Monday, October 13, 2014

Hard Week, Crazy Week

Hey all!

Well, it was bound to happen wasn't it?  I've had my first down week.  Also a pretty crazy one, but I'll get to that later.  But it's still funny how even a down week here is still awesome!  Tuesday was ok, but just really kinda slow, grinding day, with lots of tracting, only one lesson and not much visible success.  Then came Wednesday, where most of the day was eaten up dropping off Elder Johnson at the mission office so that he can start his new adventure working there.  We had assumed the rest of the day would be filled with lessons and and other good things, but while we were on the train back to Rotterdam both our appointments canceled and some other things fell through.  Haha so we were back to more tracting, and let's just say that for the first time since I've been out here it was hard to love the people who I was coming in contact with.  Nearly every door we contacted was either not opening (we knew they were home, they would look through their windows and either walk away or motion for us that they weren't interested), or pretty much slamming the door in our face.  Haha, we even had a bunch of people on the street walk by us as we were trying to talk to them as if we weren't even there.  Still though, we were able to laugh it all off, especially towards the end because it was almost comical how it seemed like an entire town had turned against us.  It really was pretty funny.

Thursday is both where things took a turn for the better, and then went crazy.  After district meeting it was time for me to go on splits again, this time to Utrecht with Elder Endicott, while Elder Chantry stayed in Ommoord with Elder Rozendaal.  We had a really packed day ahead of us so things were defiantly looking up.   Our first appointment was with a less active who really wants to come back to church. I felt blessed to be able to teach him because I was really able to connect with him, and have a heart to heart that I think was beneficial for both of us.  After this appointment is when things got really crazy.  We had some extra time before our dinner appointment, so we started to look up some referrals that they had received awhile back. They turned out not to be home, so we decided to knock a few doors before going to our appointment.  Turns out we only knocked on one because things got awkward.  The lady who opened the door was pretty much naked, (I've always been told that will probably happen to me in Europe, but never completely believed it until now) so after a super quick explanation of who we were and giving her an 'I am a Mormon' Facebook card, we just got out of there.  We decided to look up some more referrals, and one did eventually let us in but he was drunk/high out of his mind (we might have been too by the time we got out of there, the smoke was so thick you could probably cut it with a knife). So we just kinda told him we'd come back another time and left.  At this point, we were pushing getting to our dinner appointment so we went crazy on our bikes to try and get there on time, but my bike (actually Elder Rozendaal's) broke about a mile away from our dinner appointment.  So we locked it up and I rode on the back of Elder Endicott's bike (its called achter-oping, Dutch bikes are nice that way, not sure if its safe but whatever) to the dinner appointment.  

After that we ended up having to bike that same way to a train station to get to our last appointment of the night.  It was awesome!  They had been teaching him for about 10 weeks. We taught him the laws of tithing and fasting and he agreed on a baptismal date!  Ahhhh yeah!  It was such a cool lesson to be in.  Anyways, after that we thought all the crazyness would be done but it was just getting started.  Elder Chantry called us at like 10:30 that night letting us know that he was taking Elder Rozendaal to the hospital because he was super sick.  The next day we headed back out to Rotterdam to meet up with Elder Chantry and the Zone leaders because as it turns out, Elder Rozendaal really was super sick. He had appendicitis.  So we dropped everything to go meet with them because the zone leaders needed to get to some meetings and they couldn't leave Elder Chantry alone.  Anyways, so it turns out they had been at the hospital until 1 in the morning getting Elder Rozendaal checked in.  So later that day after we had met back up with Elder Chantry, we went to see Elder Rozendaal so see how he was doing. They hadn't had the surgery yet because they were waiting to see if it really was appendicitis, which it was, so they had surgery later that night.  Because visiting hours ended at like 5, we left and ended up playing soccer with the young men that night.  Elder Rozendaal is still recovering and is fine now, just resting at the Utrecht appartment.  K, that is a lot of information, and like I said its super crazy, but let me point out some blessings that are evident and came because we 'just happened to be on splits that day' here that are not coincidence.  Because we were on splits, Elder Rozendaal was much closer to a good hospital than he would have been in Utrecht.  He was with Elder Chantry, the most level headed and experienced of us all, and he has had an experience already with someone having appendicitis out in the mission field.  I wouldn't have known what to do, and Elder Endicott told us he probably would have just told him to suck it up and not taken him seriously. Also, during all this crazyness, nearly all of our appointments for Friday and Saturday called us and cancled their appointments, which normally would have been bad, but under these situations helped relive a lot of stress and might have saved us from having to call them and cancel. Also, because we were able to have the times fall the way they did, we were all able to get to everything that we NEEDED to get to.  Stuff that would help build bonds, important appointment, that sort of thing.  There are plenty more blessings I can find from this but there just isn't enough time.  Anyways, that's not all the crazyness for this week but it's a taste.

This Sunday we got to go on a joint teach with the sisters to an investigator they have in Gouda. We have actually been able to teach him a couple times.  He also is working towards baptism now!  I was able to share with him a bunch on how to receive an answer to his prayers, in that we must always pray for the Holy Ghost to be with us while we study, then we must study and ponder which is the work and test of our faith, then we present what we have found to our Father in Heaven and ask if it is true. He will either give us confirmation, or direct us in the way of finding truth.  I was also able to share a little on how light and understanding work. How this connects, and shared with him a Mormon message by Elder Bednar called "Discerning Light".  Its the third part of a three part thing he did and I would highly recommend for everyone.

Click Here for Patterns of Light, Part 1

Click Here for Patterns of Light, Part 2

Click Here for Patterns of Light, Part 3

Well that's it for this week.

Love all of you!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

ps I didn't put it in last week's letter, but I ran into the lady that helped Jason Tooley with his family history work. She was super cool and nice! Give him a shout out for me!  Also mom, I took 70 euro off my personal account like a week and a half or 2 weeks ago. I forgot to tell you.  Also I found out that the office expects our families to send us Christmas packages when I was in there with Elder Johnson this week, so scratch the assumption we got earlier.  It might be nice to get a small one.

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