Monday, December 29, 2014

The most wonderful time of the year (Katie-Belgium)

Merry Christmas everyone! (How's that for creative?)

What an absolutely incredible week. Although honestly, Christmas already feels like yeeeeears ago...I guess that's what happens when every day feels like a year (except that I promise it goes by super fast. We just do a lot!) 

I learned a lot this Christmas. See, this is my problem with the gospel. Every time I try and do something especially special (try saying that one 5 times fast) for Christ, He just keeps giving me more! It shouldn't be allowed. This week, my comp and I really tried to make it all about Jesus (it was His birthday that we're celebrating after all): we studied about having faith in Him/His life each day; we prayed every hour to thank Him for the miracles that we were seeing; we went and made special plans for during Christmas day in order to help others feel His love as well; we tried REALLY hard to think all about Him -- really put that baptismal covenant into practice. So we're doing this all for Him, and what does He go and do? Teach me things! I suppose that means that He is and will always be one step ahead. Ça va. (It's okay.)

Let me tell you about a couple of things that I learned this week:

1. Opposition in ALL things. This week, as we "went about doing good" trying to be like Jesus, I literally managed to have the highest highs of my mission (as we made a man's day just by singing a song or managed to give presents to EVERYBODY and not really knowing how we came up with them or by passing by a member with sugar cookies and her whole family is there and touched by our efforts, etc. etc.) while also hitting a couple of rather low lows. It was a beautiful thing to watch because it's just another testimony to me that the gospel is true. And it is SO true.

2. Brussels looks ENCHANTING covered with snow. Yep. Saturday, at around noon, the snow fell...and when I say fell, I mean it FELL, and hard. Kind of similar to a blizzard, actually. I haven't slipped on the ice yet! And the funniest part is that I got all of the JA (young adults) in our ward and some other people to pray for snow on Christmas. There was one JA that said that he would as long as it only snowed on Christmas because he hates snow. Oops. #prayerworks. A little too well sometimes. 

3. Contacting only works in the SNOW if the person happens to be a nun. it snows and snows and snows and we're freezing and everybody arounds us is miserable, we decide to talk to some people about Christ! One lady we tried to stop, but just put her hand up, kept speed-walking and shouted behind her, "I'm not stopping in this weather are you crazy?!" But then, we see this cute little asian-looking person with her long tan coat entirely covering everything, even her head (should've known), so I walk up and start talking to her. Surprisingly, she listens! Then she tells us that she's close to God too! Then she says she would love to pray with us! It was only then that I noticed the blue and white cloth sticking out from her coat...well, it was either that, or when she said that she lives in a "couvent" (aka nun cave).

4. Weekly Planning is even more FUN with multi-colored pens (thanks Mom!). I just thought it was funny that both soeur Nielson and I received lots of different colored pens for Christmas. It's probably because as missionaries, we all desire the same things. ;)

5. Christmas truly is the most MAGICAL holiday of the year. Seeing my beautiful family, speaking to my bro in French, singing christmas carols to the homeless, arriving at the Steenbliks for dinner wearing reindeer antlers and christmas lights, sharing memories, reading the christmas story in French, decorating sugar cookies, and just feeling loved. Thank you to everyone who thought of me, and thanks to everyone else too...just cuz. 

I love Christmas time, and now I'm even more excited to make some good New Year's goals and get ready for 2015! I wish I had time and room to write about everything that happened this week, but really all you need to know is that I am happy, the church is true, even more true is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and being a missionary is THE BEST. It's a good thing we're all missionaries for forever and always, n'est-ce pas (isn't it)? ;)

Je vous aime trop! (I love you all so much!) Bisous et calîns (kisses and hugs),
Sœur Katie Pettingill
Christmas morning at our house :) (doesn't change much even with two people, huh mom? ;) )
dinner with the the missionary couple in Brussels :)
homemade chèvre-miel pizza. best idea we ever had.
on the way to church, stomping through snow!
from our window

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