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, January 25, 2016

Unexpected - January 23, 2016

Yes, I am writing to you today, Saturday, instead of Monday. That's because we headed to Leiden today, and Elder Cook, Hosea and I are all working on college work. We are trying to set up things for BYU and UVU today so it should be good.

It's been a good week. I have a Maria story:

We met Monday night and had a great lesson with Dennis, our ward mission leader. She had read in the Book of Mormon and had tons of questions, which Dennis answered really well. We met again Thursday and had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation. I asked to take a picture with her and she said she wasn't awake yet. ........ haha it was 4pm. Nice. 

A lot of weird things have been happening as far as me staying in Apeldoorn or getting transferred, new changes in policies, new missionaries, and time flying by. I can't put my finger on it but I think things are coming.

It's been a short week and next week will be a lot longer, so I will keep it short. Tomorrow night we get transfer calls, so the next time you hear from me I could very well be in a new city, area, and/or country. Nice eh?


Elder Trevan Scott Reese

It Snow Wonder the Dutch Pack Their Skates - January 18, 2016

For the first time since I've been in this country, Mother Nature has dumped some snow. Some. Snow. Nothing compared to the Rockies but enough to stop the trains. The Dutch have ice skates up north ready for whenever it freezes, and they skate on the street, straight down the canals and every body of water they can find. It's no surprise they can sweep Olympic speed skating year after year. It's their pride and joy.

I will be blunt. This week was a frustrating one as far as the work in Apeldoorn. Or should I say the lack of work we were able to do. We had our zone training Wednesday, which went really well and stayed time-managed perfectly, but it called for planning time and setup/tear down time. WE had to write our transfer report all day Saturday and went to bed at 3am, and taught the district leaders Saturday morning. Since we wrote the transfer report, we needed to work with our problem child companionships to help them out, so we spent a lot of time with 3 certain companionships that are pinheads sometimes and can frankly be a pain to work with. But we had a good time in the end and learned good things.

I got to go up north twice and that is when it snowed on us. MY two exchanges up there were really fun and we saw miracles both days by being let in at night and one potential investigator even made us a small Dutch dinner haha. She was one of the funniest 70 year old Dutch ladies I have met. She and Oma Peters would thrive together haha

I wrote a piano song a while back and played it in sacrament meeting yesterday. Oma Peters was so excited and happy hahaha she started speaking Vries to me and I told her I couldn't understand hahhaa bless her heart.

Funny AND Wrong
We see Maria tonight. So that story is to be announced. Should be good.

So many people I love head home soon and it's getting hard to see them get ready to go. Zuster Voss and the Romigs gave their final testimonies in zone training this week. They only have 2 more weeks.

Elder Hirsch told me that we have less than 6 months until we are home too. Crazy. I could only have one more city after Apeldoorn. But heck I would be pumped to have Apeldoorn be my last city haha I really can’t bear the thought of leaving these members. Abankie is doing great in Suriname hahaha I LOVE that guy so much. So funny and so pure. 

Bama won the championship, Seahawks are out. Just skip to next season already. Then I will enjoy it with you. 

Love you all, wees nooit bevreesd want de Here God is met u geweest. - door ikzelf verzonnen. Het klopt niet eigenlijk maar geen van jullie kunnen dit begrijpen dus maakt het eigenlijk niet zo veel uit mwhaha.

jouw lieve maatje,

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

Land of Bounty in the Nethermost Part of the Vineyard - January 11, 2016

I don´t know how many of you watch the news still, but back in the states our ice storms here up north made global attention. In the cities of Groningen, Leeuwarden, and Assen, schools and stores and even missionary activities had to be suspended because of the ice storm. People were ice skating in the streets and canals and ponds. It´s like a Dutch snow day. But really the ice wasn´t that bad, no snow, no wind. To be honest, it´s a little wimpy over here and trains will shut down if a snowflake hits the track. Even most Dutch people think it´s pathetic haha. So I think the street and canal skating is what made the headlines.

We set some steep goals last weekend with every intention of meeting them. And we sure did for most of them. When I first got to Apeldoorn, member relations were suffering and missionary work in that regard was real low. It´s a night and day difference from then to today. The ward and missionaries are suUUuper solid and it makes everything so fun, so effective, so spiritual, and soooo nice. We were able to teach a good amount of lessons, most with members present, and get people friendships and progression that weren´t before.

This week we met with Maria another 3 times. Here we go... We met with her Tuesday to go help her pick up carpet for her hall and she answered, and had totally forgot. So we go inside, she is a little frazzled, but we teach a quick lesson on the apostasy, invite her to read and put her on her way. The next evening we went by again to watch the Restoration movie. Turns out she had no working DVD player. Rebound with a Book of Mormon story lesson. Saturday another city had a baptismal service and we invited her to come. 45 minutes into the service there comes a bundle of blankets with 2 legs into the chapel, sits down, and slowly reveals itself as little ole Maria, not even tall enough for her feet to touch the ground hahaha classic. She was bummed she was too late BUT I told her we could watch the Restoration movie before she left. So we set that up and President Bunnell noticed. He asked if he could join in, so him and Zuster Bunnell became our joint teaches for our lesson. Keep in mind that Maria doesn´t speak a lick of English and still loves to tell off story after story. BUT she watched the movie, like it a lot, got a solid understanding of Joseph Smith now AND told no crazy story. It was really cool. I will never ever forget Maria.

The mission is changing a lot, we found out at leadership council this last week, and in short, our areas are becoming laboratories for other missionaries to come see, observe, and learn from so they can make their own areas excel. The pressure is on.

We have ANOTHER zone training this week.... So we are planning for those 4 hours again when we get time to. But busy is good.

I´ll finish with a gem of a story. Last week with Oma and Opa Kloosterboer. We ran out of hagelslag aka chocolate sprinkles for our sandwiches (yeah its a Dutch thing). So Oma Kloosterboer wrote it on her grocery list to get more. I saw her grocery list on the way out and wrote underneath it to buy a present for Elder Reese haha. SOOO yesterday we went over for lunch and I asked how the week went, if they got new hagelslag, blah blah blah. They were pretty nonchalant about it until Oma Kloosterboer broke out laughing and brought in a wrapped up gift with Holland wrapping paper and Holland glass klompen on it. Opa Kloosterboer thought it was hilarious that I had wrote it on there and they called me a smeercase haha which is like a clever son of a gun (?) In short, I got myself a free box of chocolate hagelslag from Oma and Opa Kloosterboer. They even taped the former grocery list to it haha I love them so much.

I love you all, have a great week.

How are you standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Christ today?

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Yesterday I Said Tomorrow - January 4, 2016

It still hits me like a brick in the face knowing that this year is the year stated on my mission plaque in which I will be returning home. 2016 is the year that was never supposed to show up on the radar and is honestly as far as I have thought for most of my life. Talk about a wakeup call.

New Years in the Netherlands is nothing short of a war zone. It was one of the coolest things to experience as we sat on our roof and watched a 360 panoramic of constant fireworks for an hour straight. I took a few videos, of course they do no justice, but I hope it helps to gauge just how nuts it gets. President Bunnell had us do a lot of goal planning while staying inside New Year’s Eve and we have some ambitious stuff set up to hit Apeldoorn like a wrecking ball.

First off, MIRACLE. We met with a less active member this week and his friend Nicole was there again so we taught her a first lesson, gave her a Book of Mormon in French and invited her to be baptized. She accepted and so we decided to go all out and we have a baptismal date with her planned for the 2nd of April. Such a neat blessing.

Basically, being out for a year and a half and being able to use experience and skills developed from your mission so far, you don't want to deal with crap and lazy investigators and soft, fluffy stuff. So in every appointment with a member, less active, investigator, whoever, we are snatching their friends or other people who are visiting them at the moment and turning them into new investigators. We don't have time to sort through doors and doors and doors to find people so we have decided to find while teaching and it has got us several member presents and new investigators and now a baptismal date. It would have been so much more helpful to have known and practiced it over year ago as a greenie. I'm afraid I am becoming more and more Dutch ha-ha because with everyone, especially dumb missionaries, I will be blunt and to the point and probably chastise them with a little sting to get them focused on the right mindset. So what do you know, the Dutch people CAN teach you something ha-ha.

Now I know you are waiting for some Maria stories. It was a good week for those. Monday she called while emailing in a panic YELLING on the phone how she had made too much cheesecake and how it was going to expire before she ate it all alone. She commanded us to come over and eat it, so Tuesday we did and taught her about Priesthood. Nice. Wednesday she calls flipping a lid about how she had made too many oliebollen (a Dutch scone thing that’s really good) and how we needed to come eat them and pick them up. So Elder Hosea and another elder went over and ate them and brought all the extras home. Breakfast. And apparently in their lesson she turned through the Book of Mormon pictures too fast and ripped one out on accident. Based on description, her reaction looked as if she had just condemned herself to the brimstone pit of hell. HAHA and she told Elder Hosea not to tell me because I gave her that book at the beginning. So she doesn't know I know that, she was supposed to come to church with members but called off her ride, and now we are going over Tuesday at noon to pick up a carpet by the Dutch Home Depot and take it to her house with the car. And probably teach about prophets. We accidentally set 2 back to back appointments with her but I'm pretty sure she doesn't realize so we will just go over Tuesday and Wednesday and probably eat more food and watch the Restoration movie. She IS progressing though step by step. We have to teach one point of one lesson as an entire lesson sometimes but bless her heart she is in the right direction. I will get photos soon. Sidenote: I'll be following up to see if she ever bought a smaller vacuum for her eye. Gotta prevent that.

This last week we found other new people and taught a good number of lessons. We set high goals this week so I ask that you PRAY that we can get those to happen. Please. Thanks. You are all the best. Have a good week.

Elder Reese

Een Heel Fijne Kerstmis - December 28, 2015

It was one fine Christmas this last week. Definitely one to remember. First off, just about everyone that I have talked to was sick at the beginning of the week. And it was no different for me. Ha-ha I´ve never been sick on my mission until Tuesday when we got home and I puked up EVERYTHING from that day. I was just a 24 hour deal and we still worked the whole next day but it relapsed a bit and made me a little sick Christmas morning ha-ha. 

But I´m alive and well and it honestly was a huge blessing that it didn´t affect our work at all.

It´s interesting how on a mission you begin to understand Christmas and not only enjoy it. It is so true, coming from what Elder Holland experienced on his mission. I´ve been spoiled to have had a Belgian as well as a Dutch Christmas. I love Christmas on a mission. I thought it would always be super hard to not be home and not have the same feeling but in the service of the Lord the Spirit fills you with charity and love towards others, and mostly, a gratitude and sense of perspective for the things you already have.

Their service project was in the newspaper -  wish I could read dutch
Christmas Eve we were knocking doors sharing a Christmas message when we found Rene, a nice guy who knew we were Mormons and old us to come back the next morning. So Christmas morning (after my awkward pregnant like morning sickness status) we went and were able to teach him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. And he ended up giving us green tea and I poured it in the cup wrong and ruined the whole cup of tea ha-ha so shout outs to Peter Priesthood over here still not knowing how to prepare tea...

We are teaching a good amount right now which is nice, especially for the season we are in. We got a new investigator this week that was visiting a member and she told us how she had so many questions and was soOOo done being Catholic so we will meet with her Thursday.

There really isn´t that much to tell because I just told everything on Skype Friday... But we had a great few days with loving members. We ate dinner in Zutphen, a city surrounded by a castle and VERY European.

New Years is supposed to be nuts in Holland so there should be some good stories coming up soon.


Elder Reese