Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern France, southern Belgium and Luxembourg.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The week in which any amount of activity pales in comparison to the four terrorist attack survivors.


First full week back in action.

This week was crazy tiring. For starters, we went to Lille on Sunday night to sleep over before the zone activity on Monday. He is a picture of the whole zone (minus the two équipes who couldn't come):

Elder Carson and I then stuck around and did some finding in downtown Lille on Monday night, stayed all of Tuesday to participate in their finding day, watched the last train home pull away without us on Tuesday night, ended up sleeping over in Lille for the third consecutive night and took an early train on Wednesday morning back to Amiens...just in time to buy food and set up for our own finding day. Then we took members out (worked really well, I would exhort you to spend an afternoon seeing miracles with the missionaries in your area) and did finding as a district for the whole day. Basically, I didn't see my apartment from 8:30AM Sunday until almost 9:00PM Wednesday. 

The finding day went really well, though - 9 new amis, over 20 lessons taught and over 25 people who gave us their contact info. Elder Carson and I went right to work contacting them, and now we have 22 rendez-vous set up for this week. Praying that not many of them frouge. Here is the district picture for this transfer (again, missing an équipe):

On another note, as you all have heard, four missionaries in our mission were injured in the Brussels bombings on Tuesday - the two Belgium zone leaders, a senior missionary, and a sister missionary. All received serious burns and leg injuries, as they were very close (about 10 metres) to the initial blast. I know all of them personally except the sister, who will be released from the hospital this week. The rest will be going home to the US for further treatment; at least for the moment, their missions are done. 

Elder Wells, Elder Empey, Elder Norby and Sister Clain received injuries that, from the sound of it, were not as deadly as they should have been given their proximity to the explosion. Somehow, they will be fine. Elder Empey has a cool story where, after coming back to consciousness, he ran (on legs that should have been way too injured to run on, but ya know, shock and stuff) to Elder Wells, who was lying motionless on the ground, and gave him a Priesthood blessing on the spot. He moved on to Elder Norby, the senior missionary and the one who was the most hurt, and gave him a blessing as well. It was only after that had been completed that he stopped being able to walk on his wounded legs, so he sat on the ground in the destroyed airport and waited for medical help. 

After being victims of a terrorist attack, Elder Empey and Elder Wells testified powerfully of a loving Heavenly Father to the media. "I know that if I can feel His love sitting on a sidewalk next to a destroyed airport, that God -- He'll talk to His other children, too."

Well. Their example is better than anything else I could say.

Last picture: Elder Wells on exchanges with me in Amiens, and a recent convert, Koffi. 

I love you guys. 

Elder Stanford

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