Monday, December 28, 2015

Belgian Christmas

Hey Everybody!

So it was another great week here in Belgium.  Exchanges packed the first part of the week.  I got to go to Leuven with Elder van den Dungen Bille (crazy dutch name right, although he isn't from here, but from Arizona).  I saw lots of people from the ward there which was a treat and we had a pretty successful day.  Then exchanges with Genk where I stayed here with Elder Ocampo (from Texas).  That was also good.  Then we spent the 3 days of Christmas (Christmas eve, Christmas day, and second Christmas) going around with the Antwerpen Elders to various people to hand out cookies and carol a little bit.  Then Sunday and here.  Good week.  I am really enjoying life right now, even how hectic it is. 

In the last couple weeks it has been such a wonderful experience for me taking the sacrament.  Not because I've done anything blatantly bad, but because I have focused on preparing to do so on Sunday morning.  Really sitting down and thinking about the covenant I am going to renew to follow God and take the name of Christ upon me.  Thinking about what I've done well, and what I can do better, as well as things I didn't do well at all or screwed up.  The difference has been extreme, you can truly feel of the cleansing and enabling power of the atonement and the refining power of the spirit.  Peace can be found in this life no matter how hard it is as we draw closer to Christ, and realize that if we do our best, our future is already secure and bright no matter how bad it is right now.

Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament
Dallin H. Oaks
October 2008 General Conference

I love you all!

-Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the Week:  Cynthia asked if the Europeans really do use the metric system or not.  I told her I thought that celsius was used instead of fahrenheit, but we were wondering if recipes, shoe sizes and driving distances are really metric or not.

Answer: Yes, everything really is in the metric system.  They use milliliters and liters, kilometers, and everything else metric.  They even count time here using a 24 hour clock, I don't know if that's metric or military but that's also something different.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Back in Belgium

Hey Everybody!

So I don't have to much time today, so I'll be keeping things pretty short.  Belgium is of course, as experience has proved, awesome!  Antwerpen is super cool as well; it's the first big city I've served in since being in Rotterdam, and I love the feel of a big city.  As crazy and chaotic as it is, I love it.  Life as a zone leader is very different.  We've spent most of the week planning for this transfer, just trainings and points of focus.  But it's been good.  Also traveling all over the mission to get the things and experience we need to give those trainings.  Super cool.  

Antwerp Christmas Market
picture from Google
Grote Market (Market Square), Antwerp
picture from Google
New Companion is Elder Harrop
picture from President and Sister Robinson Mission blog

I love Belgium.  So much.


Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the Week:  I read this about Belgium:  'Many people remain in the town in which they were raised, which creates close extended families.'  Have you found that to be true?

Answer:  From the people that I've met there are quite a few people that stay in the same city they grew up in.  Or at least go back to live there when they can.  People are also very loyal to the city that they grow up in.  Like here in Antwerpen, they have a saying here that says: Antwerpen is The City, the rest is parking.  Haha eveyone here says it's a joke but there is some pride that goes into it :)

Watch '#ASaviorisBorn' by clicking here

Monday, December 14, 2015

Jumping Borders

Hey Everybody!

Hey so crazyness again this week.  I'll start with the most recent news.  Transfer calls were last night and I'm on my way out. The trend continues and I'll be hopping across the border again, back to Belgium, serving in the city of Antwerpen.  I have been called to serve as a zone leader of the zone Antwerpen (which is all of Flanders, the Northern Half of Belgium, plus Brussels) and will be serving with Elder Harrop.  He's the first companion of my mission who I actually kind of know before I am companions with him.  He's a pretty cool kid and actually served here in Breda (well technically Roosendaal) right before I got here.  Really crazy but really exciting.  I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to serve, grow, and love.  I am really going to miss this Breda area/ward though.  The people I've met here, relationships made, lessons I've learned will hopefully last a lifetime, well hopefully an eternity!  Elder Stanworth is staying and I know that he and his new companion Elder Stanger will move the work forward here.  They will certainly have a lot to do, seeing as there will be no more sisters in Roosendaal and that whole area will now be theirs as well.

Merry Christmas
Elder Lott, Elder Stanworth

Merry Christmas, Avenger Style

Christmas Decorations

I'm kind of sad because this last week I was serving in Breda, I wasn't really even in Breda.  Monday was P-day. Tuesday I was on exchanges in Vlissingen. Wednesday we exchanged back, came back and packed to go sleep over in Belgium so that we could get to the Zone conference on time on the next day which was Thursday.  (We got to sleep over in Leuven and a family there heard I was sleeping over and fed us dinner and had cake and candles for my birthday which they remembered from last year.)  

Birthday Party

Conference on Thursday was really fun, we learned some new teaching methods going along with visual teaching that I think are really going to help our mission's ability to teach spiritually powerful lessons.  Right after conference we had to run and switch some stuff then head up to Zoetemeer to sleep over with those Elders because Elder Stanworth and one of those Elders were going down to Belgium to get legal there.  So I spent a day in Zoetemeer doing service on a cow farm. (Yes! a real Dutch cow farm! Sadly I didn't get any pictures though) Also working in their area.  Then Saturday we were in Eindhoven for the first part of the day for District Leader Council.  So Saturday afternoon was the first time I'd really worked in my area all week.  Then Sunday was church; we had success getting a few people to come, then transfer calls that night.  Chaotic week but all good stuff.  Got to talk to some cool people on train rides.  

I've learned this week from study and pondering that the best way to get to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is to first read of him and his teachings, but then a key factor is that we then try and follow in his example, develop Christlike attributes, and try and act and be as he would act and be.

Linda K. Burton
First Observe, Then Serve
General Conference, October 2012

I love you all!

-Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the Week:  I read that the Dutch are quick to use first names with new acquaintances, unlike American culture where titles and formal names are considered more polite.  Do you find this to be true?

Answer:  Yes, people here in the Netherlands are quick to swith to your first name.  Ward members never really refer to each other as Brother or Sister, just by their first names.  People find it quite hard to use Elder once they know our first names so a lot of the time I won't tell people my first name until they've gotten used to using Elder.  Funny stuff 

Elder Hill and Elder Lott
This is Elder Hill.  He was in the same ward/grade as Jake.
(So same ward as Jeff, Tami and crew.)  Small world right?
[Mom note: Elder Jake Yeoman is one of Elder Lott's cousins,  and Jeff and Tami are his aunt and uncle.  Elder Yeoman is currently serving in the Salem, Oregon Mission.  One of Elder Lott's close friends is also serving in the Salem, Oregon Mission.  As far as we know, they haven't met each other yet.  But so crazy that Elder Hill and Elder Lott have met so quickly after Elder Hill's arrival in the mission.  At a family party this past weekend, we had discussed whether they would ever meet each other, and here's our answer!]

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sinterklaas Week

Hey Everybody!

So this week was a wild one, filled with exchanges, support days, and Sinterklaas festivities.  With Sinterklaas it was actually not as big of a deal as last year.  We worked the whole day through, the Sisters had a baptism here in Breda, the Bishops family fed us dinner, and we even had investigators schedule appointments with us for Sinterklaas evening so we didn't celebrate it too much.  We did have plenty of ward members and investigators and other people give us treats and stuff though, so it still felt a little like Sinterklaas.  Other than that, we spent Wednesday and Thursday on exchanges with the Elders from Vlissingen, getting them some extra help and then Friday afternoon on a Sister support day in Tilburg.  (For those who think we're apostate, we're not. Although that's not commonly done in other missions, it's done in this one between mission leaders and the sisters in their district or zone so that we can get a better feel for how they are doing and help train them.)

We had some people come to church this week that we were really happy to see.  So that was a blessing.  Other than that, I have been studying on Faith in Jesus Christ this week.  I had a nice reminder that part of Faith in Jesus Christ is having faith that He unconditionally loves and seeks to help us; it isn't just when we do perfect, in fact it's quite opposite.  We actually stand in need of His love most when we are weak or when we fall, and if we put our faith in Him into practice He will strengthen and support us.

Finding Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
Robert D. Hales
October 2004 General Conference

Love you all!

-Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the Week:  Have you been able to enjoy any of the Sinterklaas/Zwarte Piet festivities this year?
Answered above :)

Windmill in Raamsdonksveer