Wednesday, 28 January 2015

January Update from Belgium

(First of the month at the Bottom of this update a little behind)

Elder McBride in his apartment

Week of Jan 19th


So Elder Bailey and I had a really good week this week. I don't have a ton of time to share all of it but I will share some really cool experiences we had this week.

So to start, yesterday after church we were going to stop by to see some people to say hello to some less active members and some people we had met on the streets. So we tried four people and none of them answered.  We were in the same area as the Bishop's house and we had remembered that he had given us a referral for his street. Someone that he thought might be interested.  We stopped by and said we were the friends of the family and they said to come right in.  So we went in and got to know them and actually taught them the restoration. (THAT NEVER HAPPENS) we had a really good conversation and they agreed to have us come back this week.  It was a really good lesson. 

We headed back to tell the Bishop how the visit went and he was surprised but happy with the outcome and asked if we wanted to come in and visit with his family as well as his brothers family.  We spent some time talking about two of the Bishop's children who are on missions, then the conversation changed to us talking about our missions. The brother and his wife started asking a lot of questions. Eventually we ended up teaching the restoration to his family and they loved it.  They were really engaged and it was an amazing experience that was totally unexpected. They said that they would love to chat again so we are going to have a family home evening at the Bishops home with both families in the near future. So Cool.  We actually found 5 new people to start teaching as well this week.

Mural in Brussels
It was an amazing week full of blessings. Thank you for your support, love and emails. I love my mission and am in an amazing place.  

Week of Jan 12th

This week went by so quick! We were so busy. I'll share some of the coolest experiences. 

First Isadore, who we just baptized, has actually been coming to church for a long time prior to his baptism is now actually ready to get the Priesthood. We taught him a couple lessons to prepare for that. So after church yesterday that happened and it was awesome.  His kids were there too and it was a really special moment for him, he wanted it so bad and realized the importance of it. 

He has 3 kids that are not baptized and we are teaching all three of them twice a week.  Sandra is 16, Astrid is 12 & Gilbert is almost 8 and they are super cool kids. They actually don't live in our mission but they come to the chapel every week for us to teach them! The goal is to have them baptized in February. They love the church and they have a ton of friends which is awesome.   

We also got to teach Alemshet this week. She has been reading the Book of Mormon, in her language and loves it.  She wants to send one to her sisters in Ethiopia and the meetings have been going really well with her. She knows that she feels good when we come over and talk and she wants to keep that in her life. 


We also staring teaching this lady who is about 60, Marie Louise. She is really nice and has an amazing testimony of Jesus Christ. We taught her the restoration this week. In the lesson there was a scripture in the bible that Elder Bailey was trying to find as she has a great love for the Bible.  So it was important that we could find it. In that moment I remembered the exact reference because I had studied it that morning. That morning I had no idea I was going to need to use that scripture in the lesson and the scripture really helped her to understand more about our message.

The Ward here is amazing, they are so cool. There are so many cool families and youth and it's at the point now where the youth invite us over to eat because they love us. We have been able to get close to some families and really help them with their missionary work. This one family calls us the "beaugosse's companionship" which means handsome boys. They always joke around with us. They like my French, it has been getting a lot better lately.

Candy from the Member's, we just can't keep up!
Overall we had a really good week. Hard to fit it all in an email. Found a lot of new people and had some really spiritual Moments. Love you guys. Thanks for all the encouragement and love. 

Happen to hit a BMW Department store in Brussels on P-day, so cool!
Week of Jan 5th

This week was an amazing week for us! One of the best weeks we've had. We tried our best to be very focused and give it our all. The one thing that we worked on changing this week was our attitude. It's a little premature to say so but I think the secret to missionary work is your attitude and that always determines the outcome of your work!  This week we tried to go above and beyond in our efforts and of course it was one of the ugliest, most rainy weeks ever! We ended up teaching 14 full lessons and finding 8 new people to teach. We taught 8 lessons in 2 days which was great, some more interesting than others.  

Streets of Belgium, finally stopped raining
One of our lessons was with our friend Almeshet from Africa. She has been waiting for some time to see if she could stay legally in Belgium. When we first met her she was having some challenges regarding her immigration and was feeling very troubled regarding her future.  We gave her a blessing. I remember saying that she would be blessed if she did the right thing and was honest. After that we didn't really know what happened however she was noticeably more happy and joyful! Then this week she actually got her papers back telling her that she could stay in Belgium, Great news! This week in the lesson we taught her about the Book of Mormon, now that were able to get her one in her native tongue, Amharic. That went well, she is going to start to read this week! 

After that we taught some new people and one man's name was Jean de Dieu which means Jean of God!  He was interesting, he is also African and living in a house for refugees and is super cool and receptive. He works close to the church so we are going to start teaching him there. He has not had an easy life and is really humble! Great guy.

Another guy we taught this week was Laurent. We ended up knocking on his door to sing for him a Christmas Carol. He didn't have time in the moment and were finally able to go back to see him and he let us in. We found out that he is actually at a point of his life where he is searching for something and we gave him a Book of Mormon and taught him the restoration. He actually has a ton of books about religion and was blown away when he found out that we were Mormon. He's like Mormons "WHAT! that's so cool". We are going back there this week to teach him and his family.

Those were just a couple of the people we taught this week! 

We eat out once in a while!
We are seeing a lot of success with less actives as well.  This one family has had a lot of problems but have been able to come to church the last 3 weeks. They have a son who is 13, not yet baptized so we are teaching him separately to prepare him. He has a knowledge of almost nothing so we are starting from the beginning. It would be awesome if he could progress in the church because he needs direction. He has so much potential and he wants to be baptized. He knows that church is not always the most fun thing in the world but he knows its where he needs to be. He is the one that I bought a pair of vans for. We are going to drop those off this week! He should love those! Also got some gifts for the parents with the money sent for Christmas gifts. 

One thing that has changed about me from before my mission is that I am seeing the struggles emotionally, financially and physically that people face and with the challenges this brings into their lives.  I have learned to see them as Jesus Christ would see them. I want the best for them and I know that I can help them get there. Often I don't realize or know why I love them but I do. That is why I love being a missionary. Because you help people. This world is far from perfect and people need the gospel. 

I have also come to the conclusion now as I have almost been out six months that I have moved past being a teenage punk! The humbling experiences you have on a mission are hard to replicate.  You develop charity and love and realize that you were sometimes selfish and unkind to others. I'm not saying I'm near perfect but at this point I am really thankful for what my mission has done to me. I was reading a scripture in Ether 12:27 which explains it perfect. 

My nickname on a train in Brussels.
We had a really good week! I even found my gang on a train. I love my mission and am thankful for all of you that have helped me get to this point. Have an amazing week! 

Week of Dec 29th 


So we had a good week this week! A little slower than usual but still really good! A unique experience: We were contacting near our house on the way to get a train and I see this guy say HELLO.  Immediately after that he walked into a van and fell over.  He started going on about how he needed to go to bed and all this crazy stuff. Then he tried getting real serious with us. Kinda funny.  

We went out contacting and the first two contacts we had were the most interesting we have ever had. The first guy we asked if we could talk to him about Jesus Christ?  His immediate response was "NO you came to my house and rang on my door bell the other day and I said no!" (side note you see a million faces a day and you can't remember them all. People will come up to you and be like "HEY" and you will think "umm lets just go along with this because we have no idea who you are") anyway after this guy said no he told us that he was going to call the police and then stormed off mad and we went on with our day! The next lady we talked to was a little crazy, all I really got out of what she said to us was that she has a goose. A stone goose in her backyard and every time she feeds it is says "Jesus", just yells that out. So she has a stone talking goose.

On the other hand We got to meet with Isadore this week at a members home for dinner and a lesson. We taught him about the Priesthood because he is preparing for that now. He wants to be able to baptize his kids soon. The meeting and lesson went really well. He understood the responsibility's and privileges and is pretty ready. Along with that we are starting to teach his 2 Daughters who are 13 and 15 I think? They come every week, love church and want to be baptized around the middle of Feb. So we are starting to teach them everything they need to know to make sure that they are ready for that day. They actually live out of the mission but they are meeting us at the chapel to we will be able to teach them because they only speak French and they go to our ward so that should be really good. We are really looking forward to that! 

Jungle Book 

On New Year's Eve we went to a member's house watched a church movie and had dinner and played games, it was good. Then New Year's Day we drove to the Stake Presidents house, Pierre and Noelle Kahne, the people that you know. We went to the city of Liege. SUCH a cool city. The reason we went there was because their was this exhibition of Disney ice sculptures in a huge cold tent. It was so awesome. We saw all of the latest Disney characters. They had this huge Ice Slide.  It was so cool. We had so much fun with their family. After that we went back to their house ate dinner.  It was super fun. 

Oh and then today, our P-day we went to Brussels this morning early because we wanted to do some service with the money you gave me. We went and bought a package of oranges and some Pain du Chocolate and handed them out to the homeless people all over the metros and streets. It was super awesome. A  lot of people liked it! It was cool to see their smiles. When you are really doing service you see and feel the love that Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father have for all of us. So that was really fun. We also shopped for some people in the ward that we are going to help out.  

Overall it was a good week!  A week of service and helping others

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