Fun/Funny Moments

March 31, 2014 - Posted on youtube by a wonderful member.
What a wonderful treat to see these four Elders having the time of their lives at a Branch talent show performing for members that they love with all of their hearts. These four Elders loved serving together. Elder Cooper sings first and his companion, Elder Bishop is playing the piano. The other two Elders also serve in this branch are are highly loved by Elder Cooper. 

12/23/2013  Christmas
Decorated their own tree and everything!
Ah Christmas :) what a wonderful time. We've been encouraged out here to make the most of our Christmas out here because Christmas on a mission only comes once (twice for many actually but still). And if we look at that a little further in life and stuff, you only get that Christmas only once. No one is ever in the same place that they were a year ago, especially not families so enjoy and appreciate where everyone is. Celebrate Christmas the best you can

12/23/2013 Using talents
Speaking of singing you will all be proud to hear (Grandma this one's for you!) that I've been trying to sing more; use my voice to touch the hearts of those I'm around. So for the two old sisters (Sister D and Sister L) and for our ward mission leader's mother we sang for them. They loved it :) and it really brought a special spirit in. So thank you for encouraging me to use my talents :). Can't wait to keep doing it (I really have gotten a new spin to my voice out here, it's kinda cool). 

12/3/2013  Adventure
After that was over we visited Fam. V and then returned to help them clean up the party. During that time Jose invited us over on Monday to go Mountain Biking with him and someone else that we had become friends with during the party. So that's what we did yesterday evening in the complete darkness that is 7 o'clock at night (keep in mind at this time of the year the sun is completely gone by 5 at the latest). 

It was SO fun! COMPLETELY terrifying! But SO fun! And my tailbone is SO bruised right now because of it! But it was totally worth it (oh and did I mention we had played soccer all day with our Zone before doing this? :) good times...). There was this one really steep hill in the woods (cause there are no mountains here) with a giant puddle at the end.  Didn't see the puddle. Saw it. Got hesitant. Got stuck in puddle haha. Elder D, who was behind me, had to go back up a bit so he could get a 'running start' and make it through :). 

Oh yeah and I nearly biffed it this part we were just on this normal road and J and J started booking it. So naturally we followed suit...just turns out there was a bunch of pots holes in the road neither of us expected. So I get flung off my seat, no feet on any of the tiny pedals somehow staying upright by balancing on the handlebars. Definitely an adventure. We have such a strong bond with those two now it's amazing :). Now we just have to ensure that they'll be ok when we leave...

12/3/2013 - Cleaning
I love working now! It's SO therapeutic! Especially washing the dishes, best chore ever! ...I'm really praying that that stays when I come home bwahaha ;). However it could just be the fact that all real work we do out here is service and I live for it! It's just so cleansing and makes you feel so good, and like you've done something meaningful with your day. I don't know it's just really cool.

So on that note I loved it :). Cept for the part where I had to work a lot with Ammonia. I had SUCH a bad smell in my nose and taste in my mouth for the next two days :). My job was just basically get the stains out of everything, mainly the paint from the wooden stairs, and with Manon moping the floor with the same stuff below me we were literally in a cloud of the stuff. I hope that wasn't dangerous...

11/25/2013 - Daniel and the Lion's Den (Zone Training)
Wednesday we prepped for Zone Training which was on Thursday. Like it has been said we were re-enacting Daniel and the Lion's Den. So in the back of the church we transformed it into ancient Babylon. Imagine our gym in the church, but half that size. On the stage was the Throne Room. We stacked a bunch of chairs together, put some gold cloth over it and decked the room out in gold decorations and Egyptian hieroglyphics. The Courtyard was the section between the stage and the next curtain where all the royals could hang out. They got to eat fruit while the court musician played lovely tunes to them. We half way closed the curtain and in between we put four columns and two guards to turn it into a gate. In the next section we set up the market place. There we made Daniel's house, a beggar's corner, about four or five market stands where people could buy food and cloth and stuff like that and then a big open area where everyone could mingle. 

It took a LOT of work (from 5-9) but it was SO worth it! Took us long enough that we just stayed the night in Antwerpen and helped finish up the next day. Seriously it was one of the funnest two days of my life here!

Basically we got there around 7 the next morning and added all the last minute touches. It looked SO good, seriously. I hope they get pictures up on the blog eventually. Maybe they already do, I don't know. Anyway, my other role was to be the guide. I was to dress up and play this mad scientist that guided everyone to the right places for certain events. Best character ever! I had a British Accent and just went crazy with it. I heard a mix between Jack Sparrow and Dr. Who apparently :). I had a blast doing it. It was legit too cause they had a movie made that made it seem like we were in the time machine and that we actually went  back. Everyone got into it, the scenes and their characters and it made it a blast! The Assistants to the President especially loved it :). 

We were there pretty late as well cleaning up. Worth it though. It was SO GOOD! All about following the Spirit and being committed to the God that we serve. 

Sent November 18, 2013 - Thank goodness for wonderful members! We love them!
Hello brother and sister Cooper and Denny,

You have wonderful sons, they are the missionaries in our ward and they 
are doing great work! They are examples for us.
This evening they were at our place and we had together a family 
evening. They were afraid to soil their white shirts, therefore my wife 
gave them a bib. They were very comfy with it, as you see in the picture.
They kept it on for the whole evening, even when they were very 
seriously. This gave us a lot of fun.

We and the missionaries found it at good idea to send this picture to 
their parents.

Thank you to be good parents and our best regards

Hafida & Marc

11/19/2013 Daniel and the Lions Den

But this time they've decided that we're going to re-enact the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den and they called me in specially to help them out (seeing as my Major will be Media Arts). So the beginning of this week is going to be scattered with running around and getting things ready for Thursday. In fact we'll be in Antwerpen all day Wednesday to set up so it's keeping the whole district busy.

They cast me as the guide who will basically help everyone out with this. See it's not just a play they're putting on, they want all 24 zone members to be involved. Some have actual roles but mainly everyone is cast as extras and will need a bit of guiding around, thus me and my (hopefully) good improv skills. At very least I know how to talk, so that should end well :). 

10/28/2013 Halloween

So this isn't actually Belgian, it's just what we did today. Because this is the P-Day closest to Halloween the Sisters to Turnhout invited a lot of missionaries to come over and have a
The apples!
party. Was SUPER fun but SUPER far away. Like a two hour ride by train and then by bus so 4 hours there and back. Worth every second though! BTW I love my District! But you probably know that already, don't know what I've typed above...anyway we went over and played Halloween Pictionary to get it all started and then bobbed for apples (SO GROSS you have NO idea...I'll see if I can get a picture off eventually but I was NOT willing to stick my head in that thing.) Then we ate some Belgian waffles attached to a string that they kept bouncing up and down following which we wrapped each other up as mummies and judged to see which was
the best one (we totally won, but it's no biggie). Oh yeah and we all dressed up as well, obviously in whatever we had lying around our apartment. Elder Denny went as the Batman and I went as Papa Smurf! Once again, you'll probably have to see the pictures to understand haha! It was amazing though and SO fun! At the end we played a few intense games of Ninja, which I got destroyed in, and then one AMAZING game of Mafia. Seriously. You know how much we played Mafia, I have never had a game as intense as this one. Seriously was making myself sick because of the intenseness. It was just so different playing it with a bunch of strangers. You don't know their motivations, their give aways, and there are SO many of you you have no idea where to start! We hung the first person who talked because it made him "suspicious". As a policeman I was just trying to save this town but I could not find the last Mafia Member! And it was SO intense when everyone started accusing you and you only had 10 seconds to defend yourself. The scary thing was it actually counted! I defended myself once and got all the votes away from me, where some people convinced everyone that they were the mafia during it. Man it was so intense I loved it!
And then the bus ride home! Well lets just say it bonded the District together, and it was super good for me and elder D
Summary: Halloween in Belgium ROCKED!!!

10/14/2013 Brother's Love and Video Games
HIs assignment is to this guy. Oh dear.

but first business:
Sky: Two things- 1) Playstation All-Stars: Islands! Don't know what it is, saw it on a Coke can, and when I did I think I peed a little or as an elder over here so clevery named it I "sqeeged". No idea why haha. At very least I froze for like a full minute and Elder L kept asking me what.
2) Batman Arkham Origins DLC's. Don't ask me how I keep stumbling across this information haha. I like to pretend that the Lord is blessing me or maybe just having compassion on me :) either way a must have.
 Look into that ya? And get something written! Apparently mom said you can't buy the things till you've written? There are bigger things at stake now! (feel free to cheat and write hello on a post it car and put a stamp on it ;) ) You're the best!

8/20/2013  I Miss Batman!  I was able to accept being away a long time from you guys because you will always be the same. Our love with not change and our spiritual standing will only grow. We are eternal, so what's two years? Now Batman. I can not seem to let him go! haha He lurks in the shadows of my mind always watching ;). I think it's because he will change. Batman is not eternal. And if I miss something there as it pertains to Batman, I feel like I miss it forever. So that's rough, but I'm moving on. Make sure you keep the rules! It's so important and I promise that you'll be better for it!

8/12/2013 Teaching Moments  We were on our way to a neighborhood called Muziekwijk and I decided to go a different way...I soon realized I had no idea where I was and we were completely lost. So very calmly I turned it into a teaching moment. I turned to Elder Blackhurst and said, "Ok, lead us back home. When you don't know where to go, ask someone". So that's what he did we spent the next hour cruising around Muziekwijk trying to find Willempijper Straat to no avail. But we talked to a bunch of people in the pouring rain and it was a great experience for both of us. SO epic I loved it! Everything can be turned into a teaching moment if you let it.  :) 

8/12/2013  Great Members  Yesterday we were going home from Church and Gijs randomly invited us over for lunch. So we cruised over there to have some lunch and spend some quality time with him and his 12 year old brother Jochem. The whole time we talked about super heroes. He has the COOLEST COMICS EVER!! All the ones I ever wanted he has them sitting in his room! These two are my salvation here and I flippin' love them to death! Anyway it reminded me of Sam, cause I think of Injustice and how much FUN we would have playing that together! I miss that kid SO much. Every play ground I see reminds me of him, every superhero game I see makes me think of our toys games, stay awesome Sam!!! I can't wait to get back and play with you all day long for the first forever!

8/5/2013  Riding Girl Bikes  Me and Elder Blackhurst had to ride the Sisters bikes home Sunday...thing the Netherlands there is a difference between men and women bikes...these were women bikes and every one could see it (they slope in the middle like a U so the skirts don't fly up and the handle bars are a little different). The one I rode was half my size (I looked like a giant) and the other was baby blue, huge, and had flowers. Yeah...the ride to their apartment was 45 mins passing lots of people...haha :) super super funny. Definitely will not forget it anytime soon.

5/27/2013 Dungeons and Dragons  
THEY PLAY DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's the story. There is a girl here who was recently baptized, and she has a friend who we've seen several times but we haven't had the chance to talk to her. So we heard that she was coming to the YSA (we call it JoVos) game night and we wanted in. The game of choice? DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS! Naturally we had to call the President to see if it was ok and to our surprise he was all for it! He told us not to be stuffy and to go there and create some good relations with our potential investigators. And we were so lucky he said that. Not only was "she" there, but Gijs and the Bishop's son both invited invited friends! So we were able to become friends with these three people and we talked to them. "She" wants the lessons! So we're setting something up with her this upcoming week! WAHOO!!!!
As for DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS! It was everything I ever dreamed it would and could be!!! I love that game SO MUCH! We played with 11 people, half of whom had never played it before, and it was still fun! AH!!!! I am on like Cloud 50 right now!! Yesterday was the best day EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

5/20/2013  Talent Show  Anyway, we've also been doing a TON of service this week! We help people in their gardens ALL THE TIME! We spent nearly a whole day once in this giant garden, so when I come back I guess I'm going to know how to do garden work haha  There was also a talent show in the ward lately. Me and Elder Sanderson sang the Armies of Helaman song and the ward loved it! A bit unjustly we got second place but it was super fun. There was such a good turn out I was shocked! It was SO much fun! The 1st place act was Bro. Pant de Vlet. He dressed up as Bob Marely and sang ''No Woman, No Cry". Everyone (me too) was up on their feet dancing and singing and just loving life. That was the moment I really started clicking with the ward. I LOVE ALMERE!
If there was one place in the Netherlands that I would want to live it would be here. I click with every single one of the members on one level or another, the scenery is beautiful, it's basically heaven on earth! I never want to leave and hope I get to be here till the end of the year...but if not the Lord's will is better haha. The Ward Mission Leader, Gijs, is especially awesome. We both LOVE superheroes and comicbooks! We both love the same stuff and are also converted enough to know what's really important and we make time for what matter most. Love him.

4/22/2012 - KOUKENHOF! And Koukenhof! Oh wat moi! It was SO COOL there! Perfect place for a date, proposal, you name it! It's amazing. But there was a ify catch to it: who was I going to walk around Koukenhof with? I realized I was pretty much on my own among over a hundred missionaries...that's an awful feeling, let me tell you. Thank heavens for inspiration and the Holy Ghost! He reminded me of the advice mom gave me when I was a in high school.  So I took that advice and followed the ZL I mentioned above, his name is Elder Burton. Man I love that kid and am so grateful for him. He likes me as well and gladly welcomed me into the group of 3, me making four. Because of this my experience Koukenhof was awesome :). I was able to relax, enjoy the company, and have good memories of my first experience there. Thank heavens for Elder Burton, a true man from Canada, and such a kind, caring, awesome missionaries. When I go on splits with him we see SO many miracles every time without fail. I am so grateful for him. Hopefully I can get you guys some pictures sent from Koukenhof, because words really can't describe it. But it was super fun and a really cool experience.

4/1/2013 Best Surprise  Dear Mathis and Cooper Family,
Hi! We hope you had a wonderful Easter time.
We enclose some pictures of the Elders and the Van Beek family who came to our house to sing for Easter.
They also went to 3 older single sisters of our branch. We all appreciated it very much!
(brother Van Beek is the branch mission leader)
We are very greatful for our Savior Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us, his great example and his love for all of us.
                 We hope you will have a great week!
                                                                                                               Lots of Love,
                                                                                                                        the Van Eijzeren's.

3/18/2013  Bikes!  Seeing as we're on fire in our district (cities of Heerlen, Breda, Eindhoven, and us) we needed more Books of Mormon, so we order 60, amongst other things. Each box of them is about 20 lbs. give or take and we missed the train to Vlissingen because our Belgium train was late. This meant that we had to bike 20 mins to Anne's house for our appointment while carrying these boxes...ya! I had 40 lbs. on the back of my bike. I was laughing so hard because the weight with the wind would suddenly swing us sometimes and we'd just eat it. That made the 20 minute trip 30 and I was laughing the whole time because I thought it was hilarious.

Read with caution

Once upon a time there were 5 missionaries called to serve in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission.  While at the MTC they received a purple slip that simply told them to go to a room, in a building on a Thursday or their visa's would be delayed! Not wanting that they arrived punctually to see what was the matter?  "Nothing", the kindly nurse smiled with a grin, "this is normal for all who depart for Belgium."  Her voice got softer and sounded as if she has misplaced her voice and could not find it.  The 5 missionaries looked around confused, and then with fear as 5 Biohazard bags, and several cups and viles did appear.  "See in Belgium", she began with a mischievous grin, "They don't want no parasites invading their place, you must poop in this cup so we can make sure you don't have any."  Wide eyed they stared in disbelief and horror, then laughing nervously took their bags to the pooper.                                                       
With only two stalls and three men in the room Elder Cooper waited as the two went to go. They first took a tinkle so as not to spill and very soon other things echoed from their tiny green (when I won't describe).  As each of them moaned and then groaned with distaste, Elder Cooper sat laughing them at them right in the face. Elder Bishop warned of a smell that destroys so quickly the Cooper shoved tissues up his nose.  They choked and they gagged as they began the process, then Elder Bishop puked and made Kemp feel nauseous. He lunged for the toilet to hold onto his lunch, and spilled his preservative all over the floor.  So Cooper got refills while those two did puken and returned to them finished and happy as children.  Thus endeth the tale of our big morning pooper, we'll never forget it as long as I'm Cooper.  
Yes it's gross, but PLEASE keep this!  I wanna remember it cause it was WAY funny!  Love you all!

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