Tag Archive for: friendship

The Best Ships are Friendships

These last three years we have formed so many of the most incredible new and enduring, fun filled, love inspired, collective friendships of our life’s.
I consider these friendships to be among the sweetest and most valuable of my entire life.
I love these words from Music and the Spoken Word from March 2019…
“There are wooden ships, there are sailing ships, there are ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.”
How else can we possibly expect to make it across life’s rough seas?
Friendships make the voyage not only possible but also enjoyable.
Among life’s richest blessings is friendship.
And while the waves and winds may separate good friends for a time—even years—when they reunite, the time and distance fade almost instantly.
Perhaps you’ve had an experience similar to that of two dear friends who lost contact with each other.
Many years and many miles later, one of them remembered and missed their bond of friendship, so he decided to take the initiative to find his friend.
After decades apart, the friends reconnected, and the joyous reunion melted the years away. Their hearts filled with happiness and fond memories as they laughed together and shared tender feelings. It was as if they had never parted—as if they still lived in the same town and shared the same experiences.
Most of us can remember friends who have touched our lives for good over the years. Some of those friends may now be gone, but the memory of their love, example, and goodness can still lift and inspire us. The love and trust, the listening and caring, the shared time and experiences never really leave us, because they have made us who we are.
Although we may sometimes appear to be independently strong, no one crosses life’s waters alone. We need to have—and need to be—true friends. A meditation by the poet John Donne inspired these lyrics that capture an enduring truth:
No man is an island;
No man stands alone.
Each man’s joy is joy to me;
Each man’s grief is my own.
We need one another,
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.”
Perhaps the lesson for all of us is to consider again the importance of each of our friendships and nurture them with tender love and care, having some fun along the way.”
We need deep, satisfying and loyal friendships with each other.
How do you build and maintain your friendships?

The Mission Presidency

“What’s the function of the Mission Presidency?” – I was asked.
Arriving during covid times in June 2021, it was November before counsellors were appointed.
Over those few months, after discussions with several candidates and after taking it to the Lord in prayer, it was abundantly clear that I should have Chris Kleijweg and Jurgen Hoole serve as my Counsellors.
Both Chris and Jurgen have a wealth of knowledge and experience of the church throughout Belgium and the Netherlands.
Two counsellors are always called to assist a mission president with his responsibilities.
We meet regularly, usually weekly, either using technology or in person, to counsel about missionary work, and talk together almost daily.

Counselling

The wise writer of Proverbs tells us that “in … counsellors there is safety.” (Prov. 11:14.)
Counselling together with one another is constant.
When problems arise, when difficult decisions face us, it is wonderful to be able to talk together in confidence and trust.
When the three of us unite in prayer to discuss a concern, we seek the impressions and direction of the Spirit. We counsel together in order to reach a united conclusion, to help us know that the decision is in harmony with the Lord’s will.
We each have specific responsibilities including teaching, finding, social media, office administration, working with local leaders, service missionaries, finance, leadership, youth, young adults, new members, senior couples etc.
Each of us have a sense of responsibility for the whole mission.
We are united.

Service

Over the last 18 months we have developed strong bond of friendship. We are very different, with different family situations and life experience, yet we love being together, especially at Zone Conferences!
We laugh, we cry, we help, we support, we travel, we share, we teach, we interview, we listen, we problem solve, we attend meetings, and we are always on call 24/7, prepared to drop everything at a moment’s notice and go and assist missionaries wherever they are.
Interestingly, in the church, we have a lay ministry.
Chris, Jurgen or I never sought out these assignments, we were simply asked by a church leader to serve, giving many hours voluntarily every week. It’s wonderful!
We invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.
In summary, the function of the Presidency is to prepare, counsel, teach, minister, and lead the Belgium Netherlands Mission.

Love Letters

Last night we had some good friends visit, John and Rebecca Muntinga.
It was lovely to see them, eat dinner, catch up and relax together.
We love to play games, and they introduced us to a new one called Love Letters.
It’s a game of risk, deduction, and luck, but very topical for valentines this week.
Players attempt to deliver their love letter into the Princess’s hands while keeping other players’ letters away.
It was a fun game, and we had quite a few laughs playing together.
Reflecting upon the game this morning, I recalled the many love letters that I sent in my younger years, especially with valentines.

Acronyms

I remember the acronyms that I’d write on the back of the envelope such as:
S W A L K – Sealed with a loving kiss.
I T A L Y – I trust and love you.
H O L L A N D – Hope our love lasts and never dies.
(Holland proved to be a good one for me!)
Whilst dating, Monic and I were so far apart, that we still treasure our letters today.
Our missionaries too, like receiving letters from home, as parents, siblings and sometimes even a girlfriend of boyfriend express their love.
In a way, the holy scriptures are like love letters from home telling us how we can draw near to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.
Gordon B. Hinckley said; “Love is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is not found only at the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arched across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, and neighbours! Love, like faith, is a gift of God. It is also the most enduring and most powerful virtue.”
Today’s texting lingo may be:
BFF – Best friends forever
ILY – I love You
FIMH – Forever in My Heart.
IMHO – Why not send a letter of love to someone today…?

Welcome Back

𝑾𝒆𝒍𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝑩𝒂𝒄𝒌!
It seemed as if it was only yesterday that Melanie Coates was departing for home from her mission.
That was back in July already.
“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.” — Ally Condie
It was an absolute delight to have her visit briefly with her sister Emma this week and to catch up again.
We loved to reminisce, share stories, smile, and laugh – a lot.
Friendships are so important.
Our time together reminded me of this little poem entitled True Friend by Ashley Campbell.
“A friend is like a star that twinkles and glows
Or maybe like the ocean that gently flows.
A friend is like gold that you should treasure
And take care of forever and ever.
A friend is like an angel that is there to guide you.
A friend is someone you can trust out of a few.
A friend is more than one in a million.
They are one in a ca-zillion,
And you, my friend, are very special
and so it is official.”
Good friends are a little like stars, you may not always see them, but you know they are there!
Stay safe my dear friend – until we meet again.
What kind of friend are you?

Friendship

What new friendships have you made this year?
Reflecting this morning, on the year gone by, I got to thinking about all my friendships anew.
There have been many, all across the world.
A friend cares.
A friend is honest.
A friend reaches out.
A friend listens.
A friend loves.
To all my friends old and new, I discovered a poem that encapsulates how I feel about each of you. I have no idea who wrote it. Enjoy.

“𝐀 𝐅𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐋𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮”

There’s a tenderness comes stealing
O’er this heart of mine today
And a warm and happy feeling
That can never fade away;
Just a feeling that is growing
Every day each long year through –
It’s the joy that comes through knowing
That I have a friend like you.
Round my heart are memories clinging
Of the golden days of old.
And they set my soul a-singing
With a happiness untold.
Yes, our pulsing heart throbs, treasured
Through the years of friendship true
Make me prize the love unmeasured
Of a good old friend like you.
Every passing day I wish you
All the joy your heart will hold;
May success be always with you
As the coming years unfold.
That the fast-approaching morrows
May see all your dreams come true
And contain but minor sorrows,
In my wish, dear friend, for you.
May our friendship grow and strengthen
In the misty years to come,
So that when life’s shadows lengthen
And our mortal race is run,
We may still be friends united –
Still be comrades staunch and true;
That our ways may e’er be lighted,
Yours by me and mine by you.
To all my friends old and new, I hope that 2022, brings you all your hopes and dreams you could ever wish for.
From one good friend to another – Much Love. 💕

Friendship

And that’s the end of our first full month (already!), back home in the Netherlands.

One thing that has struck me is the importance of 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩.

We have spent a large chunk of our first month making lots of new friends and reacquainting ourselves with many old ones too.

As we have visited together, we have laughed, cried, talked, sung, enjoyed meals, walked, played games, hugged, encouraged, helped and above all really listened to one another’s stories and experiences.

It has been a real joy to be with such wonderful friends.

My experience is that all of our interactions together are made more enjoyable and productive when they are accompanied by genuine feelings of friendship.

I remember years ago the counsel from Ralph Waldo Emerson who said “𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞.”

To be a good friend, show genuine interest in others, smile, care about them, be kind, be grateful and show respect. Above all…

– 𝐁𝐞 Real
– 𝐁𝐞 You
– 𝐁𝐞 your authentic self!

Being who you are is key!

What kind of friend are you?

Friendships

I love this picture!  Look at our huge smiles. I can still remember, as if it were today, something subtle happening, that we were scarcely aware of – we all became friends, each of whom who have subsequently touched my life for good.

That day, the six of us made some powerful professional breakthroughs and connections in our own community of practice.  But above all, the part I cherish most of all, was the power of true friendship.

Friendship

Listening, laughing, understanding, being a little silly together and empathy were in all in evidence as we embarked upon a new journey in our work on extra-dependent teams.

“A friend is a priceless possession because a true friend is one who is willing to take us the way we are but is able to leave us better than he found us. We are poor when we lose friends because generally they are willing to reprove, admonish, love, encourage, and guide for our best good. A friend lifts the heavy heart, says the encouraging word, and assists in supplying our daily needs. As friends we will make ourselves available without delay to those who need us.” – Marvin J. Ashton

The photo was taken in Zurich, in December 2019, just a few weeks before the pandemic and lockdown.  Subsequently, the six of us have met by Zoom on several occasions.  Our conversations have been moments I hold dear, through what has been a challenging year.

Somehow these special moments of friendship seem to have a long shelf life, which I am so grateful for. They can sustain you even long after the moment has passed.

Good friends are a little like stars, you may not always see them, but you know they are there!

My conclusion – the only way to really have friends, is to be one yourself.

Go on, reconnect today.