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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

And Just Like That, Everything Changed

January 26, 2015

I don't even know where to begin with this one.

This last week has flipped 180 and it all began with Wednesday with transfers.

Antwerpen Station
Bosco, Bernier and I rode the train up to Leiden at 6:45 AM because Bosco is the new AP. He had been acting funny about things in the office with me for a couple days and I discovered why that Wednesday morning. I was speaking to Zuster Robinson and she told me how what we were doing was for the ultimate goal of receiving referrals while in the meanwhile continuing to baptize and confirm. I looked like a pigeon. I had no idea what she was talking about. Then President pulled me aside. and talked about a meeting we would have the next day discussing the logistics of the project. Again, pigeon.

We went to the train station to meet up with companions and transfer when I met Elder Hunter and Elder Pouwer. They told me how excited they were to work with me on this project and I asked what in the world is going on.

Bosco, Bernier and I
Here it is.

President has decided along with Elder Hunter that 4 Elders in the mission will compose a music group that are to TOUR THE MISSION and perform at stakes and units for the purpose of stimulating referrals and reaching out to nonmembers. Elder Hunter is the Elder that sang the solo in Priesthood session of this last conference and works for the church in productions such as the Nauvoo Pageant, British Pageant and Savior of the World. We have been given a car for our touring and I will travel back to Brussels on Friday to obtain a Belgian Driver’s license and we will tour the mission.

I am on a music tour of Europe. A Church music tour in Europe.

We met Thursday and are to write, rehearse, and know a program that is to last an hour to an hour and a half. Most of this is Elder Hunter's ideas that have made this possible. The purpose of this project is not to show off our talents, create a performance or anything but to bring members and nonmembers alike together in a nonthreatening atmosphere where the Spirit will be present and people will leave wondering what it is they have felt and what it is they can have through this Gospel. 

We have planned and rehearsed and written all day everyday this past week and have come up with a plan of telling the story of a Dutch man's life. WE begin with birth and family and continue through past death. Throughout this life story we teach the Restoration and Plan of Salvation through music and story that we receive from members and missionaries. This is how the Lord is hastening His work in the Belgium/Netherlands mission.

Zr Julie Van Wauwe and I 
We are staying here in Den Haag for the first performance in March then go to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerpen (WOOT), Groningen, Apeldoorn, and Eindhoven in the months following. SO like that, the next months of my mission are set. All the meanwhile still working in Delft and fortifying the Den Haag ward there. 

This is the life of a missionary. And oh how sweet it is. 

And stressful. We have two pieces of music already that the other three are expecting me to know how to play and it is so hard! I can't learn a song in 2 days, I wish I could, but I can’t even being on the piano for 6 hours a day like I have been. I have been more exhausted these last days than ever before in my life. I was supposed to have fore notice too but Elder Bosco was told not to let the word out so he couldn’t tell me. 

WE have met twice with President and his wife, his first counselor, the APs and ourselves to discuss and plan this project. We visit members in certain cities and instruct them on how to invite friends then sing in public squares to advertise. 

Now that that is explained, here is Delft. SO BEAUTIFUL. Oh boy our apartment is right next to the station which is perfect and a 2 minute bike ride to the centrum, 1 minute walk to the bus and tram stops and central to everything. completely opposite from Antwerpen. I haven’t even had time to breathe this last week so I will send more pictures of the city next time. 

We go to the Den Haag ward which is the most solid ward in the mission. and the biggest. with Antwerpen as number 2. so I am simply climbing the ladder haha. The people are so fantastic and nice and missionary minded which is so cool to see. And we had to teach the English Sunday school lesson this last week which was cool to meet everyone and teach them haha. Elder Bernier is the zone leader in den haag too so I get to be with him and Bosco is the ap so that’s fun too.

I got news that Mark in Antwerpen just set a baptismal date with his girlfriend, both for March 1st!!!!!!! ah so exciting and Fredrick set one for March 15th as well!!!! That made me so happy.
Elder Cook and I at the train station

Transfer days I saw Elder Cook. FINALLY. HE is the one that had visa difficulty and had to stay behind alone in the MTC while the other 11 of us came out. AND HE WAS UNEXPECTEDLY IN THE LEIDEN STATION. it was seriously the notebook status when we saw each other and ran across the station and hugged hahahaha


SO I am safe from terrorism in Holland now but I go to Belgium Friday so that will be explosively exciting. 

this probably seems pretty jumbled and hectic but you know welcome to my mind these last few days.

our apartment in Delft is real nice. so much better than Antwerpen. and the shower is glorious. like a massage.

I really have had a difficult time these last few days with trying to learn this music so fast and having it ready for the others to sing too. They are always together practicing and get done real quickly and I sit on the piano alone and pluck it out and I still can’t play good enough or quick enough so that is really frustrating. especially because almost all our time is spent on that and I can’t even get that right. I am so grateful for this chance to turn to my Savior for help and strengthen my testimony on his love and guidance. I have already seen it. I have played piano for 13 years and these pieces are hard. I can play things ok but these are difficult and I know that the only way it is going anywhere is because of His hand in my work. yes it is so hard that I need three hands haha

Delft in the morning
As you can see, this week has been one for the books. Just like that, everything changed. 

I am so grateful for your prayers and love. 

I hope to send more exciting stories later but my mind is racing still.

Love you all

Elder Trevan Scott Reese


It’s pretty warm here but it gets windy and rainy so it feels like ice cubes are pelting you in the face.

I didn’t notice a ton of difference in police in antwerpen but as a missionary you don’t see news or anything so we went about as normal and taught the terrorists. As a missionary you feel invincible. 

Guess what. Hallie is going to church this week up in Missoula with a less active LDS friend.
Is that cool or what. I almost cried when I read that.

GO SEAHAWKS it is a sensitive subject here. Too many patriots fans in the mission
 I hope the ward is doing well.

The Den Haag ward here is so coooooool

Dutch is so easy to understand now that that Flemish gunk is gone haha

I miss antwerpen though. I get a weird homesick about it

Elder Conatti and I have a great time. He is kind of a germaphobe haha which I find hilarious because I am coming from just the opposite.

Yes the shower is fabulous

Tell Bert I am proud he will be a deacon!

Really I cannot believe how beautiful delft is.

Bike rides through the canal streets and windmill corners and cobblestone paths is to die for. I almost contemplated going on a bike ride today for p day I love it so much. A bike ride for fun as a missionary.

We have several dinner appointments this week to meet new members which is cool and appointments with investigators. It’s real hard because we are both new in the city so we don’t know anyone or how to get anywhere haha we improvise

I love you so much and I am so grateful for the power that your prayers bring me. You have no idea. Life was crazy and busy back home when I thought it was hard but I know for a fact that it was only preparing me to do this here and now for these people.

So starting Friday I will be driving around the Netherlands haha in an automatic. Don’t worry.

Monday, January 19, 2015


 Take a glance into your dining room and search for your finest china. The most famous is white with Delft blue printing of perhaps a windmill or so. Well, as of Wednesday I will be living in the midst of these famous dishes in one of the most beautiful cities in Holland! I AM BEING TRANSFERRED TO DELFT!!! Holy buckets I am so excited. When we got the calls last night everyone freaked out with me because it is the dream city of so many people in the mission.

Delft is southeast of Den Haag and just Northwest of Rotterdam so I am right in the middle of South Holland and I am SO EXCITED. Delft tis famous for its Delft blue china, its windmills and tulips in the spring. If I stay more than 1 transfer I will be in Holland in the spring with the flowers and the windmills. Talk about a dream come true. There are really beautiful churches in Delft and it is an awesome combo of old and charming and new and modern. AH I am so excited.

Antwerpen has the second biggest ward in the mission with about 120 active members. I thought with my odds that I would be moving to a quaint branch after being in a major city. Well Delft is in the Den Haag ward which is THE biggest ward in the mission. People just love me.

I am really excited to start new and see Holland and see another city. My comp is Elder Conatti and he is from Brazil! He is here Portuguese speaking and is coming to Delft from Rotterdam so we are whitewashing in! Gonna be crazy and probably hard so good thing this is the Lord's work.

In our district we have 8 Den Haag missionaries, a senior couple, elders, sisters, zone leaders, the Delft elders (us) and zoetermeer elders and sisters which is where the temple is. I will live real close to the temple; it’s just one city over. I remember going to Zoetermeer for temple conference and thinking how beautiful it was and how I wanted to serve there. I AM GOING THERE. Right next to the temple in Delft. Legit Delft is one of the coveted cities in the mission. You can probably taste my excitement through the computer screen. Elder Bernier who is my district leader now is the new Den Haag zone leader so we are taking the train up together and will be working again together which is sooooo cool. Our exchanges here in Antwerpen wrought some of the coolest miracles I have seen.

Unfortunately, we had another rough week here in Antwerpen. I hate flaky people. Here we call them flauw if they are flaky and literally translated that means flavorless. I don’t even care. If people aren’t gonna stick to their appointments, gosh dang they are flavorless. BUT we did have some cool stuff. We met with Fredrick for the first time since before Christmas and he is sick with a bladder infection. He is a Suriname man with no filter whatsoever so we basically had a 7th grade health lesson in Dutch about the urinary system. Urine for a real treat when that happens. But we gave him a blessing after our lesson on tithing and he prayed at the end and asked Heavenly Father to heal him through his faith on priesthood power. Super cool. He told us nothing is holding him back from baptism except his health right now and he has quit all coffee drinking!

I had fufu again this week which was that African food where you eat soup and potato dough and chicken with your hands. That was a thrill.

And we got a cool new investigator this week named Agatha. Great story. We met with Ruby for the first time and she was busy doing this lady Flora's hair. (she was stitching hair onto her head because that is how Africans do hair) and we taught the whole restoration to them both haha and Flora wanted us to go see her sister a few houses down and give her Jesus. And that is Agatha. Simply imagine going to your hair appointment, being taught by 2 Americans while getting hair stitched on your head and then being asked to be baptized. Welcome to Europe haha so we went and met with Agatha this week and she is head over heels for us missionaries and the fact that we try to save the world through Jesus and peace and not terror and war. So we took it and ran. We taught her the restoration and she said her husband just stopped being a Muslim and wants to be Christian but doesn’t know exactly how.

Gold. We are teaching them now and she has never been baptized which is very uncommon here because everyone in Belgium is baptized Catholic as a baby. We tried to set a date for Feb 15th and that turns out to be her birthday hahahaha so we are working towards that now. I love the Spirit and this work so much because things like this just happens and it is no coincidence.

I set up an appointment this week in Spanish so that was bueno.

Mark is doing well still but unfortunately he forgot about our appointment this week so we didn’t get to teach him #lame.

Church on Sunday was great. I knew it was most likely my last Sunday in Antwerpen and I was sitting between Eric and Gerald. I just started to think about how blessed I am to have brought the Gospel to these two guys who now taste of the Spirit and enjoy the blessings that come from baptism. Seeing them partake of the sacrament and letting Christ lead them is a joy that is incomparable. We sang Komt, Heiligen komt to close which is come come ye saints in dutch and I was very sentimental for me. Thinking about the early saints and everything they went through. EVERYTHING they did to be saved from persecution. They were testaments of steadfastness. They knew without a doubt of the truth and were willing to die for it.

And if we die before our journey is through, happy day all is well.

That line will forever be written on my heart. We are to seal our testimony with all that we have. And we have an eternal perspective that stems from the truth. To me, there is no reason to fear with that.

I cannot describe how excited I am to see Holland but it is really painful to leave. Today I am saying goodbye to Gerald and Eric and members in the ward that I love soooooo much. It is definitely difficult but nothing is ever meant to be easy.

I love the emails from people getting mission calls and leaving out to the MTC. It is such an inspiration and delight to know I have friends throughout the world teaching the word of God to those who thirst for it most. I delight in being a member of the chosen generation. I see it in every missionary and friend I come in contact with.

It's a shame I am leaving the terror infested country of Belgium because I really wanted to convert some of those terrorists. They are only about 30 minutes away you know. Antwerpen is full of paratroopers and Belgium SWAT team which is basically equivalent to a standard US police officer. #europedoesitbest

Have a fantastic week and delight in the word of the Lord!

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

January 12, 2015

Incredibly bluntly, this last week has been one of the most difficult out here. We had over half of our scheduled appointments fall through or be cancelled and 4 of them we had brought members along for fellowshipping so that was hard to see people flaw out. But it is over and this week we are planning on seeing MIRACLES.

First off, we had an amazing miracle in the ward. We have a McDonalds close by the church and a bunch of missionaries were there for lunch and a worker asked if they had a card about the church to give to her coworker Lynn. The sisters (being sisters) had one right on hand and gave it to her. Later that day Lynn texted them saying she had been curious about the church, gave her religious background, and said she would be in church that week. So Sunday came around yesterday and Lynn came walking up alone to the church and a member family Familie Jonckheer embraced her and welcomed her inside. She met the sister missionaries for the first time and sat through sacrament meeting. Afterward people from the ward came and met here and made her feel like a celebrity as we went to Gospel Principles. There Lynn answered every question with life examples and would read her Book of Mormon and pull things out that would apply to the lesson. We were all dying. All of the young adults in the ward ate her up and took her to the train station to get home. IT WAS SO AMAZING. We have been looking for someone that the ward really needed and a young single adult that is firm in her shoes is exactly that. She is so happy and smiley and told us how much she loves this place meaning the church. Absolutely fantastic and she is a soccer playing Belgian.

Like I said a lot of our appointments fell through this last week and it was super rainy and windy so we were soaked 110% of the time haha. But we met with Jennifer again and taught the Law of Chastity and temples which went great and she has promised to read in the Book of Mormon. We will see her tomorrow so hopefully she has done her commitment. We also met a man named Swa who is Belgian and ordered a free church DVD about Christmas. He let us in and we talked a bit about his background and injury in his foot. I think he is a lonely guy so tomorrow we are visiting him with Brother Schiltz who was also Catholic before so it should go real well. We also taught a Muslim this week as we gave out a Book of Mormon is Persian but honestly I'm in Antwerpen and every other person is Muslim so that is simply a side note. 

 nifty new sign in front of the church
We met with Gerald this week for the third of the new member lessons and it went really well! I was starting to worry because he was on vacation for a while and we lost contact with him after he wasn’t in church but he told us that with school back on he is on call for work at a burger joint so Sundays he often gets called in. So we are going to work with that but we taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I felt inspired to ask him what difference he has seen between life before and after baptism. He told me that the Spirit is something that guides him every day. Something that puts him in the right direction and is always there. He said that all the things that were a hard temptation before (like the Word of Wisdom or Law of Chastity) weren't even a decision anymore. They weren't a part of his will and he knew God had changed that for him. It was so powerful. SO POWERFUL to see one who you knew with ground zero knowledge TESTIFY of the power of the Holy Ghost. Absolutely phenomenal. 

And Saturday. We had interviews with President Robinson and Zuster Robinson that morning in Sint-Niklaas which were fantastic. They told me they appreciated the work I was doing and President asked me what my secret was to the baptismal success I was seeing. It totally caught me off guard and I said something along the lines of just working. Which is completely true but there is more to that. I have learned pretty quickly to never lose faith that people can change their lives. If you lose faith in people then how can they ever have that faith to change themselves? Instilling that faith into them through example is huge. I'm continuing to work on that every day. Zuster Robinson always tells me exactly what I need to hear as well. She told me to forget all my expectations of what I wanted to be as a missionary and to be the Body of Christ. Total perspective shift. Sometimes we are His Hands and sometimes we are His feet but we must always be His body. I loved it. They leave in less than 6 months which is absolutely insane. I cannot imagine them not being here. I love them so much. 
Interviews went long so we had a crisis with our appointment with Mark because all the trains decided to turn against us and it took almost an hour and a half to get there. We had to call our member off that was going to come and meet with Mark an hour late. Humiliating. BUT we taught him the Plan of Salvation and he asked in the very middle what happens after we die. He wanted to share his ideas but told us to go first. We explained the spirit world and when we got to the spirit prison his eyes got huge and he interrupted. He told us he had had a dream where he was with a friend of his that had died and they were in a room with a guard that resembled a prison cell. He was told to be quiet by his friend and that they were living still. When we taught of the Spirit World and the prison that was his confirmation that what we said was true again. He had never told anyone the dream because he knew people would think he was crazy. He was head over heels from then on and ate up the Plan of Salvation. That with his testimony of the Restoration has plummeted him progressing. He wants to be baptized so badly but told us he really wants to ponder and pray about a date first. Honestly that is fantastic to me haha if he want to ponder and commit that much. He told us Saturday the four most powerful words that I have heard in an appointment. He looked down then looked straight into our eyes and said "The Church is true". He was so happy absolutely ecstatic and he gets his car today so he will be in church Sunday. He wants us there every Saturday to teach him. We ran into him by no coincidence in this freaking huge city yesterday and he already told us of the things he read in the Book of Mormon. IT was so neat and that alone made my week worthwhile.

 I have grown such a testimony this week of work. The sister didn't work directly to get Lynn but she was so ready for the Gospel that the Lord blessed them with that miracle. We hadn't actually found Mark but simply looked up a former and the Lord had prepared him for this time. We work every day to find people and teach and most of them really don't get anywhere progressing. But the Lord appreciates our work and blesses us accordingly by the things that we don't expect or see coming. 

Remember (Mom) when you were little and ate that super good Indonesian food with Francesca? Bapao? Well the Netherlands has huge Indonesian influence so I found some! So good!
This week is hopefully going to kill it. Last week of the transfer as well so things could change big in 7 days!

Love you enjoy the football this week

Go Ducks

Go 'Hawks! 12TH man!

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

(I don't know why the font went wierd, hmm)

Add on to January 5th post

We played soccer this morning indoors with a member who was on the Belgian national team and it was a blast. I am already so sore though because we never get to go out an exercise until today. It was good. I have 2 weeks left in Antwerpen is what it is looking like and I am excited to move on and see other things but I have to remind myself of the blessings I have seen and had here that will always be with me. We are working with Eric and Gerald more to get them to stay active but it has been difficult because the ward hasn't fellowshipped them very well to say the least. Seeing Holland yesterday in Breda was neat but I am grateful for familiarity and people I love here so I think these next 2 weeks will be fantastic and a good time. The Zusters and Zone Leaders and District Leaders here are all so awesome and we are all such good friends. Today we went shopping and basically hung out as friends in Europe for our P Day which was so great. 

January 5, 2015

First and foremost I hope you all enjoying the inaugural playoff system Rose and Sugar Bowls on New Year’s Day. I am quite thrilled that Florida State is out but bummed Alabama didn't take it to the championship. A Pac-12 SEC matchup would have been exhilarating. I will be pulling for the Ducks in this one this year mostly because I cannot stand the Big 10 and Alabama is out. Therefore, Go Ducks and Roll Tide.

Holy smokes its 2015. Just yesterday I graduated and made plans for college and it's already the turn of a new year. Europe is famous for going nuts on New Year’s. On New Year’s Eve we had to be inside at 4:00because it gets so dangerous but I guess Holland is much worse than Belgium. You definitely knew it was midnight though. They don't just do fireworks here but they explode things haha.

Most of our investigators and members were out of town for New Year’s this last week. People are not very open to religion here and especially not on holidays so our finding on New Year’s was limited too. But we did knock a door and a man was thrilled to see us and beckoned his girlfriend to the door and they asked if we were from Salt Lake and taught about the Book of Mormon. I just said yes haha and I feel for terrible for not giving the shoutout to Idaho as my home but this made things a little easier. He let us in for some drinks and they weren't interested in our teachings but more in the fact that two Dutch speaking Americans were on their porch and now in their home. They plan on seeing America in 2016 and want to go see the Salt Lake Temple so we had discussions about Church things for a while and we gave them a pamphlet and the Church address when they were in Merksem to study. They are awesome Belgian people with huge hearts and we only hope they open up to be taught sometime in the future. But it just wasn't right now.

So we had a pretty slow week but we did eat with Familie Schiltz for New Year’s which is always the best and we went to Holland yesterday for a baptism of one of Elder Shelton's old investigators in Tilburg. It was cool to go up to Nederland for the afternoon and I'm excited to serve there. The baptism went fantastic and we got home well through all the trains. 

Our miracle this week happened on Saturday when we had set an appointment with a former investigator named Mark. We went in and immediately he ranted for 40 minutes about how deceptive his girlfriend is. So we sat and listened and he told us about how he wants the lying spirit gone from his home. We asked him as representatives of Jesus Christ if we could be those people to change that for him and he said absolutely. We proceeded to teach and the Spirit came and mark was real calm and loved our message. When we told him about the Restoration he testified of it so strong about how we need a Restoration of the Gospel just like there was in the Old Testament time after time. It was nice to finally see someone who read and understood that from the Bible. Because really no one does haha. We asked him to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true and he stopped us and said "Oh I know it's true. Joseph Smith translated it. I was planning on being baptized". We were stopped dead haha I don't know exactly what happened with the last Elders but he has a testimony! He is coming to church this next Sunday and we are going to talk about his baptism then. Super cool.

And Sunday we met a guy named Ivan who was headed to an appointment with someone but they cancelled and he thought he would stay on the tram and go to church for the first time in years. He is a less active and I sat by him in church to talk with him and befriend him. He said he lived in America for 3 years but is Belgian born and raised and has now returned. I asked where he lived in America and he said for a little bit in Pocatello Idaho then mostly in Boise Idaho. I almost cried with joy hahahahaha WHAT someone random in Antwerpen Belgium has lived in my neck of the woods and knows my home. He lived on Cole Road and would go to the sessions at the Boise Temple a couple times a week. Oh boy I talked with him for forever and he is a Belgian troll and I'm an American troll so we had a ball together. He is around 45 or so and we will see him tomorrow again. He told me after the testimony meeting how sentimental it was for him to be back and feel of the Spirit from the speakers. He stayed for all of church after he planned to leave early and everyone that knew him from earlier embraced and loved him so much. I am so grateful for those people in the church. The people that rejoice when one of the Lord's sheep has returned and they welcome and support them completely. 

I just have to say that on Wednesday we are going to a member's for dinner and I'm teaching their returned missionary how to play the ukulele. You have no idea how excited I am to play one again. I'm giddy. That's the word. Giddy. I learned so much from Disney this week too haha I took more lyrics and saying from Disney classics and applied them to missionary work and the Lord. 

My favorite from this week.

Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. 

Are we not all God's family? Are we not all brothers and sisters? Family means that NO ONE gets left behind or forgotten. No one slips through the cracks, no one comes and goes. Huge shoutout to Lilo for that divine inspiration this week.

This next week is pretty packed with appointments so we hope all sees out well. 

No pictures from this week sorry. I got lazy about that. 

Met liefs,
Elder Trevan Scott Reese