Sunday, October 9, 2016

Paris East Zone (-6) - Charleville-Mezieres
Special Missionary Day

On Saturday, October 8, 2016 we had a special Missionary Day in Charleville-Mezieres where the Paris East Zone (our Zone) came together to help us find people to teach and bring unto Christ.  We had a total of 26 Sister and Elders in our small town - two Sisters were not able to make it as they remained in their own city for a baptism.

The day was rather successful as a number of new investigators were found.  Our own Elders began teaching a couple the very same night.  We are hopeful that the prayers, fasting and hard work of these fine missionaries brings forth fruit.  The Lille Stake Presidency had requested that the entire Stake fast for us on this day.  Many of the missionaries had miracles to share at the end of the day.

Not so important, but interesting is the fact that Sister Clark and I discovered connections with some of the missionaries who came.  Elder Bize is from Lyon where we were in the same Ward with his older brother.  Elder Chang is a good friend of Liam Eccles; a young man in our Home Ward in Highland, Utah.  Elder Larsen is the grandson of our Stake Patriarche in Highland, Utah.  We have known Patriarche Packard for years as he served as the first President of the San Diego Temple when we lived in Irvine, California.  Small World!!

Emmanuel - Nigerian Investigator
Nigerian Refugees in France

When we submitted our Missionary Recommendation papers we requested a calling to serve with refugees in Easter Europe.  We came to Charleville-Mezieres, France to find many refugees here.  We have been most successful teaching the Gospel to refugees from Nigeria.  We currently have two Nigerian members in our Branch and have had a couple who found it necessary to move elsewhere.  We also have three or four investigators who are taking the missionary lessons.

Emmanuel is one of our Nigerian investigators.  He has a baptismal date for the first week in December.  He and the others have a very difficult life here in France - yet, they want to be here as the alternatives at home in Nigeria are not so good.  They struggle to get asylum status from the French government  and often face the discouragement of being denied.  Their life is hard!

Sister Schuiling's Home (part with blue accents) - Mazee, Belgium

Members of the Church

Sister Schuiling is a very faithful member of the Church who currently serves as our only French Sunday School teacher.  She is currently single and has had and continues to have a very interesting life.

Sister Schuiling's home, pictured above, is rather typical of French homes.  They are very simple in many respects; however, we find a different spirit - calm and peaceful - in the homes of our members. Sister Schuiling has completely redone her home since purchasing it a year or two ago and it is simple in many aspects but also beautiful.  It very much reflects her independent and determined personality.

Sister Schuiling recently sold her home (above) and is planning on living on a boat on the Meuse River in the general area of Charleville.  She wants to be move supportive of the Branch and thus the primary reason for changing homes.  She currently drives one hour each direction to attend Sunday Meeting and week-day activities.

Sister Schuiling - doesn't like her picture taken

Sister Schuiling is of Netherland decent and currently lives in Belgium.  She has lived in various places around the world including Italy, Tahiti, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.  She was a Temple Worker for eight years at the Amsterdam Temple.  She often shares the many ways she sees the hand of the Lord in her life.

She has worked as a lawyer and for the Red Cross.  She is a qualified nature guide and is learning to navigate - a necessity for living on a peniche (barge-like boat that is common in the rivers and canals in France and other parts of Europe).  She spent several months in Greece working with refugees.  We very much enjoy her personality and sense of humor.  We are grateful to know Sister Schuiling and to be able to serve her as Home Teachers and friends.