Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

Bonjour!  I hope you have all had a good week!  I'm so excited to meet (I guess really just to see a picture) my new nephew!  This week in Belgium has been great and has flown by, as always!  We've been busy with lots of contacting, food and teaching our awesome amis!

Last week started off with lots of good food and ended with lots of good food too!  After district meeting on Tuesday we went to visit someone less active.  We found her after two wrong apartments but had a great lesson with her and her son, Pedro who's eight.  That's a great age!  We are hoping to get her to come back to church soon!  After that we made our way to the Hatch home, or better known as the Hatch Chateaux. We made our way down the lane and then had some delicious pasta and a fun message.  Since they have a U.S. base close by the sent us home with a box of American cereal of our choice.  I got Blueberry Frosted Mini Spooners and some real milk that is refrigerated...good stuff!  Then we rushed back to the metro for our rendezvous with Sylvestre and Eleana.  It took us about an hour to get there and, as usual, they had prepared a delicious meal for us.  When they asked if we'd eat with them, even though we had already eaten,we said, "Bien Sure"! (Of course)  We had fish, potatoes, bread and all sorts of good stuff.  Then we had an awesome lesson and left very full!

We had another mangez-vous on Wednesday with the Wilkins family.  Brother Wilkins is our ward mission leader.  They just moved here from Spain, are Americans, and are working here for the next few years.  We had sesame chicken, rice and rhubarb cobbler...YUM!  Elder Eldredge got to play his guitar for a few minutes and seemed to be in heaven!  Since this week was filled with a few frudges and other events, we were unable to do a lot of contacting and porting.  We met a few awesome people.  We try to remember that they might not accept it now but we are planting seeds for later.

The next day we had lunch with Frere Fraikin.  As always, we were treated like kings.  It is always something to look forward to every Thursday.  We met with the Mulunda family and ended the day with Kingsley and Marsella.  We decided  to teach on temples and the sealing power.  We asked, "What would it mean if you could be with your family forever?"  Kingsley said, "It's every man's dream!"  We explained it was possible with the temple.  This time they really understood and believe that there is only one true church. The rendez-vous went great and I have never testified so strongly about the gospel, temples and eternal families.  The spirit was so strong and I know it made them really start to think.

Friday we went and saw the Johnson family and talked to them about general conference coming up.  They are so amazing, and even though they have so little, they give so much.  We finished our lesson and had hot meat triettes.  It was probably the most spicy thing I have ever eaten in my life, but was delicious.

Saturday we had a long day with no lessons planned so we started contacting.  Papy, from the park, called us over on our way home.  I introduced Elder Eldredge and he introduced us to his brother.  His brother has a Book of Mormon and started talking about Moroni.  I talked to him for a while and he said he wants to stop smoking and I said we could help.  He was super interested in our church so we got info and will be teaching him this week.

Finally, to finish the week we had fast Sunday yesterday.  During church I said a little prayer that we could use our priesthood to give blessings in French this week.  Little did I know that my prayer would be answered in the next 10 minutes.  Prayer works!  We had a linger longer after church and I made a cake for it.  There was tons of food there from every culture in the world.  Our ward is so awesome.  I sat by a member named Rey.  He is here becoming a pilot and is from the Congo.  He's going to Phoenix in January to start flying Cessna's and was asking how he could get to Salt Lake.  I explained by car or plane and he asked about trains.  He was shocked to hear we don't have trains in America like they do here.  It's so fun to meet people from all over the world.  We finished the day with some porting and met all different types of people.  I saw the largest dog I've ever seen in my life.  I could easily ride him like a horse.

Next week is General Conference and we are so excited to watch.  The time difference makes it so we have our first session on Saturday at 6 pm, which is live, and then the others go until 8 pm on Sunday and one on Monday morning.  While you're watching the two morning sessions, we'll be doing the same thing at the same time.  That's all from Belgium!  Elder Eldredge is great and I love having him as my comp.  Our apartment is great and it'll be a great transfer.  Thanks for all your support and have a great week!

Love and miss you all!
Elder Eldredge and me emailling!
Elder Player
Belgium chocolate - Yum!

Monday, September 23, 2013

You say Goodbye and I say Hello, Transfer 3!

I can't believe another week has passed by here in Brussels but it has been great and full of lots of change.
As I wrote last week I found out that I'd be getting a new companion.  Elder Eldredge will arrive on Wednesday.  This gave us two days to meet with our amis and for Elder Davis to say goodbye to them.

Tuesday night we went to Sylvestre and Eleana's home.  They called Pizza hut for us and we had a huge meal. They are so amazing.  After watching Elder Davis say goodbye I realize how much I love these people and how hard it will be to say goodbye one day.  In 13 short weeks they are all like family.  I'm so glad that I have at least another 6 weeks with them.

Wednesday was a busy day.  After watching Elder Davis and Elder Wilson pack I took my dad (Elder Davis) to the station and then we waited until 5:30 for the train to come in with Elder Wood's and my companion from Paris.  We greeted them on the platform with pain au chocolat and speculos muffins.  I got to meet Elder Eldredge.  He is awesome and from Hawaii.  He's on his fourth trnasfer so we are a very young equipe, but will learn a lot together including working on our French.  We grabbed his bags and headed out to contact.  We did porting right up to the end of the night and had an 8:55 miracle.  We met Crustin, a man from Romania, who welcomed us and was excited to hear about the gospel.

The next few days we had some great rendez-vous with our amis and were able to introduce Elder Eldredge to Bogaert, Kingsley and Marsella, Seth and Mike.

Friday while doing an hour of contacting before lunch we went a different way.  At one of the metro stops a lady who was a little older, named Fabian, stopped and said something but then left.  At the tram stop a few minutes later the same lady came and sat down.  As we talked with her she expressed that she didn't believe and asked why we were there.  We shared why and she said, "you're not the mormons are you?"  We replied, "That's us!"  She said, "Oh - you have that big genealogy library!"  By the end we had her number and she said she'd love to come to the family history center and learn more.  So hopefully we'll be able to meet with her this week.

Saturday was awesome and we did lots of contacting.  We met a man and a women, Kevin and Elise.  Kevin is a christian already and Elise is an atheist.  When we asked if they had a few minutes they said yes.  We were rather shocked and started talking quickly.  When they heard "mormons" they had tons of questions.  We answered the best we could and we have another rendex-vous with them this week.  We hope to give them a tour of the church.  We had another lesson with Driez and Jean-Pierre about baptism and another lesson with Brother Johnson and his family.  The Johnson family is trying to get prepared to go to the temple and they are awesome.  They were baptized almost 4 years ago and are a great example of a family with strong faith and love.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a weird day.  Once a year they have a "no drive" day.  No cars can drive at all or it's a 500 euro ticket.  So, on our way to catch the tram it was like a ghost town.  As the day went on everybody was out on bikes, playing in the park and public transportation was at its max!  At church we had a new convert, named Francis, bring his best friend Douglas.  He's awesome and we are going to teach them this week.  We had Seth, Kingsley and Marsella come to church as well.  It was great!  Later we had a passback to do.  When we got there they said comeback later.  They said that the first time too but we persisted and the third time they were all there and we got in to teach.  Meet the Voka Family...Noblesse - 4, Belle Jean Marc - 16 and Josephine.  We were able to teach the whole restoration and the spirit was so strong.  They promised to read and we will go back on Friday.  I have a really good feeling about them.  We asked if we could do anything for them and they asked if we could fix their printer.  Hopefully we can figure that out on Friday.  On our way back we saw a single mom with 6 kids.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity so we talked to her and she was excited and made sure that we had her number correct - twice!!!  Hopefully, we will teach her and the children on Thursday.  Miracles happen, people are prepared for the gospel and I know this Church is true.  I'm so grateful to be here as a missionary!

In other news...
With transfers we received another new Elder in our apartment.  He is Elder Wood's son (since he is training him.)  His name is Elder Godfrey from Kaysville, Utah.  He's awesome and it'll be a great apartment this transfer.  This morning I went and became legal in Belgium, Oh ya!  And I can't wait to have a new nephew next week!

Thanks for all your letters, love and support.  I love hearing from all of you and hearing how you are doing. Thanks for your prayers.  I know our prayers are heard and answered by our Father in Heaven!  Hope you all have a great week!

The Mulanda Family
Jusqu'a la semaine prochaine vous amie tous!

Elder Player
My new companion, Elder Eldredge!

Elder Davis leaving Brussels!
He's so sad!

The infamous Kingsley and Marsella

Cool grafitti at the metro!

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm not a Bleu anymore! Starting Transfer 3 in...

I hope everyone has had a great week in Salt Lake.  Sounds like it's been pretty rainy!  Same thing here.  It rained everyday last week but it makes running in the mornings more fun.  This week consisted of teaching our awesome families, transfer predictions, an exchange with Elder Wilson and some Belgium Chocolate.

Last Monday we started our P-day by going to the Nehaus chocolate factory.  It is an outlet store with boxes of chocolate open in front that you can sample.  It was delicious but within 20 minutes we were stuffed and ready to move on to the next thing!  We did some shopping and even found a 1Euro store.  (Probably like Dollar Tree)  It amazes me what you can buy for 1 euro!  Then we went to the Gare to get personalized Belgium license plates.  Mine has Elder Player on it and is pretty cool.  We taught Kingsley and Marsella and, as always, it was awesome!  That night we made over 100 crepes for District meeting the next morning. I don't think any of us will want to make crepes for sometime now!

Our final district meeting on Tuesday morning was a "Harry Potter" transfer theme.  We even drank polyjuice and entered the "Chamber of Secrets." (aka the basement in the Louise church)  It was awesome and Elder Wilson has been a great district leader with some fun things but always a great message too.

The next day we had a rendezvous with a man named Seth.  The sisters are teaching an amis in a shop and the lady there asked if she could have some extra pamphlets.  They left her some with their number on it.  A few weeks later they received a phone call from Seth saying he read them all and wanted more.  So they taught him, gave  him a Book of Mormon and then he came to church...all in 3 days.  We are teaching him now and our first rendezvous was amazing.  He said he's had friends in churches but none of them made him feel very good.  He hasn't prayed in recent years but when he started reading the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets he felt something and wanted to start praying.  At that moment the spirit was so strong so we asked if he'd be baptized and he accepted!!!  People are ready to receive this gospel and the Lord is putting them in our paths!  Also, we had a rendezvous with the Mulunda family. Half way through they invited us to come and eat with them so we sat down and I ate my first meal of fufu, along with frites, fish and other stuff. It was awesome and all their kids are trying to learn English so they practice with us and then help us with our French.

Frere Fraikin took us to lunch on Thursday and brought pics of his motorcycles and his Ferrari.  Frere Fraikin hasn't been active for some time but we invited him to a special stake conference with all of Southern Belfium and he came.  It was such a good sight and was like he had never missed a week!

Another highlight was the Sonan family.  We met them while porting on exchanges last transfer.  Henri, the husband, said, "My wife is really liking your stuff and wants to bring the kids to church."  We couldn't have asked for something better and so we taught about church and she's excited to come this coming week and bring the children.  Henri left for Chicago this weekend until December and asked if we could get info for him about church there so that he will have some connection there.  We can do that for sure!

Saturday was the last exchange with Elder Wilson.  He is an amazing teacher and I love being able to watch and see new ways and new ideas to help me improve.  We finished the night with transfer predictions.  We dressed in our boubous and sunglasses and predicted away.  We'll see if they come true!

Sunday was a special stake conference for all of Southern Belgium.  At least 30 missionaries were there and all the wards.  Bishop Davies, from the presiding bishopric, spoke about the blessings of children and that nobody is perfect.  There were so many people and not enough chairs for everyone so all the missionaries stood in the back the whole time.  Even every piano bench was in use.  We had the Sylvestre family there and Driz and Jean-Pierre so that was great!  Last night we got some phone calls.  When you are training or a district leader you get a call from the AP's.  If you are called to be a Zone Leader or an AP you get a call from the President.  During dinner Elder Wood got a call and he's training and our new District Leader. Later we realized we had missed a call and realized it was the President.  He asked for Elder Davis and asked him to be a Zone Leader in Liege.  He will be awesome and I'm so glad that I've had such an awesome trainer! Elder Wilson is off to Versailles.  I'm staying her in Bruxelles with Elder Eldredge and I'm excited to see more miracles happen here.  I'll meet Elder Eldredge on Wesnesday.  My address is still the same:

     Les Missionaires
     Elder Chase Player
     11, Ave des Gloires Nationales
     1081 Koekelberg

Here are a couple of quotes I found and think they apply to all of us.  I hope we can have goals and with our actions and ambition they can lead us to success.  Thanks for all your support and love!
      Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
     My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible.  All are of no value unless they are      followed by action.  I will act now.  Action is the tinder which ignites my dreams, my plans, my goals into      a living force.  Action is the force which will nourish my success.
The WTC of Belgium

The Neuhas Chocolate Factory
Our Last District Meeting
Love...Elder Player
Rain + No Umbrellas = Wet missionaries

Monday, September 9, 2013


Bonjour a tous!  I hope you've had another great week!  It's been a week with lots of different things going on and some that I don't think I'll forget!

Last Monday the Campells, who were dropping off Sarah for her study abroad in London, came and visited. Jim served in the Paris, France mission and wanted to see the mission again.  We had lunch and showed them a little of Bruxelles!  We went to the Grand Place, tried some frites, a meat triette, and of course, some Belgium Chocolate.  It was so fun to see them and spend some time with them.  On Monday evening we had a rendez-vous with Nosa.  It went great and we left in such high spirits after hearing him bear his testimony.

Tuesday we had our weekly district meeting that went great and then we had steak for lunch and a cinnamon cake we made for dessert.  Delicious!  We had a rendez-vous with Mike later and taught him more about the restoration and asked him how his reading in the Book of Mormon was coming.  He finds it so interesting and wants to read more and more.  We talked to him about the ward and how the church is a family.  We both bore our testimony of it and the blessings in our life.  The spirit was so strong.  When we asked him about baptism he said, "yes" and so we set a date for September 29th.  Super exciting!

Wednesday was a normal missionary day but on Thursday Frere Fraikin treated us to lunch.  He gave us lots of advice that I'm writing down for when I get home.  After, we decided to make the trip to do some porting in an area known as Crainhem.  All four of us that live in our apartment went out together.  We split the streets and started knocking on doors.  On the sixth door we met a young man who said he didn't believe in God anymore.  We asked if we could take 10 minutes to tell him a little about our church and how it has blessed our lives.  Than a miracle happened...he said, "come in"!  This was a super nice neighborhood and his home was one of the nicest homes I've been in since I left.  We had a great lesson and left him with a Book of Mormon and hope we can go back this week and meet his whole family.  That evening we had two more lessons with the Mulunda and Sylvestre families.  They are both so awesome and we love them so much.  We are sure that they will be ready for baptism one day!

Friday we taught the Johnson family.  The are preparing to go to the temple to be sealed.  They have 4 daughters and their spirits and smiles are always fun to be around.  We received some news about Nosa that we didn't want to hear.  He isn't being baptized anymore.  After a week of trying to make sure everything was set we found out that his marriage wan't legal.  This was hard to hear and the branch where he lives was really sad too.  He still had a great attitude about it and has a strong testimony of the gospel and I believe he'll be ready down the road.

Saturday we had exchanges and I was with Elder Wood!  He's awesome and such a great missionary.  We had fun, did lots of porting and taught Kingsley and Marsella.  We went to teach them about temples but Marsella asked a question that had been on her mind all week and the Plan of Salvation answered her question perfectly.  It's amazing how things work out and plans change but if you follow the spirit it will always be better than you planned!

On Sunday the craziest thing of the week happened.  We had told the Sylvestre family that we would go to their church since they have come to ours a few times.  They offered to take us right after our meetings to their meetings.  We hopped in their car and made our way to their church.  It was a Russian church, not sure what denomination, but boy was it an eye opening experience for me.  For the next three hours we sat on a wood bench and tried to listen to a young girl who was translating for us from Russian into French.  There was a baby blessing and a marriage blessing.  This is where they are given permission to get married and then given flowers from everyone.  There were 10+ prayers where everyone would kneel and yell their prayers out loud for about 5 minutes.  Somehow they all stopped at the exact same time.  Elder Davis and I kept looking at each other like, "what are we doing here!"  There was about 10 or 15 songs, some solos and some by the whole congregation.  They even had an accordion that was playing along with the piano.  After three hours we walked out and I realized I  felt so many different emotions.  Mostly shock and sadness.  I hope that one day all of these people will be lead to the truth.  We have the authority from God and the Holy Ghost to guide us.  I know the church is true without a doubt.  We are so blessed to have the truth in our lives and I'm so lucky to be a missionary and invite others to find this out for themselves.

Today we aren't sure what we are doing but it'll definitely involve a baguette and some cheese for lunch and maybe some frites.  This is our last week before transfers and most likely one of us will be going.  It'll be crazy because every companionship in our Zone will change.  I don't know if I'll be going or staying but I'll let you know next Monday.  I love Bruxelles and I'm so thankful to be here and to be able to teach the gospel to the people here.  It is truly amazing.  Thanks for all of your love and support....till next week!
Kurt - A priest in our ward that
has gone porting with us!

Anthony - A Priest in our ward that has
gone porting with us!
Sunset at the Basilique
It's getting dark earlier and earlier!
Our church building with
3 different languages...Dutch,
English and French
The Sylvestre Family
Elder Player
Last Monday with the Campbells

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bonjour et Happy Labor Day!

Tons of corn in Brussels
Cool bridge on our way to a mangez-vous!
It's weird to think that it's a major holiday back in America today and just a normal day here in Europe.  I'm sure I'll get used to that with Halloween and Thanksgiving in the coming months! It's been a great week here in Bruxelles and there is so much I want to say so I better get started.

Last Monday, Elder Davis and I went and got boubou's. They are African clothes and very comfortable.  It helps to make us look legit.  After we got those we had interviews at the other chapel in Bruxelles. It was my first interview with President and Soeur Poznanski since my first day here! I love them! They are amazing and so caring and Sister P. speaks french and makes it beautiful.  All the missionaries love their interviews with her! You can just tell how much they love us and I'm so grateful for them!

Tuesday was my first zone conference, and once again was awesome!!!  President and Soeur Poznanski are such inspired leaders for our mission! Soeur Poznanski told a story and showed a picture of a family. In our mission we do a lot of porting and street contacting and often missionaries feel that it isn't effective. She explained that from that family was her and that was how they were introduced to the gospel. She was just a young child, too young to be baptized.  Do you think those two young missionaries thought, "one day that young girl will serve a mission, and be teaching missionaries." She also told a story of a lady on her mission that she taught but she was not baptized. Thirty years later they were in a ward and ran into the lady again, still not baptized, but later that week she received a call from that lady and was told that she wanted to be baptized nearly 30 years later. Right now people might not accept us but we have no idea of the impact or seeds that we are planting. It was amazing! President talked to us about how the Lord is preparing a way for us just as he did for Nephi.  After their instruction, the Zone leaders, and district meeting, I once again received a spiritual confirmation that this church is true and I love being a missionary!  There is nothing better I could be doing with my life!  After Zone Conference we had a lesson with a member's sister. When we got there her daughter and kids were there too.  So while Elder Davis taught the lesson I was having kids jump on me and was trying to keep them entertained with the 5 pictures in our Book or Mormon. The young boy, 2, was named Nice and he could tackle me like no other. He even kissed me 3 times, against the rules but there was no stopping it!  So I made a couple really good friends in that rendez-vous and gave the little girl a Book of Mornon.  With eternal perspective in mind you never know what that could lead to. We also taught the Sylvestre family again.  They are so amazing!   They always have dessert and drinks for us and beg us to stay longer! We love them so much!

Wednesday wasn't as exciting but I was doing my personal study and through lots of cross referencing I came upon Joshua 23:14. It says: "14 And, behold, this day I am going the away of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the bgood things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof."  For me this means that we have to be able to leave this life, or a mission, using all the things the Lord has given to us, and having no regrets!  The scriptures are so amazing especially when you really start studying them.

Thursday we had lunch with Frere Fraikin (that's the correct spelling now). He brought pics of his family and all the missionaries he's seen in his life.  The missionaries used to live with his family when he was young.  After, we had a lesson with a guy, Mike, I street contracted a few weeks ago. We called him up when a lesson fell through and asked if we could meet with him in about an hour, and he said sure!   So we met him by the WTC here and after we taught him, he accepted a soft invite for baptism.  That means, if he receives an answer, he'll be baptized.  President really pushed us to do that at our first lesson so we did it in every lesson this week and most accepted!  So, after Mike we made our way to a mangez-vous (dinner appt) with the DeLigne Family.  They are an awesome young member family. They are Belge, so fun, and they speak beautiful French.   We hope to be able to show people the difference it makes teaching someone in their home verses a non-member's home. The bad news of the day, but also good news, was that our mission conference was canceled due to Paris getting another stake. Elder Oaks will do the reorganization while he is here.  So, the words by President Kimball in 1976, "one day France will be covered with many Stakes", is coming true in the next few weeks. Yes, French people are ready for the gospel, and yes we are a baptizing mission.  Let's cut down the stereotypes of our missions, wherever we go because people are ready everywhere, even in France and Belgium.

Friday was another great day and started off as every day the last four weeks with a run at 6:30. It's a nice way to start the day!  We were able to go give a blessing to a member's friend.  I hope I don't ever have to go to a European hospital, but the spirit was so strong during the blessing.   The lady was so thankful and I did the annointing in French.  Woah!  We had a great lesson with Kingsley and Marsella and they had both read in the Book of Mormon.  I just love everyone we are teaching!  Saturday we had an early lunch.  We had a Burrito Fete with home made tortillas!   Delicious! we got frudged (stood up) a few times so we went porting for about 4 or 5 hours for the day. Nobody let us in so we went home for dinner. Our last lesson of the day with a less active member who was not home when we got there.  We had about 10 minutes till the bus came and we decided to keep porting. At the third door a women invited us in!   What was happening?   We went in and it was a young family from Brazil with a 5 month old son.  We talked for a while and they invited us back.  I can't wait to teach them again this week!

Yesterday was amazing!  After a rough morning with no investigators at church and being quite hungry, we had a lesson with Bithos. He's the one who has a published book coming out soon. Though his wife didn't want to listen, he was asking questions like, "What do I need to do, to be baptized?"   Well, we can help you with that! He accepted the soft invite and has read a lot of the Book Of Mormon.  Hopefully, this week we can get a date for a baptism.   We had one of the priests from the ward with us.  His name is Kevin and he was awesome.  After, we went home we broke our fast and ate lots of mac and cheese, blt's, and peanut butter bars we made for Sylvestre for his birthday.  After our huge meal, we went to Sylvestre's and gave him our treat!  We were relieved that the table wasn't set because we were so full and they always want to feed us but then he said, "Will you please eat dinner with us?"  Of course, we said yes but we were looking at each other like "oh no!"  We ate a authentic Ukranian/Russian meal and it was good, even though we were stuffed.  We taught about the Plan of Salvation.  The spirit was so strong and he kept saying, "I want that for my family!"  He started tearing up- it was amazing. There are still a few things to work out, like marriage, but they will be baptized!  We love them so much and when we said, "we have to leave", he asked if we could be friends on Facebook and skype. We said, "of course!"   On the way home we received a call form the Relief Society President in Genk.  That is where Nosa lives. She was calling to ask questions about Nosa and how they could help with food, or needs. I can now see how amazing that Branch is and I know we made the right decision to wait to have Nosa baptized after he moved. This coming Sunday Nosa will be baptized and we are hoping we will get permission to go to it in Leuuvan (spelling is questionable). It made us so happy and was the best way to end the week!

I'm so thankful to be here and have these amazing experiences!  My testimony is growing so much and I know this church is true! I'm so thankful for all of you in my life!   Until next week! I hope you have a great week and Au Revoir!

Love- Elder Player!!!!

Random Fact - They don't refrigerate eggs or milk here.  I don't know how that is possible but it's what they do and it seems to work!

Our African boubous - very colorful!
Kevin, a priest in our ward, and me!