Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fields of Flowers & Senior Couples

Beautiful Fields of Flowers & Senior Couples

Yesterday was a another great day here in the Netherlands. The weather was perfect and the flowers were at their peak as we drove to Keukenhof for the annual outing with the other senior couples from our mission. The crowds were tremendous this time, because there was also a parade in the afternoon. There were thousands of people there and when we walked to the parade route, outside the park we could not see very much. Basically the Dutch decorated a few vehicles with large bouquets of flowers and there were some bands. That is all that we saw anyway. We really enjoyed the park though and especially the views of the surrounding fields of flowers. We passed by even more fields after we left the park. We hope that some of the pictures here will do justice to the wonderful array of colors that we saw. Heavenly Father was so kind to us all when he made flowers for us to enjoy. We hope that these pictures will bring a little joy into your lives too.

The couples in the picture are: back row L to R: Elder & Sister Phair, Sr. Arhet, Elder & Sister Servoss, Sister Spek
front row L to R: Elder Arhet, Elder & Sister Romney, Elder Spek.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Beauties of Spring in Europe

Our assignments and responsibilities sometimes require us to travel over 100 miles. Such was the case this past weekend. On Friday we needed to go north to visit a new missionary couple, the Saldens, near Hilversum. They had just arrived in our mission on Tuesday. We had lunch with them while we got acuainted. They come from California. Elder Salden is a native Dutchman from the Limburg area. We are happy to have them here with us. After visiting with them we stopped at the Muiderslot castle. It was first built in about 1290 and was rebuilt in its present form in 1370. It is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the Netherlands. It is located on the banks of the river Vecht and the former Zuiderzee. We didn't have time to tour the castle, but it will be an intriguing future treat.

The next day we drove to the US run military airbase in southern Belgium called Chievre. It is near Mons and the French border. We drove past hundreds of newly plowed fields and and others with crops emerging from the rich dark soil. We were a bit disappointed that the weather was foggy for part of the day, but cleared up later. It was nice to see the leaves on the trees again and things coming to life.

On Sunday we only had to drive 25 miles to Gouda for a Young Adult church service and Advisory Council meeting. We had a good meeting and made plans for the upcoming month. Monday was our preparation day, so we helped transport the missionary district to Keukenhof. It was even better than before. Many more flowers were in bloom. We had a marvelous time. One of the Elders lost his backpack, but a good Dutchman found it and was taking it to the security when we called the cell phone that was in the pack. No one answered, but shortly thereafter there was a return call. The man asked if we knew someone who was missing a pack? We were delighted to acknowledge that it belonged to one of our party. We soon had the pack back, including the wallet (with cash) inside, back in our possession. We all rejoiced.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Delft, Keukenhof and the Millers

Keukenhof Flower Park & Visitors

We have been so busy lately that it has been difficult to write on this blog. To catch you up-to-date we will tell you about our past weeks. We were blessed with the visit of our cousins, Kent & Joyce Miller, from Virginia. Kent and I served our first missions at the same time, but he was across the border in Germany. They were able to spend two days with us here. We had a great time visiting the old city of Delft, which included a tour of a small ceramic shop where many Delft Blue products are made. We really enjoyed the time in this old city. That afternoon we went to the huge outdoor flower show and park called, Keukenhof ( There are thousands of beautiful flowers adorning the grounds of the park as well as displays inside the large buildings. It was so amazing to see all of the colors of the flowers. This year is the 60th anniversary of the park. They are reflecting on the close relationship between the Netherlands and the United States. There is a huge flower mosaic that depicts the Statue of Liberty using over 60,000 bulbs of tulips and daffodils. The park is a must see for all who come to Nederland - but you can only see it from mid March to mid May. We also made a visit to the molens (windmills) at Kinderdijk. We really enjoyed their visit and look forward to hosting others who may be able to visit us.