Tuesday, 17 February 2015

February Update - Still in Belgium

Week of January 26th

This Sunday we got to see the man that we baptized pass the sacrament and receive a calling. It was a really special moment to see him pass the sacrament to his family. He was so happy to do that and get a calling and it’s really cool seeing his testimony grow.  A couple weeks ago just after he was baptized, we were teaching a lesson and our leaders had told us to ask for referrals from recent converts.  At the end of the lesson we taught him we almost forgot to ask then I remembered to  ask him if there is anyone that he knows that he thinks would like to learn about the gospel and meet with the missionaries and he said there is this family that I know and he gave us the number of this family and we passed them on to the other Elders in Charleroi. They started to teach them and they all have a date to get baptized soon. It was that prompting that led this family on the path that they are on toward baptism.  I have learned the importance of following those promptings and it is cool when you see the impact they  have on people’s lives.
Last week I told you how we had that really cool experience with the Bishop and his less active brother. This week in testimony meeting he got up and thanked us for our work and how the missionaries are really inspired. We are just going about our business most of the time and it’s really cool how we are led and directed.  We have been sharing a specific message with the members helping them to do missionary work and the Stake President has been giving the members the same invitation. We have the same vision but didn't know it.  
We found a ton of new people to teach this week and I will be getting a new companion on Wednesday. Should be good.

Week of February 2nd

Well this was an interesting week. To start it off Elder Bailey and I went to see a lot of the members because he was leaving on Wednesday for transfers. It was a bit of a different week having your trainer leave after  4 months together. It ends real quick when he gets on a train to Paris and you don’t know when you are going to see him again. I am grateful for all that I learned from him! He helped to start my mission off on the right foot and taught me a lot about how to be a good missionary. I waited in Brussels all day Wednesday for my new companion and when he came in and we got right to work. 

We had a lot of success and saw a lot of cool miracles. The first day together I told him that we were going to go visit some investigators we had already taught twice. We were having a hard time getting a hold of her so we prayed that she would be home when we arrived. We went over and she wasn't there and we continued the day.  As we were heading home on this little side street there she was. We ended up getting to teach a little lesson to her and set an appointment for next time just like that!

Things were a little different this week with Elder Bailey gone, it was good I liked it taking the lead in everything. I led all the lessons and set up all the appointments, it feels great.  My companion has only been in the mission for a month longer than myself so it will be a good opportunity for us both to learn a lot.

We taught a lady Elder Bailey and I contacted in the park for the 3rd time this week. It was really good she is 48 and is a Belg. She has visited the Temple Square in Salt Lake City and said she loved it and felt something different there. She went through a soul searching phase when she was young and tried out every religion but ours. So this week we invited her to church and taught her about the Plan of Salvation. It was Ward Conference and she loved it. She expresses how it’s like one big family and everyone is so kind. She is in agreement with all the teachings, believes it and she was asking about baptism. We gave her a soft baptismal invite explaining that when you know with your heart that these things are true than you can be baptized and she said yes. So that's sweet. We are teaching her again this week. 

Then last night we found a new ami(investigator). We were knocking doors and met her and asked if we could say a prayer with her and she said yes and invited us in.   We prayed with her and she said she liked it and wants to know more. She is totally cool and we are going back to teach her this week. We taught 18 lessons this week which was good! 

This week I learned a fundamental principle of missionary work. I learned that as missionaries, if we put in best effort  in 100 % of the time not just 80%, you will be rewarded. It’s really the little things like talking to people on all the trains and crossing over to the other side of the street to contact someone.  You may get rejected but Heavenly Father sees that and he knows that you are trying your best. This week we were on the train and I started up a conversation with this guy, taught him a little lesson and gave him our number.  The first two people we contacted off the train we taught lessons too.  The whole zone is all coming to Brussels and we are going contacting the whole day. Should be fun. 
War Museum
Week of February 9th

So I had a pretty amazing week this week. I saw some really cool miracles and made a lot of progress. It was a busy one though. I will just share a couple of the cool moments we had. 

So first on Wednesday I was on an exchange and we had a couple appointments that were really good.  We had some time to go contacting so we went out and the whole time we both felt that we should keep going on this big long street. We had contacted a couple people and then said hello to this man.  He took off his hood with a big smile and said “Hey Missionaries.” He explained that he was a less active member and that he hadn't been to church in 6 years and went on to explain that 5 min earlier he said a little prayer and thought that he would of really liked to see the  “Freres” from church that day. We had no idea who this man was and had not seen his name before and ended up teaching him a little lesson on the street.  He had a huge smile on his face and was extremely thankful to us. When we got back to the apartment his teaching record was sitting on the desk and we had no idea why or how, but somehow it showed up out of the hundreds the missionaries have.

We also had a lesson planned with a family that the other Elders are teaching. We went to the house with the Ward Mission Leader, when we got there found out that they were at the hospital with their young daughter who was really sick.  So we went up to the hospital and came into the room with the family and this little 4 year old girl was sitting on her Dad’s lap sobbing because she had a tube in her ear and mouth leading to her stomach because she hadn't eaten in a couple days. She was just crying and in so much pain.  We were able to visit with the family and offer comfort , she received a blessing.  Right after her Dad laid her down on the bed and she stopped coughing and sobbing and just laid there silent until she fell asleep. It was a truly humbling experience.  

We have 3 baptismal dates, 2 for the 14th of March and one for the 28th. We taught 24 lessons this week and had some fun. It’s hard to explain how much fun it is and how much of a blessing it is.  Yesterday at church the teacher for the gospel principles class didn't show up, so sure enough with having nothing prepared, I gave a 45 minute lesson in French.  A great learning experience and I was grateful that we had some women in that class who talk a lot! 

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