Sunday, December 16, 2012

Compiegne

hey!!

well we made it!! we're safe and sound here in compiègne, and everything is just going dandy. where to start though....

so, as to the work in compiègne, when we got here, there had been a recent baptism of about 6 months of this kid who had seen the book of mormon musical and decided he wanted to be baptized haha. too good. he's a 14 year old kid who watched the musical somehow and then looked up the hours of church online and then from there he came to church and was baptized about a month later haha. too good. but other than this kid, there hasn't been really anything going on for the last little while. it was time for a whitewash. not cause they were bad missionaries or anything, it was just cause they had been here for a bit and they had already told themselves that nothing works and yada yada so voilà we're here! and honestly, it's soooooo good. i love it here. so many things to report though. hmm. maybe i'll just go day by day.

so wednesday, we got here into compiègne around 3-4, and from there we got to find our appartment. the other elders had drawn us a little map and elder reed had a little explained it to me before leaving, so we found it easy enough, but it was still quite a challenge to get all of our stuff there. here's the thing. so one of my suitcases has broken already (the duffel bag looking one) but there was an old suitcase in our appartment in caen that wasn't it terrible shape, so i did a little surgery on it and got it ready to go. oh ps, you know the vacuum bag things that you can use to pack and stuff? i wish i had those here. so we actually went out to look for them the other day, but couldn't find anything so guess what we used instead which worked actually surprisingly really well? just garbage bags haha. stuffed everything in them and sucked the air out and voilà. works like a charm. anyway, back to story. so i get all backed, and we leave the appartment in caen. we walk out the door, walk about 10 meters, and guess what breaks? the handle on this suitcase haha. and that wasn't even what i repaired. (which means my repair job was terrific btw). so it now no longer has a long handle for pulling it and the short handle is already broken, so all there is is a small handle on the side. but, on the bright side, this suitcase is one of those 4 wheel ones, the only problem is that it only has 3 left haha. but, what we did is we tied my scarf around the handle on the side and we pulled it around like that the whole day haha. it was so ridiculous. de plus it had only 3 wheels so it fell over all the time and everything. it was gnarly. but finally in the end we made it there. we'll see if i decide to buy a new one or not. probably too much work. and i should probably only move like once more so it's probably not worth it to waste money on something that will be convient for like 2 days. anyway we'll see. so back on the story, so we get to the appartment, and it was pretty bad... dishes in the sink still and pretty dirty, so that had been our project for any extra time that we have had over the last week. in the mornings or nights or dinner time we just clean. but anyway, so we get home, set down our bags, and get out finding people. that night, we had a terrific night. we fixed about 5 rdvs and got like 7 numbers in the hour or two that we had. also we contacted this girl that i will tell you about later. then later, we get a call from a member and she says, did the other missionaries tell you? tell us what? that you are coming to eat here tonight. nope. well come! okay. haha so we ended up going to the bishops house that night and that was great. it was good to be able to get to grips a little with everything with them. so that was pretty much our day on wednesday.

thurday we had a nice trip down to melun to start doing district leader responsibilities. i did a baptismal interview down there and of course i don't really know paris that well, so we took the train that takes like like 1h15 minutes instead of the one that takes 30 minutes to get out to melun. it was an adventure. but we got it all done and this man william was baptized this weekend. hooray! so anyway, we get home, and then we do a lot of finding for the rest of the day. that's mostly our plans for quite some time here until we get the teaching pool built up. but we're already making a ton of progress. we've fixed a ton of rdvs and not all of them have gone through, but by the time we are done here, this place is gonna be paradise.

friday, we had some cool things happen, did some contacting, taught a lesson on the street, got a new ami, that kinds of stuff. nothing too exciting to report on.

saturday, the money day. okay so here is the thing. here in compiègne, we have a car. but the thing is that at the moment, we can't really drive it. i am too old to be able to drive, until i go to belgium and switch the license, and elder christensen can't drive a stick haha. we found that out today. we got all of the papers ready and did everything so that we would be able to use the car today, and then we get the car, and we first go to the church parking lot to see how his driving skills are. and in the parking lot he did fine, but then we took it out on the road, and that was quite the experience. he has only driven stick once in his life though so it's completely normal. but let's just say that after killing the car about a hundred times and people all around us honking and the car smoking quite nicely, we made it back to the church and left the car there. she's probably going to stay there at the church until i figure out how to get a license cause he doesn't want to drive at all and the car doesn't want him to either haha. so that was an adventure. on the bright side, both of our coats and the inside of the car smell nicely of smoke and unhealthy car haha. oops. ça va aller. but anyway, so we are there at the church, and as we are about to walk out, a family drives up. members. the family azika-eros. she is russian and he is from congo. they have 3 kids and they are just super cute. anyway, so they come up to do the cleaning at the church, and they were kinda hurried we could tell so we offered to help them. at first they said no it's okay but then we said we are going to help you, and they said okay. so we stayed there and helped them clean for about an hour and they were really grateful. their kids also love us so that's pretty good too. so as they were leaving, we told them that we were planning to do some porting in the area, and asked if they had any suggestions on where to go. they said to go in a certain direction and so off we went. to the road right next to the church where you would think that the missionaries had already ported a million times. but not so. so we ported down this road and we met this lady that told us that she would like to come to church one day but not this week. so we're gonna pass by her again later. but then we kept going and got to natalie. and natalie is a champion. she is a lady in about her 50s who has a couple of older daughters and 3 granddaughters. so we talked a little over the intercom, but then she said to come up. so she came down to let us in, we went up, and we had about a 10-15 minute talk with her about god and prayer and everything. she knows there is soemthing there, but she doesn't like giving it a name. so we taught her a little and just had a nice time with her and at the end we asked her what she was doing tomorrow. she said nothing much, so we invited her to church and told her how great it was going to be. so she said okay we'll see how i'm feeling when i wake up tomorrow and we told her okay we'll see you tomorrow. and she laughed and we said bye. now, this brings us to sunday.

sunday was so great. so we show up to church at 9 o clock, the first ones there, and wait for the members to show up. they start filing in and we start greeting them and introducing ourselves and such and they all seem great. then, out of nowhere comes natalie. she shows up and tells us that when she woke up this morning she just couldn't not come today, she just had the feeling she should, and so there she was! so we start talking to her and then comes the best part, a member come up and just pounces on her! she starts talking and tells her about relief society and how the girls are all together and then whisks her away into the room. and then this member for the rest of the day is just her best friend and sits with her everywhere and is just too good. sr. malca. so all in all, by the end of the day, she has had a great time and talks to us about how she would like to maybe bring her daughter and granddaughter next time. soo great. so we are going to see her on friday to answer her question about what is the difference between our church and the catholic. so that'll be great.  it was just so sweet to teach someone the night before and have her come to church the next day. especially when we have nothing going right now. the ward loved it too. speaking of which, the ward loves us. honestly they are so on board. i don't think the relationships with the members and missionaries has been super good before now, but we went all out on member relationships and they are so great. we were just really excited to be there and they have caught the excitement and we already feel like we've been here for a long time cause we are already really great friends with them all. i've discovered that it's all about asking them for things. as you ask them to make sacrifices, they feel the spirit and they want to help more and they feel good about being able to help. it's like that quote by joseph smith about sacrifice. hopefully you know which one i'm talking about. anyway, so that ward is great, the city is great, and life is great.

now as to elder christensen, he is a super good young missionary in his 4th transfer. he's from salt lake area from a little town called i don't remember haha. he just tells people salt lake. i think maybe like east milcreek or something. who knows. anyway, so he's a really young missionary and he reminds me a lot of me when i was his age in the mission. i got put with elder andrus and i just ate up everything that he did. and also beat myself up about how i wasn't as good. so he is kinda beating himself up that he isn't good at anything right now, but he really is and he's learning a lot so that's good. he's a good kid. i feel a lot like elder andrus must have when he got me. hopefully i can help him as much as he did for me.

it's weird for me to be a senior companion for once. this is really the first time that i have been the "senior comp" cause every other time before that we've been co-comps. the only other time was with elder andrus baby, but we were both just as lost as eachother so that was pretty much co comps too haha. so it's fun i guess. the ward loves us and the work is started already to take off, so hopefully we do well. we'll see.

anyway, voilà sur moi. i don't know what else to say and i'm sick of being on a computer, so i love you all and hope you have a great day! a plus!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Turkey Bowl


Off to Compiegne!

bonjour tout le monde!
well, ça y est. i'm leaving caen. off to bigger and better things. off to the city of compiegne! i'm pretty excited. i'm mostly just excited about whitewashing. it should be super fun. so as to details, my area is actually the department of oise. if you type in oise france in google maps it'll show you my area. also, i think we take care of the branch in soissons, so we may be visiting them too. so as it turns out, compiègne is elder reed's blue ville, so he's been telling me a little about it. they have a smaller ward there, but a lot of good people. i think around 50-60 people each week. what is kind of exciting, is the fact that we have a car? weird huh. i'm not sure what i think about it. i think that we'll probably just not use it that often, cause i'd rather walk and bus and stuff but we'll see. we just have to make sure not to fall into the car trap and use it for everything. cause then we never talk to anyone. also with the car, i might be getting an international license. cause as of now, i can't drive the car cause i'm too old, after a year in france, you can't drive anymore cause of laws and such unless you switch your license for an international one. but i'm not sure how that will work when i have to come home... we'll see. but yeah, so we will be whitewashing in, me and elder christensen, and it's going to be a blast. apparently elder christensen is in his 4th transfer, so pretty blue still, but he has a ton of fire. he's from salt lake i think, but as to other details, i have no idea yet. i've talked to him like once before, but i don't know a ton. but we're going to do some great stuff out there. i think that we are probably going to start with ward relations. really get them on our side, cause i hear we have a great ward, and then from there we will have them help us find our family to baptise :) i'm honestly really excited though. it is going to be kinda weird though not being a zone leader anymore. i've been it for a year now, and i feel like i'm going to find myself with a lot of extra time. weird. it'll just take a little time to adjust though and then it'll be fine. i'm excited to be a district leader though. that should be really fun. in my district, there are 3 equipes, sisters in melun, elders in troyes, and us in compiègne. we're in the zone and stake of paris est (east) and guess who my zone leader is? elder szuch, my mtc comp. haha so that'll be fun to work with him. as to how the work was going up there before, i don't have any idea. often it's because it's not going that well that they whitewash it, but not always. we'll just have to see when we get there. i don't really mind if it is though cause it'll be fun to start from scratch and rebuild. just like villeneuve d'ascq all over again. it'll be fun. and it's a beautiful region apparently, so that'll be gnarly to take nice drives through the countryside. mais bon, so that's about all i know about the coming transfer. i'll keep you posted when i know more

anyway, about this week. it was a way good week to leave caen. we had a lot of good stuff happen and so it was a good note. guess what? at church this week, we had 5 families there with us and the sisters! one was a couple that us and the soeurs are teaching, sherry and philippe, she's american, he's french. another was ely and his wife odile and their two kids. another was a muslim man with his french wife that we are teaching and their two kids. then the last two were two mothers, one a recent convert that the sisters baptised, and the other they are teaching. glory has one kid, and abbee has 2. so it was terrific. it really was cool to see all the families coming to church and the power of this goal that we fixed. so yeah, that was so great. normally we only teach ely, but our rdv with him saturday i told him i was leaving and that i hadn't met his family yet so he had to bring them to church! so he said okay and voilà! i love playing that card. if you're going to have to leave, you might as well make the most out of it right? haha

as to the rest of church, it was kinda weird. i realized yesterday just how much people don't listen in church. it was pretty depressing. so i got up in priesthood and announced to everyone that i was leaving. there weren't very many people there though cause it was the beginning of the first hour, so it was fast and testimony meeting so i bore my testimony one last time to tell them i'm leaving and stuff too. and honestly, it was ridiculous. not even the people that were there in priesthood understood that i was leaving. i talked to so many people after that were telling us to have a good week and such and we'll see you next week and all and i had to tell them actually no and then they were all surprised and wondered why i hadn't told them. ridiculous. mais bon, i think that at least most of them realized what was going on by the end. but yeah, it was kinda sad to leave. it really was a bitter sweet feeling, cause after being with these people for 6 months, i had gotten really close with them, so it was hard to leave, but at the same time, i'm now kinda excited to go and to see new things. 6 months is a long time to stay in one place. so it'll be good in the end. i think it'll be just what i need to switch things up and make things exciting again.

oh so another thing that was kinda exciting this week was that we took a trip to lille! elder reed had to go there for his legality, so i went with and we had a jolly old party there in lille. i talked to the couple up there, and they invited us over for dinner, and they also invited cedric and gregory! gregory couldn't come cause he had work, but i did get to see cedric and talk with him a bit. it was so good. he's doing really well. he is now the elders quorom president and he is currently looking for his wife haha. he's doing terrific though and it was good to see him again. also we went to our favorite patiserrie out there and got some yum yums. so all in all a great trip. even if it was 8 hours of train for 4 hours there.

anyway, i'm getting bored of being on the computer and i still have to write president. so ima stop there and wish you all a happy week. christmas is coming soon! hopefully santa comes to the french too! love you! also, at the bottom there, that's my new address! cool cool. loves

Photos of our Conference with Elder Anderson


Thanksgiving Week

bonjour tout le monde!
comment ça va cette semaine?? how are you? here in caen everything is going great. life is good and everyone is doing well and such. this week was a good week, we had a terrific experience with elder andersen, so that was fun. we had a really conference and we learned a lot. it was interesting though because in his talk he talked about so many different things. he just bounced from one experience to another and then another and he just touched on a bunch of different things briefly. he didn't really focus on one thing for a long time. it was interesting. he shared a lot of personal experiences and things that he saw when he was here as mission president of the bordeaux mission. and yes, he did speak french. not for the whole time, but he would throw french phrases in every so often and he told us a story in french. he speaks surprisingly well for it having been 20 years since he has spoken it. so that was a fun experience. we took a cute little picture together and everything so that should be on the facebook page. speaking of which, have you looked at that yet? they always take picture of us and they should be there so if you want to see all about our exciting adventures at zone conference and stuff, allez-y.

annnnnywho. i don't have a ton of experiences that i want to share with you this week and we are kinda hurried on time, so i'm going to talk a little about the coming week. it's going to be intense. so, on thursday of this week, we're having a zone turkey bowl! just like last year, we're all going to the city of Rouen, and we are going to have a nice turkey feast and turkey bowl! everyone is assigned to bring something different and it's byot (bring your own turkey, but since we are in france i think that it will be more so bring your own chicken) and then we will have a nice thanksgiving feast together. it's going to be radical. too bad that the football probably won't be too fun cause we're missionaries and we've learned to not go all out on things like this, but we have two kids in our zone who played college football as wide receivers, so we should have some exciting events. on verra. 

okay random side note, do you guys even know how to pronounce caen? i was thinking about that as i was writing rouen, cause as it turns out these names are pretty weird. anyway, if not, it's pronounced mostly the same way that you would say con as in pros and cons. as to rouen, it's kinda like.... roo-wan. voilà the french lesson for the day.

so the other lesson for the day is a life lesson. so yesterday we taught our amis class in church, and we figured since it was thanksgiving this week, why not talk about that? so we had a nice little lesson on gratitude. (also i was thinking about this, and i don't know how i'm ever going to manage when i don't have a companion. it would be so weird to teach a lesson by myself. hopefully i never get that call haha. jokes.) so anyway, we talked about gratitude and there were a couple of things that stood out to me as we were preparing our lesson. the first thing is that gratitude is not just being thankful for the big things that we are given. it's not just saying thanks when we recieve a huge gift or something like that. it's the act of really searching out these things that we are blessed with. because there are a lot of them. i've realized that the attitude of gratitude changes everything. if we look at the bad side, things will be bad. but if we look at the positive and look for all the blessings that we receive, it's wonderful. i've really learned how much i have to be grateful for ever since i've come here in france and i've been around so many people who really don't have anything. it's opened up my eyes. because i see a ton of people who don't have the everyday things that we take for granted. a house over our head, food to eat, not wanting in anything. you don't realize how great these things are until you don't have it or at least until you see someone who doesn't have these things. it also helps you realize the importance of the gospel. because these people that i am talking about don't have anything, but they have the gospel, and that is everything to them. it's crazy. let's give thanks.

anyway, that's about everything for this week. hope you are having a great week and you have a good thanksgiving! hugs and kisses! buy me something exciting on black friday!  watch out for people like this loves.

La Cuisine!

bonjour tout le monde!

alors aujourd'hui, j'ai décidé d’écrire toute cette lettre en français, et si vous voulez, vous pouvez la traduire. ça marche? chouette.

alors cette semaine s'est bien passée. nous avons vu les belle choses et nous étions bien bénis. c'est sûr que notre père céleste est là pour nous pendant chaque instant!

okay well i figure that you will be too lazy to translate, so i'll continue in english from here. this week was great. so as you can see from the title there, this week was a cuisine week. cooking! elder reed and i have been having a lot of fun trying out new recipes and trying to make them work with all the french stuff we have. it's gnarly. we use butter instead of shortening, and sometimes we really have to go searching for the right ingredients, but it's so fun. we made some really good sugar cookies the other day and since i've been here in caen i've made chocolate chip cookies like 200 times, so we're pretty much professional at that. and the ward loves us for it haha. they were asking for recipes and everything. go fight win! so yeah, we're probably going to be famous sometime and going to go work at a famous restaurant when we get home, but we'll see. so if you happen to have any more quick recipes that you want to sent me, that'd be greatly appreciated :)

so the highlight of the week was definitely the baptism this weekend. the sisters had a baptism of a lady named glory. she is from nigeria (by the end of our stay here we are going to have a nigerian branch started haha) but she has been here for a couple of years now and speaks french and everything. but she looooooves the sisters. so she was baptized this weekend, and guess who did the baptism?? this is the coolest thing ever. AUGUSTINE! our recent convert! cool huh?? we were so stoked. when we heard that she was getting baptized, we told the soeurs (sisters) that they should have augustine do it. and he did. he did so well too. it was so cool to see. reminds me of cedric all over again. too good. so that was amazing, and there were a lot of amis there at the baptism from the sisters and us, and it was just great. with the three baptisms that we have had here recently, it feels like the ward is finally getting excited about missionary work again. so that's good. we're just going to keep it up! and we have 2 baptisms schedules here, one of ours and one for the soeurs on december 1, so that'll be great.

speaking of the baptism on december 1st, raphael is doing really well. he came to church this week, and it was way good. he stayed for all three hours, and he had a good time i think. we had a couple of interesting talks in sacrament meeting, but i don't think he took them the wrong way and he seemed to have a good time. what was even better is that we had a young adult meeting after, and someone told raphael to go to it too, so he said okay and he was there for it and we talked about fhe for tomorrow and all that and he exchanged phone numbers with some people and voilà! it was sweet. he can't come to fhe this week though because he has classes until late, but next week should be good. he's a good kid and our ward is doing a good job. that's honestly exactly what they need here too. cause we have a lot of young single sisters in the ward so we're gonna get him hitched with one of them haha. it'll be great.

oh so i don't know if i have told you yet, but guess what's happening this week on friday?? we have a conference in versailles for all of the missionaries, and guess who's coming and speaking??? Elder Andersen! cool huh??? so we're going to get to hear a real live apostle speak to us, maybe even in french, cause he served his mission here, and was a mission president here, so that'll be so cool. we're excited. i'll tell you what he tell us next week. it'll be stellar i'm sure.

another exciting event of the week was our trip to IKEA. that place is ridiculous. it's soooooo big. it was like a maze. we found what we wanted, and then like 3 hours later we had finally bought it because we had to go through the rest of the maze, and then we had to find what we wanted downstairs and it was just la galère. okay maybe i exagerated a tiny bit, but it was still pretty crazy. honestly that place kills me. i have a hard enough time making decisions like that when there are only a couple of choices, but there are like 300 different choices for each piece of furniture there. i would've died if i didn't know what i was getting beforehand. but on the bright side, we now have some nice new desks for our appartment and we threw out the old dead ones that only stood up when we pinned it against the wall with another desk haha. fun stuff.

so here's the question of the week, how do you help an alcoholic?? so i don't know if i told you about quentin last week, but he was a kid that we a couple of weeks ago and had a rdv with him for last saturday, but then he didn't show up and he didn't answer his phone and we thought he blocked our number and all. so anyway, he called us last monday. he called and said hey i'm at the church, can i see you. haha so we said okay and ran there to the church and talked with him. he's a really good guy and he wants to change, he just hasn't yet. he is 27 years old and he has been an alcoholic for 10 years now. he drinks about 10 bottles a day. so our first couple of rdvs, he was still half drunk, but mostly there, and honestly, when you drink that much, i don't think that you are ever not at least a little drunk. poor guy. so anyway, we started off by telling him about the atonement and stuff, but i'm almost sure that that won't be enough. we need to figure out how to help him temporally too. but i don't know what to do about it. we lost contact with him again this weekend, because he told us that whenever he gets too drunk he doesn't leave his appartment and he definitely doesn't want to come to the church and disrespect it and all, that's why he missed our first rdv. so yeah, that's his situation at the moment, but i don't really know what to do to help him. they don't have any church programs here in france for helping with these kinds of things, and i don't know enough about it to be able to tell him what to do. telling him to stop cold turkey will probably send his body through withdrawals and such so i don't know exactly what to do. so that's our dilemna at the moment. we'll see though.

okay so just to close, this week we had a really cool experience going to visit this member that goes to the coutance branch. we have a member that comes to caen that lives out there, so we went to eat at his house and then after we went to visit this person. so his story, he is an older man who just lost his wife about a month ago, and he's still getting used to life alone. he is such a good man though and has such a strong testimony. we got to go over and visit him and he was just so happy and told us about his life and everything. then he started talking about his wife, and you could just feel the love in his words. so we got to talk about the blessings of the gospel and how we know that we will see them again, and i shared a scripture in Alma 28:12, that is such a good scripture about death, the whole chapter is good. and then he gave us some counsel. he said "Find the right one, and love her with all your strength, and she will give you back that love" gotta love getting marriage advice on the mission haha. but it was so sincere and i just realized again why i am on a mission. to tell people about this great news that life isn't meaningly. there is more after death, and we will be able to see our loved ones again. what greater message is there?

well, anyway, that's about all for the week. hope everything is going good chez vous! i love you all and hope you have a great week!
bisous!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Another Great Week in CAEN!

bonjour tout le monde!
well this week was really extraordinary. it was really just a great week. which is weird cause it was a week where nothing went the way that we wanted it to, but it obviously went the better way, the way that the Lord wanted it too. so to start off, i'll tell you the bad things that happened this week. well, in total, we had 20 rdvs that fell through this week. we were traveling all week, going to all the district meetings and stuff, but we still managed to fix a bunch of rdvs for the nights that we were home, so we were happy about that, but in the end, none of them went through. we could've had like a 30 lesson week and a ton of new amis, but that wasn't what was prepared for us. so at the end of the week, we had done everything that we could, but things just weren't working out. so it's sunday, we have a couple of rdvs fixed, we are planning on meeting an ami at the tram stop at 11 o clock and then walking to the church with him. so, we get to church, we have our recent converts there, stanley and augustine, but no one else. so then it gets to be about 11 o clock, so we call our ami, and he doesn't answer. so we give it a couple more minutes and call again, no answer. so, we were in the middle of teaching our amis class, so we just decided that he forgot... so we continue on with the day, and later that day we decide to call him to see if we could see him later since he didn't come to church. and lo and behold, he tells us that he was there waiting for us at 11 o clock today, but he had forgotten his phone...... and he was pretty busy the next couple of weeks so we'd have to refix in a couple of weeks... it was so discouraging cause we just blew it. and we had really been looking for a new ami because up until now, we hadn't found any, and he could've been it. but that didn't work out, so we felt pretty dumb then after that, but kept on going. so we had a rdv with a less active family, we went to that, had a nice little visit with them, and then came out of there, and it was about 7 o clock and we had nothing planned for the rest of the night. nothing planned for a new ami. so we walked out of our rdv, and we get to the intersection, and there is a guy walking from the other direction towards us, so we go over to talk to him. and he was so cool. he was from togo, and he is only here for 2-3 weeks, but we told him about the church in togo and taught him a little first lesson about the restoration, and gave him a book of mormon. the best part though was his question at the end. "so i take this book, read it, and then i change my life?" haha we said if you want, that's exactly what you do! and he said okay, i'll read it. it was so good. so then we asked if we could say a prayer with him there, and he said sure, we prayed, and then fixed a rdv with him for the next day, today. so we will see him later today. but it was just so cool to see how even if we feel like things aren't working out and everything, in the end, he will always provide, and we got our one new ami for the week. i've made a promise that i won't let a week go by without finding at least one new ami. and what i've learned is that as we set goals like that and then do everything we can to achieve them, He provides. just like he did this week. so we're gonna see him later today and we'll fix a baptismal date with him for before he leaves and then he can go and get baptized in togo :) it'll be gnarly.

anyway, so that was one of the many blessings that we saw this week. another was on saturday. we had fixed a rdv with this kid who was just golden. he was so cool and we were so excited to teach him. so we show up to the church for our rdv and wait. and wait some more. his phone is off (or he blocked our number, who knows) and he ends up not showing up. and we were both so pumped for this rdv. so that was really a bummer, but we said okay well let's go find the real person that needs to be taught right now then. so we did. we walked out of the church, locked it up, and walked out onto the road. we walked out, and normally we would turn left, but we saw a kid to the right, so we decided to wait a couple of seconds for him to walk to us so we could talk to him, right there in front of the church. so we said hey we are missionaries, yada yada, we're here to teach people about prayer. do you have a couple of minutes where we could pray with you? and he said, well, i'm kinda hurried, but yeah i can take a couple of minutes. so we turned ourselves around, walked inside the church together, talked a little about prayer and taught him what it was, and then said a prayer with him. at the end, he said thank you, and i think he was really touched. he didn't want to have another rdv or anything, he said he would call us if he wanted, but i really think that we planted a good seed for this kid in a couple of years he'll walk past the church again and remember and find the missionaries. it was just cool to see that instant blessing that the Lord gave us for opening our vision and not pouting.

the last cool experience came again on sunday. this week was really one of those weeks where you work as hard as you can the whole week, but you don't get the blessings or see the results until the Lord really sees you are gonna persevere. so on sunday, first off, we had Ely come to church again for the second week, so that was sweet. he walked in right after sacrament started, so it was sweet to see him there. then after church we had a rdv with raphael. i don't know if i've told you about him yet, but he's so cool. he's a 22 year old kid from senegal, and he's here for studies, studying to be an engineer. we found him a long time ago, the first week i was here in caen, we taught him for the second time. so we taught him for a bit back then, and then he went on vacation. he went to work in the south and in bretagne, so we long contact for a long time. and just recently we got back into contact with him and started teaching him again. so we had a rdv with him on sunday with one of the young adults that i didn't know at all, but when we went to church that day, i decided to find someone to teach with. so i asked her if she would, and she said sure, i've never taught with the missionaries before, but sure. so we had this lesson with raphael and laetitia (the member) and it was such a good lesson. the spirit was so strong, and we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we didn't have planned at all to give him a baptismal date, but the spirit was so strong and told us that we should, so we invited him right then to prepare himself to be baptized the 1 december! and he said yes! and honestly, he was so ready. we hadn't planned that at all, so we didn't know what date to choose, and i'm pretty sure he could've been baptized a week earlier than that at least. but it's okay. so that was just such a blessing. i feel like this week, even though we didn't get to teach a lot, the people that did show up to their rdvs and that we did teach are really progressing. so all in all it was a stellar week.

also, the cherry on the cake, this week was easily the best week that i have ever seen our zone have. in the zone, we fixed 5 new baptismal dates, every single equipe had at least one person at church,only one equipe didn't find at least one new ami, and they all taught a good amount of lessons. it really was a great week. it was one of those weeks where even though things didn't turn out as well as we hoped here in caen, we saw that our work and our sacrifices for the zone (all the traveling and district meetings and such) and all the work that fell through for us, the blessing were given to other people, and i'm 100% okay with that. it was just a really great week.

well, i'm sorry but i'm all out of exciting stories to tell. elder reed is still a champion (even though he is canadian) and we're still having fun out here in Caen. i'm sad to see my time here dwindling away. mais bon, c'est la vie. also, we have developed a new obsession with chicken enchiladas. elder reed has a super easy recipe for them that only takes like 30 minutes, so we eat that pretty often now. it's fine though, i'm already getting fat haha, nothing can stop me now! anyway, love you all and hope everything is great in the states. elections this week eh?? we'll see how that goes. well, loves!

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Transfer

Hey everyone!

how is everything going?? so we've had a couple of changes here this last week! i got a new companion, and there were also some changes happening in the zone too. we now have another blue in our district with elder withers at cherbourg training, and we also got a senior couple out here in our district. they live in cherbourg, their names are brother and sister belessa from montana i think. they are nice. we had a lot of changes, but mostly, everything still feels the same. still here in caen and still having a good time. the one thing that really feels like a "big" change is when we change villes. other than that, they are all just little minor changes. anyway, so my new companion, his name is elder reed and he is from calgary canada! it's been pretty hard serving with a canadian so far just because he speaks english funny so it's kinda hard for us to understand each other (haha) but all in all he is a good kid and we're going to have a good transfer. it's really funny because it's really different being with him than with my other companions. i have always been kinda the follower, because the other companions i was with had really strong personalities, so it was easier just to follow them than to try to fight for the word, but now with elder reed, i'm in charge. it's good though and we're having fun and seeing miracles and everything is going great here in caen. turns out i do at least kind of know what i'm doing. but it's weird for me because if i want him to do something, i have to tell him to do it, because he doesn't know it has to be done, so i'm still getting used to that and getting him integrated with the work and the zone and not just trying to do it myself. so we're going to do a little training this week, so that'll be good. also, speaking of which. i have a favor to ask of you. okay so this weekend, we had a zone leader wide fast, along with the assistants and president to decide if we should fix something as a goal for our mission. really just to get the spiritual confirmation that it is possible. so we did this, and we decided that yes. the goal that we fixed is to find a family for christmas. to give them the greatest gift that we can, and to find that family that is ready to be baptized in every city. so we fixed this as a goal, and i was wondering if you could do something for me. could you pray for us here in caen and also in our zone if you want, that we can find that family that is ready to recieve the gospel? that would be stellar. thanks!

anyways, on to the week. so first off, i'll start with the bad experience of the week. well, long story short, elder reed and i both got food poisoning haha. this weekend we ate some bad food i guess (we are not exactly sure what it was but we are about 80 percent sure that it was these canned lentils and sausages that we ate, because other than that, we didn't really eat this weekend because we were fasting). anyway, so at the time it tasted fine, but then on sunday night, the night after, we were both feeling iffy. we went to sleep that night and both of us had to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and i even had some throw up in there too. fun stuff. so this was last night and we are both still trying to get over it. it's fun i suppose. i'm not really sure what i'm supposed to do to take care of that, so we'll probably just wait it out and hope that it passes quickly haha.

anyway, other more happy experiences this week. we we've done quite a lot of finding this week because we've really been trying to find the people that are ready right away to be baptized, and we had a lot of success this week. we found a lot of people and got a lot of numbers, and i'm not going to lie, i'm happy to be able to contact in my style again. cause with elder johnson, he was a really direct person, and it was kinda just "hey we are missionaries, do you want to hear about our message" and that's it. but now we really are having conversations with them and talking and it's good. i really just hope that i can be as good of an example as elder andrus was for me and that he can learn as much. we'll see.

so one cool experience that we had this week came when we did some porting a couple of nights ago. we were in this area, and we starting knocking doors, and we decided to use the approach that president had given us to do for porting, and that is to ask people if we can come in and pray with them and leave a blessing on their home. so we are doing this, and we knock on this lady's house, and she answers and opens the door, we tell her that we are here to pray with her, and she says come right in. so we come in, talk with them for a little, and it turns out that she is half italian, half spanish, and the husband is german but they all speak french perfectly. so we talk to them for a bit, and as it turns out, they have 7 children, from about 13-2, and they are really believing, and really catholic. so we go into a room with the kids and the mom, cause the dad was busy, and we say a prayer with them. first off, they all say "notre père" our father i think it's called in english, and then they finish, and we ask if we can say a prayer now. so we said a prayer, blessed their family, and are going to be going back tonight to see them again. so that was sweet to see the things that president told us to do work. they are really catholic and i'm not sure how they are going to react when they find out we're mormons, but we'll see. we're really praying and trying to figure out what to teach them tonight, so we'll see.

so yeah, this week has been really crazy. we've been running everywhere, we had exchanges with the assistants, we had zone council, and then we had to prepare our trainings for next week, welcome the zone in, and do all these things, and we really have just been running on all cylinders. we haven't had any down time, and our appartment shows it haha, it was so messy this morning, but at least we mostly got it clean. also, it's starting to get cold, and we don't really have heating in our apartment and it's terrrrrribly insolated. so the past couple of nights have been a bit chilly, but we found a couple of space heaters in the apartment, so we've turned those on and closed all the doors in our living quarters, so that the one side of our apartment is nice and warm, but the other side is freezing. it's a nice experience.

as to other things, all of our amis are doing pretty well, stanley and augustine got the priesthood this weekend, so that was sweet. ely, a guy we've been teaching for a little bit now, but who hasn't really been keeping rdvs that we fix here at the church, finally came to church yesterday, so that was great. i'm not sure how his experience was, elder reed said meh, but we'll see this tuesday when we see him. our ward isn't the best fellowshippers, and i was too busy running around trying to make everything else work out by myself since my companion didn't know what was going on yet which is completely normal, so i didn't get a chance to tell members to go up and meet him and integrate him and such, so we'll see. he's kinda shy until you break his shell, so we'll see what happens. also, raphael, an ami that we had been teaching about 3-4 months ago, who was super ready for the gospel, we got to see him again finally on sunday, and we had a great rdv with him. we talked again about the restoration and what that means and how if Jesus Christ's church, the one that he established himself, was on the earth, we would all want to belong to that one, and then we told about how it is and how he can know. so it was a really great rdv and we're gonna see him again this tuesday, so i think he's gonna be baptized this transfer. we're praying. our other amis, they are all doing fine too. everything is going just peachy here in caen.

well i'm all out of things to say and i feel nausious (spelling..........) so i'm gonna say bye! hope you have a stellar week and everything goes as planned! love you all! bisous!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Changes!

Okay so first off, there are so many changes happening at home! that's crazy! it's so weird to see all these young people getting ready to put their papers in! that announcement in conference just blew my world haha and i can't imagine for the people that it actually affects directly. crazy crazy. that's gnarly though for everyone! tell them good luck for me. or something less cliché if you want haha.

anyway, as you probably know, this weekend was transfers! so are you ready to hear the big news?? well, elder johnson is going! he is going to cergy in paris and he will be training a new little baby! so he's really excited about that, and then i will be staying here in caen! and i'm pretty excited about that too. i don't know why, but caen isn't even getting old for me at all. i'm so ready to stay a fourth here. my new companion is going to be a brand new zone leader. his name is elder reed, and he is canadian. ew i know right? but you can't always chose where they are from right? haha no i'm joking it's going to be great. i'm going to have fun teasing him though. so anyway, what i know of him as of now is that he is one transfer younger than me, we knew each other in the mtc, but since then i haven't seen him. he's a really good innocent happy kid who will really be ready to learn i think. i'm really excited because i think he will really just be a sponge so i will have the chance to really help him. hopefully i don't mess up haha. so that'll be fun to train a new zone leader. on other exciting new for transfers, little baby boy elder andrus got called as a zone leader! so that's sweet. he is such a good kid and i knew it was coming. and guess where he is going??? VILLENEUVE D'ASCQ! i'm so so so excited for him. i talked to him last night when he called in to report stats, and he is so excited. i told him to say hi to everyone there from me, especially cedric and gregory, and i'm just so excited for him. we're ending up serving in the exact same areas haha it's sweet. but i'm not going to lie, i'm sad to see him go from my zone, but at least i'll see him every month for ZL council. as to other happenings, guess who is dying on wednesday????? papa! elder coleman is dying this transfer! so weird! it's honestly just so crazy to think that he is going to be gone. what ever will we do... but on the bright side, i'm going into paris on wednesday to pick up my new comp, so we've planned lunch together before he gets shipped out. it's so weird though cause a lot of my comps are getting realllllllly close to going home. elder andrus has one left, elder dick and elder johnson both have two... i'm next. ew. mais bon, on fait avec. it's weird though because i am now one of the senior zone leaders... super weird. time passes way too fast. but i'm eating a delicious panini right now so it's fine.

anyway, as to the rest of the week, everything is going well here in caen. as of now and looking a little at our past couple of transfers, i've decided i'm going to put a lot more focus on finding. because we find people and it's great, but i really don't want to miss that person that is ready right then to be baptized. so that's what we're going to do this transfer. we're going to find teach and baptize at least one person in 6 weeks. bam. hooray. so it's going to be great. i'm really excited. as to our amis right now, everyone is going pretty well. stanley came to church yesterday and we gave him a white shirt and tie with a suit coat, and he looked so fly. it was so sweet. so augustine came in a fresh grey suit, and stanley had the sports coat look going (since we didn't have matching pants, we do the best we can) and they just both looked so nice. it was sweet. such good people. and we also have an interview set up for them on tuesday so they can recieve the aaronic priesthood, and it's so great. the sisters have another nigerian friend that is getting baptized soon, and we're going to have one of them baptize her. it's going to be so great. as to jude, the other person that had a baptismal date, we kinda lost contact with him this week. he still have the desire to be baptized, he just has a lot of problems with his life and papers and he is just really occupied by those things, so we haven't seen him in awhile. so we'll probably see him again this week sometime, but we're really going to have to help him understand the importance of everything and church assistance and such. we'll see how everything goes with him. ça va aller. so this week, what did we do... i don't even remember, it's kinda just come and gone.. weird. too many crazy things happening this weekend that i forgot the week. oh one thing we had a nice little trip to rouen this week. we went to their district meeting again because president was going to be there and he invited us too, so we moved some rdvs around and bought some tickets out to rouen. it was a good little meeting, and elder andrus is the district leader out there, and his district meetings are so good, so it was great. other things... honestly i cannot remember at all... "no news is good news" right? ha but it really was a good week and it was a good week to end our reign here in caen. now i have to train a replacement.

it's going to be really weird to be the senior comp again. cause it's just been 50/50 for the past long while, and it's going to be weird to have to lead. it'll be sweet though. we'll have a lot of fun. i'm excited to train a new zone leader. it'll be great.

oh one last thing, we're going to the beaches today! going out to omaha beach and the american cimetary and everything, so that's going to be way cool. i'll show you pictures next time.

well anyway, hope everything is going great out there chez vous. love you all and have a great week! bisous!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pictures!


La Vie Continue!

Hey everyone! well this week was actually really good. it was just a complete opposite from last week. it's funny cause i think last week was just the smack in the face that i needed to get going again. not that i wasn't going before, but to kinda kick it into overdrive. cause last week was really just oof, but this week i was determined to change that around. so this week really any down time that i had whenever, i was either making calls, thinking about who i could call, sending out texts all to fix rdvs for this week. and did it ever pay off. this week, we taught a bunch of lessons and even better, found a lot of new people that we are going to teach next week. as of now, just at the beginning of the week, we have like 17 rdvs fixed and about 10 of those are new people. and what's funny is that most of the time we don't really have a ton for the beginning of the week, but we fix them throughout the week. so this week is going to be just stellar.
So as to the highlights of the week, we've been doing a lot of something we call enlarging the vision. which means that if something falls through, we find the reason that we are there and we go out and look for those people that do want to hear the gospel. so anyway, tuesday night we had planned to take the bus 5 to do some porting. so we get to the bus stop, and it doesn't come for like 10 minutes, so we decide to do a little contacting around the bus stop while we wait. so we go out and contact some people, and have a couple of good contacts, but then as we are contacting someone, we thought we saw the bus 5 go past, so we finish the contact and go back to the bus stop and are looking at the schedule to see when the next one comes past, and while we have our back turned, the real bus 5 drives past haha. it was super frustrating cause we hadn't missed it after all, but we ended up missing it anyway cause there was no one there to stop it. so anyway, instead of getting annoyed or mad or anything, we sat down and said a prayer to ask what Heavenly Father wants us to do, and we decided to go contacting in centreville, cause the next bus didn't come for a long time. so we went out and starting contacting, and we had a couple of good contacts, but definitely the highlight was when we ran into an old ami. his name is arnaud le roi, and he is super cool, he's a guy in his 30s, who is christian but doesn't really have a church. We taught him once a long time ago, but ever since he has been super busy. so as we were walking along, i saw him walking along just on the other side of the tram tracks. so i run across the tram tracks quickly, cause there's a tram coming, and i say hi. so we talk to him for a bit and we had a really good conversation with him and we're gonna call him this week to see if we can see him. but it was just really cool to see that even though we missed the bus that WE thought we should take, HE had better plans for us, and as we gave ourselves up to his will, we saw that miracle.
another miracle that we saw this week happened last night. so we had been out porting down a little south of caen. so we had to start coming home a little early, cause we had to check train times for district meeting at the train station before we went home. so we left a little early, but as it turns out it took a lot less time than we thought, so we find ourselves at the gare (station) with about 30 minutes left and trying to decide what to do. cause it's pretty late, so usually the only crowd you see out at this time are the partyers and drunkards. so anyway we were going to get on the tram and take it to centreville to do a little contacting. but the tram comes, and it is just completely packed full. there is no room at all for us to get on. and the next tram doesn't come for 15 minutes, cause it's late on a sunday night. so instead, we decide just to walk home and contact on the way. so we set off, and our whole walk, we saw about 3 people. one was extra drunk, but the other two were sweet. so the first one was named olivier. he was a cool kid, in his late 20s, who played rugby, and we got to talk to him for a bit and we exchanged numbers to talk another day. so that was cool, but the second guy was even better. so we are walking home, and we finally get there, but we still have about 8 minutes to go before it's time to go home. so instead of going inside, we just start looking for people on our road. and honestly there is no one. it kinda felt at first like we were just wasting time. just staying out because we had to. but we kept looking, and we saw a guy in the distance who we thought might be drunk, but we say what the heck why not. so we go up to him, and as it turns out, he is not at all drunk and he's a guy that we were supposed to teach this week, but that didn't come. so we talked to him, and he asked us what happened for saturday? how come we didn't call him for our rdv? and we told him we did and as it turns out he hadn't saved our number, but we gave it to him, he saved it, and we fixed a rdv for this week. and he was really cool about it and he seemed like he was excited for our rdv. so it was super cool just to see those perseverance points. we kept working until 9 o clock exactly, and the lord blessed us for it by making us run into this old ami. it was gnarly.
as to all of our amis, everyone is doing well. except one. remember how i told you last week that steve could choose either of two paths now? one he can want to change his life, or two he can decide it's impossible and he doesn't want to, and we're pretty sure he chose the second... we saw him once this week, and it was crazy how much he had changed. his countenance had just completely changed and instead of being the happy person that he was before, he had something dark about him this time... so we talked to him about what we can do to help him change, and he kinda just got defensive and i'm pretty sure he doesn't have the desire that he needs to stop. so anyway, we had a rdv with him later on in the week, and he didn't show up or answer his phone or anything. then he didn't come to church on sunday, so idk what he's up to. we've been trying with him, but we don't really know what to do anymore. we'll see. anyway, as to good news, jude, another nigerian guy who is here trying to get his papers, we fixed a baptismal date with him this week! he's going to get baptized the 28th of october. so he's excited for that. it was funny cause the day of stanley's baptism he came up to us and asked us if he could get baptized with stanley, but we explained to him he had to come to church and get the lessons and stuff so he said okay i want to so we saw him a couple of times this week, and he's preparing to get baptized.
on a sadder note, this week, we saw a less active guy from sierra leone, and he really opened up to us why he doesn't come to church anymore. he said that he feels that the ward doesn't care about him. he was sick for 2 months after his baptism, and no one came to see him. and he's been a member for about 2 years now and he has had one person come to visit him. it was a really frustrating towards the ward rdv. we've kinda decided that they are not going to see a baptism of anyone but nigerians and sierra leonians until they learn how to fellowship these people and love them. so we talked to our first councelor in the bishopric about it and he gave a sweet testimony this sunday about how we need to love these people and they were a lot better after that. but's it's hard. they are great people and i love them a ton, it's just that they haven't understood exactly. i think that they are going to do better though. hopefully.
anyway, that's a little our week here in caen! saturday is transfers, so we'll be finding out what's happening for the coming months this weekend. i'll keep you posted. i think that i should be staying. elder johnson has only 2 left, and i think that he will be training for these last two. so i should have a new companion, but i think i'll be staying in caen. we'll see. anyway, hope that everything is going great at home. i love you all and pray for you everyday! have a great week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

bonjour tout le monde!


hello! comment ça va? ici à Caen, ça va très bien. this week was an adventure if nothing else. we spent the whole weekend in paris and versailles. it was intense. so the beginning of the week, we didn't do anything to special. just a normal week, just preparing our amis for their baptism! stanley steve and augustine are all going to be baptized this saturday! crazy huh? so that's super exciting. this week is going to be really intense though with us trying to get everything ready, especially since we don't really have the help of the ward on this one.... the bishop isn't very happy because they are trying to get their papers, so they aren't legal in france yet, and it's possible that they never will be. and they don't speak french yet, although they are learning. so at first, he told us that he wouldn't even let them be baptized in his ward, but then we talked to president poznanski, et he talked to the stake president, and we got the approval, cause honestly, who are we to decide who gets salvation and who doesn't? if they meet the baptismal requirements, we have no right to tell them that they can't be baptized. so anyway that was an interesting experience we had with the bishop. but yeah, he's not really excited about that, and our ward mission leader is pretty much less active at the moment. he kinda just avoids our calls and never calls us back and doesn't reply to texts or anything. so it's pretty fun for us. he's the coolest guy in the world, he's just been dmp for forever and he's done with it. he's trying to get released i think. anyway, so it's an adverture. but we'll get it all worked out. at least we've both been around the block a little bit, so we'll be able to get it all worked out. we're just stressing to make sure everything gets done. it's good though.
so anyway, nothing really to report for the first of the week, but then the weekend we just spent partying in paris. on friday we woke up early to go to zone conference in paris. at the conference, we got to give a little training, and we had a nice little object lesson with mnms, so that was fun and we all had a good time. i also learned a lot. then after that conference, we went on exchanges with the assistants. and as usual, it was a terrific exchange. those two are just so good and they helped me a lot. i learned a lot about testifying of jesus christ more and really just increasing my testimony of him. so we saw some pretty cool things that night. we went out to this rdv with an ami, and we show up, and he isn't there. so we say bon, well let's go find the real reason we are here then. so we say a prayer, and we go out and start to knock doors. so that night, we honestly knocked like 10 doors, and we had about 7 of them open for us and 6 out of those 7 said to come back on sunday. talk about effective porting. so that was sweet. then the next day we went out and chased down some less actives with some cookies, but they ended up not being there, so we shoved them in their mail box with a little note :) and after that, we said a prayer to decide what to do, and we ended up walking out and on our way to the car we pass this house, and we decide to ring the bell, so we ring it and as it turns out, it's an american lady that we got to teach a little bit. she's not terrible interested, but it was still sweet to be guided right to her door. and elder gubbay bought a painting from her haha. random fact. her son in law was a killer artist though. anyway, so then that night we went to stake conference and sang in the choir. it was just precious. we had a missionary choir and we sang the mission song and then sang "peuple du monde, ecoutez donc" cantique #170, which i cannot remember what it is in english ha, but it was good. and stake conference was terrific. they talked the whole saturday night session about missionary work, so that was knarly. then the next day we went to stake conference again, on sunday, and after that we hopped on a train to go home. it was a long weekend, but it was really good. and to top it all off, i left our keys in versailles, so we had to call up a member to bring us the extra keys, and it was just a dumb experience. mais bon, c'est la vie. we'll get them back this week when we go up for district meeting. so voilà my week. sorry if it seems really random and not organized, i'm trying to hurry cause it's elder johnson's birthday today, and he has a package coming and we don't want to miss it. so voilà quoi. but bon, love you all and hope you have a terrific week! bisous!

Elder Meyers

Monday, September 17, 2012

starting another transfer

bonjour à tous!
herro everyone. well this week was really good. it was transfer week, so that was kind of an adventure helping everyone get all settled in for transfers. the biggest project for the week was really helping the sister missionaries get on their feet. sister pulupuna and sister mataalii both came in on wednesday night, and that was when it all started. we went and picked them up from he gare with a member, loaded everything into his car, and set off to eat at his house for their first mangez-vous. we dropped them off there and then we headed over to another families house to eat. just a little background on these two, soeur pulupuna is from tonga, and soeur mataalii is samoan haha. so we got in two islanders, and they are both great. soeur pulupuna is in about her fifth transfer, and she is just a bundle of love haha. the ward loves her and she is super funny and just really loves everyone in the ward. soeur mataalii is lost haha. she is a complete blue and this is her first city, so she is really just a typical blue. it's super funny to be around blues again, cause she is just so tired adn doesn't understand really and is always seems a little lost, but she has the fire and is excited to teach the gospel to the frenchies. so anyway, that night, the members both took us home in the same car, and as we got to the appartment, we showed them around, (we had spent forever the last transfer cleaning it because the elders that left didn't really clean at all.....) so we showed them around and got all their suitcases taken up to their rooms and everything, fixed some lightbulbs and everything then got home and said good luck, we can't help you tomorrow cause we'll be in paris all day, but good luck! we showed them where evrything is on the map and then let them go. so then the next day we went to paris, had zone council which was really good as usual, and then the next day we had dmp meeting (ward mission leader meeting) with them. we talked about all of our amis and everything and helped them figure out what was going on, then went to get them their bus passes. so we got those, and told them to meet us a little later at the church to go over their areabook so we can tell them about the ward and everything. so we do that, but they show up kinda late, and we have a rdv, so they decided to just go upstairs and do their weekly planning while we teach the rdv. well, june and judith show up, and also our member friend had also brought a friend. it was this little 16 year old girl, and the lesson that we had planned today was not really a beginners lesson ha... so elder johnson, out of pure inspiration, asks this girl if she would rather meet with the sisters for a bit instead of us. she says yes, so we take her up to the sisters and tell them surprise! they were terrified, but happy, and we went down to teach our lesson. so we taught our lesson, and in all honesty, it went terrible ha, but we got over, and went up to talk to the sisters, and they were so so happy. they had just had a terrific rdv with this girl and she's coming back next week and it was just great. soeur mataalii especially was just so excited and happy to have taught her first real french person, instead of just her mtc teachers. and it was just a nice reminder to see how happy they both were, and how that's how we should be after every lesson. it's interesting how you get used to doing things. cause we're teaching french people about jesus christ, that's kinda a big deal and not something that you do any old day haha. so that was super cool. it was good because our lesson was not really good at all, but that we were able to help these two to teach a good lesson, that was a lot better. i've realized lately that you can have joy that comes from you seeing miracles, but then there is the joy that comes from helping others see miracles, and that's so much better. i guess service to others really does give you a good feeling inside. it's funny cause before, when i had soeurs in my city, they were really experienced and we didn't really have to help them a lot, but with these two, we kinda just feel like their older brothers, out there to help them find people and just to protect them.

so that was mostly our week. a lot of helping other and being a zone leader instead of a missionary. it was really good. as to other things, don't worry about our friend in the ghetto, he was muslim anyway and not really interested, so we won't be seeing him again. so no worries there. our amis are all doing really well too. steve stanley and augustine are all just preparing themselves for their baptism for the 29th! sad part is that this next week is stake conference in Versailles, so they won't be able to go, but it's okay. our other amis are all doing well and everything is just peachy here.

other than that, i don't know what to talk about. everything is great, love you all, and hope you have the best week of ever. (and yes i realize that that is not proper english, i just wanted to say it. normally i would just leave it and not write this little note about how i know that it was wrong, but the problem is that i probably made like a million mistakes like that throughout this letter, and i'm forgetting how to speak english, so i just want you to know that that one there i did on purpose. okay cool) love you!

--
Elder Matthew Meyers
1 rue de la Délivrande
14000 Caen
La France


Monday, September 10, 2012

ça y est! je reste!

hey!

well, transfers came and went, and i am safely staying here in Caen with elder johnson! so that's good, i'm happy about that, especially after the week that we just had. as to changes that are happening, we are going to be having sisters coming into our city. weird huh? haha i swear i always have sisters around. but it's good, that's just what our ward needs cause there is a lot of sisters work here. and by that i mean a lot of single ladies that need to be visited that we can't due to their singleness. so that'll be way good. we'll see how the transition goes. it'll be good for the ward though. one of them is going to be a blue too so that'll be exciting. anyhow, this week was wayy good. guess how many lessons we taught? the most frustrating number in the world. 19. how lame is that huh?? i was so mad. one away from our goal of 20 lessons that we fixed at the beginning of the transfer. to have a 20 lesson week. but no, we had to be lame and only teach 19 haha. honestly it's really interesting how attitudes and expectations change over time. because anytime before this, i would just be exstatic to teach that many lessons, but now all i can think about is how many more we could teach and mostly the fact that it doesn't matter how many people we teach if we don't baptize anyone. so we really neeeed to find that person or those people who are going to be baptized this next transfer. we're working on it. we still have our two baptismal dates for the 29th, but we are going to find at least 2 more for this transfer. it'll be way good.

as to all of our amis, steve and stanley are both doing good. they are both in a really hard situation, but they are both dealing with it well. hopefully they can get their papers one of these days... on va voir. we also have june and judith, who are both 7th day adventists. everything is going along well with them, they are having some blocks about the bible and book of mormon and stuff, but we've planned a really good lesson for next time that will hopefully clear up a lot of their questions, and i can see them both getting baptized this next transfer. we'll see. they are both super cool though and we always have fun lessons with them. next we have olga, who is a russian psychologist. she is pretty intense. but we have been talking about the plan of salvation lately and she's been really enjoying it. then we have shery and philip. shery is the american lady and philip is her french husband. i think i told you this already, but her son and his wife (who are both strong members from america, they live in missouri i think) came this last week and will be there for about 5 weeks, so they are going to come to church for the next 4 weeks, (seeing as they already came this week and had a way good time. :) she is honestly ready to be baptized, we just have to help philip feel the spirit and then they will both go together. hopefully we can even do it before her son leaves, cause then he could baptise them. that'd be sweet. they are good though, we're going over there this week and we'll get to teach philip for the first time, so that'll be good. as to other people, we have the family bamélé. leo and sylvie and their nephew brandon. he is from togo and she is french, and they are both about 50ish i'd say. they are super good, we've been teaching them for a long time, but they came to church for the second time this week, and it was great. so hopefully we can get them in the habit to come to church and then after that, i think they will get baptized too. they are super nice and they always agree with everything we teach, they just need to decide that they are ready to make the commitment. also, exciting note, this week we had 8 amis at church. honestly it was the best week ever. 19 lessons which is a record for me and then 8 at church which is also suppppper good. missionary work is so fun. i luv it. i wuv france.

this week we also had our exchange with the APs. and that was really good too. i went with elder saguibo, and it was so fun. he is just a really fun loving guy that really easy to talk to and just to have fun with. we honestly had the best time just contacting people. he really reminds me of elder andrus and how we used to contact. cause elder johnson is a really good worker and everything, but he's pretty intense in his contacting. it's kinda just straight down to business. but me and elder saguibo just had the funnest time joking with people and talking to them about the gospel. that's how missionary work should always be. but it was good, we taught a couple of people and we had a lot of fun and i learned a lot. i really enjoy going on AP exchanges and just absorbing everything. c'est bien.

okay so intense experience that we had on sunday night. so we went out to teach someone in an area of caen called grace de dieu. honestly it's just so ghetto. it was intense. it's where alllll the poor people live. and all the africans and muslims that are trying to get legality for france. just really desperate people. so anyway, we go to teach this person, and he meets us at the tram stop and then we walk to his apartment. it's about a 5 minute walk, and we get there. as we are walking along, he's telling us how this place isn't a very safe place, and we believe him haha. there is music blaring and just a lot of shady people walking around. just people who would do anything to get out of their situation. so we walk into his apartment building and it's just shady. we start walking up to his apartment, and we walk up the first round of stairs, and we get to the top of that flight, and on the top there is just something that looks like red paint all over the ground. we walk over it and as we are walking up the rest of the stairs our friend there looks back and said "blood." it was a puddle of blood! crazy huh?? so we taught him quickly and got out of there as fast as possible and are not going back anytime soon. so that was a nice reality check. it's funny how things like that don't even really make us scared though as a missionary. we felt like we should get out of there, so we followed the prompting, and it's just cool because we know that as we follow those promptings we don't have anything to worry about. at least if we're not stupid. so that's what we did, and everything was good. a lesson learned. also, another contributer to not being scared could be that my comp is 6 foot 5, 280 pounds. he eats people haha.

well, that's about everything that i did this week. we taught a lot of people and had a lot of fun. i hope everything is going well there in the states! also, i just barely tried to type with an american keyboard again, and it's terrible. i can't anymore. completely forgot. so i'm probably going to have to use a french one for forever cause i'll be too lazy to switch back and get used to it haha. well, i love you all and hope you have a great week! hugs and kisses.

--
Elder Matthew Meyers
1 rue de la Délivrande
14000 Caen
La France


Monday, September 3, 2012

the chronicles of caen

well, everything is terrific. how goes it at the home? i sent some pictures home so you can see all the exciting things that i'm doing here in the beautiful city of caen! i'm loving life here. everything is going great. this week was really a terrific week with the members. we gave a training this week about working with members and loving them and our amis, and it was super good. so this week we've really been trying to apply the things that we taught. first off, we went to visit a couple members. we went to the family lefoyer, and it was super good. we read a talk that is called the case study of sister susan fulcher, and it was super good. it really talks about how to work with members and how this missionary completely turned a ward around and just lit it on fire. you can prolly find it on the internet if you want. but anyway, the biggest thing that i took from it was attitude. having a positive attitude about missionary work towards the members and just telling them how much we love it. cause honestly, i've had some companions that just try to be the martyr and talk about how hard missionary work is and how hard it is to be away from home and everything like that, but honestly i love it, and it brings me so much happiness. just the simple fact of telling people that changes them completely. we shared a spiritual thought just about how happy we are on missions and how just the fact to share the gospel makes us so happy, then told them it's not just us that can feel this, but you guys can too! you can have this joy too. it just simply comes from sharing the gospel. so that was really good, and the members seemed really inspired and excited to do missionary work too. so that was sweet. then sunday was stellar too. what we did is that we made a calendar to pass around to the members during relief society (cause it's obviously the women who are going to invite us over since the men always just say idk i'll have to ask my wife haha) that had a couple of scriptures on it and a message from us about how we'd really like to come over and really get to know them so we could all work together and such. so we passed that around, and it actually came back to us really filled out. we have about 3 rdvs with members each week for the next month or so. so that was stellar. and hopefully we can get them all excited about missionary work too. then after, we had testimony meeting, and it was great. we had about half of the testimonies that were about missionary work. about how teaching with the missionaries has blessed them and how we all have to help the missionaries and invite them to eat and such haha. it was super good. kinda awkward to translate since it was all talking about how great our missionaries are and such, so that was weird to say back in english, but it's fine. oh also, i don't know if i ever told you, but we do an english translation in our ward. there are often americans that come to see the normandy beaches and we have some amis who speak english, so that's fun. it's super super hard though. i had no idea how hard translating was until i had to do it. and it was killer. by the end of sacrament meeting i'm just pooped. it's great. so that was great seeing the members getting at least a little excited about missionary work. 
hmm. i can't really think of any other things going on here. all of our amis are doing great. we had a sweet rdv with stanley the other day, he's just super funny and he finally really opened up to us and we joked around and it was sweet. the poor guy though is in a sticky situation... he's from nigeria and he's here in france trying to get legality, but he's not in the system yet, so he's half living on the street... he sometimes sleeps at his friends house, but sometimes he sleeps in the train station.. it's super sad. there are honestly a ton of africans here that are trying to get legality but it takes forever and it's really hard because while the try they have almost literally nothing... it's really really humbling seeing people like this who don't really have anything and see how happy they are. turns out happiness doesn't come from having everything after all. that's one lesson i've learned. happiness comes from being happy with what you have. one of my favorite talks is the one from elder uchtdorf in relief society, forget me not. the part about charlie and the chocolate factory is golden. i'm a fan. so there's the sad note for the day. the worst part is that we can't do anything for them. mais bon..

anyway, to end on a good note, we have a bunch of great people that we are teaching right now. we are teaching this american lady, i don't know if i've told you, but her son is a member in the states, and he's coming up for the next 5 weeks, so they will all be coming to church for the next 5 weeks! so that'll be super great. cause the problem isn't the american lady, but it's her husband, who is a french guy who we don't get to see that often but who we're working on all together. cause she would love to get baptized, but she won't until her husband will. so this is our chance to have them all at the church and for them to have just a terrific experience. we're excited. also, mother, thank you for your testimony in one of your recent-ish letters about how things always go better when you put scripture reading and prayers and just heavenly father first. i shared it with this lady last week and she really enjoyed it. so thanks! thanks for all the support and everything that you do! love you all! have a terrific week! à plus!

--
Elder Matthew Meyers
1 rue de la Délivrande
14000 Caen
La France