Saturday, November 21, 2009

Young Women, Senior Thanksgiving, Missionary Work

These first 3 pictures actually go with the missionary activity at the bottom, but I had to copy them later and couldn't figure out how to put them on the bottom. This is Manu who is now our ward mission leader. This was him a few years ago when he was in Paris on his mission. The photos show how we did our chalk proselyting.

The young women from the stake had a really nice values night. They first met in the chapel for the spiritual part, nice talks and presentation and then they had a really fun play in the cultural hall. They took the different young women's values and acted out a little skit for each one. They began with the 2 girls on the left talking. They are reminising about how everything came about, how the friend learned about the gospel, about all of the different pricniples, and how she decided to become baptized. The first little scene is of them going shopping. One of the girls, the member, is choosing a modest dress, but the other one likes a little skimpy outfit. The first girl tells her how much nicer it is to be modest. She also teaches her about chastity.

The young women recruited some boys to help them with the skits. Here are two boys discussing what kind of girls they like.

There was a skit on the Word of Wisdom. The girl on the left is a cigarette trying to persuade the kids at a party to smoke. She is telling them how much fun it is to smoke and things like that. These two boys chase her out.

Then they had a skit about keeping the sabbath holy.

Another skit showed 3 girls and their dating habits and how the type of dating that you do can lead you to disaster and a sad, difficult life or to true happiness and eternal marriage. The skits were very fun, but it was so dark that my camera did not take good pictures.:(

The program ended with the young women singing a very beautiful song.

Yesterday we drove up to Brussels, well really to Kraainen, a suburb of Brussels to the mission president's home for a Senior Couples Thanksgiving. We all brought food and there were a lot of delicious things to eat with tons left over. We had such a fun time talking and enjoying each others company. There were 2 other couples who are setting up centers for young adults. One is in Brussels and the other one is in the Netherlands. We had lots of comparing and chatting to do with lots of hints and advice for each other. It was just great. All of the couples from the mission were able to make it and I was so impressed with each one. The have some very interesting life stories and experiences.
The couple in the middle are the Browns. They are working with the church archives right now getting the records in order so that someone else can come in and microfilm them. Elder Brown has had a very interesting career. He was a pilot for the navy and spent lots of time on an aircraft carrier. She followed him with their children from port to port. He also did a lot of work with engineering for the Navy. He was part of a team of about 5 men who were responsible for setting up the satelite and programing the information to the satelite for the GPS system that we all love and use so much. I always say that it takes 3 of us to drive over here: Dh, me and the GPS. We would be lost without it. Sister Brown was a professor at BYU.

The Longavelds are setting up a center in the Netherlands. He was an aerospace engineer and she was a teacher.

The table was set so cute. Sister Brubaker set out several pairs of wooden shoes and had them filled with fall harvest. Each place had a little pear with a leaf name tag on it. The centerpiece was a large pumpkin with flowers in it. It was really pretty and festive.

President and Sister Brubaker with the turkey.

The Langevelds and the Browns again.

The Pankratz to the left are the mission intendents. They open and close lots of missionary apartments, fix lots of things, and also order supplies and things for the missionaries plus lots of other duties. They have 11 children. Elder Pankratz ran a humongous church farm for over 25 years. Next to them are the Specks. He also was an engineer.

At the head of the table are the Solden's. Elder Solden was a radiologist and he worked for the Air Force and with the astronauts. He was part of a team that built some special machine that could x-ray all kinds of things that they used to test for the space program. In fact they had to x-ray the space suits because the inner part was having lots of problems and to get to the bottom of the problem they needed to x-ray the space between the outer suit and it's lining. They also worked with rats and some other animals doing certain testing for outer space. It's all quite complicated. His wife is also a radiologist.

I can't think of the next couples name, but next to them are the Dabl's. All three of these couples are proselyting missionaries in the Netherlands.

Here is Dh with the Phairs. The Phairs have become our good friends. They flew to Belgium with us on the same plane. They had 2 biological children and then, as he says, "adopted a whole slew of them". They are the center couple in Brussels. They are both teachers and he also had a large Real Estate Company.

Here we are. We are the Center couple in France. We love working with the young adults and we love working with the missionaries too. They are all awesome.

After the dinner we all had a chance to tell a little about ourselves and about the things that we are thankful for. It was a very special moment in time to hear everyone.

It is interesting to note that Pres and Elder Phair served missions in France as young men and 4 of the other men served in Netherlands as young missionaries. Sister Brown served in Germany at the same time as all the others served except for Pres who is quite a bit younger.

President designed this shield for the mission. He thought and thought about how to show the unity of the 3 countries that make up our mission and came up with this. The windmills are for Holland, the Fleur de Lys for France, and for Belgium, the center stripe. The black lion is the symbol for West Flanderen and and the Cock is the one for the East. The CTR symbols are in the 3 languages. I think it turned out just great. They are planning to make ties for all of the Elders and scarves for the Sisters with this shield printed on it. Such a fun idea.

Today we had a big activity with the missionaries and some the young adults. It was called chalk proselyting. We had 13 of our JA's participate in the first part and then 2 more came for the evening activity. We started out with a meeting and a little missionary training.

Then we all took the Metro to Fives, to the town square. There some drew the plan of salvation on the ground with chalk. We then talked to those people who showed an interest and wanted to know what it was all about. We handed out brochures, videos, and Books of Mormon to those that wanted them. It was a very successful activity. We have a family with 4 children coming to church tomorrow. We got at least 14 rendez-vous(meetings to talk about the gospel) set up, and we have 2 young people who want to come to our institute class and check it out. We stayed there several hours until it got dark and started to sprinkle. Then we all went back to church where we talked about our afternoon and our successes. Then a few of the young women and I made Croc Monsieur. That is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. If we had made Croc Madame, it would have also had an egg in it. After eating, the JA's watched the last Superman movie and ate candy and dessert. Dh and I went home because we were tired and my back was hurting. We have had a super busy week and tomorrow we have to go to Calais again.

The only thing I feel really bad about is that when we were walking to the Metro from church, the JA's and the missionaries were way, way ahead of me. They were walking so fast, I just could not keep up. Dh was nice enough to stay back and walk with me, but it really made me feel sooooooo bad. I know I can only do as much as I can, but it just makes me feel really lame.

Same thing walking back when we were done. They are so speedy and I am just a slowpoke, I guess. I used to be fast and now I just can't, so I feel bad. I am walking a lot better than I used to, but it's not fast enough.


Yvonne said...

You are so busy with so many things--I LOVE IT. Especially since you are having such a great time doing this wonderful work. Every time you mention the people you are serving with I keep thinking one day there will be someone there I know ; )

Love the Young Women activity. Sounds great.

What a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I have heard a great deal about this chalk proselyting. It sounds so interesting and very successful.

Connie said...

The chalk proselyting is so cool! The missionaries must be artists to make such wonderful pictures and to be able to write so well! The Thanksgiving dinner looks divine! How fun to all be together as a mission family even though you're not with your own family this holiday.

Love reading about your mission.

kannan said...

Welcome to