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, April 25, 2016

Au Revoir, Belgique - April 25, 2016

Au Revoir, Belgique.
This could be the final call I ever get to you about transfers. It's weird to think that this could be my last stop too. Yes, I'm leaving Antwerpen, as much as it reshatters my heart, I gotta say goodbye to the city of gold and miracles. I've also gotta say goodbye to my favorite country outside of home, and all the memories, love, friendships, and happiness that I have had here. I will always have Belgian pride. I'm headed back to the Netherlands to finish off it seems. Which is really chill, I'm being honest, because there is so much to offer up there. Tomorrow I catch a train to Den Helder in North Holland, at the very, very top of the west.

When President called and released me as a zone leader, he said he had a fat assignment for me. Haha and all I said was: President, hit me with your best shot. The only 2 words I got back were Den Helder. Hahaha I had to confirm twice that he wasn't joking, and I'm indeed headed up to Den Helder. My whole mission all I've known of Den Helder is that is has been open, closed, open closed, and is really the armpit of the mission. Haha so my initial reaction was: great, I'm the victim headed there. BUT I'm honestly pretty excited for it. Give me the armpit. Heck give me a sweaty, hairy armpit. My mission has taught me that everything in life is exactly how you take it. Good, bad, sweaty, or hairy. I would tell you if I wasn't looking of forward to it, and I am. Definitely not my first choice or second or even tenth, but it should be good. I get a chill young companion too so I'm excited to have fun and work hard.

IN OTHER NEWS. We went to Gent and Amsterdam this past week. You see, that's the beauty of Europe, especially on a mission. Get in the car or the train, take an hour or 2 and BOOM Amsterdam or BOOM Brussels or even BOOM Paris. Just kidding haven't been there. But we had some awesome weather and chill days this week in Gent and Amsterdam. Den Helder is in the Amsterdam district too so I will be all over Amsterdam for these few 3 months. King's Day is Wednesday too, the crazy orange holiday where everyone takes to the streets. Basically Carnival for Holland. And we will all be in Amsterdam. It even made it on snapchat last year. So what I'm really trying to say is, keep your eyes peeled for a black tag and Book of Mormon on snapchat my friends.

I was super sick on Thursday and thought I was going to explode from a head cold, but I just went to bed early and healed enough to survive the next day. The Lord blesses the weak. Fun fact, if you truly cared about my wellbeing. If not, why are you reading this?

I'm determined to take my French learning endeavors to the wastes of North Holland with me. I learned a bit from Nadia last night and from members and reading juice bottles, so I'm getting there. C'est pourquoi. Pretty sure that means And it came to pass. Don't ask me how I know that one.

I've got a lot of blessings to count though. North Holland in Mei and June. I will probably labor in a few tulip fields for service. No big. Hartstikke Nederland’s.

There will be adventures to come, I know.

As long as you let them happen.

Voor het laatste en wel pijnlijke keer uit geliefde Vlaanderen,
Elder Trevan Scott Reese

April 18, 2016

It's going to be a shorter one because most of the week can be seen through the pictures. 

We were in:
Zoetermeer for temple conference
Leiden for Keukenhof
And Brussels for stake conference

Those will help explain the pictures.

We had some awesome miracles this week and were able to find and teach a family this week in the east of Antwerpen! The Abbey family that has been living here for years and they are super cool. We will see them again this Saturday and I will tell you more next week. We also met a new investigator this week who is the nicest, chillest guy named Jerry. He is really smart and humble, having a really minor form of autism that makes him tired easy, but he loves to learn from us nonetheless.

Other news: Aubrey came back to Belgium for a few weeks and we got to see her at stake conference. Super awesome. I can't believe I was in the MTC with her 21 months ago. I still call her Robbins but seeing her again is making the habit wear off.

Transfer calls are this week so next week will be much more exciting of an email. It will probably be my last one. Pray that I stay in Belgium. Haha I am, but wherever I gotta go will be an awesome last few months.

Salukes uit Vlaanderen!
Elder Reese


Seeing the World - April 11, 2016

I'm convinced that not much compares to spring mornings in Europe. Lately the sun has been out and shining every day, with temperatures around73 degrees Celsius and flowers and greenery pushing through all around us. I will never forget the mornings when sun rays hit the cathedrals and churches that have stood around for centuries and the streets of cobblestone. We spent the morning and afternoon in Brugge today. We decided on a whim yesterday to take a train out there and enjoy the city. We took a really nice and cheap boat tour of the city and had a real chill pday with the other Antwerpenaars. This place is spectacular. Belgium will always be a piece of home.

We have been able to do a lot of raw, diligent work this week. Countless doors knocked, passerby’s stopped, and people met. I hit a few moments of inspiration this week when other missionaries asked how to keep confidence and their cool when all you do is knock all day. We are beat over the head with the fact that knocking doors is the least effective finding method especially in Europe. Yet it is what you do when you have NOTHING to do. So I came to a conclusion. You knock a door, you say who you are and why you are there and what you have to share, you get a negative response back usually, if the door isn't closed by the time you get through speaking your own name. Is that their chance to hear the gospel? I'm convinced it isn't. 

Say you receive a friend request on Facebook. What does it take for you to hit accept? Most likely, you recognize the name, if not the profile picture maybe, then you remember how you associated with that person, what they said to you, maybe taught you, or did with you. Then based on how many of those things were positive experiences, you judge your decision to accept and follow through with it. I've been out for a while, but I feel like that is still the general process with how that works. So what does it take for someone to accept something more important, like, I don't know, say the restored gospel of Jesus Christ? I drew this parallel this week in West-Vlaanderen: I seek adventure and stories. I invest in every person I speak with on the door as someone who I will learn from and someone who has a story, a favorite vacation spot, a favorite ice cream flavor, and an embarrassing encounter with strangers. I KNOW that by investing in them and learning about them, they will in turn take interest in us and love us for who we are and what we do. Missionaries are not robots. People quote me on that here in the mission. My goal is to make every person I speak with worthy of being an accepted friend on Facebook. Someone who passed enough of the criteria above to stay in touch with. And it has worked so much already. And you know what? As you stay in touch with the cool things you have done together, they will see you post Gospel messages and videos on social media, time after time becoming acquainted with the restored gospel. That will make me never actually leave my mission. IT's so cool and I already have a handful of people that I have met and been able to love in this wonderful place in the world.
Ok that was my revelation for the week. I also had interviews with President this week and planned quite a bit of the remainder of my mission. But I will keep you hanging until it’s confirmed with transfer calls haha

We worked all over the beautiful Belgium countryside this week and even made it to the French border. So I drove for a bit in France. I've now driven in 5 different countries. No big.

We also almost got T-boned HARD yesterday morning getting onto the freeway. Somehow the other car stopped just before hitting us and we were fine. But it was my side of the car and it was really intense. Then 10 minutes later we were driving through Zaventem and saw the Brussels airport on the way to Leuven for church. Sorry mom.

I think that's long enough for this week.

Elder Trevan Scott Reese

Attachments area

April 4, 2016

We are in a library for the next few weeks while the church gets renovated, so the emails will be a little short.

Conference was amazing. I love the pump up you get and then the chance to go outside and spread the influence with the world. And yesterday was super warm and gorgeous here. Making today rainy and cloudy... But I ain't bitter.

We went to Nederland this week for MLC, had no district meeting still, and got notice from the US Embassy to be alert and checking our cars for bombs.



So now every time we get in the car we have to do a 360 sweep and under the car to look for anything fishy or attached that could potentially be a car bomb. They think that is the next move here. So we and the Brussels elders are on high alert with the cars now. Perhaps more busing now.

We have taught a lot this week which is awesome. From my worst week in Apeldoorn to this week was a 12 lesson difference. CRAZY. That's Belgium. Especially when you can speak to people.

Sorry for the short length, just know all is well and we keep going. Before I know it I will be back telling you about stories and crazy people and dangerous things that happen here. If I live to tell the tale.... what? haha


Elder Reese

March 28, 2016

You thought Belgium would be the safest place in Europe haha. Just wait until you come over here and I tell you what has happened and what I have done in these scary nooks and crannies here. It makes our Mexico trip and all the places there look like Disneyland. But it is a lot prettier here.

So Braden should have his call in 2 weeks or so? COOL. I think he is going to Thailand.

A good friend of mine here that serves in Bruxelles has a brother named Braden who just got his last week going to Frankfurt Germany. Our neighbor mission. Who knows, he could follow the pattern.

The pictures posted on MormonNewsroom of the sister missionaries were while we were there giving her a blessing. We were there with the Liege senior couple and sisters. Those pictures were taken right after we got there with them.

The ones of Elder Wells are really crazy to see with his parents. We just set up schools thing a few weeks ago because he gets home just after me. Now his parents are with him but they can´t truly see him yet. We were at that hospital to visit him too but they didn´t allow visitors, understandably. Elder Hirsch is good friends with him.

3 1/2 months and I will be back on the other side of the war it seems. You might think it´s crazy, but I am going to ask president to remain in Belgium for the rest of my mission. I have too much heart and soul here it seems. We will see what happens at the end of April though.

I feel so bad Belgium has become the victim to so many countries ridiculing them for security and attacks while in deep mourning and rehab. This country is wonderful. Incredible. It´s split in language and government but they have come together across all boundaries this week.

Things are good here, getting better. mostly schedule changes are what is hard. It sounds like Elder Empey really really wants to stay out for his last 3 months, and I agree. His parents don´t of course, so we will have to see about it. He could touch countless lives here staying for a little bit. I don´t think Wells will be able to which is heartbreaking. But I don´t know his thoughts on it either. Hopefully Sis Clain can get out to her mission and the MTC still. She would touch so many with her story and what just happened.

Anyway, dont want to bore you with writing more.

Love you, Trev

JeSuisBruxelles - IkBenBrussel - March 28, 2016

Every Monday I stare at this blank white screen, with the intention of confining 7 days’ worth of emotions and experiences into a few typed words. I can tell you that this week won´t even be a fraction of the reality happening here overseas.

Because of that, I´m not going to say much or go into much detail about this last week regarding the attacks from Tuesday morning in Bruxelles. In essence, we started Tuesday studies with the call about the Zaventem airport bombs and that the Bruxelles Zone Leaders were unaccounted for after being in the airport. We called President and told him first, while he was in Schiphol. Then the second bomb went off and we heard that the missionaries were rushed to the hospital. We have visited Sister Clain here in Antwerpen twice, and she is a rock star. Such a stud through everything. We had the opportunity to give her a priesthood blessing and bring her the sacrament. The nurses in the hospital ended up asking Sis Clain how she gets so many visitors. After all, she´s not even from here. The Lord opens windows and doors for us to introduce people to the Gospel. Even on a hospital bed after trauma, surgeries, bandages covering her face, head, and arms, Sister Clain was fulfilling her missionary purpose and proclaiming the truths of the restored Church of Christ, together with the fact that followers of Christ are family, no matter the culture or distance.

Using that in contrast to the saddening events on Tuesday, you get a decently accurate range of the emotions going on in this beloved country right now. Let alone inside us as the missionaries. I know Elder Empey and Elder Wells personally. A month ago we went to Bruxelles to play basketball with them and spend Pday together. Elder Empey showed me what missionary work was like with an iPad (because we really do have no idea) and Elder Wells and I planned a couple school things together for the fall. I can tell you how strong those two are. Even after what has happened, I know the testimony and faith that grows inside of them to bring about good from this. To play it to their advantage. You have to do that a lot as a missionary, take weak, broken, bad things and make them good. And I know that is what they do every moment the lay in those hospitals. They are all over the news in the states, Belgium and France. People know us. They ask about our companions. They ask how we are all so closely interconnected. I testify that the Lord knows what he is doing. I don´t think there is any coincidence that Elder Wells has been around 3 terror attacks like this, wants to enlist in the US Armed Forces and is now inspiring others across the world. The Lord hastens His work. And before this life, we agreed to do all we can and go through all we could to make it happen. In perhaps their weakest state, they perform their strongest work.

Investigations have been done and the plan for the bombing was intended for today, Easter Monday in the airport, with twice the bomb material and crowds filling the halls. It´s a long explanation dealing with arrests, timing, torture, and logistics, but if one of those things hadn´t gone how it did last week, the missionaries would not be alive right now. I´m pretty sure of it. And so are the police forces.

The whole country feels the prayers from around the world. We feel them and give them through to those directly affected. It hits home being here and loving the guts out of these people.

Too many tremendous and terrible things have happened in the past week for me to be able to forget them. So I will tell you more when I´m home, if you would want. My second week in the MTC is when ISIS came about as an international threat. As of Tuesday, I was 30 minutes away from their actions. Every missionary in this mission travels through the metro halte Maelbeek to get to legal offices to verify our visas. We have all been there. Yet we are all still safe and doing better.

We may see Elder Empey this week. Elder Wells has limited visitors right now. Our investigators and less active members have been scattered but once again, our message of the restored Gospel has brought peace to their situations. You still wondering if this is truly the work of the Lord?

He is evident in every heart we touch.

Paying back the love from Belgium,
Elder Trevan Scott Reese