Monday, November 23, 2015
Don't Get Peppermint Oil in Eyes!
To start I just want tell let everyone know that my companion and I are safe and sound. I do not know how much y'all are aware of things going on over here, but it is pretty crazy. Granted I myself don't know alles. Being a missionary you are kept out of the loop and just gather your own tidbits. First for a couple weeks we have been hearing about things getting rallied and hectic in Brussels and in Paris. And then we heard about the attack. Gradually we have seen Belgian soldiers multiply and police officers wandering. They are everywhere. But don't worry, they bought waffles in Antwerpen Centraal so we know they are well nourished! Sirens are constantly going off. The security level has reached its highest point here in Belgium. We received a phone call last night cancelling our Zone Turkey Bowl. Jammer. However it is for our safety, the Belgium Missionaries are not allowed to travel outside their areas. So no District Meeting. Double Jammer. And at night we need to be careful or make sure to be inside because they are patrolling the streets. Now I am in little ole Turnhout, not sure what could be done here, but it is for our safety. I honestly don't know so much about everything that is going on, I am just a missionary without access to the news and I am just trying to share the gospel and help people find happiness and peace in this crazy world. Alright on to brighter and more uplifting things. I would like to boldly say, this was probably my favorite week on my mission. Left and right we were seeing miracles. To begin, our Branch is doing de Maand van Wonderen (The Month of Miracles). That is where for the month of November, we had members sign up one day of the month, so each day was full, and that member or familie fasted that day for missionary work. At the end of the day they call us asking about the miracles we have seen that day. Granted they just wait till Sunday to ask, but at least they are actually fasting! So marvelous things are unfolding here in Turnhout: Woensdag- Traveled out to Hoogstraten and did some look ups. Now Hoogstraten is a tiny dorpje and we walked the whole dorp x2. We walked a lot that day, it was great. Here in this little dorp we gave away a Book of Mormon, talked to several people and found a couple new potentials. The best was we had a referral from the "Finding Happiness" campaign. We walked to the edge of the dorpje, saw the houses going down in number. We are standing across the street from where our referral lives. House number 10. It is a strip club!! No wonder they are looking for happiness. So what do I do? I go on over and walk around the side to where the door and mailbox is and ring the bell. Zr. Robbins was in total shock. Unfortunately...maybe fortunately... no one answered. But I got a nice little kick out of it. That night we had a dinner appointment with Familie Van den Berg, who live in Hoogstraten. Zr. V/d Berg is from Brazil. And they have the cutest 2 year old twin girls. Needless to say I was getting a tad bit baby trunky at their house. After dinner Zr. V/d Berg came out with us to work and we ended up looking up a part member family. They are from Angola so Zr. V/d Berg could speak Portuguese. This family just moved into a new home and the wife, Julianna was really happy that we came. We sat and got to know her better and shared a message with her. Well during our visit her 10 month year old son started crying and well, she just popped her boob out and started feeding him! No warning and BAM! So needless to say my baby trunkiness was rather quickly diminished! I can wait a few years! haha Donderdag- On exchanges with Zr. Dobler. We had a few really good lessons with LARC's (Less Active/ Recent Converts) that day. We came home for dinner, and in all honesty I was wiped. I had a headache, no zin om buiten te gaan. Zr. Dobler asked me what the plan was and I had no idea. So I knelt down in prayer next to my desk. Immediately the thoughts came to go out. But I started to wrestle God in my thoughts. Justifying and trying to prove my point, saying I don't know where to go. But then a thought came: "I am giving you the strength, go out! Just trust me, step out and I will lead you." So I quickly humbled myself and submitted to the Lord's will. We went out and I decided that we would go look up a referral from the campaign. She was not home, so I rang the bell of her neighbor. Fernandez came down. This man is from Angola. He kept talking about how he knows our church, was talking about the members he knew, and how he sees the missionaries all the time. We were the 4th set of sisters to show up on his door. He thought it was some crazy toevalig. We kept testifying of the plan of God, and how he works in mysterious ways. After several minutes of going back and forth and much confusion we found the conclusion that he, himself is a member!! He was baptized! He has the Book of Mormon in 3 languages. We taught a lesson and said a prayer with him on the door. I was just awe struck as we walked back to our bikes.. This is why we had to go out, it had over about over a year since the last missionaries came to him. Clearly Heavenly Father led the way and brought us to him. Of course God has brought so many missionaries to him. His is trying to get his son back. I was hit with the spirit standing there, truly the worth of souls is great in the sight of God, even one, every soul. He cares so much about Fernandez and has kept his eyes on him, trying to help him get back on the right path. Think of the lengths Heavenly Father has been going through just for Fernandez, what lengths is he going through for you? Zaterdag- We had a dinner appointment in Merksplas, and we arrived about 30 minutes early. So we started knocking some doors. In that 30 minutes we gave away 2 copies of the Book of Mormon, found 3 potentials and set up a return appointment. Whoa. Enough said. We went to dinner at Familie Nwafor (husband is Nigerian and the wife is Dutch). Saturday was their day to fast, look at the miracles in their own neighborhood. And then they told us of all the missionary work they are doing. We did a spiritual thought about sharing the Book of Mormon with our friends. We practiced sharing our testimonies and inviting them. One of the most powerful dinner appointments. Benedict (the son) and I had been playing soccer in the house before dinner. But we were able to sit down and laugh with each other and then switch and the spirit flood the home.It brought tears to my eyes. I had this moment, of "this is what it feels like to be a missionary. This is who I am." A sense of pure joy. Living in Belgium has its perks, but also its faults. It has the best chocolate in the world and well... the members come and leave us surprises at our house. SO much chocolate that we cant even open the gate. Oh no... it is not even Christmas yet, I am going to gain so much weight. Just a warning now!! Alright, I have already taken so much of your time with such a long letter. Thank you for all your love and support. You gotta tackle life one day at a time. There are no expectations, and if there are they are only between you and the Lord. You are his child. All that matters is if you make yourself available, He will make you capable. -- Zuster Young Benedict and the Elders