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.
Elder Trevan Scott Reese