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.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Keep Me Awake Before September Ends
It feels as if I was just here writing a week ago and rolling on the floor celebrating the win over Boise State. Even though I am rolling on the floor in pain this week, the experiences and blessings we have sown this week are worth more than mentioning.

Tuesday we helped out the Groningen district and went up to Fryslan where a monument stands locating the first ever Dutch converts who were baptized in a canal. We cleaned it up a lot and were able to have a fun time up there with the zone members. It felt like we were camping and doing service since we were in THE middle of nowhere and it was windy and rainy. I loved every second of it.

I was also hit by a load of bricks when I looked at my planner Wednesday. Elder Morrell had written above the day ´1 year in the land mark´ . I have lived here in Europe for over a year now and have less than 10 months left with all the treasure and history here. I couldn´t believe it. I talked to other MTC groupies this week and they all feel the same way. The zusters are almost gone. That will be a hard thing to get by.

We stopped by and had a quick lesson with Maria this week, also taught our other investigator that is a member referral and we go by this next week to do service with her :) 

Saturday the music project came to Apeldoorn and performed that night. Elder Abankie was greeting people at the door when one of the best things on my mission happened. All of sudden I see a familiar face and hear the words `Kom je lekker schat! Ik kwam ekspres voor jou!´ Before I know it I am being swarmed into a 75 year old Dutch lady´s arms and then realize that it was Zr Poorthof  who came across the country from Vlissingen to stay with her daughter a few cities down the road and see me in Apeldoorn!! She said she came just to see me and her daughter made all the arrangements so that they could make it to the concert where I would be. I was on the moon. I was soooOOOOooo happy and excited to see her. It was so special for me and even though I was only there for 6 weeks, Vlissingen and each of the 20 members there will NEVER leave my heart. 

We also expected Maria to come to the concert (we had her personally write it in pen into her agenda to come) but as the concert began we just sat down and started to listen. Even few minutes I would look out the window and see latecomers head in to the building hoping to see Maria come in. After 10 minutes, nothing. 15 minutes, nothing. Even after 30 minutes when the concert is half over, nothing. It was a bummer because I know she would have loved the music and be touched by the Spirit.

Then out of the corner of my eye I see the front gate open. I see in the darkness a small Indonesian woman with her hair falling out pedaling a bike waaAAay too big for her and heading into the church. I almost fell out of my seat. I jumped up and ran out to greet Maria at the door as she is panting and saying IM TOO LATE IM TOO LATE! We went and sat down and she had to catch her breath for the rest of the show, bless her heart, BUT SHE LOVED IT. We are headed back in about 2 weeks to teach her again and she loved the church environment. MIRACLE.

Friday we had Mission Leader Council in the Mission Home which was very nice and very comforting. The Spirit in the Mission Home is as close as you can get to the temple without having to have a recommend scanned at the front door. It is definitely a refuge from the storm. We learned a ton about effective planning and member work which is a very inspired focus moving forward in the mission right now. It was a great meeting and I got to see great friends that are scattered as leaders across the mission right now. The Apeldoorn zone is doing well and on the increase. I really feel that in the coming weeks we will become better and more efficient.
After the meeting we went to stop by an investigator that Elder Abankie taught in Den Haag. It was so great to go back and see Den Haag again and enjoy the place that I spent a quarter of my mission. I love that city. The temple is close by, the ward is fantastic and the city is on the beach with such a wonderful missionary vibe. Definitely gonna be a highlight stop when we come back to visit again :)

This week we will have another exciting week with big plans and trainings. And BYU is going to beat Michigan in the Big House so that’s nice as well. Nothing will be better to heal the broken heart. 

Also, today the Proclamation to the Family turns 20 years old. Read through it. Ponder about it. Apply it to the world today. It is 100% inspired and you would think it was written yesterday to address the problems we have today. I testify that prophets and apostles warn us and prepare us for what is to come. Listen to their counsel. They speak only truth as given from God. I testify that the family is ordained of God and that no other social unit was, is, and ever will be more important than the eternal family. We are His children. We are His family. I strongly believe that the 5th commandment to honor thy father and mother is intended on each side of the veil. What are you doing every day, in public and private, to do that? As missionaries we wear 2 names on our tags. The name of the Savior Jesus Christ and name of our family. I love my family with all of my heart and love watching them grow through the photos. It´s like watching a flipbook.

Be careful if you don´t exactly know which direction you are going, because you might not ever get there.

Verlieft op Nederland en de taal,
Elder Trevan Scott Reese

Hail Mary on the Stairway to Heaven - September 14, 2015

Hail Mary on the Stairway to Heaven
No greater news could come to the unaware eyes than that of not one but TWO clutch wins in the final seconds for the Cougars to open the 2015 season. Against 2 very solid teams in a magnificent hail-mary fashion. One of them being the Boise State Broncos simply adds a cup of cherries on top. Trust me, I have raised the colors high in the blue here on the other side of the pond. 

This past week has been all over the place, quite literally, and we have been able to see some neat things happen. Tuesday I was on exchanges in Amsterdam aka Babylon and had the chance to convert the souls there. We taught a lady named Sophia who from the doorstep on breastfed her daughter as we taught about the restored gospel. Happens to the breast of us sometimes. But it turned out to be a great lesson and she told us she loved the church because it was peaceful and made the step to `´come permanently`´ in her words.

Last week I talked a little about Maria, and this week Elder Morrell and I were able to teach her on exchanges. Yes, Elder Morrell and I have made it on exchanges and you can only imagine how great that was haha. But we taught her the Plan of Salvation which she found much peace in and committed to read the pamphlet about it before we come back. She went off again on her fear of the refugees coming in, but I feel for her. 

The political situation over here is insane. I won’t sugarcoat it at all. Europe is flipping a lid and the situation with the refugees coming in is getting crazy. ISIS is spreading and has already been spotted in Germany I think. I don’t know much about it since it began when I was in the MTC but I don’t think it’s any good... The problems with Syria are crazy and people are coming to Europe in bucket loads. It’s so sad for those who are all genuinely seeking peace at the expense of a few who want to destroy everything. We are starting to see it all over now. Just Thursday we contacted a man who fled from Syria and has no solid future or plans anymore, just trying to live. America has its issues with the presidency and stuff and over here it is getting heated too. But the work will go on because it is not finished. And I don’t mean to sound like a martyr but why should we fear when we are doing the most important work ever to be done? We just live in the world, not of it.

We met a neat guy this week that went to the young single adult camp, found a girlfriend who is active and great and is in the reactivation process. We blessed his home and he told us he wants to do everything he can to receive the Melchezidek priesthood and go on joint teach. Moral of the story: all you need is love.

We also went to an appointment with the singing elders this week while they visited Apeldoorn. Hahaha. Interesting, not too awkward. I miss Elder Conatti sometimes too so it was great to see him. But again, so incredibly glad that music ship has sailed. #blessings

Yesterday something really neat happened. We taught a lady who Elder Morrell and I found on exchanges (we should just end up comps man) who is THE most prepared woman I have met on my mission. She sells doTerra, that Utah mom essential oil company, and learned of the church from there. As we talked she told us of her beliefs and was teaching us restored truth. Amazing. She knows that churches were changed and that the fullness was lost. She believes so strongly in families (has 9 kids and not a Mormon) and thinks that child baptism makes no sense. Basically smashed every European stereotype for religion out of the water. Thanks to the Spirit we taught an amazing first lesson and she is excited to read in the Book of Mormon to determine if it is of God. She is down to pray about it and recognizes how answers will come through the Holy Ghost. We won´t be back for a while because she said she wants time but we will get over again to give her note and Proclamation to the Family frame. One of the neatest miracles of my mission. I could see her in white and I genuinely felt like I was speaking to a Dutch member. We left speechless.

We got big plans this week planning for a Mission Leader Council in Leidschendam and for Zone Training next week in Zwolle. Thank goodness the language isn´t an obstacle anymore haha

To end, I heard one of the coolest quotes in sacrament meeting yesterday that I have ever heard in church:

´´Knowing there is a highway to hell and a stairway to heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers. Are you set on cruise control or will you make the time to take the stairs? ´´

BOOM. Hit me like a wrecking ball. Love every piece of it. Remember that this week.

And yell on my behalf this Saturday as the Cougars play in the Rose Bowl.

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

September 7, 2015

Another week come and gone, chalk full of travelling the Netherlands and working all over the zone to support and build areas in the Apeldoorn stake. 

In short, I was able to work here in Apeldoorn for a few days and also in Groningen and Emmen on a few exchanges and splits. We had an awesome miracle with a woman named Maria from Indonesia. We looked her up on exchanges and she let us in thinking we were from her church. But we sat down and talked to her. She was real anxious about the refugee situation here in Europe since every country is being asked to take in Syrian refugees. What originally was going to be a short lesson about trust in God turned into a backwards upside down first lesson and baptismal invitation, to which she accepted when an answer comes. It was really neat to see her outlook change through the lesson and the Spirit was incredibly strong as we taught about modern da prophets leading and guiding us today. She kept saying ``Dat zou wel kunnen. Zou wel kunnen`` meaning that it could definitely be possible and it makes sense. She said anytime we are there she will let us in to teach. And she wants to come to church #blessings
We also got to teach a lesson on the doorstep which made me so grateful for the Preach My Gospel system. We had 5 minutes to give the Restoration with personal appeals to a man named Bart and his family, give the Book of Mormon to him with a scripture, explain our purpose and pray with him. And through the Spirit it worked completely. 

Apeldoorn is an area with much focus on the active members. The stake wants us to visit and support them often so we do that quite a lot. It is a lot of fun and is greatly needed. That is where a lot of our time goes to.

Saturday we needed to exchange back with elders before heading to Groningen and doing splits before stake conference later that day back in Apeldoorn. Because of crazy train situations, we ended up travelling ALL of the Fryslan and Groningen provinces before getting back to Apeldoorn, missing the entire first block of stake conference. Nice. 

Yesterday we had stake conference and it was packed here. I loved it. Nothing is better than seeing so many members come together in this country. The Spirit and strength is tangible. 

We could get to Berlin pretty quick if we wanted
I was able to call Suriname again yesterday and things are looking well for Lucia´s baptism and journey to Suriname. The relief society president in Suriname wants to call her right away and talk so the branch there is pretty excited :)

I can’t believe nothing crazy or typical of my mission hasn´t happened in Apeldoorn just yet. Nothing as crazy as Vlissingen haha but who knows what might come.

I plan on diving into my studies on miracles this week because I have the feeling again that miracles are on the verge right now. And last time I felt that cool things happened in Vlissingen. :)

Shoutout to the Cougars and their miracle win over the Huskers! Take that into this next week and pummel the Broncos too ;) ahhh I miss football.

You never know the good that you do.

Uit alle liefde van mijn ziel,

Elder Trevan Scott Reese