Monday, May 25, 2015

Down to 2

Hey all!

So this week has been more of the same, just kind of dragging trying to scrape out any success that we could find, learning lessons along the way of course, but still kinda rough.  Good news is that changes are coming here in Almere to kind of mix things up, which should be a good thing!  In the aftermath of transfers in which 8 or 9 cities were closed to prepare for the big group of 30 missinaries leaving this next transfer, the dust has settled as there will only be two missionaries in Almere now.  I will be staying and getting Elder Wootan. I actually already know him a little bit from zone conference this last month. If I remember correctly he's from New York, New York which is super cool, and this upcoming transfer will be his 4th.  Cool stuff.  Elder Solomon is headed to Henglo, Netherlands.  Elder Brown in going down to Antwerpen, Belgium.

Elder Lott in an Orange Hat
(We are so grateful for members who share pictures!)

Try not to laugh, Elder Lott!

Elder Lott's new companion, Elder Wootan

Something I've learned this week is that the only kind of change that will stick in a person, whether ourselves or someone else, is one that is changed because of love.  We truly change when we allow the Savior's love and grace to be our guide and cause.  Others can be changed when we show our love, and allow them to feel the love of the Savior as well.  Force, fear, bribe, and any other means only bring about temporary change in people, therefore let us show love.  Being the light the Savior needs us to be, radiating His love, and changing lives in the process.

Followers of Christ - Dallin H. OaksApril
 2013 General Conference Talk

I love you all!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

Question of the Week:  There are many pictures of apartment style housing in Almere.  Are there any single family homes, or it is all urban high density living?

Answer: Much of the housing in Almere is apartment style housing, and even when it is not the houses are literally right next to each other, no space at all; I'll have to get some photos.  There is not one inch of wasted space in this country.

Almere Dyke

Almere-Staad Apartment (Elder Solomon and Elder Brown)

My Glass Box Study Room
(Elder Lott told us during video call that he loves to spend his study time in here.)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Miracles in Den Haag

Hey all!

This week was really good.  We had a zone conference in Zoetemeer that was fantastic, getting to hear from President and Sister Robinson, the singing Elders again, and watching a documentary film on the Book of Mormon.  I have been really impressed this week with the Book of Mormon; I have in a way kind of rediscovered it, you could say.  I have begun to read it again in English this time, and I am going through more quickly, just trying to understand how all the civilizations fit in together more with each other. But in my attempt to go through quickly, I find it difficult not to stop and simply drink deeply from the many testimonies and fruits of the gospel that can be found in the Book of Mormon.  It truly is a book that is inspired by God.  Brought forth in our day for our welfare and guidance, to bring us to a pure knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the Only Begotten, and how we can follow Him.

Following in His Footsteps

I was on exchanges this week in Den Haag with Elder Bernier and we had a fantastic time!  We had some real miracles with lessons, and with finding people.  We spoke to probably the most prepared native Dutch person I have ever met, which was a real answer to my prayers, even though it was not in my area.

I love you all so much!


-Elder Hayden L. Lott

Question of the Week:  Are there many businesses in Almere, or is it mostly residential with people commuting to other cities for work?

Answer: Yeah, there are a lot of businesses in Almere so lots of people do stay here to work.  But a lot of people do commute to Amsterdam and other places in the Netherlands to work.

Cereal wall in Hillversum Apartment

Forest in Hillversum
Almere Buiten Apartment

View from Almere Apartment

Elder Lott in Amsterdam

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

[We enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day video call early Sunday morning.  It was such a blessing to hear Elder Lott bear testimony of the gospel and offer a prayer in Dutch. He spoke Dutch so much more fluently and confidently than he had at Christmas.  He used Dutch or sometimes even Flemish/French words and phrases without realizing it during our conversation.  Although he misses Leuven, Belgium terribly, he is loving his companions and the ward members in Almere, who he said are the most missionary focused of any area he has served in to date.  -Anastasia]

FaceTime call with Elder Lott
He bought some clippers and has been cutting his own hair because
hair cuts in the Netherlands are extremely expensive, he said.  

Hey all!

Just a heads up this email will probably be shorter just because I did talk to my family yesterday, and I sent quite a few pictures to catch up but oh well.  I guess I will talk about the AZC this week.  The AZC is a refugee camp that is situated here in Almere.  All kinds of people stay there, but it is mostly people who have escaped war torn countries and those who are fleeing suppressive situations.  Most come from Africa or the Middle East.  It is great for missionary work because the people living there are very humble, and aren't allowed to work while they are waiting to see if they get their residency permits or not, so they have lots of time and almost all are willing to hear our message.  The only downsides are that we can't come and openly proselyte, we can only go in if we are visiting someone specific on invitation who we met outside the AZC.  And the other downside is that because these people have so many worrying and difficult things on their minds it is difficult to help them keep commitments and find peace and joy through Christ and his gospel and the hope that it brings for more than the moments that we are there. I just want to cry sometimes, and shout out to everyone there especially that this life is but a small moment it the spectrum of eternity and if they are able to make it through these trials and follow Christ, all their losses and hardships will be made up in the end.  It is so hard though to help raise that vision though, and so we do what we can, hopefully slowly along the way helping them to come unto Christ step by step.

It has also been really interesting this last week being in the three man.  When we go tracting (knocking doors) it is awkward to have 3 people on a door.  So I have found myself going solo, just me and the Lord for much of the time, while the other two go together.  That has been a great growing experience, and I have had some cool conversations that might not have happened had I not been 'alone'.  Apparently speaking with one person isn't as hard as two for people and they will at least hear me out; we've gotten some good potential investigators this way.  It's sad though because I know the power that going out 2 by 2 has and that it has been the way that has been set by the Lord to do missionary work.  Still a good growing opportunity though.  I can say that I know for myself Jesus Christ is the son of God, our savior and redeemer, the only way by which we can obtain salvation.  That it is through living His gospel, His one and only true and restored gospel, we can be most happy in this life and into the eternities.  That gospel is found here, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with the proper priesthood authority of God to run his church, that can be directly traced back to him.  I love the Lord and His work, and for the person he is helping me and all those who come unto Him become. I leave these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you all!

-Elder Lott

Question of the Week:  Almere is surrounded by water.  Do people travel often by boat, or is that only in the canals in older areas of the Netherlands?

Answer:  Yeah we are surrounded by water, in two ways.  For one we are on a big island, and two there are dykes and canals everywhere.  I wouldn't say it is a common mode of transportation here but it's definitely not unheard of, and we see plenty of people out on kayaks and paddle boards and such.

So grateful that he was able to send us this iconic picture;
Missionary tag in Keukenhof Gardens

Elder Lott in Keukenhof Gardens, April 2015

Elder Lott in Keukenhof Gardens, April 2015

Lott's Diamonds
[Don't know if this is Belgium or the Netherlands]

Elder Lott in Leuven Stadhuis
Elder Besendorfer and Elder Lott at Antwerpen Station

Elder Lott and Elder Brown

Elder Lott and Elder Solomon
Stuck tracking in a rainstorm

Monday, May 4, 2015

Triple Trios

Hey all!

It has been a pretty good week this week.  Konigsdag went really well.  We gave away over 20 Book of Mormons and got a handful of potential investigators.  Me and another Elder had one stretch where we talked with people for an hour straight and gave out 8 Books of Mormon.  That was really fun.  Konigsdag was a blast!  It was pretty much as expected, with lots of people dressed in orange, and everybody having a giant garage sale lining all the streets.  Even though we worked pretty much the whole day, I did take a lunch break and some scattered other minutes to walk around and enjoy the festivities.  I ended up getting an orange hat to wear because I realized in the morning I didn't have an orange tie and I didn't want to be out of all the fun ;) The market was open on Konigsdag so there was tons of food and music to go along with everything. I got a bag or two of churros, a ton of fresh raspberries, frites, and some coconut ice cream for lunch.

Koningday Selfie with Almere resident
picture from Facebook

I am healing pretty well from my bike crash, and with no infection so far, so I think I should be clear of that worry.  

As to the title of my email says: 'Triple Trios'.  This is because I'm going to be in my third trio of the mission!  In Almere we have two sets of Elders, the Stad (city) Elders and the Buiten (outside) Elders.  One of the Stad Elders, Elder Smith, is getting called to be in a group called the 'singing elders' in our mission.  They are a group that goes around the mission visiting members homes and doing firesides to generate referrals for the rest of the mission.  It is working really well, in large part because this group is REALLY good.  They preformed last Sunday for our ward, and for a couple of families in our ward, and will be preforming again this upcoming Saturday for our stake.  Really excited for that, both to hear them and for the referals that will hopefully come in.  Elder Smith is being pulled out mid-transfer so that he can shadow one of the other Elders  who is going home soon so that he can replace him.  So his companion, Elder Brown, is companions with me and Elder Solomon now.  Elder Brown is on his second to last transfer, and is from Logan, Utah.  He is a very relaxed, easy going guy, which is cool. He will be my 9th companion on the mission in 9 months.  So my streak of one companion per month continues thanks to my many trios.  I am going for a record at this point or something ;) I have really enjoyed having so many companions so far. (Shout out to Elders Cook, Chantry, Johnson, Lovin, Cockbain, Denny, and Besendorfer.)  I have learned an important lesson or lessons from each one and I see no reason that won't continue.

Elder Brown
Picture from Mission Blog

Sunday Selfie - picture from Facebook
Elder Lott on the far right
Elder Rozendall in white shirt (former Belgium/Netherlands missionary)
Elder Solomon in black suit in the center
Elder Brown in back row, left

I heard that the Leuven ward temple trip went through, thanks for telling me a little about it.  I'm so happy for Sister X and Nxx!

Work is looking good here and we should be doing a lot of teaching now that we are going to combine teaching pools with the Stad Elders.

It will be fun these next couple of weeks.  We've talked about it already, and we're going to be living out of 2 apartments. We'll just sleep, eat, and study at whatever apartment is closest to where we will be working that day.  I guess you could say we'll be living a luxury missionary life for the next month until transfers and they get us back up to 4 missionaries ;)

5th Article of Faith


-Elder Lott

Question of the Week:  All the buildings look so modern in Almere.  Are there any windmills, or do they pump the water some other way?

Answer:  Yes the building are very modern, this city is only 40 years old because it is built on land reclaimed from the sea.  It leads to some cool things (street names and architecture) because they could plan out an entire city years ahead, knowing the land would be available.  There are windmills you could say, but just the modern kind.  Still really cool though.  There are some classic photos of the Netherlands waiting to be taken here, with big open green fields and cows and trains, and all.  Very cool.  Sorry, I will get photos next week!

Almere Windmills:  Image from Google