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  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fast Week...

Howdeee.  All is going well in Charleroi, Belgium.  We had a busy week.  We had three exchanges this week so we spent a lot of time away from each other.  That isn't always the greatest for obtaining and reaching the goals that we set together as a companionship, because we were never together and couldn't focus on them nor work on them. 
Monday we had pday and I had a baptismal interview for a little girl that is 11 that got baptized in Charleroi 2 last night. Then on Monday night, Elder Receveur and I went to Mons to work with the companionship there.  I spent Tuesday working in Mons.  It was FREEZING cold the whole stinking day.  It was like winter, raining and blowing.  I loved Mons.  It was soooo beautiful compared to Charleroi, and the people weren't ghetto.  Plus the missionaries live with an American member... and she shops on the military base so that meant AMERICAN FOOD for a day... let's just say the taste of sweet Captain Crunch caressed by ice cold American milk, then the crunchiness of delicious corn dogs and topped off with nice cookie dough ice cream, was enough get me a little trunky.. But I quickly countered those feelings by eating a Gauffre (waffle) and some Chocolate and then I was good. 
Wednesday we had an exchange with the other Elders in Charleroi. Which was good.  They passed us this part member family.  We are now teaching the 14 year old kid who wants to be baptized.  He is just amazing!  He reads all the time in the Book of Mormon and he understands really well.  He is one of the most intelligent kids I have ever met.  So that was exciting.  Thursday we had interviews with President. That went well.  Elder Receveur and I prepared some lunch for the District. We have a store that sells Mexican food.. So we had a bunch of really good burritos.  Everyone was loving it. 
Friday.. we planned and then went and taught a couple of people.  We started teaching this beautiful little family from Rwanda.  The mom is a little lost and really searching for the right church.. but.. hopefully she will put forth the effort to know the truth. 
Friday night was one of the greatest nights of my mission (well funnest).  Our Ward had a Ward party and it was the 'Souper Belge' (Belgian dinner).  We ate authentic Belge food and it was dang good.  Also they had the whole night centered on Belge culture, so that was really fun for me.  I was loving it.. They did a skit on how to make real Belge Frites.   It was sweet.  For dinner we ate Carbonade et Frites.. and for desert obviously Brussels waffles.. carbonade is kinda like beef stew, but a little sweeter and with prunes in it.. It is good... especially on top of Belge fries..  So that was fun for me.  Saturday we did some service for a lady and cleaned up her yard.. cut trees down, pulled weeds, etc.  Then the rest of the day we spent finding.. knocking doors, talking to people, you name it.  Yesterday we went to church.  We had Ward Conference so I got to see the Stake leaders and see some people that I knew from Bruxelles.. it was fun. Then there was the baptism of the 11 year old in Charleroi 2.  We went to that so I got to see all the members again.. It was great and for the most part they all remembered me.. It made me feel good.
Anyway that was my week.. It was fun and super fast.. I can't believe that we are pretty much through May.. we seriously just started it.
Well, love you lots and will talk at you later.. 

Elder Von Simonson

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Well it was great to talk to you yesterday. It was good to hear everyone and hear that dad still has trouble talking and that Clint is still queer... We had a good week searching for new people. We met some neat people and had some good experiences. The Sisters had contacted this guy named Jean Claude and they gave him a Book of Mormon card and then a couple of days later he called them wanting a Book of Mormon. So the Sisters asked us if we would go give it to him and teach him. We did and it went pretty good. He is an older guy and very intelligent and a little special to say the least. He is a little crazy. But it was really neat how interested he was. We will continue to teach him and see what happens. The other cool thing is that I had an exchange with the Zone Leaders and Elder Berlin, my wonderful little friend, came here to Charleroi to work with me. It was a great day. We stopped by to see this guy that we had contacted on the road a few days earlier and he wasn't there, but his friend answered the door told us he wasn't there and we said,  "Oh it is ok, we talked to him a few days ago and wanted to come and teach him today,  but we would love to teach you the same thing"... and he said,  "Ya sure, come on up."  So we taught him and half way through the lesson one of his friends walked in and we started teaching him also. They were both really great and we really hope to start seeing them more so we can invite them to come to church and to start working towards baptism.  So we saw the hand of the Lord in the work for sure. Also we have a lot of people that we haven't been able to get a hold of and surprisingly we ran into all of them on the street... I love how God works. Other than that we have been doing a lot of porting and a lot of finding...
I was going to tell you a story yesterday when I was talking to you... but I forgot, but since I don't have too much to say, I can just tell you now... So we were porting.. and we knock on this door and a big burly guy answers the door. He sees us and says... "No, I am not interested"... and starts to shut the door... then I was in a joking mood and felt like being a smartelic and said,  "What?  Is it our ties or the way we are dressed, that doesn't interest you?"  So he opens the door and says... "Listen... we don't have the same beliefs" and so I say,  "Well, that is ok, that is why we are here."  He says... "I am a member of Satanism... and have been for thirteen years... look at my ring." (he had some Gothic looking ring on) So at this point I didn't know if he was kidding or not... so I just kept on joking with him... SO... I say very sarcastically.. "Ohhh cool... so does that bring you joy or... happiness?" and then I realized that he wasn't actually trying to come up with a dumb excuse to get us to leave his house but that he was actually part of Satanism.. He said.. "Listen, we don't follow the same master... it isn't about joy... it's about knowing who you serve."  At this point I am still being nice and sarcastic... I don't know if he appreciated it or not but it was fun... SO...I said, "Well.. you are right we don't have the same master... but we know who our master is and it brings us lots of joy to serve him and he loves us."  He goes off on the same kind of thing... and then says... "Listen... You need to know that very soon there is going to be a Big battle between Satan and God".... and he says... "and I know which side I am on and will fight for my master."  I replied... "Well, we do too... and we completely agree with you...very soon there will be a war... in fact we are already in that war right now.. and that is why we are here."  So he says... "Well, I am glad you know who your master is."  And I said, "me too.. but I guess that we will see each other on the battlefield then?"  He replied, "Yep".. and he says... "I respect you, and what you do, but just know when I see you on that battlefield... I WILL KILL YOU!"  And I said,  "Alright, we'll see."... and then he closed the door.  Then I just started laughing.. and turned to my companion and said... "Oh my gosh, I can't believe that just happened!" haha.. so I was pretty much threatened.  I thought it was funny.. the kind of people you meet on a mission is quite amusing.. anyway.. dumb, but fun little story.
As for the job thing.. all I have to say is.. I AM DOWN... I would love a job for the month that I wait to go to school.   Like you said that is an answer and a blessing from Heavenly Father.. and I can already see the blessings that are coming after the mission. Heavenly Father is just so great.. he spoils the crap out of us... and Europeans say that there is no God because there is so much bad in the world... HA.. what do they know.. anyway.. that is all I really have to say. I love you all lots and hope that you aren't all getting too trunky to see my beautiful face and be graced with my wonderful presence ... I love you and I will talk to you soon.
PS I just attached some pics from Paris...
Elder Von Simonson

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hooray for babies!

Dear Family and Friends.

This week has been a really great one. The last couple of weeks we really haven't had much going on... but this week we started changing that. We had a lot of porting and finding and contacting old investigators to see if they were interested... we really put our faith and effort into it.. and the Lord, in turn, blessed us...
Last week doing our planning, we really just wanted to break out of the rut and start teaching more lessons. Elder Teixeira had invited everyone to stop putting a cap on our faith and our work and to just go out and do it, and that we could teach 21 lessons a week if we wanted. So last week Elder Receveur and I had 4 lessons in total which is not too hot... so we decided we were sick of this crap, so Elder Receveur, with his faith said, "I want to teach 20 lessons.." and me and my pescimistic/realistic self said, "Well, we don't have any investigators and last week we taught 4 lessons, so I don't see how we could teach 20 lessons.." and there was the problem... I didn't have the faith to begin with and I was already putting a cap on what the Lord could make come to pass.... So together we set a goal of 17 total lessons.. and we worked really hard to accomplish that... Well the Lord blessed us and we were able to get things going this week.. We ended up teaching 11 lessons and we found 3 new investigators Which is a whole lot better than last week... so we didn't quite get 17 but we were very satisfied with 11.
One guy we found has been an investigator for years and he is a Theologist and so he knows everything about the church. We went and visited him and he was great.. so we will begin meeting with him and just see if he is ready now to join the church. The reason he hasn't joined yet is because he said he has already converted too many times.. but he had realized some real key points about the church... such as (his words) "the Mormon Church is the only church that the ordinances are for after this life..." he said, "you have such a Celestial view of things..." so i thought that was cool.
Another lady we found was near the church. We were just doing some porting and we knocked on her door and she came out and started talking to us like she knew us, she told us, "No, sorry I don't have time to meet with you today.." we were a little confused, but then she explained that the Sisters used to come and teach her.. then she says to us.. "But I want you to come by and teach me the differences between the Catholic Church and your church because I never understood the difference when the Sisters would come and teach me.." So we took Patrick with us and he just told her straight up all the good differences that he really liked and bore strong testimony of why he changed.. it was perfect.. She is busy for the next week or so, but then she really wanted to come to a baptism and there is a Baptism in Charleroi 2 in a couple of weeks.... so we are hoping and praying that she will come and love it and have the desire to start coming to church and meeting with us regularly... She is something special, I feel that she is very prepared.. I wouldn't be surprised in the near future...and plus she is Belge and has a family, car, etc... she is just a nice normal person.. Just the way I like em
The other person that we found was really cool also. We saw a cute little black family so we ran to them and contacted them.. we were talking and and then their bus came and they started getting on, but we hadn't gotten their number or address or anything.. and as they are getting on the bus, the mom says, "Pass by sometime..." and the little kid yells out the address! After they had gone.. Elder Receveur turned to me and told me that Elder Stowers and him had contacted her the begining of last transfer but she had given them a bad number and they were never able to get a hold of her.. we stopped by her house last night and taught them a short lesson and will be stopping by this next Tuesday.. they are a beautiful family from Rwanda..
So all in all that was my week... We had two exchanges this week.. I went to Namur... it was beautiful as always.. but on the train ride over I had my overnight bag with my scripturess, and my personal journal and my study journal from my whole mission and .... we got talking with a guy and then when we got into Namur, I got off the Train and realized I had left my bag on the train.. so I ran back downstairs to try and catch the train but it was already taking off.. SO I was really sick to my stomach.. I figured I would never see it again.. but I called the Elders in Liege and told them which train I was on and asked them if they would go to the station and jump on the train and try and find my bag.. they did and they found it! So I got my bag with everything in it back... WHEW.. Thank goodness.. I was praying my heart out.. because it was things that you just can't replace...
Anyway that was my week... all is great... my feet don't hurt too bad.. I just like complaining and it was more just to emphasize how much we walk... haha.. so the other funny thing is that in the morning for exercises we have been doing competitions like how many push ups we can do etc.... so for example I would start and do one pushup then the others would do one... then I would do two and everyone would do two.. and we continue until you can't do anymore... and each time it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.. so we did that with pushups and I was sooooo sore for 3 days and then we did situps and I was sore forever... then we did lunges... let's just say I won.. but at the end I had done 351 lunges and let's just say I have never had legs this sore in my life.. it has been poop walking around.. but it was fun... and it entertained Elder Receveur.. so it was worth it.. Love you lots talk to you later...
Elder Simonson
P.S. Congrats Clint and Katie!