|Moi et mon premier patisserie|
Chers Amis et Famille,
I hope that the lovely summer is treatly you so well! This week was a magical week full of learning and cool missionary experiences.
I would like to start by bragging a little bit about my secteur. Aix is honestly one of the coolest cities in the world. My favorite part of the city is in centre ville, with the classic European narrow cobblestone roads, beautiful fountains, Catholic churches, boutiques, patisseries, and LIFE! Aix is a university town, but it is currently vacations time so there a lot of tourists and just people visiting. Elder Tulley and I run this town with the Zone Leaders, Elders Ormond and Fitch. One of our favorite things to do together is set up our huge sign, which reads "Nous sommes heureuse!" (We are happy!) and just has a big huge yellow smiling face and just talk to people. We do it right in the smack dab center of centre ville at a place called the Rotonde (you should all look it up on Google Maps, its ultra cool)The French people are AWESOME! Most of them look down on religion, because they see it more as destructive than productive (because of the religious history here). Also, most of them think that we're an Amish sect, or some kind of a cult. But when they see us smiling and being really nice to them, they open up a little. We've even gotten some Rendez-vous out of it.
So I don't think I told you guys this last time, but since I'm being trained, my first 3 months in the field will be a little bit different. I have an additional hour of study with my companion, to be trained, practice teaching skills, etc. and a full hour of language study. So that's 4 hours of study time, which kind of limits our proselyting time. But in our proselyting time, we're working with a few wonderful people and also trying diligently to find people to teach.
Nicolas is our golden ami. He has gotta be one of the coolest guys east of the Mississippi. He has had a rough background and surmounted some incredible trials in his life. He is 18 years old and he is working as a photographer right now during vacation. He is studying literature, loves to read and write, and his favorite thing to do is spontaneously take his dog up to the Alps and LIVE there for a week. He reminds me of the guy in Into the Wild (which is his favorite book, BTW). He is set for baptism on the first Saturday in September and we're just trying to build his faith and get him to read from the Book of Mormon everday.
|Nicolas the great|
We're also working with the daughters of a new convert, Irma from Honduras. Her daughters are Erika (early 20s) and Jennifer (15). We love them and are trying to help them to understand who God is and why we need Jesus Christ. Irma is so solid. It's hard to get them to keep their committments though, because they have a hard time understanding scripture and they are rather passive. But we're slowly working the Spirit into their hearts.
This week we met a Romanian family that is interested in the gospel! We taught them the 1st lesson and we're going to see them again today. It's rather difficult to teach them though, because some don't understand French or English, and those who do are having to translate it into Romanian. But they understood the message, had lots of great questions and we're doing all we can to help them come unto Jesus Christ and find rest.
So this week definitely had it's ups and its downs. On Thursday, I found two girls, taught them about the Book of Mormon and set up a Rendez-vous and got super excited. Then the next day, we miraculously ran into the same two girls on the street, just hanging out. We taught them the first lesson just right there. Then later that day they texted us and told us that they didn't want to learn anything more about our church, but just be our friends when we weren't wearing missionary clothes. It broke my heart. But I learned so much from this experience. I learned that when we teach and don't apply doctrine to each person individually, they are not going to be interested and thirst after further truth. All that is done in missionary work ought to be done for the Savior and in the manner that the Savior would do it, or else it is of no profit.
But this week also had it's ups! Yesterday was one of the most glorious days imaginable. There is a little branch of about 30 members in our secteur, which has no missionaries, so we go and visit once a month. I went on a split with Elder Ormand, the Zone Leader and had the time of my life. It's a ville called Manosque in the country (provence country, mind you). The branch is like a big extended family and they LOVE the missionaries. THere is one family that is about half the ward: husband, wife and 10 kids. The sons are the Young Men of the ward and the daughters are the Young Women. They are so strong in the gospel, it just brings light into your soul to observe! They had us for dinner after and we ate a very French meal with cheeses, bread, salad, kiche, and meat bread. I cannot express to you how good the food here is. It is truly an art. For dessert we munched on sherbet and creme brulee glace (ice cream). It was an afternoon to remember!
I would like to express to you appreciation for you prayers. I feel them every single day. I know that this is truly the work of the Lord becuase if it wasn't, it would not be possible to do. I am greatful to my Savior Jesus Christ, who suffered for all mankind in order that all might be fixed. I know that the enabling power of the Atonement is real. I know that if we will rely on his merits, we can do anything that is expedient in him. I love him and I love you!
|A giant piece of literature ourside of our apartment!|