Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week 30 - End of transfer 4

 With Roger! He is hilarious. 

With N (in the middle) and Zuster Nelson at her baptismal service. And Z. D, a sweet member from Wijkantwerpen (who is actually the mother of identical twin boys)

Well Mom and Dad, the day has finally come when your 19 yr old daughter announces to you that "I'm having a baby!!"... but, seeing as I'm using mission vernacular, you can be excited for me... I'm training! (in a few days she will have a companion who is brand new, just arrived from the Provo MTC) I'm excited to train, but also a little nervous because I know how easy it is for greenies to be critical of their trainers and expect them to know and do everything perfectly.. but Turnhout is the perfect branch and village to be trained in, and it's going to be a neat experience I'm sure! What do you think is the best attribute a trainer can have to make the trainee's experience smooth and successful?  I'll miss Zuster Aston, we've become great friends and have had a great transfer together.. but, I'm "killing" her on Wednesday! Crazy. Crazy that by Wednesday all 5 of my companions I've had will be home! 

We "accidentally" took the wrong bus to a dinner appt. yesterday aka it was divine intervention because a friendly little 18 yr old Belgian came a sat next to us asking about our nametags and now we have an appt. for the first lesson on Sunday after church (as in, after he comes to church with us). 
Sister Johnson and I had a lesson with Faith, a classy and educated Kenyan Pentacostal preacher/ entrepreneur who is a lot more open to us giving her answers from the Book of Mormon than you would expect from someone who baptizes people herself into her congregation.

We got permission to go to Nadia's baptism in Antwerpen, T heard a lot of things during sacrament meeting and during the service that will help him if he's open, and L and her daughter (another onderzoeker with a bapt. date) unfortunately came too late, but we were still able to have a good lesson with her on the bus ride back. I'm gaining such a testimony of "planting seeds" through this experience with Nadia, and the many investigators we found in Gent who are now proving to be so positive.. a good reminder to talk to everyone and anyone. Nadia is a sweet mother who Zuster Nelson and I found langs de duer while I was on exchanges in Antwerpen, and we've always remembered each other.. she is so cool. 

Wow, I'm so excited for Madi, and am so glad my best friend can experience the growth and joy that comes from serving a full time mission! Love you all, 
Zuster Riley (:

About the recipes I sent her:  Thanks so much!! We still won, we brought 3 desserts (I made your vinegar and baking soda cake and experimented with coconut milk and dark choc. and raspberries)... the prize? A giant (not quite Bertha-sized) stuffed bear that the Elders somehow found.. we had fun carrying it on the 3 hour bus ride home from Leuven haha. 

Zuster Aston loves the plant-based things I whip up which is funny because we are pretty poor (in Belgium, all your money goes towards transportation back to Nederland for conferences! Which does eventually get reimbursed) and don't have tons of food to experiment with.. but I made falafels for her and she said she would be veg for the rest of her life if I cooked for her for every meal haha, wow what a compliment... and now she always just says you make lunch/ dinner, I always want what you have (salads with seasoned beans/ cooked veggies) hah.. but I still don't want her to look back and feel that she was deprived so I always encourage her to buy cheese/ lunch meat/ ice cream... 
but thanks for taking the time to send these recipies! I know you're busy with things like sending Madi off! Wow, so crazy.  (: What's your advice for being a mother.. now that I'm TRAINING! ? 
Veel liefs, 
Z. Riley 
Dessert bake-off (photo by Elder Steenblik) & photo from N's baptism by Zuster Bush (I spy Zuster Riley in the background!)

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