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:
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,
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 :)
4. springtime is here in Liège! there have been lots of little april showers this week. happiness.