The last couple of days have been a huge change! New country, new transportation, new NEW companion, everything! Belgium is crazy! But we are having a good time 🙂 My new companion is Zr. Olsen from Colubus Ohio! She is super cute! She loves trying all the new chocolates and pastries Belgium has to offer, so we’re having a good time here 🙂
- I had a wonderful last dinner with [new members] before I left! It was really great to be with them. I am really going to miss that family! They also helped us drive all our suitcases the the train station and get them on the platform, which was a HUGE tender mercy for us!
- We ended up missing our first 2 trains to Leiden that night, but it definitely was meant to be. We met this sweet little 13 year old girl on the train. She had been through a lot with her family and other crazy things in her life. We were able to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation and bear testimony of God’s plan for her. She ended up giving us a hug and exchanging numbers with us! I am excited for Zr. Lane and her new companion to follow up! She was such a sweet girl. It definitely wasn’t toeval (coincidence) that we missed those earlier trains 🙂
- We had a great training session early wednesday morning at the office, met our companions, then headed out! I was a little worried about all the overstops we’d have to make to get to Belgium (den haag, breda, antwerpen, etc). But, the elders ended up waiting for us and helping with everything! Then we met even MORE missionaries on our way down, so we had lots of hands to help us! When we eventually got to Lokeren a member came and helped us drag the suitcases to the apartment. There were so many wonderful people along the way that helped us!
- One of the miracles is that we live above a bakery here in Lokeren. Haha, i’m not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse…
- We get to work with this wonderful woman who is on baptismal date for aug 27! She is this cute little french lady who is sooo excited about the gospel! She just soaks everything up from our lessons!
- On the way down here to belgium with all the missionaries, we had a pretty good system figured out to get all the bags/bikes on and off trains. We formed a sort of assembly line. We actually ended up being TOO good and accidently STOLE another person’s suitcase!!! Ooops! We were all looking at this suitcase like “It’s not mine….” awkward. But, we called the senior couple and Zr. Oliver took care of it 🙂 I hope that poor person doesn’t have a negative view of the church from this haha!
- The buses are CRAZY down here! The driver doesn’ announce the stops, so you just have to KNOW what the stop looks like and push the button before he gets there! Ahhhh! That’s like impossible when you whitewash! I have been texting the sisters who were here before A TON trying to figure out all this craziness! But, so far we haven’t gotten too lost or on too many wrong buses 🙂 I denfinitely miss NS travel in Nederland though….
- The accents at church on sunday were all over the place! Vlaams (Flemish) sounds like a mix of french, german, and dutch. I’m not sure what to do with it yet! But for the most part we’re figuring it out okay 🙂 Some people just have very, VERY strong accents and I feel like I’m a greenie again with the language!
It has been so fun to be a ‘mom’ again! Zr. Olsen is doing AMAZING and is such an inspiration to me! We are going to have so much fun and see so many miracles together this transfer! I know this is Christ’s work and I feel so priviledged to be a part of it!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum
- Here are the super old, ghetto trains of Belgium 🙂
- My feet in Groningen (sniff, sniff)
- The delicious, super dutch food [new members] made for us! It’s a mix between bread and cake and had apple and bacon in it…if I remember right!
- All the bags and the bike. Some of these are Zr. Parker’s suitcases as well! (just in case you thought they were all mine 🙂 I actually forgot one of my bags in Groningen, which in retrospect was a tender mercy because it weighed a TON! But Zr. Lane will get it to me this week at MLC
- Zr. Olsen doing taal studie with our pastries! I had her order it in dutch as part of language study 🙂 win win 🙂
- They have bread vending machines here! It’s going on our bucket list 🙂
- We found a castle thing in a park in Sint Niklaas!
- The church building in Sint Niklaas