Monday, November 9, 2009

Baptism and Zone Conference

Saturday the 7th of November Dh baptized Geanilse De Souza Pruvost. "Ninha" as we know her is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her husband Rudy got baptized in March of this year. Ninha was pregnant and too scared to get in the water for fear of falling in there and hurting the baby. Then after the baby was born she just kept putting it off and was not sure when she wanted to proceed. We went to visit them and talked to them about the importance of showing the Lord how you feel and the importance of not delaying what is a commandment of the Lord. We also talked to them about eternal families and how wonderful that is. A few days later, she decided to go ahead with her baptism. This couple is very sweet. They are always kind and seem to always be in a very good mood. Rudy is excited because he just got a big loan to pay for his store which he will open very soon. He has been operating from his home for about a year. He sells cartridges and other parts for computers. He seems to be doing well and we are happy for him.
Some of the elders in front of the font. It was the sister missionaries turn to fill the font, but they got to church kind of late. When we got there, we found them heating water in the microwave in the kitchen and taking bowls of hot water to the font and dumping it in to help fill up the font. Poor girls they were making lots of trips back and forth. The hot water in the kitchen is broken and that is why they were heating the water. We all got a good laugh out of that as we helped them work.

The lady on the left is President Boutoille's sister. She lives in Boulogne. She is so nice and so pretty. Her husband was the Branch Pres. Each time we go to Calais she is super friendly and nice to me. Boulogne and Calais branches have recently been combined to be the Calais ward. The lady on the left is her friend.

When we got to church on this particular Sabbath day, we went in and I sat down and Dh sat on the stand because he was going to give a talk. Just before Sacrament began the missionaries came and got me and introduced me to an investigator who had just arrived. He spoke only Russian and so once again I was the translator. It is very difficult for me because I don't know all that much French, but I am getting better at it. I am still always amazed how I came to France to do so much translating into Russian. Do you think the Lord knew where I should be? Caesar, the Russian fellow is a political refugee, having official political asylum, living in France. He came to France after having been thrown out of Russia, the Czech Republic and several other countries for actively opposing the Communist regime.

President Boutoille and his family. This dear family invited us over for dinner after the meetings in Calais. The meetings ended at 12:30, but because Dh and Pres had so many things to do afterwards, we didn't even get to his house until 4:00. We all waited together and when all the business was done, we all drove the 1/2 hr to his house near Boulogne. They served a yummy dinner which included curry chicken and rice and beef bourginion.(sp?) We had such a fun time with them. All of the children were so especially nice and polite. They have a hedgehog for a pet that has free roaming privileges in their backyard. President Boutoille served his mission in England and speaks perfect English. Patrick also has a beautiful singing voice. He is so friendly and nice and has a great sense of humor. His talks at church are so uplifting and inspiring. We really like him a lot and enjoy spending time with him. His job now is as a financial specialist. He travels to Paris a few times a week as well as to Lille. His wife also speaks good English, but she is shy about it. She works part time as a speech therapist.

Every 6 weeks we have zone conference. At this time Pres and Sis Brubaker come and also all the missionaries from the zone get together. We have talks and instruction and we always hear uplifting things. We have lectures and we also teach each other. It is amazing to me to see the young missionaries conduct and run conference. Most of these young men are 19 to 21 years of age, although a few are a bit older. They do such a great job. They prepare well and present spiritually uplifting and important information. They are intelligent and poised and do a fantastic job. We all love zone conference. I love to see the elders and sisters greet each other after not seeing one other for weeks. The guys alway bear hug and slap each other on their backs. They also crash chests together. I really don't know how else to explain it. The sisters hug and give bisous (kisses). I love it because it is great to see the love that they have for each other as they serve the Lord together. They really develop a brotherly and sisterly love for one another. If a companionship has problems at the beginning of the transfer and think they cannot even get along, by the end of the transfer they learn to love each other. When one wants to serve the Lord and do as the Lord teaches, he learns to love everyone. This is so evident in the lives of the missionaries. Also, these awesome young people are so kind and nice to us. We love them a lot and they love us too. They always want to include us in all of their activies and we sure appreciate it and love being with them.

Here is our whole zone. We are in the back.

Every 6 weeks we also have transfers. That is when companionships are sometimes broken up as elders and sisters are sent to different areas to serve. On transfer day everyone is excited and sometimes a little sad to be leaving or to see their friends leave. They alway take lots of pictures. This is our district.
Elder Ertelt is from Germany. He actually served his mission on the Dutch side, but for this last week of his mission, he was in France.
Elder Dewey. Such a great elder. He and his companion made lunch for Dh and me one day after district mtg. They served a yummy salad and home made pizza. He even served us juice, bringing it to us with a napkin over his arm like in a real restaurant. We all chuckled over that.
Elder Scott and Elder Larsen. Elder Scott wants to be a pediatrician after his mission. Elder Larsen will be finished before Christmas. This is his last transfer.
Elder Paoli, a brand new elder from France and Elder Dewey. After only 6 weeks Elder Paoli is already picking up a lot of English.

Elder Hoskyns, our district leader and Elder Cabrerra, our zone leader. Elder Hoskyns signs. He lived with a family for a year that had deaf members and so he learned how to sign. Now he also knows how to sign in French sign language. He said it's not too different from ASL. He has a deaf investigator.
One Sunday in investigators class he was translating for her. I was sitting across the table from them translating from French into Russian for the Petrovs. After class Elder Hoskyns told me that his investigator asked him why I kept talking "so rudely" during the lesson. Ha Ha. He had to explain to her that I was actually translating.

Sister Gappmaeir is from Switzerland and Sister Fritsch is from France.
The two frenchies.

Paoli and Hoskyns goofing around.
See no evil, Speak no evil, Hear no evil.

Elder Cabrerra and Soeur Gappmaeir.

Elder Dewey and Dh.
This goes on for about an hour.
Elder Ertelt wearing his kilts. I was amazed to know that he paid over 300euros for them.

We really get to know the elders and sisters well. I have fixed the pants for lots of the elders, so we are familiar. We really love them and love working with them.


Yvonne said...

I have a feeling the Lord knew EXACTLY what He was doing ; )

I'm so glad this sister made the decision to be baptized.

You continue to amaze me. I love reading your stories. One of the things my hubby will miss when he goes back to work is not being able to attend our Zone Conferences here. He loves his meetings with the missionaries. These young men and women are truly amazing, but I love the Senior Couples and Senior sisters, too.

nikko said...

Natalie, you always look so happy in your pictures. It's no surprise to me that you and your husband were sent there. You are having such wonderful experiences and are making me so excited to serve a mission someday! :o)

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

I know you were sent where you were for many good reasons :) My brother in law brought a kilt back (he served in Scotland-though) and he wore it for the wedding reception. You could tell those from his mission because they wore theirs also.

Isn't it funny how many different nationalities you have the chance to work with-

Thanks for the birthday wishes!

txmommy said...

what cute elders you have!

Connie said...

What fun experiences you're having I love to read about them and see all your great pictures.
Hey Natalie, YOU WON! Go to my blog and you can see where to go to claim your prize! I told the etsy vendor that if she can't ship to Belgium, perhaps you have a local address she can send it to. If not, she can send it to me and I'll send it off to you.
Let me know if you have any questions. Also, let me know when you get it!

Nancy Face said...

All these pictures are so much fun!

I love the mental picture of the sister missionaries heating up the bowls of water, trying to get the font filled!

I can't even believe that anyone has a hedgehog for a pet! That's AWESOME! :D