Monday, September 28, 2015

"Un poulet de cinq kilos, c'est une dinde"

So first off I think I forgot to mention this a couple letters ago, but high school French has been ridiculously useful! Merci merci merci to M. Cookson, Mme. Mosnot, Amar, Mme. Staropoli, and Mme. Coens! The other day I was at a member's house and I heard the dad use the term "petite chou-chou" which I remembered from either middle school or 9th grade. It's been awesome to recognize words or grammar principles that I remember learning way back in Portland :)

Here's how my week went! Wednesday, the day after I emailed last, we went back to Lyon. Holy cow. On the 2 hour train ride there I talked to a sister missionary from Montpellier and practiced French by asking her a bunch of new vocab words and practicing verb conjugation by telling stories from my brother's mission (for example, the snake in the toilet). It was fun, but hard to get all the verb tenses right. Il faut pratiquer! That night we went with about two zones (Geneva and Lausanne) plus some other missionaries to Master Tacos, it was awesome. I met some Tahitian missionaries too who know some of my Tahitian friends from BYUH! :D

Thursday was zone conference, mein very first one. It was really cool to see so many missionaries I hadn't met yet, including my (almost certainly) future companion Elder Bleak! He's really awesome, but had to take off right after the conference so we didn't get to talk much. The conference itself was 2-3 hours of hearing from Président and Sœur Brown and Elder and Sister Adler from the 3rd Quorum of the Seventy. They're from Germany and I believe are Area Presidents for Eastern Europe or something like that. I took good notes from the conference and will definitely be implementing some things I learned into my own life and continually trying to improve and grow. One thing I really liked was a promise from Elder Adler, that if we record our testimony in French (or Chinese as the case may be) and then bear our testimony every day, practicing to make it more natural and more powerful to help people feel the truth of the message we bring, at the end of 30 days we can re-record our testimony and we'll absolutely see that our testimony has grown. Definitely going to be doing that because that's something I've been thinking about lately; exactly how I can help testimony grow and become truly strong instead of just passable. Be letting you all know how that goes sometime next transfer :)

Friday: we stayed in Gex apartment Thursday night after the conference, so Friday we finally made it back to St. Genis after hardly being there at all for about 4 days. That day a member in the branch opened his mission call! He really really wanted to go to Montréal (French people loooove Canada, especially Québec), and he got called to the Canada Vancouver Mission, English speaking. He's super happy and excited and it's super close to chez moi! So if you live in that mission (you know who you are) watch out next year for an Elder Plug from France. Also Friday night I watched Elder Pien eat a whole rotisserie chicken all by his lonesome. We discussed the experience with a member which is where the title of this email came from.

Saturday was super ridiculously awesome! Friday night in our apartment we were planning and it hit us that we basically have no amis anymore and we felt really unproductive because we were gone from St. Genis for so long. We knelt and prayed earnestly that we could find someone to teach. The next day we started to go porting, but quit after about 30 seconds because we both felt that bussing would be way more productive. We started riding buses back and forth from St. Genis to Val-Thoiry (the mall) to CERN and talked to a bunch of people. Normally we'll have about 4 conversations a day with 7 or 8 being super awesome, and that day we had a whopping 22 conversations :D it was also Asian day in the neighborhood, I talked in French to a Malaysian woman and her half-French son, in English to an Indonesian woman and her mother, and in Chinese to a guy from Taiwan who works at CERN. However, the best part was the answer to our prayers! Elder Pien starting talking to a woman who turned around, recognized him as a missionary, and got really excited all of a sudden. Long story short, she started lessons months ago with the missionaries and then lost contact. We tried to find her a few weeks ago but couldn't and had decided to drop her because we couldn't find her, but then she showed up right in front of us on the bus and wanted to keep taking the lessons and come to church and holy cow it was so awesome!! We're definitely going to invite her to watch General Conference this weekend because the living prophets have the inspiration that we need for these days.

And that just happens to be my invitation to you all as well! We're going to have 3 new apostles, which can be sad but you have to remember that God knows what He's doing! In trying times like these, we need the revelation that comes through prophets and apostles in behalf of the whole church, just like Moses, Peter, Paul, and other leaders had in olden days. We're so blessed to have these great people and I testify that you can trust them! Yes they're imperfect people like anyone else, but God will never let the prophets He's called lead the Church astray. So, go watch Conference! :D

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