I have some good news and I have some very sad news. Which would you like to hear first? I suppose that I will let out the first let out the goodies. Transfer calls were this last friday and the very, very good news is that I will be staying with Elder Petek in Toulouse at least until the middle of January (that means that you get to meet him on Christmas, dear family!) But that the sad news is that there are actually be switching wards... together. There are two wards in Toulouse, one with a lot of families, (Concorde, the one that I've been in for the last 6 weeks) and the other with all of the students (Capitole, the one in which I will spend the next 6 weeks of my mission). The reason for this is that one of our responsibilites as ZLs here is to watch over the missionary work with the students and the institute center here in Toulouse. And since the most part of the students are in Capitole, the stake president requested that we be moved to the other ward. This is sad for many reasons, because we will no longer be able to teach Utile and Sebastian (who I will update you on in a sec) and we also had to say goodbye to the wonderful members from this incredible ward. We didn't get to know this ward super, super well, because we were only actually able to go to church a few times this last transfer (because of Elder Anderson, stake conference, etc.) but luckily we will still be in the city and be able to see them often at church and activities. Elder Petek and I are delighted that we're staying together here in Toulouse because we have so many wonderful things going for us. We'll be moving to the other appartment on the other side of the La Garonne (the river that runs through Toulouse) this evening. We will be living with a couple of new Elders (one from New Jersey and one from Scotland) and there will be A LOT of new changes in our Zone. The mission is becoming very, very young. A good friend of mine from even before the mission, Elder Frandsen just left our zone and will be a ZL in Lyon, friends from my district in the MTC are already training new missionaries and becoming senior companions. It's incredible to see the mission change so fast! Because of the explosion in missionary work that is happening in the church right now, it is expected that our mission will nearly double in the next year. We are preparing for that in every way. No unhallowed hand!
Like I said, we will sadly be leaving Utile and Sebastian in the hands of two new missionaries. Elder Petek will be white-washing again, but we get to keep all of our Chinese friends, but sadly saying goodbye to all others. I guess I should update you on them both... they're both doing super, super well. Sadly, Utile was not baptized this last weekend because of comlications in family oppostion, but she plans on being baptized as soon as possible. She has a firm testimony and strong faith, and will be baptized once her father returns to Africa.
Sebastian is amazing. I don't know if I've stressed this enough. He's had a COMPLETE change of heart. His atheist family's hearts were softened enough that they accepted his decision and his mother and little brother will even attend. He says that every morning he wakes up and the first thought that comes to his head is his future baptism. Him and his wife plan on being sealed in the Madrid, Spain temple for time and all eternity next year. He will be baptized by his father-in-law, who contributed a ton to his conversion. We are SO stoked! (In other news, we ate dinner at his house on friday and he fed us escargot... the first time I'd eaten it on my mission... I ate 5 snails and I must say... they are very tasty.)
Well, I apologize, but I'm going to have to cut this letter a little short this week because we have to go the train station and recieve some missionaries as it is transfer day. But happy december and expect a wonderful french little package here in the next few weeks. Joyeuse Fetes!