Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 5:25 AM
Chers family and friends! This keyboard is extremely difficult to write on and gmail is saying that I'm spelling every single word wrong! But I'm in France!
I'm being trained by Elder Tulley in one of the most beautiful cities in Southern Europe. Apparently Aix (pronounced X-on-prohvonce) is one of the most coveted cities to work in in all of the mission. My first week has been great, a lot of adjustments and a lot of learning. They're seeing a lot of progress in the ward here in Aix. We have a golden ami (investigator) with a baptism date for the end of the transfer! I am having an extremely difficult time writing this e-mail... haha its taken me 10 minutes already...
Lyon was beautiful... We spent Tuesday there (running of no sleep... it was a lot of travel). President Roney took us up to a big Catholic Cathedral which overlooks the whole city... it was incredible! We took pictures, i'll try to include them. Then we went back down and did some contacting. We went to some of the most beautiful parts of the city (on the river and near a square with a dude riding a galloping horse) and did some contacting. We did something called "street-boarding"... apparently its a pretty popular contacting method here in Europe. We take a board that has some kind of theme, whether it be faith, family, Jesus Christ, Book of Mormon, and just stand in front of it and enlighten people. It was pretty exhilarating. There are so many interesting people here. And there are also many who are looking for and are receptive to the truth. I placed my first Book of Mormon and got my first phone numbers there in Lyon. That night we ate a glorious feast at the mission home and had our first interviews. The next day we had transfers, got our companions, were trained for a while and then headed out to our areas.
So Aix, often referred to as "Little Paris" is a beautiful ville in the rolling wine grape hills of Southern France. It is pretty hot and humid here. Elder Tulley is a Lamanite from an Indian Reservation in Nothern Arizona. He has been here 10 months. I'm am trying to do everything I can to learn this language so that I can help him a little bit more with lessons and with contacting.
The first thing I did here in Aix was taught and English class with Elder Tulley. Twas full of laughter. Only a Syrian man and a Chinese man were there. The Chinese man might be interested in taking the discussions. By the way, Aix is a big university town, and it is vacation time right now, so a lot of our potential investigators and people who we'll be working with are out of town this month. It's good because it gives me some time to learn their language before I teach them the truth! After the english class, I had my first rendezvous with Nicolas (the golden). Guess what it was?! The law of Chastity! Twent swell. Hahah. He's committed and stoked for his baptism. He has an incredible story. He was truly prepared by the Lord before he even began taking the discussions from the missionaries. He put away alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes before he even met us. He's only 18 years old, and he's had a tough background with a father who abused him and committed suicide and a rough social life. But if you met him, you would never think it, he is so nice and happy.
The ward here is incredible. Everyone is so bright and happy. The French aren't too keen on religion so those in the church are just super strong. It is often said that the French are like their baguettes, hard on the outside, soft on the inside. This is often true, but the members of the church are more like their croissants, soft, delicious and wonderful! Yesterday afternoon I got to meet and enjoy getting to know many of them. They have such incredible stories. Many of them speak English, so I was able to have some radical conversations. We were invited to eat lunch with the missionaries who were returning to Aix with their families to visit the ward that they knew and loved. It was at a members house and we had a huge feast of French cuisine out in the French countryside. Twas a glorious sight for these old eyes. The French people love to just eat, chat and laught. Those are things that I love to do as well.
A little miracle happened yesterday as well. So Elder Tulley and his previous companion here have been teaching the daughter a woman in the ward named Irma. She's from Honduras and she lives here with her younger daugthers. They had been teaching Jennifer, who is 15, pregnant, and very very shy. She came to church yesterday so I set up a Rendez-vous with them for in the evening. When we went over, they were both there, along with Jennifer's older sister Erica, who had been taking the discussions but was dropped becuase she lost interest. I did not find this out until after the rendezvous. We were teaching about the Holy Ghost and they were are very, very difficult to focus. At one point she asked why I was a missionary in kind of a light way. At that point, I bore a sincere testimony of Jesus Christ in broken French and after that she opened up to us. She said that she was having hard days and she wants to belong to a church, but doesn't know where. We committed her to read the Book of Mormon and pray. We set up a return rendezvous and we'll be able to see how she progresses! This weeks going to be a killer one!
I don't know much about the work here in Aix... Elder Tulley tries to rely on me to make a lot of the decisions and it's difficult because I don't the amis, or the area, or the language. He was here last transfer, but I don't know how diligent they were. I'm trying my best to make this work to progress and to just trust in the Lord. If you could pray for me and for my companion it would be glorious. This is the most difficult thing that I have ever done, but thankfully it's all in the Lord's hands, and with him everything is possible.
I love you family and thank you for all you have done to prepare me for this. This work is truly the work of angels, I've only been here for 6 days, but I can see it. The Lord truly guides us when we really on his arm. He established his church on the earth 2000 years ago, he paid for our sins, he restablished his church nearly 200 years ago, and now he's guiding his work. The power of Atonement is forever and infinite! I love you, family and friends, forever and always! Keep being the incredible people who you are.
PS. Send mail to:
Résidence le Felibrige Bât B
Apt. 26, 4 Place CoÏmbra
PPS. If someone could send me some Book of Mormon audio CDs in French, twould be a miracle!