Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Spiritual Hat Trick

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A lot happened this week, as usual.  

After the spiritual high that was last Sunday when we had our first baptism on site we continued along the spiritual highway all the way to Brussels.

We had our zone conference in Brussels on Tuesday but we went up on Monday.  We made a brief stop at Waterloo to show the younger Elders where Napoleon was defeated.  

Next we met our friends, The Steenbliks, and went to Tervuren Park to visit the site where Jeffrey R. Holland dedicated the lands of Luxembourg and Belgium for missionary work.  Where there were three pieces of a meteorite and where twelve trails converge we shared the dedicatory prayer with the Elders.  It was a touching moment, full of lots of symbolism and emotions.
Couldn't resist taking a photo of the geese at Tervuren Park.
Such a beautiful spot for the dedication 
Elder (Glen) and Soeur (Jayne) Steenbok with Elder Dayley and Elder Rivas
Us and our wonderful Elders
This is across the street from the apartment were the Elders stayed the night.  It just had to be photographed.  Treehouses.
The next day was our Zone Conference.  We were taught about I-pads and how they fit into missionary work.  The younger missionaries were all given an I-pad unless you were going home this transfer.  This means that Elder Dayley did not get one but he does have access to Elder Rivas's.  

This is a whole new concept for missionary work.  Our Elders will be able to use these for teaching, contacting, e-mailing, scheduling for personal studies and for references.  They will be able to share what they know to be true in a quick and efficient manner.  There are, of course, some dangers that come with this.  The Mission is taking things slowly and making sure the young missionaries are kept safe.

We had lots of teaching appointments with the young Elders this week.  We taught our recent convert and those soon to be baptised.  They are all doing well and they are all loving the church and how it is changing their lives.

Thursday was a really enjoyable evening.  We had a year end barbecue for our folk dance group.  We went to one of the members country home.  It was absolutely beautiful.  He had the most amazing gardens.  We were the first ones there so we got a tour of the grounds and met his daughter and grand daughter.  The barbecue was great, wood fired.  Everyone threw their meat on and you ate whatever you wanted, not necessarily what you had brought.  After supper Ed brought out his bonhomme jiggeur and sang some French Canadian songs.  Everyone liked it, even Lynn.
Thanks to Isabelle for these pictures of our party

On Saturday Ed had the pleasure of driving to the Stake Centre for a High Priest meeting with Michel Dampt.  He was the former Branch President in Charleville-Mézières and is 100% blind.  The man is a living GPS.  He knows the highways of northern France incredibly well.  He was able to guide us to Lille and back no problem.  Of course Ed had the GPS on just to check up on him but he passed the test easily.

We had great meetings.  We were taught about keeping the commandments and then we had a breakout session on keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  We followed this with a viewing of "Meet the Mormons" in French and finished the evening with a barbecue.  I think Frère Dampt would have been a great subject for that movie.  We headed home just after 9:00 p.m. and Ed got home just after midnight after driving Michel to his house which is about 45 minutes from Charleville.  What a great time they had together.

Sunday was the spiritual high for the week.  For the first time we had the sacrament meeting translated for our anglophone friends who attend.  Ed gave a talk on the power of fasting.  He had to cut it short because of time but it was well received.  Ed got to perform his first confirmation of his life.  Having raised his children before he became a member, he had never had the opportunity to baptise them.  What a wonderful experience for him.  But it did not end there.  After our church meetings we baptised our second new member, Karine.

What a journey this has been for her.  She has been taking lessons with us for 2 months or more.  She has embraced everything she has been taught and she loves what she is learning.  She is an ardent student of the Book of Mormon and any other materials the Church has.  However, she has five children but was not married to her "husband"of 18 years.  This, of course, prevented her from becoming baptised.  Miraculously and with a little help from the Lord when she asked the father of her children if he would like to get married he said yes.  This opened the door for her baptism.  
Thanks Isabelle for this photo
A Grand Event
Fun photo of Florine, Clara and Ben
Gathering for the grand event.  Notice Isabelle taking the photograph in the background.

She got married yesterday and baptised today.  Ed performed the baptism.  This was another first for him.  He had never baptised anyone before.  This is kind of like a spiritual hat trick - a High Priest meeting with a living GPS, a confirmation and a baptism all in 24 hours. 

Just to throw in a couple of extra pictures for fun.  Lynn was practicing taking panoramic photos so she would be ready for today.  Here are a couple of the practice shots.

Didn't turn out so great but was fun anyways.
Place Ducal looks not too bad.
This is our parking space for our apartment
Our groceries.  That's right!  Butter lettuce the size of your head and only a euro!  So it's not a panorama photo but we wanted you to see how great the produce is here.
We love all of you, our family and friends who read our blog and support us faithfully with your love and prayers.  Thanks so much.  

That's all we have for this week.
Au revoir de la France,
Lyndi-lou and Eddie, too.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Waters of Warenne

Sunday, June 21, 2015

We had some great things happen this week.  We taught some great lessons.  We met some new people who are interested in the Church.  We went to Paris.  We had a baptism.

Today we had our first baptism and the first one actually in Charleville-Mézières for several years.  We have been preparing for this baptism for a couple of months now.  We found a great place to baptise our friend.  In Charleville there is a little lake called Lac du Warenne.  We found a quiet little spot to perform the baptism.  Ed made a little shelter for changing in.
Setting up the Change Room
Church went very well today.  Our High Councilman was there.  We had some great talks and a great lesson.  We had a musical number.  There were 23 people there altogether.  The spirit was strong.  

Right after our sacrament meeting, which is our last meeting of the day, we started the baptismal program.  We had a talk on baptism and had another musical number.  Then we headed to the lake.

Our entire branch was there, as well as 4 other friends who are coming to church.  There we were in a natural setting performing such a sacred ordinance.  We felt very close to our Heavenly Father.  

Elder Dayley performed the ordinance and Ed and Elder Rivas acted as witnesses.  Everything went very smoothly.  The weather cooperated, the location was amazing and the water was warm.
We headed back to the church right away.  We finished off our baptismal service with a talk on the Holy Ghost.  Ed welcomed our new member into the Branch and presented her with a new Leather-Bound Book of Mormon.  

We followed this with a Branch luncheon which was amazing and gave everyone a chance to relax and socialise.  What a great way to welcome a new member to the Branch.
As much as the baptism was the highlight of our week it was not all we did this week.  We went to Revin with the younger missionaries to teach a family that moved here from Nigeria.  They were a great family and were very enthusiastic about the gospel.  We also continued teaching other investigators who are approaching their own baptism dates.

On Tuesday we went to our district meeting.  We learned about technology and how to safely use it as a missionary tool.  The Zone Leaders were there and they have already received I-Pads.  They shared with us how to use these in missionary work.  This week our younger Elders will receive an I-Pad too at a tri-Zone Conference on Tuesday in Brussels.  This is a huge innovation in missionary work and will have a big impact on it.  Missionaries will have their own Facebook page and will be able to contact far more people electronically.  Of course, with technology comes pitfalls.  We are pleased to say that the church and the mission is putting in some excellent safeguards to protect everyone.  It is an exciting time for missionary work.
"The Canadians" at our meeting.  Us, Elder Powelson from Cardston and Elder Branchflower from Kamloops
Our District with our visiting Zone Leaders
We had a great activity in our Branch on Wednesday night with a message from Florine and a game and snack afterwards. What a great opportunity to get together, learn and have fun.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of going to Paris to spend the afternoon with our Stake President from Canada and his family.  We had a lovely afternoon together and a great visit.  We met them at the Eiffel Tower, went for lunch, visited the Roman arena in Paris, walked around Notre Dame and the St. Michel area.  We had a lovely visit and great conversation.  We had the opportunity to share our missionary experiences with them.  It was a great afternoon.
Us and The MacLennans at the Arène de Lutece
Prettiest Shaped Ice-cream Ever.  Thanks MacLennans.
Notre Dame Cathedral from the Back
The Locks of Love Bridge which is so weighed down they are removing them.  They actually look amazing.
We are keeping busy and are being blessed in all that we do.  We love the work.

Au revoir de la France.
Lyndi-lou and Eddie too