Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 14: It's the most wonderful time...of the year.....

Beautiful Nativity in Brussels

Elder Muller's Gifts under the Christmas Tree! His sister Alyssa made him the beautiful tree! And his little sisters sent the other decorations as well.
Elder Muller enjoying some Christmas Presents from Home 
Elder Muller enjoying some of the fun Christmas presents we sent!

Skating in the Centrum...Beautiful Christmas Tradition
The beautiful Belgian Cost of the North Sea
It's the most wonderful time... of the year....

Well it's been an awesome past two weeks here in Brugge. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to send an email last week, but we were in Brussels the whole day, and by the time we got back P-Day was over. 

I will try to make this one a bit longer just because of that! 

Love that smile!!! Trip to Brussels with his Zone!
So last week we went to Brussels, just for fun. About half the missionaries in our zone went, and it was a lot of fun. We just walked around the city, and some of us rode a Ferris wheel. We had plenty of food and waffles, and it was just fun to hang out with other missionaries.

Belgian Fries!!
A sausage and Belgian Fries sandwich!

On Tuesday we had the first District Meeting of this transfer, and it was really good (District meeting is always really good... but this one was really good haha) 

We talked about having the faith to find people, and also about teaching while contacting. Instead of just a memorized approach that we say to everyone we talk to, we practiced "extracting" people's needs so we can relate to and help them better. It was super cool. It's not always easy discerning what people are looking for in their own lives, and then showing them how we can help all in a two minute contact on the street. It's still super fun though. 

On Tuesday I also went on an exchange after district meeting with Co-District Leader Elder Kyle Weinheimer Hills. He's a super cool guy, and we had a great time. We taught two really cool lessons that day. One with a former investigator, and the other to a potential that Elder Hills and his companion had found. It was super cool. That night we had dinner with a member from Gent. I had fufu for the first time. It's an African dish that includes potatoes and a meat stew. The best part, you eat it with your hands! It was really lekker. (delicious)

On Wednesday we had the opportunity to visit with a less active family who lives in Bredene (on the coast). It was super cool, they are originally from Sierra Leone but live here now. They have been trying to get back to church, but it's a single mother who is working and going to school. She has four kids, so she's always super busy. 

That night we went to Familie Calmeyn in our branch for feest.(feast) It was really good. All of their extended family was there as well.  They served us a 5 course meal and gave us chocolate for Christmas. It was a lot of fun. 

On Christmas, I went to Bomma and Tante Ingrid's in Antwerpen. It was super cool. I think Bomma was a bit confused because I was actually able to speak some Vlaams with her. We had a great time, and it was good to catch up with them. They also gave us a ton of chocolate. That evening we went to Familie Collin and had dinner (and Skyped). We had a great Christmas... Thank you for all the presents! We're going to have a lot of fun!
(Boma and Tante Ingrid are Elder Muller's Grandma and Aunt that live in Belgium. We are so thrilled that he was able to visit them and spend Christmas with them! What a blessing! They have not seen each other since 2009. We are not able to travel to Belgium much so this was a beautiful opportunity for them to see each other again. Elder Muller is now 6'5"....he was but a little boy the last time they saw him! And they made his favorite foods...he was so excited to have Boma's homemade soup!!!)

Tweede Kerst was super fun, we went to Antwerpen as a Zone, and passed out clothing and food to homeless people on the street. I actually got to walk through the Centrum a little, and I took some pictures :) 

Nothing else really crazy happened this week. We had a great lesson with Martine, and she had a friend with her that we are going to start teaching. Super cool. Elder Hunt and I had a rough first week here together in Brugge just because there isn't much work that's happened here. (Not with each other, I love Elder Hunt to death, he's absolutely fantastic!) Most of our first week together we just contacted and knocked doors, which is really hard this time of year. Most people don't want to talk to you because it's cold and they want to get where they are going. But we endured, and kept our faith, and the Lord blessed us. We got 21 Christmas referrals within 3 days. It's a huge blessing. The members here do Facebook campaigns where they share a spiritual message, and give a link where their friends can order a DVD or some other gospel item. We then get the info, and are able to go deliver the item and hopefully begin teaching them as well. 

It's something that I've already learned is that sometimes we expect blessings just because we have faith. Like it says in Ether, you receive no witness until after the TRIAL of your faith. I would also add, you don't always receive blessings until after your faith is proven as well. We actually talked about this in district meeting as well... Sometimes we feel (in this example) like we really need to contact a person, you feel the Spirit urging you, and then you do it. And they totally shut you down. Just like don't even stop to take the card at all... completely ignore you (it's happened plenty of times). It's easy to feel discouraged because you felt like you needed to talk to them. Sometimes we're prompted to do things, even if they don't work out, because we need to show that when that there is a person walking down the street who is prepared to hear and receive the gospel, we will listen to the promptings of the Spirit to talk to them.  I hope that makes sense :)

Anyway, it's been a great week. We have a great district, and we already love each other to death. It's hard to believe that this next week will mark the halfway mark of this transfer. Time sure does fly by!!!

Well, tot volgende keer!

Elder Muller 

Elder Muller as a little boy!! Picture in Boma and Tante Ingrid's home!!
A most precious Christmas Present...Elder Muller with Boma. The last time we spent Christmas together was 2008.

Christmas with Boma and Tante Ingrid!! Elder Muller's companion, Elder Hunt

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