Though Belgium is short of warm weather, the Belge are definitely not lacking in their number of police. Elder Smith and I have been stopped by the police THREE times in the last week. I mean, I know Elder Smith and I are muscular and look menacing with a "Jesus Christ" name tag on our white shirts, but come on. I guess I'm just getting to be good friends with the Brussels law enforcement. Usually, they just ask us questions and take our ID cards and tell us that we're not allowed to ask for money. We got kicked out of a building the second time though.
Meanwhile, we've been getting stalked by a 14 year-old. His name is Sandro and he has a mustache much thicker and more impressive than any normal 14 year-old should have. One day, Elder Smith and I were walking down the street and Sandro came up and stopped us. He told us he was a Jehovah's Witness and was interested in what we did as missionaries. A lady walking nearby overheard what he said and came over to say, "Hey! I'm a Jehovah's Witness too! What congregation are you in?" This new lady kind of boxed us out of our conversation with Sandro, so Elder Smith and I awkwardly walked away.
Then, the next day, on the other side of the city (and Brussels is a very large city), we were walking through a park when Elder Smith got a tap on his shoulder. It was Sandro, just as perky and mustached as the previous time. "Hi guys, I tried to request a missionary visit on your website, but it wouldn't work. Could we set up a time to meet and talk about religion? I'll be doing some proselyting in this park next Saturday. Can you guys come in the afternoon?" "Uhh ... sure, Sandro."
Sandro walked away and Elder Smith and I kept walking down the street, contacting on the way. After about a half hour, we finished up talking to a guy and turned the corner to go to in a different direction. Standing 5 feet away was none other than Sandro, holding an old Portuguese Book of Mormon. "Hi guys, so I found this and I was wondering if I could exchange this book in Portuguese for one in French." "Here you go, Sandro. Just stop following us." I didn't say that second part out loud.
And so it was, and several more days passed until the Saturday where we were scheduled to have our meeting with Sandro. We showed up to the park at the specified time and walked around for a few minutes. Then, in the distance, we saw Sandro running towards us dressed up in a suit. He caught up to us and said, while trying to catch his breath, "Hi guys, so I invited my great-grandpa and a minister from my church to come to our meeting and to talk to you. They'll be here soon." I've talked to Jehovah's Witness church leaders before, so it wasn't something new. I knew their questions and gave the answer before they asked them, so I felt pretty proud of myself. We'll see if we get stalked by *cough* -I mean- if we meet up with Sandro again.
For all you BYU basketball and women's volleyball fans out there, we had dinner with Noah Hartsock and his wife this week. They made us delicious tacos and gave us desserts and American sodas. They're so awesome. Brother Hartsock is on a Belge basketball team in the city of Aalst called the "Aalstars" (see what they did there?).
We also picked up trash on the streets around our church building as part of a ward service project. We got reflective safety vests and extendable trash grabbers and everything. As people saw us picking up trash in front of their houses, they came out to give us boxes of candy as a reward. We made a pretty good haul.
Alright, last event for the week. We got to go to a baptism for an investigator taught by a group of Elders in the other Brussels ward. It was so fun! We got to have all the missionaries together and eat cookies and have a good time watching someone get baptized. I didn't understand it because it was in Spanish, but it was good.
(editor's note: Trevor and Elder Smith currently have an investigator with a baptismal date in two weeks, another one who is actively trying to quit smoking so that he can be baptized, another investigator who is looking forward to a baptismal date soon and they are currently teaching a female attorney from Africa who is very interested in the church. It really must be the promised land.)
Just hangin' out with the Hartsocks