We just finished a very busy week visiting with two of our Self-Reliance Service managers in their regions. It all started 8 days ago as we took our first train ride in Europe. We boarded a train in Frankfurt to head to Liège, Belgium, 310 kilometers away. The trip took just over two hours, including 3 stops along the way. Below is a photo of part of our car on the train, which had over thirty cars on it.
We were met by our SRS manager at the train depot and arrived at a nice little bed and breakfast where we spent the night. This was a step back into the past for a hotel, which was charming and very sufficient.
On Sunday morning we went to the Church house, where we met with the Stake Presidency, the High Council, the Stake Relief Society President and the Bishops of the stake. We had a small sacrament meeting with them and attended while they covered other stake business. Then they gave us one and a half hours to discuss the Self-Reliance initiative. This was led by our Self-Reliance manager and the full-time missionary couple, but Debbie and I were able to share a few ideas and our testimonies. The meeting was held in French. We had a high councilor that sat by us and translated. For once, I was at the disadvantage in the language arena, at least Debbie understood a bit of what was going on. We were very pleased with the time given and the positive response that we received from the priesthood leaders. This stake had not participated in the Self-Reliance initiative until this point, but we believe that they are now on their way.
Once again, we wanted to keep the Sabbath. We were pleased that the missionary couple and our manager had the same idea. They had some food for us to eat at the Church after the meetings and then we drove for four hours to Paris, France, where we would be for the next 4 nights. This always allows us time for a lot of conversations, getting to know our manager and discussing a wide variety of topics, from personal to "business". These may be the most important moments that we have and it is always beneficial to follow a scheduled meeting so that we can talk about the successes and challenges.