Monday, 6 October 2014

First week in the Field - Nivelles, Belgium



I’m here at a little library in a Nivelles, Belgium.  This week has been awesome. What an experience packed into a week. 

SO first, when we got off the plane we picked up our bags and meet the AP's and the mission president and his wife. They were super nice and cool. (Pres. Babin is a tall guy).  After that they took us all out to this little truck and we put all our bags in and then they give us a pain du chocolat. They were super good, all the food here is amazing. Once all the bags were packed up each of us received a Book of Mormon to give out on the train to Paris.   It was a direct train so there were only a couple people on it. I asked some guy if I could practice my French with him and he said "no". ha-ha.  

Train Station in Paris
When we arrived in Paris and got off and walked through the city to the chapel, which is that cool building in all the photos. It’s in the most unique part of Paris, the artsy district, it's a great area. It’s the most expensive church building in the world because it’s pretty big and right in the middle of Paris.  We hung out there for the day and had interviews with the President and his wife. They are super nice people. While you were waiting for your interview, you would go out tracting with a missionary serving in or near Paris. It was a great experience. 

One of the first people we stopped on the street we ended up teaching a lesson too. He was this older guy that was so friendly. We prayed with him on the street and it was amazing, you felt like you were in a little spiritual bubble in the middle of the street. So after that we went back and had dinner at the chapel.  At the end of the day we spilt up between the Presidents home and a near by hotel.  People just volunteered to stay different places, I ended up staying at the hotel with some elders I knew. 

View from the Church 
So the next morning we took the train back to the chapel and had a meeting to find out where we are going and who are trainers would be. It was so nerve-racking waiting to see where you were going to go. I was one of the last ones and Elder Bailey and I got assigned to "white wash" Braine L'Allued sector. So white wash means that there has never been missionaries there before, it’s a completely new area. That’s why we are living in Nivelles currently,  we are getting our new apartment this week, So send all the letters to our new address, I’ll send it next week. 

Elder Bailey
So it’s a little bit of a challenge because we have no "aim's"  there to teach right now because its brand new but it’s cool because there are so many opportunities for work. We contacted and "port'd" or door knocking a ton this week and found 5 or 6 people that invited us back the next day to pray and talk with them. The best are the buildings with the intercom because you can just buzz every apartment - lol. 

View from Apartment in Nevilles, Belgium

So back to it, after the meeting I meet my trainer Elder Bailey. He is legit the best trainer I could of asked for. He speaks fluently because he has been here for a year. He is so helpful, cool and funny. We get along so well it’s awesome. We gel really well!  We went to go visit a member the other day and they thought we had been together for months, it’s amazing. After the meeting we hoped on the train at the gare du nord in Paris and took a train to Brussels, My area is super close to Brussels and we go there every week for district meeting, AWESOME. The night we arrived we had to host a youth night/missionary night where the youth basically just asked us questions. It was super fun. 

We attend the Nivelles ward because there is nothing in our sector, so all the members there are the ones that we visit. It's about a 10 min train ride to church which is not bad. We ride the train probably 4 or 5 times a day which is perfect for contacting because they can’t go anywhere. So after that we just went out and worked for the rest of the week trying to find people. The one day we were not having a ton of success porting, so we stopped and said a little prayer to be directed where to go. The next building we went to there were 10 apartments and we talked to 5 people and got their names and numbers. It was super cool. I have found out that missionaries pray all the time. You really do see miracles all the time as missionaries. It has been a super cool experience this far and I’m so excited. I have such a cool area and a cool comp. I think we can really be successful. 

The people are literally SOOOOOOOOO nice. All of them with big hugs and hello's helping your French.  They are so cool, I love them and the ward is awesome. We always go and visit members and play games and teach lessons because the main goal right now is building up the ward and strengthening the community. I love it here so much. I feel really lucky and blessed. Oh and we taught a lesson on the street and the women really liked it so much she gave me a "bisou" which is like the little kiss on the cheek. It’s a mission rule not to let people do that but you are allowed one, your first one, ha-ha and I got mine in the first week. 

We watched conference in the clerk’s office yesterday in English while everyone else watched it in French. We bought a ton of cheese and bread and had a little party, Not to mention the talks where awesome. I got so much out of it. All of the questions I had were totally answered.  

Anyway I hope that was a good little update. Thanks for the advice and those journal entries are funny, good times at the mtc. I’ll send some pics along in other emails. It's a little tough to write as I’m writing on a weird French keyboard.

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