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

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 75 - Transferred to Brussels, Belgium

So yeah, I just barely got here to liege six weeks ago and I'm being transferred again. Elder Reiss and I will be staying together but we are both being moved to Brussels. It kinda sad that I wasn't able to get to know the ward and area super well but Brussels seems like a super cool ville so I'm stoked for that. And good ole Wade Bringhurst is going to be in in my same ville so I'll see him all the time!

Tuesday: we had a rendez vous early this morning with our ami Aimé, he's from Congo. He actually has a lot of potential. He read the stuff we left with him and is sincerely searching. We took a bus up to the church after that for a cleaning project. It was almost done by the time we got there and so we just ate some lunch with them. A member drove us into town after and we met up with François in this billiards bar place in town to have a little lesson and a Coke. He's a funny dude. He drove us to a members house after that. We went out to stop by a couple of less actives and we met a guy that seems like he had forgotten he was a member but wants us to come back cuz he's interested hah.

Wednesday: we had district meeting, I made garlic bread, and took some district photos because it's the last week of the transfer. We went to buy some tickets at the gare for transfer day Wednesday but it turns out that there's a strike that day and the day after and there will be no trains running in Belgium. That's going to cause lots of
problems for transfer day. We let the APs know and we're going to have to work something out. We had a dinner appointment down in a town called Verviers so we decided to just go down early and do some work down there. The member came and picked us up and we had dinner with him and his wife. He is American and she is Italian. After dinner he took us to the gare and we took a train back into liege.

Thursday: i went on an exchange with big k (elder kaonohi) and that was super fun! We had quite a few rendez vous. One with Aimé in the morning, he accepted a soft baptismal invite, then one with François, we ate lunch with him, and then we went to Abrahams, a cool 80 year old guy that wants to start coming back to church. We got back with the other elders and went up to a family's house for New Years. They fed us a really good meal and we played uno hah. On the way up I met a cool guy from chile who was interested in learning more about our

Friday: our apartment is pretty close to centre-ville and all the parties going on were pretty loud last night hah. We stopped by a market for lunch and then walked back to the apartment to do our weekly planning. We visited this guy named darios, he's a cool young African member that's living here in liege to go to school. We went out and contacted but there weren't very many people on the road at all, they were all sleeping from the cozy parties the night before.

Saturday: we had to get some tickets for some people to go down the Paris the day before transfers because of this strike going on. We called the senior elder in Brussels and organized how we are going to get everyone to their new villes and stuff. We had a wma meeting and then took a bus into town for a rendez vous we scheduled at 5 with a new ami, we kinda had the feeling he wouldn't show up so we had scheduled a rendezvous at the same spot for just 30 min after and we were right, he didn't show up, but the second guy did 😊 we met these
two African brothas tonight and they were both interested, we fixed a
rdv for Tuesday

Sunday church was good. We said goodbye to all the members. We visited Abraham again and his friend was there again, I think she has a crush on me haha she's like 80 hah. We also got to visit a member family and eat with them

Love you guys 😘