Life is good here in the city of Diamonds! Fact, almost every diamond in the world has a tie back to Antwerp-en (I cant believe we call it Antwerp in English, yes its only 2 letters but the way you say it in Dutch vs English is a huge difference) So Elder McBride is from Washington and a crazy good artist, that's what hes going to school for at Utah State. He's the 2nd of 4 kids.
So Antwerp-en is like the biggest ward in the stake, it used to be a ward and a branch but it was pointless so they combined them. we have about 120 active members which is huge here. We live in south Antwerp-en and the church is in North Antwerp-en so its like a whole hour tram ride within the same city! but we do most of our work in the middle of Antwerp-en, younger and more open crowd there. It's kinda a little weird being around so many people, especially as someone who is more shy. Still trying to get used to that!
As far as investigators go we only have 1 and he's a guy from Ghana, super open but like most people from there they don't really follow through with appointments and commitments very well. So we're good to find lots more! Found this college girl the other day (after a guy gave us a false address for himself) and she wasn't religious but really cool, and we talked about God and taught her how to pray and I prayed to show her and she said "that's really beautiful, can I try one?". It was cool to see her say her first ever prayer. We dont have set plans to try to visit her again but we will try to stop by this week and share a message with her to try to help her develop interest and a relationship with God before we really start to share the "missionary lessons."
Fun story of the week: Got a random call from our Mission President Friday morning and he was like "Elders I was in a rush today and forgot a tie, can I come borrow one in 10mins?" kinda just funny to see how the people you look up to, are people too! haha
Lastly a spiritual thought: We all know about the Attacks in France from last week, luckily no missionaries were harmed there in France. As I was thinking this morning about that and I read briefly about it in the paper I really saw how inspired the Missionary Handbook rules are. For starters it tells to try to avoid places where things like that could happen, but more directly it says to be home by 9 every night and from what i read that's about the same time that the attacks started, so if the missionaries had been out past that, they could have found themselves in the path of these attacks. Just like these Missionary rules keep us safe, God gives us commandments that help keep us safe from things that can harm us physically and spiritually. These Commandments aren't there to hold us back or tie us down, but to really keep us safe so we can reach our full potential! It reminds me of a great scripture in Mosiah 2:41
"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."
So I invite you to think about the commandments (preferably individually if time allows) and look at how each commandment can help you both physically and spiritually! Some might be harder than others, but I promise you that you can find something for both!
Elder Talyon Anderson Perry