Saturday, April 25, 2015

King's Day

Hey everyone!

So before I say anything else, I'd to say two things.  One is that I'm not apostate even though I'm emailing on a Saturday, and two I'm sorry I let nobody know that my P-day was going to change from Monday to today.  This is because it's going to be Koningsdag (King's Day) on Monday!  

[It took me a little while to realize that
the King's profile is overlaid on the Netherlands flag.]

Koningsdag 2014 in Amsterdam
picture from

Koningsdag is a holiday that is huge here in the Netherlands.  It happens every year on the king's (or queen's) birthday, and everyone celebrates by dressing up completely in orange and having a giant yard sale and partying all day! (At least that's why/what I've heard happens, don't call me on it, I'll find out on Monday!)  Because everyone will be out, the mission leaders decided to switch our preparation day from Monday to today so that we can take advantage of that.  We're going to go and set up a booth somewhere here in Almere, probably in the Centrum and hand out Book of Mormons all day, so that will be fun!  I'm super glad I got to be back here in the Netherlands for Koningsdag because I've heard its just so much fun!

Almere Centrum.
I hope that Elder Lott sends us pictures next week
 of this place full of people dressed in orange, maybe something like this:
Koningsdag in Amsterdam 2014
picture from

This week has been a wild one.  We've been seeing a ton of success in finding people, getting a new teaching pool so that is exciting.  I know it is a blessing of our being willing to work day in and day out.  I've also still seen such a blessing in a continuation of my growth and comfort in the language.  So cool.  I say it has been a wild week though because I'm very bumped and bruised right now.  On Wednesday I crashed my bike, just being stupid and messing around.  I was going pretty fast though, I slid across the ground for a quite a ways.  I put quite a few holes in my rain jacket, my pants, my favorite sweater, and myself.  My knees were pretty scraped up, and I have really bad road rash on my palms.  I have pictures but I don't think I'll send them home, they are pretty graphic.  I cleaned myself up though, and everything seems to be healing fine, and I didn't break anything so that is good.  I was able to save my sweater with that sewing kit mom sent, and we'll see about everything else.  Crazy thing though is that my bike is still alive!  Even though I've had to do so much work on it in the time that I've had it, it is still going, haha what a good bike.  Another miracle from this though was that I didn't hit my head or slide along my face, which should have happened with the way I landed.  Just another blessings from above, even if I was being stupid.  Haha and then I re-sprained my ankle today playing soccer at a zone p-day.  So much fun!

I've been thinking a lot about the Book of Mormon lately, because that is our focus in the zone for this transfer.  From talking to others, and through my own thoughts and the spirit I've learned a ton.  When we think about the Book of Mormon, we tend to give it a lot of roles.  Such as it is how we come to know that this church is true, just to name one.  Which is true and good, but at its base, the Book of Mormon's main role, the reason that the prophets who are in there wrote in it was to help the reader come unto Christ.  You can see from the many scriptures that are given during the book that talk about the reason the writer wrote the things they did, and it is almost always, if not always, so that they can please God and to bring the reader unto Christ.  This is so powerful. The  Book of Mormon is such a powerful witness of Christ, his divinity, and his gospel.  That is why it has been said that a man can come closer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon, and that it is more correct than any other book.  That is my testimony, and that I leave in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Request a free copy of the Book of Mormon here.

Love you all so much!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

ps I'm excited for double emails in a couple weeks ;)  also, in your next package if you send one mom/dad can I have some more fluoride toothpaste? And some more sticks of deodorant, you can't get either here.  Thanks so much!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Relighting of the Greeny Fire

Hey everybody!

This week has been crazy and full of miracles, so I guess just business as usual.  Wednesday were transfers, and as I put in my last email I was transferred up to Almere Buiten.  That was a long day of train rides, going from Leuven to Antwerpen, Antwerpen to Rotterdam, Rotterdam to Leiden, then Leiden to Almere.  Super cool to see a ton of the mission through the window of the train, but still.  Long day.

Since being here in Almere, I have not stopped seeing the hand of the Lord in my life.  I was a little scared of my Dutch ability, coming from a transfer I had used mostly English and moving back up to the Netherlands with Dutch instead of Flemish, but the Lord is good.  My very first hours in Almere I was right into a groove, completely bypassing any barrier between Dutch and Flemish, and the fact that I hadn't used it very much in the last couple weeks.  I would even say that I felt more comfortable in the language in those first couple hours then I ever have before. I give complete credit to the Lord.  It was as if he was saying, "I've got your back, now get going!"  and we've definitely gone hard so far.  

Elder Solomon is a great guy. He is from West Valley, Utah.  Still pretty new, he's just on his second transfer, so I get to finish his training up this transfer.  He has still got that greeny fire!  It has been awesome to see, because it wasn't too long ago that I was in that position.  He is ready to go every day, humble enough to still learn and take advice, and is willing to work hard. He knows how to play to his strengths and isn't afraid to make mistakes or to open his mouth and talk to people, which is a lesson I think we can all learn. He is just a very diligent missionary.  The work here is going pretty ok, but we'll see if we can't light it on fire with the help of the Lord!

Almere is a cool city.  Very new though; it has very little history or classic culture.  This is because just 40 years ago this whole city and the island it is on was underwater.  The whole city is built on land reclaimed from the sea, which is pretty cool.  Everything is very new and modern, and in my opinion kind of plain, but maybe that's just because I've coming from Leuven, one the prettiest cities in Europe.  It's ok though because the ward totally makes up for it.  They are awesome.  So many funny and cool people, all with strong testimonies and a love of God.  This is probably the most missionary focused ward I have served in so far, which is great!  There are 4 missionaries in total here in the Almere ward: the ones serving in the main city, and us serving in Buiten.

"Station Almere Centraal" picture from

A side note would be that our area is the smallest in the mission.  This is crazy because I have now served in the two smallest areas in the mission, here and in Oomoord. Also I served in the largest, Leuven so that is pretty funny. I am liking the small area though because you get so much more work done, with less traveling time and all.  I am really loving it here so far.

I love you all so much!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

Question of the Week:  What is your favorite thing about the new apartment?

Answer:  Favorite thing about the apartment would have to be that it is so much bigger!  It is one of the nicest in the mission, probably because every building we could get is new, so there ya go.  It is like a glass box, with windows lining most of the walls, making it very modern looking.  The shower is it's own room, and is pretty big, hurray!  Also I forgot how good the cheese was up here in the Netherlands - so good!  Sorry no pictures by the way, I'll figure that out next week.

Pictures found on the Senior Missionary office couple blog:

Elder Robison, Elder Besendorfer and Elder Lott
in the apartment in Leuven.
 The apartment inspection noted that it was clean, but
that the floor sloped.  Elder Lott loves the area so much, he didn't care
about the floor or short ceilings in all but the living room and hallway.

Elders at the Temple Conference in the beginning of April.
Elder Lott is on the far left, facing to the right in the grey suit and dark hair.

Posing for the camera
Elder Lott is second from the left.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Farewell Leuven, Hello Almere Buiten

Hey all!

So by the title of this week's email you can probably already tell that with transfers I'm headed out.  I'll being saying goodbye to the city of Leuven, Belgium; the place and people I've grown to love so much, and will be going to serve in Almere (Buiten), Netherlands.  It will definitely be sad leaving. I have seen so much success here, grown to love the ward and the people that I've worked with, and learned so many lessons from the Lord here that this place is now sacred ground.  For all those before mentioned things, I am eternally grateful.

This week has been pretty great.  We had the wonderful experience of Mxx's Baptism on Sunday, our second of the transfer.  It was such a miracle to see that light that his progression and baptism brought to his family.  It was again so very wonderful to see that light that a baptism has brought to this ward.  I am so grateful to the Lord for Him allowing me to help labor here, and see that light that the gospel, the spirit, and the atonement can bring into the lives of all those who receive it.  Whether new convert, or old member, the pure hope that this gospel brings and means for each one of us is infinite.

Elder Lott, Newest Ward Member, Ward Member, Elder Besendorfer

Not only have I seen the Lord work miracles among others, I have felt of his love and grace in my own life as he has purified and changed my heart.  Among other lessons I have learned, the one I learned this last week was one that has been the deepest so far.  When I first came out on my mission I came out because it was my duty to God, and because I loved my family and wanted others to experience that as well, and I was hungry to baptize.  All of these things are powerful, and good reasons to be out on a mission; they bring much joy, and much good into to lives of others and they help build our Father in Heaven's Kingdom.  Over the past week though I have become very aware that a mission can mean so much more, and for the best reason you can be out on a mission.  I sat pondering the miracles I've seen here in Leuven while we were on the temple trip. I thought about how much success we have seen, and the lives that hopefully have been changed for the better because of these things. I came to the realization though that even as I have been accomplishing what I set out to do, I personally have not changed very much.  Sure, I have learned lessons here and there, refined my skills, and made friends that will hopefully last through this lifetime and on into the eternities, but have I really changed?  I will admit I became a little depressed this week, aching because I realized and knew that I have helped others see and use the atonement in their lives, helping them change and come closer to God and to Christ, but I personally have been in a sort of stand still.  As these thoughts began to work in me, and as I shared and talked about this with Elder Besendorfer, I eventually was filled with what I can only describe as pure knowledge from above. Through this experience my purpose for being on a mission, and my life's purpose has changed. My purpose now is simply to do the will of my Father in Heaven, to do only those things which please Him, to serve out of pure love for Him, and therefore His children, my brothers and sisters.  My new purpose includes my old one, but in a new light, a more perfect and purified one.  I would like to testify to the power of the atonement, that it truly can help and change each and every one of our lives.  If we are but humble enough to seek Him, to be willing to change, and to set Christ and His teaching at our foundation, we will receive more peace, love, and happiness than we can ever imagine.

I think I forgot to mention it, but my new companion will be Elder Solomon.  I will be 'breaking' him, or to translate mission terms I will be his first companion after his trainer.  He will be on his second transfer.  This is a wonderful opportunity, there are going to be a ton of mistakes made with both of us being so young, but I am so grateful for this chance that we will both have to learn and grow.  I'm a little scared about my Dutch, because over this last transfer we have used a ton of English teaching and with the ward and my ability to speak has taken a little bit of a fall without the practice but it should all come into place as I start to put more of a focus on that again.

Elder Solomon
picture from

I love you all so much and pray for your successes!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

Question of the Week:  Does the Easer Bunny visit Belgian children, or is it strictly a religious holiday?

Answer: I'm guessing the Easter bunny comes but I'm not sure.  We were too busy to really spend Easter with anyone or enjoy the festivities.

Bountiful Ward Newsletter Article

[Mom note:  Elder Lott's home ward in the United States has many missionaries serving at this time.  Each month, one of the missionaries from our ward is asked to write an article for the ward newsletter, explaining what their mission is like, and suggestions for how ward members can best assist the full-time missionaries in our own area.  It was Elder Lott's turn for the month of April.]

Hey all!

It feels like just yesterday I was saying goodbye to everyone, leaving for the MTC. Now almost 8 months later it all seems like a blur but it has been one amazing ride, with so much yet to go! Although different from home and from each other in architecture, culture, food, language, and feel, Belgium and the Netherlands are two amazing places that have already worked their way into my heart. This has already become sacred ground for me.  The members here are so strong and good, being able to stand against the many spiritual whirlwinds which they are constantly faced with.  I am not surprised though at those that stand, because they are personally converted.

This is part of what I would like to share actually.  The need of becoming personally converted.

One of the best, if not the best personal conversion tests we can take can be found in Alma 5:14-35 which can help us all to take a deep look into how we personally are coming along.  But I would like to focus more on just a few lines, the first being in verse 14 when it asks: 'Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?'  I would imagine that most of you reading this have received this, and for those of you that have, my question would be the same as in verse 26 where Alma asks: 'Can ye feel so now?'  Whether or not you have received this, we can all learn from how our conversion process begins.  In Alma 32 we learn that our faith is compared to a seed, that we must plant it in our hearts, and after we have done so and begin to realize it is a good seed, we must nourish this seed, or in other words we must learn of the gospel.  The way in which we learn is given to us in 2 Nephi 28:30 when the Nephi says: 'For Behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give  unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for unto him that recieveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.'  In order to keep our personal conversion we must continually look to deepen our understanding.  Not just of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but more specifically and especially of the principles of the gospel.  By doing so we can all become and keep our personal conversion.

My advice and challenge to all of you is to study out of Preach my Gospel.  Even though it is missionary tool, it is directed as much to personal conversion as missionary work.  Chapters 2-6 especially help with learning and studying some of the principles of the gospel, with my personal favorites being the missionary lessons in chapter 3 and learning about Christlike attributes in chapter 6. 

I love you all and hope and pray all is well in your lives and that you will all find success and happiness in ward and personal endeavors.


Elder Hayden L. Lott 

Monday, April 6, 2015


Hey Everyone!

Well sadly enough, there is not much to report this week, with most of what was learned simply being patient or too personal to share.  Poor Elder Besendorfer was really sick for most of the week so we had to stay inside while he had that and recovered.  This allowed for plenty of time for me to study, ponder, and pray.  Which was great, but after just a day or two I swear I had cabin fever or something, I was going crazy! Even with this it was good though, it allowed me to gather my thoughts for General Conference.  Wow, what an amazing conference!  I had so many questions answered during that time and I love just feeling the spirit that comes when the gospel is taught.  We still haven't had a chance to listen to all the sessions, but we should after tonight.

Something exciting though is that we are having a baptism on Sunday!  Mxx, what an awesome young kid, he cracks me up.  We've been going over to his and his family's house for awhile now.  It's been cool getting to know and have fun with Mxx's two older brothers as well.  This will be a great experience for them all, as well as for the ward.

I would invite all of you to continue to review, and study from conference.  The real learning comes not from simply listening during conference but in truly studying and applying the messages after conference.

We'll find out this Sunday what all is happening with transfers so I'll give you guys at least that little warning ahead of time.

I am super excited for temple conference coming up this week! We'll get to take a trip up the the Netherlands for a day or two for it because we live so far and travel is weird.

I love you all so much!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

Question of the Week:  With all the churches in Leuven, do you ever hear church bells ringing, or are the bell towers left unused now?

Answer:  Yeah, we hear the bells ringing from the churches quite often, on the hour, and each with their own little tune.

Gent Castle
Castle of the Counts

  Gravensteen Castle in Gent