Monday, October 12, 2015

French pants (sorry, trousers)

Sorry about the confusion, transfer calls were last Friday, the 9th, so today is the first day of the new transfer. Put that on your calendars folks! Every six weeks, so the next one will start November 23rd.

This week was good! We had our first rendez-vous with a friend of a member. They're trying to keep their distance a bit because they're more about understanding right now than believing, so we're definitely trying to respect that. If there's one thing we shouldn't do as missionaries, it's force people into baptism. Once a person is baptized they've accepted a new responsibility from God. If they're not ready or don't fully understand what choice they're making, we're doing them a huuuuge disservice by baptizing them. Work on the Lord's time, not your own. He knows best!

On Thursday night we stayed in Gex. We do that a lot so it's not that special. Oh well. Friday Elder Pien and I hopped on a train to Chambéry which was fun. The branch had an activity going on that night where the Elders were putting on a musical program of singing, piano, and guitar (Elder Beck does all three) so they invited Elder Pien and I to join them. It was fun to help them out with singing hymns and to get to meet the members down there. We had delicious kebab too before the activity at a place owned by an Arab guy named Bob. Also I went on a quick exchange with Elder Beck while Elder Pien and Elder Spencer were eating. We went and taught Tony, the guy that got baptized at the beginning of last transfer in the swimming pool by the storybook house on a hill in Aix-les-Bains. He's doing really well! It's great to see converts that stay when you see so many less-actives and just wish they could've stayed active in the first place.

Backtracking a little bit, Friday morning we got our transfer calls! We thought I'd be leaving to Lyon or Toulouse or something, so it was a bit of a shock when President talked to Elder Pien first and told him he'd be going to the Chinese équipe in Toulouse! It's basically the opposite of what we expected. Whitewashing is becoming more and more rare which means I'm staying in St. Genis! My third transfer here, which isn't bad. It's a nice place and there are still plenty of things for me to do here :) I'll be receiving Elder Jenkins who is from Atlanta, Georgia and has red hair. I thought I was going to meet him today, but apparently he doesn't arrive until tomorrow morning (odd). It's been a crazy day, I tell you that. We woke up at 5:00 this morning to get Elder Pien to his 7:30 train to Lyon along with a bunch of other missionaries including Sœur Kehl and Elder Price who are now finished with their missions :( I stayed in the gare with people from Geneva and Lausanne Zones until two minutes before the next train to Lyon when Elders Walters, Loosle, and Kettler finally got tickets. We sprinted while pulling suitcases up to the quai/voie whatever it is in English and got those three on their train literally 10 seconds before it pulled out. Soooo crazy! But yep, we got some exercise today :) that left just two missionaries, me and Elder Hladky who is currently Lausanne Zone leader, from Austria, and super awesome. It's his last transfer too, along with Elder Tihopu and Elder Rosas. All three super awesome people, I'm going to miss them a lot :(

About the title, Elder Pien left me some of his proselyting pants which are normal French style, a.k.a. slim fit. It's like whatever. And I corrected it to "trousers" because, due to the craziness of this morning, I've spent the day with Elder Tihopu who learned British English at home in Tahiti, Elder Smith from Doncaster England, Elder McKee who is English but has lived basically everywhere in the world, Elder Herf from France, and Elder Rosas who is from Argentina/Ireland. Who said all Mormon missionaries were straight outta Utah? :D

We told a lot of pictures at church yesterday so that Elder Pien would be able to remember people, he loved loved loved the branch and the zone here, it was hard for him to leave but we both trust in the Lord that he's going where he's needed and that all will be well! My spiritual thought of day is as follows:

The Lord will provide, and He will do so in His own time. Sometimes that means when you least expect it! Today all six of us were shopping for food at the mall and a random woman walked up, greeted us in near perfect English, handed us a bunch of Toblerone, told us to keep smiling and left. It was crazy, so we casually chased her down to find out who she was. As it turns out, she's an inactive member who we've been wanting to see for a long time but never got ahold of her. All of a sudden, here she is in the mall on preparation day handing us chocolate! We all talked about sports for a long time and just before leaving I got her number so Elder Jenkins and I will definitely be meeting with her soon :) the Lord is aware of His servants, watch for His blessings in your life and you will see them, I promise!

Return with honor,
Elder Jensen

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