Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009 in Belgium/France

First of all, I want to wish each of you a very Happy Easter time and to my Jewish friends, a Happy Passover. I hope you all had a great day.
We had a wonderful, happy, spiritually uplifting day. I am so thankful for my Savior and for His atoning sacrifice for all of us.
Our celebrations and thinking about Easter really began last week-end when we were able to listen to General Conference on our laptop and at church. It was awesome. I started giving my thoughts and impressions, but erased them and will post them on a separate blog.

We went to the mail about a week ago and imagine our surprise to find this awesome pkg from TxMommy. As it turned out, we had mailed pkgs to each of our children of yummy Belgian chocolates and in the mail were a couple of pkgs for us. All of the young missionaries love to get American peanut better (I mean butter, but yes, it is better) (Freudian slip?) because here it is veeeeeery expensive and not all that good. So now, we are like all the missionaries and have our very own p.b. :)All of the other goodies are just what we like and wanted. I mean, who wouldn't love your very own pictures colored by G., licorice, gum, reeses pieces, a brand new tie, a bunny statue, Photos(YES) etc.

A few days we got another pkg from Andrea and Yoho, m&m's(my favorite), choc. easter rabbit(already eaten up), magazines, so nice and so thoughtful. I also got these lovely flowers, and we are enjoying the choc. eggs.
At church I need to sit with the Petrov's, the Bulgarian couple, and translate. It is so difficult. Not only is my french not that great, but I don't know all the ecclesiastical terminology in russian. Anyway, I did the best I could. During Sunday School, Dh often has to translate from french into english and then I translate from that into russian. After church we had to go to their interview with the Bishop which lasted about an hour. I was so impressed with this couple as I translated their deepest thoughts and feelings. For example when the Bishop asked them how is their testimony and how do they feel about God, she said she loves Him so much and is so grateful for everything He has blessed her with. Now remember, she is totally blind. She is grateful that in her blindness she does not see everything black, but that the Lord has blessed her to see light. She wants to live a righteous life and to follow what the Lord would have her do. She wants to serve others too. The Petrov's came here from Bulgaria to have an operation on her eyes that may or may not help her. They had to give up everything to be able to come here and so they arrived with nothing. First they went to Belgium where the doctors said that they could not help her. Then someone told them they should go to France. When they got to France, they were living in some place for homeless people. They had to sleep on the floor on thin mats in segregated rooms. Many of the people there were alcoholics and so during the night they would often fall on the sleeping ones. They stayed there for 2 months and they were grateful for a place to stay. Now they are living in another huge home for destitue people which is clean and quite nice. They help out in the kitchen chopping veggies, cooking and also with some cleaning. For this they get a simple but nice room and also get their meals there. Once a week they get 20 euro for personal things such as toothpaste, shampoo, tp. snacks, etc. They pay tithing out of this measly little pension and are happy to do so.

After the interview we went to the Voyez home for Easter dinner. We had such a great time visiting with this great couple. Jean Jacques has 3 callings. He is the ward mission leader, the financial secretary, and he also teaches the investigators class. His wife, although in a wheel chair, also has 2 callings. Many of the members here have multiple callings. Jean Jacques prepared a yummy meal. It began with apricot drinks, and appetizers; hearts of palm, a tiny (less than 1"diameter) salami type sausage, cashews, and bread. Then each person got an individual plate pictured here of egg, tomatoes, carrots, olives, terrine of legumes(kind of vegetable pate), and home-made mayo.

Next we had lamb roast, potatoes, beans with carrots, and cooked/fried chestnuts. Over all of this was a yummy sauce(sorry no picture).

The dinner ended with this dessert, not sure what it is. I think the pink is a type of meringue, but very soft. The filling is rasberries and ? It was cold like ice cream, but ? They also served a non-alcoholic champagne to go with the dessert. We had a lovely time visiting and spending time together.
Our day ended so happily as we were able to talk via skype and phone to each of our children, whom I miss very much. I love skype. I can see them and hear them.:)

This little "castle" is very near the Bulgarians home in Saint Andre.

I love the lettuce here. Look at this one. Two different varieties growing in one pot.


marcia@joyismygoal said...

What sweet family you have and what a great work you are doing.--- lots of translating =lots of retention and responsibility I am soooo impressed w your ability and i know the spirit is a great teacher

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

That lettuce is the coolest! And Brazil doesn't have peanut butter either- nor syrup- so that is a frequent request from there also-

How fun to get to talk to your family- I have a month left to get to talk to my missionary- yippe!

Yvonne said...

It is always such a blessing to read your posts. I am always filled with so much gratitude for all that I have--thank you for your words. You truly amaze me with what you are able to accomplish.

Nancy Face said...

I'm glad you had such a lovely Easter! Wow, what an awesome dinner! :)

KaitlynKazoom said...

Hoppy Easter!
I love you!
It looks so much fun there!

The Wendler Family said...

Fried chestnuts sound so good! and all the food- expecially the dessert (could you get the recipe?) look tasty! I am so glad you had such a delicious Easter celebration. -- Here is something I don't understand: Our ward has no activities committee or leader. They say no one wants the calling. If there are other places in the church were a person has more than one calling, why don't they just call someone who has a calling already to another one? (I'm pretty sure they havn't even asked someone who already has a calling- at least that's how they make it sound.) I think that activites are so important- you would know- you are in charge of young single adult activites- and because our ward is struggling- I think something should be done, and someone having two callings sounds like a good possibility- if they would think about it.

I can't believe how many languages can be spoken between you and your DH. Seriously- you two are so smart! What a blessing your gifts of toungs is being to other members. :)

Oh and the creamed eggs recipe is super easy- you just make a white sauce with butter, corn starch, and milk then add a few dashes of worcester sauce, then you cut up hard boiled eggs and mix it all together and put it on toast- or some fancy bread if you like- and salt and pepper to taste. You should try it- its sooo good! (I don't measure when I make it so you'll have to gage who much you need for you and your DH.)