Monday, September 14, 2015

Invite Your Friends to Church!

Another summer gone, another first day of school finally arrived. That's great that Carter loves school! Let's just hope he keeps that attitude for another 12 years or so... I also was pretty sure that Kellie had started high school but what little part of my mind is still rational wouldn't let me believe it. However, I guess I just have to face the fact that people are still growing up in the real world, though my mental image of home is on pause right now. Good luck to you all and work hard, it pays off!

This past week has had some experiences like any missionary's week should, so here we go! Last Monday was that crazy hike up the Juras, and the next day after doing necessary stuff in the apartment we had very little time to actually go out and work. In the evening we walked through a field and a small forest to visit some people we thought were Hispanic but soon discovered were actually Togolese. The person we wanted to see is in Togo right now, but her sister was there and after a fun conversation with her (Africans are awesome) she suggested we come back in a week or two. We had to get home after that so we walked back through the small forest and the field in the dark, which was uhh fun.

Wednesday morning we had something going on but I don't remember what it was. In the afternoon we went back over to a member's house and helped him tear down wallpaper for the 3rd week in a row, and we're going back again this week. It's a small room, but stubborn papier peint. We had a mangez-vous that night with a couple in the ward and their grandson who is probably about 3 years old. He's funny. We had juice made of fruit from the member's backyard which we'd picked about two minutes before, it was potent stuff but really good. Also we tried some Italian soda stuff that kind of tastes like bitter Dr. Pepper and I didn't entirely dislike it. I was told you can't find it in France though, sad face :( We had fresh croque-monsieurs and various kinds of cheese as an appetizer (that's one stereotype that is actually true, these people eat cheese all the time, it's incredible). Travel tip: If you're planning to visit this part of France, get used to many kinds of cheeses and shrimp!

Thursday we had zone training, which was cool. That day was some Geneva-based holiday that we knew nothing about (called Young Genevan or something like that?) so all the bus times were messed up. Therefore, we walked from our apartment to the CERN tram stop in Switzerland and still got there before the next bus would have come. On the way we saw a potential ami from French Guyana who is super cool but almost impossible to find waiting at another bus stop. We were really excited to see him and waved from across the street, but we had literally no time to stop and talk because we had to get to Geneva for zone training. It was sad, hopefully we can find him again this week. We got to zone training the very moment that it started, so I guess slow and steady does win the race. It was cool to see the new people in our zone that have only been here for two weeks now, including several like Elder Strong and Elder Lapointe that I had heard of in blogs I read before the mission, but never met. Now I've met them! Our zone is super cool, I'll be sad to leave it when that time comes. Oh also the Assistants came, which was a surprise but cool to have them there. In the evening we taught English class and a lesson on the temple to exactly one person, a 28 year old woman from Japan whose husband works at CERN. Her English is already really good, which is convenient because her French isn't amazing yet and we don't speak Japanese. The sad news is that she's leaving for Japan this week and will be there for a month! Really a bummer, but I hope she's still interested when she comes back. Also that night for dinner I ate a whole pizza by myself, don't worry about it.

I'm running out of time but Friday was great! We went to Collonges which is a petite ville way down in the south of our sector, it's essentially deserted and a little creepy in the middle of the day but in the evening when work and school finish it's a little more lively and fun to be in. We did some porting, had no success, and then realized we hadn't said a prayer. We prayed to be able to find someone to talk to and almost immediately knocked on the door of a woman who had attended the baptism of the son of a woman in the branch, really loved it, and actually met with the missionaries before even though we'd never heard about her. We had a nice conversation with her until she had to go answer the phone, and then a few minutes later we ran into that member in the branch (her son was baptized last year and we found out that he, a little 8 year old kid, had invited all his friends and schoolteachers to his baptism. Despite the snow and long commute, 100 people showed up!! Talk about member missionary work!). We didn't even know she lived in Collonges, but she knows about everyone in town and has quite the list of people she thinks we could teach. There's definitely work to do there :D

Saturday we met with a part-member family and tried to extend some invitations, but it didn't go as well as we'd hoped. Despite trials and plans that fall through, it's important to remember that we always work on the Lord's time. We shouldn't think we know what's best for people because we don't! Only God knows people's hearts and minds perfectly and He will guide us to do His will if we're willing to do it.

D&C 58:27,

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