Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Beautiful Week in Gent

This week was lovely! Beautiful weather, cool experiences. I will try to summarize them briefly.
I love Europe! In the fall!
Last week the children held the Primary Program, which means that the kids ran the service in church! It was so special to hear their simple but fervent testimonies. They did a great job telling stories and singing about their faith. I loved the presentation too because it was about the most basic elements of the Gospel. They really captured the essence and I felt like I was being taught by the Spirit. Go kids!

Another exciting occurrence is that Sister Robbins and I had an article published about us! A few weeks ago I noticed a girl looking at our name tags while we waited for a bus, and so we started talking, and it turns out that she is a young aspiring journalist! She thought we were fascinating, by the very nature of being willing to give up so much to come share our faith. So she asked if she could write an article about us. We weren't sure how serious she was, but then she asked some complex questions and took pictures, so there you go! Sister Robbins and I have talked a lot about it, because unfortunately our opinions and words aren't portrayed exactly the way we said or intended them.

To clarify, the Church does have very specific stances on complicated issues such as homosexual marriage, euthanasia, and abortion, and Sister Robbins and I have specific opinions on those subjects as well. But when she asked about them, we tried to emphasize the principles that every individual situation is different and requires prayer, individual adaptation and seeking guidance and that we love and respect all people regardless of their decisions. We didn't want to make statements about church policy so we tried to refer her to the church website for the official statements - but I think she was more interested in what we thought, as individuals. Which is totally fine. Ultimately, I love the positive portrayal of us as a couple normal girls who left a lot behind to serve God. We are real people too, and it is pretty cool that we are here, doing what we are for something bigger than ourselves. I am grateful that other Belgians will have the chance to discover that a bit. Everything happens for a reason!

Here is the link :) It is in Dutch though, so... enjoy haha.

This week was Halloween! We celebrated pretty fabulously, considering I wasn't in America! We carved pumpkins on Thursday to help decorate for the ward activity, with an awesome member family and the elders. Then really in the Spirit of the holiday, on our way home the elders biked really fast and got way ahead, hid in a dark cornfield and popped out to scare us! Sister Robbins took off biking down the dark lane while I stopped to admonish them. But eventually she came back and it was pretty hilarious!
Carving pumpkins with the awesome Goethals family and the elders.

My name tag pumpkin. Elder Jack o lantern
Proud of my little pumpkin
Then we had a branch Halloween activity, also an incredible success! We were recruited to play witches and direct different families through the different activities. Everyone who came (including one of our investigators and some less active members!) loved it, we enjoyed ourselves, and they did some crazy make up on us. We were glad we could offer our American perspective on this frightening holiday haha.
Beautiful canal at sunset. Oh, Gent!

This picture has a cool story! We were invited to share a short presentation about what we believe to a high school class that was studying different religions. awesome experience!
With the ikea :) right in front of where we live.
Us on Sunday (Kijk! We are normal!) next to a beautiful canal and cute Belgian houses!

Another huge highlight of the weeks is that one of our investigators recently decided to be baptized! He is one of the most sincere people I have ever seen. He is seeking the truth for himself and doing everything necessary to gain a confirmation of it. He has been reading and praying daily, coming to church, and is growing more and more sensitive to the Spirit. It is an honor and a pleasure to see someone so prepared at this special place in his journey towards Heavenly Father, and to get to help a little bit by teaching the principles of the Gospel. I am blown away by his example. The church is gaining a great asset!

I love being on my mission. It is a pleasure to work with Sister Robbins and in this wonderful city of Gent. I see purpose and meaning in every day. Mijn zending heeft mijn leven veranderd.

Zuster Voss
Us in our witch lair where we directed everyone through the Halloween activity
Group of Halloween spooks
(probably deserves a little explanation. The missionaries were asked to help plan the halloween party, partially because they do not actually celebrate it over here so we have American expertise. so we played a major role and directed people through the activities and such.....therefore the great make up, thanks to the Verdegem sisters!)

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