Cheesin' hard ha. These Elders are great guys, we've really enjoyed working with them.
So transfer calls...
Hoi hoi Familie O'Riley happy St. Patrick's month! So first of all here's something scary- last night after being gone all day for 12 hours we got home to a pitch black house with a locked gate but a wide open door.. ah but I'm still here e-mailing so don't be worried now we are safe ha but anyways the news I'm sure you're curious about- I'm going to Zoetermeer as STL! I'm really sad to leave Turnhout- an amazing place I've loved from the start and just grew more attached to with time- and " Mevrouwke Castdaddy" (she calls me "Mevrouwtje" or "Riles"), but it is exciting because new adventure/ new people aka the VanderPuts!
Speaking of which, Broeder VanderPut is President Robinson's new assistant and spoke at zone conference last week, and while introducing himself he said something along the lines of "to some of you I'm the guy who inspected missionary apartments.. or did this & that.. or to Sister Riley here, I'm Elder VanderPut from the senior couple who served a mission 12 years ago in Bury St. Edmunds, England.. senior couples don't always get too many dinner appts, but the Riley family always took good care of us" and I was sitting in the back- next to Zuster VanderPut, actually- just beaming because they make me so happy. (:
Wow, speaking of being happy, yesterday at church we counted a total of 15 non-members present.. a compilation of our visitors/ the Elders' visitors/ friends and family visiting a baby blessing. Among those was A (a woman she met on the bus)! It was so great talking to her again in person, and she was welcomed so warmly and participated and said she had a great experience. E is doing so well- plowing through reading the BoM and coming to each lesson with great questions (ie about Gentiles/ the great and abominable church) and his gf who he was living with has been in Portugal due to a disagreement and may not come back.. of course I didn't dare suggest this to him, but a blessing in disguise? He wants to be baptized and not being married to S was preventing him.
On Wednesday we were doing a lot of contacting in the rain, and a really sweet middle-aged lady was so friendly and sincere and told us that she admired our courage, seeing as what we do must not be easy, and her kindness really just warmed my heart standing there in the cold rain, aw. L is getting baptized this Saturday, along with E who is taught by the Elders- I'm so excited for the both of them. We had a cool "RaD" (Restoration and doop challenge first lesson) with J, a 28 yr old Belg who bought us fruit juice at an Irish pub (while he sipped something more fitting for the location) and he had a lot of questions (a lot of which were answered through our simple but beautiful message) and is open to the idea of there being a God despite a rough childhood and said he knows this is going to be a process but wants to learn more.
I love this place so much- so many good people. I've seen 3 companions and 5 Elders in this branch during my 6 months here.. and now I'm out, weird. Talk to you next week (vanuit Nederland!) and love you all!
Veel liefs,Zuster Riley (:
A got a haircut
St. Pieterskerk ft. de zon
Which apparently contains the Belgium/ Netherlands border!
So we of course had to document the moment.
Cool elfenhuis, eh? They live down the street of some new investigators, and the lady who answered the door was this cute young mom with bright blue hair who bakes and sells vegan cakes (no free samples helaas) and is down to chat another time- she was cool!
Z. Castro and Stefaan, our awesome (but soon-to-be-released) branch mission leader who has us over for weekly FHE and teaches us cool Flemish idioms! / I'll miss them all!
A netjes lunch at Stadscafe.
Ieper is a beautiful city! (Ypres is the spelling au Francais)
We took a day trip to bella Italia to get in touch with my roots.. nah gotcha - still in Ieper,
Z. Castro loved this place!
With K! (K, I hope you're reading this because you're awesome and I'm really going to miss you and your fam- you're definitely one of the reasons I came to Turnhout. We'll keep in touch. (: )
Mom, I love this collega-collage pic you sent me of all the wonderful sisters I've been blessed to work with so far!