Incredibly bluntly, this last week has been one of the most difficult out here. We had over half of our scheduled appointments fall through or be cancelled and 4 of them we had brought members along for fellowshipping so that was hard to see people flaw out. But it is over and this week we are planning on seeing MIRACLES.
First off, we had an amazing miracle in the ward. We have a McDonalds close by the church and a bunch of missionaries were there for lunch and a worker asked if they had a card about the church to give to her coworker Lynn. The sisters (being sisters) had one right on hand and gave it to her. Later that day Lynn texted them saying she had been curious about the church, gave her religious background, and said she would be in church that week. So Sunday came around yesterday and Lynn came walking up alone to the church and a member family Familie Jonckheer embraced her and welcomed her inside. She met the sister missionaries for the first time and sat through sacrament meeting. Afterward people from the ward came and met here and made her feel like a celebrity as we went to Gospel Principles. There Lynn answered every question with life examples and would read her Book of Mormon and pull things out that would apply to the lesson. We were all dying. All of the young adults in the ward ate her up and took her to the train station to get home. IT WAS SO AMAZING. We have been looking for someone that the ward really needed and a young single adult that is firm in her shoes is exactly that. She is so happy and smiley and told us how much she loves this place meaning the church. Absolutely fantastic and she is a soccer playing Belgian.
Like I said a lot of our appointments fell through this last week and it was super rainy and windy so we were soaked 110% of the time haha. But we met with Jennifer again and taught the Law of Chastity and temples which went great and she has promised to read in the Book of Mormon. We will see her tomorrow so hopefully she has done her commitment. We also met a man named Swa who is Belgian and ordered a free church DVD about Christmas. He let us in and we talked a bit about his background and injury in his foot. I think he is a lonely guy so tomorrow we are visiting him with Brother Schiltz who was also Catholic before so it should go real well. We also taught a Muslim this week as we gave out a Book of Mormon is Persian but honestly I'm in Antwerpen and every other person is Muslim so that is simply a side note.
|nifty new sign in front of the church|
We met with Gerald this week for the third of the new member lessons and it went really well! I was starting to worry because he was on vacation for a while and we lost contact with him after he wasn’t in church but he told us that with school back on he is on call for work at a burger joint so Sundays he often gets called in. So we are going to work with that but we taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I felt inspired to ask him what difference he has seen between life before and after baptism. He told me that the Spirit is something that guides him every day. Something that puts him in the right direction and is always there. He said that all the things that were a hard temptation before (like the Word of Wisdom or Law of Chastity) weren't even a decision anymore. They weren't a part of his will and he knew God had changed that for him. It was so powerful. SO POWERFUL to see one who you knew with ground zero knowledge TESTIFY of the power of the Holy Ghost. Absolutely phenomenal.
And Saturday. We had interviews with President Robinson and Zuster Robinson that morning in Sint-Niklaas which were fantastic. They told me they appreciated the work I was doing and President asked me what my secret was to the baptismal success I was seeing. It totally caught me off guard and I said something along the lines of just working. Which is completely true but there is more to that. I have learned pretty quickly to never lose faith that people can change their lives. If you lose faith in people then how can they ever have that faith to change themselves? Instilling that faith into them through example is huge. I'm continuing to work on that every day. Zuster Robinson always tells me exactly what I need to hear as well. She told me to forget all my expectations of what I wanted to be as a missionary and to be the Body of Christ. Total perspective shift. Sometimes we are His Hands and sometimes we are His feet but we must always be His body. I loved it. They leave in less than 6 months which is absolutely insane. I cannot imagine them not being here. I love them so much.
Interviews went long so we had a crisis with our appointment with Mark because all the trains decided to turn against us and it took almost an hour and a half to get there. We had to call our member off that was going to come and meet with Mark an hour late. Humiliating. BUT we taught him the Plan of Salvation and he asked in the very middle what happens after we die. He wanted to share his ideas but told us to go first. We explained the spirit world and when we got to the spirit prison his eyes got huge and he interrupted. He told us he had had a dream where he was with a friend of his that had died and they were in a room with a guard that resembled a prison cell. He was told to be quiet by his friend and that they were living still. When we taught of the Spirit World and the prison that was his confirmation that what we said was true again. He had never told anyone the dream because he knew people would think he was crazy. He was head over heels from then on and ate up the Plan of Salvation. That with his testimony of the Restoration has plummeted him progressing. He wants to be baptized so badly but told us he really wants to ponder and pray about a date first. Honestly that is fantastic to me haha if he want to ponder and commit that much. He told us Saturday the four most powerful words that I have heard in an appointment. He looked down then looked straight into our eyes and said "The Church is true". He was so happy absolutely ecstatic and he gets his car today so he will be in church Sunday. He wants us there every Saturday to teach him. We ran into him by no coincidence in this freaking huge city yesterday and he already told us of the things he read in the Book of Mormon. IT was so neat and that alone made my week worthwhile.
I have grown such a testimony this week of work. The sister didn't work directly to get Lynn but she was so ready for the Gospel that the Lord blessed them with that miracle. We hadn't actually found Mark but simply looked up a former and the Lord had prepared him for this time. We work every day to find people and teach and most of them really don't get anywhere progressing. But the Lord appreciates our work and blesses us accordingly by the things that we don't expect or see coming.
|Remember (Mom) when you were little and ate that super good Indonesian food with Francesca? Bapao? Well the Netherlands has huge Indonesian influence so I found some! So good!|
Love you enjoy the football this week
Go 'Hawks! 12TH man!
Elder Trevan Scott Reese
(I don't know why the font went wierd, hmm)
(I don't know why the font went wierd, hmm)