Elder Andrew

Elder Andrew

Monday, October 6, 2014

Eli Mail 10/6/14 (Genk, Belgium) Letter 13

Hello friends back in the states! Just another normal week in Belgium, aside from General Conference*. The weather has been holding up quite nice this past week, and we've been staying pretty busy teaching a healthy amount of lessons. But I'll first start with the adventure of trying to watch General Conference. For one thing, it doesn't play in our church building, and secondly we have a significant time difference between Utah, obviously. But we were invited for Saturday morning session at 6 p.m. by the amazing Knoops family. They took us in for both the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions, which was really nice. The Saturday morning session was quite good. I enjoyed Todd D. Christofferson and President Uchtdorf's talks the most. Uchtdorf spoke on personal revelation, which is helpful for all of us. The only way to find the truth of the church is through personal revelation, making his topic very applicable. I think I mostly enjoyed the way he ended his talk: "Do your part, and it will come." That instills a confidence in us that as long as we are keeping our half of the deal, God will do the rest for us. So, after an evening of scratching down notes and eating American homemade cinnamon rolls, we retired back to the apartment.

The next morning with nowhere else to go we headed up to watch the prerecorded session of Priesthood in Antwerpen. That was also very good. Elder Cook started it off right and really put pre-mission Eli in his place. He spoke on moderation and reaching your full potential. And what he said is true: if we're distracted on trivial things all the time that aren’t necessarily bad, it just takes us away from reaching our full potential. President Uchtdorf, again with a classic talk on looking inward instead of blaming others. After a quick lunch at the Antwerpen church building we headed off to catch the Sunday morning session at the Knoops’. I haven't seen all the sessions yet, so hopefully there'll be more time during the coming weeks.

One worthwhile story I would like to share from this week: Saturday afternoon we had a lesson with our investigator named Nina. She's a nice, sweet 25-year-old with a boyfriend who was baptized four years ago, named Rafael. It was the second time we met with them that week, and we brought a member both times. The couple both struggle with a lot of things, and it makes her very humble and sensitive. We read through 2 Nephi 31 together and did a quick outline of the gospel of Jesus Christ. During the reading, I posed a few questions, and when I asked how you knew when you feel the Spirit, she started tearing up. It was a very sweet lesson, and it was a testimony builder of the power of the Book of Mormon. We as members use it so much and testify of it because it works. It really does change lives. It makes people want to turn away from sin and begin anew. I'm very grateful to be able to witness stuff like that, and I also have a testimony of the efforts of members. This past Wednesday our ward mission leader went with us to an appointment in the afternoon, had us over for dinner, and went with us to an appointment in the evening. I really do believe that once members get engaged in the work, people come, baptisms happen. The more I'm out here, the more I realize I don't want to stop doing some of these things once my mission is over.

Anyway, we have a lot of cool things lined up for these next coming weeks. Today, we will be enjoying a picnic with our district and going on this famous "barefoot path" outside of Genk. Apparently, it's really cool walking through mud and all sorts of terrain all in your bare feet.

Hope your week goes great back in the States, love you guys!

 *General Conference is a semiannual gathering of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), held every April and October at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. During each conference, members of the church gather in a series of two-hour sessions to listen to sermons from church leaders and inspiring music. It consists of six sessions, one exclusively for female members of the church and one for male priesthood holders. While originating from Salt Lake City, General Conference is considered an international event for the church. The sessions are broadcast worldwide in many languages, primarily through local and international media outlets, and over the Internet.

(PHOTO CAPTION: Saw this spray painted on the side of a train. The graffiti here in Belgium can be pretty awesome sometimes.)

(PHOTO CAPTION: Today, we will be enjoying a picnic with our district and going on this famous "barefoot path" outside of Genk.)

PHOTO CAPTION: Eli’s district poses for a picture after walking the “barefoot path” in Zutendaal, Belgium on September 29. L-R Elder Andrew, Elder Steenblik (Eli’s former companion at the Missionary Training Center), Elder Losee, Sister Riley, Sister Astin, Elder Clement, Elder Eby, Elder Nye (Eli’s current companion), Elder England and Elder Elkins.

 Biking on trails

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