Us Seniors

Elder et Soeur Arn & Jody

Thursday, July 24


The Branch had a barbecue planned for the 24th of July celebration, but had cancelled it because there were so many members that were going to be out of town on vacation (the Belgians take a month or two of vacation each year, usually in July and August). One of the sweet sisters in the Branch, Sister Egbert, decided that we really needed this so she changed the date from Saturday to Thursday (the real July 24th) and invited the Branch to a barbecue at her home. She has a rather large house in the middle of town that looks like an apartment from the outside.
 When you go in there is a nice large downstairs, and then you go up a flight of stairs to the upper part of the house and out into a very large, lovely patio/garden area. It was such a surprise.
 She has so much room that she even raises chickens there and gets around 70 eggs a week from the chickens.

There was a very good turnout as most families were not leaving for vacation until Friday night or Saturday morning. (In fact, it looked like there were more at the barbecue than had been at church on Sunday.) There were about 20 or so children and they had so much fun chasing the chickens and playing in the grass part of the yard.

This is John. He loved the red Koolaid and somehow managed to spill every glass that he took. But JoAnn can't say anything, because she was helping him pour a glass so he wouldn't spill and the top came off the pitcher and the whole thing went all over the table and patio.
This is John's Mom, Amy Marshall. She is a military wife and just had her 6th baby in 8 years. Her mother came over from North Carolina for six weeks to help out. You really have to admire military wives. They are awesome - taking care of all those kids with her husband gone a lot and still being so positive and upbeat.

Courtney and Joshua Stearn
The adults sat around in the patio area and just had a wonderful time visiting. We got to meet some more of the Branch members and got to know better some we had already met.
 Brother Stearn (in the blue shirt) manned the barbecue and made the most delicious sauces for the meat – one spicy and one mild. The man to his left is a counselor in the branch presidency, Brother Kilgore and the next one over is Brother LeRoy.

The Branch is mostly divided into those from America who are affiliated with the military base and the French-speaking locals. There was a little bit of a divide at the party. The French speaking were mostly in one group and the rest of us in another. It is understandable considering the language barrier, but many are doing their best to cross that barrier.
 One little girl who has Downs Syndrome is one of the best to bridge the gap. She appears to be about 10 years old and speaks French, but she also speaks love. She gave a big kiss and hug to everyone and was so helpful to pass out cookies or whatever needed doing. She seemed just as comfortable with people from both languages. We could all learn from her.
Elder Peterson, Elder Warncke and Elder Scott
in front with Elder Kam in the back
All four Elders are now living at the Egbert home. The last two moved in that day. One of the Elders, Elder Scott from Tacoma, Washington, was new. We asked him how long he had been in Belgium and he looked at his watch to tell – he was that new.
Sister Egbert with one of the many babies at the party
Sister Egbert teaches school on the base and bought this big house just so she could have room for the Elders. She is a fun, funny lady. We thoroughly enjoy her. She can get almost anything American we need from the commissary on base and is very willing to do so. She also says that she can ship things back to the United States at the rate you would pay if you were over there. We hope that we will be able to take advantage when we go home so that we don’t have to leave so much behind.

All in all, it was a wonderful relaxing evening. It has rained almost every day we have been in Belgium, but it was a beautiful warm evening with blue skies and just a slight breeze. It’s funny here in Belgium, it is still light as late as 10:30 in the evening during the summer. Sometimes we forget to get to bed by missionary curfew time (10:30 p.m.).


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