Monday, April 25, 2016

Adventures, Holy Places, Ik blijf

Hey Everybody!

So what a crazy week, I've got to do this quick because we've got a lot to do today.  First of all, transfers calls were yesterday... but I'll get to that in a minute.  

We had a lot of success this week, seeing some progression in nearly all of our investigators.  Except for Axx, one of the wonderful people that has a baptismal date.  She hasn't come to church in the last couple weeks, because she's been going to another church.  Sad.  We'll talk to her though and everything will turn out fine.  Like I said though, everyone else has made good progress and it's been wonderful to see!

We also had exchanges with the Assistants in Amsterdam this week, that is where the adventures come in.  I got to work with Elder Hirsh, an Elder from my MTC group. First adventure is that after dinner we hopped in the car and were headed to a neighborhood to talk with a less active member and see if we couldn't share something with him real quick.  We were driving down the freeway, chatting and listening to music, when all of the sudden Elder Hirsch readjusted his legs, bumped the keys and everything went silent.  Somehow he had hit it just right and the car had turned off.  We were cruising down the freeway, the steering wheel locked up, and even with repeated attempts to turn it back on it wasn't working.  Luckily though the breaks still worked and Elder Hirsch was able to force this steering wheel enough to get over to the side.  Once we were stopped we were able to turn the car back on and go on our merry way though.  Super big miracle though that no one was around us at the time (impossible odds, big cities in this mission always have traffic) and that we were able to safely come to a stop.  Heavenly Father looks out for his servants and I'm sure there was more than one guardian angel helping out.  

Once we got there that is where the Holy places comes in.  The less active was home but trying to catch up on sleep from a night shift so we let him be.  So we started knocking around the neighborhood trying to find someone to teach.  On the 4th door we knocked an older lady answered the door,  gave us one look, and walked back in the house, leaving the door open.  Then a middle-aged women came back and started talking to us about Utah and then invited us in.  We ended up talking with them for a while, they weren't particularly open to a message so we were just chatting.  But slowly the conversation changed and they were pouring their hearts out to us about all the struggles and trials they were having in their lives, to this point this isn't really anything new from stuff you experience nearly every day on a mission.  But then they opened up even more about how they had been praying for help that day and they felt like we were sent to answer that prayer.  They asked us to pray with them, and I won't say most of what was said, but the spirit that was in that room was so pure and warm it was breathtaking.  The Saviors love and desire to bless them was evident.  Places like that turn in to holy ground for me.  They will be going back to visit that family soon.

The Savior Wants to Forgive
Elder Craig A. Cardon
General Conference, April 2013

The other adventures I think I will keep for later.

Was I forgetting something?  Oh yeah! Transfers!  *drumroll*  So Elder Reese is leaving actually, he is going up to Den Helder in the Netherlands.  I am staying for a 4th (I finally get to stay in a city for 6 months!).  I am getting Elder Sosa as a companion.  He is about a year out, and from Las Vegas area I think.  Super cool, I'm excited.

Elder Ruben Sosa
Las Vegas, Nevada

I learned a lot about 'real' vs 'fake' people in the last little while. Sometimes you can tell when people are putting up fake wall or persona, while others are very genuine.  It has a lot to do with intentions for why you are doing what you are doing. Those who fake being a good person or always seem to want to do the right thing, or claim they are trying to be good and glorify God, just in their own way; all these people can bring about good, but at the end of the day they are not very happy because they either are not or have not become who they have 'pretended' to be. This kind of person's intentions is to be good so that they can look good to others, and they have not yielded their hearts to God.  Similarly, those who are genuine also want to be good and do good, and they often times bring about much good.  They are happy though, and you can feel of their joy and sincerity. This is because their initial intention, desire, and motive in to become more like Jesus Christ and because they love God. These kinds of people yield their hearts to God, and even though they to might not be comfortable at first with everything the Lord asks of them, they are refined and changed by His love and the spirit, and they are happy to serve Him, and have lasting joy at the end of every change, and throughout their lives.  So if we are ever not happy in doing good, look at your heart and why you are doing what you are doing, make the switch, and press forward in faith.

I love you all!

-Elder Hayden Lott

New haircut last week
picture from Facebook

Mission Leadership Council, December 2015
Elder Lott is on back row, second from right
picture from President and Sister Bunnell Mission Blog
Antwerpen/Eindhoven Zone Conference, December 2015
Elder Lott is on back row, somewhat centered between lights
picture from President and Sister Bunnell Mission Blog
Mission Leadership Council, January 2016
Elder Lott is on the back row, 4th from the right
picture is from President and Sister Bunnell Mission Blog

Monday, April 18, 2016

Temple Conference

Hey Everybody!

So this last week was temple conference, which was super spiritually uplifting.  Also a little sad because I don't know the next time I'll be back to the Temple in the Netherlands.  But it's all good.  I'll get over it.

The Hauge Netherlands Temple

We went to the tulip gardens in Keukenhof, which was pretty as ever.


Wedding Trunky?

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens

picture from Elder DeBloois blog
Elder Lott is in first standing row, 4th from the left

But the real highlight of the week was the success that keeps building here in our proselyting area.  It seems like the more willing we are to go out and help our zone members, the more the Lord blesses us in our own area.  The last week even with the short time we had in our own area, we were able to find 3 new individuals and a family to add to our teaching pool of nearly 20 other investigators.  I haven't seen this much success numbers wise ever on my mission.  We are starting to have trouble getting to everyone we have to work with.  But what is even more amazing is watching the atonement shape, lift, and bloom in these peoples lives!  Every night over the past couple weeks I have come home with overflowing thanks in my heart and joyful tears in my eyes because of the way I see God helping these people find the peace, knowledge, and light they are looking for.  With transfer calls this next week, and the upcoming transfer being only 5 weeks even if I do stay, I don't know if I will be here to watch any of these people take that step down into the water for baptism.  Seeing as many of them still have some things to overcome before they will be ready.  But I know that it doesn't matter if I am here or not.  I am happy to have been an instrument in Gods hands for bringing light and truth into these people's lives, and I am even more happy for them!

I love God, and His son Jesus Christ.  They are so good and so loving.  So willing to give us all we need to be happy in this life, and to learn what we need to one day return to them and recieve all that they have in store for us.

Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the Week: Is it true that Belgian people often say 'une fois' [one time] , and if so, why?

Answer:  I haven't heard about that saying, I'll talk to some people this week and get back to you.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Comeback Kid

Hoi!  [Hi!]

This week in short, we spent a lot of time in the car traveling around.  It was good though, we got to see a lot of the people in the zone, help them out and go to some places that are close to my heart.  With the attacks from a month or so ago and travel limitations on missionaries, most people have had to stay pretty close to their apartments working and haven't been able to go many places or see other missionaries.  So this week we decided to go on a couple exchanges with people who haven't been able to see other missionaries recently.  Ranging anywhere from splits with the Antwerpen Elders to exchanges down in Kortrijk.  That was a lot of fun, and we saw a lot of good things and hopefully were able to help the zone out and make some personal progression.

Broeltowers in Kortrijk
picture from Wikipedia
New Downtown Shopping Centre K in Kortijk
picture from Wikipedia

Exchanges in Kortrijk

Cow Whisperer

Also, this Sunday because of renovations happening to the Antwerpen church building we had to go to church somewhere else in Belgium, so of course we went down to Leuven!  So good!  It was so great to see everybody from that ward, I love them so much.  They've meant a lot to my mission.  

That combined with other miracles made this week fantastic.  Like the fact that we got a call from an old investigator (from like a year or more ago) who was on track to be baptized until she learned she wasn't living some of the commandments she needed to be to get baptized. Then she went on vacation and lost contact with the missionaries.  But those changes that needed to happen in her life have happened and she called us up for an appointment and wants to get baptized!  Super cool.  

The Lord loves and is mindfull of us.  The blessings of living the gospel are big and far out weigh anything in the way of obtaining them.

Living the Gospel Joyful
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
General Conference October 2014

Love you guys!

Elder Hayden Lott

Question of the week:  Do you often see boot scrapers on the sides of old buildings (for mud or snow)?

Answer:  Yes, I see them all the time here in Belgium, and especially when I was serving in Breda and traveling around Dutch Brabant.  Not so much in North or South Holland.  They range from super decorative, to heavy duty boot cleaners you see sometimes out in farms.

Boot Scraper - picture from Google

Boot Scraper - picture from Google

Boot Scraper - picture from Google

Monday, April 4, 2016

Conference Weekend

Old Town in Belgium

Old Building in Belgium

Belgian Countryside

Old Town Selfie

Hoi Jullie!  [Hey You!]

In in wake of last week, this week seemed to fit so nicely into place.  Hearing the voices of the Prophet and Apostles and other church leaders puts the stamp on feelings of peace and direction recieved by the spirit, thanks to prayer and the atonement of Jesus Christ.  A shout out goes to those wonderful members who let us into their homes to watch conference!

General Conference, April 2016
Click here for a link to all talks.

This week continued to be a week of sharing the goodness and hope of God, and His son Jesus Christ.  Though horrific, the attacks in Brussels have opened a door to Belgian's hearts as they recognize that we too, in some small way also know the pain they are going through, and they see the ever present and residing peace we have as we find our way through it.  We were able to have meaningful conversations this week with so many people about Jesus Christ, His plan, and the peace a knowledge of those things brings.  While most were still hesitant to take a next step and accept an invitation to learn more, some have taken that step, and it is humbling to see.

It has even opened the hearts of most of our previous investigators.  Many send their hearts and prayers to those who have been affected by the attacks, and said they thought of us when they heard about our friends.

Among the chances to talk with people and teach about Jesus Christ, we also got to go on exchanges with the Sint-Niklaas Elders this week.  (Elder De Witt and Bruneau).  We also got to go up to MLC and council about the new mission vision and other things.  Super fun.

I love you all and hope that you are doing well!

-Elder Hayden Lott 

Car Selfie
Elder Lott, Elder Geeraert, Elder Hill, Elder Reese

Found this on the way back from MLC

 Flower Selfie
[Mom note:  I would love to know if the scent from
that many hyacinth blooms was as wonderful
as I imagine it to be!]