Monday, November 30, 2015

Une belle vie dans une belle ville

Tuesday: my first full day in my new sector! Had a rendez-vous with one of our Chinese amis that afternoon. We talked about temples and it went really really well, she's awesome :) we mostly spoke in English because she preferred it that way, although we would generally clarify things in Chinese just to make sure she understood fully. After that we went shopping because we were going to celebrate Thanksgiving gosh dang it and we needed the food to do it. While at the store we grabbed a super awesome whisk too, more on that in a bit. Shopping took a long time, and after that we just went home because we have to be home by dark due to safety precautions in France right now. It was a good chance to unpack, make dinner, and bond with my companion and the Porte-des-Alpes Elders :) also at noon we got me a public transport pass at the gare and we talked to a cool Romanian lady working there, her English was super good and she told us it was because she watched a lot of movies. The evidence speaks for itself, if you want to learn a language, study and watch movies to no end. Also practice with native speakers. And pray. All those things will help.

Wednesday: had a rendez-vous with one of our French-speaking amis! He's from French Guyana and really cool, and he's getting baptized on the 12th, so just a couple weeks :D little miracle of the day: we were teaching at a member's house and I was getting tired (mid-afternoon nap time will get you if you're not careful) and wishing I had something to eat so I could stay awake. As soon as the rendez-vous was finished, this member pulled out cake and juice for everyone! The Lord takes care of his servants :)

Thursday! Potatoes evvveeerrrywhere. We had Thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of our Chinese friends and it was unbelievably amazing! I'll send pictures so you can see for yourself, the food was delicious, partly just because it was made with love. Elder Bleak and I aren't professional chefs but we made some awesome mashed potatoes (you would've been proud, Dad). Turkey was nowhere to be found so got two chickens and then confessed to the girl we had the rendez-vous with and her roommate that we had no idea how to cook a chicken. They took over from there and made delicious chicken for everyone. A Chinese member whom Elder Bleak baptized about three weeks ago is an amazing cook, and she made one of the most American apple pies I've ever seen. Man, everything was super good and everyone contributed something. Elder Tomlinson made the roll dough for us because he's nice, but the pretzel salad was an utter disaster. After making our own whipped cream by using our fancy new whisk for 20 minutes and getting an awesome tricep workout, it wasn't thick enough and the jello flowed down into the pretzels and made sweet raspberry flavored mush that just made you feel sad. Ça arrive des fois. We had a really great time with all our friends anyway and they all really enjoyed learning what an American Thanksgiving is like!

Quick note about our friends: they're all university students working on their Master's degrees and just barely older than we are, so it's really easy to quickly form friendships and not seem like a robot with no feelings who just wants to teach lessons and baptize people. Missionaries are real people! We're friendly, really :D

Friday: fun day today! We went to the Vieil Ville and saw some super cool things. Not too many Chinese people (unusual, apparently normally there are lots) but we saw the St. Jean Cathedral and lots of cobblestones and talked to a really enthusiastic French dude that met some missionaries I think in Ecully, out in West Lyon. He invited us to come to his restaurant, so we'll probably be back there sometime soon. We met one of our Chinese amis at the library where he was studying and then got Burger King with him, apparently you're allowed to eat in French libraries... actually maybe just that one, there was a snack bar inside anyway. It's the big bibliothèque right across from the Gare Part-Dieu in Lyon, check it out on Google street view if you want! It's huge.

Saturday: so awesome. Baptism!! We went to the Ecully chapel (not where we go to church, the other chapel in Lyon) and attended the baptism of a Nigerian guy who was taught by the Confluence French Elders, currently Elders Acheson and Keller. This guy is also the best friend of our French Guyana-an ami, so today we had this new member help us teach our ami about tithing. It was cool :) on the way back from the baptism I talked to an old, super nice French lady on the bus about how pretty Lyon was (holy cow Lyon is so beautiful. Crossing the Rhône or the Saone when the sun is going down and all the buildings and the water are reflecting the light and you can see the basilica on top of Fourvière... ahhhh it's so amazing). That night we played a Chinese card game at the Institute and made two new friends because of it! They were both going to come to church the next day, but one ended up having too much homework and the other had to go to the doctor, oh well. We'll see them again this week, and we did have a couple friends at church anyway!

Sunday: Elder Bleak had to do the French-English translation at church for a few people, and then he had to teach the lesson in Sunday School on the fly. He's impressive. Church is super awesome! If you haven't been to an LDS church service, I formally invite you to go to one this Sunday. You'll like it! :D

Wow, long letter. Ça va. I love you all and I know that this church is true! I mentioned that we taught our ami about tithing today. Some people have cool stories about huge miracles that happened because they paid tithing. I don't have one of those stories, but I do have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that I've kept God's commandments. In the end, that's just as good or better! I've heard it said that it's easier to live the Gospel 100% than it it to live it 98%. I wholeheartedly agree with that, the more commandments we keep the more we realize the blessings that God promises really do come! If there's anything going on in your life that you know isn't in accordance with God's laws, try changing it and see what happens! I know that you'll see greater peace and happiness if you do.

Have a good week!

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