Monday, April 6, 2015
This week our blog will not necessarily follow a chronological order because of certain things which really impacted us that we did during the week. This post is entitled "Battlefields" for two reasons. It deals with earthly and heavenly battlefields.
On Friday we traveled to Arras to do two missionary apartment inspections. What a beautiful city. Here's an example of the architecture of the two Town Squares.
While we were approaching Arras we saw a sign with a Canadian flag on it. We then saw a sign for the village of Vimy, which came as a surprise to us. We did not know that we were anywhere near the site of the famous World War I battle of Vimy Ridge. We vowed to make a stop there upon our way home.
After our inspections of an Elder apartment and then a Sister apartment we decided to eat at a "Friterie". This was at the suggestion of the Sister missionaries. A "Friterie" is a place where they sell french fries among other things which brings up another battle - the battle of the bulge (waistline). Seriously, we ordered a "sandwich Américain" which had fries with it and a small order of fries. There was enough fries to feed our entire Branch. We could not eat them all. We ate them in the car and took half of them home. They were delicious, however. Apparently they double fry the potatoes which makes them much tastier but, of course, doesn't help the battle of the "bulge".
With our fries under our belt and some in the back seat for later we headed for home. It was about fifteen minutes to the battle site of Vimy Ridge.
What a busy place. Despite the rainy weather, there were several tour buses there. We met a group from Grand Prairie.
The site is housed by Canadians. There is a huge war memorial there that honours the 60,000 Canadians who died during WWI.
There is also a war memorial to Moroccans who died at Vimy Ridge.
There is a visitors centre there with a small museum. We walked through this building looking at the artefacts and we watched a video depicting the actual battle. The landscape is very ethereal. You can see where foxholes were dug, where trenches existed and where bombs exploded.
|Danger sign for unexploded devices.|
|Sheep in the background. They are used to mow the entire site.|
The second battlefield involves a heavenly one - the Annual General Conference of the Church. As much as we were impressed by the soldiers who fought at Vimy we were also awed by the messages that were given by the soldiers of virtue at conference - the General Authorities, the Auxiliary leaders and the Prophets and Apostles of the Church. Their fight is against the ways of the world and against sin and weaknesses. We heard many uplifting talks that dealt with the importance of families, of living righteously, of following the counsel of God, of Easter and the glorious Resurrection and Atonement of the Saviour, and of giving service to name a few of the topics. Like we were moved by Vimy Ridge, we were also moved by the messages we heard. After all both battles were fights against evil.
In France it is a little trickier to watch conference because of language differences and time differences. We watched sessions on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. France time and we watched sessions on Sunday at 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (Which led to our posting our blog Monday rather than Sunday.) We watched the final session on Monday morning at 9:00. In between the morning session and the afternoon session on Sunday we had a Branch meal which was great. We had three investigators attend for part of the conference, as well, which was great. They, too, enjoyed the experience.
|Ignore the Christmas bag on the end!|
|Bunny napkins folded by Isabelle added a nice touch to the table. Lynn made the brown one.|
During the rest of the week our adventures continued. We had a Zone Conference in Brussels on Tuesday. We went up with the younger missionaries on Monday and stayed overnight at an empty missionary apartment. This gave us an opportunity to visit with other Senior missionaries. We went out for dinner with them to a Moroccan restaurant. The atmosphere was awesome - Moroccan decor and leather menus. We had couscous, vegetables, lamb and chicken. It was great.
|Wilsons, Steenbliks and the Fitts|
|Soeur Wilson and Soeur Bernhisel (who is serving in Valenciennes, France)|
|Thanks to Soeurs Redd and Steenbok we had wonderful Sloppy Joe's and the Zone Leaders did Belgium Waffles for dessert. (Thanks Soeur Babin for the photo)|
|Happy Missionaries (Thanks Soeur Babin for the photo)|
|A reminder from Soeur Barton and Soeur Nielson for us all to Listen to those we teach.(Thanks for the photo Soeur Babin)|
We had a wonderful Easter lunch at one of our member's house on Saturday. We joined Claire her husband, René, and the two younger missionaries for a veritable feast. We had rabbit, salad, soup, chocolate cake, bread and cheese. It was all delicious.
We also did some of our usual things - visits, dance and Presidency meetings. It was a busy week but a productive and enjoyable one, too.
Au revoir de la France
Lyndi-lou and Eddie too