Monday, November 25, 2013

This thanksgiving it is just TOO easy to find things to be grateful for.

I'm just feeling REALLY blessed of late. This was another week for the books. Thanksgiving is coming up and the Christmas paper chain is getting alarmingly short and Liège is busy setting up it's annual "Village de Noël" in Centre Ville, complete with an adorable Christmas themed Ferris Wheel. It is such a bummer that I will probably be out of this dream land come Christmas time. 

GIGH IS BACK! She fell off the face of the planet for a few weeks there, but we succeeded in seeing her this last Tuesday night. We found out that her life has been really difficult lately. We made some delicious pumpkin scones with her and just talked about life. We invited her to go to the JA (Young Adult) super weekend in Charleroi and she said yes! It was so great, we obiviously couldn't go, but she went with Sariah Scheurch (our recently returned mini missionary) and texted us updates every couple hours. She had an absolute blast and Sariah said she really felt the spirit:) We are going to go see her tommorrow and hear all about it! there is the American lady named Soeur Fonicello...she was in Liège 2 but just barely moved back to the U.S. (Texas to be exact).  She kept telling us about this family she wanted us to go see, Peter and Nadine, but we weren't having much luck getting a rdv with them. We had no idea if these people were even believeing, or wanted to see missionaries. Basically we had pretty low expectations for this family. But then a few weeks ago they showed up after church for Soeur Fonicello's going away party and Nadine started talking to us and invited us over! Well, last Wednesday was our appointment. We had no idea what to expect, except that she was feeding us dinner. Soeur Fonicello had been her cleaning lady, and Nadine had met us once while we were helping Soeur Fonicello we thought maybe Nadine was expecting us to help her clean house? Really we had no idea. We were prepared for least we thought we were. We couldn't have been more surprized by what actually happened....

We stumbled upon a family that is culturally Mormon.  Nadine led us inside, sat us down with her children and basically said, "Teach them!"  She pulled out worksheets she had written based on the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet for her children to do with us, told us about how every monday night they have family home evening, and when the kids went off to karate she led us back into her "scrapbooking" room, which was filled with Greg Olsen paintings, mormon ads and ensign magazines... She is reading the book of Mormon and has the Relief Society book "Daughters in My Kingdom."  From the way she was talking it is obvious she wants her children to go on missions, literally we could say nothing wrong.  I have never ever felt as good on my mission as I had felt that night!  God really is preparing people.  And members are so powerful.  This is all thanks to Soeur Fonicello!  Nadine even had a "Mormon Mom's" cookbook.  I can't wait to go back and see them again:)  It was really weird, the night before all of this, at Gigh's house, the TV was on for a few minutes and Nadine was on it!  She was in some sort of news story.  It was just really cool because I never watch tv and the one time it was on our soon-to-be investigator was on the cool!

Okay, what else happened this week. Oh yes, we had "A VERY BELGE THANKSGIVING."  So there is this less-active, Christianne.  She's...well...a little exhuberant... and for months she has been inviting us to have Thanksgiving with her.  It was kind of the last thing we wanted to do.  We wanted to have thanksgiving with the Schuerch's because they are half-American.  Well, last week Christianne asked if we were coming over for Thanksgiving this Thursday, the 21st, we told her that that's not Thanksgiving!  It's a week later on the 28th.  She said she'd already invited a bunch of people. Anyways, It was perfect this way!  So this last Thursday I had my first Belge Thanksgiving.  It was hilarious!  Nobody had any idea what it was actually supposed to be like, or what Thanksgiving was even about.  Soeur Hilton told the Pilgrim story at least a few times, it was kind of difficult in French, haha.  Christianne tried so hard.  She made EVERYTHING out of pumpkin though!  We had pumpkin soup, pumpkin chunks to go with the turkey? and a pumpkin pie that had onions in it instead of sugar.  Seriously I will never forget that night... I can't wait for our American Thanksgiving this week!  There is no such thing as canned pumpkin out here so we bought five giant slices of pumpkin, cut them up, cooked them in the oven and then puréed them. We are taking desperate measures to get pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving!

Well that's it for this week! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with gratitude, family, and delicious (sugary) pumpkin pie!

Soeur Johns.