Friday, April 23, 2010


On the 12th of April we were able to take a little day trip to Mons and to Quaregnon. We spent the day with Brother and Sister Brown who are serving their mission working with the archives. The center for archives is in Mons. They are preparing the records for the church to come in and to take films of it. After the films are taken and catalogued, the church gets a copy and France gets a copy for their archives. They arrived in France in July and have already more than doubled the work that was expected of them.

Elder Brown is a retired Naval Captain and pilot. The Navy sent him to school to earn his PHD in Physics. After that he was part of a team of some Naval and Air Force guys who put into operation the GPS system. At one time he was the commander of an ROTC unit at some university and another time he was in charge of training naval men. He has had some very interesting experiences in his life. Sister Brown served a mission to Germany as a young girl. she later became a professor at BYU University. They have 8 children. They spent a year teaching in China and they also served a 2 year mission as the East Area Church representatives stationed in Hong Kong.
We spent a very fun and interesting day together. Elder Brown made us a tasty lunch of Chinese Cashew Chicken.

This is a picture of the Grand Place in Mons.

The little bronze monkey is supposed to bring good luck it you rub his head.

The Grand Hornu is a large complex of buildings which are now part of a cultural center. The story begins when Henri Degorge bought the coal mine of Hornu in 1810 with the intention of developing a huge mining center. This was part of the industrial revolution in France. He developed workshops, stores, stables, foundries, etc. When he died most of the activity stopped until 1870 when houses were built for the workers. The whole thing was destroyed in 1971 and later in 1980 re-built as a center for cultural activities. It did not look attractive to me nor did it have anything going on and no notices of future activities. I'm not quite sure why it is of such importance. But anyway, we saw it.

We drove by the Maison Espagnole, one of the oldest houses there.

In the city there is a beautiful cathedral. I think most every city, town and village has a lovely church or cathedral. So sad that they are not regularly frequented.

Not far from Mons is a great Ascensure. This is a huge elevator that moves barges and boats from one canal to another. The structure in front of the car is part of the canal. It is above ground as you can see.

Driving under the canal.

This is a shot of the elevator from a distance.

From the parking lot looking at the side of the elevator.

A picture of barges getting ready to enter the ascensure

If you look at either side of the structure, you will see cables going up and down. On the left side you can see large cement blocks, on the cables. There are those same large cement blocks on the other side.

The barge is getting closer to entering the elevator.

Here is a better picture of the cement blocks. After the barge enters the elevator, huge gates close behind it (water and all). Then a certain amount of water is drained out of the holding area.

A picture of the blocks on the bottom now (attached to the cables).

One of the barges is entering the elevator.

The huge gate is closing, locking the barge water and all into the elevator.

The cement blocks or bars are beginning to lower. As they lower, the barge goes up.

The barge is entering the elevator.

Looking down at the barge in the elevator.

The extra water is being pumped out.

The gate is down and locked.

Another shot of the blocks. As the blocks go down, the barge goes up and vice versa. As the blocks go up, the barge comes down.
I especially posted so many pictures because I think Rob will like them. Also, I think it is facinating. Rob, I think you will like to know the principle behind this elevator.
This ascensture works on Archimedes Principle which states
that a body immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid.

The elevator does not have lift the weight of the barge and the water, it simply moves it from one spot to another.

The elevator at the top where it will let the barge off into the other canal.

The blocks on the bottom as the barge is on the top.

It was extremely interesting to see this huge structure and to find out how it worked. I loved seeing the barges moving about. Each side works independently and this elevator is funded by the government because it saves them lots of money as well as being ecologically better than using trucks to transport things.

There is a funny story about Archimedes. Probably not true, but told in many science classes. It seems Archimedes was thinking and wondering about why objects float. He was taking a bath. As he was bathing he saw something in the tub float and the lightbulb came on. It is said that he jumped out of the tub and ran down the street yelling, "I've got it. I've got it." He later wrote his principle.

We drove by the Chateau d'Havre. It is in major disrepair and one cannot tour it. You can tell it was very nice at one time.

Right by the Brown's apt is this tiny street. If one stands in here, one can touch both walls at the same time.

We often see tiny little streets like this.

This was the day before 5 of our missionaries left and 5 more came in. Elder Shaunig made a lunch for everyone. Some of the rest of us brought things to go with the lunch too such as salad and desserts.
Here are Elder Jurrus and Soeur Pobst.

Soeur Carson

Elder Bertrand getting ready to go home after serving a valiant mission.

Elder Shaunig.

Elder Porter.

Elder Bertrand, Soeur Kohler.
Elder Jurrus, Soeur Pobst.

Elder Neidhart.

Goofing around.

Elder Dalton and Soeur Nielsen.

Our typical end of transfer picture.

It is amazing how in 6 short weeks we grow to love each other so much and feel so much like family. I'm sure these young missionaries
are forming bonds and friendships for a lifetime. They will never forget those with whom they served. I certainly will never forget any of them. They are always so kind and nice to me. We have such a great time together working, playing, and most importantly serving the Lord.

Here is a picture of some of the most valiant young men and women in the world. Look how handsome and beautiful they are. They are so hard working and yet they have so much fun. They love the Lord. I am so lucky to be able to serve with them and to get to be with them.

A last good by to Elder Bertrand and Elder Shaunig.

Good by Soeur Nielson and Soeur Kohler.


Yvonne said...

That is absolutely fascinating. Thank you for posting it all. Love all the pictures and the explanation.

It must be so sad when the missionaries are transferred. I know it's how it all works, but it must be hard when you grow so close.

marcia@joyismygoal said...

so love love all those buildings and all your stories