Christmas in Antwerpen was amazing! I just love love love love love those people. I feel so at home with them. I’ve decided that that if I were to live in Europe, Antwerp is where I would go. Oh man. I love them. They are a blessing to me and my life.
And I was blessed to be with my wonderful Zr Fleming for Christmas
! We were so happy. Music was always playing or we were singing it and… yeah. She’s a blessing to me.
Zr Fleming and I visited/said goodbyes to Bisschop Staepels (STAH-pulls) and his wife, Anne-Marie. Oh those two are hilarious. I was standing by them and accidently said out loud “Wow! I’m tall!” hahaha, we all three laughed at that. They and familiy Sherlock were the two that helped me the most with transportation to the hospital and emergency room and things. Blessed people.
Then! We went to the busstation and had 40 minutes to wait for our bus so I look at Zr Fleming and say, “Hey, you have your flute. We don’t have music, but you could play some Christmas songs and I can pass out cards.” 🙂 She said yes! We were both surprised, but we walked into the shopping centrum, a huge long wide street with shops and bakeries and subway and things, and Zr Fleming pulled out her flute and voila! Music and really cool people stopped to listen. Afterward, we saw this skater guy just sitting there (he had been there the whole time) and we walked away, but then felt like we should talk to him. In the back of my mind I knew we needed to catch a bus, but… hey, the lost sheep come first. So we get talking and he confesses that he doesn’t really believe in Jesus. We asked him what he does believe in and he said (dun dun dun!)……Music! He said he believes in the power of music and the deep effect it can have in a person’s life. Whaaat? Wow! He said he heard the music, appreciated it, and sat down to listen. He was sad we were done. But we talked with him and told him how we love music and use it in everything, also how music is powerful when mixed with faith and with God. He agreed. Now, he won’t be taught or anything, but he knows that Mormons aren’t just robots in weird clothing. We gave him a card and told him to look up the music on it. It was a very cool experience for both me and Zr Fleming. We even made our bus with 2 minutes to spare!
We caught our bus and made our way to the village Wuustwezel to the home of family Sherlock! Ingrid is amazing. We went over early to help prepare the food and then they asked me to come up with a musical Christmas program to go with Luke chapter 2. Oh boy. What fun. Their piano was out of tune…. but oh well:) It worked if you didn’t play certain chords. haha. It was wonderful. Ingrid also had a nonmember friend who asked us questions. She’s in her late 60s and said she had always asked about the true faith and if there was really only one, even if there are so many other churches and beliefs around us. The conversation went well, but her questions weren’t all answered. Food and company and the Spirit was great. Wonderful people!
New comp Zuster Nyakoh
Whoa. Time is going so weirdly fast! I am now in Gouda, Netherlands. Its the place of cheese and lots of laughs, thanks to my new companion Zr Jessica Nyakoh (nee-AH-koh). She grew up in Ghana and has been living in Gent, Belgium for the past few years. She is hilarious
we laugh a lot and I haven’t felt stressed at all since I’ve been here, which is a blessing. I usually feel pressured and stressed the first Sunday in a new ward, but this week… wow. I just walked right in and thought “Well, they don’t know me at all, so I’ll just be me and everyone can choose what they think after that.” 🙂
With love, Zr “Faa”savalu
Thousands of miles away, still best friends:)
Zr. Faa is doing great!
After a successful surgery this week, Zuster Faa is right back into missionary work. After being discharged Friday morning, she played the piano for a ward party Friday night and participated in the Christmas music program Sunday morning. Thanks everyone for your prayers for Jess! –Jenny
Christmas! I can’t wait for Christmas and Skyping the fam and the dinner appointments we have. The ward here has blessed me so much. I will miss them a lot. They are amazing people that have such big hearts and think the world of me (for some reason). I am so blessed.
This Christmas season will be special. It will be a little slower and a little more chill, but I will still spread the Light of Christ to people. Christ is so special to me and I will be forever and always so grateful for His support and His love and His peace that He gives me everyday. Because of His strength, I’m able to keep going. It’s amazing. I feel His love that He has for the people here in Belgium, in Antwerp. Its the best feeling.
Hopefully she rode the Ferris Wheel BEFORE her surgery! Not after!
Quote for the week:
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “Tomorrow I will try again.”
It’s helped me through the rough times. As the African people shout, so do I, “Thank you Jesus!”
Have a wonderful holiday week you wonderful people!
Love you all! Zr Faa
Alrighty, I will be going to Gouda in The Netherlands! Where the cheese comes from, I guess. Haha. My new companion is from Belgium! That means I can keep my Flemmish accent and get better Dutch! Woot! I won´t be going to Gouda right away, so for now, I´m still in Belgium!
When you´re a sister missionary who can sing and play the piano, suddenly the ward choir director signs you up for everything and suddenly you have music piled in your arms and there´s no ands ifs or buts about it. You´re in. haha. It´s awesome. Zr Fleming also sings and plays the flute, so we have the same amount of music and responsibilities now…oh man, the music world. And Christmas! It´s Christmas music that we play and sing! Oh buddy its beautiful. Some of them I know from choir in school, some are Dutch, and some are just new. But man, nothing like Christmas music in your mission language surrounded by Belgian singers who are sometimes in tune 🙂 just kidding.
Other good things….
It´s still rather warm down here in Belgium. Warm for December and warm for Europe. No snow. A little rain. Mainly cold. But, the sun is shining today, so I´ll take it.
I´ve been getting cards and letters and I´m so grateful for the love I feel from back home. Thank you!!!
We taught Brahm the Plan of Salvation last week. He took it in pretty well. He says it sounds better than just a “heaven and hell” theory and that he wants to go to be with God, so that´s good! He´s coming to FHE tonight with some members and the 4 elders, so Christmas party for us tonight!
Gotta love life. Gotta keep smiling. It helps you stay happier and healthier, well, at least I hope it does.
Lots of love from Belgium!
This week we taught a man named Braam. He has a ligament missing in his wrists so he can´t turn them, which is kinda cool. He is interested in listening to people about Christ and the Gospel, so yes! It will be awesome. We have another lesson with him this week.
Christmas is coming! The ward here in Antwerp is amazing. They have reeled Zr Fleming and I in to do some musical numbers and to sing in the choirs:) it´s wonderful.
Keep the Christmas Spirit going this December. It´s important. When we understand Christ´s Atonement then we understand why He was born and why it is so important to have His Spirit.
Jasmine was baptized Saturday. It was such a blessing to be there and listen to her testimony. She was found by sisters almost a year ago and then was baptized Sat. She´s amazing. I love the Gospel and how it blesses people´s lives.
Well….. this week. Thanksgiving!!! It was delicious. We were with Sister Sherlock the whole day, cooking, baking, and preparing the meal. The 4 elders came at 6 and then we ate dinner and had homemade pumpkin pie! It was sooooo good. So fun. Lots of work, but it was really fun.
I am so thankful for nice members and family away from home! It’s such a blessing to know that I have people to count on and friends for later. 🙂 So blessed!!
Have a safe, warm week! Love you all!