Monday, January 12, 2015

Without purse or script, especially script

Hey Everybody!

So this week has been crazy!  In all the crazyness of Elder Cockbain leaving last week we didn't have much of a plan, more of just a general direction to go in after he was gone. So we have been going on a wing and a prayer.  With that, me and Elder Denny have had some crazy adventures this week.

Our first adventure this week I think Mom might have little bit of an idea of, because of a facebook request but I'll get to that later.  So it was the first day that me and Elder Denny were without Elder Cockbain and we had some time in the morning to fill in. So we decided to walk around the centrum and contact people, maybe look up some former investigators. That was going pretty ok, but then we came across a street that we both remember had a former on it.  We looked though a list we had and sure enough, there was. So we got to looking for the adress, but when we got there we were very confused.  The address was for a room number in this giant, mansion/castle looking thing with a big courtyard and some huge wooden front doors. So what else should we do, we walk in!  At first, the place was super creepy because it seemed like no one was there. We were just walking up and down halls, finding all kinds of rooms and things, the whole time not really even being sure if we were even allowed to be in there. Eventually, we decided it was dumb; that even if someone got mad we could play the dumb American card and be just fine, so we went looking to find someone who could tell us what was going on.  We ended up working our way into the basement of the place and found some cleaning ladies who thought it was a little weird we were there, but were nice enough to take us down half a dozen halls and a couple elevators to get us where we were looking for.  When we got to the door, we ended up knocking and finding out who we were looking for was actually not there - he had moved about a month earlier. But the man who was living there was nice enough to let us in.  He turned out to be a Catholic priest from India, studying there to get his PhD; and also as it turns out everyone living in the building were also a Catholic priests from India, studying there to get their PhD's.  After a little bit of a chit chat our conversation naturally turned to religious conversation, as he mentioned that as a part of his studies for an earlier degree he had studied about 'how Mormons view the doctrine of revelation'. This was super cool, as we were able to then go directly into teaching about personal revelation, Christ's ministry, the authority of the priesthood, the apostasy, and the restoration. The spirit was super strong the whole time and me and Elder Denny agreed that even if it wasn't a witness to him, it was at least a witness to us at that time that we were saying and doing what we needed to be doing, and that we were in the place the Lord wanted us to be in. Then we had an interesting conversation about why they pray to Mary... still not sure if I understand that one, but oh well.  After all this it had gotten to be lunch time, and he invited us to have lunch with him and the other 22 Indian Catholic Priests who were there. So we did, we were able to talk to them and answer some questions about them and just have some cool conversations.  Oh, and yes for lunch we had some real Indian food which was super good. What an adventure!  [Mom note:  During the past week, I accepted a friend request on Elder's Lott's Facebook account from a Catholic priest in Leuven. This man began a conversation, believing that he was talking to Elder Lott. I explained that I was only monitoring the account until my son's return to the United States.  During our brief conversation, I asked if our son looked happy because he had been ill over Christmas, and his response was that Elder Lott was 'very healthy and blessed'.  What a joy it was to read those words, even from a stranger!  I thought to myself, there's a story behind this contact, and sure enough, there was!]

Shinto Puthumattathil Cmi, a kind priest who fed Elder Lott and Elder Denny a delicious Indian meal this week

So sadly my time is running short today so I'm going to have to end.

Still no investigators with baptismal dates, but seeing an increase in teaching so that's good.

I'm going to start a map where I color in a county or place when I've met someone from there, and see if I can't meet someone from everywhere by the end of my mission.

I will leave one more comment before I go, and that is that one of the things I've noticed about a mission is that it exposes you, both your flaws and your strengths, and you are able to better see the person whom our Father in Heaven wants and needs us to be, and how to get there.  I am so grateful for this and all the other wonderful blessings my Father in Heaven has given to me.

I love you all!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

Question of the Week: Are you still riding your bike in the cold weather, or is that only a summer thing?  We saw a video on Dutch biking, and it showed people (no helmets!) biking even in the snow.  It made us wonder if you were still biking too.

Answer: Yes, we are still riding our bikes, and always will.  Through snow, rain, ice, and everything else.  It's just a part of life here. I actually slipped out a couple weeks ago on ice and slid down hill on my backside.  That was actually kinda fun.  Bike ice skaking, a new sport!

[Since Elder Lott didn't send pictures this week, I am posting a few that Elder Johnson just posted on his blog.  They were companions in Ommoord/Gouda Ward.  Thanks Elder Johnson, for being such a great first companionship for my son!]

Good times with the Gouda Ward missionaries!
front to back:  Elder Johnson, Sister Schwab, Sister Whittington, Elder Chantry and Elder Lott
Elder Johnson in front, Elder Lott and Elder Chantry in rear
Elder Lott and Elder Johnson crossing a rope bridge

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