Thursday, 24 December 2015

Transfers, Christmas and service projects - 22 December 2015


Six new missionaries arrived last week from the MTC and we sent 8 home a two days later.


In the east of the Netherlands, in Zwolle, several missionaries participated in a large project to gather food and other goods for the needy. A total of almost 30 000 products were donated by local supermarkets and packed to be delivered to the foodbank. 

Thumbs up: Here are some of the participating missionaries. Elder Williams, Sister Jaramillo, Elders Higham, Knaupp, Sisters Bush, Jensen, Elders McConkie, Zwygart, Williams, Meads and Harp (behind the lady)


As Christmas approaches, the people of the Netherlands and Belgium prepare for Christmas and it becomes a lot easier for missionaries to talk to people about Jesus Christ and about his gospel. Additionally, the Church has provided great resources to share with people. This includes the central message "A Savior is Born", several other videos (including music videos from different artists) and information about the Saviour's birth. This and more can be found at

On the 25th of December, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ

Friday, 11 December 2015

Zone Conferences and Other Updates - 11 December 2015

Zone Conference Week

This week, the six zones met on three days for their Christmas Zone Conference led by President and Sister Bunnell, assisted by the Assistants. We were also able to hear from some other missionaries and some wonderful musical numbers. During these conferences, most missionaries received their Christmas packages from home in addition to any mail or missionary supplies. The remainder of the missionaries will still get their package (somehow) as they trickle in this next week.

in Zoetermeer

Zone picture

Sisters Romney, Maughan, Mashburn and Jones

Sisters Hanny, Begazo, Elder Morrow, Sister Romney, Elders Needham and Smith

Elders Bernier, Geeraert (back to the camera), Müller, Sister Hopkin, Elders Heinricks and Hunter

Elders Bishesar, Smith, Sisters Jones, Maughan, Elder Cook, Sister Mashburn, Elders Andrew and Meister

in Rotterdam

Zone picture

Elders Stevenson, Higham and Zwygart

Sister Harris

Elders Richards, Jardine, Sosa, Torrie, Sisters Harris, Stewart-Chester and Elder Johnson

Elders Williams & Williams, Higham, Stevenson and McConkie

Elders, Gross, Wilson, O'Loughlin and Childs

Presidents Bunnell and Van der Put (his counsellor)

Sister Voss, Elders Morrell, Abankie, Sister Bush, Elder Reese and Sister Goodman

in Antwerpen

Zone picture

Sisters Twiggs and Duncan

Elders Drinkwater, Ocampo, Leishman, Crowder and Fairbanks

Elders Brunner, Serra, Stanworth and Harry

Elder Matos, Sisters Robbins, Manning, Döbler, Elders Gleave, Thom, Sisters Fleming, Faasavalu, Elders Evans and Watson

Elders Garcia, Hosea, Parr, Bringhurst, Vanfleet, Fairbanks, Harrop and Drinkwater

Elders Stanger, Howard, Da Silva, Henrichsen and Kauer

Elders Bringhurst, Parr, Sisters Twiggs, Duncan, Elders Isaksen and Crowson

And as always, we are very grateful for the senior couples and other people that prepare all the meals for zone conferences and trainings. Much better than the bread and water we would have to eat otherwise.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Transfers and Zone Trainings - 23 November 2015

Some Words from President

Once again, we hear from the mission president: "It was a joy to see you all last week. We were so blessed to join with you in the outstanding training sessions provided by our Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders and District Leaders. The messages were so valuable. We loved hearing about improving finding, reflecting on the prophet, Joseph Smith, the Savior, working in the evenings, prayer, and so many other vital topics. We commend everyone who took part in those uplifting meetings. And thanks to the Senior Couples for feeding us so expertly... The Lord is on our side! We must have faith, be strong, undaunted and obedient. The Lord’s work will move forward and you are the warriors of this day and time." - President Bunnell


Two new missionaries arrived on the tuesday of transfers, Elders Geeraert and Dearden. They will be serving in Hilversum and Emmen, respectively.

The five departing missionaries from this transfer, Elders Strikwerda and Holt, Sister Bradley, Elders Leon and Ames

Elder Watson, who was supposed to arrive in December, already speaks Dutch, so they sent him only a week after transfers (meaning he only spent two weeks in the MTC).

Zone Trainings

This week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the six zones had separate trainings. They are morning and afternoon trainings to enable President and Sister Bunnell and the Assistants to attend all of them.

Den Haag Zone

Amsterdam Zone

Antwerpen Zone

President Bunnell having fun at the Rotterdam Zone Training

The two new Assistants, Elders Hirsch and Bonner. Their job is a hungry job.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Special Notice - 14 November 2015

A note of information from President Bunnell:
In light of the recent bombing in Paris we would like to let the families of our missionaries know of the love and concern of each missionary we serve with. We are aware of the bombing in our neighboring mission, the Paris-France Mission. We are so grateful all missionaries are safe and in their apartment and no members have been hurt in the violence. We are in contact with the LDS Security professionals in Frankfurt Germany and receive daily update regarding any safety concerns in Europe. At this time there is no immediate cause for concern for our missionaries. We will inform you by our mission blog or email if any event arises that may involve our missionaries. We are praying for the safety of all the people of Europe and the many missionaries that serve here. Please join your prayers with ours. - President Bunnell

Monday, 9 November 2015

Almost transfers! - 9 November 2015

Tuesday is New Missionary Day, Wednesday is Transfer Day, Thursday is Moving Day... Somewhat of a busy week, you could say. But that will all be for the transfer special, later this week. As for now, here is a brief post on some small updates and such.

The usual excerpt from President's letter

He said: "To those of you who will be new to areas, please remember to meet your bishop/branch president and mission leaders this first week.  Go with a heart ready to serve.  As we travel the mission I hear how much the local leaders love you and are so grateful for your efforts to serve them.  Thank you for your diligence and selfless service.   As you wear yourself out in the service of our Savior, keep in mind that your sacrifice will bless you and those you touch for eternity!" President Bunnell

Some pictures

Last Saturday there was a senior couple gathering at the Mission Home, with all the senior couples in the mission: Van der Put, Robison, Caldwell, Kleyn, Romig, Gout, Hill and of course President and Sister Bunnell.

This week, Elder and Sister Kleyn will be leaving us to go home. We thank them for their service and wish them all the best as they get back to normal life.

Elders Bonner, Neptune, Cook and Andrew. After almost seven and a half months as Assistant to the President, including during the change of presidents, we bid goodbye to Elder Neptune who has served well in his capacity and will now serve in Brussels, Belgium (the first time in about 5 years that there have been Dutch-speaking elders in Brussels).

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Facebook campaign, A Word from President Bunnell - 2 November 2015

A Week Left to Transfer Week...

...and the start of a new Facebook campaign. This time, we will be giving away Finding Happiness DVDs to people who order it via Facebook. Their addresses will be then passed on to the nearest missionaries who will drop by to see what they thought about the DVD and share a message with them. Past campaigns have been very successful and have led to great experiences for missionaries and the people they find through these campaigns. There have even been some baptisms!
The Easter and Christmas campaigns are always the most popular, but other campaigns also do well, and we have so far 81 referrals in the space of about 6 days. The referrals are coming in, and as more people share the facebook post to their page and the pages of friends, there will be more people interested in receiving a DVD and hearing about the message we share.

Results of an Increased Standard:

And finally, some words from President Bunnell's latest letter to the mission:
"We are so happy for your devotion to working more for our Savior.  We are now seeing the results of your increased proselyting time in lessons taught and all other indicators that show that more people are hearing about Jesus Christ.  It brings joy, to them and to you! ... We are seeing the heavens open with blessings on those who are able to teach even more than 23 hours.  Last week a companionship reached 30 hours.  I notice a correlation between the number of hours of proselyting and the happiness of the missionaries." - President Bunnell

Some Other Stuff:

Though everyone probably is aware of the new office address:

Schuttersveld 2 C
2316 ZA Leiden
The Netherlands

It may be handy to know that the actual office functions will be moved there on the 12th of November. As of that date, there will no longer be anyone at the old address and neither will we be able to check the mail (though most of it should be forwarded), so make sure you send your mail to the right address!

And zone trainings will be coming up right after transfers! So keep your eyes open for info and pictures!

Pictures of Missionaries

Gouda: Sisters Hansen and Romney are really excited for the new Facebook campaign.

Zaandam: Elders Matos and Smith are happy when their apartment was deemed clean after inspection. A clean apartment makes a happy missionary.

Haarlem: Elders Troumbley and Groesbeck paying close attention during District Meeting.

Monday, 26 October 2015

A New Mission Blog, Recent Temple Visit and Reports of Success in the Field - 26 October 2015

WELCOME... the brand new blog of the Belgium/Netherlands Mission, straight from the mission office up in Leiden, the Netherlands!!!

President and Sister Bunnell would like to keep parents, friends and other interested people up to date by means of this blog of all the goings on of the mission, including photos of conferences, news of transfers and other noteworthy events and happenings.


Mission Leader Council last Friday

Last week on Friday, Mission Leader Council was held at the Mission Home. Every month, all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders meet to receive instruction from and council with President and Sister Bunnell and the Assistants in addition to various guest speakers, in this case President Scheltinga of the Den Haag stake. 


And here a picture of several missionaries at the Temple

"It was pure joy to see you all in the temple!  We are grateful you had revelatory experiences and that you came away strengthened and refreshed.  Thanks to the Assistants, Zone Leaders and Senior Couples for doing all the preparation for the visit and seeing that everything went smoothly.  And thanks to them and the Office Elders for making the Zone Conferences successful.  We are grateful to those who provided the inspiring music and taught us about planning, stretching ourselves, travel contacting and a special thanks to Hans Noot for the cultural training." - President Bunnell


Several months ago, a new standard of excellence was set to help the mission grow and come closer to achieving its full potential. This standard was to reach a minimum of 20 proselyting hours per companionship per week (thus 20 hours spent teaching and finding). This new goal resulted in a large increase in all the other key indicators (the numbers by which missionary work is measured, see also Preach my Gospel).

But the mission could do even better. And thus, the standard was raised to 23 hours per week. And for the first time since hours were measured, the average throughout the mission was significantly above 22 and almost at 23 hours. The number of companionships attaining 23 hours reached 44 this last week (plus an additional 15 companionships that attained over 20 hours). It is remarkable to see the enthusiasm and determination with which the missionaries have accepted this heightened challenge.

Here is an excerpt of President Bunnell's encouragement to the missionaries: "The results of these hours have been outstanding.  We anticipate increased baptisms and rescues of less-actives as a result of your dedication.  Over and over again, your letters show you have had an increase in happiness in the work because you are planning and working with more zeal."


Elder and Sister Hill and Elder Robison

We welcomed a new Senior Couple to the mission a few weeks ago. Elder and Sister Hill will serve temporarily in Eindhoven until November when they will replace Elder and Sister Kleyn in Deventer. Elder Hill served in Leiden 50 years ago and had the opportunity to visit the ward there on the 11th, a Sunday and their second day in the land.

See below a brief overview of past events...