Monday, 17 December 2012

Well, I had two huge bombshells just hit me

I have the choice to leave later on my mission and my dog was just put down.  Sorry if I don't sound too motivated today.
Despite those two things, this week was a whopper!
I think I'll start it with a wild story.  So one evening, Elder Mower and I were planning and we weren't sure what to do the next day.  We live inside Leuven, but most of our investigators live outside of Leuven--it's not as large as I thought.  So we didn't have anybody to visit for a large chunk of the day.  I suggested then, that we pick a street--one that Elder Mower hasn't visited often--and we go towards that street, contacting along the way.  Good, street chosen, day done.  The next day, we made a game out of contacting and contacted the crap out of Leuven.  We talked to a lot of really great people too.  So here comes the wild part.  We approached the street we had chosen, which was actually on a hill, and then slowed down.  Well, here were are...  We thought about turning around when I spotted a cat.  I did that oh-so-well-known cat whistle, the one where you purse your lips.  I had to explain to Elder Mower that the cat whistle will get any cat to at least look at you.  "And it works for horses too."  Bam, the moment I said it, I spotted a wire horse decoration hanging on a house.  Eerie, right?  Claiming it to be a sign, we went and knocked on that door, with no success.  But we continued on that road--in the opposite direction from home, where we were going to go next.  We went down that street, turned a corner and went down another.  Elder Mower contacted a younger fellow and we had a good chat.  His name is Carlo, who has cool hair and is from Ecuador.  Carlo told us he was going to mix some DJ tunes (sweet, right?) so he was busy that moment, but he'd be chilling with his friends that evening, and we were welcome by.
We then went to Familie Stroobont's and their naked cat for a visit.
Once we were back home, we decided to check out Carlo's house.  To our surprise, four students let us right on in.  Honestly, I was expecting to kind of chill there in the corner while they had some sort of student party.  Nope, right away, they let us in, gave us drinks, sat around the table and said, "Well, what are you two doing here?"  Perfect question.  We shared a super powerful restoration lesson that evening, with these young adults hanging on to every word.  After teaching the story of Joseph Smith's vision, I looked up and saw tears in Carlo's eyes.  He felt it, and he felt it hard.  The two young ladies we met are both religious too, which is increasingly rare in Belgium.  It was a super miraculous day.  We did our best and the Lord rewarded us 3 fold.  Carlo and his guy friend both left for Africa to do humanitarian work yesterday, so we won't be seeing them for a while, but we're going to swing by the other two to say hi.  After we gave them all books, they pretty much invited themselves to read it. I love it when people actually want to read the Book of Mormon.
Which reminds me of two more stories.
First, we went back to William and Vanessa's this week.  (Un)fortunately, she hadn't had time to make us some spicy African food, so we missed out on dinner.  William, I'm happy to report, is doing fantastic.  He is super, super searching right now.  He had read Joseph Smith's experience in the front of the book 3 times over, just...awed I suppose.  He wanted to bring it to work even, but couldn't because he's a mechanic and works around grease all day.  At one point, he held up the Book of Mormon and said, "This...this is my life."  Wow!  He's told us repeatedly he hopes that this is the true church, because he agrees with everything we've told him so far.  It's really only a matter of time before he gets that solid answer.  It probably won't even be too long.
Secondly, we were roaming around again and Elder Mower felt prompted to talk to this guy.  He was walking pretty fast, but nevertheless, we started following him.  I almost wrote stalk.  Anyway, we followed him (unbeknownst to me) for a few streets until he finally paused to do up his hood and we could catch up.  His name is Victor and he's from the Cameroon.  We gave a brief explanation of the BoM and right away he said, "Yeah, I'm interested."  Wham, really?  I mean...sure, cool!  We came by the very next day and again shared a powerful first lesson.  He was really touched too.  We gave him a baptismal invitation--which he agreed to--but no actual date.  He was eager to read the Book of Mormon as well.
Wow, look at all these fantastic people!  The Lord has blessed us generously this week.  Thank you so much for all your prayers!
Unfortunately, Kurt Lust doesn't have a date anymore, but he's still on board to meet and read and everything, so who knows.
The Leuven ward is super awesome.  The bishop is actually an American guy--we go there every Sunday for dinner.  Despite not speaking fluent Dutch, he does very well with his calling.  There are also quite a few English-speaking members here too.  There were about...25-30 people there on Sunday, but from what I understand, the higher end of attendance is about 60.  We also cover a branch called Genk.  We need to get out there soon.
The Stroobont's fit right in with the ward too.  Everybody loves their kids and they get along well with everybody in return.  They've actually been attending church for something like 6 months now, so they're pretty much integrated/fellowshiped.
Well, I don't have too much more time this week, sorry.  I'm glad to see that about...2 questions were answered out of six billion at least.
I'll be Skyping on Tuesday, the 25th.  Probably sometime in the evening here, which means 8-ish there. I tried to get a set call time, but couldn't quite.  I'll let you know for sure next week.  Oh, and it'll be in the living room of another family again, sorry.  I talked with them about it, and they're willing to give more privacy by shooing the children upstairs or something.
Looking forward to it.
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess
**I realized I didn't answer any questions about the naked cat.  It really is strange.  Their neighbour actually had this cat, but wasn't taking good care of it.  Naked cats are pretty much just indoor cats.  They'll freeze in the winter and sunburn in the summer.  The neighbour had left it outside in their truck or garage or something, so Sister Stroobont spoke with him about it and the neighbour straight-up gave it to them.  They're expensive to buy too.  Every week, they have to give it a bath or otherwise it'll stink.  As far as I know, naked cats aren't scared of water.  It's a super loving cat though.  It loves to be pet--which feels indescribably strange.  It's like petting a rubber chicken covered in fine peach fuzz.  The cat howls if it's not in the same room too.  If you try to ignore it, it slams its shoulder against the wall.  It's amazing how loud that is too--shakes the entire house.   We couldn't stop laughing after they told us what the banging was coming from the next room.
Anyway, I gotta go.
Oh, also, there's a guy in our ward that reminds me so much of Brett.  Eerie.
I've been trying to get a 4x4x4 Rubik's cube, but they've suddenly disappeared from all the stores.  Just...letting you know.

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