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 The Elders there had been replaced by sister missionaries and they were badly in need of new mattresses.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|
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.