Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Holidays

bonjour tout le monde! comment ça va?

well, i've been sitting here for like 10 minutes now trying to convince myself that i want to write a letter at this point, but it's not really working haha. but here goes anyway. only cause i love you.

anyway, life here is great. we had a lot of cool experiences this week, had an exchange with elder szuch from the mtc, had christmas! called you guys, and new years is tonight! crazy stuff. packed weeks. so you're not going to get the whole week, but a couple of choice experiences.

so first off, we had a really cool porting experience. this was friday night, we were out doing some porting around the church, and we ported into this man. and it was kinda cold outside, so he invited us in for a couple of minutes. we ended up staying for about 30 and we had a really good talk with him. he was at his mother's house, and she had alzheimers. that's a scary disease. but he was a really nice man and he was singing to her and we got to help her out a little too. but this man was just such a great guy and was so genuine. he is from marseille in the south, and he has some friends that are mormon, he even went to one of their baptisms a couple of months back. but i don't really know why this experience touched me so much, cause we didn't teach any huge lesson or commit him to be baptized or anything, it was mostly just an experience that gave me hope for the world. cause we always hear about all the bad things in the world and how everyone is becoming wicked and yada yada (mike's favorite phrase), but to talk to this man who was there taking care of his dying mother just made me realize that are are still good people out there. i don't really know what it was, there was just a good spirit in the house and we came out feeling all warm and fuzzy. so i don't know if that experience is going to make any sense to you or not, cause i don't really know how to explain it, but it was cool in any case.

nextly, on the way home from that meeting with him, we were just walking home because it was about time to be home, and on the way home, this guy stopped us and asked us if we were the mormons. so we said you betcha, and normally when people do this, they are either looking to yell at your or are nice and drunk or both, but we stopped anyway to talk to him, and he was a really cool guy. turns out that he has an uncle that lives in colorado who has a business partner and friend who is mormon. so we went on about how much he respects him and the mormons and how we went over there and visited temple square and how he loved it and everything. he even told us that he had the contact info of the daughter of the mormon friend, and sure enough, he pulls a paper out of his wallet that is written in american girl handwriting, and guess where the address is? provo utah haha. she's studying at byu. small world. so anyway, we had a nice talk with this man and we got his number so that we could talk another day, and he was just super cool. it really went to show how much an example can do. that is one thing that we don't see very much in france, people who know mormons (seeing as there aren't as many here as there) but it was really interesting to realize how big of a thing an example is and how much that can change the outlook of a whole religion just by the acts of one person. soyez les bons exemples eh?

another exciting thing that happened this week was exchanging with elder szuch. we haven't served together since the mtc, and it was so funny to be with him again. it's amazing how much both of us have changed! me, i have gotten a lot more serious and learned better when not to make jokes and such, and he has loosened up so much haha. he was strung up so tight in the mtc (and that's exactly what i needed) but now he has learned how to have fun while working hard. it was really fun. but what was the weirdest part about it was that we did this exchange on our 18 month mark. so weird. so we were both together for our six month to sexy mark haha. (that's what they call in here. cause we have six months to start looking good again haha) it's amazing to see how much we have improved and changed for the better though. it was good.

last experience was last night. so yesterday we had a rdv at 5 o clock with two younger kids that we contacted the day before. so we get there and they don't show up, so we call them to see what's up, and they say they are on their way. but then a couple of minutes later they call us back, and elder christensen answers, and he doesn't understand what they are saying, and then they hang up. so i call them back and he answers and is just saying n'importe quoi. he just starts telling us that he wants us to stop harrassing him and calling him and says that he doesn't want to talk to us ever again and all this stuff. and it wasn't using the nicest language either. so i tell him okay we just wanted to know so we don't have to sit here, no worries, have a good day. so he continues to say les bêtises and then i hang up. so we figure from this call that they aren't coming anymore (this is just infering ha) so we decide to go home and eat. we leave the church with a prayer to find people on the way home, and in the end, it takes us two hours to walk home because we are talking with so many great people on the way home. it was terrific. but the highlight was this young couple that we contacted that got married in las vegas! haha what are the chances. but they are both french and they speak english pretty well, but they had gone over there to visit and everything and they didn't have the chance to go to SLC, but they wanted to, and so we testify to them about eternal families and it was a stellar contact. in the end, they invite us to come over on thursday to eat dinner and then after we can talk a little about that stuff haha. it was so great. so we are going to go eat at some new amis house and tell them all about mormons and then baptize them! so that was a really cool contact and experience.

so anyway, all in all, it was a pretty good week. i'm happy that the holidays are coming to an end and the work is started to pick up again. we didn't teach a ton of lessons this week, but we did get to teach a lot of people in the streets and find a lot of great people we will be teaching this week. ça va aller.

well, hope everything is going great chez vous (remember what this means?) and that you have a great new year! love you all!

Photos of France

Joyeux Noel!

bonjour tout le monde!
joyeux noël!

can you believe it's already christmas again? oh là. i hope everyone is doing just great and is feeling the great spirit of christmas that is in the air. here in compiègne life is going well. the work is kind of slow at the moment, but should be okay. we are currently still working with about no one, but we're still building and it's really challenging at the moment with all the holidays. there are just so many other things that are going on that we couldn't fix rdvs with anyone last week or this week cause they were too busy preparing for christmas and new years. but we have a list of people a mile long that we need to contact after the holidays, so i think that things should take off again at that point. it's hard because we don't have any solid investigators yet, so no one that is used to us teaching them or knows us, and this time of year isn't really the time of year for strangers, so they don't really let us come teach them at the moment. but it's okay, everything should go fine eventually. patience i suppose. i feel like patience sometimes is an excuse though ha. mais bon, we keep trecking along teaching who will listen.

on the good side of things though, we taught these two guys from kenya who are just so great. they are here for a race that they are running in, they do cross country and they flew out here to run in a race in paris, so that's kind of fun. but they are just so open and so ready to receive the gospel. on the bad side, they went home to kenya this last weekend, but we did give them a book of mormon in swahili and took their numbers and such to give to the missionaries in kenya, so that should be good. they should be coming back in like 3ish months for another race so they said they would call us then.

so on another bright side, the world didn't end on friday! so that's a plus. nothing too exciting happened out here though, we did have a bunch of people tell us about all the crazy things that were going on in the states though. from what i hear, a lot of people made a lot of money selling bunkers and things like that ha. they french wouldn't stop telling us about how funny some americans are. twas a good day.

we also had our christmas conference this week. at the conference, we watched excerpt from a movie that is called Iron Will. i would recommend watching it, cause after our conference that's all i wanted to do. it's about this kid who does everything that it takes to win a sled race and how he does it. you'll have to watch it and tell me what you think. they related it to missionary work and there were a lot of golden things. it talks a lot about how if we really want something then nothing can hold us back from it. it all depends on the desire though. if we don't want it enough then we probably won't get it. there were also a lot of other great things and quotes, but i think you would like it a lot. we have a good president and he has a good wife.

oh also, as to our christmas party where we were supposed to do something, we decided to play and sing o holy night cause we couldn't think of anything else to do, so we got that all ready, did some practicing in any off time that we had waiting for rdvs or something and finally got it ready, at least mostly, and then we go to the party to perform and such. so we go through the whole night, and as it turns out, no one who we had told that we were doing something had ever told anyone else i guess, so we didn't do anything haha. raté. but on the other hand, we did have some good food. and also, the next day, the ward gave us both huge christmas presents filled with candy and yums and such. we have soooo much junk food in the apartment. especially since elder christensen got like 7 packages this week. so we're gonna be fat. at least we do ab ripper X in the morning so we're fine. maybe.

well, as to other things, there is a letter in the mail for you mom and dad, and as to christmas presents, you'll have to wait everyone. sorry but hopefully you still love me. me and elder christensen are putting together a joint package that we will send home someday here to either you or his parents and then you will be forced to go eat dinner with them or something to go retrieve your things. anyways, i'm going to talk to you tomorrow, so you can have a more detailed report of the week then.

love you and have a merry christmas! Unto us is born this day in the city of david a Savior which is Christ the Lord. remember the reason!