Our first zone conference was held in Amersfoort on January 14th. This is Elder Beckstrand with President Brubaker, the Belgium/Netherlands Mission President.
Two of our favorite sisters - they've become almost part of our family. Sister Cranford (on the left) has been sick for about 6 months. She has bravely run the gauntlet of doctors here and has finally agreed to go home where she can hopefully get the medical attention she needs. If you look closely at her eyes you can see the pain she deals with daily.
This zone conference combined the Rotterdam Zone with the Appeldorn Zone. Consequently, some of these elders and sisters were new to us. They really are characters - just like they appear here. Just because you're a missionary doesn't mean you have to be serious all of the time - right guys?
In this photo the senior couples have been added. Elder and Sister Anderson are the senior couple over the Center for Single Adults in Rotterdam. (Elder and Sister Beckstrand are the trainees in the middle) and Sister and Elder Van Komen are the senior couple over the Center for Single Adults in Groningen. We enjoy getting together and sharing ideas and discussing challenges that the centers have.
These lovely people are President and Sister Brubaker. Their home residence is Salt Lake City, but they served for a year and a half in France as Public Affairs Representatives before accepting the call to serve in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission. They are very dedicated and spiritual leaders of the mission.
Here we are with President and Sister Brubaker added.
Our district provided a special musical number "If the Savior Stood Beside Me". We warmed up by running through the song together before joining the others. The missionaries are: Sister Harrington, Sister Cranford, Elder Beckstrand, Elder Frahm (our district leader), Elder Benson, Elder Andrews, and Elder Hanks.
The President's message dealt with finding people to teach. I had never heard of 'apple' finding and 'chalk' finding. These were only a few of the creative ideas the missionaries used to interest passers-by in hearing a quick gospel message. All in all, this first conference was an enjoyable time of learning, sharing, and getting pumped up for renewed missionary effort.
Following zone conference on Friday we went to The Hague Temple on Saturday to assist the Groningen Young Adults do baptisms for the dead. The temple is small, but it is very lovely. We enjoyed our time in the baptismal with the Young Adults, then we went through a session - in Dutch, no less.
This is the temple from the front. We were able to return the following Tuesday with the Dordrecht Branch for a special endowment session. Elder Beckstrand was set apart as an ordinance worker in this temple, and was put to work later in the session. He was a little nervous doing it in Dutch, but he came through with flying colors! (A direct quote by the temple president, President Van Rhy.)