Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 6th, 2012


rs, a Blessing and a Gift

Sorry to those who couldn't read this last post. I didn't realize it was half 
blacked out. I hope this fixes it so you can enjoy the post. Julie
Rebecca Hinchcliff
Aug 6 (1 day ago)
to mejulie
Well, I am now in Belgium and wow what a difference! Haha the difference
in accent is like the difference between an American and a Scottish accent...
in fact that's what Flams (the Belgium accent) sounds like, Dutch with a
Scottish accent. I actually hope I pick up on it, it sounds pretty cool. Also
the keyboard here has a different arrangement of letters...typing this much
has taken longer than I'm willing to admit, and people here have an entirely
different standard for hygiene than I've ever experienced. Yeah, I'll leave it
at that.

This first week here has been crazy! Rather than biking everywhere we take
 A LOT of public transportation and I have met a lot of really interesting people,
big city life is a bit different from what I enjoyed in Haarlem. But guess what?!
We had a baptism Saturday! It was for this cute 10 year old kid, Shlok, who
the sisters have been teaching for a little. He's from India and is really shy.
So shy in fact that he didn't want anymore people at his baptism than
absolutely necessary, and I think the eight people who did attend were more
than he'd prefer.  There's a great pool of investigators here, mostly
buitenlanders (foreigners) and I'm really excited to get to know them all better.
Many of them are Africans and they are such sweet and friendly people with
 a lot of faith in our Heavenly Father. So much so that many of their names
actually reflect their reverence and devotion, Blessing and Gifty being two
 examples. Right now I basically feel like a greenie again, in a whole new
country with a bit of a different language and being absolutely unfamiliar with
basically everything. Luckily my companions, Zr. Herring and Zr. Jones, are
 down to earth and have good senses of humor so despite our unfamiliarity
with Antwerpen (both Zr. Jones and I are new here) we have a lot of fun,
 even when unexpected things pop up. Case in point, our apartment may or
may not have been filled with gas the other day when we rolled in for the night.
As soon as we walked in we could smell something so we flipped on a light to
 figure it out. Fortunately our apartment didn't blow up right then. My compan
ions immediately recognized the smell so we flipped the lights off, opened
the windows, checked the stove, and called a senior couple who directed us
 to call the emergency number 112. From then on our night was filled with
excitement as literally the entire fire department came with a police patrol
who proceeded to bock off the street while the firemen dressed in hazmat
(spelling?) suits and gas masks went upstairs to check things out.
They identified the problem (a faulty stove) and cleared our apartment. We
were terribly embarrassed as the neighbors and the customers from the
pizzeria we live above started swarming the streets to see what was going
on. After, Antwerpen's firemen explained the problem and filled out their repo
rts, it took us quite a while to get settled down enough to sleep. All is well now
 at the apartment. Our gas has been turned off until a new stove is installed
and the huismeester  was over today to have things measured for a new one.
We didn't blow up or die in our sleep (obviously) and everything is being taken
care of. I am super grateful the Lord loves His missionaries and protects us.
 That's probably the most under-stated thing I've ever written...And that
experience right there is a perfect example of the excitement of our week
and life here in Antwerpen. I'm in for some fun! So yeah,
welcome to Belgium!

Love, Zuster Becky Hinchcliff :)

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