Sunday, December 29, 2013

CCM at the Mission Home

Each quarter the Area Seventy, Elder Boom, hold a Coordinating Council Meeting (CCM), at the Mission Home with the four Stake Presidents and President Robinson and myself.

On December 1, 2013 we held our last meeting for the year.  After the meeting in the morning, we enjoy a great lunch together.  These great men have also started helping me wash dishes when we are done. President and I love these men and are so very appreciative of their love for us, their love and commitment to the Lord and His work, and their personal examples and testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 President Oddens, Den Haag Stake; President Boom, Antwerpen Stake; Elder Boom, Area Seventy; President Hulleman, Apeldorn Stake; President DeJonge, Rotterdam Stake was blessing his new baby today, so President Van Driel Kluit,     
his 1st Councilor, attended; President Robinson.

Thanksgiving at the Mission Home

Since we sent missionaries home on Thanksgiving, we held our Thanksgiving Dinner in the Mission Home on Saturday, November 30, 2013.

President, I and the Assistants enjoyed a REAL Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.  Just like home--almost!
Yes, we even had pumpkin pie!

President, Elder Van Komen, Elder Lewis.

Our November Group of Missionaries Leave

We have known for many months that during November and December we would be sending home a record number of missionaries.  Our greatest missionaries. So on November 27, 2013 seven missionaries come to the Mission Home before they departed for home the next day.

This is a great group of Elders, a great group of Friends.
They go home changed men.  They are more converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of their experience here in the Belgium Netherlands Mission.  Not one of them had it easy.  Each one of these Elders faced discouragement, difficulty, sorrow and setbacks and still came out on top. You each allowed the Savior to teach you in unique ways.  I love you Elders.  Thank you for your great example of overcoming life's trials and enduring to the end.

 Elder Christensen, Elder Mower, Elder Stoddard, Elder Burton, Elder McKee, Elder Wayman, Elder Mathis, President and Sister Robinson

 It is so good to see smiles on every face.  

 Elder Christensen's parents joined us for our dinner and testimony meeting.   Bro. and Sis. Christensen, it was a pleasure to meet you and thank you for being with us.  Thank you also for you son for two years.

 We wait early in the morning at Leiden Centraal for the train to Schipol.
Elder Burton, Elder Mathis, Elder McKee and Elder Van Komen (assistant)

 Elder Stoddard (back to us), Elder Lewis (assistant) Elder Burton, Elder Mathus

 Elder Wayman, Elder Stoddard, Elder Lewis (assistant)

 Elder Mower

 We arrive at Schipol where we first said Goodbye to Elder Burton.  He is traveling alone as he has to return to Canada.
President and Sister Robinson, Elder McKee, Elder Mower, Elder Burton, Elder Wayman, Elder Mathis, Elder Stoddard.

 President Robinson, Elder Burton, Sister Robinson
We love you Elder Burton.  We have traveled many a mile physically -by car and train.  We have spend hundreds of hours together. We have also traveled many a mile spiritually and emotionally.  Our joy was always knowing the Savior was making the journey with us.  Success in your life. 

 We love you---tot volgende keer!

 Give your mom a hug for me!

 It is never easy to say goodbye, but we are so very happy for the families that are waiting at home.

 There is a bond and a brotherhood in the mission. These are eternal friendships.

 Down to the next terminal to say goodbye to four more Elders.
Elder Mower, Elder Stoddard, Sister Robinson, President Robinson, Elder Mathis, Elder McKee, Elder Wayman

 The thing that helps me through this is knowing how excited their mothers are at the very moment as I hug them goodbye.

 It is hard sending great Elders home.  They may not know for sure if they are ready for it.  Being a missionary is all they have known for two years.  Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

 Yes, Elders, it finished!  Great job all of you!
We love you tons and miss you already.

 I love each of you.  Thank you for doing what the Lord sent you here to do.  You did your part.  Now, go home and begin your next chapter.

 There is a quite peaceful feeling when we send home missionaries who love the Lord and we know they will continue to love and serve Him.

 To all of you-----Doeie, doe, doe!  
(the tone and voice is getting higher on the last one)

Elder Wayman's parents met us at the airport and traveled back to the Mission Office.  They will be spending a week visiting Belgium and Netherlands before heading back to Utah.

It was a pleasure meeting you and thank you for your faith and sacrifice to send you son to us and to the Mission.  We love you Elder Wayman!

To all of you--God be with you and someday we will see you on the other side.

Sinter Klaas

November 25, 2013 we were invited to Den Haag Ward Family Home Evening for a Dutch Dinner and SINTER KLAAS!

Sinter Klaas arrived in the Netherlands on the weekend of November 16, 2013 and stays until December 5.  He leaves after delivering presents to the children on December 5th.  

So it was a great pleasure for us to meet Sinter Klaas and Zwarte Piet.

 In order to receive our gift from Sinter Klaas, we had to sing a Kerstdage Zang.

 President was trying to get out of it by telling Sinter Klaas we didn't know any Dutch Kerstdage zangen.

 I was not going to have any of that, so I started singing "Up on the House Top"
with actions.

 President watched with an 'I can't believe this' look.

 I just kept singing!

So he finally joined in the song and the actions!

 We gave the song our best and got our gift.

 I have decided that Zwarte Piet is a cross between 
an entertainer, comedian, clown, and jokester!
And no one is safe!

Everyone at the party!

The Missionaries serving in Den Haag.
(Note:  see the Nooten koekjes on the floor--Zwarte Piet starts food fights too!)

Sister Seiter, Zwarte Piet, Sister Johnson, Sister Wood, Elder Thomas, Zwarte Piet, Sinter Klaas, Elder Alada, Zwarte Piet, Elder Seiter, Sister Robinson, President Robinson, Elder Cook

Het was een geweldige avond.