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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Preach with the Colors of the Wind - April 27, 2015



Holland in the Spring is irreplaceable. This week we worked in the Haarlem area where the Best 2 Years was filmed and if you thought the movie had gorgeous tulip fields, you have to come see them in real life. Every time I feel as if I am hallucinating haha.

video
Last Monday we had an appointment with Jones, another DTR lesson to see why we lost contact for the 2 weeks after we set his baptismal date. My record with these DTR lessons has been quite optimistic however and this time turned out to be no different. As we talked and taught him last Monday night we watched the conference talk during his dinner about choosing to believe and he ate it up. The dinner as well. I then had the impression to just be bold and figure out everything behind the loss of contact and his baptismal date on the 2nd of May. Then he turned the tables. He told us how excited he was for his baptism and how he had just about begun to tell everyone about it. HAHAHA it was amazing. NEVER lose faith in people, people. How many times have I said that on my mission?? NEVER LOSE FAITH.

I told him straight up that if he is to be baptized and made a member of Christ's church he is expected to be active in the church and basically D&C 20:37 verbatim. He understands that and has committed to it. We ended up teaching him Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. We gave him the preach my gospel study guide so he could study with us. He has investigated for 2 years, knows the gospel principles as much as the institute teacher and church attendance is the only thing holding him back.  We had our own challenge with that since we travel to a different sacrament meeting every sunday anyway, but we brought the other Den Haag elders with us, arranged a ride for Jones to church, confirmed plans, told members, and HE CAME TO CHURCH. Praise the land. We will meet with him Wednesday again and set a solid date.

Pathetic however because our project is throwing our baptism for a loop and we can’t find freaking TIME FOR IT. How terrible is that. We have to work that out haha but it will happen. I’m not letting our project get in the way. It sounds like the 23rd of May will be Jones' date though. But we go to Antwerpen in 3 weeks so LIFE IS GREAT. Unbelievably pumped.

This week for the project we were in Haarlem like I said, performed in Almere for next week and
spent time in the Amsterdam Centrum as well. We worked with the Haarlem elders and IJmouiden sisters a lot this week and one of the sisters in from Belgium so I spoke FLEMISH again! I forgot how much I love it. I will let the videos do all the justice of the week however.

Today was Koningsdag as well which is Dutch 4th of July and national yard sale day hahah. Unfortunately today I was on that finding grind too much and only got one picture.... but it was out of this world! ORANJE everywhere, people everywhere. But I got the high score today since I found a couple people and made appointments on the spot.  We were in Scheveningen on the beach so they will go to the Den Haag missionaries but it was so cool to be on the coast!

This week I focused really hard on Dutch studies and improving my language fluency, then today a man asked me if I was Dutch or if my parents were Dutch because I sound like an echt Hollander! Pretty cool part of the day today. Mouth of a Dutchman heart of a patriot. #swag

We got a big week again this week in fact we are squeezing p day into a couple hours since koningsdag was today and we have the project so lots of work should get done (:

Moroni 8:22 was my favorite this week: "For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled"


ROLL TIDE.

Nothing beats college football. Also met a family from Georgia and talked hard core SEC football for a while. A well-needed health dose.

Love you all!

Elder Trevan Scott Reese



Monday, April 20, 2015

The Capital City


Amsterdam. One of the most famous cities in the world and understandably so. Crazy, to say the least, but for the good as well as the bad.

Transfers were this last week so everyone was jumbled around (except us again) but we ended up in Leiden Wednesday anyway for me to finish my driving papers and print off my driving record. So it was real fun to see everyone including the one and only Elder Morrell again. Tuesday and Wednesday were a little rough around the edges for our only days in Delft. Our progressors and less actives could not meet on those days very easily so we visited some new people and spent time finding others.

We visited a member named Bro Rombley this last week for the first time and had an incredibly spiritual lesson with him about the Atonement of Christ and Elder Renlund's talk about saints as sinners who keep on trying. He really took it to heart and he committed to come to church. We believe he was there yesterday but we don’t know 100% because we were in Haarlem for the project.... argh. But when we asked what else we could do for him he simply asked for us to keep coming back. I think this could be big for him.

Exciting fact. We had a dinner apt. with a rambunctious lady in our ward of the age 80 hahaha but as the hours drew nearer, we received a call from her saying she had been in a bike accident and was now in the hospital. Reassuring us that no bones were broken and only a few wounds must be bandaged and that she would be late to the appt. We told her not to worry about it and to rest that night after calling us on the hospital bed hahaha. it sounds like she is doing ok but it is something only Zr. Van der Put would do.

District in Den Haag
Like I mentioned earlier, this week we worked in Amsterdam for the project. We have refined our time management to emphasize more on missionaries and investigators than before. And let me tell you it has brought unbelievable miracles. We slept over in Amsterdam with the Elders and APs for 2 nights and ended up working with the Zusters for a full day. We taught a first lesson with them to a man from Congo who committed to be baptized in May and promised to read the Book of Mormon and pray for 2 hours every day for 7 days to know if it was true haha crazy man. We told him that he was free to do so but that the most important was to pray in faith after reading and we encouraged him to do so after the lesson. I don't know how many of you have heard a Pentecostal prayer before but in short it is an African rain dance condensed into a prayer hahahaha it was neat to see his faith and how serious he took it but it was hard to keep it in let alone on topic. Really cool guy though with tons of potential and love for the LDS church.

Yesterday we taught a lady with the APs as well who is about to undergo a surgery for her liver and she broke down as we taught about Christ's love and sung Where Can I Turn for Peace for her. She is terrified for the surgery and plans to be baptized right before it. I believe she has cancer actually but she can’t remember the word that her doctor told her in Dutch (she is from Hungary). It was incredibly spiritual though and one of my favorite experiences of bearing down in simple and powerful testimony that God loves us and that we have trials to make us stronger.

Driving around Amsterdam this last week was real fun and as we drive through Holland we see tulip fields on the daily. Next time I’m not driving I will take a video because it is unreal. Just like the best 2 years.

My focus this next week is going to be regarded to finding efforts and using the Spirit in every aspect of the work. We have been able to work with investigators here for a while but they have been progressing slowly and it is time to get a good number of new ones. That will be my prayer for this week and I know that miracles can come of it.

I want to thank you all for all your support since I've been out here. There have been many dismal points but countless indescribable heights in the service of the Lord. I testify that He lives and because He lives so will you and I forever.

We live in a day of wickedness that has never before been seen on the Earth. But remember that the Church has never been stronger than it is today. And it will only continue. Take your side.

Elder Trevan Scott Reese



Monday, April 13, 2015

Gettin' High

The title of this email is not to be misinterpreted as most colloquial minds would understand. Although I sit amidst a chalk ridden atmosphere of weed and nicotine, worldy highs cannot compare to that which the Spirit of Lord can give. Thus I write the following:

DUN DUN

Quick Law and Order Flashback for yáll.

Wow was this week insane. It felt long but not in a bad way. I really truly believe that the high I got off of conference carried me this week. We had a cool dinner appointment Monday with a member Elder Conatti knew from Brazil that is inactive and it was out in a town called Lisse when I saw my first legit tulip field. Just like in the best 2 years the sun glistened across the canal lined street as we drove by the red pink purple and orange fields. Holy beautiful.

Tuesday we worked a ton in Delft and unfortunately not many were able to set up appointments but we worked super hard for hours on hours and got good work done.
 
WEDNESDAY WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE. I can firmly and undeniably testify that the temple is a place of refuge and security from the things that haunt the world today. Walking through the doors you become safe and nothing compares. I absolutely love the temple services in Dutch and I can’t believe I will have a limited number of them. SO FANTASTIC. Afterward we ate lunch and went to KEUKENHOF. Picture perfect April day. Sunny skies and 67 degrees to walk through one of the most famous gardens in the world. I have a plethora of pictures that I will try to get out. I spent the day with Elder Cook too from the MTC which was a BLAST. Elder Elkins, Elder Clafin, and I all wore our matching ties too haha.  People in the garden would stop us and ask who we all were and why we were so netjes (classy).  Cool opportunities there and people were happy.

This week we were preparing for our concert that happened Saturday night. Thursday night we ended up getting a new song for the performance and I couldn’t believe it. It is legit a motab arrangement of come thou fount aka NOT EASY and I had to learn it in 2 days. I wanted to die haha but it wasn’t funny at the time. By sheer miracle (like Always with this project) something happened and during the performance I just reduced the amount of notes played and it was pulled off hahahaha. Right before the concert too we practiced and it was garbage. The Lord is there, it is unbelievable. So often and so strongly yet I always stand so amazed.


So the performance went great :) President was there again and was very praiseworthy so that’s cool and almost 200 people were there! Guys that’s nuts for Europe to get that many people to a church activity. On numerous accounts, it sounds like many investigators have set strong baptismal dates, claimed to have felt the Spirit for the first time, or have committed to investigating the Gospel following our project. Several inactives are undergoing the reactivation process right now as well. I say this as if it is casual and not of utmost importance but it is so unbelievably surreal that I can’t describe it. This is divine inspiration to hasten the work in the nethermost part of the world :)

Yesterday we performed in Amsterdam sacrament meeting and it is super international ward so I spoke Dutch a little English and a little pitiful Spanish hahaha but all went well and I saw Elder Bosco which is always a highlight :) should be another killer week this week in Amsterdam and with investigators in Delft! Micha and Bart are doing great right now and we are just picking up a little slack from Jones and Laura but all is still well :)

Through the Lord and His strength I have overcome countless obstacles and trials this week. Allow Him to take you to new Heights and He will be there next do you in your downs. I saw a picture of Christ when He walked with the men to Emmaus and it is stunning. He walks beside, helps and guides, so that we never have to be alone. HE IS RISEN.

Also, I just received my Belgian driver’s license and have driving all over Rotterdam and Dordrecht and Delft this last week :) Europe is nuts to drive in hahaha but it’s really fun. Everything is metrics but I’m used to it now and so it’s not bad. Just the fact that I am driving in Europe is crazy :)
Met mien life end verged die van zendingswerk komt,


Elder Trevan Scott Reese




Monday, April 6, 2015

What You Know Bout On Point





This week had the strongest Belgium flashbacks I have had yet.

This week we worked in Dordrecht and Sliedrecht, just south eastish of Rotterdam I think and worked with the missionaries there.  One of them is the one and only Elder Hirsch which was fantastic because I hadn't seen him since the MTC! And he is comps with Elder Van De Merwe who was my district leader in Antwerpen for 3. The zusters in Dordrecht are killer too so it was a lot of fun.

We had an unusual turn and actually met more investigators and less active members than active ones. A little different but sooooo cool. We were able to help a lot of people feel and recognize the Holy Ghost (such a blessing to be a part of) and build them up for their own answers from God as they pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph the Prophet.

MIRACLES. In Delft we had 2 exchanges this week with the district leaders and zone leaders and I stayed in Delft for both of them :) Elder Claflin and I got caught in a hurricane hahahah as we biked across town to a member’s home and the hail and rain almost broke skin so we and about 15 others sheltered under a bridge pass to escape the wrath of Poseidon. BUT the real story is with Jones. We had a great lesson with him Tuesday all about the Restoration and how applicable it is to us and how it is our responsibility to accept it! As we spoke the Spirit was really strong and he understood that he has to take steps of faith. We set a baptismal date for May 2 and he is ready to work towards it and expressed his strong desire to be baptized!

Wednesday I was with Elder Bernier in Delft (we have been on so many exchanges since I got here haha) and we taught Micha in his home. He still is looking for God but we have been mainly helping him with smoking and he loves the missionaries as well. We taught about how He is there to help us and waits for us to find Him. I bore my testimony of how I received my answer about the church through Joseph Smith, then we watched the Hope of God's Light video online on how that man found it through a simple prayer, then we read the story of Aaron and King Lamoni. We were able to use all 3 of these accounts of coming to know the truth to show Micha that it is different for everyone and will take time BUT we must be diligent and faithful so when that time comes we are ready. Incredibly spiritual lesson and we have a pizza party with him Wednesday after temple conference :)

WE GO TO THE TEMPLE WEDNESDAY. I am so pumped and to see keukenhof on a Sunny 67 degree April day!

General Conference. I cannot express my love for General Conference and the spiritual thanksgiving I receive when I watch it. It is particularly special on a mission to use the things you learn for yourself then translate it over to your investigators :) The 1st session flew by and we watched it with Josh who is pasgedoopt. I loved Uchtdorfs like Always and found Christoffersons fantastic. I really loved sister burton's about fatherhood and think it’s a power hearing that from a woman as well. It seems like marriage and family were hit hard as well. My favorite was of course Elder Holland #basic and there was not a dry eye in the chapel when he spoke. He also has a pretty killer surname as well.

 Yesterday the sessions begun in the Den Haag building (I was so pumped to simply be in our home building yesterday for once) at 11 for priesthood, 2, and 6 (that one is live and is the Sunday morning back in Utah) I sat with President and Zuster Robinson as well which was great and my buddy Elder Elkins who leaves this summer as well. Seriously I always make great friends with those exactly 1 year older than me. Then they leave. It’s like junior year all over again ha-ha

Let the messages and Spirit of conference and Easter carry you this next week, for HE IS RISEN. Easter commemorates the most important occurrence in global history.

I have also realized that my English grammar is becoming garbage....

English words with Dutch grammar. oops

After the 2:00 session we stayed around waiting for the others to come back with food and a man walked in by the name of Johan. He wore his Sunday best and was a nonmember so I talked with him and explained conference. We talked about Christ and Easter and I taught him of the book of Mormon and the nature of God, families and prophets before music and the spoken word began which we loved. Actually during the whole session of conference (with Christofferson and Holland and those guys) he would say amen, pray, and even cry. When we talked before he told me how he could never change books from the bible to the book of Mormon and how Adam wasn’t a prophet to him.

After the conference session he actually asked if he could learn more about the book of Mormon and we had more time to talk so Elder Elkins and I went downstairs and taught him the whole message of the restoration. Halfway through he asked if he could be baptized haha which was awesome and he became so much more open after hearing the words of prophets and about the book of Mormon. It was awesome to see someone see that light through conference. He is a really cool guy and the Elkins will be teaching him in Den Haag

Also what the heck is going on with people opposing the sustaining of Church leaders? What’s up with that? Are things really that crazy in the States?

Next month we are performing our program in zone conferences and I believe they are filming it so hopefully soon you can see the program too.

We perform in Rotterdam Saturday ..... I forgot until just now

Love Elder Trevan Scott Reese

Picture: Easter morning in picturesque Delft. Directly following this candid we flew to the train station to discover all trains were cancelled, ran to a departing bus, met the zone leaders in the middle of nowhere at a bus stop and drove to conference to make it there at 11:00 prime when it begun here. #success