Monday, January 17, 2011

Stake Conference in Brussels

Bonjour, ma famille!

This week has definitely been a week of firsts: we got hit on, followed around by two drunk guys, were made fun of on the street, got yelled at by a crazy man on the bus who thought we were TJs (Jehovah's Witnesses) sent from the devil, and asked to go clubbing by a guy with a fresh slash on his cheek from a knife fight. Seriously! Europe sure can be crazy sometimes. It was a good week though, despite all the weird stuff.

On tuesday we had a "mangez-vous" (dinner appointment) with Rita, a less active member. She made spaghetti for us and oh MY goodness it was heaven. They seriously know their pasta here. Rita comes to church, though not every week, and she reads her scriptures and prays. But she has been stuck on the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi for 18 years!!!! For reals! So, we talked about prayer and scripture study. She came to church on sunday, so hopefully we can start her back up again.

On thursday we went to see Soeur Koka, another less active. Her dad passed away three months ago and it has been REALLY hard for her. She basically just sleeps all day. We talked about it with her and I shared some of my experiences and talked about the Atonement and how we can find joy in life after the loss of a loved one. It was a really hard lesson to teach- i almost lost it like five times. But the spirit kept me strong, and I think we were able to get through to her: she said she's going to try to come to church!

Remember Beauty? Oh my goodness he is just our favorite. His faith and his enthusiasm for the gospel are just amazing. We had a lesson with him this past week and at the beginning we asked him if he had any questions about temples. We had given him the "Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple" pamphlet the last week in English because he wanted to practice his English. He pulled it out of his backpack and explained he had been studying it every night before bed and looking up all the words he didn't know in the dictionary. He opened the pamphlet and showed us all the sections he had highlighted because he felt the spirit when he read them. How sweet is that? We just melted. He's just so humble and so eager to learn everything he can about the gospel. He is such a great example. He is going to receive the Aaronic Priesthood on sunday! We are thrilled for him. I'll try and get a picture with him this week so you can see. We also taught him about Patriarchal Blessings and he is going straight to President Stoumont's office after church to talk to him about getting one :) It is so great to see him embrace the church. We love Beauty!

Yesterday was Stake Conference in Brussels. It was so much fun... there were around 14 missionaries there! I got to meet a lot of my zone. President and Soeur Staheli were there too... They each gave a little talk. The Stake President is actually an American... He has been living in Brussels for like 20 years working for nato. The meeting was half in english, half in french, which was weird. I'm used to french! There were a lot of really solid, awesome members there. I hope I get to serve there sometime! I didn't get to see much of "Bruxelles" at all. We were in a hurry to get home for a rendez-vous. Bummer.

Sunday night we had dinner with the zone leaders at Sidonie's apartment. It was the tiniest apartment I have ever seen. It was one room, a little smaller than my room at home. There was a bed on the floor and two armchairs facing each other with a little square side table squished between them. There was a stove and a microwave against the opposite wall. That's about it! It was kind of crowded with five of us in there. The elders sat on the armchairs and Soeur England and I sat on the bed, and we all crowded around the little table. It was kind of hard to eat for Soeur England and I, since our knees were higher than our plates :) it was SO much fun though. We just love Elder Weber and Elder Duarte. And it was my first time eating African food! It was really good. I ate lots of weird vegetables I had never even heard of! And you eat it all with your fingers. She kept saying things like, "In Africa we don't have forks. You must eat with your hands!" Kind of hard with red sauce. :) We had fresh fruit for dessert. It was great.... a LOT of food though. Man, they like to pile it on. And you have to eat it all so you don't offend them! We thought we were going to explode by the end. There were four courses, and she sent us each home with a bag of bananas. She's just awesome. We are going over there again in two weeks for "fou fou" (i don't know if i spelled it right) I'll let you know how that one goes!

The work is still going great! I love all of you so very much. Thank you toujours for your support. :)

Love from Liège.

soeur williams

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