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.

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