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

Lego Christmas tree that my companion and I made

Crazy house with excessive Christmas decorations