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, March 30, 2016

March 21, 2016 - Police Raid

Our church is getting renovated here in Antwerpen so we will be going to church in Brussels for a while I think. But one of the weeks is conference so we won't have to travel too far.
We had zone training this week on Tuesday, and that night when everyone headed back was when the police raid happened in Brussels and the manhunt began. And the Brussels elders were about 2 train stops away from where it happened. President hadn't heard about it so I called and had to make the call for the missionaries to all get home ASAP since the manhunt could have headed northward. But then just a few days ago they caught the second suspect in Brussels and he is taken care of. It's just crazy because we could be in Brussels in less than 45 minutes if we left right now. Everything is so close together in Europe.

But we are alive. Conferences are coming up and the weather is getting better. Still rainy but not so cold. We can finally see that we have shadows again. The sun came through for the first time in a while.

Thanks for the love and prayers! I feel them. A bunch of old companions and missionaries want to know when my homecoming would be. Would it be that first Sunday do you know? If not, maybe I could go see some of theirs whenever we go to Utah or something. I think it’s around Pioneer day.

Love Trev

March 21, 2016 - Bucket List Additions

The biggest advantage in the Antwerpen zone is that you become a family. We are the only zone in Belgium and have recently been cut off even more from the Netherlands with limited international phone use. What's nice is that everyone down here is tight with each other and loves each other. It truly is a mission inside of the mission. 

This week we had a zone pday playing district on district ultimate frisbee with a volleyball and eating Belgian pannekoeken a wonderful member made for us. The Brussels district won, and we all got fat on sweet Belgian chocolate pancakes. That's what you get when you put 30 Americans together for a day off in Europe.

Then we had zone training Tuesday. This one was the one that we spent the least amount of time planning for and setting up. And I think it might have been the smoothest. Blessings. I wrote my 20min presentation the morning of about confidence and love and it went well. I hope I could share some mission wisdom with the young bucks. Then we had a masterpiece haha I learned this awesome song on the piano a few weeks back and one time, Elder Hill came in and started yelling motivational pick-me-ups while I played. It was glorious. So to cap off zone training I had him come up, and while I played he gave one of the most incredible motivational speeches I have ever heard. Actually, I never heard it. The acoustics from the piano were quite poor. But we had missionaries crying and super pumped and ready to attack the Belgians with the Gospel. Purpose served? I hope so. Never ever be afraid to use your talents to further others' progression in the Gospel.

We had to close the senior couple's apartment this last week after their transfer, and they have a piano in their apartment. So for a bit of studies I dinked around on it and discovered that I can actually play the song I used in zone training without looking. So I put a blindfold on and played most of it fine, the rest coming with practice. SOOooo the newest addition to my mission bucket list is to make it to a major train station with a piano, put a blindfold on and play the intense, beautiful song without sight and place a whiteboard nearby with something along the lines of 'if man can perform without earthly sight, imagine the view with eyes opened by Jesus' or something like that. We will see if it happens but it's an idea haha

Also, we ate a member's house this last week who travelled to Japan way back when and changed my view on Japanese bathhouses. Let's just say I really want to get to one. Hour body massage, 2 hour nap with mineral bath or something and being fed fruit the whole time and bunch of other things haha his story was so funny. Add it to the bucket list.

Teaching is going well right now, it's still progression that we are working on with people. Our strongest people now, Anita, Jean, Christel, and Alex and beginning to keep more commitments, except that of coming to church. That's the hardest stumbling block in Europe. Church here is like a shadow on life and people don't go anymore, so getting them to go to a new one is hard. We pray for it all the time though.

What I like about Europe is that you really have to strive to be friends with people to help them receive the Gospel. So what is neat is that people make slow progress at the start, but as you fellowship and learn about them and never back down from your purpose, they are interested in you, your message and the Spirit they feel. And you make a ton of friends with a ton of selfie taking. I'm probably all over the internet by now haha

The work keeps going so do we.

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

March 14, 2016 - Spreken is Zilver, Zwijgen is Goud

Ok here is the low down. This week I was bombarded with emails of people getting home from missions, getting married, going to school, living a life that I have forgotten how to live, and getting older and wiser in the process. So today, the short length of this email will tell more than any amount of words could say today. Speaking is silver and silence is gold. (email title)

Transfer week. Missionaries are now to travel alone between cities. Internationally. Missionaries that don't know Belgium with 3 bags and a bike. It was a nightmare, but things will get better with the system. Luckily no one was lost or taken. It's especially intense sending sister missionaries alone, but everything worked out. Eventually.

We had less lessons this week but they increased in quality. Quality over quantity is a huge underlying theme to missions in Europe. So I guess that makes it a good thing. We taught a cool girl named Christel and her sisters Linda and Belinda (yes those are their names). And they couldn't believe we were 20 and teaching them and they wanted us to tell us everything about God's plan. I like them a lot, haha, chill, fun people who investigate seriously. The best mix.

We met with an investigator yesterday whose basement flooded and she was really upset because she planned on going to the gym and washing her car but couldn't. But instead of complaining she switched it up and used the basement water to wash her car and lugging buckets of water up gave her 1.5 hours of fitness haha. She posted it on Facebook and became famous. I thought it was great.

This is a packed transfer with weekly conferences and trips to the Netherlands. Au revoir. But it should be good. Today the zone is coming to Antwerpen to play sports and eat pancakes then tomorrow we are having training here. All of which is on our shoulders but the best way to take potential stress and responsibility is with composure and confidence and so everything is working out fine.

Alright, that's it. Enjoy the picture of my master parallel parking job this week. You become real good in Europe you know.

Elder Reese

March 7, 2016 - Aan Het Dorpen

Dorp is a word in Dutch that doesn't have an accurate translation. It basically means village but village sounds impoverished. And it's too small for a town. And Belgian dorps especially, are NOT impoverished. 

We have received 28 Facebook referrals in Antwerpen for people who requested a free DVD. We split them up and took the ones farthest away since we have the car and have been knocking those out this last week. Because the people are a little more wealthy and classy, most of the time they look at us and before we say 3 words the door is thrown in our face. But luckily that didn't happen with all of them this time! We were able to teach one of them about the restored Gospel and gave her a Book of Mormon in exchange that we come to Paul the Apostle: the Musical in Bruxelles next month. ...... So we may have just booked the Brussels elders a night on the town for next month. Oops.

While doing these referrals I had the feeling to knock around the neighborhood of one who denied us, because God sends us to certain areas for different reasons sometimes. We knock around and find this lady named Nancy. At the beginning, her interest and patience with us was about a 2 on a 1-10 scale. But as we chatted and laughed together, she opened up about her beliefs, her story, her depression, and her desire for happiness. We testified our hearts out and told her that her problems would be soothed and even solved by reading and studying the Book of Mormon. I think we were all stunned when that was said, but it made her take the book and agree to have us back again. Yesterday we drove back out to work there, and as we knock she pulls up into the driveway and lets us in. We taught her the Restoration and a bit about the Atonement which is going to change her life. I know it. I said one or two sentences about the Atonement before closing and the Spirit sucker punched us all. I have been praying for her a lot, which is real special to me because of the big number of people we are working with. Keep her in your prayers please! We are teaching her about the plan of salvation and the atonement on Sunday.

I almost forgot, we had transfer calls this week. 9 out of 10 times I am immune and am called a believer which means I stay in cities for a long time. So yes, I am staying for a 5th transfer in Antwerpen. This is my city. Most of the zone stayed too which is good. Cook is a zone leader in Amsterdam, Morrell in Rotterdam, Parr in Apeldoorn and me here. There are only 6 zones and we are all split up into 4.

It's crazy but awesome to see the bulk of emails I get come from returned missionaries and friends who are back home. Thanks for the love and support and encouragement.


Elder Reese