Monday, March 9, 2015

Becoming Christ (Katie-Belgium)

What is your greatest fear?

This question was asked during district meeting, and it has really been on my mind during the week. What is my greatest fear? I mean, I have plenty of fears of inadequacy, imperfection, change, sufficiency, and more. But my greatest?

The coolest thing about this district meeting training was that the theme was Christ-like attributes. After this question was asked, the question that followed was, "And which Christ-like attribute will it take to overcome it?" Good question. And every single day, as I've tried to answer these two questions, I've been given opportunities to learn from others and their Christ-like examples. We met this lady named Lenuta (pronounced "la-noo-tsa") this week. She has been a member for about 5 years, but recently moved to Bruxelles for her husband's job. They've lived here for 6 months. Back in Romania, she was extremely active and LOVED the missionaries and the church. When she got here, even after all of her best efforts, she could not find the church anywhere. It wasn't until she contacted someone that she knows from the States and they sent us a coordonnée (referral) that she got a visit from the missionaries--6 months later. 

This lady is a miracle. She is the kindest, most giving, most humble human that I have ever met. She saw us (me and the bleue who I was on exchanges with) and just held us, gently sobbing. She missed the church. She missed her family that she had had with the church. She missed the Sacrament. She missed her calling. She understands and accepts and appreciates every aspect that the gospel has to give, including partaking of the Sacrament and regular church attendance. Did I mention that Lenuta has read the Book of Mormon 10 times? Yeah. I know. She is truly Christ-like.

We saw Barbara three times this week. Once in a lesson, once at our activity on Saturday night, and once at church. Each time I talk with her, her smile is a little bit brighter. Each time she makes an effort to come to church or whatever it may be, she makes an enormous sacrifice. Yet there is something that draws her here. She is taking baby steps, and is slowly becoming more and more like Christ as she becomes kinder, gentler, more willing to sacrifice, more willing to love and to be loved. It's such a wonderful, amazing thing to watch.

I went on two incredible exchanges with the soeurs from Liège this week. Now THEY are examples of beautiful, Christ-like people. Both bleues that I had the chance to be with were examples to me as they served and smiled and sincerely shared their testimonies with everyone. For district meeting, we decided to make cinnamon rolls. Cute little Soeur Chisholm willingly and happily made the whole thing (with my help) because the other soeurs got home way late. Soeur Clements showed me what it is like to be truly patient as she works at her french and contacting and lessons and the light that is in her eyes is beautiful. I love missionaries! I love how Heavenly Father constantly puts wonderful Christ-like examples all around me so that I can become better. 

We had a soirée familiale (family home evening) with all of our amis (and the elders) on Saturday, and I got to see even MORE endless examples of charity and goodness! Whether it was the members that came and shared all that they had, the other missionaries preparing this or that, or my companion making sure that every little thing was in place, I was amazed. I am amazed. I want to be a better person. The gospel really is a gospel of change and improvement. People are incredible. The gospel is incredible. What an incredible week.

Once last thing that I think is a hilarious tender mercy, but soeur Nielson is leaning more towards undeserving happenstance. The APs sent us a text a couple of days ago reminding us about daylight savings! We freaked out a little bit. Not an hour of sleep lost! NOOOO! And it just kind of came out of the blue, no warning from members or people. Nothing. And I just had this itching feeling that that couldn't be right. So we texted to make sure, and they responded with an apology, saying that they had gotten it mixed up with the States. Our daylight savings here isn't for a couple of more weeks. Well...originally I thought that maybe I was going to have to go through it twice. But now, with this discovery, I found out that I don't have to do it all! I missed it in the States because I was here, but I'm going home next week so I'll miss it here as well. Huh. Funny how that happens, no? :)

Have a wonderful week! I love you all!
Gros bisous,
Soeur Katie Pettingill

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