Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Going to Gent!

I cannot believe that all of the things that happened this week, actually happened this week. We had a fun p-day in Mechelen, zone training on Tuesday, Sister's Conference on Saturday, and then we received transfer calls on Sunday night.
Starting a new day in Belgium. Sun in the morning at Dordrecht station. #mybeautifulmission
I suppose transfer news is the most pressing. I will be going to.... GENT! with sister Robbins, my beloved MTC companion. It has been our dream to be companions in the field since we were together in the MTC, but I was starting to lose faith that it would happen. We are super excited. However, I m also sad to be leaving Turnhout after only a short two transfers here. I am sad to leave Sister Young - we have learned and grown a lot together. I am staying in Belgium though, so luckily there will be chances to see all these people I love again!

I'll miss Zuster Young.

This week was an emotional and spiritual roller coaster (achbaan!) for me. I learned some important lessons while going through some rocky lows and glorious highs. I received some counsel and had a spiritually instructive moment, where Heavenly Father really showed me my weaknesses, and I was shocked. Sure, I knew I wasn't perfect - but it was hard and painful to accept the flaws. When what I want and try so hard for is to do and be good, why is the path so fraught with road bumps, mistakes, and failure? I took it too far though and let myself fall into despair, and felt like I accomplished nothing this entire transfer. So that was confusing and difficult.

But ultimately, when Heavenly Father teaches us, it is a message of hope, and invitation to repentance, becoming more, and reaching our potential. With the help of my wonderful companion and many other loving friends, I was also able to see my strengths, the positive things that I did accomplish with the help of the Lord in this past trasnfer. I realized that yes, I tried to take on too much when I should have listened better to Heavenly Father help me to make priorities. However, what is imporant is that I learned how much I absolutely need to rely on the grace of my Savior! It really is impossible to go through without Him. If feeling lost and disappointed is what it took for me to learn that important lesson, it was worth it. With Christ, my strengths are magnified. Without, my weaknesses (pride, perfectionism, anxiety) are more prominent. I needed to stop putting up walls to hide my imperfections and be willing to be vulnerable, and admit them so that I could work on overcoming them. Thus this week was a bit exhausting, but so wonderful to learn about the atonement.

Zone training was on Tuesday, and it was an opportunity for me and the zone leaders (Elder Hirsch and Elder Bernier) to relay to the others missionaries the vision for the mission based on our leadership council with President and Sister Bunnell and the APs and to provide training, together with the district leaders. It was a cool experience and worked out really well. I was a bit nervous about presenting, but the spirit took over and I am grateful that it worked out. I was training on using the scriptures - in our own lives, and in lessons with investigators. I also learned a lot and took a lot away from zone training, so that was wonderful overall!

On Monday , we went to Mechelen, a beautiful little city between Antwerpen and Leauven. They sweetly provided a delicious pancake breakfast and then we all climbed a huge tower and saw some huge bells chiming on the hour. from the top, you could see Brussels in one direction and Antwerpen in the other. It was a clear day and a beautiful view! So that was a really fun cultural/physical p-day activity. It was 538 steps to the top of the tower! A decent little hike. It was really fun. We are 100% focused on our tasks and work all the other days of the week, so a chance to relax and a change of pace on p-days is always refreshing- especially when it is in good company!
Huge bell in Mechele

Sister Young and I worked together in Turnhout this week. We found some new interested people, including one awesome youg Belgian girl who is already religious but wants to learn more about what God has in store for her. We taught her the message of the Restoration and she completely accepted everything. I love meeting people who are prepared!
With Sis Caldwell :-) (Dad note) This is one of the creepiest photobombs I have seen in some time...
On Saturday we had Sister's Conference at the mission home in Leidschendam. That was also a really rewarding, uplifting experience. We did service projects together, and the sister training leaders and the Bunnells were able to present thoughts and training about whatever we were inspired to share. I tried to express my grattude for humiltity and the peace that comes from seeing ourselves with the proper perspective - as God sees us. So that went well! It was lovely to see all of the sisters. there are so many amazing sisters in this mission!
Sister Conference friends!

Yesterday afternoon was funny. A young man came up and started talking to us at a bus stop, and I think he was more interested in us than in our message... nevertheless, we gave him a card and invited him to look up the website haha. We were laughing about it as we walked away and I had the idea to knock doors on a street we were passing- we started, and found an interested lady who made an appointment to meet next week at the second door! so that was pretty cool.

I hope you all had a wonderful week. I love and miss you all. As we prepare for General Conference, I hope our minds and hearts can be open to God's counsel for us individually. I am so grateful that we have prophets to lead and guide us in these latter days :)

All my love, Zuster McKinney Voss
Sister Hopkin made all these cupcakes! she is so talented.
(Dad note) - Zuster Young had some great commentary on the week that I thought I would share highlighting a couple of adventures from the week. Enjoy!

  • Knocking door on Tramstraat when we hear a banging noise. Look down the street and a woman is trying to kick down a door. People in the apartment looking out the window trying to talk to her. She is just flipping people off. With no luck on the door she moves onto the windows and kicks out the windows! Dude it felt like I was watching a scene from a movie! A small crowd of people watching on the other side of the street, woman on the 3rd floor calling the police, a group of 11 year old girls on their bikes asking us what is happening and sitting gossiping about the whole incident. Could not believe my eyes... I will admit I was laughing... mostly at the commentary coming from the peanut gallery of my companion. "I just witnessed vandalism." "This world needs more peace." Oh it was very eventful. Yet it was interesting to see the neighbors come out and help this woman. I do not the story, or the motives, she clearly was hurt and those were the actions she took to handle them. But the neighbors helped her and she stayed and with their help cleaned up the glass. The police came and she went with them. Cool to see neighbors jump out and help. 
  • After an appointment, there was an old bike with what looked like a terribly uncomfortable bike seat. I pointed it out and Zr. Voss was touching the bike seat and then a woman walked out... she was the owner. We all unlocked our bikes in an awkward silence. Man I was trying so hard to not laugh. 
  • Belgium. Where the rain is typical. And twice this week we got soaked through to the ondergoeden and had to go home and change. Just gotta love biking in the rain that starts as a drizzle which then it pours and there is no point in pulling overbecause youre already soaked. 

Random Pictures from Sister's Conference:

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