Well everybody, I'm back. Back in Brussels. And I am beyond excited to be here. When I got off the train in Bruxelles-Midi I was overcome with emotions... I felt like I was coming home. And ever since, I've just had this crazy sense of peace, and energy. I'm here for a reason. And Soeur Whistler is just GENIAL. We are going to work so hard this transfer. We're already seeing the hand of the Lord in our companionship and in this ville. There are eight missionaries here. And we are just ready to go. Especially the new equipe that just got whitewashed in. Elder Bailey and Elder Gutelius. They are just bouncing off the walls. I feel that way too. I just can't wait to get out and talk with EVERYONE. This city is magic.
That doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of problems. In fact, I've never seen a ward in such bad shape. We have no ward mission leader or Relief society president, the bishop is leaving in a week, annnnnd they just announced at church yesterday that the building that we meet in is going to be shut down next week. That means everyone has to travel extra far to the Flemish side of Brussels for church. This is seriously a trial of faith for the members here. We had some major freak-outs yesterday. (Mainly on the part of our Japanese Ami, Fujiko). But I know that this is inspired. It is going to unite this ward... Side note: I need to learn Spanish. Half the ward here is Hispanophone. Yesterday at church I heard English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese. My French just doesn't cut it anymore, haha. Not to mention half the people we contact speak spanish or latvian or some other crazy language. Welcome to Europe's capital!
So, now I'm an STL...and it's... a lot of planning and meetings... it's good, but right now I feel like it's cutting into proselyting time. We are going to have to be really, really efficient with our time. BUT it is such a blessing to be able to work with all the soeurs and to be able to attend mission council and everything. I'm already learning so much. We were planning our exchanges, and I'm going to be able to work with some really amazing missionaries. What a dream. I also am going to be able to go back to Arras next week!! That is going to be a miracle. As much as I'm excited to be here in Brussels, my heart just broke leaving Arras... Such a tender mercy that I get to go back so soon.
I really felt like the Lord was watching over me this week. Giving me what I need to finish out strong. The most amazing was on Wednesday when I dropped of Soeur Liabeuf at St Merri to go get her blue. I was just surrounded by some of the people I love most in this world...Sr Cameron, Tupai, Henson, Holmes, Walker, Hales, Jackson... it was magic. I even got to see all the new missionaries come in...15 SISTERS. I felt so old...That was me not that long ago...or at least it doesn't seem that long ago. Anyways, the only one I hadn't seen was Soeur Bitter. But we had to go catch our train to Brussels. As we were heading out I saw her across the street...and there was a Chinese young woman standing right next to her. I was speechless. But even from 50 meters away Sr Bitter knew exactly what question was running through my mind. "It's who you think it is!!!!" she yelled. Immediately the tears came, it was SOHPIE. We embraced and thanked God for this tender, tender mercy. I told her, through tears, that I was coming to Rennes soon. "I'll see you in Rennes." she said, as I was whisked away to Belgium... miracle. I felt like Alma when he runs into the sons of Mosiah after 14 years...they were still his brethren in the Lord... overcome with a joy so profound it hurts. (I didn't fall to the ground like Alma, thank goodness...Paris is dirty, haha.)
I can't even explain to you how beautiful the mission/life is. Moments like that are... glimpses into eternity. May God bless you all and may you be able to see the little miracles all around us. I love you, until next week,
Soeur Lorraine Hilton