The Comeback Kid
It's been quite the time since I emailed last weekend, and so many things have happened in the past 9 days. We received transfer calls a night early on Saturday, but I will get to that in a bit. I will start with Maria:
Saturday night I called her on the phone and talked to her about coming to church. She said she was going to her church and that she wouldn't be coming because of several other excuses as to why she would go to her own. I told her the sisters were willing to pick her up and bike along with her and that she should come visit the church to see and investigate for herself. After 10 minutes of talking, she agreed, and Sunday morning she came! FINALLY. I was soooo happy and she enjoyed the service and Gospel Principles. It was so special to have her there since it was my last Sunday in Apeldoorn because of transfers. But I will get to that in a minute.
We taught her Monday night about the resurrection and she has been reading quite a lot in the Book of Mormon. Amazing, since it took us 4 appointments just to leave one behind. Then Tuesday she called while we were saying goodbye to Dennis and Maaike, talking about how she was scared to be alone and how she felt something leave her house when we did the night before. So for another 10 minutes I talked to her on the phone telling her about the Spirit and how she can always have those feelings around her as she reads and prays and comes to church. She insisted we come by again that day to help her feel better. So we did. We had a great lesson and said some hard goodbyes since I would be leaving to go far away (but I will talk about that later). She gave me a gift in an envelope and wanted to thank me for everything I had done with her for the past 6 months. She gave me 10 euros. Haha what a sweet lady. I told her I wouldn't take it but she INSISTED and so I will always remember Maria with that 10 euro bill.
It was incredibly difficult to say goodbye to everyone in Apeldoorn and those I was close to were really bummed to see me leave. And I am devastated also. So I am coming to you from somewhere you don't even know yet, but somewhere that gives a familiar ring.
My dream since I was a greenie was to make it back south. To get back to the country I fell in love with and to see the people who shaped how my mission would be lived. Right now, I am sitting in the very same church, with the very same members, and the very same Spirit that fills these blessed streets of Antwerpen. HAHA can you believe it? I'M BACK BABY.
How blessed am I? To make it back to somewhere you have been before, but your greenie city! And I am here with Elder Lott from my MTC group! I still don't think it's true and I have been here for a week almost. Yesterday in church was fantastic, seeing everyone again and being able to bear my testimony again, now in coherent Flemish. FLEMISH. You know I love Flemish. And as soon as I hear it, I switch over subconsciously and speak it back.
Few quick stories: of course I want to go visit everyone I taught here and find those people who might have fallen through the cracks. I really feel like that is a big part as to why I am here. So we went by a lady named Mvr Faes on Saturday, she remembers me and is flabbergasted as we teach her the restoration and I speak Antwerp Flemish to her. Bless the 70 year old lady's heart. She could become the new Maria haha. Also, Zuster Bush was in town with her family, since she finished her mission last week, and we stopped by a less active member who is the COOLEST Belgian lady and she remembered me and was so happy to see me and is willing to teach me French. Oh yeah that's another thing. The first time I was here was to learn Dutch, I am taking this second opportunity to learn French. I was hold a contact with it on the street already but I need it to get better. #giftoftongues
Tonight we will see Zr Van Wauwe, I have spent time with the Schiltz and also with the Evans. These are just names to you, but these people have SHAPED me out here in these countries. I will never ever forget them and the love they extended (and still extend!) to me.
As a zone leader down here we get to work hard and make this city a model for the zone. Perfect. Say no more. Let me go work in the glorious, hallowed, ghetto, nasty, streets that stole my heart more than a year ago. It's a mission Cinderella being back.
It was really hard to say goodbye to my sisters this last week. I got to see 3 of the 4 here and also Elder Conatti, who is back in Brazil now. I have come to hate goodbyes. I tend to avoid them because I don't like them, which also isn't good...
I have been able to be crafted by the Lord in making missionary work become who I am and not what I do. The difference is simple but massive. And I am so grateful to know that.
Count your blessings, it will help you improve your exponent skills.
Love Elder Trevan Scott Reese