Monday, February 9, 2015

Brussel Sprouts...who woulda thought? (Katie-Belgium)

This week I reached 17 months as a missionary. Woah.

But anyway, as it was transfer week, I should probably just make sure that all of you know that nothing huge happened here. Just chillin' in Brussels with my very last companion. She's holding up alright so far. :) As far as everything else goes, I feel like we didn't get to spend quite as much time doing good, hard missionary work as we wanted. The beginning of the week started with a trip to Paris for my dear companion's legality! So that was pretty fun. We also "got" to go to Paris on Friday as well for mission council! People often ask if I'm sad that I never got to serve in Paris, to which I just laugh and reflect on all of the many, many, MANY times I went there. I've seen pretty much everything, know enough to get myself around where I need to go, AND don't have to deal with the pain of serving a crazy, non-stop ville like Paris. I'm so blessed. :) 

As far as actual missionary work goes, we did have a lot of really neat tender mercies that I felt like were geared perfectly to me and exactly what I needed (sorry companion). We met with Landrine and Nicolas, and this time Nicolas (because he had promised the last time that he would say the prayer) said the opening prayer. It brought tears to my eyes it was so incredibly beautiful. It has been a long time since I've heard such a sincere prayer of blessing and forgiveness. It was really perfect because I don't know what it was about that day, but I had been feeling very...weak. I was doing everything wrong. And then along comes Nicolas with this absolutely incredible, heart-felt prayer and it was as if the Atonement became real again. And it is so real. 

Another cool/fun thing that happened this week is Irene! We actually had a first rdv with her during the afternoon, and tried really hard to change it because it turned out that we would be in Paris, except that her phone was broken. Oops. So we passed by later, and she was there thankfully! She had literally waited us to come that afternoon for like an hour and a half until she finally gave up. She has been SO prepared by the Lord to receive His gospel. We were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon, promising to get her one in Portuguese, and there was such a sweet spirit there testifying both of its truthfulness and of her need and desire for peace. She ended up giving us these beautiful collector's spoons as "a gift that we could always remember her by," and then ended up coming to our ward soirée familiale a couple of days later (yes, our ward has activities now ;) ). 

Here is some exciting miracle news: the little girl who we've been teaching (her name is Sigrid and her mom is mostly active and her dad is not a member) turns 8 on Saturday and she received permission from her dad to get baptized! Her mom was so cute and excited to tell us. Valentine's day will forever be a triple holiday for her now. Her birthday, her baptism day, and well, Valentine's day!

Oh hey we taught our weed-smoking friend, Camille, again! And guess what? She stopped smoking and drinking (but not weed though...haha). And she decided that praying before we do anything is a really good idea and wants to start doing it too. Even though she doesn't believe in God. She just cracks me up. She even taught the plan of salvation to all of her friends! The next step is for her to actually recognize that God exists and that Him being a part of her life would be a really good idea. :)

On Saturday we ate with our favorite philippian family, and guess what they fed us? BRUSSEL SPROUTS. Turns out they actually originated here. In Brussels. And although I've never actually eaten them in the states, I've heard that as a general rule they aren't very tasty. These ones were delicious! It's probably because they came from the city itself. I should've taken a time for sure. I think they might be my new favorite vegetable. 

Also, guess who came to church on Sunday for the first time in a LONG time? Nelly and her daughter Priscilla! Both inactive, they made it to church, and it was so cute seeing all of the ward members greet them with so much love. So many tender mercies. And as crazy as everything was with traveling, all of the YEARS of planning that we had to do, being at the gare on transfer day, and everything else--I am so happy. 

I love being a missionary. 

Gros bisous and have a marvelous week!
Soeur Katie Pettingill
Isn't this beautiful? I love God.
We got lunch in Paris. #3timestoparisin8days
our spoons from Irene!

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