Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Rescuing Lost Sheep

Goedemorgen geweldige mensen!

Reporting in after a great week here in Gent. We have had perfect fall weather and gorgeous displays of leaves, so it is a blessing! I love autumn, and can't believe I am experiencing it in beautiful Belgium.
Sunset in Belgium.

On last Monday we had a zone p-day- all the missionaries from Dutch speaking Belgium gathering together to play indoor soccer. It was way fun and I enjoy it more every time. The only downside was the injuries... I personally acquired a brilliantly colored bruise on my shin. But it was invigorating and an enjoyable afternoon with all the missionaries!

This week we tried a different approach to our contacting, with great success. Our district leader, Elder Lovin, challenged us all to stop beginning a contact with a card. We have great little cards with the church's website, the address of the church and our contact information on them, and it feels pretty normal to offer them to people as we walk along and start a conversation from there. However, this week we have been focusing on starting by asking questions that inspire a little more thought and effort, and we have seen miracles. "What brings you happiness in life?" for example, is more likely to make someone stop and be interested in what we're saying than, "Can we give you a card with our website?" Through doing that, we have had deeper conversations, really gotten to personally know these fascinating people we interact with daily, learned their names- and we have found that at the end of such a a mutually fulfilling conversation, people ask us if we have a card or a place where they can find more information. It has been incredibly rewarding.
Piggy back ride! because sister Robbins rolled her ankle
Our district eating biscuits and gravy
Zone pday. Our zone leaders wear onesies
I also just want to express my gratitude for the generosity and love of members and non members everywhere. basically, I want to recognize that this world is full of good, Christlike people who give without thought and expect nothing in return. A couple specific examples come to mind. I needed to buy a back bike light because my previous one stopped working (and it's safer and legally required to have one). We were at a dinner appointment and needed to bike home in the dark, so I asked if maybe I could borrow an extra light if they had one- and they basically said, "this is an extra, you can just keep it! no worries!" small example, but then later in the week, i asked for milk to drink at dinner during a dinner appointment, and she ended up just giving us two cartons of milk, which was a really sweet and a timely blessing because we had actually just run out (we only needed to make it two days until grocery shopping again, so we would have been okay, but it was so nice of her!).
Another example is that we were talking to people on a tram on Thursday, and twice in the same day, we were invited over for dinner by the people we were talking to. One man thought it was so incredible the service we do for God and others, so he wanted to have us over and introduce us to his wife and make us dinner. So incredible!
At the Panos
On Friday I was able to attend Mission Leader Council in the mission home. it is cool to be able to receive that additional training that we can then apply and carry out and relay to the other awesome missionaries. we also got trained on the principles of true leadership- that a leader doesn't push from behind, but pulls from ahead. A leader is in a position to serve, and does so at the same level as those he or she serves. Excellence is expected, and understanding our responsibilities is empowering. We received this training from Elder Bonner, a Marine, so it was definitely top notch!
Sister Bush and I travelled to MLC together! #companionsfortheday

MLC friends from our group!
MLC friends from our group!
That training relates to a concept we were discussing with our ward mission leader this week about Christ rescuing the lost sheep. That little lamb was probably muddy, tangled in thorns, and far away. But Christ didn't put a rope around its neck and pull it back to the fold. He didn't push it or kick it. He put it around His shoulders, and carried it back, regardless of perhaps its physical state. Some of the sheep who are lost and wandering don't have the strength to walk back to the fold on their own. They need to be carried until they can support themselves. That is our role- to reach out and lift up, to not judge others based on their decisions or circumstances but make sure they know that everyone is 100% welcome every day, at any activity of the church ever. We need to be true and genuine friends, to pray for inspiration and be willing to sacrifice to serve our brothers and sisters. I have seen amazing examples throughout my life of people doing this. And ultimately, those are the true leaders, whether they are called to do this or not. We can serve others every day just by expressing love. You can do that this week, look out for ways that you can serve others just by loving them. I am trying really hard to focus on that as I approach these last few months of my mission!
A cool old abbey, apparently the oldest building in Gent.
Can you see the gorgeous leaves? 
Wafel wagon

Exchanges with sister Duncan this week! This wise woman is a boss. we had a blast in Gent together, despite biking through rain
It is always a pleasure to serve. I am grateful for the incredible people we meet daily. I love being here in Belgium, in Gent!

Happy Halloween everyone! Have a great week!

Love, Zuster Voss
Gorgeous Belgium 
Rode Neus is based on a popular Belgian song that's a big deal here in Gent. I don't really understand. But you wear a red nose and it has something to do with being positive? Anyway, it's fun and we tried it out at a member home. way fun

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