Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 29 -- Turnhout

Hoi Familie Riley!
   I really enjoyed going to the Den Haag temple, and thought it was so neat to experience in Dutch... this language is becoming sacred to me, after so many spiritual experiences teaching/ testifying/ listening to others in Nederlands (or Vlaams now). We're working with Abdel to set goals/ make a plan to stop smoking so that he can be baptized, and will be meeting with T less (once a week) while still preparing him for baptism. T currently has 8 November as his baptismal date goal, but reading through the doopgesprek (baptismal interview) questions with him, he still couldn't answer a resounding "Ja" to the second one ("Do you believe that the church and gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith?".. he still isn't sure that it was completely gone thus needed to be fully restored), but is plowing through the Doctrine and Covenants (without any initial encouragement from us.. we didn't meet with him last week and he'd read through section 19) and coming to church/ stake conference/ fulfilling his two callings dutifully! He's great. I'm learning that you can't always please everyone as a missionary, however.. joint teaches/ members/ mission leaders often have differing advice for how to deal with investigators.. 

   On vrijdag (Friday) I witnessed that love exists, love is real. Namely Familie V. They are the cutest Flemish couple in their 80s.. 60+ yrs of marriage and still serving each other, the adoring look they have on their faces as they listen to the other one talk.. they are considered less-active only because Br. V's health confines him to his chair (Z. V is quite mobile!), and are so cool- she was a 9 yr old girl during WW2 and remembers being very hungry and comes from a family with goodly parents (she told us how them leaving behind the good example they set is so much more valuable to her than any money they could've left behind) and 9 siblings (she also shared a really powerful experience about being baptized in the temple for her father), and Br. V served in the Belgian army (fought in France and on the Spanish border) and was a musician and an auto mechanic and was a top-5 cross country runner and competed internationally when he was younger. They converted as a young couple, have 6 kids, and one is active in the church. They gave me a reaffirmed hope for a happy, loving, selfless, lasting huwelijk (marriage).. sadly, I've seen enough examples of struggling, unhappy marriages on my mission. 

   We had a really cool lesson with Jan, a middle-aged Belgian man who Z. Aston and I found our first day together, and I look forward to meeting with him again. 
   I love you guys! Thanks for the letters/ dearElders.. snail mail is gold on the mission (: 
--Z. Riley 

Real quick Q, alstublieft (please)
Hey, really quick-- we have treat for FHE tonight and are having a bake off for District Mtg so we will be doing some baking today.. if you have time could you please send me some lekker (nice) recipes like your pumpkin bars/ apple cake/ vinegar choc. cake with PB frosting/ muffins/ apple or rhubarb crisp/ raw vegan raspberry tart (that apparently Isabella and Torri and Madi made!)? THANKS (: 

Thanks for your letters/ dearElders! I met the new sisters who LOVED hearing from you in the MTC and were like "so YOU'RE the Zuster Riley.. you exist!" haha. 

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