Tuesday, 24 March 2015

From Braine l'Alleud to Nantes, France!

February 23rd

Well we had a really good week this week, so many lessons and felt that a lot of our investigators are progressing. We are booked every day, which is really nice. 

We have three Amis with dates of baptism. First is is a 49 year old Belgium women. Elder Bailey and I contacted her in the park about 4 weeks ago, we have been teaching her ever since. She is amazing. She visited the Temple in Salt Lake when she was young and felt something different as she went through a soul searching time in her life and however didn't commit to anything at that time. She said that we have helped her regain whatever faith she had and attends all of the activities and has made so many friends already in the ward, she is so awesome.  She has undoubtedly been prepared to hear this message.

World War II Museum
We have another Ami that we are teaching that is getting baptized on the 14th of March. He is 11 and he is excited for his baptism. He is a part of a less active family that has been inactive for 6 or 7 years. Elder Bailey and I reactivated the family and have continued to teach him.

I am really pleased with all the work we have. I love my mission. I wake up everyday ready to learn, serve the Lord, and experience new things. 

Festival in Belgium

Oh we also had a pretty cool experience this week while we were contacting.  After prayerfully considering where we should go, we ended up meeting a women on the street, we taught her the Plan of Salvation in the park and said a prayer with her. She walked off with the biggest smile in the world. It’s priceless the feeling you get when you see so very clearly how you were placed in the path of someone and how God prepare’s his children to accept the plan that he has created for us. 

Arc in a Park, Belgium

March 2nd

I had a really great but busy week, they just fly by, such great experiences and its so tough to write about them all.

To start there are 4 Elders in our Ward in Nivelles. We are the Elders for Braine L'Allued and the North while the other Elders are for the South. As part of their responsibility they cover an American Base Branch in Mons. Which is south closer to the French border. There are about 20 families that are American that are in the forces there. I am the only one out of the group that has permission to drive so I went on a little trip with Elder Earnshaw. We had a referral to contact and some members to stop by and visit.  We set off Sat morning for the referral, a man who had requested a Book of Mormon.  He lives in Peruwelz, Beligum, its on the border of France, map that out and that's how far we drove. It was the coolest drive I have ever taken in my life for sure. The scenery, cars and buildings, it was so cool.  We visited with the guy who had requested us to stop by for a bit and gave him a Book of Mormon and headed off.   We had lunch in the center of Mons, it’s a really cool tourist city. We parked our little Yaris and enjoyed the scenery.  We were able to visit with some American members and picked up some American milk, pop tarts, peanut butter, and a bunch of other groceries. The members on the base don’t get to see the missionaries very often, they enjoyed the messages that we shared.  It was a great day. 

Our District in the Park

This week we also got to see a cool miracle. There is a family in the ward that has been working closely with the missionaries to share the gospel with others, great member missionaries. They had a family come to mind, we all prayed that their hearts would be open and receptive. The family ended up inviting them to meet with us this week. So on Sunday we went to this members house and met this cute little family.  We shared the Plan of Salvation with them. The whole family, kids included where really engaged in the discussion. I asked the little kids question’s and they gave the most perfect answer’s It brought a smile to their Mom’s face. They understood what we shared and loved it. We, along with the family that are members where able to testify of the blessings that we have as well as the knowledge that we can live with our families forever. Hopefully things will progress. I know that the gospel can help this family be happy. It is our job to help them realize what an opportunity they have. 

So yeah it was a really good week. All our other Amis are doing well, one of our Amis lives in refugee housing we are pretty much teaching him and everyone else there. We are meeting people from all over the world. We taught a 17 year old boy from Afghanistan this week. 

Braine l'Alleud, Belgium

March 9th

We had another great week. For the most part we were teaching all the time. We have two people that are preparing for baptism on Friday. We are really excited. We have been focused on teaching and praying a lot for these people. They have recognized that God is there for them. Its amazing seeing someone come to this realization and what joy it brings to them, it is life changing, a tender mercy that the lord has given us. Pretty cool! Its a pretty special moment when a person in all humility thanks the Lord for putting us in their path and showing them the right path in life to be happy and joyful living with their family forever.

We are extremely grateful for these people that the lord has blessed us with. They were truly prepared to hear this gospel. It’s amazing to see how we, as missionaries are guided by the spirit to find them. We will continue to be busy this week in preparation for these baptisms. It’s not always easy but so worth it. The Lord is there to help us because he loves us as we are. He knows our potential and is willing to give us all we need according to our faith to get there. 

We are having a lot of fun while in the service of the Lord, that is easy to say. Such a GREAT week.

Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. Love you guys. 

March 16th

So this week was pretty crazy. One of our baptisms was Friday night.  He is the nicest, most humble person I have ever met. He had a glow before his baptism just imagine how he was after, was just glowing. We had a good number of people there to support him which was good as well as some of his friends. It was a really special day. He was so grateful for the opportunity. Elder Sheeren baptized him and I was standing on the side of the font. His smile was priceless. After the baptism he said he has never been happier, he just felt the most unique peace that he had never really felt before.  It was kinda the realization for him that it was the right decision.  He is going to be a really good member. He already teaches the gospel to all of his friends. So yeah that was really cool. It’s those experiences that make all the work and effort towards helping other’s worth it!

Saying Goodbye to Members in Belgium

Last Sunday a man showed up and said, “I see your church all the time and I am really curious to see what it is all about, can I come next week and check it out?” We were like YAA of course. This man is like 30,  he is a physics professor and is handicapped. He can’t walk super well so he has his car and a couple of Segways that he uses. I learned that he and his brother have driven across the United States on these Segways. They just travel with these things everywhere. He is a super cool guy and loved church. We are going to start teaching him. Oh and top of that he let me ride his Segway around after church!

Got to ride the Segway- So FUN!! Kids loved it.
This Sunday was actually my last week in Braine l'Allued. It’s been about 6 months. The ward there was so awesome. I have so many amazing friends there. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony and say goodbye. It was really cool to stand at the pulpit and see all of these people just smiling at you. I can look back on the last 6 months and would say that it was a success. It felt pretty amazing leaving somewhere better than it was when I arrived.  I took a bunch of photos with the members and said bye. I will be going to NANTES one of the bigger cities in France near the ocean. I have heard that it is amazing, I am really excited. I leave on Wednesday morning from Brussels to Paris, then from Paris to Nantes in the afternoon. Should be a long day of travel. I am looking forward to it though. 

Saying goodbye to good friends in Belgium

I had a really great last week here in Belgium. I will always remember this place. It’s so cool everyday making people happy.

March 23rd

Well thanks for all your emails and love this week! We have a ton of work right now. I was transferred to Nantes near the south of France on the west coast. It was a long voyage from Brussels to Paris then Paris on to Nantes.

Run into the "Original 4" MTC Companions on Transfer Day

It is one of the bigger Villes in France.  The ward is made up of a lot of small families and University students. It is always busy with people moving in and out all the time. We ride the trams and busses many times throughout the day, it is a great way to meet new people and talk to them about our message.  It’s really fun way to meet new people.  You look at a person and try to think of what you can say to them to start a conversation, We call it trajet contacting. This week I had a really cool experience, I was standing near the door and women came on with a stroller that had twin boys, jackpot. I asked her some questions and explained that I have twin sisters. She was so happy that I spoke to her. Her name was Russian so I didn’t really catch it. She had just married a Frenchman and they had just moved to Nantes to start raise their family and were in search of a church to join. I talked her about the gospel and what a blessing it could be for her family. She was very interested. We gave her our card and she said she would call us next week because as she doesn’t have a phone yet. Those are great little experiences that make everyday interesting.

We are teaching a lot of university students who are young, open and curious. Right now we are teaching a girl who is French and is getting a history degree. The  former missionaries taught her twice and we went back this week another two times. She got a Book of Mormon a week ago and has already read 200 pages. We invited her to pray to know if it is true.  Yesterday she said she knows its true, right away. She try’s to read her university books but she can’t. She starts with them but just ends up reading the Book of Mormon.  Yesterday we felt prompted to set a date with her to get baptized, she will prepare to be baptized on the 25th of April. She knows that the Book of Mormon helps her and makes her feel good. It’s amazing confirming testimony of the Book of Mormon for me when it changes someone’s heart, it’s not something we said or did. It’s the truthfulness of the greatest book in the world testifying of our savior Jesus Christ, pretty special.

I have learned through various experiences it’s just the little efforts that make a difference. Even if you don’t have success Heavenly Father loves us and will bless us with people if we just try. He wants to see that we are willing to do our part. That is what we try to do everyday. Just give it your all even if you are tired, hungry or it’s awkward.

We are teaching someone from Port au Prince Haiti. I need some vocabulary, phrases from my Dad to share. My New companion finishes next transfer.  We have a lot of work to keep us busy, should be fun 6 weeks.

Thanks for all the emails, love you all!

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