Monday, May 04, 2009

Deerlijk part III

I loved working in Deerlijk. We lived in a rural area and we talked to many farmers. We were tracting one time and we knocked on an old house and this very old man came to the door. When we told him that we wanted to talk to them about Jesus Christ he said, wait while I go get my mother. It was an entire family with the mother, father and three or four children all living together except that the children were in their sixties and seventies. They still worked the farm and the house they lived in was three hundred years old. The United States isn't even that old. When you go into the typical thatched roof house you enter a small living area about ten feet by fifteen feet. To your left (they are all the same) you have a door that goes into the barn which is a bit larger than the living area and on the right wall you have a pot belly stove and on either side of the stove is a door that goes into bedrooms. On the far wall opposite the door is a small closet which in some of the houses has been converted to a bathroom. That is it. They all live together with their cows in the same building. You can smell them too. This family invited us for dinner one night and as we were visiting the woman was peeling potatoes. Boy was she whipping them out too, you could scarcely see her fingers moving. I commented on why she used a knife and didn't she think it would go faster if she used a potato peeler. She was quite offended by that comment and started showing off and was peeling potatoes even faster. You should never show off if you have a sharp knife in your hands, she slipped and gashed a huge gash in her hand. There was blood everywhere. I was ready to haul her off to a hospital but all she did was calmly wrap a rag around her hand, washed the blood off the potatoes and continued peeling. I was amazed.

Another time we tracted out a house that had a real live windmill on their property. I asked if we could tour the windmill and they showed us inside. It was very fascinating to me. I managed to find a picture of the windmill on the internet. On one P day we rode our bikes to a walled city called Ieper. I guess Ieper was a real hot spot during world war I. The original city still had a wall around it. It was quite fascinating. There were some shell holes in the wall of the city. It was a great place to tour.

One day I received notice that I was receiving a new companion. Elder Maughn was from Bensen, Utah. Elder Maughn was perhaps one of my most sincere companions but the poor boy struggled with the language. I had greenies that could speak better Dutch than Elder Maughn. One day Elder Maughn and I were teaching this family that had two very beautiful daughters. I found it quite funny how when I first got to Belgium there were very few pretty girls but the longer I was there the prettier the girls got. These two were clearly exceptional. We had taught this family once already and on our second visit they had invited two of the married children and their spouses. In the middle of the discussion the phone rang and while the mother (a widow) was on the phone I was making small talk with the kids. The family had a little toy poodle and on our first visit the dog had very long hair but his time I noticed that the dog was all trimmed with the typical little balls on the end of his tail and on his ankles. I commented on how their dog had been trimmed but I wasn't sure of the word for trimmed so I used the word that would translate best as "clipped". I had plans to get my hair cut the next day so I added. "Yeah, I'm going to get that done tomorrow". Everyone was instantly silent. One of the older boys was pouring me a glass of water and he about spilled the water. I could tell by the stunned looks on everyones faces that I'd said something wrong. Finally realization settled on one of the cute girls and she almost yelled out, "his hair, his hair". That is when I realized that I had just told all of them that I was going to get casterated the next day. Oops. The funny thing is that the dog was actually casterated so when I said that I see their dogs been "clipped" they thought it was an odd thing to say but not too crazy.

I had many other wonderful experiences in Deerlijk but alas the time came that I was transferred. Some of my best friends are in the Kortrijk area and it is perhaps my favorite area in Belgium but now it was on to Linker Oefer.


Justin, Kira and Evan said...

is that the actual windmill???? Those houses are actually really quaint. I would love to see it.

I am sure glad you didn't get castrated ... I wouldn't be here.

Lynn said...


I FINALLY just got caught up on your blog! You've been busy! I don't think I should go out of town again soon.. It's too hard to catch up on things when I get back. : D

Great posts! Keep em coming.