Monday, July 5, 2010

Last Letter!!

Well last week in the mission.  It has been a lot different than I expected.  I feel really good.  I don't feel too sad... at least not yet.  It was a good week.  Elder Berrett and I continued working despite the hot weather and the temptation to not work as hard.  But the hard work payed off because we found some really cool people, and got in contact with some cool people who will become new investigators this next week for Elder Berrett and his new companion Elder Prunier who is french and who doesn't speak a word of English.  My poor boy.  He will definitely be pushed and tried to learn.  Plus the sisters in our ward are getting closed so all of their investigators and recent converts that they were teaching the Elders will be now teaching.  He has to describe their situations and all the things they have to do all in French.  It will be a lot of work but it will be a great learning opportunity.  
I am glad that Patrick enjoyed it, because he has helped me sooooo much on my mission.  He helped me learn french, he worked with us all the time and fed us every Saturday... He kept me going at the first of my mission and at the last of the mission.  So he deserved every last minute of it.  He is a good man.  A terrestrial angel for missionaries here.  
You are right I really don't have much to say. It is my last email and I will be seeing you in like 3 days so... I will tell you anything you want then.  I love you lots.  Hope everything goes well with the trip.  
One last thing that was very awesome this week was at church Timothy got up and bore his testimony and it was soooo amazing.  He seriously acts like a wise 80 year old man.  I love him and I got the feeling again that he will be a great instrument in the hands of the Lord here in Belgium for the years to come.  Also our DMP Frere Wery whom I love an respect SOOOO much got up and bore his testimony and thanked me.  For my work that I had done and for my testimony and that he had learned a lot from me.. I felt so loved and so thankful for him.  He is probably one of the most amazing man you will ever meet.  He is so dedicated to the work of the Lord and sacrifices so much.  The Ward is here simply because of him.  I appreciated that for once a member recognized the work that we missionaries do and he was grateful for it.  That was a special experience.  Well Trunkiness is setting in... I am ready to COME Home. I am way excited to see my family that I love... Mainly all the little kids and I feel confident in the work that I have done for the Lord and know that I am now ready to move on.  
Love Elder Jacob Von Simonson

Monday, June 28, 2010


NOOOOOO..... well time is running thin.  I can't freaking believe that I have one week left on my mission.  Triste (sad)...really.  It hadn't really hit me until last night.  I was thinking about my transfers in Brussels with Elder De Mass and the very special and fond memories that I have had.  I realized how much I love Belgium. I don't really want to leave.  I am excited to see family, especially my nieces and nephews ... But I am going to miss Belgium, there is just something special about it.  
This week was pretty good.  It was also very difficult because we have a VERY difficult missionary that lives with us and we had exchanges with him and his companion and that created some arguments and ridiculousness.  Maybe it is the Lord's way of helping me be more excited to go home.  Or maybe it is just the fact that I need to learn more love and patience for difficult people.  Anywho other than that it was good.  

Tuesday Elder Berrett and I had to go to Brussels to get his legality.  That was cool, but it kinda ate up our whole day.  Elder Berrett is soooo good.  There were other new missionaries there and they were all weird and annoying haha. So I was glad to have Elder Berrett.  We also had a bunch of service this week.  We helped this lady from the Ward move.  That was fun.  Let us just say that Europeans don't know how to freaking move.  
Other than that, we have had a lot of time left for finding and porting.  We did hours and hours on end of just talking to people.  maybe the Lord is just helping me make up on all the time I missed out on finding and porting while I was Assistant and driving to the Netherlands etc.. Maybe.
Timothy is doing very well.  He went out and bought a suit for church and also we taught him about the Priesthood this week and he got and interview with the Bishop and should get it next week.  
Other fun news...  I played piano in Sacrament meeting... How do you like me now...?? That is right.  I'm cool.  I learned myself the hymn, In Humility... just mainly the top hand, but the pianist is on vacation so there was no one to play so they asked us missionaries to play... and somehow I got roped into playing.  It was less than spectacular, that is for dang sure.  
Well, I am way excited to see everyone and very excited to show you the beauties of Belgium and share with you some of my life for the last two years.  I feel like I have finally started my life.  At the end of my mission I have come to realize how important the Gospel is.  I look back before my mission.. and think, "Man I was stupid.. If only I had known all this before."  Oh well, right.. At least I know it now... I am so thankful I came on a mission. I would be absolutely nowhere if I hadn't come.  
Speaking of nowhere... I got a letter from Brett the other day and he told me that the last he heard.. Derek was in Jail for selling drugs and Greg had moved to New York with an 18 year old girl; Oh how different our lives are.  I prefer mine... my future is looking better... 
Thanks to everyone for all your love and support that you have given me on my mission.  Thanks for all your great examples.  Sorry for being such a jerk and kinda forgetting about all of you.  I  don't think I ever told anyone of you Happy Birthday or wrote you letters; I literally forgot about you a little.. so sorry, but thanks again! 
I am super excited to get to go to President Brubakers house with Elder Schmutz and his parents.  That will be SUPER SICK; I will try and set up some more appointments.. but I was just wondering when you would want to be in Charleroi and when you would want to be in Brussels.  I will try to figure that out.  
Also I have a question about my talk.  Do I have a subject or not.... ??? Let me know that way I can begin thinking and pondering about it.  Love you lots
Bisous (Kisses)
Elder Simonson

So this is our district right now and the other picture is a member family that we are teaching.  The little girl is seven and the family wanted us to help prepare her for her baptism so we are teaching her.  She is soooo cute... her name is Ketsia 
Enjoy! love ya 
ELder Von 

Monday, June 21, 2010


What does that spell?..... Trunky!  Mom is trunky.  I knew this day would come!  But I guess I can let her be trunky because it is only two weeks away.  That is understandable.  But I will tell you what... this whole going home in two weeks thing hasn't really become real to me.  I feel the same and missionary work is still the same.  I'm not lost in a pool of trunky thoughts, at least not a whole lot.  So I guess that is good because then I am staying focused, right?  
This week was really good.  Elder Berrett is progressing a whole lot and his French is getting really pretty good.  When he wants to say something he can get it out.  He thinks that he isn't saying it right, but every time it is.  He is a good example to me.  He tries soooo hard and isn't afraid to fail.  Yes, I got my camera card a long time ago, sorry... every week I forget to tell you that I got it. 
This summer has been a really rainy one.. I think it rained almost everyday... but then again it is Belgium.  It is always sprinkling a little.  But at least it has been warm.  Not hot, not cold, just warm.  
Monday we had pday.  We went around in shops looking at stuff.  Elder Berrett still has stars in his eyes so everything is soooo cool and different, so obviously he wants to buy everything. It is funny... I find it humorous.  Tuesday we had an exchange with Elder Winkler and Hall.  I worked with Elder Winkler (the Swiss) It was an awesome day.  We taught Timothy and some recent converts.  Timothy was ready to go.  Wednesday he had his baptismal interview and passed.  We went and saw him on Friday to see if he had any questions or concerns and he didn't.  So we talked about enduring to the end and steps after baptism.  

Saturday was his Baptism.  It was a really good baptism.  I was kinda worried because I didn't think that anyone would be there.  But there were a ton of people there.  It was short, powerful, and just really good.  His Mom was so very happy for him and she is doing well and coming back strong in the church.  She had an interview with the Bishop and is back on track.  

Yesterday we had the confirmation of Timothy.  It was the Young Men's President that gave him the Holy Ghost.  It was powerful.  From the blessing that he received, it sounded like God had been waiting for Timothy to be baptized and that now that he was baptized, it was like... "Allright, now he is a member, now we can use him."  I got the feeling that the Lord has lots of things in store for this young boy.  
Friday however, was kind of a weird day.  We had Zone Conference in Bruxelles.  It was so weird.  I had kind of anticipated that it would be this huge spiritual experience where all the miracles and feelings of joy would just overcome me.. but it wasn't really that way.  It was just kinda normal.  I was happy and I felt content with my mission but it wasn't what I was expecting.  But that is ok... that isn't what was to happen.  I don't like when I think something is going to be a certain way, because then I am let down when it isn't.  It was a great Zone Conference though, exactly what I needed.  I learned an important principle that will help me through my whole life.  
So that was my week.  Benjamin is doing ok.  He is really pushed up to a wall.  He has the sincere desire to be baptized but Satan is putting a ton of opposition in his way and he just needs to show by his acts that he has the desire to be baptized.  He has to choose.  He lets things get in his way too easily.  We are praying and hoping that he will begin to put more faith in the Lord and let worldly things go.  Opposition is good because that makes him stronger... so that is the good side.  Other than that we are teaching a few new people but they are just new.  
Next week should be good and I still have time to find a sweet new person like Timothy or the Family Johnson.!!!!! Right?  Am I right?!  
Anyway.  That is that.  now a little bofiness.  YESSSS! I am in the Architecture program.. and everything is in place for me... Luckily the Lord gave me a sweet sister and mother.  That is a huge blessing for me.  I didn't have to do anything or think about anything and you guys just took care of everything.. I am so spoiled.  Thank you.  I love you sooooo much... (however... 19 freaking credits... are you trying to kill me?  haha... dang and those aren't easy classes either.)  Oh well, I will jump the fence when I get to it... right?  
Have a good week and get ready to poop yourself when you see how cool I have become....haha... See you Soon. 
Love Elder Jacob Von Simonson

Monday, June 14, 2010

Time is passing quickly...

Hola Familia.
Well I am still kicking, and things are going well.  This week was a little long and testing, but it was still a great week.  Timothy is doing amazing and he is all set and good to be baptized this Saturday on the 19th.  That is what the blessing is.  We couldn't ask for a better, more prepared person than him.  After all, that is why we are here right?  To help people to baptism and continued faith in Jesus Christ.  So we are very grateful for that and are very excited for him.  Other than Timothy and Benjamin however, we have no other investigators.  We do hours and hours of finding, knocking doors... we talk to a ton of people that aren't really interested and it gets tiring doing that day after days, but we understand that that is how it goes so we are trying to not get discouraged. 
Timothy will be baptized by a youth in our yard named Jeremie Pitters.  Jeremie is 20, African, and he wants to go a on a mission, so this has been a good opportunity for Jeremie to come teaching with us and to be able to baptize someone.  Timothy is as smart as ever.  We taught him the rest of the commandments before baptism and he understood and already lives them so it was good.  It was really funny...we asked him if he had any questions and he said,  "Uh... ya.  I have been reading in Alma where it talks about the church of the Gentiles and the things that they were doing in their church which was against the will of God," and he said,  "Were they talking about the Catholic church?  Because what they were explaining was the Catholic church exactly."  HAHA it was funny.  We told him that they were talking about any church that wasn't the church of God, but yes, that it was much like the catholic church.  He is a smart little bugger...
As for Benjamin, he is doing alright.  Progressing a little slower than we thought, but he is still really full of the desire to change and be baptized.  He called us on Monday to ask us to come over because he needed to talk to us.  He told us about some of the problems that he has had in his life and that he was sure that he had an illegitimate child somewhere out there and that he felt the responsibility of that child on his shoulders.  So he said that he wanted to take care of it before he got baptized, because he wants to be clean and ready before he is baptized.  He is a humble, sincere guy.  
Other than that we have had rain and sun off and on.. That is Belgium... and a lot of porting and finding.  We will continue, and I just need to have the hope and belief that there are people that are interested and do want to hear our message. 
SO.. that is that.  I don't really have too much else to tell you.  I keep not having too much to say these last few weeks... I am doing well and am excited to see the family.  It will be fun to see how much you have all changed and grown.  As for Jacob Barrows.. I met him the day he left the mission, which was the first day in the mission field with Elder Musters.. and then I saw him later at a Stake Conference.  Thanks for all that you do.. I have talked to a few people and a few recent converts to try and fix some appointments for when you come to visit and I will take care of that my last couple of days before you come... I am not too worried about that right now. 
Love you
=Elder Jacob Von Simonson  

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hello, Hello

Hello hello,
Well thanks for the letter.  No that was not sarcastic.  Don't worry.  Everything is going great.  We had a good week with a lot of sun and some rain.  It is going really good with Elder Berrett.  We get along great.  He is sarcastic like me so.... obviously. 
On Monday we had p-day and did a lot of errands for Elder Berrett and some shopping.  Let us just say I found the sweetest, classiest European suit for 60 euros so... ya you know how that ended.  Tuesday, We had District Meeting and went and did hours of finding and then headed to Liege for a meeting with the Zone Leaders and to do an exchange with them. 
Wednesday was our busy day.  We saw our three investigators.
Benjamin is doing good but is progressing slower than we had planned which doesn't matter at all because he has the desire and is progressing , so we are not rushing it and we will be fixing a new date this week.  We taught the Word of Wisdom this week and are going to begin working with him to help him stop smoking.  Other than that he is doing well. 
Timothy is doing soooooooooo amazing.  I love this kid.  We saw him on Wednesday as well and we taught him about the Sabbath Day.. because last week he didn't come to church.  We found out why.  I had to laugh afterwards because I was all worried that they were just being lazy and not coming to church but we asked why and the mom, Maggie said.. "Well, I drank some special herbal tea on Saturday that my friend gave me and I didn't know it was a laxative tea."  She said, " in the morning I couldn't even leave the bathroom, let alone the house."  HAHA.. so they are doing great. 
The Sisters had another baptism this week in the Ward.  It was a lady that was an eternal investigator.. she could never get baptized because she smoked a butt load, something like 60 cigs a day.  But finally she decided to get baptized and did her best to stop smoking.  She went down to 4 a day the week before her baptism and then she stopped.. I hope it is for good, but oh well.  She made the covenant with God.  Anyway, Timothy came to her baptism to see what it was like.  He loved it obviously and it really helped him see what it would be like.  He was asking a ton of questions.  Then he went on Ward trip with the whole Ward on Saturday... which was awesome and then he was there for church yesterday.  Also on Friday at the baptism the Bishop started talking to him and then invited him and us to come eat dinner at their house.  I love the Bishop.  So that was amazing.  He will be ready for the 19th. 
Other than that, Elder Berrett and I did a ton of finding and porting this week.  it has been good practice for him and me.  We have started keeping track of how many people we talk to in a day so that we can be more motivated to talk to more people.  So far this last week we were averaging about 30-35 people a day.  Maybe doesn't sound like much.. but we really do try hard. 
So that was pretty much my week. It was good but we just need to find so more amis. 
That is really cool about JR and his family.  we need to get them baptized... just have them over when I get back and I will share about my mission and pretty much just tell them they need to get baptized.. HAHA :)
So I am talking on the 18th... that is cool.  Good thing I still have a month, right?  I got a letter from Seth Reynolds and he was telling me how powerful and amazing Elder Demass' homecoming talk was and he was telling me that I had better do good too... so no pressure, right?  Anyway all is going great.. Thanks for the encouragement that you give me.. love you all
+Elder Von Simonson+

Monday, May 31, 2010


Salut.!!! The week has been a great one.  It has been good to work hard and have a missionary that wants to work their butt off and talk to everyone.(Not that Elder Receveur didn't.. he did. it is just good to have another companion like that) Well mission accomplished!  I successfully picked my newb up in Paris on Wednesday.  It was fun.  Elder Winkler and I both are training so we went down together and we took Elder Crump and Elder Receveur down to France.  Both of them were going to France.
I was really scared to get my new companion, like I said before I was afraid that I would get a goon and someone hard and weird for my last transfer.  But once again the Lord spoiled me rotten.  I got the sweetest companion ever.  He is great.  Hard worker, has the desire to be on a mission and isn't scared to try and speak French and learn and make mistakes.  He is great.  My baby boy's name is Elder Seth Berrett from Highland Utah.  He is cool.  He is about two inches shorter that I am.  He is a total granola.  He lived, ate, and drank rock climbing before his mission.  He wore little short cut off shorts, no shirt, and nice tree hugger sandals, Choccos.  He isn't a tree hugger he just likes the outdoors.  He is definitely my kind of person.  He listens to chill music like Radiohead and his personality is like mine.  So once again I get a sweet companion.

This week was so amazing.  Yes go ahead and laugh at me for saying it was amazing but it was.  We have been teaching Benjamin and Timothee.  The best news is that Elder Berrett's second real day in the field we went to teach Timothee and we talked to him about the Gospel and what he needed to do to return to live with God.  We explained the importance of baptism and we had planned to ask him to be baptized on the 19 of June with Benjamin.  We had planned for Elder Berrett to ask him and we had gone over how to say it and all that.  So we just got finished explaining baptism.. Timothee understood completely and the moment was coming and I was hoping that Elder Berrett was understanding so that he could invite him... And at the perfect time Elder Berrett pipes up and says.. "Would you like to be baptized on the 19th of June?" and Timothee responds by saying... "Ya, why not."  So we were very excited about that.  So now pretty much we are teaching two people, Benjamin and Timothee and both of the them have the desire to be baptized and are working toward a date.  We don't have many other people that we are teaching. just a couple but they aren't too serious.  That is alright by me I prefer not wasting my time teaching people who won't progress I would rather use the time to be finding prepared people to teach.

Well.. I can't believe I'm on my last transfer.  Luckily I have a new companion who has a lot of fire because that gives me a lot of fire.   I love Elder Berrett, he can barely speak french and cant understand hardly at all but he doesn't care he just starts talking to people.  He has a lot of Faith.  I love him for that.  We are working hard and loving it.
So Elder Dewey I don't know if you remember him but he just finished his mission.  We ate breakfast with him today at Patrick's house.  He got released by his Stake President over the phone so now he is just vacationing it up like a real man.  I thought that was kinda cool... a little weird also.  It was good to see him especially because he wasn't a missionary anymore.  oh well...
Well that was our week.  The Sisters in our Ward had a baptism this last week.  It was a little girl of 9 years. She is part of a family of 13 kids... they are members... pretty ghetto but good people.
I can't really think of much else to tell you other than things are going good and my new companion is great.
Love you all talk to you later.
P.S.  Dad, those counter tops looked really good.  Well done.  Good on ya..
Love Elder Von Simonson

Monday, May 24, 2010

My last transfer...a little weird!

Dear Family,
Well this week was an amazing week.  I love how quickly things can change.  This whole transfer we have been searching and searching for people to teach, and we found them and then we taught them, but they weren't really interested or serious, so we looked for more people.  Then we looked and looked some more. 
Our whole goal for this transfer was to simply find one solid person that was serious and who was progressing towards baptism.  That is all we wished for because at the beginning we had no one.  We literally had no investigators.  Well this week was the last week of the transfer and the Lord blessed us amazingly. 
    First of all... on Monday we had a lady (that is a neighbor of some members) decide after two years of coming to church that she finally wanted to be baptized.  The Sisters have been teaching her, so that was exciting for them.  The only problem is that she smokes a ton... around 50-60 cigarettes a day.  That is a lot.  Then Tuesday, we went to Namur for a District Meeting and a District proselyting activity.  While we were there, a member called us and said,  "Hey... our neighbor named Benjamin is very interested in meeting with you.  Can you see him tomorrow?"  Of course we can... So we saw him and he had come to the Ward party not too long ago, and had known these members for a while.  We sat down and started to get to know him and then he kind of cut us off and said,  "Well, the reason I wanted you to come and see me was because I really want to change my life and do good. And since I have moved here (next to the members) I have felt really good.  I know my baptism as a baby wasn't my choice, but I just feel like now I need to make that promise with God."  He said,  "You probably think I am crazy, but I just really feel that I should be baptized."... alright. So we said,  "That is great!  We would like to help prepare you.  That is our main and only goal is to help prepare people to be baptized."  So we set a date with him for the 19th of June.  He is Belge.. this is the first Belge person that I have taught and set a date with.  He is 27 and a nice sincere man.  He is very smart and knows what is right and wrong and has had a hard life.  So we are now seeing him 3 times a week.  He has started coming to all the activities at the church and he was at Church on Sunday and loved it.  He said,  "It is weird... everything that they teach and everything that people share are like my ideas and my thoughts.. I didn't think that something like this existed."  He is amazing, and once again we did absolutely nothing...other than be there and showing God that we really wanted and desired to teach someone serious.. then He just handed him into our laps. 
The other sweet thing... I think I told you a little last week... but we are also teaching a 14 year old black kid who is super smart and super serious.  Timothee is his name.  Well, we finally got them to come to Church yesterday.  His mom is a member, just inactive.  We were going to set a date with him for the 19th also, but when we asked him he said,  "Well, I am still a little confused... there are a lot of churches and I just want to be sure that I choose the right one because I don't want to make a decision and regret it later."  He is amazing.  He came to church and loved it.  I went to Young Men's with him.  There were 6 other young black kids in the class, so it was perfect for him.  Then the teacher was asking everyone if there was a difference between immortality and eternal life and they were all saying that it was the same.  Then the teacher asked.. "Timothee, what do you think?"   His words exactly were...  "Well, immortality is more physical and eternal life is more spiritual."  Then he continued to show up the other boys who had been members for a long time.  It was great..
The week was great.  We finally have some great people to teach.  Elder Receveur and I were very excited and happy.
That brings us to some news.. It is the end of the transfer.. and you know what that means.  Transfer news.  Guesses.. anyone?  Well that is right... I am staying.. but sadly for Elder Receveur, he is leaving.  He is going to be co-companion with a missionary his same age in a city named Cholet.  They are both really young and they are going to white wash a little city.  His new companion is French and is one of the biggest studs.  They will do great and it will be a turning point in his mission.  I loved Elder Receveur.  We got along way too good.  Plus he is a hard worker and we had the same desires and ya, it would have been great to stay with him for my last transfer.. However the Lord had other plans for me.  I am going to be TRAINING a poor new missionary.  I feel bad for the poor kid.  He is going to drag my lazy butt around.  I am excited and nervous.  It should be interesting...Maybe a little hard.  I am going to be working double, but oh well, it will be good.  Plus we have sweet people to teach and baptize, so it should be a good start for his mission.  Well that is that.. so my last transfer... it is a little weird.  My mind has completely grasped the idea, but it doesn't change much.  It is no different than any other transfer. 
So that was my week.  We went to Namur today to see the Citadel with the District.  It was fun.  That is why the email is late.  so...
Thanks for the pictures.  I loved seeing everyone.  I love them all.  It made me trunky because I would love to hang out and have a party with all those people because I love em..
Well that is really all for the week.  I will be going to pick up my newb on Wednesday and bring him back to the GHETTO  He is going to love it. 
Take care, have fun.
Happy Birthday, Clint... 28 and still queer...  pity really
Love Elder Simonson