Sunday, 19 September 2010

Greeting from Brussels

September 6, 2010
Holla family,
I'm up in Belgium right now, we got up here about 2 hours ago. We left Valenciennes at 7:17 to get to Lille for our 9:10 train to Brussels. While on the train to Brussels there was a group of Americans that we were talking to. One asked about genealogy and the second one had a really interesting question. She said that she had read that our church was one of the fastest growing, especially among young people while most churches are losing membership. She asked us why we thought that was and we taught her the restoration. She said that she would check out the website and tell her kids to check it out. I hope she actually does.

5. Zone conference! On Tuesday we went down to Paris for it. We took the train from Valenciennes which stops in Arras where met up with an equipes [or team] of elders. We called them on Sunday and said that we'd make pancakes if they made crêpes for the train ride because one of them is French. He was amazed by my chocolate chip pancakes and we filled up on his crêpes. Zone conference was amazing as always, Soeur Staheli talked about obedience, the assistants talked about testimonies and president talked about working hard and keeping covenants. It was REALLY good. We got back from zone conference and went to some sort of ward priesthood meeting that normally the elders go to, but since there are not elders, we go. It is pretty entertaining. All of these men are old and love this ward and would do anything for it.

4. I have not told you about my shower situation.... the gas bill for our apartment was never paid so there was no hot water in it for 8 weeks. In the morning we would heat water on the stove and shower using a mug. On Wednesday we got word that a gas technician would be coming and that we needed to stay in our apartment until they came. Luckily she showed up around 2 and we could go out and do some missionary work and now we can take showers like normal people :)

3. Sister Day! On Friday we went to Le Vesinet for the sister exchange. Soeur Staheli has wanted to have a conference/exchange thing where all the sisters came together since the merge happened and kind of get us all on the same page. The theme of this meeting was self-esteem and being vs. doing. A lot of sisters always feel that they aren't working hard enough or being good enough and so they have really low self-esteem. It is one of the saddest things EVER because it is usually the best sisters. It was fun coming together and seeing everyone. I had to say goodbye to Soeur Bellini who goes home at the end of this month and Soeur Curran who goes home the beginning of November.

2. WE GOT A BRAND NEW CAR! Soeur Kohler and I are rolling in a brand new Chevy cruze. We were supposed to give it to some elders in Belgium this week and possibly never see it again, but they have no way to pay for gas except to use their monthly money and get it re-imbursed. They don't want to do that and so they said that we can keep the car until they can get things figured out! holla!

1. Thursday was a great day! It started out with a crêpe fête with the Duez family. They are an older couple that the missionaries found while they were newly-weds. They have since had 6 kids, five of which have served missions and pretty much make up the leadership of the stakes and wards. We are getting a new stake president this weekend and I bet it is one of their sons. It is crazy to think that at one point they were just a young couple that missionaries were teaching and now they are one of the strongest families in northern France. We also taught Alexandre and Francoise. They both came to church on Sunday, he loved it. She kinda reminds me of grandma Pobst, except she is not nearly as outgoing as grandma. Alexandre is so excited for the gospel and I'm excited for him to go to Lille this weekend and meet my all-time favorite Xavier :)

I AM SO EXCITED FOR ELDER BALLARD TOMORROW! I called President Staheli and asked if I could make some cookies for Elder Ballard and he said that we weren't allowed to make him stuff :( sad. I thought it'd be cool to make cookies for Elder Ballard.


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