Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 28 - Turnhout

 Barefoot path in Genk! Reminded me of the one near Stuttgart we went to as a fam with friends years ago.

 Zusters Conferentie! Road trip (: 

Pink and purple twins (sound familiar), Clara and Linda!

Beste Familie, 
   T is on a baptismal date (8 November) which is exciting.. I'm a little bit worried because he still doesn't feel that he has had one direct answer (and feels like he deserves that), but we were able to sort through his fallacious and contradicting reasoning by asking bold questions and we essentially lovingly stumped him with why he wouldn't be baptized, it's the next step to take to progress, here are all of the times you've felt the spirit, etc. We also won't have a lesson for over a week because we are busy and because he needs some time to figure out if this is something he wants enough for himself and is willing to take the steps to get there. We did see him at church yesterday, and he said he's nervous about his doopdatum but otherwise feels good with it, and we assured him that it's normal to feel nervous before a life-changing decision, i.e. I had a "what the heck am I doing with my life" moment before my mission on the plane from Florida to the MTC, but reminded him that it's where he seeks answers and assurance is important, ie the words of God or direct revelation with God through prayer. 

   We also had a cool experience with a new investigator from a few weeks ago, a middle-aged Belgian named Jan, who has been reading and said his first prayer with us and was very open and wants his mom to come to the lesson we set up for this week.

   Testifying to a wealthy, older Belgian man who was twisting my words and putting new words in my mouth, I pumped myself up in my head with Mormon's words to Moroni that I'd just read this week, to "notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently".. and he even ended up taking a Book of Mormon once he understood that we, two young and inexperienced American girls, were not trying to persuade/ convince him of or sell him anything, but were sharing something that has brought us so much joy and perspective and are giving him the means to find out if what we claim is truth is in fact truth and if that can mean something for him. 

   Speaking of applicable scriptures, when I was reading a little bit in Acts last transfer in Gent, I stumbled across Acts 5:41 where the disciples were “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for [Jesus’] name”.. it gave me a whole new feeling about whispers and glares from people scrutinizing my name tag ie on public transportation... that happened a lot more in Gent (and I would not say I am suffering, I love living in and working with the wonderful people of Belgium) but it happened the other day in Antwerpen Centraal and reminded me of that.  

   We had a great Zusters Conferentie at the mission home on Saturday, and I learned a lot about the how and why and what of Priesthood keys and power and authority and about the Abrahamic covenant and the gathering of the House of Israel, and it was so cool because sitting in there with every sister in the mission, I genuinely felt love and respect and positive feelings for each sister in there.. a little bit of what Zion feels like, I'm guessing. I'm sad that there are so many solid and cool sisters who are leaving and who I would love to get to know better, but am impressed already by the awesome new sisters who seem so ready to work hard and have lots of fun. 

   Rachel, you look beautiful in your homecoming pics! Heeeeeeel mooi. Love you all! 

Zuster Riley (: 

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