Here is a fun video where Abby compares Dutch to Flemish:
.Selfie at the train station in Sint-Niklaas
- 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!
- 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
‘There’s nothing going on … Belgium?’
Questions of the Soul:
Abby sent this video clip of her doing a door approach. Click on the link to check it out!
Hey everyone! Here’s the rundown of my week here in the land of tulips!
.On Saturday we decided to try a new method of centrum contacting. We’ve had a hard time in the past just walking around, wasting a lot of time being scared to talk to people/window shopping. So, we came up with a new idea. One of us would start counting down in our head from 30. The other person had to contact someone in that 30 seconds, or they got a strafpunt. As soon as they had contacted someone and the contact was over, they would start counting down while the other person started looking for someone to contact. In the end, whoever had the most strafpunten had to buy the other person ice cream! It was actually super effective! Haha, we ended up kind of running around the centrum, frantically looking for people to contact! It was super funny! But we talked to a lot of people and ended up teaching a 1st lesson! It was a really good way for us to ‘open up our mouths!’
- This week we found 2 new investigators!!! One was a guy we bike contacted back a month or so. He’s the one we sneakily followed to figure out where he lived 🙂 Haha, we rang his doorbell and he made an appointment with us! The other one is this sweet lady! She is a cute little mother of 3 and is so prepared! She is very spiritual and is looking for the truth. We met her knocking in our scouring area and she made a return appointment!
- We met a cool guy 2 weeks ago knocking in our scouring area. We tried to stop by the other day to give him a book of mormon, but he wasn’t home. Then, miracle happened! We were biking back from the station and he was biking next to us! Zr. lane pretty much taught him everything about the book of mormon. Haha, I didn’t really know what was going on (I was biking a bit behind), but I bike up and hear Zr. Lane talking about ‘Reformed egyptian’. Haha, I wonder what she’s talking about! Luckily, I had an english book of mormon in my fietstas that we gave to him. He says he’s going to read it!
- This week our ward had a talent show! 2 of our recent converts sang and played guitar, and another sang with the young women! It was fun to be there to support them. [name withheld] is SUPER GOOD at guitar! This 65 year old man from curaco was up there just jammin’ away! It was way cool!
- We also met the new senior couple this week! Elder and Zuster Jongejan are our new senior couple up here in Groningen! I’m really excited to work with them!
- Here is a great quote from Zr. Parker this week “My husband is going to be SO HOT after all my trials!” (like knocking doors, etc.)
- We were in Uithuizermeeden this week visiting Mariella and found this path made of shells! Mixed in with the shells were also little chunks of obsidian! We both started digging through it, picking up all the cool ones. Haha, we ended up having 23, and I walked around the rest of the day with them in my pocket 🙂
- We had a weird dinner appointment this week. This old lady made us this feast…but she just sat on the couch and watched us eat it the whole time! It was super awkward with her not eating with us. But, the food was really good and she gave us ‘inhuman portions’ of ice cream for dessert 🙂
- This week Zuster De Jonge asked me to take her place and play in primary this week. Haha, she gave me all the songs we were going to sing, and we ended up singing none of them! They did this thing where they pull random songs out and sing them! It was a little scary for me as the pianist, but I managed to make it through most of the songs okay 🙂 But man, I forgot how crazy primary was! The kids were SO LOUD and the teachers were pretty much screaming the lessons over them! It was pretty hectic and I applaud those primary teachers for surviving this every week! I really did enjoy playing the piano though 🙂
.It’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but this lady is literally walking her cat on a leash!
Liefs, Zuster Mangum