Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany!

(Photo to the right: Namur view from the citadel) WOW! I cannot believe that I have been here now for 2 whole weeks! The time has passed SOOO fast! It is weird that I bought my ticket to come here about 3 or so months ago, and it seemed like the wait was SOO long to finally come, and now that I am here, it is just FLYING BY! It was interesting when I landed in Brussels two weeks ago, I was expecting to get off that plane and look around me and feel like “WOW IM BACK IN BELGIUM!” HAHA, but when I got off it just seemed SO natural! Haha like I had never left! Finally the language being spoke around me matched the one in my head! Hahahaha!! It was a nice feeling to be “home” again.
(Photo to the left: Charleroi's Grand Place) So upon my arrival in Brussels, a dear friend from Charleroi, Patrick, came to pick me up and I stayed a few days with him. We had some fun adventures! We were able to venture to Waterloo, Namur, and Bruges! Three amazing cities! Waterloo and Namur are both French speaking cities while Bruges is a Dutch speaking ville. It was fun to actually tour Belgium and see its sites. While staying with Patrick a dear friend from BYU, Paige, who had been teaching English in Poitiers France for the past 8 months wanted a tour of Belgium so she came on up and we showed her Charleroi, Bruges and Brussels. That was a fun couple of days!
(Photo to the right: Paige, Patrick and I in Bruges) Then leaving Charleroi, (always a sad occasion) I took my leave to Liege! I LOVE LIEGE! I was able to stay with who have become my Belge Family! La Famille Coenen! I LOVE THEM SO! I was able to stay in their son’s room who just happens to be serving in Mom and Dad’s Mission.  So my second day there I went bowling with some members! The bishop’s family (Lapagne) and a friend that came to visit from Germany! Then throught the week I was able to just hang out with many of the young adults from the Branch. It is an interesting experience to just be their friend and no longer “Elder.” HAHA! Even if sometimes I will respond to the occasional “HEY ELDER!” HAHA!
(Photo to the left: The train station in Liege) Also while staying in Liege, seeing as it is basically in the corner of the boarders of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, I decided to take advantage of the situation. I was able to go to Maastricht, Netherlands for only 8 euros round trip! Fun! What an interesting city! Although only a 30 minute train ride away, the feeling was completely different! Not to mention the language! Hahaha!! I felt like a Bleu missionary again! I didn’t understand anything! Hahaha I went to buy a water and a market and they asked me a question…I was like “uhhhh…Je ne speak pas Dutch.” HAHA!!!
(Photo to the right: a quaint little road in Maastricht) After the Netherlands, a friend from the Branch and I took a train to Aachen, Germany, to visit a friend! Again, SUPER cheap!! On the weekends there is a special offer that one ticket that costs 16 euros counts for two people and the busses in Germany! So only 8 euros a piece! AWSOME!! That was fun! Germany is cool! GREAT Pastries!! And a lot cheaper than in Belgium or France! So BONUS! I also spent quite a bit of time just touring Liege! It is a BEAUTIFUL city!
(Photo to the left: small road next to the large cathedral in Aachen Germany) That Sunday I attended church in Liege, at what a TREAT that was! I got a special surprise!! I was able to see Marie Kinon an elderly woman I baptized about a year and a half ago! She cannot normally come to church as she has been placed in a home about an hour away from the chapel, but this week one of the members went and got her!! It was so wonderful to see her again, and of course all the other members as they are so close to my heart!
(Photo to the right: Marie Kinon and I) Monday then came around and I was off to Brussels after a sad goodbye to my friends in Liege. I was able to stay with one of my JA (Jeunes Adultes=Young Adults) friends in Brussels named Jhoffer. It was AWESOME! it was such a fun experience to be able to hang out with the young adults in a real life setting as opposed to a missionary setting! Jhoffer organized a fun day and got everyone together! we all headed down to the Grand Place in Brussels and got a yummy waffle from the waffle house right next to Mannikin Piss, just like I used to do on my mission! :) fun memories! then we went and just chilled around the city and ended up at FHE. after FHE we all headed over to go bowling! it was SO FUN! I am so blessed to have been able to make such great friends on the mission!!!!
(Photo to the left: JAs and I bowling in Brussels) Then Tuesday morning came around and once again I had to say goodbye to some great people and a city I love with ALL my heart! But for the first time I didn't have to run after my train! hahaha Jhoffer made sure I got to the train station in time to make my train! what a great friend! then I was off to Marseille. After a fun 5 hour train ride I arrived! It was SOOO weird to have the roles reversed with Mom and Dad! haha normally it had been them who came to see me with my name tag on...this time it was their turn! hahaha!! there were also two JAs who came to welcome me! It looks like things will go well here. Mom and Dad have been showing me around as well as the JA president Orianne. Marseille is a beautiful and unique city! I am excited to see what new adventures await!
(Photo to the right: Cinquantenaire in Brussels)
(Photo to the left: City Hall in Brussels)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Waterloo, Belgium

FINALLY!! It has been a LOOOONG time since I have wanted to come to Waterloo! Here is why... On my mission I had two opportunities to go to Waterloo...both times my ENTIRE district went and both times my companion didn't really want to both times I was left behind....they brought me back a beer bottle opener with "I love Belgium" written on it....HAHAHA! so that's my experience with NOW I have been for myself and it was lots of fun!
I learned a lot and actually it went along with what I learned in my French Civilization class, which was kinda fun! So yeah we were able to climb the hill and see the lion. The lion is actually made of melted down cannons and guns from the war and the lion now faces France staring them down as a warning.haha cool huh!? we also were able to visit a small wax museum. PLUS it didn't rain today! so there ya go! a great DAY!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Family Weekend in Utah!

Yeah so this is a continuation of the rexburg trip! Sara and I came back to Utah and continued to have a blast with the rest of the Utah Fam! Saturday we hung out a lot in Provo, we hung out with Nick a bit before he had to go to work, then Sara and I went and walked around the mall for a bit. then we headed over to BYU campus to look around. It was a BEAUTIFUL day (very different from the Rexburg weather....)HAHA we would go around quizing eachother on plant names! hahaha that was fun!
then we get a call from poor Nick...telling us his car has begun to smoke...HAHA! so we head over to his work and find a hole in his radiator hose. so Sara and I, the mechanics that we are, went and bought a new hose and installed it for him. that was quite the adventure! hahaha (of course then his car smoked again on the way home...soo...what does that say about our mechanics work!? :) ) Anyways, so then we went and picked up Vania, and headed to Alpine for dinner at Grandma/Grandpa's house, and played some games and talked. needless to say, Nick had to use my car to come up to grandma's after work. HAHA! But we had fun playing football catch (hurt our arms! hahaha!!) and frisbee, and baseball catch! lots of fun. we went to the park next to grandmas house and played catch, and this dog just showed up! he spit out a pine cone and waited for us to throw it. We threw that pine cone forever! HAHA! Anyways then Sunday came along and we had a big family dinner celebrating Uncles Rich and Robert's Birthdays. Sara, Nick, Vania and I also took a little trip up Alpine Loop just for some fun! What a great little weekend with my family! :) LOVE THEM SO!

Rexburg Day Trip with Sara

So, Sara decided to come on over to Utah for the weekend! well then she came up with the awesome idea to go up to BYU-Idaho to take a look around! WHAT FUN! so Sara and I took a little day trip up to Rexburg! we left early morning on Friday and came home late Friday night. We had a good time making up words singing along to the radio during the car ride to and from...:) HAHA Sara has video footage of our trip! hahaha so anywho, we got to Rexburg and Sara gave me a nice tour of the campus, showed me around the gardens of course seeing as she help design them when she was at BYUI. a REALLY nice campus! And of course, Rexburg never disappoints with its HORRIBLE whether! hahahaha!!! it rained, and snowed. then the sun came out, then it snowed some more, all while the wind was blowing so hard! HAHAHAHA!!! but anways, we got to go and look around the Rexburg temple. but sadly we didnt have the time to do a session. Then much to my surprise (regardless of how many times my parents told me...(they didn't really they just want me to believe they did...)) we went to see the BYUI Ag Farm!

What a great experience to see that! we walked into the office and the Veterinarian there gave us a tour! we saw the classrooms with surgery/dental tables. then he took us outside and showed us the animals. they have about 60 head of cattle, 30-40 horses, some sheep and 4 chickens. HAHA!! really cool! he showed us the barns and the show rooms. He also explained that there is student employment on the farm! OOOO FUN! So that was great! also the Vet that gave us the tour served in the Netherlands! then he told us that the other vets there served in FRANCE! hahaha cool ties! BYUI will also be doing some renovating this coming year if the funds are approved and they will be tearing down the old barns and building some new ones! in addition to that they will be hopefully getting a swine unit and some goats! YAY!!!! SOOO COOL! Then after that Sara and I met up with an old friend! Brad Scherck! we went out and got a bite to eat with him and talked for a while! so fun to see him! soon after that we were on our way home and back to rockin out to some great tunes! overall it was a fun and successful road trip! THANKS SARA!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Where am I headed??

This past semester I was able to take a French composition class, from a Mr. LeBras. He is a Frenchman from Rennes, in Bretagne. He also just so happens to be the Study Abroad/ French Internship coordinator for BYU. It didnt take too long for me to ask about the what possibilities were out there. So i found out about an organization called "Les Petits Freres des Pauvres." This is an organization that works closely with the senior citizens of its city. Well needless to say, I applied and....I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED! I will be working for the branch in MARSEILLE FRANCE!!! Which just so happens to be the city of France that my parents live in! So I will be able to see them often enough!
So while working with Les Petits Freres des Pauvres, I will be spending my days traveling from one house to another, giving the senior citizens someone to talk to, because many of them don't have the opportunity to have too many visitors. It's Kinda a sweet gig! the internship will pay for my transportation, my Apartment, and my food! the Internship also splits the city up into sectors for us to work in and I have been assigned to Centre Ville! AWESOME!!! In addition to working, I will also be enrolled in BYU classes. So I will be receiving Credits at the same time! I'M SO EXCITED!!!! My internship will start on June 28th, and will go until August 16th. but seeing as it is legal to be in the European Union for up to 90 days without a visa, I decided to take advantage of the situation. :) So I will be leaving on May 14th from SLC and I will arrive in Brussels on the 15th. Then I will spend twoish weeks in Belgium, visiting old friends from the mission!! I AM SOOO DANG HAPPY!!! Following my Belgian excision, I will head down to Marseille on a train. :) I am REALLY excited for that train ride! I love sitting on the train and looking at the countryside! SOOO BEAUTIFUL! Especially because this will be some sites iv never seen! I cannot wait for this next page of my life to tern! :) SOOOO EXCITED!!!

Where have I been??

HEY ALL! well, I suppose it has been quite a while since Iv blogged...So here is a brief summery of whats been up since I returned home from my mission to the Belgium Brussels/Paris France Mission one year ago! So when I got home I was able to go to BYU in the Summer Visiting Program. During the Summer term I took a series of french courses and I tested out of even more. :) Following the semester, I couldn't transfer immediately to BYU as an official student because my credits were not in by the deadline date. mission friend offered to let me stay with him and his family for a while. So I made a few calls to the local Veterinary Hospitals and was able to obtain a position as a Veterinary Assistant at Alvarado Veterinary Hospital in Fallbrook Ca. WHAT A BLESSING!!! So soon after I packed up my things and moved to Fallbrook Ca, with my mission friend Kevin Jones and his wonderful family!! During the four months That I was able to spend in Southern California I was not only able to gain a lot of hands on Veterinary experiences, but I was able to make some great friends within the workplace! In addition I was called as an Ordinance Worker at the San Diego Temple. Every Saturday Kevin and I were able to go work at the Temple. SO MUCH FUN! PLUS I was able to see Aaron and Lindsay and the kids more often! I LOVED THAT! Anyways, after four months, I had to make a tough call and I decided to move back to Provo and continue my education at BYU. So here I have been for the past 4ish months. While here, Nick and Thyci have been my life savors! This semester has been a TOUGH ONE! lucky for me my brother and sister in law have been there for me. :)And now that finals for this semester are over, once again I have moved. This time to Nick and Thyci's. (Only like 10 minutes away from where I was living...) :) So I will be here until the next stage of my life takes its course. So if there is one thing I have learned since being home it is that "nothing is more constant than change." :)