Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunday Surprise Wards Party

Sunday after church we thought that we were going to have a ward lunch. It turned out to be a 2 ward surprise buffet for us. The hall was so crowded that there was not enough room for everyone. Tables had to be set up in some of the other rooms too. After everyone had gathered, there was a very nice speech about us which Dh totally missed because he was in a Bishop's interviews with one of his families that he had baptized and that are getting ready for the temple. Oh my goodness, they said so many nice things. Then I had to be the first one to go and get a plate of food. We feel so blessed and so honored.

This is a painting that Gregory, one of our investigators painted and gave to me.

I took some pictures of people that I haven't written about before and a few that I have.
First is Anastasie. I love this eccentric African lady. She just cracks me up all the time with her funny stories and ways.

This little lady has so many problems and trials, but she just keep coming and coming. She has a very strong testimony of the church.

People starting to gather for sacrament meeting.

M. Felix, the greffier, is the nicest man. He is a faithful home teacher who never misses a visit. He was so good to the Petrov's. What a valiant servant he is.

The Pieters family plus one of the Bishops boys who always likes to sit with them.

Bernadette with a great smile on her face.

We have become such good friends and will really miss each other a lot

M. Giles Beacourt another wonderful guy who helps so many people and no one know about it. He is so quite and shy, but there is a great big charitable heart beating in his chest.

Marie in the red is not a member, but she is always there causing some trouble and mischief. She has actually improved a lot this year and has stopped causing so much trouble. She often tells people that Joseph Smith is the grandson of one of the King Louis' of France. Of course, this is totally untrue, but she believes it as well as other fantastic stories that she invents. She rides a little collapsible bike everywhere. Last year she told me that she was entering the Tour de France. Then she proceeded to invite me to be her riding companion. Oh yes, can you just see me in the Tour de France along side of Lance Armstrong or Alberto Contador? HAHA. Maybe I should take up biking.

Jean Luc and Gisela with Jerome. Jean Luc was baptised by Dh and they are now getting ready to go to the temple.

My favorites, the missionaries. Elders Firth, Kip, Raco, and Alexander.

Xavier Corselles and M.Demaire two wonderful men.

Soeur Doit.

This lovely Soeur Fiew, pictured with her son, is also raising her grandson who is about 6 because her daughter died a few years ago. She was so sad, but never lost faith. I'm sure the Lord is so pleased with her.

Francoise Mangatia is one of my favorite people. She is wonderful. I love the way she dresses. She knows just how to mix colors and she always looks fancy and kinda flamboyant. She painted this beautiful painting for me. I love it.

The two greffiers, Frere Pieprz and Frere Fiew, one for Lille and the other for Villenueve d'Ascq. These ward clerks always keep busy with the records and other church business.

Esther, Xavier, and Fanny. I will really miss these fine young people.

Emilie with Soeur Beaucourt. These two sisters are in the primary presidency. They are so sweet and nice. The kids just love them and so do I.

Frere Badji and his darling little girl. She is always waltzing up and down the aisles and is very quiet and sooooo cute

I took pictures of quite a few of the tables, but I missed quite a few also because I was so busy talking with people.

Soeur Pieters and Nirina serving themselves. There were so many yummy things to eat with a chocolate brownie type of cake that had Creme Anglaise on top of it for dessert.

Soeur Mangatia is Manu's Mom.

Pierre has been studying the gospel and will be baptised in a couple of weeks. He has the best laugh and is lots of fun to be with. He will be a great addition to our young adults.

Christophe is cooming back to church after a very difficult time in his life.

Jacques with his cute little Rose. He is an awesome guy. He's a counselor in the Bishopric.

Another newly baptised family. They have been so faithfully attending church ever since they began studying and learning about the gospel.

Patrick is a funny little guy. He's always at church and always doing his job just right. Unfortunately his wife does not come to church with him. He is very bright and love to have deep conversations with Dh.

Henry Paul and Jacqueline Doit are faithful members who have had some very special spiritual experiences. One of them was that they weren't able to have children for many, years, visits to fertility specialists etc. After a blessings and a very sacred experience she became pregnant and they now have 3 wonderful children.

Elder Kipp posing in his new coat.

I think our sister missionaries look so beautiful and are so beautiful inside too.

Elise Duez our Bishop's wife with the youngest of her 5 children.

Eat Well!

Good bye Soeur Arhets
Good bye Elder Arhets
They didn't remember how to spell our name.

Elder Roco and Dh are good buddies.

A lovely plaque given us by the Debouver Family. It is the mayrie in Mouscron.

Some books given us by the Boutoilles and Degrave families.

Everyone has been soooooo nice and kind. It has been a very emotional time for us. The Saints in France are wonderful people. They are diligent and faithful. It is not easy for them to live their religion in a country that is now part of Post Christian Europe. Yet they continue on, having faith in the Lord. They travel great distances and don't complain. They want to do all that the Lord expects of them. I admire them for this Lots of tears have been shed by many as we said good bye to our friends here in France and Belgium.
As Shakespeare wrote, "Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say good night til it be marrow." I know this is not a love scene for us as it was when Juliet spoke those words, but I feel that it applies to us in the sense that we are feeling sorrowful to leave our mission and the people that we have come to love. I think that sorrow is a kind of gift because the feeling of sorrow is part of the experience of love.


The Texas Bakers said...

It really has been a field of blessings, hasn't it. What a wonderful experience.

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

Our bishop talked about that very thing at a funeral this week. He spoke about grieveing and feeling sorrow is from loving someone- and if we didn't love them, we wouldn't feel sorrow.

I learned from my son's mission what bittersweet really means- how it feels. There is the bitter- sorrow, and missing of people and loved ones, but the sweetness from getting to know and love them and the joy of serving them and seeing the fruition of the gospel in someone's life.

nikko said...

I am so sad for you that it is time for you to leave! It would be so hard to say goodbye to everyone!

But, those of us on the other side of the pond are looking forward to seeing you again. :o)

Yvonne said...

It must be so difficult to say goodbye to these wonderful people. As I have read your blog these past two years, I know it has been such a great experience for you and for them.

What a great celebration.

utmommy said...

5 days!