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

Monday, September 19, 2016

The rescue mission

This is it. The concluding chapter. The final saga. The epic culmination of 20 months of missionary experiences in one last showdown between the two most powerful forces in all the universe: Christ and His representatives versus all that personifies the evil one. 

Here's how it's going down in Belgium. There are four équipes in the district: Namur, Nivelles 1 and 2, and Charleroi. I'm whitewashing Namur with Elder Schow, an experienced missionary who's already done two whitewashes before. Nivelles 1 is getting whitewashed by one of the most hardworking sisters I know, plus a new missionary. Charleroi just got a powerhouse missionary as well. These villes weren't seeing spectacular success before...but the zone leaders told me that when they saw who was coming into the district, they said the district would be entering into "its glory days." We have all been sent here on a rescue mission. 

Normally I would try to avoid talking about positions--because that's not what determines a successful missionary--but in order for you to better understand my current task, you would need to know that they've asked me to be the district leader of this newly revolutionized district. As the most...*ahem*...seasoned missionary in the Bruxelles zone, I am leading the rescue mission of the Charleroi district. It all begins tomorrow with the first district meeting, and we're going onward and upward from there. The ZLs have already told me about the main problems with the work in each ward, and we're gonna put some stuff into action to fix them. There's definitely work to do. 

Now I'm sure you want to know about Namur. Unfortunately I couldn't tell you much yet, seeing as we arrived late Wednesday evening, and Friday and Saturday were taken up by training meetings in Paris and Brussels, respectively. (How fancy-executive-business does that sound?) From our Thursday and Sunday experiences, here's what we know:
- This is the smallest ville of my mission and the largest ville of Elder Schow's. I guess that makes it a medium-sized ville. 
- There has been a party going on downtown since we arrived, with live music stands and multicoloured alcoholic shots and fireworks. When I say downtown, I mean it takes up ALL of downtown, where we happen to live. It's an annual 5-day thing. Drunk Belgian people everywhere. But we only got yelled at once ^_^
- Members here are pretty cool. A lot of them are all related by blood or marriage. We need to baptize some new people here and make sure they stay active in order to change it up a bit!
- There are some amis here--but we've been able to see about 0% of them this past week. But we found a couple of cool new people, and we have more appointments set up for this week. Stuff is going to happen. 

Couple of pictures to end it off:

Generation pic! Me, my son, my grandson and my great-grandson
A monument in Brussels
I'm officially ready to die: my replacement came into the mission. Stanford 2.0. 
Ingredients: potatoes, two heart attacks, salt. 2.50€. 
Well, that's my life. The last adventure is beginning. Allons-y!

Elder Jordan Stanford
Mission française de Paris

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