Sunday, August 17, 2008

Senior Couples Outing to Brussels

This has been a very nice week. We had a Zone Conference on Tuesday in Amsterdam with all of the Dutch speaking senior couples and two zones of young missionaries. It was a spiritual highlight and we learned many things from it to help us be better at what we are doing here. Then on Friday the French speaking couples joined with us Dutch speakers at the home of the Mission President, Paul & Marilyn Woodland, in Brussels. We had a great luncheon and felt like we were in a very nice large home back in the states. It was nice to be with all of the other couples. After the meal we all went to downtown Brussels via the subways. It was a unique ride for us. There were 5 underground levels of tracks and other passage ways. We made it to the city center, Grand Plaats, where there was a very special outdoor flower exhibit that looked like a huge magnificent carpet. It is the world's largest Savonnerie carpet (whatever that means). The exhibit was called, "Bloomentapijt" or flower carpet. It covered about 1.3 football fields in size and was made up of over 300 flowers per square meter. They were all laid out on the cobble stones for the three day event (which happens every other year). It was spectacular, and there were thousands of people there who would agree. We were happy to get back out of the crowds. Back in the subway tunnels we enjoyed a Belgian waffle at a little snack bar. Ours were warm, smothered in chocolate, and topped with whipped cream. We had to pinch ourselves and say again, "We live in Europe". There are many rewards as senior missionaries and these days were just a few of the many that we have had. Then yesterday we went joint teaching and spoke with a woman and her brother who are from Afganistan. We spoke Dutch with them, but it was hard to communicate. Today we went on another joint teach to a woman from the Dominican Republic. She speaks Spanish and no Dutch, so we were glad to turn things over to our Spanish speaker, Elder Helton (who also speaks Dutch & English). At lunch today we hosted the young Elders and a sister from Portugal, who now lives in the Ward. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish, English, French and Creole, but almost no Dutch. What a melting pot this is here. She came here from London, where she said that the Stake President said there were 125 different nationalities represented in their Stake. What a marvelous time we live in and a great time to participate in spreading the gospel.

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