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].

Monday, May 9, 2016

Tired, but Happy

Elder Lott - Antwerp

So I don't have very much to say from this week, other than that I am very, very, very tired, and it feels awesome!  We had a really busy week, with quite a few things pulling us away from working in our own area which was a little sad, but it will all pay off. One of those things was driving up to the mission home for mission leader council. We received trainings from President and the assistants like always, and the transfer focus for this transfer is going to be on chapter 2 of Preach My Gospel, entitled "How do I study effectively and prepare to teach".  I am so happy this is going to be the focus because it has been such a blessing on my mission learning how to truly study-feasting from the word of God- and how when we give ourselves up in the service and preparation of others the Lord can grant us access to the hearts of those whom we are preparing to teach/help.  All these things can help us to 'hold fast to the iron rod' rather then simply 'cling to the iron rod' that god has given us. To lead and to guide us back to Him, and to the ultimate expression of his love for us, his son Jesus Christ. 

Safety for the Soul
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
General Conference 2009

Along with that we spent some time this week preparing zone training, which is looking to be really good, hopefully as good as the last one we had!

Zone Training Planning

I love you all, hope that you have a good week!

-Elder Lott

Question of the Week:  King’s Feast (Dag van de Dynastie) is to celebrate Belgium's king.  Is it as big as Koningsdag in the Netherlands?

Answer:  No, the King's Feast isn't nearly as big of a holiday as Koningsdag in the Netherlands.

Antwerp til' We Die

Me and Elder Sosa on top of a roof

Castle for sale

Belgian Driveway to an Estate
We ended up getting a referral in a super rich drop (town) with super nice houses.
This driveway was probably 400-500 meters long and just gorgeous.
(Sorry for the grumpy face, I was looking in to the sun.)

Monday, May 2, 2016

What I do, or who I am?

Hey everybody!

It's been a pretty good week.  Got everyone settled from transfers, got a new transfer set up.  It looks like it is going to be another good one.  Lots of fun.  Elder Sosa is super cool.  My guess was correct, he comes from Las Vegas, Nevada.  We are actually from the same graduating class, that being 2014.  He went to a year of university at that school down south before coming out, so he's been on his mission for about a year now.  

Struggled a lot with appointments falling through and getting a hold of investigators this week.  I hope we are able to get contact and resume helping most of them.  But for some it is probably coming to the point where we will put them in the area book if they fall through again and move on.  Try to find someone else that is prepared to receive the gospel.

For this week I'd like to share a lesson that I have learned a couple times on the mission, and that I hope is applicable to other phases of life as well.  Every missionary will face a point on his/her mission when they have to decide if missionary work is simply what they do or if it is who they are.  For those who choose that it is simply what they will be doing for the next 2 years or 18 months (it can even be a day by day choice), they tend to try and do the work in their own way, by their own strength, on their own time, at their own pace, and knowingly or unknowingly deny the access they have to heavenly help.  Whether successful or not, they lack an underlying happiness and make very little if any personal progress.  Those who make a choice that missionary work is who they are open up a whole new channel from which blessings can flow.  They go throughout the day yearning to do what the Lord would have them do, they are supported by heavenly help, they don't count time they simply do the Lord's work, they need little motivation to work hard because they have a drive from within that is fueled by the spirit being with them, and although they also have hard times, they have underlying happiness, hope, and optimism that cannot be conquered.  The reason I say that this is applicable to 'normal' life as well, is because as members of the Lord's true church we have to make the same choice.  Is being a disciple of Jesus Christ something I do, or is it who I am?  Am I simply doing things on the outside because it's what I should do, and still trying to stay the same person (holding on to the natural man).  Or am I yielding my heart to the spirit and allowing God to change me, and bring more happiness into my life because of it than I could find anywhere else?  It has been amazing to see what the Lord has done with my life at the times I have decided that I was going to try to be the best person I could instead of just trying to do the things I should.  

Journey to Higher Ground
Joseph B. Wirthlin
General Conference, October 2005

I love you all!  Hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Lott