Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 44 - Turnhout

The tonijnman we ran into at the Markt! Blijkbaar zijn klompen niet alleen in Nederland te vinden. (Apparently clogs are not only found in the Netherlands)

Beste Familie Riley, 
First of all, wow, this week I hit the jackpot at zone training with so many awesome and uplifting and supportive and inspirational letters/ cards/ photos/ dearElders/ giant birthday package from Torri and Isabella/ "hump day" package from home.. and then I got a Valentine's Day package in the mail today from (my really attractive guy back home) I mean home! and hahaha i laughed SO hard at the Valentine's Day collage of men...  Wow, thank you so so so much I am so incredibly blessed (en dus grateful!) ah so good. <3 

So, on Tuesday, we had a lesson with Abdul - a 22-yr old Ghanaian student I'd met on the bus a few days prior- we taught a "RaD" and he was very open and cool. I'm always amazed at how the Restoration answers so many questions before they can even be asked, Preach my Gospel is inspired. Ha Abdul and I bonded on the bus because my Vera Bradley bag looked like African fabric, and I have a wooden elephant keychain (that Greet, a Belgian woman who had a Ghanain bf) on my bag that matched his keychain on his lanyard.

On Tuesday, I went to Antwerpen and had the privilege of meeting Lynn, an incredible young Belgian girl who is so open and sincere and it was a very spiritual lesson. Heavenly Father really does have a plan for each one of His children.

Ermon is doing so well and really gaining a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon.. he'd read up to 2 Nephi 9 and written down questions he had, and we had a neat lesson about the law of chastity focusing on the divine family unit. He told us that a few days ago he was sitting in his house, reading the Book of Mormon, and even though according to the thermostat his house was cold, he felt so warm on the inside. Moseis, his 12-yr old son, loves the seminary activities as well, and enthusiastically went last week. Also, Ermon is an identical twin as well, so of course we bonded over that.

We met Augusta on the street who already has a BoM from a few years ago and is willing to have us come over in a few weeks. Zuster VanGijsel came with us to Attila, who we hadn't seen for 2 weeks (he was in Nederland) but who is going to start his in-depth study of the BoM this week and will have work off next Sunday so can come again to church. I'm excited for him to start reading, because that is how he can gain a testimony of these things we've been explaining to him- by nourishing his "seed" (in his case is a mere desire to know if there is a God with a plan for him) by reading.

We also met with Kathleen and talked about the gospel and Zuster VG came to that as well and I was inspired by Kathleen's studying the additional questions in the pamphlets/ gospel principles lesson book so I went home and did that (and it is so helpful and informative) and it's so cool to see someone take advantage of these resources and take this seriously. Also, her 5-yr old daughter is so cute and knows us as the American girls who want to be her big sister (I told her she's my Belgian zusje!) and talks to her Mom about Jesus, aw.

Isaac made delicious sweet and spicy veggie soup for the branch potluck after church, and we're getting to practice patience with him.. he is such a good guy, but progresses slowly and talks a lot, but his prayer after our lesson was so sincere, thanking God for sending these patient and persistent "angels" to teach him, aw. Speaking of good cooks, Br. Klas sure knows how to put those Surinaams seasonings to good use, and they're a fun family I've been blessed to get to know (we went to their house last night).

I've contacted a few people around town, including a grocery store cashier, who have recognized me from my 3 minutes on TV! Ha pretty funny. I've gotten asked to lead the music during sac. mtg. the past few weeks which usually is no biggie, but yesterday we sang some hymn about geneology that I guarantee no one in the congregation knew haha it was pretty funny.. the stake president used that as an opportunity to make this hymn mean something personal to each of us ie sing it during FHE. (: Speaking of our stake president (Pres. Boom, really cool guy), his wife is from England and knows the Pentreath family- LDS +Air Force = no shortage of mutual friends and random connections, love it. 
I love you all! Crazy that it's already February, eh?
Met liefde, 

Zuster Riley (: 

M with her hand-knitted stuffed animals that she donates to charity- We met her on the street a few weeks back and she met with Elders YEARS ago.. she is very friendly and is a single retired HS math and religion teacher who does not agree that there is only one prophet on the earth but is a very good Christian woman! 

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