Monday, April 18, 2016

The Life of a Weary Traveler

I guess I'm not really any wearier than the next man, but I did travel a bit more this past week than I've gotten used to!

A week ago, on Monday night, we went to President Léporé's (stake president) house down south of Lyon for dinner. His wife is American and he speaks impeccable English, so dinner and the ensuing Family Home Evening was all in English. He actually told us that with all the work he does for the Church and going back and forth to Salt Lake City, he's often more comfortable speaking to audiences in English. Also, other members have told us that when he moved back to France relatively recently, his French wasn't that great anymore. Funny how that happens :) But yeah that was a great experience!

The next night we had dinner with yet another American family! The dad is here working in the carbon fiber industry (super cool) and doesn't know how long he'll be here. Super nice guy, but it was super weird to have an American dinner in an American household with American nuances. I love my home country!

On Wednesday, we traveled north to Chalon (my farthest north point in the mission, been there a few times now) for district meeting. It was cool.

Okay, rewind. Tuesday morning was the day Elder Zhu and I got up early and hopped on a TGV to Valence, the furthest south I've ever been in the mission! Not actually that impressive, but it's an accomplishment for me. We arrived after about 40 minutes and looked around a bit, only to realize that we were not where we thought we should be. We'd gotten off at the right stop, but our tickets had brought us to the special TGV gare (train station), not the main gare in central Valence that we wanted. We had to get to Valence-même (basically downtown Valence) early enough to not get held up in a super long line at the prefecture, but here we were like 9 kilometers away from there. Our solution? Buy new tickets! We went to a billetterie and got a couple 1.20 euro tickets for a train from the TGV gare to the normal gare, not a problem. France is pretty good at getting people around without cars.

I'll send pictures, but the most important part was the miracles! If you've ever had to go to a government building to renew a visa in a foreign country/language and not actually had all the documents you needed to renew it, you'll know what I'm talking about. I said so many prayers during that process, and one by one they were answered! We had to run all around town to get photos, stamps, photocopies, give the right papers to the right people, and hope and pray that the things we flat out didn't have and couldn't readily obtain wouldn't be that important. Every time the lady went into the back room to check with her boss if such-and-such document would be sufficient, I prayed that it would all work out, and every time it did. She tried to speak English a couple times to help us out, bless her heart, but she didn't know very much. Thank goodness I get to do that again next transfer for my own legality...

Wish I had more time, but this will have to suffice! I'll finish with a theme I think I use about half the time, and that is that PRAYER WORKS! I know that it does, and I know that it can be easier to see when you're praying for specific miracles, but God hears all prayers. Try this: pray every night for specific people who have specific problems they need resolved, and pray for yourself to feel greater love for your fellow men. You might not notice any obvious changes, but trust in God's timing and trust that He will grant you according to your desires. Often He won't do it until you ask, so go ask and see what happens :)

Love you buckets,

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