Tag Archive for: experience
Missionaries constantly come and go.
From every nation around the world, thousands of Elders and Sisters are called to serve.
We arrived in June 2021, during covid times, when there were few new arrivals.
Then, there were only 3 sister missionaries, Eleanor Goodall, Samantha Greenhalgh and Savannah Clark, in the mission.
Post covid, times have changed and there are now many more serving.
This week, I was reminded of a scripture from the New Testament.
“For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” (1 Peter 2:21).
Many are called to follow His steps, to become like Jesus Christ and “to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6).
The calls don’t occur, simply by chance or coincidence.
They happen by divine intervention, validated with the Lord’s signature.
They are personal.
In amongst last week’s arrivals, there was a familiar name and face.
Like her older sister Savannah, Madison had been called to serve in the Belgium Netherlands Mission.
A new beginning
On Friday, we had our first interview together in Amsterdam.
As we spoke, I recalled the many interviews I’d had with Savannah and our countless sweet memories.
Now, in that moment, living in the present, Madison and I started to write our new memories together.
Memories are timeless treasures of the heart.
In that moment, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for her presence in the mission, knowing that the call to serve here, in this mission, at this time, had been divinely designed for her.
I’ll never forget Savannah’s big black boots.
Having big shoes to fill, may present a challenge for some and for others it may be an opportunity.
Not everyone gets to start off in the footsteps of their older sister.
Madison, armed with her sisters’ knowledge and experience, won’t be walking in big black boots; she’ll be adding her unique personal touch by forging a new path in her very own shoes (sandals!).
I hope we all choose to follow the example of Jesus Christ and follow in His footsteps.
It’ll be worth every step we take.
Life is the field of tests.
“Wees niet bang om fouten te maken, iedereen die een nieuwe taal leert, maakt fouten!”
In other words, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, anyone who learns a new language makes mistakes!
After a few months in the Netherlands, words to that affect frequently run through my mind.
That said however, I had a funny experience at Schiphol Airport last week, whilst picking up the new arriving missionaries.
Whilst Monic and I, along with Elder Ornelas were waiting for the final missionary to arrive at Gate 2, I was approached by a complete stranger, looking for directions to the other arrival gates 3 & 4.
Having just come from gate 3, I gave him the directions in my best Dutch, pointing at the same time…
“Ga rechtdoor, dan rechtsaf, 100 meter rechtdoor en dan is het aan u rechterhand”
He thanked me and then headed off in that direction.
I turned back to Monic and Elder Ornelas, and it struck me that this was very similar to that moment when Elder Calhoun in the movie “The Best Two Years” directed a complete stranger at the railway station. For those of you who have seen the movie, you will recall that precise moment. If you haven’t see the movie – then watch it, it has to be one of the best movies about life in the mission field.
We laughed together as we talked about the movie and Elder Calhoun!
In that moment, I realised without thinking that my Dutch is improving!!
What is improving for you right now, that you may not have noticed?
Things have changed…
As one chapter in life draws to a close, another is set to begin…
One morning earlier this week, I was about to head outside to post a birthday card, when our youngest daughter Cristi was also just departing for school. I asked if I could join her on her walk to school and she agreed that I could.
All at once, memories flooded back of the many times over the last 20 years of walking to school with our children. Walking through the rain, wind, snow and sunshine have all been experiences we’ve shared together. The days of holding each of their hands have long since gone. Tiny steps, eventually grew into strides together.
Walking with Cristi, I recognised quickly that this was likely to be the very last time I walked with her on part of her journey to school. Her school days are swiftly drawing to a close, with only a few days left to go. We talked, we laughed and to be honest, I did get a little emotional. Just for a moment there was a little tear in my eye. I realised that the school days of our children chapter of our life together, was now rapidly drawing to an end. As we reached Dot, the lollipop lady, we wished each other well.
Our Book of Life
Like a book, life has a beginning, and end, and a lot of chapters in between that push us forward from one event to another. Each of us will begin many new chapters in our own book of life. Some chapters are challenging and difficult, others are fun and exciting. Momentarily, a little bit of sentimentality also played into my own book, with this little walk for sure. Another sweet memory was added into my own book of life.
Ultimately change happens for each of us.
Accepting change can be hard and exciting too, as we turn the page of a new chapter in life. For us, there are a whole new set of adventures ahead, Belgium/Netherlands beckons!!
What changes and new chapters are you set to write about in your very own book of life?
ooh, ouch, Ouch! OUCH! 𝗢𝗨𝗖𝗛!
Maybe I’m just a little adverse to Dentist and Doctor surgeries. I’m not a great fan of either, getting prodded and poked isn’t high on my list of favourite things to do. A wimp, I hear you say!
I had to have blood taken for a medical test last week. As instructed I’d come fasting and hadn’t eaten or drank anything for about 15 hours. After some pleasant introductions, it was time to take the blood. I wasn’t anxious about it as I’d given blood for tests a few times before at a Doctors surgery. This time was to be a little different.
He started in my left arm. The first attempt, no joy. Then to my right arm, again no success. Back to my left arm, once again, it was fruitless! Back to my right arm, another attempt – still nothing. “Bone dry” he said! By this time, I was starting to feel like a pin cushion. “I’ll have to take it from the back of your hand” the Doctor said (5th attempt). A little more painful for sure, but finally, at last, the blood started to flow! What a relief!
There are many challenges in life…
Sometimes we all just have to endure some pretty painful experiences for a little while, before the results start to flow!
What painful moments have you had to endure?