Friday, April 1, 2016

Week 88

Thank you everyone for your prayers and love for our son!  Dres is getting better everyday. I'll try to give a more thorough update in the future, but....

Dres was injured in the bombing of the Brussels airport on March 22. His most severe injuries are shrapnel injuries to his legs and deep second degree burns to his left hand. He has other burns to his legs right hand, head and face. He has approximately 30 pieces of of shrapnel in both legs curently that range in size from pellets to grapes. He has received 2-3 surgeries to remove the biggest pieces and will require additional surgery to repair tendons in his right foot and leg in the future. He spent a week in a Brussels area hospital and is about 5 days into an approximate 10-15 day hospital stay in salt lake city Utah.  We plan to continue his therapy and rehab back home in st george when he is released. 

We anticipate that Dres will have a full recovery. He is already recovering rapidly and able to walk, eat, drink and laugh!  The doctors all think that he will play guitar, snow board, wake surf, and be as handsome as ever!  He will have some scarring and shrapnel forever to remind him of what opposition and challenge he has overcome. He is happy and thankful to be alive! And recovering. 

Thanks so much for your love and concern and prayers and well wishes for our boy.  Life is good. God is good.



I will try to update this blog every week or so on his progress. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 86

Lundi: once p day was over we got to go eat at Jacobs house with his family, they're super cool!

Mardi:  we had some reports to do that morning. We got to go visit this member that recently started coming back to church named Ayi, he's from Togo and super cool! Just super humble! It was his birthday so we brought him a cake. He's about 34 and he said that this is the first time he has ever celebrated his birthday. He's just an awesome dude! We had a rendez vous with a guy named Danny. Elder wells found him when we were doing this thing call "solo contacting," where we go to a busy spot, split up, but stay in sight and sound, and talk to a bunch of people. This was our first rendez vous with him and it went super well. He has a lot of potential! He comes from Muslim background but feels like he needs to look for something different. We talked about the Book of Mormon and invited him to start reading it.

Mercredi: we had some more reports to do in the morning again a lot of our rendez vous were cancelled but that worked out okay cuz we had to prepare some stuff for zone conference tomorrow. We bought some food and other supplies and took them to the church. With the time we had left we just went hard, contacting, down by a metro stop named Rogier, there's usually a bunch of people there so we were able to meet lots of people. We found a new ami there named Jeff. He took us to this boat he lives on in a canal and we fixed a return rendez vous 

Jeudi: we had zone conference today. The APs came and slept over last night and then this morning we met all the missionaries from our zone and took them up to the church. President and sister babin met us up there and then we had all of the formations. Our formation went aight.

Vendredi: we had another rendez vous with Danny. He's awesome! He's been reading in the Book of Mormon and he already feels like he's receiving confirmations that it's true. Pretty cool. Our rendez vous was short but really good. We had a few other rendez vous that went well and then we got to go down to nivelle to do a baptismal interview. Elder wells did it and it went really well. We came home and met elder Motuik who was in liege but he has a problem with his ankle and need to go home to Abu Dabi to get surgery. President asked us to take him to the airport tomorrow morning.

Samedi: we woke up at like four to catch a taxi to the airport, elder motuiks plane was for 7 but he was supposed to be there two hours early to be sure. We got him through the check in stuff and then sent him off through customs. We took a bus back home and did our studies and then went and played some soccer at the church with the Dutch elders, some young adults, and some Amis. We did our weekly planning after that and while we were in the appt someone rung the doorbell, we went down stairs and there was a seventeen year old girl and her friend asking us about missions and stuff. Turns out she wants to serve a mission. I don't know how she found our appt but that was pretty cool. We invited her to church so she could find out more on what she needs to do to go on a mission. We also got to see this member named Paul, he's from Albania and loves math, it's all he does all

Dimanche: That seventeen year old girl that showed up at our door came to church! At first we felt like she wasn't having the best first experience but by the end she made quite a few friends and loved the young women's class. We also got to teach Donavan, he's been an a I for six years, but we've made a bunch of break through a with his father and will now be able to be baptized! We fixed a date for April 9th. We also got to go to the Kurts house and teach his little sister named Jennifer. She's pretty cool! We had dinner with them as well

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 85

Monday: during p day we went to the Atomium (I had no idea what that was until I came here to Belgium, apparently it's a big deal.) We went inside and that was kinda cool.

Elder wells started feeling just a little sick so we just chilled at the church. Elder Aburto from the Spanish equipe was sick all last week so I think elder wells caught that. By the time came around to proselyte he was feeling pretty bad and elder Aburto was still sick so the two of them went back to the apartment and elder Ciceneros and I did an exchange. Earlier that day I got a phone call from an unknown number, it was a guy asking if I could come pray with his wife who was mentally ill. So we stopped by the address he gave us and their neighbors let us into the building. When we got to her door and knocked she just started yelling at us through the door telling us to leave and threatening to call the police. We tried to reason with her but she just kept yelling so we just left and are going to have to pass by another day. We hopped on a tram to go to this less actives house that the Spanish equipes working with. He's in an old folks home and isn't able to get to church so we brought him the sacrament. On the tram ride over I met a lady that spoke Spanish but luckily I had elder Ciceneros with me so I just called him over and he was able to teach her. By the time we got home the two other elders were out! So we got to bed kinda early too.

Tuesday: Tuesday's are the day of district meeting and as well our "day of finding," something prez asked us to do every district meeting day. But since the two elders were still sick and were going to be staying home, we couldn't do the district meeting with just us and the soeurs so dm was cancelled. We still had finding day though. We basically spent the entire day contacting people in the street. There's a sister in the zone named soeur Royer, she lived in Metz when I was serving there and then got her mission call to st. George but because she didn't have a visa yet she went to liege in my zone as a missionary. She just barely got her visa last week so she came into Brussels solo today and elder Ciceneros and I got her a ticket to Paris and helped get on the train. So if you see her in the st. Temple visitors center, say hi for me.

Wednesday: elder Wells and Aburto were still sick so elder Ciceneros and I spent another day together. I didn't mind though cuz elder Ciceneros is an awesome dude! He is super funny and always happy! We stopped by dominos to order pizza for the zone conf. Next week and then passed by some peoples houses. No one was home but while talking with people on the way we met a super nice lady from Armenia named Zara. She didn't speak any French and only a bit of English but she loved it when elder Ciceneros said a few words in Armenian that he had learned a few days before. She was almost crying when we left her with a prayer, pretty sweet. We visited one of the Spanish equipes recent converts and his family, they're African and speak Portuguese, Spanish, and a bit of French. They spoke Spanish for a good part of it so I had no idea what was going on haha. We visited this other less active guy that someone from church asked us to visit. He's from Africa and was a doctor until he got in a car accident and lost his memory, right now he's doing a requalification thing. He was really nice and we're going to visit again next week. 

Thursday: elder wells and Aburto were feeling well enough to go out today so we got back into our normal equipes. We had a rendez vous with one of our Amis named beaufils, he's from Cameroon and is pretty cool. We had a good rendez vous with him and then we got to see Sylvain. He's actually doing pretty good. Things are looking up for him. 

Friday: we went out contacting in the morning. I met a really cool girl from Czech Republic, she was super nice and also almost started crying when we prayed. It's pretty cool the power a little prayer can bring! We visited this guy named Ayi, an African guy that recently started coming back to church, he is super cool and humble! Every time we go and see how things are going in the Book of Mormon he tells us how much he knows that it's true! A member who just barely got back from his mission named Jacob came with us. He served in Spain and has been helping us out a bunch lately, he's super cool! We went to a baptism at the church that evening and that was super fun as well

Saturday: we did some weekly planning in the morning and then went to this 18 year old African guys house named Emanuel. His mom is a member and he used to come to church when he was young but he never got baptized. We met him in a tram a couple of weeks ago and have been meeting with him regularly. He's a cool guy. We had another rendez vous with a recent convert that just moved here from nivelle but that ended up falling through. We got to visit a member family for a few minutes and then went to Kurt albacite's house for dinner.  

Dimanche: it was stake conference! And elder kearon came! Beaufils came to church for the first time and liked it quite a bit, he said he's excited to come back again next week. After church we had to finish our weekly planning and do some other paperwork stuff and then went to this sisters house named soeur fujiko. She's from Japan and teaches cooking courses, the meal was pretty good πŸ˜‹ Jacob came with us too! 

I hope that was detailed enough to make up for no email last week 😊😁 stay sweet ✌🏼️ 

Elder empey 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 83

Super busy but awesome week! We had four exchanges and they were all here in Brussels!

Tuesday- we had district meeting and then did a "day of finding."  President wants us to consecrate a day to finding new Amis every week so our district leader made it a little competition and gave us a bunch of brochures. First one to hand them all out won a cake. Elder wells and I won 😏

Wednesday - we were on exchanges with the Spanish elders. We had a few rendez vous and a meeting with our ward mission leader. We ended our exchange in the evening and started another exchange with the liege elders. I was with elder Hein and we ate dinner with the young adults at the church and then went to a rendez vous at an Amis house.

Thursday - we continued our exchange with the liege elders. We had a few rendez vous throughout the day and then took the liege elders to the train station. Right as they left the assistants came in for an exchange. We went and passed by some houses that said we could come back. This one African guy yelled at us for a good 10 min out of the window, it was pretty funny though, we were kind of egging him on.

 Wednesday morning we switched comps and I went with elder McBride. He's a super cool dude! After getting lunch with the other APs and elder wells we went to a rendez vous with this guy named Sylvain. This was only my third rendez vous with him but he likes us a lot already.  After our lesson he handed us a sac with two pairs of army books, they were too small for me so elder McBride took them. We were really grateful and elder McBride saw a guitar in the corner and was like "can we play you a song in return?" Sylvain handed me the guitar and I played blackbird while we both sang. After i played paranoia in b flat major. At the end of the song he grabbed a sharpie from his desk, took the guitar, wrote something on the top, and handed it to me telling me he wanted me to have it. I was totally in shock. I was kind of hesitant to accept it but he insisted saying he hasn't played it in years and he would rather that I use it. It was super nice of him! And it's a pretty nice guitar too!

ill get a picture with him next week. The assistants left shortly after and then the elders from Nivelles came in shortly after. I started with elder Ashcraft and we had a few rendez vous that evening. 

Saturday- we switched companions during the exchange and I was with elder McDonald, he's the district leader and he's a really good dude. We went out contacting in the morning, taught a few lessons on the street and found a new ami. We went down to nivelle after so I could do a baptismal interview for one of their Amis that's getting baptized next week. He was a super cool guy! 

Sunday- church went well. After we just did a bunch of planning cuz we had met so many people thought the week that we needed to get in can't act with. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 82

Yeah so we had transfers this week. Elder Reiss left early Wednesday morning.  The day before, Tuesday he said goodbye to a lot of people. Do you guys remember our ami from liege? FranΓ§ois? He came up to Brussels Tuesday afternoon to get some lunch with us and say goodby to elder Reiss. It was fun seeing him again. We had a few rendez vous with our Amis and then went and got dinner with the young adults. There's a bunch of young adults here in Brussels and they're all super cool!

On Wednesday elder Reiss hopped on the train to Paris and I went on an exchange with elder motiuk for a few hours. We did a bit of planning and a bunch of contacting, met some cool people. We went and picked up our new comps at the train station. I took elder wells to the appt and then we went to a dinner appointment with a part member family, the one that loves motorcycles.

Thursday we had a pretty open day to go out and work. We had a few rendez vous, one with a guy that recently started coming back to church, he taught us some tai chi, pretty sweet. We also went to the albacite families house to have dinner with them. That's Kurts family, the super cool 20 year old.

Friday we woke up early and went down to mission council. That was really good. The missions making some big changes and it's going to be really good. It takes a bit of time to actually get things going but it'll be good. We got back home with just enough time to plan and eat some dinner.

Saturday we had a meeting with the district leaders to talk about their responsibilities and how we're going to do stuff this transfer. We had a little bit more planning to do after and then had a little band practice at the church. There's two member girls who wants to do a little street performance playing church songs and have missionaries
pass out cards and stuff. They asked me to play guitar. They are super good singers! We don't know when we're going to do it yet but I'll send some pics when we do.

Sunday went well. A big portion of our day gets taken up by church because it starts at 11h30 and gets over at 14h30. We had a rendez vous with an African guy down by the train station but he stood us up, classic. We went to a members house with elder Bringhurst for dinner and that was awesome!

Overall great week 😊

Love elder empey 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 81

So we got the repertoire for transfers on Saturday. I'm going to staying in Brussels 😊 but my comp elder Reiss will be leaving on Wednesday πŸ˜” he'll be serving in Rouen. It has been awesome serving
with him, he really is an awesome dude!  My new comp is going to be elder Wells. I don't know if you guys remember him but we lived in the same apartment my last two transfers in Metz. He's a good hard worker so I'm excited for that, it'll be good.

The ward here in Brussels is just awesome! There were a few times we went to members' houses to eat and they had invited a non member friend to introduce us to. On Tuesday we went and taught a lesson to a guy we found in the area book and one of the young adult guys came with us. His name is Kurt and he's super cool! After the lesson he went out contacting with us and that was super fun and funny. 

We have some awesome Amis right now the only problem is that some of them have a hard time keeping their engagements, like coming to church. We have this one family of three from Africa who are super awesome. The rendez vous with them are awesome but it's hard to see them very often and that makes it hard. We will have to see how things go. 

I think it's been raining for the past month and a half but this week we finally had a couple of sunny days, still pretty cold, but sunny. 

Love you! 
Elder empey 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 80

Dres bought an old camera at the market and took these awesome pics

We had a couple of exchanges this week. The elders from Nivelle came up here to Brussels Tuesday and stayed for most of Tuesday and part of Wednesday.   

Later Wednesday we hopped on a train down to Paris and then to Versailles for our exchange with the assistants. That went really well. We did a whole bunch of contacting with them, taught a lot of lessons, and found some new Amis. We caught a train back to Brussels Thursday evening. 

Friday was solid,a couple of our rendez vous were cancelled but we were able to find a couple new Amis and teach quite a few people just while contacting. We met with Claude, the guy that just kinda showed up at church cuz the Charleroi elders invited him. He lives out pretty far and it's going to be hard for him to get to church every week but I guess we'll have to see what happens. The Brussels sisters had a baptism Friday night and that was awesome. Some guy that elder Reiss contacted and invited the day before showed up and loved it. He went to Paris the day after so he couldn't come to church but should be there next week. We also found a new ami evening, Benjamin. He fixed a rendez vous with us for the very next day. That lesson went really well and I could see him progressing well.

Saturday morning we contacted this guy sitting on a park bench. He had a cat sitting on his lap, I tried to touch it but it bit my hand, drew blood, haha, we found out later that it was a wild cat that lived in the park that he was buddies with. We met with a really cool guy Saturday night, we found him in the area book.  He's met with missionaries quite a few times and wants to travel over to salt lake to see what Mormons are really like. The problem is that he has never even been to church yet. We told him he doesn't need to go to salt lake to find out it's true it would probably be a good idea to check out church first before even thinking about a trip to salt lake. He was a super cool dude though, he took us to a restaurant and got us cokes and one of his friends came and joined us half way through. He is super busy but is going to see what he can do to get to church.

Church was really cool, it was fast and testimony meeting since last week was ward conference. One of our Amis bore testimony on prayer!  Last week we invited him to pray for us so we could find people who are ready for us. He did it and we really did see some miracles. It was really cool to see him bear testimony about it and the members loved it. There was a referral that we hadn't meet yet who showed up for the last hour, he seems really cool. We ate at a member family's house that night and they were super fun! The boy is 20 and he is hilarious! They're from the Philippines.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 79

Don't have a whole bunch of time to email today. So I'll kinda just give a summary of the week. It was a really good one. Again, we didn't have a whole lot of interruptions so we could work hard and things went really well.

We have this one ami who, during our first rendez vous, had no desire to join the church. He was actually kinda going in a completely opposite direction. We've been seeing him every week and it's really cool to see the change he has made. He came to that movie last week and loved it! Our last rendez vous with him was really good and at the end we asked him to pray for us so we could find those people who are ready for the gospel and he was really touched that we asked him to help us with that. We've seen a few little miracles since and I'm sure it's thanks to his prayers and any others who pray us.

Sunday was awesome. When sacrament (first hour) started we had no Amis there, we were pretty upset because there were quite a few people who were planning on coming. Right when we thought no one was going to come roger and his family walked through the door, we were so happy to see them there! Then latter during sacrament I got a call from a guy that missionaries contacted in Charleroi (south part of Belgium) and had invited to come to our church. He wasn't quite sure where to go so we ran and picked him up at the metro stop closest to the church.

Today we went to this really cool market. Apparently it's world famous. It's called MarchΓ© aux Puces. There's a bunch of old cool stuff. Elder Bringhurst went with us and bought a little guitar for $10 haha pretty sweet. We ate some Greek food with him and his comp.

That's all for now.  Love you guys

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 78

What a good week. We didn't have any time consuming trips to take this week so we were really able to work hard in our sector.

While doing some area book work we found this guy named roger. The only reason he stopped seeing the missionaries is because he was going on a trip to Africa for a couple of months. We gave him a call and he
was more than happy to meet with us. Turns out that his wife just barely moved up from Africa and they really want to come to our church. They have a two year old daughter, they're a cute family and I'm excited to be teaching them.

We did an exchange with the liege elders up here in Brussels. They're both really cool dudes. Elder Kendrick and I had a rendez vous with a guy that a member told us about. He got baptized a year ago and was active for a good six months but then fell inactive. It was a really cool rendez vous and he wants to start coming back. We invited him to this movie thing the ward was putting on for Saturday.  He came to that and then to church the next day and he seemed to really enjoy all of it.

The movie we got to see with the ward was "the cokeville miracle." It was super good! The whole theatre was crying by the end of it including me hah. You guys should find it and watch it for a family home evening!

During our exchange with the liege elders we got lunch with the Dutch elders. Elder Bringhurst and his comp elder Neptune are super fun to hang out with! Not going to lie, whenever I see him and talk about all the people back home it gets me a bit trunky, just for a second though hah. I'm really happy with how things are right now. I feel like I've been learning so much over the past year and a half (French, gospel, life) and now is my chance to just work super hard and put all these things I've learned to use.

We had some funny stories this week. I contacted this extreme Catholic dude in the metro, he was kinda railing on me a bit, calling our church a cult and stuff. By the end of the contact he found out we weren't Amish and stuff and we were cool. He prophesied to us about the apocalypse, apparently the sun is going to be blocked out this
year for a good couple of hours then within the next three years there's going to be another world war in Europe and Rennes (my last ville) is going to be the center/meeting point of the Russian and Arabic armies. Keep your eye out for that. He did give us some cool "vierge Marie" medallions. And then that night we knocked on a guys
door and one of the first things he said was "do you have any idea how much I want to kill you guys right now!?" He said it pretty angrily and elder Reiss was scared out of his pants. He said he was joking and that we gotta laugh every once in a while then invited us in. Elder Reiss didn't want to go in but went ahead and he had to follow me hah. He's kinda against religion but when he found out we were Mormons he said "ah the Mormons! You guys are awesome with your genealogy and all that stuff." He told us if we wanted to ditch the whole Mormon thing we could stay at his house for a month and hide out haha. He also said if we brought our other two comps and had a beer with him he would get baptized the next day and then go work with us and tell everyone he was Mormon "everybody wins" was what he said but we had to catch a bus and get home so we couldn't take him up on that one haha.

Hope you guys have an awesome week! Love ya!

I forgot to take any pics this week 😁

Elder empey

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 77

Elder Empey's first Skype lesson

Elder Empy's second companion and one of his very faves, Elder Gavin Davis worked with Elder Empey's Dad today in his medical practice!  Elder Davis and his two childhood buddies from the Seattle area are all three recently returned from missions and are premed students at BYU.

We're finally starting to feel established here in Brussels hah. It's been hard trying to figure out the metros and getting around, this place is massive, pretty much like a mini Paris. When we first got here we sent out a mass text to all the potentials in the phone and we've been able to meet with some of them. We met this fifty year old guy that comes from a Muslim family but considers himself Christian, he wants to be baptized into our church but we have a little language barrier, he mostly speaks Arabic with a little of French. We have been able to see him quite a few times and he came to church so he is going to be progressing, slowly but surely with that language barrier. We have a young African guy that is scared of death and when he went to a physiologist she referred him to us. We've started teaching the plan of salvation and I think it's starting to click in his head. He actually lives out of our mission boundaries but he only speaks French and he is the closest to our ward building so we are teaching him through Skype. We met a cool young, Belge, evagalist, guy. He did a mission kind of like us in the south of France. And then there's an older Belge guy that the elders before us were teaching that we were able to see as well. I felt really good about that rendez vous, I think it went really well.

We have been able to eat with quite a few member families here and they are all super cool and seem to love the missionaries! There is a part member less active family that we ate with and when they found out that I like motorcycles they went crazy, they are all obsessed with motorcycles and that's pretty much all we talked about during the dinner. I gave a spiritual thought on cafe racers and how the riders made there bikes as simple as possible getting rid of any extra pieces to get rid of weight and how lots of us make the gospel complicated
with extra stuff and we just need to simplify it, just like Uchdorf did in his last gen conf talk.

We had a conference in Paris with elder kearon. He is super cool! This is the second time he has spoken to our mission and I like him a lot! He is a really good public speaker and teacher. I feel like I learned a lot of ways I can improve my missionary work. That conference was on Thursday and then on Friday we had a mission council with all the mission leaders and elder kearon. We learned even more ways we can improve our own sectors and how we can help all the missionaries in our zones.

Love you guys! Have an awesome week!

Elder empey

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 76

Our family friends, Shawn and DeAnne Jones, introduced us to a lady who lives in our neighborhood and her stepson who lives in the Brussel Belgium area.  We hope that he gets to see Elder Empey!!!

First off, happy birthday dad! You are the best dad in the world and I
love you bunches! You are the greatest example to me! I miss you and
can't wait to hang out when I get back!

We had to do a lot of cleaning this morning and for that I don't have a whole bunch of time left to email you guys

Just a quick summary of the week. We came into Brussels on Tuesday night. On Wednesday we were super busy helping people catch busses to Paris (there was a strike and no trains were running) and then once the new missionaries came home we had to shuttle them to their new villes. Since Thursday we've been trying to get our bearings in Brussels. We've been making lots of phone call, doing lots of planning, and trying to find people with the time we have left. The members here seem super cool and love the missionaries. I saw Wade at church and I even hung out with him a bit today.

I realized that in the weekly emails I send to you I just tell you about the activities we do every day but I never really tell you guys what my thoughts are about the mission and all that. So... I just wanted to say that I am so glad I decided to serve a mission! With less than six months left I've been doing a lot of reflecting the past couple of weeks on what my mission has been. I feel like I have learned so many things and grown a lot since I've come out. I really do know that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored in our days and we are a part of that church! I have taken this knowledge for granted my whole life but now that I feel I'm starting to understand it more I am just so grateful that it is a part of my life. I love sharing these things with the people here in France an Belgium. it's been hard to see many reject what we say or some that receive an answer that it's true and still decide to not follow. But in the end that doesn't really matter, I know that I am out here doing what I need to be doing and others have their agency to choose.

I love you guys and I hope you have a great week!

Love elder empey