October 29, 2014

What Do We Hear?

We enjoyed a fairly busy week this week. Visited with a lot of the good members of the Gouda ward. Elder L. will be with Elder Lo. now. He'll do a great job. He can navigate this place better than I can (never was my strong point). And he has a good understanding of what needs to happen next.

We had Stake conference this weekend and the theme was Alma 37: 6-7. It was a good conference...

It's good to see the work will continue on with good missionaries and members who are putting their time and talents into what they do. I have met so many amazing people in these two years.  You know, it's the general opinion from many people that the world is getting worse and worse. And yes, certain things are getting worse. But when you get the chance to really get to know and understand about the people around you, you find that there is so much good. So much you can appreciate from the people around you. Of course you won’t always like what they do. But when it really comes down to it, there just so many good-hearted people...

I repeat myself.
That's ok. I had one last thing; I wanted to share with you all. 
After 2 years of missionary work, I have seen that this church that we follow, this gospel, offers (when properly lived and applied) happiness. And gladness, and peace. It teaches us balance in our lives. It teaches us how to live with and love others around us. 
I am reminded of a letter that Joseph Smith wrote to the saints. In Doctrine and covenants 128. Among other things, he tells about what we 'hear' or learn from the gospel:

Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received?
 A voice of gladness!
 A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the 
 a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy.

This gospel, which we have received, gives us so much. Yes, it is true that there are many unanswered questions. And there are things that don't make sense. But the core of how one should lead one's life does make sense. And is that not what we all really want? That peace of mind, knowing that we have a purpose in this life. That the endings we experience here that bring so much sadness, are not final endings, but pauses. (Pres. Uchtdorf talked about this)... 
 I admit to everyone that this does not make one's life perfect. From my own experience I know this is not the case. But I have seen this gospel fix people’s lives. It has healed hearts that are broken. I've seen it. It has given purpose to those that are lost. I've seen that too. 
And for myself it has shown me how I can be happy, and what really can make happiness last, and become joy.
Further in his letter Joseph says:

Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause?
 Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice...

People can spend years to become physically developed, and people spend years of their life studying for secular knowledge, and to develop intellectually. I have given two years to learn spiritually, and to help others do the same. I will never regret this choice. Because of it, I have changed forever. 

I pray that we will all be able to take the time, and concentration to hear from our Father. Who loves us. And wants us to feel that.

Tot Zients Nederland en Belgie. Thank you for being what you are :). I will really miss you. I love you all. You have taught me so much.
You have a special place in my heart. Always.

Elder Chantry

October 20, 2014

This Week

So this is what happened this week:

Tuesday we went to the temple. IT was SO great. Last time going here. (at least for a little while) I was really grateful for it...

We also visited less active families and some former investigators. Trying to find more people that want to meet with us. It should be coming along. 

The weather has been great. Kinda windy and partly cloudy but little rain, and still warm enough to be pleasant. Great fall weather. Leaves all over the ground (You know Rachel it's so addictive to crush them as you walk:)

I got to bear my departing testimony on Tuesday as well. .. It was a strange thing. I went up there with what I would say but I went blank for a bit. heh. There’s so much a mission does. What do you say about it in 4 minutes?

But what it came down to… What was most prominent for me was recognizing the importance of my relationship with God, and others. What we do in life really would make no difference if we didn't believe that there is more than this life. That there is a God, who cares about us and communicates with us. 

Because we believe this we have so much more direction. I have learned that relationships with people are the next most valuable thing you can have. "The worth of every soul is great, in the eyes of God". I firmly believe that. We are designed with the need to be loved, and to love. This makes us complete.

I love this work. Because just like they say, by giving up yourself for a time, you find who you really want to be. So valuable.

Ik hou van Jullie!!

Elder Chantry

October 13, 2014

So That Happened...

Well. We had another interesting week.

Elder J. heard that he will be working in the office, and was transferred this Wednesday. We're missing him already, but he's done good work here.
So we're figuring out how to properly get around without him, then another Elder who was here on exchanges got appendicitis. I was with him, so we had to rush him that night to the hospital. Crazy few days, where me and Elder L. were with his companion as he recovered and everything..

But they did a good job and he's all clear, just taking it easy. So that happened.
Me and L. are still doing great. Tomorrow we have temple conference. I'm looking forward to that.

I'm gonna send some pics, so I’ll move on to that point:

An awesome church in Woerden

One more Windmill :)

Love you all!
Elder Chantry

October 6, 2014

Wettest on the Mission

This week has been good. I know, sounds very general, but we've been able to teach more than the week before and had some really good meetings with people. It is fascinating to see the different reasons why people choose to meet with us. 

Maybe they want to learn about who we are, they're just kind of curious. Often they want to learn more about the Book of Mormon, or about Christ. Often they're interest is fairly vague, and meet because we really want to and they're not against it so why not?

But those that really are interested in learning something are great to talk with. I love hearing why people think the way they do, and what their own experiences are.

We went to the zoo today, and that was great. We were biking home Saturday night, after watching conference at a member’s house (btw, conference was great. I've watched all but the last session. I'm sure you all enjoyed it as well. Man, I’m looking forward to the printed version cause there are several that I really want to review. How about Elder Christofferson for example? great eh?) 

Anyways, we were biking home and it was dark, and the wind picked up and lo and behold the heavens broke and it started pouring. 

Now, I’ll mention that  it was warm and sunny on the way there. We all had shirt sleeves on. And then, man, an ocean dumped on our heads. Literally within two minutes I was soaked. And the next half hour got me soakeder. We were laughing, then the rain was like stinging, and so we started yelling, then we started singing, cause you know, that’s what you do when your sanity breaks... We made it home good though. 

I think that might be record for wettest on mission. A couple other times come close, but this was worse... It was hilarious. My shoes are still wet from it. 

I love you all. So glad to hear Sister Texas got home safe :)
Enjoy the week!
Elder Chantry

September 30, 2014

This Week Was Also Well

This week was also well. Well in that we worked hard, and a few really great appointments. Not great because it was just a few appointments. We had quite a few things fall through. Lots of talking to people...

It was good though. We were able to do some service, have zone training and play voetbal with the young men in the ward. That was great.

We had an appointment this week, that made me think a lot about the convincing power of one's testimony of the gospel, for one's self..... There are many people that upon building their testimony, in this church express that they know for certain that it is true. They are convinced of it. There are others who are less certain. They find it difficult to trust completely, or to that extent. Perhaps because they feel that they need to know for a fact, all the details. They are uncertain, and it is more difficult for them.

I think we all sit somewhere in a balance between the two. Often times, when we have doubts, we don't like to admit it because it is perceived as a weakness in testimony. There are times when doubts are used as a shield, to not have to take the guilt of our actions, which are contrary to the gospel. But there are also sincere questions/concerns that stem from legitimate sources. These should not be condemned. Maybe we feel it comes from a lack of faith. We're afraid that if we recognize it, we'll be poking holes in our own faith so to speak. Or that others in the church will think differently of us...

I don't know why some people are able to trust more easily and deeply than others. But what I do know, is those that do have doubts should not think less of themselves. I dare say that everyone in the church has doubted things at some point. Everyone has something they don't understand, or doesn't sit right with them...

Why do I say all this? I want to make it clear that questions are understandable. I think President Ucthdorf or Elder Holland was saying they (questions) are welcome. 
If there ever comes a time that our testimony no longer appears as a perfect painting before our eyes, it doesn't mean that we need to throw it away. Don't panic, it won't help you make wiser decisions. 
Rather, take the time to reexamine your painting, and give it time.

I ramble a long time about this, but I bring it up because I've seen this many times. People can't understand things. They feel that life is too complex to have a perfect happy answer like the gospel. I'll admit that I myself have questions, and problems with things. My conversion to the gospel is not a perfect painting. But I value the frame too much to give up on it and throw it away.

This journey in life never ceases to challenge. But I've never regretted what I’ve learned from the challenges I’ve gone through. And I pray I'll keep learning.

Wishing you all a great week,
Elder Chantry

A View Over Gouda

Eating Stroopwafels

September 22, 2014


New Area
I now serve in the area called Ommoord. Fun fact is, that's just the name of the area. Technically we're still part of Rotterdam. And if you want to get real technical we actually live in Zevenkamp. Ommoord is just part of our area. And our ward is technically the Gouda ward. Which is a seperate city.
But we're not gonna get all technical

Living here is amazing. I get to be with Elder L, fresh in the field (from Bountiful Utah) and Elder J., here a year (from South Jordan Utah).
They're both fantastic. The ward is also really great, fun people... I miss Alkmaar area already. But this area should also be good for these 6 weeks.
We have a good group of investigators, we're working with. And good bonds with many of the ward members...

You know, I've always been suspicious of change. Never really believed I could trust it. When it comes around I usually give it dirty looks.

That’s fair. I mean after all, it does often end or switch up good things that are going on. . But the plus side is that it gives us opportunities to learn and even more. Broaden horizons. That doesn't always mean that we lose what we had before. (Though sometimes it does). The good thing is though, what we do lose only has to be circumstantial things. Personal connections, and lessons learned stay with us.

That's why this transfer is so good here. It is proving to me that there is no end to the opportunities for growth. As long as we keep ready to work with it...

Love you all!
Elder Chantry

New Companions

September 15, 2014

Alkmaar, I love you

Sunday I got the news I’m moving to the Gouda ward. I'll be with E. Johnson, and we'll both be training a new elder. That'll be great.

I’m leaving the Alkmaar branch after 4 transfers. I must say, it's been an amazing place. I have met people here that have changed my life. Very much for the better. I can't ever explain it, in just a few paragraphs... But it's so true..

This last week we were busy. Elder Ballard came with Elder Dijks, and Hallstrom. They were great. Learned some good things.
We had many lessons, and there are some great people the next Elders will be working with.

We had the chance to tour some Molens. It's been beautiful weather lately. We went to a lake for pday today.

I threw on a few pics of the wind molens. and stuff.

These last few transfers have got me thinking...
It's funny how relationships work. If you try to construct a friendship or bond manually, it never really works. You can get the beginnings, and it can go good. But it doesn't really have full substance.
Not until it comes naturally. I feel like the best relationships, come just as a result of you trying to be a friend. If you’re open, and you give it a chance, the rest just comes. It is actually kind of magical (I know, sounds kind of cliché, but it's true). 
You don't notice When it happened really. Or sometimes even how. But its one of the greatest gifts you can receive. When you realize, that you have a friend. Someone who cares about you. And that you care about in return. Some one you can trust.
            I’m sure all of us have experienced this at some point. We don't normally think about it that much, because, well, it’s just natural. But when something happens to your friend, or when you have to leave them, that's when you fully can appreciate what you have.

I have been so blessed. 

Elder Chantry