Wow this week was full of crazy things. First off, we got transfer information and I am staying here in Antwerpen with Elder Shelton for another transfer. Actually, of our whole district, only 2 people changed because one went home and Zuster Bush is moving to Leeuwarden. Other than that, everyone is the same!
GERALD WAS BAPTIZED! Yesterday Gerald was baptized here and it was really special. The baptism went great. He was able to see fast and testimony meeting which was cool for him because in his old church he would do that about his beliefs. It was perfect for him. He is starting to catch on to the humor with people in the ward and he knows so many people now. The ward really stepped up this week to help fellowship him and people were coming up everywhere to congratulate and support him. I am so grateful they could do that for him. We had a Zuster in the ward that spoke about baptism in the service and she has known Gerald from family home evenings, and she gave an amazing talk on everything he needed to hear about authority and the covenant. It was awesome. Gerald told us how good he felt and now we are able to reteach him starting this week.
Yesterday was crazy stressful because of church and the baptismal service and transfers but I'm so grateful things can now slow down a bit. I've realized that you can work hard without being stressed out. Something that is so easy to be told and said but was so hard for me to apply. A lot of the stress is natural being in Europe and speaking some nutso language but it isn’t meant to be a constant undesirable stress. This week I'm planning on focusing much more on going with the flow and working hard so that the Lord can lead me more and I won't be too stubborn and arrogant to actually ignore what he needs me to hear. For some reason I thought that if I was having a good time and losing track of time in the work I wasn't doing enough, and that I needed to be unhappy and always tired in order to be successful. Whatever. That's changing now.
We had a couple great lessons this last week over authority and baptism and have been able to set 2 more baptismal dates for the month of February. Hopefully things continue to look up here, but sometimes people are really flaky and don’t hold commitments or appointments at all.
Christmas is coming! I really am happy that I can be here in Antwerpen for Christmas because there are so many members here that I love. We already have big plans for that week which is nice.
I really do appreciate all your prayers from back home. There are times when I really truly feel them working for me being I feel so much better when the work is hard or people are hard here.
We went to Brugge today for P day and it rained the whole time....... but it was beautiful and super fun. I love our district and it’s nice to be around so many other missionaries so often.
I realized that stress and rushing for things are not a way to get things done right. I think about that part in the movie Cars when Lightning McQueen is hooked up to the road paver, and he uses his power and talent to get it all done fast so he can move on and reap the instant reward. But he doesn’t do a quality job and actually ends up leaving a bigger mess to clean up that before. Many things aren’t meant to be done quickly or painlessly, and I fell into the trap that the world is setting for instant gratification and hustle and bustle too much. Heavenly Father has blessed me with a great perspective shift on that. I’m praying he will help me to lose stress and replace it with love and desire because I will be soooo much happier if I can do that. I can’t do it alone but my Heavenly Father and Savior will make up for the rest if I truly do my best. I have such a strong testimony of that.
I have come to gain such a strong testimony of having a prayer in your heart. Always. I think about the song from Tarzan (obviously I’m too Disney deprived and so now everything is a metaphor to it) called You'll Be in My Heart and applying it to Christ always being in mine. I can’t describe the amount of hope that comes from that. Positivity in the bleakest of circumstances is what will make meal into a feast. I was able to testify about always having a prayer in you heart to a less active this last week and he stopped talking and it was silent and all he said was how much he had felt in his heart as he heard me say that. It is the single most important driving force to my day, everyday. Without having a prayer in your heart that Christ will lead you, guide you and walk right beside you, nothing can be accomplished in the way it was meant to be done. Ah I know it to be so true. Our success as far as numbers go are completely contingent upon the agency of others. And I will readily admit that I hate that. But it is the best worst thing there could ever be because without it we have no joy, we have no happiness, and we have no purpose and desire to live with God for eternity. Have a prayer in your heart in all things you do. I have come to know by so many firsthand experiences that if I need something or someone else needs something, the only person who will truly help you with all purposes of good is the Lord Jesus Christ. He will give his all as long as you show him you have first given yours. Sorry this is so rambly but it is so true. I hope this helps with your anything you need this next week. I cannot describe how much personal and divine revelation I receive as being a missionary to build up the Kingdom of God on Earth today. I love you so much. Have a great week.
Have a great week!
Met alle mijn liefde,
Elder Trevan Scott Reese