The Antwerpen Hand
Ok so here's the story according to my understanding of the Antwerpen hand. Haha you can probably check it out online for the full verhaal. So once upon a time a long time ago there was this mean scary guy going around cutting off people's hand and throwing them into the river to show everyone he was bigger and stronger as a way of asserting power. People everywhere were terrified but someone somewhere got tired of living in fear. The next time the mean scary guy came through town, this someone (or a group of someones) cut off his hand and threw it in the river, ending his reign of terror. The town was named after this occasion. 'Ant' is the colloquial shortening of the word 'hand' meaning hand and 'werpen' is the infinitive form of the verb throw. Thus, Antwerpen. The End :)
Haha people here are very proud of that story and have a lot of giant hand statues around the city, symbols of hands in architecture, and they even sell chocolate hands in just about every chocolate shop. I think it's cool for that they take pride in their history.
Yesterday at church we had a great sacrament meeting. One talk was over how we all need a purpose in life and we can find that purpose in our families. The other was over family history and the importance of looking for our ancestors to do their temple work. This was pretty significant considering that at the start of the meeting the first counselor in the bishopric read a letter from the First Presidency over family history work. I know we would all benefit from taking more pride in our family history, maybe not to statue-building, chocolate-making extent of the Belgians in Antwerpen haha but definitley to the extent that we are doing something to knit our hearts in unity and love with our fore-father. I know that as we take more pride in this we can fulfill Elijah's prophecy of the hearts of fathers and children turning towards each other (Malachi 4:5-6). I hope that we can all find purpose in our lives by serving our family members, those with us here in this realm of our existance and those who have gone ahead to the next.
Love you all, have a great week and do some family history for me!!
Love, Zuster Becky Hinchcliff