Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Day and then some...(Katie-Belgium)

Well here I am, writing my last email to all of my favorite people. ..

No I'm just kidding. I have like a bunch left, so stop freaking out. :) Basically this week went by SO FAST...ohlala...I can only really remember the last 2 days which I guess covers most of the exciting stuff, so that should be sufficient. Maybe I can tell you about how our Valentine's Day went, no?

The day started off with me trying my hand at creativity by creating heartshaped pancakes for breakfast. They surprisingly turned out pretty good! So I made those as a surprise while soeur Nielson was in the shower, and then she surprised me while I was in the shower by finding some battery operated candles and getting out plates and juice and turning off all the lights. So, candlelit, heart-shaped pancake breakfast it was. Couldn't have asked for anything better! Although I assure you, the day actually did get better.

We had a baptism! Like, not WE we, but our ward did! Cutie little Sigrid who turned 8 and got baptized all on the same day which also happened to be Valentine's Day. Cool, huh? And I had the wonderful opportunity to give a talk on baptism. I loved it because I got to speak about one of my very favorite church-produced songs, the one that we all know as "I Like to Look for Rainbows" but what is actually called "When I am Baptized." Talking about what the earth is like after rain made me all warm and fuzzy inside because then I got to see the same thing happen to one of my very favorite people, Sigrid. It was a beautiful baptism, made even sweeter because we had to fill the font with water heated on the stove and taken from all of the sinks in the building because it wasn't filling as fast as they thought it would. So much excitement. It also strengthened my testimony of how we, in the Church, ALWAYS start late. Maybe it's especially here, but we were kind of worried because we didn't get there until like 10 minutes before it was supposed to start. Shouldn't have worried because the guy with the programs didn't even get there until AN HOUR after, which was time we spent taking pictures and filling the font. So happy day!

The day continued with a party with our spanish group. This consisted of us frantically making brownies for a last-minute dessert, getting there an hour late and just in time for it to start, jumping around in garbage sacs in a race to drink coke and eat bread, reading embarrassing love letters to ward members (we thought it was just supposed to be for a random person we looked up to...apparently it was more for, you know, couples. AWKWARD.), eating delicious food, and watching awkwardly as all of the couples went and danced. I love them so much. And I think we sealed the deal when we learned "Hasta mañana," and then went around saying it to all of the spanish speakers. They all love us now. :)

The next day was SUNDAY. And guess who came back to church? Barbara. Barbara is our muslim converted ami who is looking back into christianity. She is amazing. I think she pays better attention in church than I do...I need to get on that. She just isn't afraid to comment or read scriptures and LOVES the relief society lessons. Then during the Sacrament, during which the Spirit was so strong, my comp noticed her crying silently. After the meetings were over, we asked her what she thought of church and this is what she told us, "You know Sisters, today I felt the love of God." She then just looked at us with glistening eyes: "I haven't felt that love in years." 

So many feelings went through me as she said those words. Sadness that she hasn't felt so loved in so long, wonder as I realized the power of the Spirit, and complete joy that she was able to feel exactly how Heavenly Father feels about her. We should all get the opportunity to feel like that every single day. I am so excited to see her again this week (with our cute soon-to-be-missionary member who leaves the week after me!). I just love being a missionary. What a good week. :)

Je vous aime tous (I love you all)!

Sœur Katie Pettingill
on exchanges I met the coolest nouvelle convertie (new convert)! she's the best :)
our pancakes. 
the Atomium with our favorite Soeur Steenblik. She just had to make us get out to take a picture. It's an atom enlarged 150 million times. Right down the street from the church :)

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