Monday, May 25, 2009

Busy week...

Well another week has gone by too fast... this week we had a big Zone Leader Council on Tuesday night and a Leadership Council on Wednesday.. sooo since Elder Nielsen and I are the Zone Leaders here in Brussels and this is where they were, we were in charge of them.. so Tuesday we had to buy all the food for Leadership Council and get everything ready for that.. that took most of our day up until Zone Leader Council...ZLC 
ZLC was really, really great... President talked about how we are going to be getting ready for the new President and how the Mission will be resting on us for the next 12 weeks.. That was encouraging!  But the meeting was way good.. I am sad to be having Pres. Woodland leaving. He taught us also how to be a leader and what we are going to need to do when we become a High Priest.. it was pretty interesting.. haha.. but it was powerful.. 
The Leadership Council was really good.. we were able to get all of the District Leaders on the same page and get them excited for this transfer and the next... 
The only thing is that our area kind of lacked the attention it needed because we were focused on the meetings and other stuff.. but the week went well. Elder Nielsen is a stud and I'm learning a lot... As for some of the people we are teaching.. Clotilde is hard to see because she is going to school so much and she just can't find the time to see us or to come to church... sooooooooo funny thing is that this week we just had enough of her making excuses and stuff so we just dropped by her house and she was there.. She was excited to see us, but the first thing that she said was.. "Ya know, I'm kinda mad that my baptism keeps getting moved back and back"... shes like "Why do I have to go to church 3 times in this Ward?  I have already been to church a lot of times... I know it's true.. I just need to be baptized!"  Then she told us about when she was in Ireland she introduced her friend to the church and her friend got baptized in like two weeks and only went to church once.. she's like.. "I just want to be baptized!"  And we were like "Well, you just gotta come to church"... Etc. so that was a little hard... we want her to be baptized but we can't just baptize her like that.. but this week we are going over and are going to lay down the law... 
Claire is doing really good... she also told us that she was mad at us because we told her that she couldn't be baptized because she has a boyfriend... and we told her, "Claire, you just have to live the law of chastity".. and she's like... "DO YOU THINK ALL THE MEMBERS in your church live that commandmant?"  And we said, "Well, probably not.. but that's between them and God"... Then she said, "Well it is the same for me.. I'm going to try and live it... but that is between me and God"... I wish you knew Claire.. she is sooo funny and blunt and just sassy.. that's kind of a gay word but I can't think of any better word.. she is doing great.. she said she wants to be baptized in June.. but.. we will see.. She really humbled us.. because obviously it is her decision and just as long as she understands what she is promising God and isn't living with her boyfriend.. she can be baptized.. sooo... ya she is coming to Family Home Evening tonight.. she is my favorite.. 
Anyway.. we did a little service on Saturday.. we pulled out a stump for a member family.. Elder Nielsen and I had that stump out in an hour and they had been working on it for like over a year.. YA.. THAT'S RIGHT... WE PRETTY MUCH ROCK... it was good to do some Physical work.. I miss it. And plus I got a little sun.. it has been really nice here the last week or soo.. pretty hot.. like 32 degrees C or something like that.. 
Well that was pretty much my week.. found a lot of great people.. taught 2 huge Romanian families yesterday.. they are really good.. we have been working hard but just haven't quite seen much come out of it... so it makes me question a lot of things.. like what am I doing wrong.. stuff like that.. It has just been a different experience here in Brussels.. It seems like the Devil has just been working a lot harder on the Mission lately.. President was talking about how the last two months were some of the greatest times in the Mission history.. and now the devil has been using criticism and negativity and stuff like that to fight against the work.. but things are going better.. we are getting out of that.. but it was very apperant... 
Well I gotta go.. I love you all.. I didn't get any letters from anyone yet but we will have to wait and see.. I got your two emails mom.. 
Thanks!  Love,
Elder Von Simonson

Monday, May 18, 2009

New companion NEW AWESOMENESS!

..... Well well well, My new companion is Elder Nielsen from Tremonton, Utah... He is a Utard but I am trying to be charitable and loving.... no I'm only teasing.. things are going great. He is such a good guy. He was really sick this first week of transfers but we saw a lot of miracles still...
Soooo quick crazy story of the week to start this puppy out... So last night Elder Nielsen and I were headed home to our apartment after finding a really cool and rich Protestant Romanian family... which is usually never the case.  Usually they are really poor and are orthodox... anyway back to my story.. Well we are headed back and we get off the Metro and go to switch to the tram... well as we are getting off... of course people are getting on and I see this guy with bags getting on the metro and I see this other guy kinda quickly grab something out of his bag.. and then just hop on the Metro and out the other side.. so I start yelling at this guy in English (don't know why).. but I'm just like, "He just stole something from your bag!"... So the guy looks and just starts freaking out.. so Elder Nielsen and I just take off running.. Elder Nielsen sees where he goes and just takes off after him... Anyway long story short, we chased him for a good half a mile and then he just took the money from it and chucked the wallet.. so we got the wallet back for the guy.. which had all of his stuff, papers, credit cards, everything.. so he was really happy.. I was so dead from running after him.. haha .. it was cool.. crazy.. it's been a while since I have felt a rush of adrenaline like that.. 
Also this week I got your card with all the pictures in it.. I can't believe how all of them have changed.. it blows my mind... Also I got a letter from Josh Richardson.. it was good to hear from him. 
THE HOW I'M DOING SECTION REQUESTED BY MOTHER: Ummm I'm doing really good... I love my new companion.. He is so down to earth he is not FAKE at all.. just talks to people like they are people, he listens to the Spirit and we get along.. he also is just way good at leading a Zone..ect.... so that means I'm content. 
The work is going well.. we are having a hard time getting people to come to church and to progress but.. we keep finding a ton of super prepared people... The Lord is merciful.. so we are just working hard... we found that Romaninan family and are teaching a new Congolais guy named Titi, and ya we are still teaching Claire.. she is like my favorite.. we went and taught her just before Elder Hoskyns left.. and she fed us.. she asked when her baptism was.. she wanted it sometime in June but the problem is that she has a boyfriend and she can't get married for another year because she isn't leagally divorced until then.. and she doesn't want to live the law of chastity.. she's solid.. but... ya just that problem stands in the way... 
Love You lots.. thanks Trisha for the was good to hear from ya because contrary to popular belief, mom doesn't tell me what all goes on... 
sooo.. and mom, i just got the little update thing, not a regular letter soo.. alright.. love ya 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Transfers already...

So it was pretty sweet to talk to Mom and Dad and Clint and Katie yesterday... It was good. It got me excited to go out and do missionary work. Things went super well yesterday. We had 3 people at church... a Columbian lady named Yolanda and Clarie came and a guy named Messi. It was good. Sadly the Brazilain family didn't make it. The Bishop's wife even called them and invited them to come.. but hopefully this next week. Also this week we met with some awesome new people. 
This one girl named Clotilde (she was taught by Elder Craig the old Assistant who is now home).. anyway that was before the International Ward was combined into the other two wards.. Soo because this girl, who is from Cameroon, only speaks English, she went to the International Ward.  Well, she had come like 5 or 6 times to that Ward and loved it, then the Wards combined and she was going to get baptized the week after the Wards were combined (that being the week before she left for Ireland for 3 months).  Well.. long story short, she got lost and couldn't find the church that week so she didn't get baptized and then she left for Ireland... Well last week I happened to call her and she had just gotten back from Ireland.. So we got to see her this week and she is so solid. She is a Theologist sooo she understands that the authority was lost after Peter and that it had to have been restored by Jesus Christ himself.. So she knows that the Church is true. She is very, very smart. We taught with a Brazilian member named Danilo who speaks English. He was like, "It is good to know in your mind that it is true, but you also have to know it in your heart as well."  Well then she told us what it was like the first time she came to church and she just testified that she knew in both her heart and in her mind that it is true.. Soo ya, she has been taught everything and has accepted it and is living all of the commandments.. so she will be baptized soon, like the end of this month.. we are going to review stuff with her and just help her get invovled and integrated into the Ward.. 
Things have been going really well. I have just been trying to get everything figured out and get in the swing of things. This transfer has flown by so fast. It is crazy. Anyway... so transfers news! I am staying in Brussels and my new companion will be Elder Nielsen.. I don't know him at all.. other than he used to be a Zone Leader down in Lille, France... Everyone seems to really, really like him and they all say that he is really easy going.. so I'm down with that... 
It was really good to talk to you yesterday!  I can't believe that Danny and Clint are going crazy with this whole Holy Sheet idea.. but whatever huh.. haha I thought it was funny.. Mom sent me a couple of pictures, man Clint, you have gotten fat..  How much weight have you put on?.. haha. I didn't get your letter yet sooo no comments yet on that. 
It was good to serve with Elder Hoskyns. He is a hard worker and is so enthusiatic about the work.. I learned a lot and it was a good transfer. 
I am really excited for this new one just because we have some really amazing people at the begining.. so.. it should be good. 
I'm sorry that my letters are always boring.. It's just that I don't know what else to write you... I know you said to write how I am doing.. but I'm doing well.. I like the food... I run every morning, mostly in the forest.. I eat a lot of Belge fries.. ummmm being here in Brussels I'm learning a few phrases in like every language.. and ya.. that's about it.. I like missionary work.. It's fun and frustrating and joyful and hard but it's good and stressful so.. I don't know what you want to hear.. haha well I am going to try to write people letters so that they might write me.. but we will see how that goes. I'll let you know next week how my new companion is.  I love you and hope all is well.
Elder Simonson

Monday, May 4, 2009


Hey hey... how's it going family? Sorry I didn't write last week. I wrote a long letter and then when I sent it, it had logged me out and of course I hadn't saved it. SOOOO ya that's why you didn't get a letter... Sorry, my bad. Well this last week was really good. We got to go to the temple.. which was well needed and long awaited. The temple is up in Zoetermeer or Den Haag, I don't remember which town, but it was in the Netherlands, it was awesome! The temple was very small but it was beautiful and it didn't change the spirit that you feel in the temple... I had just been stressing about a lot of stuff and my mind was just racing for like 2 weeks before and as soon as I walked into the temple, everything just went away and I felt sooo calm.  It was good... The endownment was in French, that was cool. That was on Wednesday that we went.  We left around 7:30 and got home at like 10 because of the terrible traffic going in and out of Brussels. So that was our Zone Conference for this transfer... 
So I got all the little letters from everyone.. it was good to hear from everyone.. I had commentary last week, but I don't remember too much of that letter now.. so once again, Sorry. 
This week was pretty good. We have been facing lots of opposition. Aime has been going in and out of the hospital with his cancer and had a bad little incounter with one of the members and he now hates him... and as for Claire, our other ami... she was just way busy and the only time we could see her was on Wed. when we went to the temple, so we haven't seen her for awhile... It was kind of a rough week but it helped us learn a lot. 
Enough about that opposition stuff.. Last night just made the week worth every bit of roughness... SO a few weeks ago the office Elders gave us a referal of a Brazilian lady that they had contacted and we had tried to stop by but she wasn't there.. well we had fixed a rendezvous and she wasn't there so we left a Book of Mormon and she called us telling us thanks for the book and sorry for not being there and we set up another time to come over. sooo last night was that time... We went there and it was a beautiful Brazilian family.. they have 3 girls, a 17 year old, 16 and 7.  The 16 year old went back to Brazil for studies, but the other two were there. They were so humble and the lesson was really good. They all just gathered around and were listening and asking questions.. It was sweet. I have never really had a Family lesson like that. It was a huge blessing. And we are seeing them again on Wed. With a Brazilian couple from the Ward.. I am so excited for this family. They are just down to earth and searching and just a normal family... I love it... Also this random big black Congolaise lady showed up to church with her family yesterday.. Well, turns out that she is just here from Congo for a couple of months and she was just baptized about a year ago.. and her son who is like 35 or so that lives here in Brussels is a member and he came to church with his little girl.. I sat by him and showed him around.. he is sweet and we are seeing him this next Wed. too.. Miracles.... but I am loving it here... sometimes it's super crazy but... I love it still... 
So this Sunday it seems like you are ready to talk to me... that is sweet! I'm ready too. Ummm I think it will be good to call me at 9 o'clock in the morning your time so like 5 my time... I hope that is ok.. sorry I didn't get that set up better.. but I love you and I will talk to you soon.. 
Elder Von Simonson