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Words Matter

Do you listen to your heart?

Words matter.

All week long one word has played continually into my thoughts.

I’ve felt as if it has been etched not only upon, but also into my heart and mind.

No matter where I went, or what I did, it would always return.

It’s an unusual word.

Indefatigability…! (Dutch – onvermoeibaarheid)

I wasn’t even too certain what it meant, so I looked up the dictionary definition.

“Tireless determination, incapable of being tired out; not yielding to fatigue; untiring.”

I reflected upon the definition for a while.

I questioned myself and asked “What does this word mean for me?”

After a while, I began to understand.

Day in, day out, week in, week out, I am surrounded by young missionaries who possess the most remarkable indefatigable spirit.

I am with them, constantly.

Being with them one by one, in group training sessions and large conferences, I am reminded of the desire of their hearts to share their witness and testimony of Jesus Christ.

They all take several knocks – daily.

GRIT

Yet, each of them possesses grit!

True grit!  And I’m not talking about John Wayne!

A toughness, an indefatigable resilient courage, to bounce back, again and again and again.

As defined by Angela Duckworth, grit is “Our passion and perseverance to reach long term goals.”

I am so grateful for my association with each and every one of them.

They have been called from many different countries and cultures all across the world to bring a message of hope and peace to a world that is in constant peril and commotion. (2 Timothy 3:3/D&C 45:26)

Through my personal interactions with each of them, I am a witness to the fact, that they possess an indefatigable zeal and testimony of the message they share.

It is a message of great hope, peace and centred in their love of Jesus Christ.

I know that when the focus of our lives is on Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy, regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in the world or in our lives.

As President Russell M. Nelson has said “the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.”

If you want to find real joy, peace, purpose and meaning in life, then I suggest you listen to your heart.

Reach out to one of these indefatigable young men or young women today. They will help refocus your life.

#HearHim

My Favourite Dutch Words

One of the missionaries asked….“What are your favourite Dutch words?”
Here are my top 5 for the moment!
𝐋𝐞𝐤𝐤𝐞𝐫 – The adjective lekker, denotes several positive attributes including nice, appealing and high-quality. Tasty food is commonly called lekker. However, the word extends well beyond food! For example it is often applied to nice looking people, well-made clothes, nice weather and even a good night’s sleep.
𝐆𝐞𝐳𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐝 – This is a fascinating word – it is often equated to cosiness but means even more than that. For the Dutch, I think gezelligheid represents a much broader spectrum of fun, joviality or even amicable situations that are all united by a warm sense of personal comfort and togetherness. Its just a lovely word!
-𝐭𝐣𝐞 – The Dutch use diminutives much more often than we English speakers do. They make words sound smaller, cuter or friendlier by adding the suffix –tje. For example, a small dog is a hondje, a wee nap is a dutje.
𝐈𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐰𝐢𝐤𝐤𝐞𝐥𝐝 – I just love the word for complicated, every time I use it, it just simply sounds much better in Dutch than it does in English!
𝐇𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐬 – Anyone who knows me well, will know that my favourite Dutch word of all time is this one. It simply means hopeless! And for many years it was a perfect description of my Dutch itself!! 😆😂
Do you have any favourite foreign language words?

What path are you following?

Where will you walk today?
We love to walk!
Walking in the Netherlands is a big thing! The annual avond vierdaagse of 5, 10 or 15 km, usually held in May or June around the country are always massive events. I have fond memories of taking part in an event in 1995, when I think virtually the whole community participated!
For many years walking has been prescribed as an exercise that is very beneficial to our health. There is something very stimulating about walking, not only the physical exercise, but it also refreshes our spirits and lightens our mood.
The dictionary says that to walk is to move on foot, step by step. To advance in life we are required to take several kinds of steps.
In the book of Romans 6:4, in the New Testament, Paul speaks of some of those steps when he shared about those who were baptised and then walked forth in a newness of life. And in his epistle to the Ephesians 5:2, Paul invited them to follow Christ by walking in love.
The primary purpose of the gospel is to allow Jesus Christ to guide us in our path and walk through life. At the end of the day, this is the path that leads to the greatest reward of all. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus stated that it is the strait and narrow way that leads to 𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 – this is the right path, leading to the greatest reward.
What path are you following?

Do you remember the song ” I walked Today where Jesus Walked”?

I walked today where Jesus walked,
In days of long ago.
I wandered down each path He knew,
With reverent step and slow.
Those little lanes, they have not changed,
A sweet peace fills the air.
I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt Him close to me.
My pathway led through Bethlehem,
A memory’s ever sweet.
The little hills of Galilee,
That knew His childish feet.
The Mount of Olives, hallowed scenes,
That Jesus knew before
I saw the mighty Jordan row,
As in the days of yore.
I knelt today where Jesus knelt,
Where all alone he prayed.
The Garden of Gethsemane,
My heart felt unafraid.
I picked my heavy burden up,
And with Him at my side,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
Where on the Cross He died!
I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt Him close to me.
We may not be able to physically walk where Jesus walked today, but perhaps we can be mindful of Him, walk in his footsteps by following His example in our lives through humility, faith, love and service.
I hope that each of us will choose the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life – missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can help you to find it.
Enjoy your walk today – wherever that may be!

What holds your team together?

Evidence in the garden suggested the storm had been a rough one.

There was damage in the garden, including one of the ceramic pots which had been blown over and was broken into several pieces. My wife and I discussed our options. We determined to visit our local garden centre to purchase a replacement. However, we couldn’t settle on a new pot and instead a little later we decided to repair the broken pot and bought some glue instead. A few days later, the pot, showing its age a little, plus with some wear and tear, was repaired and functional once more, adding to the surroundings of the garden.

In a like manner, it struck me how powerful cohesion is and the importance of glue in many aspects of life, especially through this year. I considered my family, teams I’ve worked in through my career, then subsequently groups and organisations I have worked with in 2020. What is the glue, the cohesion, the bond that unites us, that keeps us sticking together and from falling apart? In life, we can choose – out with the old, in with the new or repair.

Unity, love, purpose, meaning, joy, happiness, a sense of belonging are all indicators of cohesive teams.

In your family, community, teams and organisations what is the glue that holds you together?