Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas again!

Well it was awesome to talk to you.. I think all of you thought I was really awkward... I was being normal.. I just could barely hear everyone.. and no one had much to say.. Oh well it was good to hear your voices.. It feels good to hear those familiar voices.
Christmas night went well. We went to a little family's house that is in the ward and sang christmas songs and shared testimonies and then we had a big feast at another family's house.. so that was fun...
This week has been quite interesting.. It seems it has been really lazy and boafy..
I forgot to tell you but..on Sunday, church was cancelled because it had snowed so much.. we got about 5-6 inches and it actually stayed for a couple of days .. and Brussels is just not quite used to that.. so Sunday we stayed inside and had a big apartment study and breakfast.. then Monday we had meetings and other things.. and then Tuesday we picked up the a couple of new missionaries that came in early... they were both really cool.
One of them is a Sister and her name is Sister Stephanie Clark or something like that.. anyway the moment I saw her I knew I had met her before and that I knew her... so we started talking about why she looked familiar... and we found out that in the summer of 2007 she was down in Inkom and she came to the singles branch a few times and went on little trips and activities with them.. and it just so happens that I went to the singles branch a couple of times that summer and I think that is where I had seen her.. It was pretty crazy.. I know her..
Anyway the two new missionaries got assigned to Charleroi.. and President was in France doing interviews and what not and so Elder Christensen and I got to pick them up and then also take them down to Charleroi and get them settled in...
So on Wednesday.. We traveled down to Charlroi and also a senior couple that works on the apartments came down also and we spent most of the day fixing up the Sisters apartment and get them all squared away ... It was good to go back to Charleroi like always.. I saw Daniel's brother that we were teaching when I left.. it was cool
Then that lead us to Christmas eve and Christmas and we pretty much spent both days at members houses and president's and ya it was really good...
I am more excited though that it is all over and we can start into a new year and get the work going... I think we have lost a little focus on the work in the past few weeks and I kinda think the whole mission was like that.. So now I am ready for things to go back to normal a little so we can start teaching more people and find more people to be baptized..
Anyway.. that is about it... I will try and send a camera card as soon as possible.. I love you and hope you have a great week...
-Elder Simonson

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A - O Merry Christmas Everyone!

Oh boy... well the time has flown and Christmas has arrived... and to be honest, I forgot that it was the time to be planning the phone call and times and what not... Elder Christensen and I kinda thought about it and I think it would be allright to call around 8 your time (4 our time)... I don't know if that is early enough to be able to talk to Trish and Clint.. but.. anyway.. I have to get on my email on Monday to send President some letters so.. if you would prefer a different time just email and tell me.. It is our cell phone so no matter where we will be we will pick up the phone..  talk to ya on Christmas.. we might end up going to the Johnsons home.
By the way, I got your package.. Thanks.. I have already eaten most of the goodies.. and I also got Grandma and Grandpa's package also.. thanks so much!!
Well thanks so much for all the letters and emails.. you guys are pretty much the coolest family.... and it is good to hear from you.. I'm excited to hear from you all on Christmas..
The mission is going well.. Elder Christensen is a stud... and we have been teaching our brother Kadio.. he is doing well and is super solid.. I have a really good feeling that he will be baptized... He lives like right next to the church and has been living here for about 6 months and when he got here he was looking for a church to go to.. and he went on a walk and found our church.. but didn't know how to get in contact with someone to find out more about it.. and then.. viola... we met him a little while later.. he said he tried going to other churches including a Nigerian church but he didn't like it.. and he said he feels good and comfortable in our church.. He is cool..
The weather has been so interesting here lately.. It was totally different than last year.. Last year it got freezing by Nov.. this year it was pretty warm.. until about three days ago and all of a sudden it got stinking COLD... and it snowed about 5 inches two days ago and it is lasting.. which is weird for Belgium.. usually it snows about an inch and then melts.. but.. not the case..
We had Zone Leader Council this week and it went well.. Ya anyway.. I don't have too much to say.. because I will talk to you later..
Today.. we Spring cleaned... in December.. it was so nice.. our apartment is finally clean and way nice.. We have been working on it for the last two transfers.. I am proud of it.. I took a video.. and I will send it to you later...
Well I will let you go.. sorry for the small letter...
I Love you all.. and wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS from Belgium.. happy holidays..
Just let me know if 8 in the morning for you is ok to call... you can call whenever you want.. just let me know.
Elder Jacob Von Simonson

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Craziest 2 weeks of my Life!

Ok.. so maybe the title is a little exaggerated but it really has been crazy...I promise... huh Katie...?
Well everything seemed to work out this week. We got the new missionaries on Tuesday. That was really an awesome experience.. We received 16 new missionaries and 2 are coming later (one has visa problems and one was sick)
New missionaries are soooooo FIRED up and excited to be out... They have so much faith and just want to be able to have cool experiences so that they can write home with a cool story... One Elder was really funny.. He was just the kind of Elder that would say something like ... "Yes, I just got mugged for the first time!" He asked, "Sooo... when people mug you, what is the most common weapon they use?" HAHA, Oh man what a weirdy.. it was funny.
So Tuesday we were with them all day we went contacting in Grand Place with them and took them out to eat and got back to the Mission Home to have them open their calls. I think I was more excited to hear where they were going than they were!
Then Wednesday we had transfers and departing missionaries. There was all sorts of strikes on one of the streets so that blocked up traffic which was ridiculous! It took us 2 hours to get from the Mission Home to the station which usually only takes about 15 min. So that made for hectic-ness...
It was weird to see Elder Reynolds leave and go home and also Elder Hoskyns.. I can't believe how stinking fast time flies.. it is crazy..
While we were at the airport, Elder Hoskyns couldn't find his passport, so Elder Christensen and I had to run back to the Mission Home and try and find his passport. Well we found it, but traffic was so bad on our way back to the airport that he missed his flight and had to book a later one... poor guy.. anyway, that just meant that I didn't get to say goodbye to Elder Reynolds and the other missionaries that left.. but oh well...
Then on Thurday we had the huge Missionary Choir from Holland come down to Brussels.. and we spent all day in the center of Brussels putting on little outside Christmas concerts. It was really cool.. we talked to a ton of people.. and the concert that night was a pretty big hit.. so.. all the stress and planning for that wasn't in vain.. but it is nice that it is over.
Elder Christensen, my new companion and AP... is a young buck.. he is only on his 8th transfer and hasn't even hit his year mark yet... but he is nevertheless a stud. He is really good with people and he is good at making decisions (which we all know that I am not good at that) so it is nice. He is from Riverton and likes to swim.. has three sisters, one older, two younger.. his older sister is on a mission in Indonesia.. anyway.. I like him a lot and it is going to be fun..
We had a cool little miracle this week.. While we were with the new missionaries, we received a text that said... "Hi my name is Blessing, I met you people at North Station.. I ask you a Bible".. so I called her to fix an appointment and she said that she had seen missionaries in the North Station about 4 months ago and they had given her a card with our number on it.. and she said she wanted a Bible, but also that she was looking for a church to go to... so we went and taught her last night. She is from Nigeria and is just like Mercy Johnson.. Sis Johnson. I love it.. But she is coming to church with us on Sunday.. I love how the Lord works.. it is really nothing that we do... you never know.. we give out a billion cards and you just never know how much that may affect one person.
Also Kadio, our brother from Liberia.. came to church last week.. we have only taught him once and he has come to church 2 times in a row..
Last Sunday was one of my best, most joyful days on a mission.. It was Stake Conference, so I got to see all the members from Charleroi.. and Elder Gerald Caussé came and spoke... He is a Seventy.. from France.. he is in the Europe Area Presidency along with Elder Kopischke.. Well I don't remember if I told you the treat about Stake Conf.. but.. Daniel was asked to bear his testimony in Conf. He got up and said that he has never been happier and loves his life since he has become a member and then he said, "Since I joined the church.. I have heard many people get up and say that they knew the church was true.." he said.. "I even watch General Conference and I heard the Prophet say he knew the church was true.. but me.. I have never said that phrase out loud.." and then he said.. "SO I would just like to pronounce it to all of you and testify in front of everyone here today that I KNOW THE CHURCH IS TRUE.." ahh.. It was very special..
Also we stopped by the Johnsons before Elder De Mass left and we had a little testimony meeting... It was really special.. Mercy told us how much Bro. Johnson has changed since their baptism and how he used to never want to pray with her or what not.. but now he has changed and he kneels down with her every morning and night and they pray together. And then all the girls said how much their family has changed since their baptism.. and what touched my heart the most was that Osazuwa said... "Thanks Elder Simonson and Elder De Mass for bringing theGgospel to my family." That was really good to hear and feel.. I'm so grateful that they accepted something that is so close to me but that I am trying to share and it is special that their lives are changing and they are finding joy through membership in the Church..
I love you all.. and hope you have a Merry Christmas..
Elder Simonson

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm an Uncle again x 9!

Hey-O.. Well I guess I am just a little uncle again.. That is really weird that I have a new niece and just a bunch of neices and nephews that have grown and changed.. I guess I kinda think that everything back home is just kinda on pause.. but not really so the case... apparently the whole world doesn't revolve around me... Ouch.. it is really just earth shattering.. haha jk..
It's weird to think how much I am out of the loop about what is going on back home with all my brothers and sisters... probably because they never write me and I never write them... I really do love you and I think you love me... contrary to what our actions may show...
Well this week has been SOOOO INSANE... It was Zone Conference which went really well. We went to the Temple on the Dutch side.. and then Sister Brubaker wanted to give us all a present which was Swiss Fondue for our lunch.. Cheese fondue for 50 people with a limited amount of time... You do the math.. it was a lot of work and was pretty stressful and threw off our agenda by about 2 and a half hours .. but it was way good and a special treat.. so it was ok.. So Monday we finished prep for Zone Conference and also had meetings with Pres. and then Tues and Wed we were in Zoetermeer where the Temple is.. and then Thursday we were back in Brussels for Zone Conf. and then yesterday in Lille. SO.. We didn't have any time to see any of our investigators.. sadly.. but. that leads us to today our p-day... so tonight we can finally do some work in our area..
It was weird to hear Elder Reynolds give his departing testimony this week.. He has always just been there since my second transfer.. well... anyway.. I was soooo tired and soo exhausted this week but.. the work continues... We will be finishing transfers with President tomorrow and then this coming week will be transfers... It is going to be SUPER crazy as well.. we have 18 new missionaries and the 15 leaving and then we have a HUGE missionary choir coming to Brussels.. so that will take up Mon, Tues, Wed, and Thursday and then things should settle back to normal.. CRAZINESS...
Our Brother Kadio from Liberia that we met, came to church.. and he loved it.. he didn't have time to see us this week and niether did we, but he is planning on coming to church.. I called him yesterday and he said, "I will sse you on Sunday right?" SO.. things are just going fine ... once we get our schedule back to normal and there isn't so many things going on, it will be a little easier to focus on GOLDEN people that are waiting to be baptized..
Well sounds like everything is going well.. I am excited to talk to you as well.... It will be good.. I don't have too much else to say so I will talk to you later...
_Elder Jacob VON Simonson