Friday, February 20, 2009

The Mayrie, Institute, Zone conference, etc

The Mayrie in Mouscron. I think the architecture is so interesting. This is the central building in the Centre de Ville. Getting things done here is Mouscron is a bit more difficult than in the U.S. For example, we needed to send a fax. Not so easily done. We asked neighbors and people we knew including the JA and the missionaries, also the missionaries in the main office. Noone knew. We finally found a bank that would do it and after all that, they didn't even charge us a penny. With everything so expensive, we were so pleasantly surprised. I guess there are internet cafes that do fax's, but where are those cafes? Nobody really knew that either. Well, now at least we know. It's also not that easy to use a bank. Because we have a US bank account most banks won't work with us unless we open an account with them. However to open an account with them, we have to be residents and we have to pay huge fees to join and then to use them. Hopefully we will be able to use our debit card and withdraw funds from Fortus bank. If not, we'll be writing to you. HA HA.

Many of the institute kids were missing last night because of vacation, but I still wanted to get a picture of who was there. We don't have inst. the next 2 weeks because it is winter break. At the schools here they have a break every 8 weeks. It's either a 2 week or a 1 week break, depending on when it is. In the spring it's 1 week for spring and then 1 week for Easter. I don't really know the rest of the schedule except that they attend school 149 days a year compared to our 186 days. However, their school day starts at 8:00 and ends at 5:00 or 6:00 depending on the school. That is a long school day.
Natacha on the left is the Inst. vice pres and Anne-Louise is the stake young adult rep. They are both really nice, friendly, and hard working young women.

Francois is about to leave on his mission to Cote d'Ivoire. (Ivory Coast) He is a fine young man and is excited to leave and to serve the Lord.

Brother Jean Claude Vanaquer is the institute director for our area. He also had London, but as of next week is transfering to Brussels. We luckily get to keep him here too. He is an awesome teacher. He speaks perfect English which he learned when he lived in Aust. He served his mission in Toulouse as a young man. We really enjoy working with him. He also works with the Area authorities.

Here is DH teaching a french class. Many of the students have said that if they had him from the beginning, they would be speaking french now instead of still studying years and years later. They just love him. He is a great teacher. He even cracks jokes during class. It's quite funny.

Last week we had zone conference. It is always an awesome experience to get together with all the missionaries in the zone and with the mission Pres. Pres. Woodland is an outstanding mission leader. Our theme this time was "In Whom Do I Have Faith". We must have faith in Jesus Christ, in His church and in His work. We are His servants. We must also have faith in the Holy Ghost and in the Atonement and of course we must have faith in ourselves. We must come to understand that this work is not about us, but about being the conduit to connect His children to Him. We will then have the expectation of miracles. We will see hearts opening and changing and we will see people become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and begin on their road to salvation.

We had two transfers yesterday. Our french Elder Perez has gone on to Dunkerque and Sister Stay is finished with her mission and is on the way to Salt Lake. We will miss these two wonderful missionaries. It's amazing how close we become to them. At our district meeting this past tuesday, I offered to sew the elder's pants. They have holes in seams and here and there. It just doesn't look good, so I guess I will bring out the needle and do some badly needed work. I tried to be so tactful and told them that I was a Mom and so I didn't care if they had holes or not and that I was surely used to it. I think they were happy to have me do it. Noone had their feelings hurt.
Wednesday we had to to to Saint Omer again to work on our legality. The 1 1/2 hour trip took and extra 45-55 minutes because of road construction. The trip was pleasant, but I think their system needs a bit of revision. All we had to do was sign a form and now we have to wait for it to come back to us, get a medical, and then go back to St. Omer for the 3rd time to turn it in. All of this could easily have been done by mail and save a lot of time and money. Oh well, when in France, so as the French.
This week-end Elder Dallin H. Oaks is coming for stake conference. It is the first time in 20 years that an apostle is going to be in this area. We are very anxious and excited for the conference. I know it will be great.


marcia@joyismygoal said...

What fun for Stake Conf and what a nice "mom" you are to those Elders -i am sure you will be sad to see them come and go as they do -we do learn to love them don't we? Are you a student of Your Hubby's too? Did you see my post of the Statue I stumbled upon here in FW did you ever see when you were here? I also love Shakespeare and I need help when reading it when I start but once I get used to the language, it flows:)

txmommy said...

look how cute pops is teaching away!

nikko said...

Maybe I am dumb, but don't they already speak French? Why is he teaching it?

Natalie said...

Marcia: Yes, I am a student of DH also. I did see the post of the statue, but never saw it in person. I am the one who commented on your blog abaout reading Shakespeare as a high school girl.
Nikko: Yes of course the natives all speak French and fast too. The students are those who do not speak the language. There are quite a few of them from other countries, especially England and Africa.

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

I have seen pictures of my Elder's pants- I just sent him two new pair :) most of his holes weren't really fixable- but I am sure those missionaries (and their mommies) are grateful. How wonderful to see Elder Oaks.

The Wendler Family said...

Its sounds like you all are plesantly busy. Yeah, their system is obviously flawed if you can't do some of that paper work sending through the mail... What a time consuming process!
I am glad you helped improve the Elder's apperence by getting rid of some of the holes in their pants. :)
I hope you enjoyed hearing Elder Oaks today!

Yvonne said...

Oh, I typed a long comment and didn't type the right word verification and now have to do it again ; ((((

I love the picture of the building--beautiful architecture.

We in the west are very spoiled.

Sounds like you are enjoying the work. I'm so glad. My hubby gets to attend Zone Conferences and enjoys them so much. This truly is the Lord's work.

Can't wait to hear Elder Oaks's visit.


Robin said...

It will be a great stake conference... We are having our this week end too. Beautiful countryside to see as you make that long drive.