- This week Elder Sabine came to our zone conference and spoke! It was incredible! One of my favorite quotes from him was about being in the world but not of the world. He said ‘It doesn’t matter how deep the water is. If it doesn’t get in the boat, you won’t sink! But you have to make sure you seal off all the cracks, because the water (or the world) wants to get in.’ It doesn’t matter how bad this world gets. If we seal off the cracks in our ‘ship’, we will be protected from drowning. Also, two great scriptures he shared with us that you should all look up! D&C 90:24 and 1 Corinthians 2:9. There are so many great things waiting for us if we love God, keep his commandments, and remember our covenants!
- We got a couple of referrals from members at church yesterday! This was a tender mercy, because our week is pretty open this week. But one member had a very strong impression to give us the address for his friend, so we’ll see what happens there!
- Our cute little less active named Saskia was able to make it to church today! Her health is terrible, but she managed to have enough energy for sacrament meeting. When we talked to her about it later she said that 17 years ago, on that exact day, was the first time she ever went to church. Wow! What an incredible experience for her and a testimony to me that God is so aware of our individual lives!
- This week Zr. Bunnell gave a presentation on music at the zone conference. She invited us to read the preface in the hymnbook. I did it, and wow! There are so many cool blessings from the hymns! I invite you all to read it! Also, pick your favorite hymn and look up it’s coordinating scriptures. I did this with my favorites (how firm a foundation) and it was a really cool experience 🙂
- We had to explain to Isabelle this week that baptisms for the dead isn’t us actually baptizing dead people! I’ve just grown up with that term and never really thought about it. But yeah, if that’s all you hear, it can seem kind of scary! Haha, the crazy thing was that she’s had this idea in her head for like a month, but she was still cool about taking the lessons and getting baptized! She was very relieved to know that we weren’t baptizing dead bodies though, because that’s kind of creepy 🙂
. This is the weekly video zr. olsen makes to send to her family! It’s funny because right in the middle talking about ‘unworthy creatures’ we got contacted by this old lady. the movie cuts off right as she asks if we’re mormons lol 🙂 It was a good contact though!
title: There is nothing above the fair
.This week we got to bike…a ton! We biked one day from Lokeren to Eksaarde, then Eksaarde to Zele, then Zele to Lokeren to Waasmunster! (you’ll have to look on google maps). It was a crazy adventure through the drizzling rain! But the miracle was that we were miraculously on time for all of our appointments! We really shouldn’t have been, with how much we got lost, but we were! Plus, biking so much is always a miracle for me 🙂 I love it!
.We’re literally just eating our way through Belgium! Belgian chocolate covered gelatto was just too tempting 🙂
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: