Monday, July 11, 2016

In twee gesneden

De gevoelens die ik nu heb kan ik niet beschrijven. Maar ik voel me wel alsof mijn hart in twee word gesneden.  Ik ben zo zeer dankbaar voor de twee jaren ik had om mijn heiland en verlosser beter te leren kennen.  Elke dag de kans hebben om met hem te werken.  Elke dag, heel de dag.  Tijdens mijn zending heb ik van alles ervart.  Ik had de diepste van dallen en het hoogste van bergen.  Maar op het eind kan ik wel zeg dat ik weet wie dat ik ben.   Ik ben zon van een hemelse vader dat mij zo veel lief heeft, en ik voor hem.  Ik ben broer met Jezus de Christus, onze volmaakte vorbeeld, onze middelaar, en trouwe vriend.   Door hun heb ik eeuwige en onbeperkte mogelijkheden.  Ik mak deel uit hun gezin.  Ik weet dat er goed in de wereld is, dat ik a verschil kan maken, met hun hulp.  Ik ben er enorm dankbaar voor.  Ik hou van de mensen in België en Nederland.  Zij zijn ook kinderen van onze hemelse vader, net als wij alle hier op aarde.  'Want alzo lief heeft God de wereld gehad, dat Hij Zijn eniggeboren Zoon gegeven heeft, opdat een ieder die in Hem gelooft, niet verdwenen zouden gaan, maar het eeuwige leven hebben. Want God heeft Zijn Zoon niet gezonden in de wereld, opdat Hij de wereld veroordelen zou, maar opdat de wereld door Hem behouden zou worden.' (Johannes 3:16-17)

I love you guys so much!  See you soon!

-Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the week:  What is one of the things you will most miss about Belgium-Netherlands/Europe after returning to the United States?

Answer:  I'm going to miss the people that I've met, my second family.   I'm also going to miss the cheese, natural sugar in food products, good public transportation, classic old architecture, a giant mix of cultures, vla, fun driving, busy overcrowded cities, speaking dutch, ahhhhhhhhh... yeah a lot of things.  But I am looking forward to a lot of things in America as well. My heart is being torn in two as we speak.  Good thing we live in a modern world and I'll get to come back some day.

Love you guys! 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Finishing Strong


So this week was fantastic!  Mostly because I got to go back to Antwerpen for Mxx's baptism!  That was such a great moment!  She is such an amazing person, and there were miracles that followed her conversion.  I feel like she is one of the people I needed to meet/teach on my mission so it felt good to enjoy that moment with her and her family.

Other than that I'm just trying to finish strong.  It's going to be a good week.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true, it entices all men who read it to do good and to be good, to believe in Christ and to come closer to Him.  I know Joseph Smith is the prophet who the the Lord used to restore His church in this last dispensation.

Click here to read the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith

I love you all!

-Elder Lott

Question of the Week:  Is there very much German influence in Eastern Belgium, or is it only Dutch and French?

Answer:  There is a pretty small German influence in Eastern Belgium, a little piece given to them from after the war, but it's not really anywhere in our mission so we don't ever have contact with it.  They stay pretty segregated as well so we don't run into very many Germans.  Well, except for the beaches during the summer.  I learned that last year serving in Brugge.  Pretty much the Belgium coast becomes little Germany during that time.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ward Newsletter Article


Hey everybody!  So this week was pretty good.  Got quite a few new investigators and had some experiences I'll never forget.

Here is a preview of what I sent in to the ward news letter:  

As my time here in the mission field comes to a close I don't have all that much to say, mostly because until I have a moment for me and the Lord to sit down and talk about it I don't feel like I could give everything I've experienced and learned the right words.  There is a scripture that comes pretty close to summing everything up though.  Helaman 3:35 says: 

 'Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.'

Over the course of my mission I have seen that all those who yield their hearts to God are those who are blessed the most, and who are brought closest to the Lord.  They begin to act like him, faith and light fills their lives, and the difference can be felt and seen.  That goes for missionaries, members, investigators....  Everyone.  We are are children of a loving Heavenly Father.  He has a plan for us.  Jesus Christ is central to that plan.  Jesus Chirst is our savior and redeemer.  Our example and our friend.  I love them both and all they have done for us.

Neal A. Maxwell
'Willing to Submit'
Ensign, May 1985

Love you guys so much!

-Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the Week:  Are Belgians crazy about their team in the UEFA tournament, or is it not a big deal?

Answer:  It is crazy right now with the European cup!  Belgium is doing really well and pretty much everywhere we go we see Belgian flags and decorations.  It is hard not to watch the games because they have all been at night and our apartment is really close to the Market square where they play all the games on a big screen.  But the Lord has been blessing us for our dedicating ourselves to the work, and it helps give me conversation starters to ask about the game :)

Belgian Football Team

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Turnhout City Hall

A lot of the cards in the world are made here in Turnhout, Belgium.
 It's still kind of eery though walking through a row of
card looking Kings/Queens to get into city hall.
Turnout City Hall
 picture by Michielverbeek - wikipedia


So this week was another good one.  Had some good lessons, church was nice.  We got some new investigators.  1 from Jamaica, and 2 from Suriname.  All really chill guys who can cook really well and are pretty open to the gospel.  A bit of exciting news is that Bxx from Antwerpen is getting baptized this upcoming Sunday, hurrah!  That will be good.  Unfortunately it is right after church on Sunday, so I won't be able to go but still a happy day.  

I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are the word of God, and that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is their church here on the earth.

Earthy Father, Heavenly Father
Click here to watch video link

Love you all!

-Elder Lott

[Mom note:  I'm not sure how this week's email ended up focusing on food, but it did!  I just mused in my email that I hadn't heard him talk about good Chinese food on his mission because we had enjoyed a wonderful Chinese meal with some out of town friends.  And I speculated if there were good frozen friets there because they have a deep fryer in their apartment.  And then I did ask about ramen noodles for question of the week, so I guess it was a lot of food focus this week..........]

Question of the Week:  We were discussing with Bishop and his family this week that ramen noodles are not sold in Brazil.  Can you buy them in Belgium/Netherlands?

Answers to questions: You can find Chinese food here in Belgium and it is ok.  But the Vietnamese and Thai food is really good.  Frozen Friets here are pretty good if you don't just get the cheapest ones, and you have to get the right kind of mayonnaise, otherwise its just not the same!  You can't really find ramen noodles here.  Only in international markets can you find anything similar, stuff from Korea and Japan and stuff.  It's pretty expensive though.

Mom, in response to some vibes I was getting from your emails...
yes, I've learned how to cook on the mission.
 More than just deep frying and ramen noodles.
 Here is a 4 cheese pasta dish I made this week.

and I made Surinamese rice :)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Christlike Attributes+Pure Desire/Action=Character=Greatness

[Flag says 'Geel - You get there, You stay there']


So this week was super hot and humid.  We still went out and worked hard though and saw some cool miracles.  We had prayed to know where we needed to go and felt like we should go to a street in the city of Mol.  There we met a wonderful lady from Suriname who is looking for answers about why so many people don't follow God and all the confusion in the world.  We were able to share a little bit with her, give her a Book of Mormon so that was good.  Loving just going out and doing the Lord's work every day.

Learned a lot from the priesthood lesson this week.  A good indicator of true greatness is character.  I feel like Christ's character helped him stay focused on the things he had been sent to do, and that drove him through to do them in all diligence.  I hope to follow in His example, and invite everyone else to do so as well!

Developing Christlike Attributes
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
October 2008 Liahona


Elder Lott 

Question of the Week: There is a Reggae Music Festival the first weekend of August in Geel.  Leuven has Jazz.  Do you hear reggae or other kinds of music in the centrum or other places around Geel?

Answer:  Yeah we hear quite a bit of music, not necessarily just reggae, but lots of kinds.  We actually pass by a music school pretty often on our way to different places throughout the day and there is always something going on in there. 

logo from

In Antwerpen

In Antwerpen

Me + Church in Geel
[St. Dymphna Church]

Belgian Pastries

More Belgian Pastries

Geel, Belgie
Pretty view from an apartment here.

Hot Day in Antwerpen
Elder Waters, Elder Lott

Deep Fryer Hard at Work
Yeah,  I might put on a few pounds in the next month.......

Strawberry Vending Machine

My Favorite Shawarma Shop in Antwerpen

Haha, Got Lost in the Forest

Lunch in Herentals

Monday, June 6, 2016

In the City of Yellow

Geel Train Station
picture from wikipedia 

Geel Belgium
picture from wikipedia

Geel Belgium
picture from Pinterest


So to keep it short,this week has been amazing.  I love this city, it's another one I feel like I was pre-destined to serve here.  Elder Waters and I were able to hit the ground running, get some solid work and adventures in.  Taught a ton of lessons, found a lot of new people and were able to set a new investigator on baptismal date!  Her name is Mxx.  Elder Steenblik and Elder Waters had taught her the first lesson but she was positive enough we helped her set a goal for baptism on July 9th, and she came to church and brought a friend! Super cool.  

Elder Waters is super cool by the way, he is from the Idaho Falls area, super cool.  This is his 3rd transfer.

The Caregiver
Henry B. Eyring
General Conference, October 2012

Love you all!  

Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the Week: "Half of Geel is crazy, and the rest is half crazy,” runs a joke often told about the Belgian city of Geel.  Have you heard the joke, and if so, do people in Geel say this about themselves, or is it outsiders who say it?

Answer:   Haha, yeah Geel is known for being a 'crazy town' because of the psychiatric hospitals and clinics here. I've heard it both from people outside and also here in Geel.  We've met a few people that are being housed in the clinics, some you could tell right away, others not.  But they are all nice! 

[Mom note:  The second link is a little long, but an absolutely fascinating read about the history of Geel and mental illness treatment.  What an amazing town for Elder Lott to serve in for his last area.]

Dis (left) and Luc live with a foster family in the obscure Flemish town of Geel in Belgium.
Luc is 48 and suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder.
Dis is 89, no one even labels his psychiatric disorder.
(Courtesy Gary Porter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Click here for a link to article from this picture

Click here for a link to 'The Geel Question' by Mike Jay

Monday, May 30, 2016

Goodbye Antwerpen


Well, after 6 wonderful months here in the beautiful city of Antwerpen my time here is coming to a close.  I'm going to miss this place.  Mostly for the people I've met, and because of the learning and growing experiences I've had.  There is even more sacred ground here in these two countries for me now.  The good news is though I'll get to come back really soon, and it will be easy.  I'm being transferred to Geel, Belgium! I'll go to church in the Turnhout Branch.  I'll be serving with Elder Waters as my companion.  It is going to be so much fun!  He is a wonderful young elder.  It is going to be a fantastic transfer!  

Antwerpen to Geel, Belgium

Elder Waters with Sister and President Bunnell

I don't have much to say right now, my mind is still going a billion miles an hour.  We had some amazing experiences this week.  We had the chance to help quite a few of our investigators set a goal of a baptismal date this week.  Also I don't know if I've mentioned her, but we have an investigator named Mxxx and her story keeps getting more and more miraculous every week.  She has found a special place in my heart.  I don't have the time or composure to put it in an email right now.  Maybe next week.  But  I'll send a lot of pictures!

Elder Sosa and Me

Bart Torfs and Me

Antwerpen Missionaries
Sister Lindsey, Sister Thomas, Elder Geeraert, Elder Sosa, Elder Howard, Elder Lott
Me at dinner with the Schiltz (Super nice couple) along with
 some recent converts here in Antwerpen.
 Ann (in front) and Ronaldo (to the right of me in picture)

Me and Julie

I love you guys!

-Elder Lott

ps  I don't have pictures with everyone yet, so more will be coming next week.

Question of the Week:  Are the flags covering the front of Stadhuis (City Hall) in Antwerpen flown all the time, or only for special occasions?

Answer: The flags of Belgium, Antwerpen, Flanders, and the European union are flown year round.  The ones with all the countries are flown between May 1st and October 1st.  I'm not sure why it's those dates but I do know that much.

Flags at Stadhuis Antwerpen
picture from Google

The Faith to Move Mountains
Gordon B. Hinckley
General Conference, October 2006

Monday, May 23, 2016

Just Sowing or Harvesting as well?


This was a wonderful week.  We had zone training, which went well.  Based on the trainings we got from President Bunnell we focused in on studies.  Both personal and companionship studies.  Then for pretty much the rest of the week we were on exchanges.  We exchanged with Genk (Elder Mackay and Elder Mancer), Leuven (Elder Byers and Elder Needham), and the Brussels (Elder C. Williams and Elder Roberts).  That was really good to get to work with quite a few people in the zone.  One of the biggest lessons I learned from exchanges this week came from Elder Mancer, during one of our conversations it came out that he has noticed that in the scriptures that in missionaries calls to serve their main calling is to harvest.  Not to just sow or to plant but to harvest.  In other words to find those prepared and ready to receive the gospel with open arms and help them be baptized in his church.  Not necessarily to convince everyone that comes across their path. That is not to say we shouldn't talk to everyone and try and do what good we can because it is through 'sowing' that we find those who have been prepared to receive and have the good ground talked about in parable of the sower.  Sometimes though as missionaries we tend to put way to much weight on ourselves, and sometimes even think we can do this work on our own.  But that is not the case.  First of all, it is not our work, it is the Lords.  We have offered ourselves up for 18 months to 2 years so serve him, and he has promised to lead and guide and help us as we look to Him, and sacrifice our own wants and desires to do so.  Because this is His work, it will not fail, and we can be led and guided to an extent that probably wouldn't occur in other situations when the Lord is simply trying to tutor us.  But because there are other souls at stake, the real test/lesson is learning to give up control to the Lord.

This week was also filled with miracles.  Many of which came from cases of trying to 'Sow to Harvest' rather then just 'sow'. 
Investigators are still doing extremely well. Many are now progressing, keeping commitments, coming to church, and having the light of the gospel enter their lives.  I love these people with all my heart.  

Ik hou van jullie!
[I love you!]

-Elder Lott

Question of the Week:  I've read that many shops in Antwerpen do not open until noon, and most business occurs in the afternoons rather than mornings.  Do you find this to be true? 

Answer:  Yeah, most shops don't open until pretty late, especially on Monday.  That's not just in Antwerpen, it's all over Europe, but it is much more prevalent in Antwerpen for some reason.  Same thing with most business being done in the evening.  I know that in some cases it is because of the time difference between here and the states.  If they want to work with someone from the states then the best time is afternoon here, morning in the states.

Het Steen Castle, Antwerpen
picture from Wikimedia

Antwerpen Stadhuis
picture from Wikipedia

Antwerpen at dusk
picture from Pinterest

Antwerpen Centraal Station
picture from Wikimedia

Museum aan de Stroom
picture from

Monday, May 16, 2016

Confidence in the Lord

Guess who came to visit?
[So happy that Elder Lott's trainer, Elder Chantry was able to visit him during a trip back to the mission!]

Dag Iedereen!

So this week has been a really good one, with loads of miracles!  We received a few referrals this week, one from a member, a couple others from other sources and they have all turned out to be really positive!  A couple of them came to church this week and loved it!  This was one of the most spiritually led weeks of my mission as far as having the confidence and courage to be bold and say things with honest love for those who I was teaching/talking to.  Really trying to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.  It pays off.  I fear no man. I trust God and I feel like He trusts me. It is interesting that as I (and as I see others) try to act on spiritual promptings immediately and try to do things and love the way the Lord would do just how much power enters the work and the life of the individual acting.  Everything runs smoother, and the lives of those around that individual are blessed.   Super cool.

Got to go up to Amsterdam on Exchanges again this week, this time I worked with Elder Da Silva (from Portugal/Brussels, Belgium).  We also went on splits with the Gent Elders.

Dinner with Gent Elders/Sisters at end of day

Oh, and we got a new car!  The old one wasn't bad at all, they just needed another Belgian one, so that gave us a new one and gave the old one to the Brussels elders.  To get the car though we had to drive from Amsterdam to Gent, which because of traffic through the big cities ended up being a 3 hour drive.

Getting a new car (twins!)


I had been doing all the driving because Elder Sosa didn't have his license, but luckily it came in and the office couple gave it to him when we picked up the new car so I won't be doing all the driving anymore.  I really like working with Elder Sosa, I feel like we're friends and not just colleagues and that's always super nice, makes everything more fun. 


Elder Lott

Question of the Week:  Do you have any favorite hymns in Dutch?

Answer:  Favorite Dutch Hymns?  Well, I really like a few of them simply because they are only in Dutch and not in English.  Some of those would be 'Zullen wij elkaar ontmoeten' (Lofzang 62),  'Wat is het evangelie' (Lofzang 40).  I like other ones though because I like the Lyrics better in Dutch rather than English.  Some of those would be 'Meester, de stormwinden woeden' (Lofzang 71) [Master the Tempest is Raging] and 'Jezus, Redder van mijn ziel' (Lofzang 72) [Jesus, Lover of My Soul].