hello, dearest family + friends.
it has been quite the week. (i feel like i say that every week. there are a lot of "quite-the-weeks" in missionary life.)
we had a rendez-vous with Christiane on tuesday. We asked her how she felt now that we've been reading the Book of Mormon with her every night for three weeks. She said she doesn't feel anything. we asked why, and then... she just let it all out. all of her frustrations, worries, concerns, questions, and problems. She talked about her divorce, her smoking problem, her depression, her dwindling faith, her life. By the end, she was in tears and we were just stunned. It was overwhelming to get all of that at once (especially because she talks really fast) but it was so good too. we have a better idea of where she is, what she needs, and what we need to work on with her. we challenged her to come to church with one of her questions written on a little piece of paper. We promised her that if she prayed about it first, she would receive the answer to her question during church. she replied with, "what have i got to lose?" I pray that we can find the root of all this doubt and anger and sadness. I want to help her. I want to see her happy and living a full life.
On thursday, we had a special district meeting. Elder Hall brought a recent convert from his ward for us to practice teaching with. What a good idea! I learned so much. We all took a turn teaching the first lesson as everyone else watched and evaluated. The recent convert, Soeur Montous, acted like a different "investigator" with each companionship. We answered her questions and extended commitments, just like we do in reality. :) It was so good for me. I've been kind of stressed about my teaching skills lately, and I did better than I thought I would on the practice. I still need a lot of work, but I'm getting there! The Lord always helps me. But I have to do my part and work hard to develop my teaching skills. It definitely doesn't come naturally!
For lunch, we had tacos. Not the tacos you're thinking of... they were french tacos! I know... that sounds like an oxymoron. They were the same as traditional tacos, except we ate them on salted crepes instead of tortillas. I laughed to myself as I thought of all the spanish missionaries in my family. :)
Friday morning after studies, Soeur Turney and I hopped on the train to Brussels for my legality. We got to the gare in Brussels and went towards the big group of guys standing around in suits. (missionaries are so easy to find!) As we got closer, I saw it wasn't just Elders... Soeur Larsen was there! We were so happy to see each other. Oh my goodness. We chatted the entire day. It was so fun to swap actual mission stories instead of speculating about what the mission would be like, which is what we did in the MTC. Elder Kellett and Elder Hayden were there too, so we had a little mini MTC district reunion. It was a blast! And, I am now legal in the country I actually live in. :) The Belge legality was a lot easier than the French... I just walked in to the building and signed a paper! Piece of cake! It was fun to be somewhere different for the day.
We had such a cool experience yesterday. We were on the bus heading home after church. We sat down as more people filed in. A woman stood next to where we were sitting and held on to the pole as she chatted on her phone. Her eyes drifted over to us and fixed on our tags. She got off the phone and went right back to staring at our tags. Then she said, "Can I have a brochure?" Whoa. No one EVER asks us that! we're always the ones trying to give them away. We gave her a brochure on the Restoration and explained a little bit about our church. We asked if she was interested to learn more. She said yes, and then asked if SHE could give US her address and phone number! That never happens either! We're going to see her this week. I was so very excited. The Lord basically dropped her into our laps! What a blessing. I can't wait to have a rendez-vous with her. She was so sincere and very curious. Perfect. The Lord loves His missionaries!
The "Angel Bridge" (I have no idea what it's really called...) in downtown Liege.
One of my favorite spots in the city!
Seeing Soeur Larsen again in Brussels! What a lovely surprise!
We had a P-day picnic on the apartment floor
because it was too cold to go to the park!!