Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Month of December

Week of December 22nd

With Christmas this week, we didn't have a lot of work like we normally do and only taught a couple lessons.  One was with the Ba family which we met a few weeks ago.  They are a great family and have said they feel something different when we are there.  We had a really good appointment and the next time we are going to teach the Plan of Salvation.

We also had a lesson with our recent convert who just got baptized -  Isadore.  He was so excited and has been so happy since being baptized and has tons of strength and is ready for anything that comes at him. He also had an interview with the bishop and will be getting the Priesthood in the next two weeks. We are teaching him a lesson on that tonight.  Everything is going well him. 

This week we spent a lot of the time singing. One day we went out with all of the youth in the Ward to sing to a number of families as well as some we are teaching. 
Ward Christmas Party
We spent Christmas Eve at the Bishops house with his family and Christmas day at another members house, the De Lauw's. We got some presents from both, they are very generous and are two really cool families.  The De Lauw's got me 4 hockey sticks that they ordered from Finland as they know how much I love the game and miss it.   Overall it was a really good week with a lot of fun. I learned to appreciate Christmas in a different, in a special way and grateful to be here on my mission to allow me to deepen my understanding of the Gift of our Savior. Thankful for that as well as the Skype call with my family in Dallas!

Christmas Day with the De Lauw's

Week of December 15th

We ended up going back to the Ba family the past week that we were led to earlier. The one time we just stopped by on the way to Paris and they set us up with all this food, we ended up having to go back later to teach a lesson. They had dinner for us so we taught them the lesson during dinner. They are really curious and are the nicest people in the world.  We have loved getting to know them and see them begin to understand who we are, what we do as missionaries and the message that we have to share.

Isadore was baptized this week, it was an amazing day. It was so cool to see him take that step and I loved being a part of helping him get there.  It was a good service and there were some really good talks given by the members,so many people came out to support him.  After his baptism he had a different glow and you could tell that he carried a different light with him. It was a great day as a missionary to be able to experience that.

On Wednesday we had a Christmas Conference in Versailles.  The mission was  split in half for convenience.  President Babin and his wife as well as the Area 70 for Europe Elder Texeria and his wife were there.   We took an early train from Brussels to Paris. Got to the conference about 9.  The first training session was given by President and his wife. The second was given by Elder Texeria and his wife, there was a Christmas lunch in between.  At the beginning of the second session President Babin asked a Sister to come up and bear her testimony and after she sat down, all of a sudden the Elder conducting says "Now we would like to have Elder McBride come up and bear his testimony!"  So on the spot I went up in front of the Area 70 and 160 missionaries. After the meeting I thanked the President for the opportunity, he had a big smile on his face. The training were really good, learned a lot. Grateful to be able to meet up with the many missionaries that  I have become friends.

To cap off the week we had a big Christmas Sunday yesterday. We had 2 less active families that we have been visiting,  a recent convert who just got baptized and 2 amis de Eglise attend church, it was great. After church we had a big lunch/dinner activity where Santa came, we ate, sang and had activities. The Belgians do Christmas right over here!.

Week of December 8th

We have been doing a lot of knocking on doors and asking people if we can sing them a Christmas song. One night we taught 3 lessons and sang three songs and one of the last streets we were on I felt like we should go down to this one building. The second buzzer I pressed, we asked this man if we could sing for him. He said one second I’m coming down and it ended up that we taught him a lesson on the street two weeks before where we had 5 min to teach him and he was really impressed but he really had to go. He came down and opened the door and invited us in. We walked in to meet his wife with their two kids.  The cool part was that I had seen that family 3 times before! We were on the bus with them and then we saw them on the street two more times!  As soon as we entered the apartment they took our coats and our bags and invited us to have dinner with them as they were just about to eat. We taught them the WHOLE restoration and had a 45 min conversation before dinner. Then during dinner we talked about what we do, who we are, our role, families, interests and hobbies. We also shared with them basically everything different about us. After they both said "you know this makes sense, you guys know your stuff. There is something different about you".  I know that it was not by chance and that we found them.

Week of December 1st

Leading up to Christmas we have been talking to people about Jesus Christ and asking them what they are doing for Christmas or why Christmas is special for them. It’s been really effective in getting people interested and we then share a message about the gospel.  We are meeting a lot of new people this way.  We have also been knocking on doors and singing Christmas Carols and sharing the story of the nativity.  The other night just before we were about to go in we knocked on this door and asked this older man if we could sing a song for him. He said yes. So we came in and sang away in a manger in French. He was blown away and he said it was amazing. He felt the spirit and said he felt different.  So he invited us back and we are going to start teaching him.  This week we taught 14 lessons and also met with Isador who is being baptized on the 20th.  He is so ready and I can’t wait for him to make that step.

It snowed this week which was awesome. Just a little bit of it stayed for a day!  I also taught a 20 minute lesson at a bus stop as our bus was late.  It was an older lady and she listened but wasn't that interested in the message, just interested in me. We are going to Paris on Wednesday to pick up Elder Bailey’s legality card and to help with luggage in transfers. Should be a fun week. Fitting in a little shopping in Paris which is always good too. 

New Suit, Merry Christmas Elder McBride

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Elder Cook Visit and other Highlights

Week of November 23rd

We have been teaching some different people on and off right now.  A couple of guys, one has a Baptismal date for December 20th and a woman from Ethiopia. They are all super awesome.  We have been working with the ward mission leader to set a date and figured out all the logistics of the baptism. He has 4 kids and 3 of them want to be baptized so that will be happening in the future too. He wants to be able to baptize them so that will be really cool. They all come to church every week. The other guy is 40 and lives on his own and drives big ships in the ocean. He has lost faith in the world. This week we dropped by because we hadn't heard from him in a while. He ended up being really sick. We taught him a little lesson then gave him a blessing, it was super awesome. We are going to meet with him again soon.

Then there is the woman from Ethiopia who is a refugee.  The lesson we had planned to teach her was the Plan of Salvation. As the lesson progressed it we ended up teaching about faith, repentance and baptism. I was questioning the whole time where this was going.  Then all of a sudden she commented that this was what she wanted to learn about.  I knew that's where the spirit guided the lesson. I realized that's the only way the lesson could of gone to connect with her. We offered a blessing to give her added comfort. I gave her a blessing and it was amazing the spirit was so strong.  That was probably the moment that I have felt the power of the priesthood the most.  She said she felt better and that she felt stronger after. She has had an amazingly hard life and I can't explain how much I've been humbled teaching her, pretty cool experience. 

This week we had our Thanksgiving district meeting with the whole zone. We had a massive lunch in Brussels as always. 

The number represents how many 6 week transfers they have been through

We got yelled at knocking doors this week which was funny. An old lady yelled something I couldn't really understand. We just stand in the lobby's of the big apartment buildings and buzz every sonar. 

I Had a cool experience on the train one day. We talk to a ton of people and contact on trains but this time I was sitting across from a lady, it was a short ride. We were getting off at the same place and I could see that she was looking at me so I smiled. All of a sudden she said "do you have a book for me?" I didn't say a word just smiled, pretty cool how the spirit works. We gave her a Book of Mormon and our card.  We also met this old guy contacting and we asked him if he had a relationship with God. He was convinced that God is the sun? He kept on going on about how he sees God (the sun) everyday haha. He even yelled it, So funny. 

We also had a couple service projects on Saturday. First we cut down a giant tree in an old lady's back yard. I don't think that using a chainsaw is allowed but it was super fun. The group of members said "Give it to the Canadian he knows what he is doing." Then we got to go work with horses and scoop poop. That was awesome. The family that owns the horses are really cool. hen to top off the week we had to teach the 5th Sunday lesson at church with the mission leader about effective ways to work with less actives and invite them back to church that went well. Over all is was a really good week. 

Last thing. We are doing a little bit of a Christmas study challenge thing that i think would be good for everybody: 

1. What can you do this month to come closer to Jesus Christ?
2. What can you offer him? 
3. How can you help other come closer to him? 
4. How can you become more like him? 

Week of November 17th 

So this week we had a meeting with this guy that has been in contact with the missionaries for about a year. He is going to get baptized. It should be in the next two weeks. We are so happy for him. He really want's to get the priesthood and baptize his son in January which is awesome. Our last meeting he said some things that were amazing to hear. 

We got a referral from a lady in the ward who is a refugee from Africa. She moved to Italy and then moved to Belgium. She knew the church was true right away and got baptized here.  The referral is a woman about 25 and has a cute little daughter and are from Ethiopia. She has a huge family back in Africa. We went over to the members to teach her in English. She has had a lot of trials but during the lesson she commented that she is just looking for the right church. She expressed that she needs the love and comfort of our Savior Jesus Christ in her life. She loved everything that we shared and we are so happy we get to help her. She felt the spirit of what we taught.  She is a super strong women and a amazing example. I really hope everything works out with her. 

This Tuesday I got to go check out the Atomium. Its the famous huge sculpture with a ton of balls in Brussels.

On Wednesday we moved into our new apartment!  Its so cool and we have so much space. This whole week we have been putting Ikea furniture and we moved all our stuff to the new apartment in our tin can hybrid Yaris. 

On Thursday we went to Paris. We Caught a train leaving Brussels at 6am and got to Paris around 8am. From there we took the metros to Versailles where the chapel is located that the conference with Elder Cook was taking place.  It was an amazing conference, Elder Cooks witness and testimony of Jesus Christ was powerful.

A member of the church here owns a horse farm and we went and did some service there on Saturday. Cleaning and restocking and it was sweet to hangout with horses.  Over all it was a packed amazing week.