Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 4:44 AMChers Famille et Amis,
My mission is very different than it was a week ago! But I am still loving every minute of it. I had to say goodbye to an old collegue and an old ward and an old city, which was quite sad, but now everything feels so fresh and EXCITING! I'm loving my new life her in Toulouse.
Things are quite different here... it's not in Provence anymore... Toulouse is very cold, very, very large and very beautiful. There is a river that runs through it and it has an epic downtown, central area called Capitole. There are two wards here and lots of missionaries! There are 12 missionaries just in the city! I actually live in a 4-man appartement now with great, great missionaries. Elder Smith from Canada and Elder Bonnett from St George... It's a lot of fun that we have. Elder Petek, my new companion, is INCREDIBLE. I love this man already with all of my heart. He is half-Taiwanese and half-American, spent the first 15 years of his life in Taiwan, then his family moved to Utah where he finished high school and went to college. He is the best piano player I have ever met. He has been out for about a year and actually served in Toulouse at the beginning of his mission, this time of year last year. He is so humble, has such an incredible desire to work hard and serve the Lord, and is an incredible leader. Elder Petek is one disciple of Christ who has truly consecrated himself to the Lord and is full of the charity that only belongs to those who are true disciples. I really look up to him.
He is actually a Chinese missionary! Meaning that on his call it said that he would serve in France using the language of Mandarin Chinese. So that means that our focuses this transfer are going to be on finding, teaching and baptizing those whom the Lord has prepared from the land of China who currently live in Toulouse, France. And boy, oh, boy are there lots of them! I'm going to learn Mandarin Chinese! Haha. Maybe. But another cool role that our companionship has here in Toulouse is to watch over the Institute and Young Adult center in Toulouse. Toulouse is one of the most populous cities in France and the 2nd biggest university city, next to Paris. A quarter of the population here are students. Youths! And there are many young adults here who are SUPER COOL! I'm so, so, so happy that we have this responsiblity because I love working with the young adults in France, they have a gospel fire that is unstoppable and will rage and burn until it has lit the heart of every soul, young and old.
We are teaching some wonderful people. We still haven't met the most part of our investigators, being that both of us are new, but those who we have met are amazing. Utile is our highest priority at this time. She is the one who was progressing the most at the time of the departure of the other companionship and we have gotten to teach her once. She is so spiritual, very Christian, and has already received a testimony of the Word of Wisdom, which is glorious. We'll be working with her to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. We are also teaching a youngster who lives in a village out in the Pyrenees (the mountain range outside of Toulouse... INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS... google it if you find a sec). This boy is 7 and getting ready for baptism, so we be teaching him (and his part-member family) once a week. I'm driving, by the way, which I think is pretty cool. We have a really nice Chevrolet car and my companion doesn't know how to drive stick. Muahaha. Driving in France is fun.
I love my new area, I love the members who I've met, I love my new companion, I love our new amis. I'm happy. This week should be a good one. We are flying out to Lyon this afternoon for a Zone Leader Council there tomorrow, then we will have exchanges with District Leaders later on in the week! Our zone is excellent, excellent.
Well, I would like to wish you the happiest of weeks! Happy Halloween! Stay warm and cozy! Know that I love you all avec tout mon coeur!