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, August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015

I spy Elder Reese
Life in the mission field is so dynamic that every week has its own adventures and emotional roller coasters. As if you didn’t already know.

I was barely in Apeldoorn this week with conferences and exchanges and splits so time flew real quickly.

I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Cook hahaha, finally for the first time ever since the MTC and we had a BLAST in Deventer. It is soooo cool to see each other work out here after a year and talk to people so casually and address each and every concern with a Gospel answer in the Dutch language, all day every day. We were so nervous for the language a year ago and now we switch between Dutch, Flemish and Surinam’s on demand haha another priceless experience in the work of the Lord.

I was also in Hengelo with Elder Dewitt on exchanges who was also in the MTC with me. It is super cool to see these different areas and help support and find people for them to teach in each one. I love exchanges for that. Miracles happen.

We had zone conference and mission leader council in Zoetermeer with Elder Dyches from the area presidency this last week too. Crazy to go back to the Den Haag area again but I still love it so much. Great conference and great things to work on to regain our focus. 

We did splits in Zwolle also with another district meeting there after coming back and getting pranked hard core. We were doing service for a member and he had a friend there who told us she wasn’t a member. Then she told us all about temples and how she knows about missions from the internet and we thought there was no way she was a nonmember haha. after an hour of acting we got it out of her and she is a super cool member from Albania who served a mission in London haha

Classic

Church was good again but I must mention the organ playing hahah :

Walk into sacrament meeting with a member family and investigator and the visiting organist is digging into the organ playing something from Bach.

Alright that’s cool

Begin the meeting with a crazy Dutch hymn and wayyy too much embellishments on the organ that make singing along almost impossible.

Intermediate hymn goes the same way leaving us all in anticipation for Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel as the closing hymn moments later

The song begins and the roof is being blown off the building while everyone tries singing along under the direction of an exasperated chorister whose motions resemble more of landing a plane than directing a congregation.

Elder Abankie and I were dying hahaha classic Apeldoorn

We got tons of exchanges this week too with the zone. Should be fun. Adventures always come haha

Everyone going to school, missions, work, whatever, make it great!

Elder Trevan Scott Reese




New Digs - August 24, 2015

To follow the previous pattern of emails of insanity to mediocrity, this week we had quite the steady paced week. Who knows what is going to happen starting today then ha-ha

We had transfer day Wednesday and so Elder Abankie and I were in the train station all day in Rotterdam and Utrecht. It’s always nuts trying to transfer missionaries around and outside of the country. This last one was massive too and only 4 companionships stayed put. Tons of moves.

Right away we had to start tackling zone things and worked on planning the last couple days. We illustrated up a zone vision working on teaching skills, got it printed and made, fixed the car, had a counsel with the district leaders and zuster training leader, and taught a few lessons in between.

Apeldoorn is fantastic. So pretty in the late summer. We are next to a huge forest so we have trees and hills which is opposite of Vlissingen with the flat beaches. Very very cool place. A good size city too. 

Church went well but it is soooo different than Vlissingen. I miss it there. Here we have 7 missionaries and 4 new ones so coming in you are kind of just another face or elder. They love us and take care of us but we meant so much to everyone in Vlissingen and they loved us and wanted to always have us over. Small adjustment but I still got to get to know them all then it will be exactly the same. The ones I know so far are HILARIOUS. So sassy hahaha Dutch people kill me.

This week we have TONS of exchanges and a zone conference so it should keep us busy. I’m pumped because where we are is a place in Holland I have never seen before. And driving the car makes it nice too :)

Sorry this is a tad dull but giving a thorough analysis of our planning this last week would bore you to tears. 

Hope you all have a killer week. BACK TO SCHOOL.


Elder Trevan Scott Reese

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cheated. - August17, 2015


Again, I pay a heavy price for describing last week as average and anything less that significant.

We begin with Thursday. Elder Bruneau and another greenie in the district needed to go to Belgium for legality so I was on exchanges in Roosendaal until they got back. We had a fantastic day and taught a lot of lessons with very warm sunny weather. 

Then Poseidon came.

After our last appointment, we walk outside to some sprinkles and dark clouds. We round the corner and mother nature's fury unleashes and we are in a full fledged thunderstorm trying to get to the train station. We get to the station and take refuge under the bike covers. Classy.

videoWe get over to the trains and the other elders jump on and right before the doors close we hear an announcement saying all train traffic between Goes and Middelburg, aka our way home was impossible haha. They seriously used that word, onmogelijk, because of the massive storm. So we jumped on and got a sleepover approved. Money.  Also contacted a cool, soaking wet lady in the train as well. Blessings.

Get back to the station and it’s just bucketing. Roosendaal, had to bike home HAHA and we took a bus back. Sounds like we got the better end of the deal right? WRONG. They put us on the WRONG BUS. So we got to the end in the middle of nowhere and tried calling but you can’t hear much over the thunder and rain. This is about 2 hours into the ordeal. We were walking around the streets, aka swimming pools, looking for a map or something to get to their apartment. We finally met up and went back, phone waterlogged, clothes dripping wet.

Next day, Friday, we head back, clothes still not dry, and get home to a disaster in the apartment. A window had blown open and the storm threw all paper and material EVERYWHERE. So as Elder Bruneau cleaned up I made lunch and realized I didn’t have my keys. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find them so started rummaging for my spare bike key. Found it, nice, but forgot about the kitchen. Went back and the sink was still on with water running everywhere. I am so sick of water.

So we clean eat and collect ourselves, service from t mobile is down still from the storm, and that night, when I was just done with everything, Guess what happens.

The fire alarm starts going off. So we throw it under blankets, go to bed, and the next morning since it still won’t stop we fill up the sink with water and throw it inside. What do you know water is useful for something. Haven’t heard a peep since. 

In terms of sane missionary work, the APs came on splits which was fun, found a new investigator, got 2 people to church, an American family visited doing a bike tour from Brussel to Amsterdam, taught great lessons, and I’m getting transferred out.

.......

That’s right. I’M GETTING TRANSFERRED OUT. My heart has been stolen, nourished, given back, picked up, dropped, and shattered. Sunday night I was devastated. Yesterday and Sunday I had to say goodbye to so many people who I love with all my heart. These people are what a saint must be. Lots of tears too. Funny how only 6 weeks will do that. We did more service this week and were with the wonderful, amazing, unbelievable branch a lot. No words can express my love for this branch. My favorite place in the mission is here. Hands down. First stop for family to visit. Also mom, a member or two is going to email you pictures of us and maybe write some things too.

So Tomorrow I head to Apeldoorn. APELDOORN. Super sick. I get such cool places to serve. I will be a zone leader over the largest zone in the mission. And Elder Morrell and Elder Cook are both there hahahaa it will be so much fun and I truly am very excited. But it comes at a price...

I love you all

I promise I am sane regardless of what this text otherwise connotes.

Elder Trevan Scott Reese


A Year of Service - August 10, 2015

This past Thursday on the 6th of August, marked one full year of full time missionary work for our MTC group. Pretty surreal that we are this far and still feel like we got here not too long ago. The zusters only have a few months and us elders are closer to getting home than from the day we stepped into Holland. 

This past week was a goodie for many different reasons. We were able to get in contact with our A team investigators and they are doing well still and continuing to make steps of progression! WE were able to get Adnen a Book of Mormon in his mother language which he loved and read chapter after chapter during church yesterday. We have a couple investigators on the brink of setting baptismal dates and this week we are pushing the focus toward church attendance and the spirit of the branch here. 

It should go well this week. We have great faith in our plans and one of our investigators, Lucia, is on the very edge of being baptized, but wants to make sure she can attend church every week when she moves to Suriname so that is a huge focus for us this week is contacting Suriname for a ride. She is fantastic and teaches us as we visit.
 
We are continually searching for more and more people to teach and it has been a little slower in the past week but we are HUNGRY for new investigators. We have like 3 or 4 exchanges this week haha so hopefully we rack up potentials and can find the people the Lord has prepared. 

We taught Ankie Thursday who is the nice lady that made fun of our helmets last week but invited us for lunch. She really isnt into anything about our church or faith so it was kind of a fly by lesson but she was hilarious and we had some good food haha
 
Also we had cool experiences on the door where we looked up a few older potentials and they both let us inside to share our message of the Restoration! So we were able to teach 2 kind super Dutch couples and although they didnt want a return appt they said we are welcome to stop by if we are in the area and they really appreciate the book we gave. Seed planting perhaps.

This weekend and today we are doing service. Saturday we did service in Breda with the missionaries there for the bishop and his family. Afterward we had a barbecue and 2 investigators came so we had a good time and it was NUTS. Haha we cobblestoned (thats Europe) and cut wood and weeded but the weather was super nice and we smashed tons of massive spiders so that was neat. 

I dont know if there is a sort of curse once you become a year old but yesterday and today i have been struck by a lightning bolt of exhaustion haha so hopefully that rolls by soon and all the energy comes back.

We were making a lesson plan for an investigator yesterday and I watched the Bible video when Christ teaches the people how the Truth makes you free. go watch if you havent. its magnificent.

Make it a killer week.

Elder Trevan Scott Reese


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tsunamis of All Sorts - August 3, 2015


Our area is more water than land and if any have taken the time and diligence to read previous emails, you are only beginning to understand the wrath that is Zeeland. This week we had rain again, not too badly, but others forms of overwhelming and frankly ridiculous situations have left myself, as well as anyone else wanting to know, water you waiting for?

Let me just dive in head first.

Monday night we run into our investigator on the way to our appt. who is swiftly biking away to be with his mother so we reschedule on the street for Wednesday where we were able to bring a member along. Before any further details, this lesson can only be accurately described as one attempting to hold back a tsunami with only their two hands, thus contributing to the inspiration of the subject title above. After our member brings up the subject of ISIS during our Gospel lesson in regards to forgiveness, I begin scrambling to pick up any prior principles to tie the lesson back to the Gospel but before we know it (Elder Bruneau is still trying to follow with the language let alone the mayhem) we have plunged into a dimension topic of sorts and how things in the Bible denote certain phenomena and feelings in the which Bruneau begins testifying of love through baptism (random but the greenie and gift of tongues save the day) wherewith our investigator expresses his desire to be baptized when he receives an answer of the truth. Next lesson Bruneau teaches alone because he can get it to work ha-ha

Quick occurrence: same day we visit a sort of investigator and teach the first lesson after which he asks for help fixing the speakers on his computer. So as I work and fix them it becomes time for his Muslim prayer which he performs on an old mattress while we diligently and silently search for a good Mormon message to leave him with. Elder Bruneau is scarred as my greenie.

We contacted a kind Dutch woman who laughed at us with helmets (sigh) who we later talked to and she invited us over for lunch this week with 2 ladies from the branch so that’s exciting and she loves Nederengels so that’s right up Bruneau´s alley.

Other than that we had rain and sun and water and heat. Thursday it poured on our bike ride to Gravenpolder and we had to end up changing clothes midday again so people wouldn’t laugh and mock when they would sea us. See the picture below of our schedule ha-ha I got a little bitter from being wet all day from the Zeeland tsunamis. 

We were in Breda for a time this week to support the sisters and had interviews with President and Sister Bunnell which was great. I love being able to talk to them and Sister Bunnell is an incredible marathon runner so we basically talked Nike our entire interview ha-ha

Schedule
To top it off, yesterday was the most spiritual Sunday of my mission. I have had incredible Sundays being a part of the music group thing but yesterday was incredible. For so long I visited units and got shallow relationships with so many incredible people, but being able to fully invest in the 27 active members here is a blessing I will never forget. I could write an email just about them. AHHHH I love them so much ha-ha soooo freaking funny so solid of testimonies so willing to help and all they want is the branch to GROW. They are as great as we bring investigators to church and love to have us over. Testimony meeting was spectacular, nobody can believe how good Bureau’s Dutch is already and apparently my testimony went well also but I don’t really remember what I said. Spirit swept me away like a tsunami. 

I had a cool moment (well not just one but one of the many) where I took a step back and looked at what we are doing and working with here. When we got here we had little to nothing, 1 eternal investigator and the member relations were somewhat stagnant. Looking at our plans an area book now, we have 4 progressing investigators, a full list of top 10 people to work with, members who LOVE to be with us and will make you cry laughing with families being a major focus and drive for the branch and area. Our 3 highest guys right now were found by us on the first weekend when we had nothing and went finding all day every day. It’s easy to get discouraged and that was how elder bruneau started his mission was only finding, but we see the rewards. Looking at it now, where things were, are, and will go is super neat. We have been able to build this city in a space of 3 and a half weeks. With crazy experiences haha but we have built it through the blessing, direction, and help of the Lord. It was cool to look back on. As a whitewashing, district leader with a greenie in the middle of nowhere, I was able to do this with divine help. And only through that divine help did it work this way. The hardest of times become the best of times.
 
Whaat?
Vlissingen is so much fun. I am not lying either when I say that when I think about the members and investigators here and what they mean to me I almost cry. It will be excruciating to leave later. But luckily we don’t have to think about that for a while :) I think multiple times a day how excited I will be for my own parents to come and meet these people and see this place later on.

Logan will have just an awesome farewell. he will love Europe. He will be such a great missionary as well. 

Good news as well: I got a new camera so these nutso weeks also have visual aids.

I had an incredible prayer answered this week about the reason that we receive blessings.
We receive blessings to provide support and protection through our personal or family trials.
But why else?
Why does the Lord bless us in His own time, little by little or prosperously?
Think on your baptismal covenant. You committed to stand as a witness.
As we experience blessings we must testify of receiving, enjoying, and benefitting from them. Are we not all witnesses of Christ? 
Are we not all expected to testify of His resurrection?

There is more than one side to the reception of the Lord´s mercies.
Keep that in mind.

Love
Elder Trevan Scott Reese