Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Moral Victories and Earthly Defeats

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Well, our spiritual journey continues.  We are doing lots of teaching with our younger missionaries and feel we are contributing to others.  Our numbers are continuing to be strong.  For the third week in a row our Sacrament Meeting attendance was over 20.  Today we had 6 friends who are quite interested in our church.  Three of these want to be baptised and two have set baptismal dates.

Yesterday was a three ring circus in the chapel.  We had three different investigators there all at once because people were late for their appointments.  One couple got a tour of the chapel and a short lesson.  Immediately after Lynn and Elder Christiansen taught one lesson while Ed and Elder Dayley taught a different one.  Right after this the younger missionaries had another appointment.  They all turned out great and resulted in very spiritual experiences for everyone concerned including us.

We had a great District Meeting this week.  Elder Bigelow is doing a great job as our district leader.  He faithfully phones us every Sunday to encourage us and to see how we are doing.  He gives great lessons and keeps us up to date with announcements.  He taught a great lesson on revelation this week.  After our meeting we left our fellow missionaries there for exchanges and headed on to Belgium.

This week we took Lynn's mother to the airport in Brussels for her flight back home to Lethbridge.  She had a great visit and we very much enjoyed having her here.  She didn't learn a whole lot of French but she loved the people here and the food, too.  Now when we talk on the phone she can imagine a little of what our life here is like.
Yummy French Apple Dessert à la Lynn
While we were in Brussels we had an awesome experience.  With our friends Elder and Sister Steenblik we went to the place where Elder Jeffrey R. Holland dedicated the lands of Belgium and Luxembourg for missionary work.  It was in an incredibly beautiful forest in Tervuren park.  Twelve trails in the forest converged on a spot where a meteor that had broken in three ways.  There we read aloud the dedicatory prayer that Elder Holland had said.  It was a very uplifting experience in an extremely beautiful spot.  We loved our reenactment of this sacred moment.  We were all touched by the experience.
In Brussels we also visited the Grand Place.  What a beautiful and popular place.  The architecture was amazing.  We have never seen such beautiful buildings.  We also saw the famous Manneken pis.
We also went to see the Atomium which Ed had visited as a five year old boy when he lived in France.  This is a huge replica of an atom that was built for the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels.  We were able to go from one sphere to another inside the "atom" and see artefacts, pictures and articles from the time period of the World's Fair.
We also visited the "Butte de Lion".  This is a man made hill with a huge statue of a lion on top.  It commemorates the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, just south of Belgium.  We climbed the 226 steps up to the top of the hill and could see for miles around or we should say kilometres around since we are in Europe.  We saw some videos depicting the battle and visited a panorama of the battle, as well.  After this battle Napoleon spent the rest of his life on the island of St. Helena.  It really was fascinating.

We got back to Charleville-Mézières on Thursday.  We met with the younger missionaries on Friday for our weekly reporting and planning meeting with them.  Ed also had a meeting at the church with Laurent.  All went well.

On Saturday we had a great Branch activity.  We took part in a Stake-Wide "Mains Serviables" (Helping Hands) initiative.  As a Branch we decided to clean up some trails in Charleville's Arboretum, a nature preserve to observe plants and trees.  We collected 6 big bags of garbage.  We gathered everything from bottles and cans to car parts and clothing.  We cleaned the trails, as well as the hillside and creek alongside them.  We took lots of pictures and will make a display of our project for the Stake's Helping Hands Exhibition on May 30.  After our clean up was over we had a nice little picnic in the park with everyone who participated.  Ed took all the garbage to the dump.
Today at church we had great attendance as mentioned earlier.  We both gave talks.  Lynn spoke on the Book of Mormon and Ed spoke on Service.  Both talks were very well received.  Lynn did her first talk in French without writing it out completely but with only brief notes.  She was happy with her talk but happy to have it done, too.  Because it is her birthday tomorrow everyone signed a card for her and gave it to her.  There were lots of heart felt expressions of love on it.  We had a very moving musical number by The Biver family and Elder Christiansen and Elder Dayley.
What a blessing it is to be here in France doing missionary work.  We are continually blessed.  We love the people we work and worship with.  They are all a big part of our lives and are great examples of faith, love and service to us.  We are fortunate to have them as our friends.

That's all we have for this week.
Au revoir de la France.

Lyndi-lou and Eddie, too.


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