Monday, September 2, 2013

Bonjour et Happy Labor Day!

Tons of corn in Brussels
Cool bridge on our way to a mangez-vous!
It's weird to think that it's a major holiday back in America today and just a normal day here in Europe.  I'm sure I'll get used to that with Halloween and Thanksgiving in the coming months! It's been a great week here in Bruxelles and there is so much I want to say so I better get started.

Last Monday, Elder Davis and I went and got boubou's. They are African clothes and very comfortable.  It helps to make us look legit.  After we got those we had interviews at the other chapel in Bruxelles. It was my first interview with President and Soeur Poznanski since my first day here! I love them! They are amazing and so caring and Sister P. speaks french and makes it beautiful.  All the missionaries love their interviews with her! You can just tell how much they love us and I'm so grateful for them!

Tuesday was my first zone conference, and once again was awesome!!!  President and Soeur Poznanski are such inspired leaders for our mission! Soeur Poznanski told a story and showed a picture of a family. In our mission we do a lot of porting and street contacting and often missionaries feel that it isn't effective. She explained that from that family was her and that was how they were introduced to the gospel. She was just a young child, too young to be baptized.  Do you think those two young missionaries thought, "one day that young girl will serve a mission, and be teaching missionaries." She also told a story of a lady on her mission that she taught but she was not baptized. Thirty years later they were in a ward and ran into the lady again, still not baptized, but later that week she received a call from that lady and was told that she wanted to be baptized nearly 30 years later. Right now people might not accept us but we have no idea of the impact or seeds that we are planting. It was amazing! President talked to us about how the Lord is preparing a way for us just as he did for Nephi.  After their instruction, the Zone leaders, and district meeting, I once again received a spiritual confirmation that this church is true and I love being a missionary!  There is nothing better I could be doing with my life!  After Zone Conference we had a lesson with a member's sister. When we got there her daughter and kids were there too.  So while Elder Davis taught the lesson I was having kids jump on me and was trying to keep them entertained with the 5 pictures in our Book or Mormon. The young boy, 2, was named Nice and he could tackle me like no other. He even kissed me 3 times, against the rules but there was no stopping it!  So I made a couple really good friends in that rendez-vous and gave the little girl a Book of Mornon.  With eternal perspective in mind you never know what that could lead to. We also taught the Sylvestre family again.  They are so amazing!   They always have dessert and drinks for us and beg us to stay longer! We love them so much!

Wednesday wasn't as exciting but I was doing my personal study and through lots of cross referencing I came upon Joshua 23:14. It says: "14 And, behold, this day I am going the away of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the bgood things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof."  For me this means that we have to be able to leave this life, or a mission, using all the things the Lord has given to us, and having no regrets!  The scriptures are so amazing especially when you really start studying them.

Thursday we had lunch with Frere Fraikin (that's the correct spelling now). He brought pics of his family and all the missionaries he's seen in his life.  The missionaries used to live with his family when he was young.  After, we had a lesson with a guy, Mike, I street contracted a few weeks ago. We called him up when a lesson fell through and asked if we could meet with him in about an hour, and he said sure!   So we met him by the WTC here and after we taught him, he accepted a soft invite for baptism.  That means, if he receives an answer, he'll be baptized.  President really pushed us to do that at our first lesson so we did it in every lesson this week and most accepted!  So, after Mike we made our way to a mangez-vous (dinner appt) with the DeLigne Family.  They are an awesome young member family. They are Belge, so fun, and they speak beautiful French.   We hope to be able to show people the difference it makes teaching someone in their home verses a non-member's home. The bad news of the day, but also good news, was that our mission conference was canceled due to Paris getting another stake. Elder Oaks will do the reorganization while he is here.  So, the words by President Kimball in 1976, "one day France will be covered with many Stakes", is coming true in the next few weeks. Yes, French people are ready for the gospel, and yes we are a baptizing mission.  Let's cut down the stereotypes of our missions, wherever we go because people are ready everywhere, even in France and Belgium.

Friday was another great day and started off as every day the last four weeks with a run at 6:30. It's a nice way to start the day!  We were able to go give a blessing to a member's friend.  I hope I don't ever have to go to a European hospital, but the spirit was so strong during the blessing.   The lady was so thankful and I did the annointing in French.  Woah!  We had a great lesson with Kingsley and Marsella and they had both read in the Book of Mormon.  I just love everyone we are teaching!  Saturday we had an early lunch.  We had a Burrito Fete with home made tortillas!   Delicious! we got frudged (stood up) a few times so we went porting for about 4 or 5 hours for the day. Nobody let us in so we went home for dinner. Our last lesson of the day with a less active member who was not home when we got there.  We had about 10 minutes till the bus came and we decided to keep porting. At the third door a women invited us in!   What was happening?   We went in and it was a young family from Brazil with a 5 month old son.  We talked for a while and they invited us back.  I can't wait to teach them again this week!

Yesterday was amazing!  After a rough morning with no investigators at church and being quite hungry, we had a lesson with Bithos. He's the one who has a published book coming out soon. Though his wife didn't want to listen, he was asking questions like, "What do I need to do, to be baptized?"   Well, we can help you with that! He accepted the soft invite and has read a lot of the Book Of Mormon.  Hopefully, this week we can get a date for a baptism.   We had one of the priests from the ward with us.  His name is Kevin and he was awesome.  After, we went home we broke our fast and ate lots of mac and cheese, blt's, and peanut butter bars we made for Sylvestre for his birthday.  After our huge meal, we went to Sylvestre's and gave him our treat!  We were relieved that the table wasn't set because we were so full and they always want to feed us but then he said, "Will you please eat dinner with us?"  Of course, we said yes but we were looking at each other like "oh no!"  We ate a authentic Ukranian/Russian meal and it was good, even though we were stuffed.  We taught about the Plan of Salvation.  The spirit was so strong and he kept saying, "I want that for my family!"  He started tearing up- it was amazing. There are still a few things to work out, like marriage, but they will be baptized!  We love them so much and when we said, "we have to leave", he asked if we could be friends on Facebook and skype. We said, "of course!"   On the way home we received a call form the Relief Society President in Genk.  That is where Nosa lives. She was calling to ask questions about Nosa and how they could help with food, or needs. I can now see how amazing that Branch is and I know we made the right decision to wait to have Nosa baptized after he moved. This coming Sunday Nosa will be baptized and we are hoping we will get permission to go to it in Leuuvan (spelling is questionable). It made us so happy and was the best way to end the week!

I'm so thankful to be here and have these amazing experiences!  My testimony is growing so much and I know this church is true! I'm so thankful for all of you in my life!   Until next week! I hope you have a great week and Au Revoir!

Love- Elder Player!!!!

Random Fact - They don't refrigerate eggs or milk here.  I don't know how that is possible but it's what they do and it seems to work!

Our African boubous - very colorful!
Kevin, a priest in our ward, and me!

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