy that i loveeee teaching because he wants to go to the sun heaven. he is playing soccer with us again today.

We have 3 baptismal dates for the 7th of December too with Gerard and his sister Almina and a super cool guy named Kjelt from Belgium who had a heart problem, had an operation that failed, and a termination date. He went to church just after that and prayed in a Protestant church and when he returned the doctors were bewildered and he was completely healed. He is very close to God and loves hearing our word because he is so new to religion and wants to know how he can give back for that miracle. He is studying now to become a heart surgeon. 
Brussels riot at its calmest 

I went to Sint-Niklaas again this week with Elder Bernier which was great and that was after Brussels and we got lost in Gent but again, another story. We don't usually mean to but we accidentally travel all over Europe on a mission here. We had a dinner appointment about an hour from the station and we biked there but accidentally went too far and went to Nederland. European Union problems.

Anyway, things are really great and our zone leaders and district leaders are impressed with how many investigators we are retaining and finding and teaching all the time. Elder Shelton and I are always travelling and teaching which is AWESOME. This is definitely not one of those European stale contacting missions. At least not if you make it that way. Faith is a choice. Christ makes it all possible. Alma 22:14 helped so much this week with the sting of death being swallowed up in the hopes of glory. Hopes of glory. That's what i want.

Have an amazing week. Sorry its not a lot we have to go play soccer with Gerard haha as if that's a burden.

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


From mom -- I found these pictures on other blogs.  They were taken when he traveled for the temple conference a couple weeks ago.

Transfers have come and gone and now I am taking over Antwerpen with my new companion Elder Shelton. It has been real hard because I am now in charge of everything and making sure he knows investigators situations when I'm still learning them myself. People in Europe are kind of flouw is what we say which is like flaky or unreliable.
during temple conference

Not a lot happened this week that was extraordinary because transfers happened and we have been scattered everywhere. But yesterday in church Nadia was confirmed and I was in the circle which was super cool because she asked me to be in it. I already love the people in this ward now and they are so loving and caring. They are patient with me and my Dutch which is good because it makes me so much more confident. I've thought about it a lot and I will improve myself with that because back home if someone couldn't speak English I would get kind of irritated when I had no idea what it was like to be in head first and immersed in nothing but Dutch.

We are planning on setting another baptismal date this evening with our investigator Gerard who in my mind is the most ready of all of our investigators. He just has ties to his church right now that we have to work with. But he gets it. We have our first baptism on Sunday! Everything has been planned for Eric and his mother will definitely be there for it. Should go well we are hoping but I'm a little nervous because I had to plan it with our Ward Mission Leader who I kid you not speaks no English whatsoever and I have never planned a baptism. Faith. That’s what it is haha.

Saturday we were able to get a lot of potential investigators so hopefully that rolls well this week. We have appointments with Eric for baptismal things, Daniel our other baptismal date, Gerard who is the bomb, and several other investigators that progress very slowly but are still there. It's hard for me to teach Daniel because he speaks Vlaams really strong and I'm trying everything to get him to understand me and feel the Spirit but it hasn't happened so far. I fasted for that yesterday so hopefully things get better.

All in all, I am exhausted haha so tired every day that I melt into the bed and have to use a crow bar to get out at 6:30 am. It's awesome to be so tired but I am still new to everything and so my stress level skyrockets with everything. I am grateful that it is hard though because now I can better appreciate the good and smooth things. Miracles are still happening though for sure.

Where's Waldo (Trevan)
Saturday was our miracle this week. We were climbing an escalator out of our subway tram stop thing in the sketchy area of town called Borgerhout and two girls with a baby asked if we were the Mormons. We said no and just walked away. Haha just kidding we told them we were and they asked if they could have a Book of Mormon (they know what we do) and so we gave them one and they asked for the church address too. After picking our jaws up from the ground we gave them the card and they told us they will be coming on Sunday this week and we have their phone number. She had had her baby just before she could see the church so she had to wait but know she can get there again. SUPER PUMPED. Her name is Maria and she looks maybe Middle Eastern. That's the thing here; the Middle Easterns that aren't Muslims love to listen. We have had 2 Iranians and one came to church with her kids and the Zuster missionaries because they can't go back to Iran since they aren't Muslim. They love the church but aren't legal here so they have to keep moving around. It really showed me how lucky I am again for being able to be grounded in the Gospel and live somewhere where I can love it so much. AMERICA IS THE BEST. As if you didn't know.

The potential is there this week so things should go well. Thank you for the prayers so much. Lastly, the miracle of my lost wallet. I would compare Antwerpen to the size of Seattle. That's how big it is. Monday we went shopping at a secondhand store where everything was only 3 euro and I bought a jacket which is real nice. We left to go grocery shopping and it was my turn to pay because of transfers and my wallet wasn't in my bag. I panicked and had a meltdown in the middle of the store and starting throwing raw meat and people. Slight Exaggeration. I was freaking out because it had everything in it, 60 euro my Idaho license, Nederland train card debit cards, insurance cards, everything. So we got home and had a dinner appointment but I was super stressed about it. I was praying so much that I would find it and know where to look and it had the potential to be either at the church from that morning, the secondhand store, or it was pickpocketed which is really common here. Especially being in the super crowded secondhand store. We got to the church the next morning and it still wasn’t there so I was losing hope. We went to lunch after district meeting then stopped by the secondhand store. Because of the sale everything was moved and if it had fallen out of my bag or I dropped it there was no hope. So we asked the lady at the counter as a last resort and she said yes just a second. I was dying I was hoping so much that it was mine. she showed a black wallet, just like mine and I said ik ben amerikaans van uit idaho and sure enough she opened the wallet and there was my podunk Idaho driver’s license and that cheesy smile mocking me hahahaa oh I was so relieved. That let the week start off well and I prayed so much thankfulness haha and everything was still in it. Such a miracle I found it. This place is nuts. Or maybe it’s just me.

 I’m going to Brussel again Thursday so that’s exciting and with all the new greenies from Wednesday too.

Elder Shelton is from Plain City, Utah and has been out since January. Same address. Should be that until at least Dec 10. Then we transfer again. But I could stay again and be a blijver. Eric will be baptized Sunday! Which is awesome because he has waited since before I graduated. And Gerard and Daniel should come soon. All of them are between 16-19 so it’s cool to see guys understanding and waiting to act on faith so much. Eric is from Ghana, Daniel from Cameroon and Gerard from Sierra Leone. All Africans and all super cool. They don’t really want to be in Belgium but it’s were things are best for them. And they don’t understand why people aren’t faithful here so it’s been neat to show them things. Mormon messages and videos are huge for them here. It’s neat to show them things that bring the spirit so strong. Ask people back home to search it or post something on Facebook because you never know who might need it right then.

Thanks for the story about Job. I have been so tired and sometimes negative this week but that helps. The book of Mormon has helped so much too with perfect scriptures that I need then and there. There is no way it couldn’t be true. I am now asking what can I learn instead of why is this happening.

Have a good week!

Elder Trevan Scott Reese