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.