I have realized ive said quite a lot about life here without even mentioning the food. along with all the typical sterotypes of belgian food, indeed, it is divine. in fact, chocolate is the national food. Belgium does right. Belgian chocolate is sooooo good i dont know if i can ever go back to that hersheys stuff. its almost customary here to have a dessert with every meal, so thats neat. and almost all the time it is chocolate or cake with chocolate or cookies with huge lindor chocolate chips or ice cream with chocolate chunks. its pretty sweet.
Things are starting to get much more routine finally and so i have been able to settle down a bit more. The language is still killer but its because it is Vlaams and not Dutch. Quite a few times i have been able to get what i want to say across in the right way but im still really slow so by the time i have something to say the conversation is on a new subject. it makes contacting not so fun sometimes but occasionally we get people who are patient and loving and respectful that we are trying to learn their language.
The people here surprise me all the time. They can usually tell we are foreign by our accent and they love it when we say we are Americans. They respect our effort to learn Vlaams/Nederlands and so thats a good conversation starter. Then they always go on to say "why would you want to be here if you could be in America?" they are head over heels for the states here. my kind of people haha but really it has made me appreciate so much more what it means to be an American. I took way to much for granted in the states.
Also what i love about everyone here is that no matter who you talk to, everyone here knows where Idaho is! hahah seriously people in our own country dont even know how to locate it on a map or have heard of it and people here know all about it. I have had comments about the funny electoral debates last year and when I say from Idaho they always ask "oh yeah, Boise?'' hahaha YES BOISE. They know about Mormons too. Usually we get: from salt lake city, many wives, and the presidential candidate mitt romney. they know so much about american politics here its scary. but they obviously dont know much about polygamy haha so we have to correct those false things a lot.
Conference was awesome yesterday and we actually can see 2 sessions live! The Saturday and Sunday sessions being here are 6pm so we can see those at the church live which is cool. it was cool to think that when it was live that everyone else i know back home is watching the exact same thing. especially my family. we have seen all but last nights session with bednar scott and ballard. so we will do that this week. it made for a great birthday yesterday because we watched 3 sessions of conference, ate belgian chocolate, and talked with members.
|Antwerpen Centraal Station|
Investigators are still doing well and Eric is our first baptism on the 19th! his mom just got back from Ghana so she can be there and hopefully we can begin teaching her as well! we are planning everything for that this week. Waldini has had something come up with his moms health in Brazil so he is headed that direction but he is always positive when we talk so hopefully things go well and he can return or we can refer him to the Brazilian missionaries. We check in with Daniel tonight to see how that is going and we had a nonmember family member to one of the families here ask us yesterday when she could be baptized. so that is coming up as well. antwerpen is on fire. im not gonna lie its kind of a trashy city but that makes it ghetto and fun. There heavy religions here are catholicism muslim and jew so we see a lot of each everywhere we go but really everyone is so tolerant and nice here.
I was able to visit Sint-Niklaas this last week on exchanges and that was super neat. its a smaller suburb with its own ward so it was neat to see a new perspective and hear hard core country vlaams. i was with elder blackhurst and this week i will be with elder van de merwe there again.
Alles goed heir! Heeft een goede week!
Elder Trevan Scott Reese