From mom -- I found these pictures on other blogs. They were taken when he traveled for the temple conference a couple weeks ago.
Transfers have come and gone and now I am taking over Antwerpen with my new companion Elder Shelton. It has been real hard because I am now in charge of everything and making sure he knows investigators situations when I'm still learning them myself. People in Europe are kind of flouw is what we say which is like flaky or unreliable.
|during temple conference|
Not a lot happened this week that was extraordinary because transfers happened and we have been scattered everywhere. But yesterday in church Nadia was confirmed and I was in the circle which was super cool because she asked me to be in it. I already love the people in this ward now and they are so loving and caring. They are patient with me and my Dutch which is good because it makes me so much more confident. I've thought about it a lot and I will improve myself with that because back home if someone couldn't speak English I would get kind of irritated when I had no idea what it was like to be in head first and immersed in nothing but Dutch.
We are planning on setting another baptismal date this evening with our investigator Gerard who in my mind is the most ready of all of our investigators. He just has ties to his church right now that we have to work with. But he gets it. We have our first baptism on Sunday! Everything has been planned for Eric and his mother will definitely be there for it. Should go well we are hoping but I'm a little nervous because I had to plan it with our Ward Mission Leader who I kid you not speaks no English whatsoever and I have never planned a baptism. Faith. That’s what it is haha.
Saturday we were able to get a lot of potential investigators so hopefully that rolls well this week. We have appointments with Eric for baptismal things, Daniel our other baptismal date, Gerard who is the bomb, and several other investigators that progress very slowly but are still there. It's hard for me to teach Daniel because he speaks Vlaams really strong and I'm trying everything to get him to understand me and feel the Spirit but it hasn't happened so far. I fasted for that yesterday so hopefully things get better.
All in all, I am exhausted haha so tired every day that I melt into the bed and have to use a crow bar to get out at 6:30 am. It's awesome to be so tired but I am still new to everything and so my stress level skyrockets with everything. I am grateful that it is hard though because now I can better appreciate the good and smooth things. Miracles are still happening though for sure.
|Where's Waldo (Trevan)|
Saturday was our miracle this week. We were climbing an escalator out of our subway tram stop thing in the sketchy area of town called Borgerhout and two girls with a baby asked if we were the Mormons. We said no and just walked away. Haha just kidding we told them we were and they asked if they could have a Book of Mormon (they know what we do) and so we gave them one and they asked for the church address too. After picking our jaws up from the ground we gave them the card and they told us they will be coming on Sunday this week and we have their phone number. She had had her baby just before she could see the church so she had to wait but know she can get there again. SUPER PUMPED. Her name is Maria and she looks maybe Middle Eastern. That's the thing here; the Middle Easterns that aren't Muslims love to listen. We have had 2 Iranians and one came to church with her kids and the Zuster missionaries because they can't go back to Iran since they aren't Muslim. They love the church but aren't legal here so they have to keep moving around. It really showed me how lucky I am again for being able to be grounded in the Gospel and live somewhere where I can love it so much. AMERICA IS THE BEST. As if you didn't know.
The potential is there this week so things should go well. Thank you for the prayers so much. Lastly, the miracle of my lost wallet. I would compare Antwerpen to the size of Seattle. That's how big it is. Monday we went shopping at a secondhand store where everything was only 3 euro and I bought a jacket which is real nice. We left to go grocery shopping and it was my turn to pay because of transfers and my wallet wasn't in my bag. I panicked and had a meltdown in the middle of the store and starting throwing raw meat and people. Slight Exaggeration. I was freaking out because it had everything in it, 60 euro my Idaho license, Nederland train card debit cards, insurance cards, everything. So we got home and had a dinner appointment but I was super stressed about it. I was praying so much that I would find it and know where to look and it had the potential to be either at the church from that morning, the secondhand store, or it was pickpocketed which is really common here. Especially being in the super crowded secondhand store. We got to the church the next morning and it still wasn’t there so I was losing hope. We went to lunch after district meeting then stopped by the secondhand store. Because of the sale everything was moved and if it had fallen out of my bag or I dropped it there was no hope. So we asked the lady at the counter as a last resort and she said yes just a second. I was dying I was hoping so much that it was mine. she showed a black wallet, just like mine and I said ik ben amerikaans van uit idaho and sure enough she opened the wallet and there was my podunk Idaho driver’s license and that cheesy smile mocking me hahahaa oh I was so relieved. That let the week start off well and I prayed so much thankfulness haha and everything was still in it. Such a miracle I found it. This place is nuts. Or maybe it’s just me.
I’m going to Brussel again Thursday so that’s exciting and with all the new greenies from Wednesday too.
Elder Shelton is from Plain City, Utah and has been out since January. Same address. Should be that until at least Dec 10. Then we transfer again. But I could stay again and be a blijver. Eric will be baptized Sunday! Which is awesome because he has waited since before I graduated. And Gerard and Daniel should come soon. All of them are between 16-19 so it’s cool to see guys understanding and waiting to act on faith so much. Eric is from Ghana, Daniel from Cameroon and Gerard from Sierra Leone. All Africans and all super cool. They don’t really want to be in Belgium but it’s were things are best for them. And they don’t understand why people aren’t faithful here so it’s been neat to show them things. Mormon messages and videos are huge for them here. It’s neat to show them things that bring the spirit so strong. Ask people back home to search it or post something on Facebook because you never know who might need it right then.
Elder Trevan Scott Reese