Christmas in Antwerp/ Transfer to Gouda

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.

Christmas eve in Antwerpen
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.
Christmas eve with Sherlocks
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!
Jess and Zr Nyakoh
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

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