Saturday, August 29, 2009

40th Anniversary Pictures

40th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Last Saturday, August 22nd was our 40th Wedding Anniversary. We decided that it was a good reason to have a nice party for the entire Stake and many others. We have made many friends during the sixteen months that we have been living here in the Netherlands. We reserved the church so that we could share our joy with others. Here it is very unusual for anyone to married a long time, and 40 years was amazing to most people. We were honored to host our friends for a nice evening of socializing. Many friends brought food items, so there was plenty to eat. We had a great sound system set up and a "DJ" played a selection of music from the 1960's and 1970's, that our son Lance recorded. Towards the end of the evening we danced to a few songs and others joined in. We had over 100 people attend the celebration party. We are known for hosting parties so since we had missed having our Christmas open house in Utah, we had this little social, ha, ha. People we know from all over the country came (but the Netherlands is only 1/5 the size of Utah). We had a great time and went home with dozens of flowers, cards and some boxes of chocolates. Two of our guests included Nellie Van Schijen-Maas, and her daughter Ellie from Hilversum. Forty three years ago my companions and I had the priviledge of baptizing them and four other children in their family. We have visited with them a few times before, but it was very special that they drove the 60 miles to see us this time. An important side note is that Kae and I gave each other new rings to commemorate the day. Her ring is a new small gold band that she wears alonside her original rings. We are so greatful to our family and all of those others we love who have helped make these past 40 years together so enjoyable.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Whole Mission Conference with Apostle Nelson

On Thursday the 13th of August we were priviledged to have Apostle Russell M. Nelson greet us and speak to our entire mission (Dutch & French areas together). It was very nice being able to shake his hand and also that of the new Area President and member of the First Quorum of Seventy, Elder Kopischke. Sister Nelson accompanied her husband. They had attended an international conference on the family in Amsterdam during the week. They had a great experience there and were able to speak to people from all over the world about what the Church of Jesus Christ feels about the importance of families. You may want to read their talks on To prepare for our conference on this day we had to help with moving about 200 chairs, and then setting them in place. Buying food for 180 sack lunches, and then making the lunches. Sister Servoss organized the assembly of the lunches and with help we put them together in 1.5 hours. Before the conference began we were able to get acquainted with many of the French speaking missionaries, who we seldom see. It was great to see our cousin, Sister Orton again. The 2.5 hour conference was great and the spirit was strong. Elder Nelson told us about the importance of our individual callings and how they were determined. He also told us that the hours of 6 to 8 am in a missionary's life can determine the rest of their life. That is the time for personal study and getting ready for the day. Study Jesus Christ and learn as much as you can about Him. He suggested that we go to the Topical Guide in our scriptures and study each of the subtitles for Jesus Christ. He pronounced a blessing on us and told us that we would be successful as we have the spirit and teach by the spirit.

Later that day we fed over 30 young adults who had come to the Fireside to hear Elder Nelson speak. The fireside was for anyone else who wanted to attend to hear a present day Apostle speak. There were over 450 people who squeezed into the building and another 150 sat on chairs in the parking lot (with piped sound). We heard more inspiring words from Elder Nelson. He spoke about the best translators that the church has and their abilities. He told us that they can translate scriptures into another language at the rate of 1 page/day. He told us that Joseph Smith translated scripture from the plates at the rate of 10 pages/day. Many of us have trouble trying to read 10 pages of scripture per day. The long day finally ended by us helping to put the 150 outside chairs back in the church. We had a great spiritual treat today and had another witness of the divinity of this work.

Missionary Friends: Servosses & Barlows

Visit from the Barlows

We had a delightful vist from our fellow Bountiful 23rd Ward members and friends, Elder Steve & Sister Lana Barlow on August 9th. They met us at our church that morning. It happened that my wife and I were the main speakers in Sacrament Meeting that day. So the Barlows got to hear us speak in Dutch and heard the simultaneous translation. They are serving a mission with the Europe Area office in Frankfurt, Germany. They travel to over 30 countries and provide training and support for those that deal with church funds. It was great to spend a day with them driving around this part of the Netherlands. We visited the Hague, Zoetermeer Temple, the North Sea and the heart of Rotterdam. They stayed the night with us and then returned to Germany. It was interesting comparing notes on the different types of missions that we are serving. It was so good to see them. At the end of our mission we plan on visiting them, before we come home.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Barbeque, Hamburgers & Classes

Young Adult Camp Pictures

JOVO Kamp (Young Adult Camp)

We are sorry that it has been awhile since we have written. We have been very busy here and it isn't slowing down any this week. We spent last week with the JOVO's (Yo Vo's)or Young Adults at their camp in a wooded area near the city of Den Bosch (which means woods). The theme of this year's conference was, "Enjoy the Journey". The camp was conducted in Dutch, but most of the attendees also speak English. It was fun for them to have their theme in English. There were 150 young adults there, of which 15 were friends of the church (investigators). The location is an establised retreat with ample dormitory housing and large cabins spread through the forested comound, which are used for class rooms and a location for the dances. There is also a large building with a commercial kitchen and several dining rooms. We spent much of our time helping the two senior sisters from Groningen, Ida & Emmy, prepare the great meals for the group. On Thursday we were in charge of the BBQ. Two senior brothers helped me grill 160 hamburgers and 80 hotdogs. Sister Servoss had some help in preparing all of the other things. Each day was filled with workshops in the morning and activities in the afternoon. There were classes on dating, setting and achieveing goals, enjoying scriture study and making it fun, getting prepared for your mission in life, chastity, and having a positive outlook on life. In the afternoon there were sport activities such as soccer, basketball, cross country bike navigation, swimming, and dance lessons. It was great to see how these young people came together, helped each other, and completed many tasks. The various teams helped with the dining room set-up and clean-up, etc. Thursday afternoon was spent giving service to the communities in the area. There were about 5 different projects that took place from cleaning a beach resort, to walking with handicapped adults, to cleaning up around the library. There were two dances during the week and two firesides. At the second fireside we heard from the new President of the European Area, Elder Kapieska. He is in charge of all of the missions and members in this part of the world. He taught us about our patriarchal blessings being personal revelation to us. He quoted Joshua 23:14, where Joshua told the House of Israel that the Lord had blessed them when they were righteous and that all the things promised them had come to pass. For us the same thing can be true as we live a righteous life. He also quoted D&C 130:20-21, where we are told that blessings come through obedience. During the last three hours of the camp we had a testimony meeting, where about 1/3 of the young adults were able to bear testimony and express their feelings about the camp experience.

We had a great time becoming acquainted with so many of the young adults. It was so nice to see the quality of the young people here. We feel that the future of the church in this area will be in good hands. It was extra fun last week since we had been given the challenge from our mission president to speak Dutch as much as possible. We did our best and when we tryed to switch back to English after 10 pm, it was difficult.