Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Trips and Tragedies

Sunday, March 27, 2016

It's Easter Sunday.  Joyeuses Pâques.  We are especially grateful for the Saviour, His Atonement and Resurrection that we celebrate today.   With this in mind we are sharing a link to a beautiful video called Hallelujah.
New Video A Special Easter Message Follow Him and find new life.
This week after a bit of a recess we got back to our apartment checks.  We headed to Luxembourg and Metz.  We also had some additional business to do in each city.

In Luxembourg we were asked to buy and deliver some new mattresses.  The Elders there had been replaced by sister missionaries and they were badly in need of new mattresses.  We stopped in Arlon, Belgium and picked these up on the way to Belgium.  They were very grateful.
Us with Sœur Proudfoot and Sœur Cornetta
From Luxembourg to Metz is about a 40 minute drive.  We headed to the Elders' apartment, had a great visit with them and inspected their apartment.  Afterward we had a package to deliver to the Luc Royer household.  Luc and his family had visited with us in our branch in Charleville one Sunday.  Their daughter, Lisa, had just left on her mission to the United States.  She had left some things behind that she asked to be delivered to her home.  These things were given to us by another Senior Couple.  We had a great visit with the Royer's.  They are a great family and we love visiting with them.  They gifted us with a lovely old map of the Ardennes.
This week we had an amazing missionary activity.  We had every missionary in our zone meet in Reims for a day of contacting.  This amounted to 32 missionaries.  In the morning we went out street contacting around the church in groups of two or three.  We had a lovely lunch prepared by the ward's Relief Society.

In the afternoon we all headed down to the city centre where we divided into three large groups.  We set up a table in three places and from there we headed out finding.  At each table we had materials to hand out and a video about the Saviour to show.  The day was amazing.  We had good results and it was fun working together with so many missionaries.  We clearly felt the spirit and learned a lot, too.
Tragedy struck our mission this week.  As you no doubt know, there was a terrorist attack in Brussels on Tuesday.  This resulted in 34 dead and over 200 injured.  We have prayed and fasted for those who are injured and for the families for those who were killed.  In the midst of tragedy there are always uplifting stories.

Four of those injured were LDS missionaries, colleagues of ours who are serving in the Paris, France mission.  Elder Norby, a senior missionary was taking a young sister missionary, Sister Clain, to the airport accompanied by two younger Elders, Elder Wells and Elder Empey.  Soeur Clain, who was called to serve in Ohio had started her mission in Belgium while waiting for her visa.  As fellow senior  missionaries we know Elder Norby and his wife quite well and had recently gone out for lunch with them during a recent training session we had in Belgium.

These four faithful missionaries arrived at the airport minutes before the first bomb exploded.  This was followed by a second bomb.  Needless to say they were in close proximity to these explosions.  They were injured by shrapnel and burns.

We will not go into the details of their injuries but they are hospitalised and in pain.  Three of them are in the hospital in Brussels and one is in Antwerp.  Elder Norby was put into a coma by medical staff to help him manage his pain and his care.  The missionaries have received surgery where and when necessary.  

The church responded immediately.  Our Mission President and his wife, President and Soeur Babin, went up to Brussels to be with them and to support them.  They have done a great job of keeping us informed.  Salt Lake has sent over family members to be with them.  The church has issued statements which are available.  All are praying for the survivors and for the families of those who did not survive.

Through this tragedy these faithful missionaries and their families have shown amazing courage.  They have expressed their love of missionary work and of the Saviour.  They have shared their strong testimonies with the world.  They are an examples of courage and faith to the rest of us.  We can strengthen our own testimonies of  our sacred callings by following their example.  

This week marks our 12th transfer here in the mission.  We have been blessed to have served with the young Elders who make up our District.  Elder Nagloo, from Belgium is being transferred to Paris.  He is currently serving in Reims.  Elder Daines in being transferred to Lorient.  We will really miss them.  They been part of our District for 6 months.  Elder Daines command of the French language is great and they are both excellent missionaries. Plus we'll miss Elder Daines wonderful home-made bread. ;) They're ready and excited for this opportunity.   

As you can no doubt imagine these events have been difficult for us.  We cannot help but be affected by the random evil and callousness that are behind these acts of violence.  But we are strengthened by the courage and love that we see in the survivors and their loved ones.  We thank them for their example.

We are extremely lucky and blessed to be serving the Lord in this part of his vineyard.  We love our calling.  We are grateful for the faithful colleagues we work with and for the great leaders we have in the mission field.  We are surrounded by faith, diligence, obedience and courage.  This can only have a lasting positive effect on our lives.

Happy news in our family is the upcoming baptism of Sam, Dustin & Lindsey's son.  We're sharing the cute invitation his talented mom made.  We're pretty excited for him. Doesn't he look so happy! 
We continue to do what we are here to do - to support, to teach, to love and to spread the gospel and we love doing it.  May you all see the hand of the Lord in your lives.  We certainly see this regularly, especially this week.

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

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Birthdays and Blessings

 Sunday, March 20, 2016

This week is always a birthday week in our family.  In the space of 4 days we have 4 birthdays - Ed's Mom, the 17th,  Amy, and Ed's brother Darrell, the 19th and Ed's Dad on the 20th.  
We like to phone the person whose birthday it is.  This is always great.  It is often sometimes difficult when contacting my parents because they are often not in their rooms where their phone it.  We had to chase my Mom and dad down with the LPN at the nursing home.  It was a great talk with them though when we finally got through.  I think they enjoy it as much as we do.  Unfortunately, Ed messed up on the time change when he phoned his Dad.  He ended up phoning him before 7:00 a.m.  Fortunately he didn't answer.

Well, that's enough about birthdays.  Let's move on to blessings.

We'll start with the blessings of families.  While we are in France we try to manage the affairs of Ed's parents and his brother.  This week we needed some help with a couple of issues with them and we quickly got some help on the home front.  In the past we also have had to assist them with a number of things from finances to house maintenance to healthcare.  We truly feel supported and blessed by our family.  We try to include them as much as possible in our mission.

Secondly, we are blessed because of our mission.  We often comment to each other how lucky we are.  We feel the hand of the Lord in our lives.  He blesses us and our family regularly.  We are blessed to be in a lovely Branch with great people.  We are blessed by the support of our Branch members, the Friends of the Church and the younger missionaries.  We are blessed with the great leaders we have the privilege of working with.  We are blessed by the culture, history and the beauty of living in France.  we are blessed by the many friends we have met here.    

We are blessed to be able to work hand in hand with younger missionaries who are great examples of diligence and obedience.  We were able to take our Elders to Bouillon castle during their P-Day where we saw a falconry show.  We also stopped for fries and a sandwich.  
He wasn't behaving!  He say's he's innocent.
They have one day a week where we can do that sort of thing with them.  The rest of the week they are hard at work.  We often have them over for lunch or provide a meal at an activity for them.  They are always so grateful.  On Friday they showed their thanks by having us over for lunch.  We had home-made soup, home-made bread and fruit.  It was lovely and very much appreciated.  Funny story though.  When we first arrived they had the table set up like this; looking like it was going to be Kraft Dinner, Candy and oil.  (All the things we're trying not to eat!) They're a couple of characters.  Both are wonderful missionaries.

After they brought out the food they'd actually prepared.  It was great. 
Thirdly, we are blessed by the spirit we feel continually in our lives.  We are fortunate to have great examples here in France.  Our teachers at church, the members that we work closely with and the teaching we do regularly are great conduits of the Holy Ghost.  He blesses our lives and watches over us and protects us.  As we help people come closer to our Saviour we feel the spirit as it uplifts us and the people we are helping.  What a faith building experience.

This week we had a Consecration Day in Reims for the second time.  We spent the day there.  The young Elders went out contacting and met with some success.  We stayed at the church ready to provide an Open House experience.  The bishop's wife provide us with a great pasta lunch and had a lovely day. 

The next day we helped Beauty, a member of our little Branch, move to a new home.   It's not a very big place and it's further away from the church but this morning she was off bright and early to walk to get there on time.  It took her 45 minutes to walk from her home to the church.  And she always has a smile on her face.  We are so grateful for her.  She is trying to learn the language and look for a job in a country that is difficult to assimilate into.

We also headed to Liege, Belgium.  We have become quite friendly with the new missionary couple that lives there, the Slaughters.  We had lunch together, did some mission shopping at Ikea, saw some sights and had supper together.  It was a great day. 
We love the moss on the trees.  It looks quite cool.
Just passed by these three horses on the way.  They needed their pictures taken.
Beautiful stone.
Funny little homes.  Such character!
Love the door.

Saint Bartholémy Church
Cool baptismal font inside the church.  It's one of the 7 wonders of Belgium

A mobile butcher
This is a fascinating place.  Motagne de Bueren.  Nearly 400 steps.  Lynn climbed them all!
One of the doorways on the way up the stairs.

Isn't this so appealing!

How would you like to live 1/2 way up the stairs?  Keep you in shape getting your groceries home.

Whoo Hoo!  The top!
Kiwi tree.

Just another great street
Sweet looking place.
We had a great day at church today.  Lynn and I both spoke.  It went well and people enjoyed what we had to say.  Lynn did a great job with her French.  We also had some good classes today.  Ed finished our meetings today by facilitating a self-reliance session.  He has 5 people in this group who are all learning job seeking skills through the church's self-reliance program.

Our weeks fly by as we are always very busy.  We enjoy all that we do.

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

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Apostle in France

Sunday, March 13, 2016

We have had a week full of uplifting experiences.  Ed attended 2 meetings this week on his own.  That, in and of itself, was not uplifting but the meetings were.  We both went to two other meetings together that were amazing.

On Wednesday there was a zone conference in Paris.   At the same time there was a train strike.  As a result, Ed had to drive four Elders to the meeting, 2 from Charleville and 2 from Reims.  In so doing there was no room for Lynn.  As it turns out, Ed did not get to much of the meetings, as he had a legality to attend to but he did make it back for lunch.   Turns out driving took nearly 2 1/2 times longer than taking the train. 

On Thursday of this week we had a meeting in Charleroi, Belgium. This meeting was with the Seminaries and Institute director for our part of France, Jean-Claude Vanaquer.  Us and two other missionary couples from Brussels and Liège were involved.  Two members of the Brussels Stake were also there for the morning.  We dealt with issues related to Young Single Adults.  We learned a great deal and had a wonderful meeting.  We went out to lunch together and got to know each other a little better.  The meeting was fantastic and was very uplifting, informative and beneficial.
We ate at a great little French restaurant for lunch with this cool dude standing by the menu.
Friday was spent working on the Branch history mostly.  We did do a few other things.  We got an order for the church delivered and Ed had to take the supplies over to the church.  

Saturday and Sunday were both amazing days.  Elder Christofferson of the Quorum of the 12 was in France.  He led a training session for all of the Priesthood leaders in our area.  This included Branch Presidents and so Ed was able to attend.  He drove solo into Paris to do so.  We very rarely go into Paris alone, only once before, and here Ed did so twice in one week.  

The meeting was phenomenal.  We were taught by Elder Christofferson, Elder Kearon, the President of the European region, Elder Boutoille of the area 70's and by President Babin of the France Paris Mission.  Talk about a formidable lineup.  They all gave very powerful messages and bore powerful testimonies.  They also held a Q & A session where they answered questions from the attendees.  This was awesome as the questions were very well thought out and were specific to issues that were pertinent for France.  We all had the chance meet the speakers and could feel of their love and their spirit.  It was truly amazing.

This spiritual high continued into Sunday.  Elder Christofferson presided at our Stake Conference in Lille accompanied by his wife and Elder Boutoille.  Ed had the privilege and blessing to translate for Elder and Sister Christofferson.  Whenever there was a French speaker he translated the talks and prayers into English.  This was fun for him to be able to do.  The messages were marvelous by all speakers who also included, our Stake President, a sister from our stake and President and Sister Babin.  What an uplifting experience this was for us all.  We had 14 members from our Branch there and we all loved it.  Besides it being a wonderful event, the temperature was 13 degrees and it was a beautiful drive through the French countryside.  We were able to have our DMB meeting with the missionaries on the way there.  
This is what Ed's driving apparently does to the Elders.
This is Elder Pierre Gagnon and Lynn.  They found out they are related through the Brulotte line.  Pretty exciting.
Keeping everything in perspective the rest of the week was uplifting, too.  As we taught our usual lessons we were able to learn and grow alongside our students.  We are so fortunate to have our missionary callings and to work alongside such special people.  

We love what we do.

Au revoir de la France,
Lyndi-Lou and Eddie, too