Monday, March 28, 2016

My Witness

[Mom Note:  We are grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Elder Lott, our family, and the people of Belgium. Thank you for putting Elder Lott and Elder Reese's names on the temple prayer rolls.  I know that the strength that comes from prayers has lifted and protected them during the aftermath of this week's terrorist attacks.  Today's letter is the first time we have been able to hear from Elder Lott since those attacks.  It was not the letter we expected.  We didn't realize that the Belgium/Netherland and Paris France missionaries overlapped, and that Elder Lott knows the Brussels Elders.  Our son's testimony of God's love only adds to our own experiences this week of the comfort and peace that can only come from a loving Heavenly Father and through the atonement of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Thank you again for your love and continued prayers.  We have been strengthened by this experience.  -Anastasia and Michael]

Brussels Airport - picture from Google
Click here for link to Mormon News Channel Article on the terriost attacks.

"For the Lord suffereth the righteous to be slain that his justice and judgment may come upon the wicked; therefore ye need not suppose that the righteous are lost because they are slain; but behold, they do enter into the rest of the Lord their God." (Alma 60:13)

"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12)

"Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now... Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God... Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption." (selections from Alma 11:42-45)

My heart goes out to those who have been effected by the attacks in Brussels.  I have seen firsthand some of the effects of those attacks, and although this is tragic, even horrific, it has proven to me even more that God is there, our loving Heavenly Father and that good does exist in the world and inside of each and every one of us.  Just a month ago I was playing basketball in Brussels with Elder Wells and Empey.  They are two wonderful missionaries, servants of God and I pray for them and their families.

Elder Wells and Empey, picture from

I won't share all the details from this week, but I will share some experiences that I've had that have touched quite deep. Here is my witness from this last week:

Tuesday: We received a call from some members in our zone that a bomb had gone off in the Brussels airport and that the Brussels zone leaders (from the Paris mission) had been at the airport.  We drove down to the church and watched some news reports (side note here: if you know a local language, always listen to local news reports.  CNN, BBC, CBS, and all the other big news stations were a joke and in reality knew less than we did.  Only through the Flanders news station did we learn anything useful and get actual news and updates), then called President Bunnell to let him know what had happened. (He was in Schipol airport at the time so that was kind of crazy)  We then called the members of the zone, and passed on travel restrictions to the members of the zone, and had the Brussels and Leuven Elders stay in their apartments. We spent the rest of the day going between working and keeping up on news reports and relaying information to President.  At some point during the day we learned from news reports that the missionaries had been hurt in the attacks, then things really started to hit home.  The borders of Belgium got locked down for a time, Brussles was also locked down, as well as parts of Antwerpen and other cities for a little bit.  

Wednesday:  Continued contact with president, keeping missionaries informed.  We were able to start talking to people about the attacks because people recognized that we had friends in the attacks.  We were able to share some of the scriptures I put at the beginning of the email.  People's hearts were opened to hearing a little about the gospel and to praying with us because of the hashtag #prayforbelgium #bidvoorbelgie, #ikbenbrussel.  Seeing the kind things people did for us and others was amazing, showing me that when it really comes down to it, people are good and desire to spread kindness and love.

Thursday:  We tried to visit Elder Wells in the hospital in Gent, but were not admitted because he had just gotten out of surgery. We found out that Sister Fanny Clain had been moved to a hospital in Antwepen and had a member who speaks French go and visit her.  In what were tender moments, the member later texted that she was an inspiration and a light to the world.  She knew she had walked on holy ground, calling it 'Heilige momenten' (Sacred Moments).  CNN came and interviewed Sister Clain.

Sister Clain, picture from

Friday: We had the opportunity to visit Sister Clain, she had come out of a surgery to remove some shrapnel from her leg and side but was an inspiration, glowing and radiating the spirit.  She told us of her experience with the bomb, saying that she was knocked out for a little bit and that when she woke up here first question was why she smelled like burned pig.  She said she chooses to be happy instead of crying because it would do no good and just make her dehydrated anyways.  The medical staff was so kind, and allowed us more time to see her in a side room because the senior couple from Liege and her former companion had come up to see her. (She had been serving here, waiting to go to Ohio on her mission)  Had the chance along with the Elder from the Liege senior couple to give her a blessing.

Saturday:  Members from the from both sides of Belgium continue to visit Sister Clain.  The medical staff is super confused, and touched that she would receive so many visitors when isn't even from here!  Heard from the Brussels Elders that Elder Empey is doing better, recovering well.

Sunday:  During sacrament meeting Sister Clain's Father and Brother walked into church, in the middle of a talk being given by the first member we had visit Sister Clain.  After her talk, they had the opportunity to address us, which was a truly moving story.  After church Elder Reese and I had the chance to go and give the sacrament to Sister Clain. She was doing so much better!  She was able to walk and she had the bandages off of her face and it was healing nicely!  There were members that came up from France and the French part of Belgium there to give her gifts and visit her.  We didn't talk with her much, let them chat in French but the spirit was so strong and I was almost crying.

Seeing the effects of the attacks, and searching for peace and understanding through prayer has given feelings that are undeniable.  God truly loves all His children, and weeps when people use their freedom of choice to do evil things that hurt others.  But He has provided a way through His son Jesus Christ that all losses can be made up, pains healed, and all sins forgiven.  This life is only a small part of the spectrum of eternity, and it will all turn out.

I love you all!

-Elder Hayden Lott

Click here to watch the #Hallelujah Easter video
from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Monday, March 21, 2016


Dames en Heren, Jongens en Meisjes.....Wist je dat het al Maandag is? Ik niet, dat was ik helemaal vergeten.

[Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls ..... Did you know that it is already Monday? I did not, that I had completely forgotten.]

Yup, so this week started out with our zone training, that went really well!  The transfer focus President and the AP's had given us was chapters 1 (Our Purpose) and 8 (using time wisely/numbers) from Preach my Gospel.  After some technical difficulties with the microphones not working, I started it out, giving a training on numbers.  Talking about why we use numbers, the attitude we should have towards them, how to use them for the positive way and how to avoid the pitfalls some people get into concerning numbers. Then I shared some personal experiences with bad/good uses of numbers and goals. Then we had an activity planned where we compared effective missionary work to the game of RISK, talking about how many of the strategies used to win the game of RISK can be used to create effective missionary work.  

We laid out a map of our area marked everyone we work with or have as a potential.  We showed everyone some of the ways we have worked our area to create a productive, efficient work area.  Then we had the district leaders present their own areas in a similar way, just trying to give our missionaries as many different scenarios, tips, and tricks as we could.  That went really well, everyone seemed to learn from and enjoy it.  Then Sister Hanny (our sister training leader) trained on our purpose, and the atonement.  Elder Reese trained on confidence in our calling and enjoying the work.  We ended the training with Elder Reese playing the piano and Elder Hill giving a motivational speech on confidence and kind of a wrap up of what we learned... and it was so good!

You Are Not Alone in the Work
Henry B. Eyring
General Conference, October 2015

Work is coming along pretty well.  Another one of our investigators is on date!  Jxx, super cool 18 year old kid who we found from calling random numbers still left in the phone.  His date is for May 22nd.  We're loosing Axx, she hasn't come to church in weeks and has started to be flaky on appointments.  She still has a Bap. Date for May 1st but has lost steam since she has finished the lessons and still can't get baptized because of marriage paper issues.  Still hoping and praying on that one.  We still have a nice pool of other investigators, always looking to round it out though. 

Love you all!

-Elder Lott

Question of the Week:   Do households in Belgium have land lines, cell phones only, or both?

Answer:  A lot of Belgians have land lines, immigrants don't really though.  In both cases the land line doesn't ever really get used, pretty much everyone uses cell phones now.  Belgium and the Netherlands are 2 of the highest using cell phone and smart devices users in the world (per capita).

Mom note:
Here's a few pictures with Elder Lott that I found on the Mission Blog.  Hooray for pictures!

February 2016 Zone Conference
Antwerpen and Eindhoven Zones
Elder Lott is in the middle row, about 8th from the left.

February 2016 Zone Conference
Elder Lott is on the right side, second from top

February 2016 Zone Conference

Monday, March 14, 2016

Elder Lott's Mission Reunion

Dag Iedereen!

So, I forgot to mention it last week, but I'm staying here in Antwerpen!  Elder Reese is staying as well.  We are loosing some fun people from the zone, but there are quite a few others coming down.  Like Elder Groesbeck, one of my former companions!  He is coming down and serving as a district leader in Genk, so we'll get to work with him quite a bit which I'm super excited about just because I've never really served around any of my old companions before and he is super cool so it's a good start.  Also, pretty much all of the sisters are training, and there is one area that is getting white washed with a trainer and a greeny so it is looking like it will be a fun transfer.

Elder Groesbeck and Elder Lott
picture from August 2015 in Brugges

As far as our investigators go, the ones we have are still doing well but our progression is starting to loose steam.  We haven't been able to put the attention we need to on our investigators and our area with transfer day and planning for the upcoming transfer.  Hopefully that can change this week, we'll see.  It has the potential to be just as busy. We have a zone training to put together for tomorrow and a possible week of exchanges with district leaders and other companionships.  We'll see.

The reason the for the title of my letter this week is because of a regional youth activity that happened this last week.  All the youth for the Dutch speaking region of Europe (our mission), came together for a day of activities and a dance in the evening, and they met here in Antwerpen!  It just happened to be that like 80% of the leaders and a whole bunch of the youth that showed up were from wards and places that I have been on my mission.  So when we stopped by to help out and get dinner for a little bit, I saw a whole ton of the people from old wards on my mission! It was so crazy having everyone there at once but it was a tender mercy for sure.

Tender Mercies of the Lord
Elder David A. Bednar
New Era Magazine, February 2012

I'm going to have to head out now, we have to finish setting up a zone p-day we're doing today. (Volleyball and ultimate frisby) and we have to get stuff ready for zone training and find time to go shopping and get everthing else done. Should be fun.  Love you guys!

-Elder Hayden Lott  

Oh, one last thing.  Question of the week:  Are the spring flowers blooming there?

Answer:  The flowers are starting to bloom here, some tulips, some of many other types but I'm terrible at recognizing them.

Groot-Bijgaarden Castle Park in Belgium
photo from

Entrance Gate of Groot-Bijgaarden Castle Park near Brussels, Belgium
photo from

Also I remember a while back you asking about Dutch/Flemmish sayings I had heard.  I heard quite a few this week. Things like:

Hij ziet de kat uit de boom.  (He sees the cat out of the tree) That describes a person that weighs all his options and picks the best one, and is diligent to solve problems.

U gaat dus naar de kerk zeker.  (You go to the church don't you?)  You say this to people who always leave the door open behind them.

Spreken is zilver, maar zwijgen is Goud.  (Speaking is silver, but (shutting up) is gold.)  This implies that sometimes the best thing to say, is nothing at all.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Find the '1'

Mission Leader Council at the Mission Home
February 5, 2016
Antwerpen Zone:  Sisters Remich & Dobbler, Elders Lott & Reese
picture from Mission Blog

Full Group at Mission Leader Council
February 5, 2016
Elder Lott is third from the right, in the red and black stripped tie
picture from Mission Blog

Dag Iedereen!

Wow, what a fun week.  A week that took me to all kinds of places, and let me see miracles that maybe seem coincidental, but I know better.  Those kind of things are always the hand of God. That's what I want to share this week.  That is that God is truly working and trying to help us in our lives, and sometimes if we are not careful we might let the noise of the world drown out what truly are faith building experiences.  So with that I'd like to share a few 'small' miracles from this week.  None of these miracles are striking unique in the life of a missionary, or in the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ for that matter, but they are none the less miracles, and prove to me that God is still a god of miracles, and will be forever and ever, and that He works according to the faith of those who believe in Him. (Mormon 9:19 shout out!)   

Thy Kingdom Come
Neil L. Andersen
April 2015 General Conference

First miracle may seem small, but still very much a miracle.  I was on exchange away from my own area with one of the companionships in our zone, and we were sitting on a bus having a heart to heart talk, when all of the sudden I get the impression, 'talk to the bus driver, ask him where your stop is'.  I think, ok, I can do that.  So I go up, and as I ask him, he laughs at me and says that we passed it ages ago.  So we ask to get out at the next stop, (which was in the middle of nowhere, but a very pretty place, the Belgian countryside is gorgeous!) we get out, and crazy enough the same bus going the other way is pulling up, so we run across the street, and catch the bus.  A bus that comes only every 2 hours, and because we caught it we were able to be on time to a dinner appointment where the member gave them some referrals of people to look up.  

Second miracle: right now we are in the middle of looking up referals from a Facebook campaign the mission is doing right now.  (People order a DVD having to do with Easter, then we go and follow up, try and give a short explanation, tie it to the restoration and set up a teaching appointment)  This campaign has taken us everywhere!  For the ones our ward got, we gave all the ones inside Antwerpen to the other Elders and Sisters because they don't have a car to get out into all the tiny dorps (towns) in our area.  So we've been going all over, seeing some of the most classic and beautiful parts of North Belgium.  One even took us into a group of houses that was in a forest.  Dirt road, cabin, and everything!  And because we did it at night it was so dark I couldn't even take a picture, the flash wasn't enough, it reminded me of home, and how bad I want to go camping, and not be suffocated by having people surrounding you on every side 24 hours a day.  But that can wait, I'm on the Lords Errand and that is far more rewarding.  Still though, I can count the number of times I have gone somewhere 'offroad' on my mission, 5.  I'll tell the other stories another time.  

Hallerbos Forest, Belgium's Blue Forest
picture from

Where was I?  Ah yeah, miracles from these referals.  Well, the one out in the forest invited us in and wanted us to teach them about the church.  The rest we have looked up were almost all not positive, but we were able to find people around them who are prepared to receive the gospel.  One of these people is a Belgian lady named Nxx who Elder Reese found while on exchanges, and whom we went back and taught on Sunday.  She has had a rough life to say the least, but she is so prepared to receive the gospel, and I really feel like the testimonies of myself and Elder Reese are the ones she needs to hear to help her look to the Savior and enter into His grace.  Looking her up was a miracle in and of itself, seeing as we came right as she was pulling into her driveway, and otherwise she would have started working on projects and been too busy to meet or she wouldn't have been home.  These are just a few examples of some everyday miracles I have seen this week.  Love you all!  Hope you have a good week!

Love you all!

Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the week:  Do Belgian bakeries sell varieties of sweet pastries, or only breads?

Answer:  Belgian bakeries do have a variety of sweet pastries as well as breads.  Although specifics vary from bakery to bakery, some classics include chocolate filled croissants, apple-flops, Worst-filled pastries, and the list goes on.  One of my favorite ones to get though is a pastry filled with a skinned and cored, yet whole apple. (So it is about the size of your fist)  Then they fill the middle of the cored apple with either chocolate or jelly or something.  I've only seen that at one bakery though so I'm pretty sure it's not classic Belgium, but still super good!

Belgian Croissants
picture from Google

Belgian Pastries
picture from Google