Friday, July 24, 2009

10 things

A blog I read gave a challenge to walk around and take a picture of 10 things in 10 minutes that you like, where you are. These are the 10 things that I really like in our missionary apt. Dh is the love of my life. He is the greatest man.
I love the Savior and am so grateful for His great sacrifice in our behalf, so I really like these pictures hanging in our front room.
I love to chat with my family on Skype and I love to keep up on the blogs that I read. I also like plants and flowers, so I keep one right by my laptop.
I love my family and I love to look at their pictures, even though these pictures are not complete. Maybe some people will send me more pictures.:)
I love the scriptures and learn so much from them.
I love our missionaries. This is our first district along with a couple of extra pictures of people I love (children and grandchildren).
I love the temple. I love going there and I love working there. We have these pictures hanging up above our table.

I love fresh fruits and veggies. We bought these tuesday at the marche. This is what 20 euros will buy.
I really like the view out our back window. The flowers are so pretty although it was too dark when I took these pictures, so they didn't turn out well, but I didn't want to wait to post.
I also like the view out of our front window. All of the construction has come to an indefinite halt because they filled the land with landfill stuff and it is not good enough to build on.

Today Dh and I were talking about some historical figures. We talked about Genghis Khan who through his military genius conquered 2/3 of the known world in the 13th century. We talked of how centuries earlier Alexander the Great conquered vast empires before he died at the age of 33, again through sheer military genius. But, neither of these men conquered the most important enemy: the worldly man inside them. Proverbs16:32 says, "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." David O McKay, a prophet of the Lord, has revealed this gold nugget of wisdom: "Spirituality is the consciousness of victory over self and of communion with the infinite." Most of us will take a lifetime of struggle to conquer our worldy selves. How great it will be when we do.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Marie Beatrix Ballois

Whenever the Elders in Kortrijk, a city in the Dutch speaking side of our mission, have French speaking people who need to be taught, we go there and work with them. The Elders do not speak any French and so it becomes our responsibility to teach them.
A while back we met Marie Beatrix Ballois. She is a very nice, spirtitually inclined woman. After a few weeks and feeling comfortable with us, Marie told us that she was an alcoholic and wanted to get rid of her addiction. Dh counseled with her for quite a while and one of the things he told her was that she needed to stop seeing her friends who were drinkers and who were encouraging her to drink. He told her that she needed to stop letting them come to her house and that she should stay away from anyone who would be tempting her to drink. As it turns out, she has a group of friends who have been making fun of her and calling her names whenever she would tell them that she did not want to have a drink.
One day, while we were at her home teaching her, this motley group of "friends" came over with their dogs. The dogs immediately began jumping all over the furniture of her immaculate home. The group came over to have some drinks. Of course, we couldn't finish our lesson, so we left, but not before reminding her that she needs to tell them that she will not be drinking with them anymore. The next day we called her and she told us that she had indeed told them that she would not be drinking with them anymore, nor would she be providing them with anymore drinks. The day after that we went over and the Elders and Dh gave her a blessing to help her have the strength to quit drinking. She was very touched by the blessing to the point of having tears in her eyes. She said that she felt so good receiving this blessing and that she felt a strength coming to her. She threw away all of her alcohol and has been very strong ever since. Several weeks have gone by and each time we talk to her or see her, she says that she is remaining strong.
Now Marie's daily routine was to wake up, drink her sangria and her coffee, roll her cigarette and have a smoke, and then say her morning prayers. After we taught her that she should not indulge in these substances, she has willingly said that she will do them no more. She is working on the smoking and is getting a patch from her dr. She wants to follow everything that the Lord says.
Marie is getting baptized at the end of August. It is amazing to see how faithful this woman is and how she has so readily accepted all of the teachings of the church.

Elder Lystrup, Las Vegas, Nevada and Elder Thompson, Sandy, Utah are the 2 Elders we have been working with this past little while. They are awesome young men. Here we are having some frites after one of our appointments fell through and we had some time to spend while waiting for our next appt. These frites were our lunch that day and they were sure good. Frites are sold all over Belgium and France. They are sold with a choice of sauces. The portions are huge. All 3 men had larges and finished them off rather quickly. Then they had to help me finish my med.:) Notice the size of the tiny forks. These Elders are such great young men. We really enjoy working with them. Not only are they diligent, smart, and spiritually attuned, but they are so much fun to be with too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


We have some very nice neighbors, David, Stephanie, and Manon. They are off to the the south of France for a vacation. We are kitty-sitting Tigru, better known as Doudou. The first day he was here was spent under our bed. The next day he came out because he wanted to eat. After that he has made himself at home. He is quite a nice cat and quite happy here. He spends his days eating, sleeping, and looking at the world through the front window.

Several weeks ago we were home teaching with Bro. Courselle. When we were all done with our visits, he dropped Dh and I off at home and off he went. We soon realized that Dh had left the keys on the back seat of the car. We tried and tried calling him, but no answer. We tried his daughter and we tried the daughter's boyfriend. All to no avail. We figured that because it was fri. eve. he was off to dinner with his wife. So, we were stuck. We could not get into our apt. Luckily for us, our nice neighbors came to the rescue. They invited us to their apartment where Dh visited while Stephanie and I went to B.C's house to see if maybe he was there. He wasn't. We went back to their apt. and they invited us to stay for dinner. They said that if it gets to be too late, we could even sleep there. The Courselle's finally called us several hours later and yes, they had gone out to dinner. They came and gave us our keys, but we ended up staying until midnight eating and playing games with our neighbors. It's so nice to have nice neighbors. That evening was the first time I ever ate ratatouille and it was delicious. I have even made it since then and mine turned out really good too.:)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Picnic with the JA's

Saturday we had a really fun picnic with the JA's. We met at the church and then we all went to a beautful park in Villenueve D'Ascq. All together there were 17 young adults. We thought it was just great. In the summer many, many people leave for "Vacances". So, it was really wonderful to have so many attend. We all ate lunch and then we played lots of different games. DH played frisbee and catch the football. I played UNO. They played some other board games. Then we all ate ice creams. Dh and I went for a little walk by the lake. Afterwards we watched them play volleyball, soccer and a game kind of like dodge ball. Dh went and sat in the shade and did some reading out of the Joseph Smith Manual. He was checking out some things for a few of our investigators. I chatted with some of the girls. They always have to catch me up on some of their "boy problems". The youth had a great time and so did we. We are the only ones that are so old who attend and all of them are so especially nice to us. They always want us to be there with them and they always include us in their activities. I think that is especially nice of them.
Here we are enjoying our ice creams.
Kicking back.

The 2 girls in the front left are from Saint Quentin. They are twins and came up with Natacha and Naomi for the activity. Some of the other youth are Aurore, Anne-Louise, Manu, Remi, Guillaume, and Giovani. Not everyone is in the pictures.

Playing dodge ball(sort of). It is their own version.:)

Noemi, on the left, is studying landscape design. She is away for the summer and just came for the activity. In the middle is Elena. She just got back from a mission to London. She is continuing her university studies in the fall. On the right is Clemence. She is brand new to our group. She and her twin, Sophie, just turned 18. These 2 girls are awesome musicians. They play the piano and conduct the music during sacrament meeting every week. They will be starting university in the fall.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Harry Potter

Since we are a senior couple, we can go on outings that the young missionaries cannot. Today we went to see Harry Potter. It was a lot of fun. We enjoyed the movie, although it did not exactly follow the book. It was still good.
The theatre was all set up for a big HP extravaganza tonight. These kids were working hard getting things ready.

The tables for some of the goodies.

More tables all set to go.

During intermission, this cute little cart, attached to a bicycle, had snacks in it, for sale.
After everyone bought what they wanted, the guy got on the bike and drove(rode) it out.

The snack area at the entrance to the movies is very large and immaculte. Here are some of the fun things for sale.

Drinks, yogurts and cold things.
Rows and rows of popcorn.

Tons of different candies.

All kinds of chips.
In the parking lot there is a McDonalds or Mcdo's as they call it here. The following 2 signs show some of the food they have for sale. If you click on any picture, it will enlarge it.

We enjoyed our movie and afterwards went right back to work, after changing back into our miss. clothes of course.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Elder Leavitt's B-day

Today, the 14 of July, is Bastille Day, French national holiday to commemorate the taking of the Bastille, which was a fortress where the king kept prisoners, sometimes for life. It is also Elder Leavitt's birthday. We had interviews with our new mission president, Pres. Brubaker today. Also, Elder Leavitt and his companion Elder Dewey prepared a great mini conf. for us. Since I knew his b-day was coming up, I baked 2 cakes and we had a little surprise party for him. He was really happy and all of the missionaries enjoyed eating cake and cookies. Missionaries always like to eat.:) Dh was responsible for stalling him while the girls helped me set up.
Elder Hoskyns and Elder Leavitt.

Elder Spicer.

Elder Dewey
Sister Brubaker, Sis. Shannon and Dh.

Pres. and his wife sang a very cute and lively french anniversaire song.

Me and the birthday boy.

We love working with these awesome missionaries and spending time with them. They are the cream of the crop.