Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 38 - Turnhout

Beste Familie Riley, 
Hope you guys are having a jolly holiday season and enjoying your sandy version of a white Christmas.. we have neither snow nor sand here in Belgium, but we will be having an investigator dressed in white shortly after the new year... namely Tommy! We just had a lesson with him this morning, actually, and he said that Talmage's "De Grote Afval" (or, "The Great Apostasy".. "Afval" can also mean garbage so I'll translate this for you instead of leaving it to google) has indeed helped him understand that the apostasy did happen, and he's hoping the last two chapters will solidify his testimony that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet (as opposed to merely an inspired man).. a question that we've discussed a lot with him.

Speaking of today, we're having our branch kerstfeestje - singing at a Rest home and then a potluck dinner- tonight, and we're expecting a few investigators which I am really excited about, because getting investigators comfortably integrated in the ward helps them to progress so much faster. I know you guys already do this, but I encourage you to make an extra effort to go up and talk to the non-members that come with the missionaries without waiting to be introduced, it makes such a difference. (:

Ermon is doing so well- we had our third lesson with him and his son Moses who listens attentively, and his wife and mother-in-law (every lesson there's a new family member who we meet and bond with, it's a pattern I wouldn't mind keeping up ha) who sort of listened in... Ermon continues to have great questions and listens attentively, and it was cool because Zuster Castro taught in Spanish most of the time (their native tongue is Portuguese but they can understand Spanish).

A neat experience was coming back from a Christmas concert in Antwerpen when we ended up sitting near Bernardo on the bus ride back to Turnhout. Even though we haven't met with him recently because he blatantly told us he wasn't in a position to change his Word of Wisdom habits, we left off on great terms, and he ended up getting us two new potential investigators- his friends who were interested in learning more- and I was so touched to hear him reassure his friend (after the friend had exchanged contact info with us) that we were good, Christian people at our church, and that he recommended him going.

Attila came with us to a dinner appt. at the VanGijsels, to the Christmas concert, and then today to the branch party, and he's really been enjoying those activities and everything he's learning from meeting with us. We found a really cool new potential investigator last week, Patricia, a young half Belgian/ Italian mother with adorable twin (I know, “adorable twin” is redundant) toddlers and a preteen daughter, and we set up an appt. for later this week. We also set up an appt. with Emelda, a Surinamese mother with 6 children who actually received a BoM from Elders in Rotterdam.. super cool!

I got a wonderful Christmas package at zone conf. on Tuesday, thanks so much! Aside from the handwritten penguin cards of course (which are decorating our kitchen!), I think my favorite thing so far was the 10 politically correct christmas carols- so funny, I wonder what that author's thoughts are on Zwarte Piet. Oh and I love the MoTab Christmas Around the World CD.. we must've listened to it growing up more than I'd remembered, because it gets me kinda nostalgic. Talk to you in three days!!!! I love you all! MERRY CHRISTMAS! 
Zuster Riley (:

P.S. congrats on the great grades, Rachel (: 

 Zuster Castro's super cool socks!
Our favorite store- 't Appeltje

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