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