Yup, Pinkster Monday as they call it [Sunday and Monday were holidays]. They pretty much just take the day to chill and have a day off as far as I know. Ya, it is the same church I am pretty sure [that claims to have a piece of cloth with Christ's blood on it and put on the parade]. But they had people participate from all over, even if they were not part of the church. I'm pretty sure a bunch of schools helped out.
I did get a bunch of money back from the mission so that's good. I am also really happy with my clothes right now and don't need anything but I might get a new pair of pants soon. They are really nice here and good quality.
Haha, ya, I did read it! [Nick referring to Jeff's letter where he ran into a mean Belgian while serving in Argentina]. I wish he knew just even a little bit of Dutch to speak. Ya, ha people are harsh but I think it's funny, I don't mind at all. In district meeting this week an elder shared an acronym that I like, it's yaiaroyf, which means "your attitude is a reflection of your faith," pretty straight forward stuff, but true. If you are always down and negative then you might be low on faith... so I try to always stay positive! I am honestly enjoying this mission so much, slammed doors and all. We are just searching for the people who are prepared and to do that you have to sift through a lot of people who are definitely not prepared. But when you find those people who are, it is all worth it.
Ya, I read about that in the paper [terrorist attacks in the Britain]. Scary. I feel safe though, so it's all good. Except for all the spiders here; I went to sleep one night and decided to do a spider check and there was one on the wall right above where I sleep! So now I do it every night. There are spiders everywhere here this time of year. All the hedges are just full of webs and spiders... [in summary, he is not afraid of terrorists but Belgian spiders, yes].
We had a really good lesson with O this week. We also had a joint teach who did really good and O responded to his answers really well. We shared the Arabic BOM with him and he was pumped it was in his mother tongue. It felt funny as I read part of the intro with him because I opened the Arabic one and asked if it said intro and he was like ya... it was just funny because I couldn't find any scriptures. But he was following along with me as I read. He said he's really gonna try to come to church this Sunday! I hope he does. He might have to work though. We shall see. That same day we were at the train station and I saw this guy who looked really confused so I asked if I could help and I sorted out his problems then left. This old lady saw and came over to us and said "I've met your president." In my head I was like she probs doesn't even know who we are. She was like "ya, I met him in Amsterdam 40 years ago." Still unconvinced, I asked his name and she responded "Kimball." She met the prophet!!! It was so cool to meet someone who met the prophet 40 years ago. It just shows you the impact they have too. She remembered that and from the smile on her face as she said it, I think she enjoyed it. She also told us that he took her baby boy in his arms and blessed him! So sick! It was cool to see the effect he had on this old lady who wasn't a member so long after he died. Prophets are awesome.
Word of the week is kaput, which is what you say about something when it is broken. Like "the car is kaput." We kinda use it in English but they use it all the time! Pronounced ka-put.
Questions from home:
1. How did your exchange to Brussels go this week?
2. How is the church in Gent? Do you have a job in the ward? What time does your ward start?
3. Are people generally nice to you? Do you come across mean people?
4. What do the people do for Whit Sunday and Whit Monday?
5. Dinner appointments this week? Are your cooking skills improving? Should I send more recipes?
6. How did the work go this week?
7. Transfers must be coming up soon?! When will you know if you are staying or being transferred?
8. What do you find the easiest/most fun about doing missionary work? and the hardest?
9. Any funny collega stories?
1. It was awesome, we had a really really cool miracle. We were in the church there looking up addresses and we were done, so we walked out the door and as we did that a young-ish man came up to us and said he needed help, kinda distraught looking. He said he just felt like he needed to come to this church. So we said, ya, we can help you and took him into the church into a side classroom and got to know him a bit. He's from Britain and is now living in Belgium. He was at work but just really needed to come talk to us, so he searched the LDS church online and drove right over. He told us he is sick of the cycle he is in life right now of not really doing anything good. He sits around and when he feels bad he goes to the bar and he doesn't like it anymore. He has read some scriptures from the Bible about Jesus and every time he does he feels really good, so he thinks that more religion is what he needs in life. We had a really good first lesson with him and shared a bunch of scriptures from the BOM and he said he'd read and come to church. He said he feels really good. He told us he knew the Mormons because his sister, who lives in Denver, was going through a divorce and her friend was LDS and got a bunch of people together to help her move and she was so impressed with all these people who just wanted to help! So he knew us from her. He also said that about 5 years ago he was walking to the bar to get drunk and the elders cornered him and tried to talk with him but he pretty much wrote them off. Just shows you that no effort is wasted! Other than that we had a really delicious dinner appointment with this Italian family and had another great lesson that night. It was a really good exchange. EW is awesome.
2. Well you know there's no church here now, it's in Gent but the members from Brugge are doing alright I guess. There's still a lot who are solid and come every week but a few who come every other. I have no job in the ward, there's like 150 people, so there's no need to for missionaries to do stuff. Just the one ward meets there. Church starts at 10.
3. Ya, people are generally pretty nice, the meanest are the people we meet at the doors. But we get shut down a lot during street contacting too! I think we come across more annoying.
4. Nothing I think.
5. Yup a few, there was this family and the wife's brother just died so I asked if there was anything we could do for her and she said "nothing, just come over for dinner." It was so kind of her during this hard time in her life! So nice, the members who come are really solid. We have another one too, so a few this week, and we had 2 last week. Ya, I am getting good at cooking now! I have now improved my meals from plain rice or mashed potatoes to chili on rice and we have had some really good spaghetti and I made a stir fry so it's going a lot better. When you send them I take a picture with my camera so it works well.
6. It wasn't too great. We had a weird week. Almost no time to do any work and the one day we did, we had 4 appointments and 3 fell through... sad. But the dinner appointment stuck so that was good! Other than that we had random things like interviews with prez which takes almost all day and we had exchanges and we had to go grocery shopping not on a pday because we got a bunch of money finally. We ended up having to walk forever with a crap ton of weight of groceries, it sucked.
7. Ya, they are coming, next week Wednesday I think. This transfer went by super fast! I will know then.
8. I enjoy talking with members in Dutch in church before the meetings start. I also enjoy door knocking because it's so random, haha! Hardest for me is street contacting; I also don't like asking members for dinner appointments. I feel bad doing it but it's what you are supposed to do.
9. Haha, well this happened while he was on exchanges... So I wasn't with him but he was in this field with the other elder and EF jumped this ditch to scare some cows and ended up falling in the ditch which was really deep. He said it was soft and cushony but he got an extremely bad allergic reaction to all the plants in the ditch! He sneezed 211 times in an hour and his eyes closed shut, almost. They were also not in Brugge and he had to sit on a hot sweaty bus for an hour while he was dying of his allergies. He has a good attitude about it and thinks it's really funny. I saw a video of it which is hilarious. He is doing well!
Love you too,
|Windmill picture stop in Brugge|
|Brugge bike paths|
|Gravensteen Castle, Gent|