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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Trials Give Us The Chance to Know Him Better

Wow has my testimony grown on that this week.
Also I would like y'all to know that Holland is gorgeous. We had a few days this week where we saw the sky and the sun. The flowers knew it was special and tulips bloom EVERYWHERE. They are like weeds I’m not kidding. It is getting me so pumped for April and May. Seriously every color just sprouts up everywhere. 
This week was a bit of a roller coaster but it ended on such a wonderful note. We started last Monday with an appointment with a less active lady we looked up but my bike tire was popped so instead of changing it we decided to take the bus. Little did we know that our directory map was old and the bus had a new route so we ended up at IKEA and had to take it half  way back then walk 15 minutes to her house and by then it was 8:30. She wasn’t even home so the night was a big bummer. BUT my bike is fixed and rides better than ever which is huge because I just love riding it around over the canals and through the tulips. 
We had a good lesson with a lady named Mevrouw (MRs.) Seelman. Her husband was a member before he passed away and parts of her family are members. But she is so tied to her St. Johns Church in Gouda that she won’t be baptized. Members visit her regularly with her husband being a member and she enjoys having the elders over. We talked about family and the Atonement and look forward to seeing her this week and will share pictures of our families and testify of the plan of salvation. I have never said this because I forget but it has been super cool to testify of the importance of families to people here. There are several Asian’s here, just yesterday we met one, and I tell them about Jaida and how we can live together forever. I love the section in Preach MY Gospel chapter 9 about addressing the importance of families.It is so important and really the core of our faith.
We had another cool lesson with Josh who is my best friend here from Ghana. Seriously Ghanaians are all my best friends’ haha. I’m going to move to Africa. We had a lesson from Mosiah 23:19-22 (I think that’s it) about the people of Nephi prospering in the land and doing that which is good but the Lord still seeing fit to chasten the people. The Lamanites came upon them and war begun but if the Nephites stayed strong in their faith they would be delivered. I was able to testify through the Spirit of how the Lord gives us challenges to remind us that this life is a test. We aren’t here to have a jolly ole time all the time. Although happiness and hope are important (and come strongest through the Gospel) we need difficult times to give us the chance to turn to Him. I love that. He gives us opportunities to get stronger and know Him better. Again, a win win situation. Always is.
The gang at the beach
Yesterday we had a killer day performing in Leiden, and visiting families. We had a fantastic week this week with our project. We hit up the Den Haag ward this week and a couple really spiritual experiences that stood out to me a lot. We visited Familie Prosman last night for dinner and they had a nonmember friend over as well that we didn’t expect. We all read in the Book of Mormon together (a Prosman family tradition) and then gave our presentation for our fireside. We sang and the Spirit was incredibly strong as we talked about how the Gospel blesses our lives and why we want to share it. I think Friso, the nonmember friend, had a really great experience and is planning on coming with them. Unexpected miracles like that are so cool to be a part of.

Also last night we visited Stake President Scheltinga and sang a couple songs for them. Their son just sent in his papers and after we sang we testified of this work and Joseph Smith. President and Sister Scheltinga testified to their family how important it was. The Spirit was tangible in the room and we had several moments of silence as it testified to us. It made for a real special Sunday.

We made great progress with our investigators as well this week and are planning on reestablishing contact with many of them that we have lost for a bit. These next few transfers will bring miracles.
The trains in Delft are shut down for this whole week so that’s awesome. They have been renovating the station for forever and now the trains go underground. Chaos is going on outside our apartment on the stationplaats with people being redirected to buses and trams. Fun. It takes us forever to get anywhere now but we make Leiden or Den Haag in the car :)
Station will be done Friday so I’m pumped for that
Oh yes and we visited a member this week by the beach so we went to the beach for a couple minutes haha
Had a really fun exchange with Elder Elkins this week too in Den Haag and we are real similar so it made for a grand time
REMEMBER THAT HE LIVES. HE IS AMONG US AND STRENGTHENS US IN OUR TIME IN NEED. I hope that somehow we can record our arrangement of Joseph Smith's First Vision so you can hear it. It makes people cry so we are proud haa
Liefs voor iedereen
Elder Trevan Scott Reese

PS the gift of tongues is real. I was definitely reminded of that this week

Monday, February 16, 2015

LAND OF MIRACLES

Today we get a special treat.  Brother Lister had Trevan's music group perform at their home.  They took video of them singing so they can advertise for their upcoming tour (firesides, etc) which begins March 7th.  These boys have been hard at work creating this special program.  Brother Lister was kind enough to send this to the parents of these elders so we could enjoy it and share it with everyone.  This is just one of the songs they will perform.  Thank you Brother Lister for thinking of us.






video





Growing up in Utah and Idaho has really taught me a lot on how not to take the temple for granted. Seriously anywhere you turn in Utah or Salt Lake Valley you see them. But for the members throughout Holland and Belgium, getting to the temple is quite a sacrifice of time and money. This last week we spent a lot of time in Zoetermeer which is where the Den Haag Temple is located and the city truly resonates the Spirit of the temple.

We were there for our music project and visited 15 different families in the Zoetermeer Ward and Wassenaar American Branch. Each and every family we visited was so incredibly supportive and we sung for each of them after showing them the I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go video on lds.org and crying our eyes out like I do every time. We sing a TTBB arrangement of Where Can I Turn for Peace or play Savior Redeemer of My soul or our First Vision arrangement if they have a piano. The members have loved it and have been so willing to feed and help up of roar fireside on the 7th of March.

Most of the families told us of 2-6 people they have already invited and are bringing along before we mention anything about it. It is so cool to see how the members in Zoetermeer and Wassenaar get it. The people there have questions pretty frequently about what the temple is and many went inside for the open house so there is such a special Spirit and respect in that blessed area. I am so grateful for the chance I have to meet these units and get to know them and help them do member missionary work that blesses them and those they speak with. We are still truckin with the fireside program and it is still crazy hard to learn everything so quick and perfect it but I am praying and working hard at it and I know as long as I do all I can, the Lord will make up the rest. And I have already seen that time and time again. He has led me and taught me so much it is absolutely unreal. I cannot imagine life without His Hand in it. Truly unfathomable. I cannot express my love and gratitude for that.

I am so grateful for the trust and love he has for me to chasten me. I just read in Mosiah about the righteous people that came from King Limhi, Alma, and King Mosiah and how they had prospered and waxed strong in the land. But the Lord still saw fit to chasten them. The Lamanites came into the land and led many people away and stirred up the church and led to contentions and pride. But those who waxed faithful in the church continued to thrive and abide with the Lord. Ah I love it. The Lord chastens His people because we need to be reminded that this life is a test. We need to be reminded that without Him we are nothing. I love the phrase used in the Book of Mormon "brought down to the depths of humility''. We are no more than the dust of the Earth and still we have great worth in His eyes. So much worth that the Savior suffered and died for us and is by us every step of the way. I am so grateful for the perspective the Gospel brings me. Without my knowledge of my existence and Gods plan for me, I would be so discouraged and depressed when all these hardships come. My outlook on life is still getting more positive because I feel of His love and know He can lead guide and walk beside every step of the way. Ah I could write a book about it.

 Where’s Waldo? I’m in this mosh of bikes
The people in Zoetermeer with the temple are GEMS. We visited a lady Zuster Uljee from South Africa who came to church for the first time in 5 years when we performed and we went by again and sang for her in her home. She told us in our appointment Saturday that the members in Zoetermeer will be seeing a lot more of her in the future and she committed to church again this next Sunday and is more than excited to see our fireside. Miracles are already happening. This project, no matter how stressful and hard and actually kind of annoying that it is, is bringing souls to Christ and is 100% inspired. We meet with Den Haag this next week which is sweet because it is our HOME TURF.

We also have plans for appointments with a ton of investigators this week which is sooooo great because that has been the most discouraging thing for me. Knowing that our investigators were out there waiting to know more and come closer to Christ but we had this assignment to work on. The Lord is helping us in every aspect when we dedicate all energy to His children. Why are missions so great? Because no matter the bleak and dismal the circumstances are, the Lord is with us. He works alongside in His Vineyard and we are His trusted servants. ''Shall we not go on in so great a cause?''



5 TULIPS ARE COMING

Here are some better pictures. Also we took a slight break in rehearsals one day and sang Miranda Lamberts The House That Built Me with the piano and it made my life. One of my all-time favorite songs.

Love

Elder Reese



Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9, 2015

Another week has come and gone and the transfer is half over! I can’t believe it. It is crazy. I just got here but looking at the work we have got done on our project it is amazing to see how much we have accomplished in that time. Thursday I went to Brussel again and got my driver’s license application filled out for real this time. I went down with Elder Morrell which was the best because we spent the whole day together and we basically have a bromance. There it is. I said it. I hope you are reading this Morrell ;)

But really we pray to be companions someday haha I’m not kidding. Let me start with our cool lessons this week. We met with Bart again who is the eternal investigator and he had read Alma 32 like we committed and actually began comparing it with the book of Proverbs! We taught how these books could be used together and how they are two testaments of Christ, but he gets so hung up on the names in the book of Mormon like Onidah and Ammonihah. He can’t get past that. I’m just glad that the Brother of Jared goes by that and not Murioneajopbhraiuenkl because Bart would have a field day with that one. Who would think one would get so caught up on it? Only the Dutch haha it was a great lesson though and I was able to teach the difference between the rich of the world and prideful and the poor in spirit and humble. It really clicked for him and helped him understand the story of Alma 32. It was the gift of tongues at work I promise.

WE made pancakes for Tom last Thursday and that was fun because people here love American pancakes. I made them alone too haha since Elder Conatti is well you know Brazilian.

We also met Miguel on Saturday who is a 17 year old kid from Nederland and Peru (somehow) and he is super cool but I get that it is hard because we are both new and he got really used to the other elders. But he is nuts for America. And so am I. So I’m pumped to go all about that. HE should have a baptismal date soon because he is being taught and keeping commitments. He has a picture of old Machu Picchu ruins on his wall and I just want to yell "BRO THAT IS FROM THE PEOPLE IN THE BOOK OF MORMON" but I held my tongue.

No huge new other than that but we did teach a guy on the train and gave away a book of Mormon and then hammered the music this week.

I have never learned so much piano in so little of a time. It is so difficult but I am so incredibly grateful for it because I have been given this hard time so that I may turn to the Lord in every hour. We have finalized all of our songs (I think) and they aren’t just church hymns but stories of inspiration and happiness. Because we are telling the story of a general Dutch member's life, we have songs like bring him home from les mis for a wayward son and in my daughter’s eyes by Martina McBride for the birth of a child. We have arranged it to be much more reverent but it is so cool. I love it.

Sunday we performed in the first 2 sacrament meetings with the first being an American branch (really strange going to church in English again) and the Zoetermeer Dutch ward. We did Savior Redeemer of my Soul first and it went well but not as good as planned. At the last minute before Zoetermeer we decided to change numbers to our original arrangement of Joseph Smith's first prayer and oh my father to the tune of homeward bound. I was nervous because I wasn’t mentally prepared for it but I got up there, began to play, and I can’t tell you the rest of what happened. But what I can tell you is that every note that came from that piano did not come from my hands alone. I promise with all my heart that that number was 100% guided by the Spirit and it showed in that chapel. Members were crying as we finished and the bishop later spoke and it was one of the most spiritual meetings of my life. I am so grateful for the guidance of the Lord, that I may always have it with me.

There was a lady in the Zoetermeer ward that came on Sunday for the first time in 5 years. She sat with the Zusters and told them of all that she felt in that meeting and I truly believe it has made the difference in her activation process.

De Haagse Toor
The members reacted so positively to our visit and we have soooo many appointments this week to visit them and instruct them on how to invite nonmembers and role play invitations. This entire project is to bring those people to the chapel and allow them to feel of the Spirit through music. The members are so excited to invite nonmember family members and neighbors so it should be a fantastic turn out. We 4 talked later about how that was such a spiritual confirmation that this project is what the Lord would have us do.

We toured De Haagse Toor today which is the tallest building in Den Haag and ate at the top with the whole district. SUUUUUper expensive haha it costs money to hang up your jacket. Not kidding. In all we paid 155 euro for lunch or about 200 US dollars. Nuts. Luckily it was only about 13 each but still.

Thanks for all the love. I've thought about the Prophet Joseph Smith's words this last week about this Restoration and preparation for the Lords Second Coming: "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" That man did more for the Church than any man, save it be Christ, has or ever will do. I live by that. I know that. That is why I know without a shadow of a doubt that he was the chosen one to restore these truths.
This foggy picture is of the ocean.  Look hard

This week I have a goal to be bold. To pray for baptisms in every prayer. Miracles happen through faith. Then why would we wait to show ours? "Don't wait for the perfect moment, but take time to make the moment perfect."

Elder Trevan Scott Reese









February 2, 2015

I am writing to you today through my gushing tears regarding the devastating loss of my Seahawks in such a fashion that will never be forgotten or "picked"away. First of let me express my hatred for the Patriots. Hate em. But oh well. Sounds like a phenomenal game. And a crazy catch at the end using feet? Looks like America is starting to understand FOOTball after all. But unfortunate, nonetheless.

This transfer is flying by. We are already one week 2 and all we have really done is rehearse write and teach. Which is good. We are getting real far with our music program and now have 3 songs in the process of perfecting. Some of them are so hard haha one has 6 flats then key changes into 5 sharps. It’s like reading Chinese and then Spanish. It really sounds good though and I am learning a lot of piano skill like improvising and making up melodies.

We alternate between going to Leiden and Den Haag to practice almost every day and spent about 6 hours there each. It has been really neat. I can’t even imagine what this would be like without the guidance of the Savior in it. Everything we have written fits so well and is taught so well that it can’t be anything but inspired. And with the songs I am playing I MUST tell you that it isn’t even me playing them. I still have no idea how I am pulling it off. I just start playing and it really is like someone else takes over and it works. I sit at the piano and feel like I am watching someone else guide and use my hands. I am telling you, His guidance and Spirit is real. I see it every day in every note. It isn’t even me playing. I know that this is an inspired assignment because I see evidence of it every minute. I am so grateful to be a part of it.

I went back to Brussel on Friday to get my driver’s license exchanged and the office elders forgot it in the office sooooooo I have to go back on Thursday to do it for real. I had a little vacation back to Belgium for a day and had another good waffle though. That’s like 16 Belgian waffles now....
There were military men with huge M40s and AKs all around the city so that was fun. The entire EU facility looked like a barricade. Belgian roads are so nuts too haha no lanes just cobblestones.

WE have met some really cool members in the Den Haag ward with dinner appointments and have been able to teach some cool people.

Wednesday we had a dinner appointment with a lady named Frederique Groen who is inactive and her father was an area representative but she has no reason to be inactive, she just stopped going. We ate with them and she told us how the church made her happy and we left a little spiritual thought and prayer with her and her husband and two kids. This is crazy because the chance of you teaching a family in the Netherlands let alone in Europe is incredibly small. Miracles.

We met a guy named Jones who is studying aerospace engineering which was awesome because he is way smart and you usually don’t get many people like that here either haha. HE fasted with us yesterday and we plan on seeing him again this week to help him progress more toward baptism. He is so ready for it too. He is from Barbados.

We ride our bikes all over Delft and I can’t even describe how beautiful it is. Really I just want everyone to come see it for themselves. It is Sunny today finally and the canals and glimmering and the cobblestone street ways and shiny and the windmills are spinning and people are selling flowers in the market shops. SO PRETTY. I really will be excited to be done working on this project so that we can work more in Delft.

That has been the most difficult part of this week is having time. We get hardly any proselyting time in because of travel on the trains and music and dinner appointments and planning and things like that. It's hard because I came on a mission to change people’s lives and give them something that they know is familiar and brings more joy than anything else ever could. But we can’t find time to get out doing it. It has been an internal battle for me haha because honestly we are doing just about everything we can because this music thing is an assignment and will bring people to Christ so it is missionary work but our investigators are being put on hold a little which is so painful to have in the back of your mind.

And now I have to go to Brussels again for a whole day ahhhh I get to go to Brussel and I treat it like it is a punishment. What is happening to me?

Its super cool to hear of everyone getting mission calls back home! Thanks for keeping me posted it makes my day!

Have a great week this week. I made videos to send home this week but the files are too big, bummer I will have to show you in a little over a year and a half.

Holy smokes I hit 6 months this week

 I had a neat little experience this last week that you will think is cool mom.
You remember living in Highland and when you were in young women’s there where the maughan sisters?

When I was in Brussel on Friday Zuster Maughan was with us and she said she was from Highland and went to Freedom Elementary with us. She looked a little familiar and told me she lived kind of by where we were and that she had a twin sister. I remembered who she was and she knew who you were when she was a beehive in young women’s!

She said she knew Sister Reese and it was crazy to run into our neighbor in Brussels Belgium! It was super cool.

Here is a picture of us in the office Friday after our Brussel trip. And poor elder Hosea who is on crutches


Love, Elder Trevan Scott Reese

This is our new address by the way

Westvest 77
2611 AZ Delft
The Netherlands
(letters only, use Mission home address for packages)