Us Seniors

Elder et Soeur Arn & Jody

Saturday, August 16


Ever since we first heard about Senior Outings from our friends who are serving a mission in Mongolia, we have been a little jealous that we were not able to enjoy such a day. There are very few senior couples in the Toulouse France Mission, and we only got to really interact with one other couple, who were in our zone, while we were there. So when President Woodland told us about this day out with the other 9 couples in the Belgium/Netherlands mission we were finally free of our covetous feelings.

We all met at the Mission Home in Brussels for a wonderful lunch prepared by Sister Woodland. The Mission Home is beautiful and the food was delicious.
We enjoyed getting to know some of the other couples. Several other couples were new to the mission, one had only been out a week and a half. All the couples were very interesting, and we know that we could be really good friends with every one of them. We joked that it was fun to be with the "grown ups" for a day. We all love the younger missionaries, but there is something very bonding about being with someone your own age with the same kinds of challenges.
The couple in the foreground have only been married 8 years. They both lost their spouses. Now they are serving a mission together. She is amazing. We were all going up the escalator at the train station and she came jogging up the stairs next to us. She says they live on the 7th floor and she always takes the stairs. We were so impressed. Just going the one small flight of stairs getting into our apartment about does us in.

Several of the couples have been on more than one mission before this one. The Worthams, who are working the mission office, are on their ninth mission. We took a large group picture out in the Woodlands' beautiful backyard, but our camera died We are hoping to get a copy from one of the other couples. We will add it later. The couples were: President and Sister Woodland from Logan, Utah; Elder and Sister Wortham from St George, Utah; Elder and Sister Funk from Hyrum, Utah; Elder and Sister Higginbotham from American Fork, Utah; Elder and Sister Crowther from Provo, Utah; Elder and Sister Spek from Salt Lake City, Utah; Elder and Sister Christmas from Oceanside, California; Elder and Sister Servoss from Bountiful, Utah; and Elder and Sister Kirkman from Mt Pleasant, Utah. Several of the couples said that they were homeless since coming on their missions - evidently they had sold their homes to be able to come on their missions. We are sure that Heavenly Father will bless all of these dedicated couples for their willingness to give up everything to do the Lord's work.

After the photo shoot, we caravaned down to the Mission Office, walked to the tram station, took the metro and then a train to the Grand Place in downtown Brussels.

Once every two years for three days only they turn the Grand Place into a "Flower Carpet." They make a huge carpet entirely from begonias. It was breath taking. Our camera still was not working, so we have included this picture off the Internet.
The buildings around the square at the Grand Place were very interesting. Nearly everyone had some historical event that took place there. One that we didn't get a picture of was the place where Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto.
This is a picture of where Victor Hugo while in exile wrote Les Miserables. This square must have some powerful muses. There was also some mention about something to do with Vincent Van Gough, but we didn't get the full story.
One of the world famous statues is this little boy called Manneken Pis (Flemish for little man pee), also known in French as the Petit Julien, and is a Brussels landmark. It is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the fountain's basin.
On many occasions the statue is dressed in a costume. His wardrobe now consists of several hundred different costumes. The costumes are changed according to a schedule managed by the non-profit association The Friends of Manneken-Pis, in ceremonies that are often accompanied by brass band music.

There are several legends behind this statue, but the most famous is the one about Duke Godfrey III of Leuven. In 1142, the troops of this two-year-old lord were battling against the troops of the Berthouts, the lords of Grimbergen, in Ransbeke (now Neder-over-Heembeek). The troops put the infant lord in a basket and hung it in a tree, to encourage them. From there, he urinated on the troops of the Berthouts, who eventually lost the battle.

Another legend goes like this: In the 14th century; Brussels was under siege by a foreign power. The city had held their ground for quite some time. The attackers had thought of a plan to place explosive charges at the city walls. A little boy named Juliaanske from Brussels happened to be spying on them as they were preparing. He urinated on the burning fuse and thus saved the city.

Another story (told often to tourists) tells of a wealthy merchant who, during a visit to the city with his family, had his beloved young son go missing. The merchant hastily started searching with others all corners of the city, until one member of the search party found the boy happily urinating in a small garden. The merchant, as a gift of gratitude to the locals who helped out during the search, had the fountain built.
There were statutes everywhere. This is one of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Bella Bartok, the composer. Sorry about cutting you short, Bella.
There were also some fabulous shops. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), we didn't have much time to shop. Belgium is famous for its laces. This shop was wonderful. They love the missionaries there and will give us a 10 percent discount. There are evidently two types of Belgium lace - Brussels which is top stitched and Bruges which is bobbin work. We definitely will have to come back when we have more time to look.
Belgium is also famous for its tapestries. This is one of the "Tree of Life" that we took through the window. Sorry about the bright light - or is that actually symbolic?

We ended the day by enjoying a Belgium waffle (not like we are used to). These are made with special sugar so when they cook the sugar glazes on the outside. They are wonderful just plain, but President Woodland gave JoAnn one with chocolate and whipped cream. She was happy to have a plain one, but oh! the chocolate and whipped cream were wonderful. Thanks President!

All in all it was a wonderful break from our work. May 15th is a holiday in Belgium, so we had the day off from the Archives and couldn't have had a better diversion. We are now refreshed and ready to get back to work on Monday.


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