Sisters Conference was beautiful! I saw my beloved “step-mother” Zr Bradley (who is going home next transfer, but she´s dying here in Belgium! with Zr Young!) and my dear Zr Maughan.
I learned a couple things
- “remember the reason” — make the sacrament and Sabbath a spiritual renewal
- Anxiety is ok — even the great Book of Mormon prophets had great faith and desire and anxiety.
- Make the temple, the House of the Lord, more of a home to you (temple conference is 13 or 14 October!!!!!!)
- and, you learn more from failing than succeeding.
Being with all the sisters was great. 🙂 special times
We go by bus to see a lonely elderly sister who likes us to read the Book of Mormon with her for a bit. On the way back, the bus was a quiet ride. We get to the halte and get on a tram headed back to the center of the city. We get on the bus and I have a huge feeling that I need to talk to someone. But most of the people are looking at their phones or their backs are to me and my companion is sitting across from me, but she´s in thinking mode so I turn to my right and there is this woman who looks tired. She´s holding a grocery sack that says “carrefour,” thats one of the good grocery stores here in BE.
Something crazy inside me got up and moved seats so that I was across from her. I told her in Dutch that we are from America and don´t know BE that well, where should we shop for cheap groceries? She laughed and told me a couple of places (and phew! We shop at those places already!). She asked why I was here. I told her. She asked why I left my mother, and then before I could answer, she said “oh, so that you could learn how to shop!” I laughed and said yes. I asked her if she had children and she told me her story. She is from Armenia, but has lived in Belgium for more than 40 years. She spoke just as much Dutch as me, but we talked about families and grandkids and teaching good morals and buying healthy food. I didn´t ask her name, but I took her hand and the Spirit said this: “I know that you are a good woman. Your children love you. Your grandchildren love you. You are loved by God.”
She started to cry, and I started to cry. We both held hands. Her joints in her fingers are balloons, but the rest of her hand is skinny and rough and calloused and worn. She told me she believes in a God who protects her and her children every day. She told me she prays for that. I told her that is wonderful. I told her that He hears her, that He cares. She laughed and said that she doesn´t really know if He cares about an old woman like her, but she believes He is there.
Then we came to our stop and I squeezed her hand and waved goodbye. I had the feeling that I wouldn´t ever see her again, and that´s true with many, many people I meet, but … it wasn´t a disappointed I won´t see her again feeling. It was a “I said what needed to be said” feeling.
I believe the Spirit will guide us if we look, follow, and listen.
By the way, I´m staying Antwerp, BE for another 6 weeks!!!
Have a great week!
Love, Zr Faasavalu