Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 6: Christmas!


Monday, December 28, 2015

This was a great week! One family in our ward is going to Spain for 3 whole months! That's so crazy! I'm jelly. Haha. They are a cool family and one of the girls is a returned missionary. She helped us a bit in the message we shared, so that was good.

On Tuesday, December 22, we had pretty much an 8 hour Christmas party with the the 2 zones of Peoria. We had some spiritual feeding and physical feeding and emotional feeding lol. We watched some good birth of Christ inspiration video clips at first and then had some talks from the Mission president and his wife.

And, oh my goodness! Thank you everyone who shared their testimonies of Jesus and why you loved him to me via letters! They were great and I loved them! It was an emotional time haha. I was inundated in letters and, then, in packages. Haha.

We had a little talent show also. Our zone sang Silent Night. One of the best acts was from the Spanish Elders in our zone - the ones we share our car with. Their names are Elder Ashcraft and Elder Webster. They did a comedian act. They quoted movies but related to missionary work and made it really funny. The Mission President, President Griffin, was laughing so hard! Haha. They also joked about a new work translation of "Preach My Gospel" (a missionary manual). Haha.

We also went caroling outside in the cold at a mall. It was fun, but it was freezing. We gave some spiritual movies away and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We had a great appointment with Linda Carroll (the inactive lady) again, but we had a returned missionary present. He bore a good testimony to her and how the gospel has helped his life. 

It hasn't snowed here, yet, but it has rained really hard and thundered. Today, actually, there was pretty much a monsoon of freezing rain.

I got to finish Pearl of Great Price (scriptures of deeper doctrine pretty much) and it was good. I love reading the scriptures, whether it is the Book of Mormon, the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants (more recent scripture) or the Pearl of Great Price. These are commonly known as the Standard Works. They help me understand the gospel more and get the spirit in my life more. It also guides my life a lot. 

I got to Skype my family for 2 hours on Christmas too! It was good, but it made me a little trunky (wanting to pack your bags and go home) for a while.

We had a great Christmas dinner with the Zone Leaders and Spanish elders at the Ringers. They are great people and they called our parents to see what we usually have on Christmas etc. Sister Ringer had her son on a mission so she knows the struggles of a mother with a son on her mission. It was a fun night and we sang and had lots of fun and did a puzzle and read the birth of Christ story. The Holy Ghost was strong there.

It was a great week. I testify that Jesus was really born and that he was a literal Son by the flesh of Heavenly Father and that he died only because he loves us and wants us all to be happy. I know that if you have faith in Him and His atonement and change to become like Him, you will experience true joy. 

I love you all, 

Have a great New Year, and make it the year you will remember for good,

Elder Kloosterboer
Next to the great I Am

Backwards clock

Bottle from the mission

Christmas packages

Christmas letters

Packages under our tree


Stocking and tie

There are Normal police here!

Puzzling on Christmas Day

My Favourite chocolates

Christmas Caroling at the Ringer's

Christmas dinner at the Ringer's

Christmas presents at the Ringer's

Eating Christmas dinner

A squirrel key chain!


Small Furry Christmas Stocking

Socks at Old People's Christmas Breakfast

Train set under the Ringer's Christmas Tree

Yes, I've been nice this Christmas

With the Ringer's

Cards

Moustaches in the store

Uber Crazy Christmas decorated house


Closer up

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 5: Choir

With our ward mission leader and his wife
Monday, December 21, 2015

Hey everyone!

It has been fun finally listening to music -- Christmas music and spiritual music. Being a missionary doesn't mean you just do work work work. We had a little birthday party on Monday with our mission ward leader. Elder Webster turned 20! 

We had a 2.5 hour time with a truth seeker and gave him a Book of Mormon, but he just is looking for intellectual stuff and not for faith, so it was kind of a waste of time. Hopefully he will read the Book of Mormon and gain faith on that.

No snow has arrived here yet. It is cold and windy though and I bundled up.

I went on my first companion exchange and it was with Elder Anderson. He is a zone leader and is in my district. It was a pretty good experience. We went out in the middle of nowhere to look for someone. We found his house, but he wasn't there. One of his friends was there, though. We had good practices for "12 week" which is a program for 12 weeks for new missionaries just to learn and go over things.

We got stockings from Howie and Sis. Albrechtsen. They are nice people! We (elders Heiner, Anderson, and Bennett) were in the choir. We only had 2 practices, but we weren't too bad haha.

Anyway, mission work is going good. Most people want us after New Years, so we can't do that much right now. We mostly tract at the moment, and we have gotten more potential investigators. Oh! We saw our inactive lady at Walmart today! She has been using the gospel app and has gotten good revelation about not listening to false prophets / preachers because she has been in contact with them. Anyway she is awesome. I'm excited for the new year since a lot of things will be moving on!

I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he died for us and that he really was the Son of God in the flesh. I know that we can only be relieved of guilt and have real joy through him.

Have an awesome Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love,
Elder Kloosterboer 

Below are pictures from in the MTC. The last three are from in Normal. There was nice scenery and mountains on our flight over here. When we landed. fog was covering Chicago. It was like 200 feet up above and down (the clouds) it was cool going down in them but we didn't see any ground until we were on top of the airport.
Sister Brown's nametag in Elder Brush's hair lol

Elder Bischoff and his Companion

Elder Bischoff and me

Elder Brush and me

Elder Laws and me

Elder Peterson and me.

New missionaries arrive at the MTC

Yummy food

New buildings for the future in the MTC

More yummy food

Leaving my mark behind

Nice view from the temple

leaving the bus early in the morning on the way from MTC to mission field

The train





 time that the train started moving

Leaving the train
Sister Cid's camera of Sister Cid in cockpit
Sister Cid's camera of Sister Walton in the cockpit
Family History room in Normal
My mission president and his wife greeting us at the airport


With our Ward Mission Leader, Howie Albrechtson


Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 3/4: Goodbyes and Hellos

Arrival in the Mission Field, Chicago, with the Mission President and his wife
Monday December 14th 2015
It's been 12 days since I had my last P Day! This might be a longer blog... :D
Anyway how is everyone doing? I'm doing awesome, but y'all can still e-mail or send mail to me. Haha. I'll do this one by days.

Wednesday Dec 2:
I got a Chicago West Mission shirt and it's pretty great. I also got some more spiritual music from Sis. Hoffman's USB that she got from someone else. Haha. Also, we greeted the two new districts into our zone and I had some fun in a wheely-chair. May have gotten in trouble for getting driven around in that around the floor. Whoops. Haha. The new districts are cool, though. Also, we went to the Provo Temple. We went last week as well. In the temple, we praise God, learn, and serve.

Thursday Dec 3:
This day was Pretty great. Sister Thompson, our coach/teacher, felt sick today, so we got a substitute, Brother Nelson. With him, we did role playing (we do a lot of those as practice for missionaries) and I acted as the investigator. Elders Royce and Peterson were the missionaries. I acted as a person who didn't know if his prayers were getting answered or not. The missionaries led the investigator to a verse in the Book of Mormon. It was in Helaman (he was a prophet) chapter 5 verse 30, or Helaman 5:30. It says, "And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but
behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul." That is what the Holy Ghost is. Then the Holy Ghost testified that God is real and that this is Jesus' Church, so therefore, Heavenly Father's Church since They are as one with purpose and that the Holy Ghost testifies with an
assurance to my heart. The Holy Ghost talks in different ways to different people and it is essential that one knows how it speaks to them. 
Anyway, I know this is the true Church of Jesus Christ and that the Priesthood (the power and authority of God) really was restored to the earth to Joseph Smith (and now I have it). I know that the gospel
will bless your life as it has mine. It gives hope and happiness. In fact our loving Heavenly Father has a plan called the plan of happiness, so... Yeah. Anyway, sorry I'm a missionary, so that may have been a bit of a long blog testimony. 
By the way an LDS missionary's purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
American Flag garage
Friday Dec 4:
This day was In-Field Orientation. Basically it goes over the stuff that is done in the first week of the mission field. The leaders did a play of how the first day could go like and it was hilarious!

Saturday Dec 5:
Today was the last time I could do laundry at the MTC, so I did it. I didn't know when I could do it next. My colored washing got unbalanced somehow and it stayed at 6 minutes left for about 5 minutes. It was a little stressful because we had a haircut appointment and we had to get everything done at certain times. In the end, it was good and we arrived back at the laundry a few minutes after the clothes were dry. E. Royce, E. Whipple and I had class for the last time today so we got pictures taken with Sis. Thompson (not with Sister Olson, though--we didn't have time).

Sunday Dec 6:
I prepared my second lesson for Priesthood (a meeting for church) in the morning of this Sunday. This one was about Obedience. Near the end of the day, we watched Legacy (movie about early latter day church history). Then, we had to say our goodbyes to the four sisters in the district. It was sad :(. We gave hand hugs since we can't give hugs to sisters. I packed my bags that night, too. Got it all to fit, thank goodness. Plenty of weight to go, so I was fine here.

Monday Dec 7:
I woke up at 2:35 in the morning and had a nice hot shower :). Usually they are cold and one needs to wait a long time for it to heat up, but not this time! A lot of people were leaving today. We left on a bus and the loudest friendliest sister turned out to be in our group of 5.
So in our group there was E. Royce, E. Whipple, me, S. Cid and S. Walton. We met a guy called brother Gygi who helped with making the missionary manual, Preach My Gospel. He was telling us about how the 12 apostles all wanted the same changes without speaking to each other and how it was because it came from one person, God. They just received revelation separately. Anyway, at McDonalds, some person paid for our food and then some person lent me their phone so I could call home. Perks of being in Utah where there are lots of returned missionaries and Mormons. Lol. It was so nice. Also, another elder, E. Mower, turned out to be in our group. He went to the Philippines and learned Tongan. He got sick and now he is in this mission. He didn't have to go to the MTC again, though. He came straight from home to the airport. Anyway, he is chill, so are the sisters. The sisters got pictures with the pilot and they got badges haha.
We went to the missionary home and it is a nice house! Elder Adams, Elder Royce and I went tracting (knocking on doors to find who is interested in the gospel) and the second house, the lady let us in. She asked us some hard questions and she did a Hail Mary. It shocked me a bit because I haven't seen that before. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon and then we found out she got baptized in September. Haha, it was a test! But it was a good experience of how tracting and a lesson could go.
I got to listen to Especially for Youth (EFY) songs because E. Mower had them and a speaker. It was nice. We slept at the mission home, in the basement.

Tuesday Dec 8:
I found out who my trainer was on this day at about 11 or 12. His name is E. Heiner. I heard he is a really good trainer. He has trained two others and has been on his mission for a year and a bit. My mission brothers (people my trainer has trained) are E. Clifford and E. Julander. They are really tall and E. Heiner is shorter than me (like 5 foot 6 inches). 
My companion and I are going to Normal, which is near Bloomington. It is in Peoria stake and right in the middle of the state. Elder Whipple is near me actually. He is going to Bloomington.
My companion is the district leader and we have the area "Normal South". Other areas in the district are Normal North, which is the zone leaders' area, And Morton North and South. So there are 4 companionships per district and 2 districts per zone. The zone is called Peoria East.
Anyway, when we got to the church and dropped off the Spanish elders (we are in a car share with them) at an appointment, we came back to the church and we didn't know where our apartment was... Luckily a member knew somewhat where it was, but we still had to call some people. The apartment had some fixing up to do... And I got unpacked. Anyway, we didn't do any real missionary work this day except we went to a meeting before dinner with the ward missionary leader, Howie and his wife, Sister Albrechtson. That was fun. The Spanish elders and the zone leaders were there, too. The zone leaders are E. Bennett and Anderson.

My area inside the ward
Wednesday Dec 9:
This was my first full missionary day and it was pretty fun! We did a lot of tracting this day and we had dinner with the Ringers. The people here are awesome - both member and nonmember alike.

Thursday Dec 10:
We ran outside this day and it was really refreshing. It isn't that cold here yet. We had a 2 zone training in Peoria this day, as well. After that we had some stake n shake. Yum. Elder Kearl, E. Whipple's companion, E. Neve and Horton, and the Spanish elders (E. Webster and Ashcraft) were there. My companion and I prepared for a teaching for a less active sister and then we taught her. She is crazy but nice haha.
We went over to the Albrechtson's again for dinner because we were going to invite less active members to the ward Christmas breakfast on Saturday. At the end, they said they were going to go to one last person, Brother Carl. Turns out that is Carl's Jr, and we got ice cream! They are such nice people and everyone knows Howie.

Friday Dec 11:
We did weekly planning and it took forever haha. Anyway, we only have the car on Tue, Wed, Thu and every other Monday. So, today we used public transportation. Near the end of the day, we went to the Hafen's. We miscalculated how long it would take us to get there from the church to their house (by the way, our apartment is about a 5 min walk to the church, so that is nice.) and it took us nearly an hour with us running the last block. Anyway, the Hafen's are cool, too!

Saturday Dec 12:
We met some more people at the ward Christmas party on this day. Brother Wheeler is really funny. We were going to do some service afterwards, but they didn't need much help so we tracted some more and found a lady from South Africa who was a member, but off the record here. We are going to call her later.

Sunday Dec 13:
I met the rest of the ward on this day. We had to wake up at 6 today and we went to ward council at 7. Elders wanted to sing in the choir, so we went. It was fun, but it was hard to know what to sing. I haven't been in a choir before...
In sacrament, a girl talked about forgiveness and was saying that in the bible, it says to forgive all men (and women) meaning that you should forgive yourself too. Forgiving yourself is a little different, though, and you should learn from it.
We tracted around the church in the rain after a bit. One woman said she would accept our pass along card if we took her little pamphlet, so we did. It is actually a pretty good one.

The mission has gone well so far. It is fun! One thing that is silly is that my flash drive is formatted as NTFS instead of Fat32, so the car and things don't work with NTFS and I tried to reformat it today, but the computers at church do not let me. So I'm going to ask a member to reformat it so I can listen to my spiritual music. We have a dinner with the Clarks today and we don't know who they are except for on the phone.

Anyway I know that God loves us and that we are here for a purpose -- to gain a body, gain experience and eventually become perfected by Jesus' help to become like our Father in heaven. Because, why wouldn't a loving God want us to succeed and reach our full potential?

I love you all!

- Elder Kloosterboer

P.S. Sorry for the long email, but I had a lot to say haha.

Half numbered houses
Buff dog

Church high tech  AC
Duck


Lego Christmas tree that my companion and I made

Crazy house with excessive Christmas decorations