Monday, April 25, 2011

Liège, adieu.

oh my goodness!
I'm sure everyone in the world has heard the news by now:
i am so very happy and excited. i will be leaving Liège the day after tomorrow!
this week was a great last week of the transfer. on Tuesday, we spent the day in the Droixhe area doing passbys. Droixhe rivals Seraing as the armpit of Liège, so we didn't have much by way of scenery :)
we met Christiane and her kids at a park in the late afternoon. We had planned to teach a lesson to Chris, but we actually ended up teaching her son Ismael instead. He told us about how his Muslim father puts pressure on him and he's afraid to stand up to him. We read 1 Nephi 3:7 together and talked about having courage. He is such a doll... I hope we helped him a little. After the lesson he told us he wants to go on a mission someday!
wednesday was our six month mark on the mission! I can't believe it has been six months already. They were the fastest six months of my life! Soeur Turney and I went and got ice cream cones during our lunch hour to celebrate :)
That night, we went to Rita's for dinner. She made "Boulets Liègois" for us... Meatballs with a special Liègeois sauce on top. It's a specialty around here... it was pretty good! For our lesson, we read the words to "Souviens-toi", a beautiful french hymn, with her. I wish I had time to translate it for you! Have Roland do it :) It is definitely one of my favorite french "cantiques". We then read from John 15 the "abide in me and i will abide in you" verses. We talked about prayer and how our relationship with Heavenly Father is reciprocal- if we pray, He will answer. It turned out to be a beautiful lesson. I love Rita!
on Friday evening, we taught English Class. This week, we had only one student, Jacqueline :) We talked about different time periods. We asked her if she could visit any time in the past, which one she would pick and why. She picked Renaissance Italy- she loves Italy. She's been there 9 times! can you imagine? Soeur Turney picked 19th century England. And I picked, without skipping a beat, the 1960's. Jacqueline was quite taken aback and said it's very odd for someone so young to be so fascinated with such old things. She doesn't even know the HALF of it! I told her I love the 40's and the 20's too and she told me I'm an old lady on the inside. :)
we had a few little miracles with Christiane this week. We still call her every single night to read the Book of Mormon with her, and we are starting to see it bring results! When we called her on Friday night, she volunteered to say the prayer, which she never does. It was amazing! We have been trying to get her to pray and ask blessings she needs the entire time i've been in Liège. She prays every day, but she refuses to ask for help from Heavenly Father because she didn't want to bother Him. But when she said the prayer this time, she poured out the desires of her heart and it was just so beautiful and joyous. We were so very proud of her and so grateful to the Lord for touching her heart!
when we called on saturday night, Chris told us Sabrina, her 9 year old daughter, wants to start taking the missionary lessons! We have been trying to teach her for months, so we were so very happy. she is darling. That will be so fun for Soeur Turney and her new companion! 
As we were reading, Sabrina stopped us and said we had just read her favorite scripture, 2 Nephi 25:13:
"Behold, they will crucify Him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in His wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the Kingdom of God. wherefore, my soul delighteth to prophesy concerning him, for I have seen his day, and my heart doth magnify His holy name."
in the closing prayer, she said, "thank you for letting me read my favorite scripture." it was SO cute!
THEN, yesterday, Chris and her kids came to church for all three hours! It was a huge deal. That is the first time I have seen her at church for the entire three hour block. The Lord has blessed us, and her, so much this week! I am sovery grateful.
I can't believe this is the last email i will be sending from Liège! I am so very thankful for the four months I have been able to serve here. it has definitely been a blessing. On to the next adventure!
Je vous aime, tous!
Paris, here we come.
avec tout mon amour,
little mish. 
last days in liège: photos.
l-r: myriam, elder duarte, roxanne, me, soeur turney, elder mcquay
with christiane at the park. she was the very first person i ever taught a lesson to in the mission field! i'm going to miss her. 
six months on the mission!
Soeur Turney and I were showered with a lifetime supply of Belgian chocolate for Easter! Jacqueline loves to spoil us :)

with Soeur Skousen at the Citadelle

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Transfer emails arrive on Saturday... so we woke up to this little happy announcement from Lindsay this morning.  Her dream come true!
I thought you might like to have my new address :)
52, Rue du Faubourg St. Antoine
75012 Paris
I'm going to PARIS!!
I am so very excited.
As you can imagine.
My area is called Paris Lillas (pronounced LEE-luh). There are two companionships of sisters in Paris and the four of us share an apartment right in the middle of Paris by the Bastille. I am in heaven.
My new companion is Soeur Jorgensen. She is one transfer younger than me... She actually shared a dorm room with Soeur Larsen and I our last three weeks in the MTC, so I know her already. She's really nice, so it should be fun. I move down there on Wednesday.
I'm so happy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

bright as the sun, this heavenly ray lights every land today.

this week was wonderful.
on tuesday, soeur turney and I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and set off for Seraing. we stopped by the Stoumonts (our branch president and his family) to deliver some cookies and share a spiritual thought. It was cold that day, so Soeur Stoumont made us a cup of cacao as we shared our cookies and our little spiritual thought. It was lovely and the spirit was strong. I learned so much that I didn't know about the Stoumonts. It was a really neat experience for the both of us.
Afterwards, Soeur Stoumont came with us to see Betty, a recent convert. Her 8 year old son, Zachary, will be baptized in two weeks! We gave her some cookies and shared Helaman 5:12 with her and her non-member daughter. It was a scripture that all of us needed to hear I think. Soeur Stoumont really appreciated it, and I felt the power of the words sink into me as they were read aloud. We have such amazing members here!
thursday was district meeting. The zone leaders, Elder Duarte and Elder McQuay, gave us an inspiring training. They read us excerpts from the Dedicatory Prayer by Elder Holland to consecrate the missionary work in Belgium and Luxembourg.
"Father in Heaven, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, by the holy apostolic commission that I have been humbled to receive and acting today directly at the request of Gordon B. Hinckley, a prophet, seer, and revelator, we dedicate the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for the preaching of the gospel and the establishing of the Church, the building up of Zion until Christ comes, that these lands with other lands around them will come to full fruition and glory. We ask that the spirit of the Lord, Thy spirit, will be poured out here, that the power of the priesthood, Thy priesthood, will be evident that the saints might be allowed to rise and come forth and be received by the Savior of the world, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, in whose power we pray today.
In so blessing and dedicating the land, we bless the missionaries that they will be faithful and fixed in their purpose in giving new hope and new life to these people. We thank Thee in advance for others who will yet come and carry the work forward. We pray for them all and ask a special endowment upon us that the members and the missionaries can work together in wholly new and powerful ways to unify the Church and to bring the power of Christ into the hearts of Flemish-speaking people, French-speaking people and all that would affect the spiritual future of Belgium and Luxembourg."
isn't that neat? The prayer in its entirety is about 6 pages long. There were so many neat things said in it about missionary work in Belgium. After reading it together, the Elders invited us to take what we heard and use it to rededicate our work here for the Belgian people and for the Lord. There are so many amazing people here who are so ready for the gospel... I'm so lucky and blessed to be serving among them.
On Friday, we had an activity with the JA (young single adults). We climbed the stairs at the Citadelle and then climbed even more stairs to get to some beautiful terrassed gardens overlooking the city. It was a lovely afternoon- I felt the spirit so strongly as I walked through the gardens and looked out on the horizon. Heavenly Father created such a beautiful world for us, didn't He? Europe is especially pretty, I must say :)
We had a rendez-vous with Stephan the next day. The Elders came with us because Stephan lives in their area so we are going to have to pass him over to the Elders. (we're sad we won't get to teach him anymore!) our lesson went so well. We talked about what he had read in the little Restoration booklet we had given him the previous lesson. He totally GETS it! We watched "The Restoration" dvd with him, which he loved. At the end, Elder McQuay asked him if he had any questions, and Stephen said, "How long do I have to study the doctrine before I can be baptized?" AH! We explained to him how everything works. He was thinking he would have to study for a year or two before he could be baptized... Nope! Just a few weeks! He was excited. He then went on to explain to us that he has never been baptized, not even as a baby, because he knew baptism was a serious commitment and he wanted to make sure he did it right. He is now 45 years old and he said he has found the truth and he is ready! I couldn't be more happy for him. He is the sweetest man, and so very prepared to come into this church.
I love being a missionary. There is nothing more joyful and wonderful than missionary work.  Life is g o o d ! 
little mish.
Hark, all ye nations! Hear heaven's voice
Thru every land that all may rejoice
Angels of glory shout the refrain:
Truth is restored again!
Searching in darkness, nations have wept;
watching for dawn, their vigil they've kept.
All now rejoice; the long night is o'er.
Truth is on earth once more!
Chosen by God to serve Him below,
To ev'ry land and people we'll go,
standing for truth with fervent accord,
teaching His holy word.
Oh, how glorious from the throne above
shines the gospel light of truth and love!
Bright as the sun, this heavenly ray
lights every land today.

Monday, April 11, 2011

a sorella and a stove.


Week four of the transfer is over! I only have two weeks left and i'm trying not to freak out. This transfer has gone by so very fast.

We had exchanges this week with the Soeurs in Nogent (30 minutes outside Paris), Soeur Woyak and Soeur De Santis. They came to Liège and they were REALLY excited about it because it was Soeur De Santis' "blue ville" (first area she served in) and it was Soeur Woyak's first time in Belgium. We had so much fun together.
After they arrived and settled in, Soeur De Santis and left to do passbys. She's from Italy and she is darling! She understands english but doesn't like to speak it, so we chatted in French all day. It was really good for me, and fun to hear French with her Italian accent :) We totally clicked... I really hope I get to serve with her or around her before she goes home in October.
I love exchanges. It's a shame sisters only get to do them once a transfer. I learn so much from the other sisters! It's interesting to see how we all approach the same work in such different ways.

We had something very exciting happen at our apartment this week... We got a new stovetop! The one we had was 50+ years old and only one burner worked. yep. ONE. Cooking took a long time with just one burner! It was installed on Saturday and we have been quite enjoying the ability to cook four things at once.

On Saturday after the Nogent Soeurs left, we had a rendez-vous with Stephan. It was amazing! We gave him a little booklet on the Restoration and went through the Joseph Smith story with him. Everything made perfect sense to him- it was incredible. When we explained the Priesthood to him, he said, "Oh, so that's why none of the churches were true- they didn't have the power and authority of God." and then he said, "When you use the Priesthood, you're not doing it for yourself. You are acting in the name of Jesus Christ." See what I mean? This man is so prepared. We're going to meet with him again this week and I seriously can't wait. he has such a humble heart and a sweet spirit, and he is so accepting of our message.

After Stephan's, we headed over to Christiane's house for a mangez-vous (dinner appointment). Her kids were there, which is always fun... they are darling. Chris had just bought a dog that day, so the kids were really excited to show her to us. Christiane made seafood pasta. Yep. Seafood pasta. Guess what I did?
I ate 1/4 of a shrimp.
and it was disgusting. I gagged on it and Soeur Turney just laughed at me. It was pretty funny... I have the weirdest phobia ever, I know. But I did it. I'm sure you're all so proud. :)

I know this email is kind of short, but my time is short as well! The work is going great here in Liège and I love being a missionary more and more every day. I'm excited to tell you more stories next week!
I sure love you, dearest family of mine. Thank you for your prayers and love.

little mish.


1. Rita found out Audrey Hepburn movies are my favorite and somehow found Breakfast at Tiffany's NAPKINS! Aren't they sublime? Rita is the best.

2. "Sorella" De Santis and I :)

3. Soeur De Santis, me, Soeur Woyak, and Soeur Turney

Monday, April 4, 2011

the pleasant present.

happy spring!
it's springtime in Belgium, at least. I was a little confused when the opening scenes of General Conference came on and there was SNOW on temple square! I hope it has melted by now.
this week was a good week. we had interviews with President and Soeur Staheli on Wednesday (our last interview with them... they go home in two transfers!) it was so fun, as usual. Soeur Staheli is just a little ray of sunshine. I've never seen her not smiling. She's so motherly too: she reminds us to eat our vegetables and make our beds. :) President Staheli is such a joy to be around. He has complete confidence in us and a faith that is simple and strong. He is such a wonderful leader for our mission. My favorite thing he said to us was:
painful past,
fearful future,
pleasant present.
live in the present-
that is what makes life sweet.
and you know what? life is sweet. It's hard, it's tiring, and it's a completely different pattern of living than I have ever experienced. But it's also consistently joyful, rewarding, and full of blessings. isn't that great how it all just works?
When we were in Brussels last week, the Brussels Soeurs gave us a referral of an old investigator who had just moved from Brussels to Liège. We met him on Friday after district meeting at Place St. Lambert, which is right in front of city hall. (i had all the best intentions to take a picture of Place St. Lambert to attach to this email, but of course... i forgot. next time!) His name is Stephan and he's about 45, from Cameroon. His entire family is still in Africa and he's living here all by himself trying to find work. He's a very humble and sweet man. We had a brief visit with him and invited him to General Conference the next day. We were really excited and hopeful.
The following day we got on the bus to go to the church and who do we find? Yep, he came! We arrived about 20 minutes early, which gave us an opportunity to explain a little more about what General Conference is and why it's so special. When the broadcast started and it showed the First Presidency walking onto the stand, he leaned over and said, "The Prophet is a simple man because he's carrying his own binder. He doesn't have someone carrying it for him. He's simple, like Jesus." It was such a great experience to have an investigator there! He had a piece of paper and a pen and he took notes on every talk. It was such a sweet little miracle. As conference started and President Monson announced the new temples, Soeur Turney and I looked at each other anxiously and crossed our fingers. I pray for a temple for the people of France and Belgium. It would be lovely if you could pray for one too. The members here continuously fast and pray for a temple in their country and look forward with faith. Our day will come!
That night, we called Christiane for our nightly scripture study. She was in the middle of watching conference online when we called! We were absolutely shocked and thrilled. What a blessing! She also said she found a "Joseph Smith" page on Facebook and watched the Joseph Smith movie. Another blessing! She is progressing little by little and it is amazing to watch. We still have a long way to go with her, but things are definitely looking up.
On Sunday morning, we listened to motab as I made Fluffy Apple Pancake. Soeur Turney loved it! (how could you not??) It was fun to continue on with a family tradition in the mission field. We watched two sessions of conference on sunday: the saturday afternoon session, then the sunday morning. We watched all three of them in French! I had a I-still-can't-believe-i'm-here moment as I was sitting in a chapel in Belgium as a missionary watching general conference in French. It hit me all over again. Watching conference in the mission field is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. So many answers to my prayers were laced through the inspired words of apostles and prophets. At the beginning of the Saturday morning session, I teared up when President Monson announced that there are over 52,000 missionaries currently serving. I'm one of the 52,000!
I've gotten a few comments about the lady who approached us on the bus. We called her and set up a rendez-vous for tomorrow afternoon! Pray for her, that she might be receptive to the message of the Restoration. We are so excited! I'll fill you in next week.
I love you so much, my dearest family and friends. thank you for your kind thoughts, letters, emails, prayers, love, and support.
avec tout mon amour,
little mish.
1. Isabelle and I at her house. She read out of her braille bible for us last week... It was amazing! Her fingers flew across the page as she read a verse from Isaiah. She's such a doll.
2. Fluffy apple pancake on conference sunday :)
3. yum.
4. springtime is here in Liège! there have been lots of little april showers this week. happiness.