This week was CRAZY. On Tuesday morning, we rode up to Brussels with the Skousens. On the way there, we found out there was a transportation strike (no metros or buses were running at all) so the traffic in Brussels was insane. It took us a while to get there! We finally made it to the Louise chapel where we met with our zone (Ardennes), the Brussels zone, and the Lille zone. President and Soeur Staheli along with the Assistants were in charge of the training. I can't even describe to you how amazing it is to hear President Staheli speak. He is so in tune with the spirit, and so very inspired. And sometimes he'll tell us stories about President Hinckley (President Staheli was President Hinckley's personal secretary for 15 years) which is SO cool. He shared with us this quote:
a testimony is as
illusive as a moonbeam.
it is as fragile as an orchid.
in order to keep it,
you must recapture it
every morning of your life.
It's amazing how easy it is to lose a testimony. I've seen it with so many recent converts. You make one tiny exception, like skipping church or something, and it's a slippery slope from there. I'm so glad and thankful I have the opportunity to recapture my testimony every morning and watch it blossom and grow.
President then introduced "PAR": Prayer, Attend church, and Read- the three methods that reach conversion. They lead to revelation; not only for our amis but for us as well. We started out talking about prayer. He counselled us to kneel down at night, then wait until you feel like somebody is listening. "Make sure your prayers get past the roof.".... I loved that thought.
we then talked about the Book of Mormon ("Read"), which meant it was time for me to give my talk. It went well; afterwards I had several people comment on how much they liked Richard's conversion story. I had fun bragging a little bit about how awesome my stepdad is :)
After day one ended, a big group of us missionaries walked to Grand Place. It was absolutely gorgeous! (We were in a hurry and it was raining, so I didn't take a picture. you should google it though. It's BEAUTIFUL.) I really REALLY hope I get to serve in Brussels sometime. It's a lovely, charming, historic city. And it's very international too, which is cool. After hurrying to the gare, we took a train back to Liège for the night. It was a long day- we were tired!
The next day we woke up early and hopped on the 7:00 train to "Bruxelles". the train ride there was lovely. I adore trains. I wish we had more of them back home. it is so peaceful to look out the window at the green Belgian countryside as it whips by. Heaven. the strike had ended, so we were able to use the metro. We got there much faster. :)
The second day we talked a lot about extending commitments and personalizing our missionary work through asking inspired questions. President Staheli counselled us to "declare repentance with meekness and mildness and listen with love." It was an incredible day... I received revelation about what to do with certain amis and less-actives. It was an intensely spiritual experience. amazing.
After arriving back home in Liège, we went to see Christiane. She's not doing very well at all. She lost her job and she's smoking more than ever. Just last week she stepped out during sacrament meeting to take a smoking break! It's out of control. She's been a member less than a year and she's already back to her old habits. We love her so much, and it just makes my heart hurt to watch her put herself through this. She thinks the Atonement is just for our sins, not our sadnesses and illnesses. She won't let Heavenly Father help her with her problems. I'm praying so hard to know how to help her... We need to pull her out of her situation. Please pray for her too! I know she has the strength somewhere inside to overcome this. She just needs a faith and encouragement.
The rest of the week was pretty uneventful... We had "Samedi Sports" on Saturday at the church. I played soccer for probably the first time in my life, and I did pretty good! I even made a couple goals. And I fell down. of course. The next day though, we all woke up in so much pain. It was hilarious... our entire bodies were sore! We looked kind of funny hobbling around church. :)
Oh goodness. Seriously, missionary life is the best kind of life. I love every minute. I'm so full of joy and peace and gladness and love.
thank you for your prayers, love, support, and letters. I love you with all of my little missionary heart.
avec tout mon amour,
Here are a few pictures we received in the mail from Lindsay this week... she looks so very happy!
|i love Soeur England!|
|enjoying a "gaufre" in front of |
St. Paul's on a rainy day...
|That dream-come-true day in Paris, |
seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time!
|With Amadou at Stake Conference in Brussels|
|me & Jacqueline! I love her:)|
|With Rita - she is SO good to us!|