Monday, October 6, 2014

Life Upside Down......

Hey all!

So many of the things I was going to write about just a few days ago have completely changed, thus life upside down.  I was going to write a few days ago about how I was very disappointed at how little rain we have had since I've been here.  I was also maybe going to add about how comfortable I am getting here. But as you can guess, both got turned on their heads.

My first story this week has to do with conference - well first I'll give some details.  To watch conference here you pretty much just have to watch it over the internet, other than Priesthood or Women's meetings, which for us are broadcast to the stake center in Rotterdam.  We ended up watching what sessions we could (the first 3, have yet to see the last one) with a family in our ward, the Txx's.  They are super cool!  They don't have any kids, because they married later, but they do have a dog named Wiley.  She is an American, and he is Dutch, and the way they met it simply amazing.  I can't fit the whole story, but a simple version is just that they were pretty much led to each other by the spirit all the way across the world.  Anyways, they live in a town just outside Gouda, which is pretty far from our apartment.  We have to bike out whenever we go to their house but I don't mind because the ride there is BEAUTIFUL. (I'll send pictures) It takes us through a couple towns but mostly country bike paths, taking about 45 minutes in all from our apartment.  

Along the Bike Path

Ride to Txx's
Watching conference was amazing as always.  We have such inspired and wonderful leaders in this church.  Quick testimony that you can always find an answer to any question you have when listening to conference, you just need to pray for help from God and if you listen, the spirit will help you find your answer.  Or in my case, a speaker will directly tell you, so that works too.  Anyways, so the ride out on Saturday was great, simply beautiful.  The ride back seemed like it was going to be similar, but about 10 minutes into our ride we got caught by a little wind and then seconds later a full on downpour.  There was no time to put on our jackets.  Within seconds we were all soaked all the way through.  It got super cold and windy, and yet, we were all super happy still.  I'm guessing it was the spirit of conference still running through our minds or something, but that ride home was awesome!  Even though we were slowed down by the rain (took us another hour to get home), it was just so awesome!  Such a surreal experience.  Nobody else was crazy enough to keep going or even be outside for that matter in that crazy storm at that point, and that is ok, because for the rest of the way home we belted out hymns and Disney songs (don't judge, we were probably getting hypothermia at that point).  Haha, it is so crazy how something that would have been miserable at home suddenly becomes so great on your mission/in a foreign land.  Anyways, so that's the Saturday story.  The Sunday story was that on our way back out to the Txx's to watch conference, we ran into more problems.  Elder Johnson's tire started to go flat, my gears got stuck in the lowest position, and nothing happened to Elder Chantry's bike but we figure that's because his is already so bad anyways.  Haha, it is again so amazing how back home this would have been the end of world, and yet having the spirit that we do and eternal perspective, we were all able to just laugh it off and limp our way to and from watching conference.  Such a cool blessing.  Also, I think this is a sign of how badly Satan didn't want us to hear the messages of conference, and was throwing everything at us as to make us turn back.

We had a fun time on Saturday morning.  We organized a Young Men activity. We played soccer and basketball before having to go and get ready for conference.  That was super fun, not much else to say on that other than to reiterate what I said last week that these young men are so strong!

Young Men from the Gouda Ward
(Back row: Elder Lott, YM, YM, Elder Johnson, YM  Front: Elder Chantry)

We have some really cool investigators right now, and happily for me we are teaching 3 in English!  As I have said before, the Netherlands and especially Rotterdam is super diverse.  We are teaching people from the Netherlands, Suriname, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Jamaica, and Australia.  It is so cool to see the different cultures.  Also, the reason I said I was getting comfortable but now maybe not so much, is that I found out that in 3 weeks I am going to be taking over this area. My training is going to be cut short at just 6 weeks because my trainer Elder Chantry is heading home, and my other companion is getting called to serve in the mission office in Lieden.  I'm guessing I'll get a companion that is fairly experienced, but there is still so much that will fall on me because I'll have had the most time in the area.  Crazy stuff! But I know that the Lord will prepare a way for me to meet this challenge, and I will take it with enthusiasm and energy.

That's going to have to be it for this week.

Love Ya'll

Elder Hayden L. Lott

From Elder Chantry - They must have been
 at a zoo, or life science museum.

From Elder Chantry
Elder Johnson, Elder Lott and Elder Chantry

Another from Elder Chantry; looks like that beautiful bike path again
Elder Chantry, Elder Lott (in back), Elder Johnson

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