Monday, June 29, 2015

The Switch

Hey Everybody!

So this week marks the switch in presidents coming up in our mission, and everybody seems to be waiting for chaos.  In all honesty, I think it's going to go a lot smoother than anyone expects it to and I am looking forward to the switch, seeing what I can learn.  Also, this next week is transfer week and I'll admit the thought has crossed my mind that I might get to train Elder Thornock; we'll see.

This week has been better.  We've been focusing on the ward and seen some successes there.  We also got let in knocking doors for the first time in a while!  Super cool stuff, although we might have gotten overly excited and just thrown the gospel at the family who let us in.  Oh well, couldn't have been too bad; they're interested in our message and are letting us come back so that's good.  Really good because most of our investigators are headed on vacation this week for 3 or more weeks.

It's all good though and the Lord is at the helm.

Love you guys!

-Elder Lott

ps Sorry, running out of time.

Progress Through Change
Marvin J. Ashton
November 1979 Ensign

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Music of the Gospel

Hey Everybody!

This week has been an interesting one.  It was the last full week I had with President Robinson at the helm.  This next week, President Bunnell comes and the transition begins.  I'm getting ready for a little bit of a rocking of the boat as the reins are handed off and we look to continue to move the work forward under the hands of new leadership; hopefully the transition will be smooth. I have learned a lot from the humble example of President and Sister Robinson.  I am looking forward to seeing all the things I can learn from President and Sister Bunnell.

We have seen a little more success this week in getting some momentum going.  Still trying to build a good solid teaching pool.  Although the few who we are teaching right now are very willing to listen and to read in the Book of Mormon and come to church, so it's only a matter of time before the spirit can soften and touch their hearts.  We've definitely still been having our fair share of slammed doors in our faces though, but hey, what else is new?  Actually, that's been something that's been bothering me lately.  With as far as my Dutch has come along, I have become more and more aware of how many people are turning us away because we bear the name of Christ.  Before I could see that maybe people didn't want to spend the time with someone who wasn't perfect at the language or whatever.  But for a few months now that is no longer the issue.  I am turned away because I speak and preach of Christ and of His Restored Gospel.  It is sad to see how Satan has infected and perverted the world and it's thinking.  That which is good is called evil, and evil good.  So sad to me, but all I can do is try as hard as I can and listen to the spirit, pray with all my heart, and preach until all know.  Giving those around me as many chances as possible to hear the message we bare, and the blessings that can be theirs because of it. 

The title of my letter this week shares the name of a talk that was shared in General Conference this last April, given by Elder Wilford W. Andersen.  That is no coincidence, seeing as I have been reading, enjoying, and pondering this message all week.  I would invite all of you to read and ponder its message as well.  It is a masterfully written talk, teaching us the importance of not only going through the steps of life, and the motions of the gospel (compared to dance steps).  But to really understand, tune-in, and enjoy the music as well.  (The blessings and feelings we have because of the gospel and the way we live.)  While this message is directed more towards us as individuals and to families, I was also pondering the message it can have regarding missionary work.  The message is then the same as when he talks about how parents need to help their children not only learn the dance steps, but help them to hear the music.  Sometimes as missionaries and as members of the church, we tend to focus our teaching and sharing of the gospel as the steps of the dance.  Or in others words, the things we do and do not do, what God expects from us and how His plan works in a general sense, never really delving into how the gospel can help us as individuals.  But just as important as teaching the dance steps is hearing the music.  Or in other words the blessings of the gospel, the feeling of the peace and of the spirit, and the love we feel from our Heavenly Father and from his son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is just as much or more important to teach and share about the blessings and the joyful things of the gospel as the structure of it.

I would like to testify of the importance of hearing the music of the gospel in our own lives, along with sharing and helping others hear it.  When we simply go through the motions, not taking the time to think about or enjoy how much the Lord has blessed us and will bless us for doing so, the way we live soon becomes unappealing and unenjoyable, and we often forget why we are doing it at all.  But as we take the time to enjoy, and remember why we do things, the spirit can truly enter our lives and make all that we do meaningful and enjoyable.  Or in the case of trials, making things at least bearable, with the sweet music of the gospel and it's truths, our Lord's love for us enabling and encouraging us forward.

The Music of Gospel
Elder Wilford W. Anderson
Conference Talk, April 2015

I love you all so much!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

Question of the Week:  Several people have asked if you've been able to have an authentic pannenkoeken while you've been in Almere.  If so, do you prefer savory or sweet toppings?

Answer:  I have had a chance to have dutch pannenkoeken, they are so good!  Love all toppings.

(picture from the web)
Dutch Pannenkoeken

Monday, June 15, 2015

Simple Truths, Personal Light/Growth

Hey Everybody!

This week has been another kind of rough one, lots of finding, lessons falling through and just hitting the grindstone, but it's been ok.  You learn the most about yourself and make the most personal growth during these times, and they always make you more tender and able to cherish the good afterwards. It's during these times as well when you come to realize certain things with more clarity.  Like the simple truths of the gospel.  There is a God, and He is our Heavenly Father.  His son, Jesus Christ, is the Savior and Redeemer of the World.  Through His atonement and grace we can better ourselves, return to God's presence, and live with our families again for eternity.  It has also become so clear to me that God wants to communicate with us, help us along the way.  We can feel and see His influence if we are willing to believe in Him, look to Him, and desire the same enough and have the faith enough to obey Him and seek His guidance and light.

Listening to the Voice of the Lord
Conference Talk October 1996
Francisco J. Vinas

Love all of you!

-Elder Lott 

Question of the Week:  Does Almere have any products they are know for, such as klompen, cheese, beer, chocolate, etc?  Do they have markets or bazaars in the town square?

Answer:  I'm not really sure if Almere is known for any product in particular.  Something cool though that we found this week that is kind of funny is that what they don't have here, they fake/make.  They don't have very much history, being only 30-40 years old.  But they are making a castle, with a moat and other fun things around it.  Haha, just funny stuff.  They also have plenty of man made little forested areas and lakes and stuff.

The Market square that is right outside our apartment definitely gets used often enough.  Market days are Wednesdays and Saturdays and any holidays, which seems to be about every other day recently.  (They'll make anything into a holiday I swear).  Plus there is almost always some sort of event going on down there.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Heat Wave

Hey everyone!

So from the title of this week's email you can probably already guess that this last week was pretty warm.  It was the warmest I've had so far here in the Netherlands/Belgium.  I'm not sure how warm it got, but it was pretty warm most of the week with one really hot and muggy day.  I think I'll answer mom's question of the week here. [Question of the Week:  We heard you had a hot day on Friday.  I know that the older areas do not have air conditioning, but do you have some now since the buildings are newer?  If not, are you able to open windows and cool off at night?]  Pretty much none of the buildings have air conditioning but a few, and the only one I got into was the church.  Although the stairwell to our apartment stayed nice and cool.  Pretty much ever since I've got here to Almere, I sleep with the windows wide open and a couple of fans running just to get some air moving.  Not so much from the heat- other than on Friday- but more from humidity.  On Friday though when it was both hot and humid we just felt gross, and took quick showers whenever we were back at the apartment for lunch or dinner and at the end of the day.  I have to say I loved it on Friday though, just having a good sweat. This past winter was brutal on me, not seeing the sun for literally 4-6 months straight and just being a little cold all the time.  Never really freezing, but still, it gets depressing if you don't do things to brighten things up.  So I enjoyed seeing the sun and sweating it out.

As far as the work goes, it's been going better.  We've been getting quite a bit of service done as we are trying to help the ward out, which again gave us more time to take in the sun, so good!  We've also had success looking people up out of our area book. People that when we look them up are super positive.  In fact we have no idea why they were dropped in the first place, especially after meeting them and seeing how much interest they still have after all this time.  We even got some of them to church on just a short visit!  Cool stuff.  Slowly but surely turning things around as we trust in the Lord and follow our leaders.  I've loved the chances we've had to look up the less active members of the ward as well.  We have met some really cool people so far, ones that I'm really looking forward to getting to know better.

It never ceases to amaze me the patience our Father in Heaven has for us.  The way His work truly has been and will be brought to pass.  The peace that He can bring if you simply call out.  Order, peace, happiness, security, and all good things come from Him, while anything else does not.  (Study Moroni 7)  

Watch 'Strengthened in the Lord'
Mormon Channel video

Love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

Moroni Chapter 7

An invitation is given to enter into the rest of the Lord—Pray with real intent—The Spirit of Christ enables men to know good from evil—Satan persuades men to deny Christ and do evil—The prophets manifest the coming of Christ—By faith, miracles are wrought and angels minister—Men should hope for eternal life and cleave unto charity. About A.D. 401–421.
 And now I, Moroni, write a few of the words of my father Mormon, which he spake concerning afaith, hope, and charity; for after this manner did he speak unto the people, as he taught them in the bsynagogue which they had built for the place of worship.
 And now I, Mormon, speak unto you, my beloved brethren; and it is by the agrace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and his holy will, because of the gift of his bcalling unto me, that I am permitted to speak unto you at this time.
 Wherefore, I would speak unto you that are of the achurch, that are the bpeaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient chope by which ye can enter into the drest of the Lord, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven.
 And now my brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable awalk with the children of men.
 For I remember the word of God which saith by their aworks ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.
 For behold, God hath said a man being aevil cannot do that which is good; for if he boffereth a gift, or cprayethunto God, except he shall do it with real dintent it profiteth him nothing.
 For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness.
 For behold, if a man being aevil giveth a gift, he doeth it bgrudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.
 And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with areal intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such.
 10 Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift.
 11 For behold, a bitter afountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he bfollow Christ he cannot be a cservant of the devil.
 12 Wherefore, all things which are agood cometh of God; and that which is bevil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to csin, and to do that which is evil continually.
 13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do agood continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and benticeth to do cgood, and to love God, and to serve him, is dinspired of God.
 14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is aevil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.
 15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to ajudge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
 16 For behold, the aSpirit of Christ is given to every bman, that he may cknow good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
 17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do aevil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
 18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the alightby which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same bjudgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.
 19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the alight of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a bchild of Christ.
 20 And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?
 21 And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing.
 22 For behold, God aknowing all things, being from beverlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent cangels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.
 23 And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come.
 24 And behold, there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were afallen, and there could no good thing come unto them.
 25 Wherefore, by the ministering of aangels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ.
 26 And after that he came men also were asaved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the bsons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: cWhatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.
 27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have amiracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to bclaim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
 28 For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will acleave unto every good thing; wherefore he badvocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.
 29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have aangels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
 30 For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of agodliness.
 31 And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the achosenvessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him.
 32 And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the aresidue of men may have bfaith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.
 33 And Christ hath said: aIf ye will have bfaith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is cexpedient in me.
 34 And he hath said: aRepent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.
 35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with apower and great glory at the last bday, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
 36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he awithheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that amiracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of bunbelief, and all is vain.
 38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.
 39 But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in him then ye are not afit to be numbered among the people of his church.
 40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning ahope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
 41 And what is it that ye shall ahope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have bhope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life ceternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
 42 Wherefore, if a man have afaith he bmust needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
 43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be ameek, and lowly of heart.
 44 If so, his afaith and hope is vain, for none is bacceptablebefore God, save the cmeek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and dconfesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
 45 And acharity suffereth long, and is bkind, and cenviethnot, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily dprovoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
 47 But acharity is the pure blove of Christ, and it endureth cforever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, apray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true bfollowers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall cbe like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be dpurified even as he is pure. Amen.