Monday, September 29, 2008


The title of todays e-mail is ouch... It is the name I have chosen because of the amount of e-mails that I have in my inbox.... a big zero... haha... it's all good.. that just means I can write you more... which is great because I have lots to tell... all the time because a lot goes on in a day.... good bad... both...

This week...
This last week was rough but at the same time amazing! Like I kinda said in my last email, which was really short and terrible.. it didn't really say anything.. and I spelled like everything wrong.. I was on a French keyboard.. of course.. soo ya and we were at an internet cafe so... ya I didn't have much time... 
But....this week.. we did not teach a ton of lessons but the lessons we taught were to our 5 SOLID progressing investigators... right now we have 5 and possibly 9 people ready for baptism...Our progressing investigators are Paolo, Iness and Javier, Elias, and Joseph one of the two men that we found last Monday.. and I don't have much else to talk about so I will tell you the story of Joseph because it is amazing... 

So last Monday we had some time before our rendez vous with President Woodland and one of our investigators (Elias) so we decided to go contacting. We went contacting in an area called Botanique.. well we met a real drunk guy named Fred... he was pretty cool and he was friends with all the Muslims so we weren't getting hassled.. he was nice.. so we got his number after a long talk and set up a time to go meet with him... then.. we were in that area for about an hour or so, and we decided that we should start heading back to the office.. so that we wouldn't be late for our rendez vous. So we did... but when we were on the Metro, Elder Musters decided that we would stop by this guys house that he kinda knew... and when I say kinda I mean.. he knew where he lived and that they had had a lesson with him a long time ago.. he didn't know his name.. he didn't know what floor he lived on... he didn't know anything.. so we went to his building.. and we were searching for his name we didn't know.. just in case we recognized it... We tried calling him.. and ya nothing happened... so we were just sitting there waiting for something to happen.. and then a nice older African man walked down... (Joseph) ... he asked us if we wanted in... and we told him we were just waiting for someone.. and he was like oh ya, who?  And we were like.. we don't know his name... or which floor he lives on we just know that it was this builiding and we have his phone number.. and he was like...OK.. then he started to ask us questions... he asked us who we were... where we were from.. if we were TJ's (Temoigne Jehova) ...Jehova's witnesses..and we told him no... and he asked us if we were Catholic, Protestant... and we said neither and that kinda confused him.. but then we shared that we have the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth... and that we have a Prophet, and he was like... ok whatever... so we got his number and his name and gave him a Joseph Smith pamphlet and he went on his way.. well.. we left just after he did.. and we actually caught up to him on the road because he was walking soooo slow because he was reading the pamphlet!!! so... ya later in the week we were trying to set up some rendez vous because people were being flakY.. and we called Joseph and asked if there was a time we could come over.. and he said that we could come right now.. but that he only had about 20 minutes.. so we rushed to his house.. and ya he was so excited we asked him what he thought and he was like, I have never heard of this before... and he said he was just searching for his path.. so we were like awesome... so he was excited he asked where he could get a Book of Mormon.. we gave him one.. and explained more about it.. he loved it and the spirit was really strong.. he also asked to go to church with us.. and of course we accepted.. well.... Sunday, yesterday was awesome.. we went and picked him up and he came out in a very nice suit with his Book of Mormon in hand.. he came to all 3 hours with us.. took two pages of notes.. asked if he could get a Triple and a Bible because in priesthood we talked about believing the Bible to be correct if it is translated correctly so he wanted the right Bible... he loved Sacrament Meeting.. he loved singing the Cantiques.. he loved it and I actually sat by him the whole time and helped him with things.. he said he was learning English and I said I was learning French and I said we could learn together.. then I told him I started learning 3 months ago.. and he told me he wished he could speak as well I could after 3 months.. that made me happy... but anyway.. after church.. we asked what he thought and what he felt.. and he told us extremely sincerely that he thought that he had found what he has been looking for.. and that as soon as he got home he was going to talk to his kids about the church and as soon as his wife got home from vacation in Africa he would talk to her.. we have meetings set up with him this week and he has already told us that he is coming to General Conference this weekend with us.. so ya.. he is amazing.. and he is why I said maybe 9 ready for baptism.. because of his family.. anyway I must go but I thought I would just share that awesome story with you.. also we took Elias to a baptism in the other ward.. and it was sooo perfect.. .. anyway, love you all.  Mom, I got the pictures they were sweet.. Clint the house looks good.. and ya.. I will talk to you later....
Elder Simonson

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bonjour 'a tous!

J'ai decidé que je écrirais en Français parce cette keyboard is Fraçaise! Je blaugue. Anyway, sorry I didn't write yesterday.  President switched our p-day to Tuesday because we had a Zone Meeting this Monday. Things are going Awesome in Bruxelles! Yesterday we had a rendez vous with Elias (the very prepared man) and President Woodland.. it was so great! And also we found two really interested and humble ready guys... so ya, this week is going to be awesome.  We were planning on setting two or three baptismal dates this last week but it didn't quite happen.  They didn't feel ready.. but anyway, enough about that.. Oh also I got your two letters and a letter from Grandma... I didn't know that the Assistants sent you my address... so you can send them wherever you want... and ya I got my card just fine..sorry about missing Tess and Dad's and Ali's and everyone's Birthdays... I seriously don't know what day it is, let alone remember everyone's Birthdays, sooooo Happy Birthday to all.... know I love you.. haha...
So Belgium.... Belgium is awesome... it is always like perfect weather.  It's not too hot, it's not too cold... it's perfect... but really it hasn't rained much, I am surprised.. but ya it's great, but it is starting to get colder.  In fact I looked for some coats today.. and I found some, but they are kinda expensive, so I didn't buy one, but I probably will next week, so sorry, I will try to buy a cheap one if I can.  My companion is pretty good.. Sometimes he is a little sluggish but it is all good.. we work hard most of the time... Sorry I don't have much time this time so I have to go, I love you all... 
Elder Simonson

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bonjour from Brussels

Bonjour! Well, two weeks in Brussels... craziness... k, first of all... Mom, I am sorry that I didn't get a chance to call you again in Atlanta but I was seriously almost late for the plane sooo.. ya...questions... 
Well... I just really have about a half hour for emails but it isn't timed like in the MTC.. so that's good... but President asks us not to use it longer than 30 min... sooo...everyone can send emails to you and then you can just send an email... or you can send letters...whatever you want. As for my address just send it to the Mission Office.. because we are just a few minutes from the office so... ya.. but later when I get transferred I will send you an address so that you can send letters there. You always send packages to the mission office. And as for packages.. when you fill out the customs thing you just say it is worth very little like 20-30 euros or less whether it's worth more or not.. because they will charge me a big ole tax which will then be taken out of my MSF (money fund) and I will not have money to eat!  For emails I go to the office... or at least today... but if we don't go to the office we just go to an internet cafe.. so ya..that is all the letter stuff... and I just have internet access for sooo there you go... 
Well today is actually my first real p-day because last p-day we were in France getting my legality stuff started.. but ya we really just have to go shopping because we have a washer and drier in our apartment... so we just do laundry whenever we need.. as for that we don't do a whole lot more... we can do pretty much what we need/want to do.. 

Well the french...hmmm.. I would have to say that we speak it a lot less here but I hear it a lot more here... So I have gotten better at understanding .. but I am pretty terrible at speaking... sooo ya.. it's rough... I can understand the jist of things... but I don't understand perfectly... sooo ya, but hey good news... I have to talk in church next week...!!! Oh man, that it is going to be terrible... but oh well... 

Well the food here is pretty good... we just really eat what we buy so we really have the choice of what we eat... The Baguettes are awesome... cheese is good and the chocolate is good... I eat much more junk food here... but ya.. I have had two Mangez-vous.. in English, a dinner appointment.  One was with a Russian family and one was with an African family... The one with the Russian family was interesting.. and terribble... I seriously almost threw up at the table... The first thing we ate was a Huge salad of onions, tomatoes and cuccumbers covered in oil... with pickled beats or something on the side... it wasn't too bad but earlier that day (it was zone conference with Elder Paya from France) and I had eaten three baguettes sooo I was full.. and well I made it through about half the huge salad and I was full and sick of it... and about that time she brought out the biggest plate of rice I had ever seen ya... so I started eating that... and... whoa.. it was intense.. I was soooo full I was sick.. but I just kept eating .. I almost finished the rice and she brought out a Huge piece of warm pie......and I was like, Oh, 'im full but I am sure that I can eat this pie... Wrong!  I ate it and then I just felt it coming back up .... and I kept trying to old it back.... finally I asked to use the bathroom.. and just standing up and walking to the bathroom was enough to fix the problem ... but ya that was my first experience with eating at a members.. but the African family, the food was SOOO good.. we had lamb... fish, sausage, and deep fried bananas.. it was good... 

Missionary work..
Well the work is going pretty good... I found out at Zone Conference that Brussels is a lot better area than other places.. we teach a lot more lessons and have a lot more investigators ... but .. this week and last week the work has been slowing down because everyone is just getting back from vacation and starting school and work.. so everyone is busy and doesn't have time... so that stinks but it's still going well.. We have been working with Paulo, Iness and Javier, Franc, Elias and those are just our progressing investigators that are doing really well... we found Franc my first day in Brussels.  He was terribly drunk and was wondering the streets bothering people with his two dogs.. so we talked to him and made an appoinment with him... we didn't think much about it.. but.. ya.. we went and met with him and he was AWESOME.. he said on the card we gave him was a book and he was wondering what it was and if he could buy one from us because he wanted to read it and know what it was about so we gave him one.. and he was excited.. we taught him the plan of salvation and it was great because he lost his one year old daughter, his brother, and his mom... sooo ya.. then he said he wanted to go to church with us.. before we could even ask him.. soo we were like, ya... so he wrote it on his calendar and ya.. he is sweet...
Paulo is an Italian guy.. he is pretty good, we have taught him a bunch of times we see him about 3 times a week and we meet him at the church.. he is always there always reads what we give him.. so ya.. he is really scared of people so we can't get him to go to church... but he asked us if he could see the baptismal font.. because we had asked him to be baptised.. and he said he would when he knew it was true.. haha.. and then he said he was 94 percent sure that the Book of Mormon was true.. hah a
Iness and Javier are a mom and son from Columbia (I think ).. they are great.  They come to church every Sunday and we teach them a lesson on Sunday too.. so that is going well... she really likes the church and she wants her son to grow up in the church... soo.. ya .. the most prepared man that Elder Musters has seen on his mission before.. He showed up to church the Sunday before I came.. just showed up.. and we haven't been able to meet with him for like a week...he kept not showing up to his rendez-vous.. so ... ya but then the other day we finally goT to meet with him.. and it was awesome.. he had been reading the Book of Mormon.. he said he had been looking for the right church his whole life but he hadn't been able to find it because every church tells him how to worship differently.. so he really liked the restoration... he was just awesome, he understood everything and it was like a lesson in the MTC where they gave you all the answers you wanted and ya... it was great.. we are meeting with him this Friday with President.. so ya.. he is awesome... sooo those are just a few of the investigators that I have.. i have a ton more but those are the ones that are doing really well.. 
Oh and for Dad... I am in the Strombeek First Ward area.. I'm not sure what the boundries are really but.. ya I'm just in like down town Brussels.. and contacting is just where you go and talk to people and try to set up an appointment with them to teach them more.. Oh, and there are a TON of Muslims here.. insane.. and we are not allowed to teach them, sooo.. ya makes it hard to contact and find people.. 

Well I think I have used more than my time so I have to go.. I love you all.. Bye, Elder Simonson

Monday, September 8, 2008


Alors..... My new city is Bruxelles and it is sooooo awesome.. Ya, so the plane ride was super long and it was a red eye flight and we will just say that I didn't get a whole lot of sleep.. but never the less I arrived in Bruxelles at about 8 or so and we got through border control and all of that fun stuff and then we met President Woodland. Pres. Woodland then proceeded to quickly get us moving. We got our stuff, split up in different cars and got out of the airport.. I was extremely scared thinking that I would have to go contact, I didn't know where we were going.. but it ended up that we just went to the Mission Office. There we went through orientation and all that fun stuff and had interviews with the President. We were there for probably about 2 hours.. so ya that was intense because I was super tired. But the mission office is soo sweet. It is a nice building and the office is on the top floor and it overlooks the whole city of Bruxelles... you just have to see the view to understand. Anyway, after we were done we went to President's house and ate some lunch and met Sister Woodland and then they told us we could take a nap until about 4:30. Well we slept til 4:30 and man was that nice. Then when we awoke...I knew it was the moment I had been dreading. And ya, we went to the place where one of the 12 dedicated Belgium to Missionary work and that WAS SO SWEET, it was so pretty. Then it was time... we went to the Big Grande place and ya...we contacted... I was freaking out and I couldn't understand a thing. But luckily my group had an AP that spoke really good French.. and we talked to a guy from Kongo most of the time.. Then after that we went to a restaraunt and Pres. bought us dinner...then we went back to the house to find out where we would be serving. And like you already know I am serving in BRUXELLES.. it is sooooo sweet, I love it and it is not America...But ya my Trainer's name is Elder Mustars.  He is from Toronto and he is pretty awesome... He doesn't make me speak French which is good but also bad. 

Our apartment..*
So our apartment in Bruxelles is pretty much the biggest and nicest apartment in the whole mission. It is huge and I have a balcony in my room and ya it's just some of the people we teach are Paulo Inos and Javias and a bunch of
others.. Right now I am actually in Lille, France.  I had to come get legal.. so ya, I don't have much time, so I will have to go. Ask me questions and then I can answer them for you. There is soooooo many things to tell you that ya.... I just don't have time but I love you and I am doing fine, talk to you later, and sorry for the bad spelling, I am typing on a French keyboard and it is quite difficult.  Au revoir 
Elder Simonson

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A few MTC Pics...

When Jacob (Elder Simonson) left the MTC, he sent his camera card home for us to download the pictures for safe keeping, so I just wanted to share a few more pictures of his stay in the MTC with all of you.

Elder Simonson and his companion Elder Robinson

Jacob was priviledged to see a few of his HS friends while he was in the MTC, one of them being of course, Brett Palmer, his best friend. Here's just a few pics with some of those friends from home.Jacob and Brett Palmer.

Jacob and Tyson Mitton.

What a neat picture of the Provo Temple Spire...just thought it was cool, so I added it!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Arrival in Brussels

Dear Simonson Family,

Greetings from Brussels!

You'll be happy to hear that Elder Simonson arrived here safely yesterday morning and despite the jet-lag, he is on fire! We can see that he is very prepared already, and will be a great blessing to the mission. You can see in his eyes that he knows why he is here and that he has a solid testimony. As he will surely tell you in his first email next Monday, he is serving in a very special place. There could not be a more exciting place or a more exciting time to be serving a mission right now. We are now experiencing something as a mission called The 2nd Harvest. In the early history of the church there was a great harvest in Europe and the prophet declared that the time has come again. We are beginning to see these prophesies being fulfilled in a way that is very real.

This mission is exactly obedient, we know that the Lord is with us, and that these countries are filled with many of Heavenly Father's children who are prepared to make covenants with him and enter the waters of baptism. In such a historic time, a lot is expected from each missionary. We have been praying over the last months that the Lord would send some of his choicest missionaries to this mission, and it's clear to see that Elder Simonson is one of them. He has many spiritual gifts, and we thank you for all that you have done and do to support him.

The first transfer of a mission is so crucial, and we really seek the will of the Lord to know where each new missionary needs to serve and who their first companion will be. He will get off to a great start.

His first assignment will be in the blessed city of Brussels. His mailing address is:

194/3.1 Avenue De Broqueville

1200 Brussels


His companion will be Elder Musters.

These next two years will be incredible. Thanks for prayers and faith. Thank you for Elder Simonson!


Elder Craig and Elder Palomäki