Monday, May 2, 2016

The times, they are a-changing

Holy news from back home Batman! Thanks for writing me all you wonderful siblings :)

We had a good week and I shall now attempt to tell you some stuff about it.

After last p-day, I went on exchange in Chalon-sur-Saône as I mentioned in my last letter. It was super awesome, Elder Lindsey's great :) the town reminds me of Portland in the wintertime, just clouds, a cold breeze, and scattered showers aaalllll the time. A bit dreary, but the people there can be surprisingly nice! The people in Lyon too, we almost never have people being straight up rude to us when we try to talk to them. Don't let anyone tell you French people are rude, it's not true!

We got stuck in an elevator. We were heading out of our apartment on the way to the Institute and suddenly it just slammed to a halt halfway past the first floor. Better than falling into the basement, right? We hit the alarm button and struck up a conversation with the lady outside knocking on the door wondering why it wouldn't open, and she called some people to come rescue us. It was fun! Just 30 minutes stuck inside, c'était pas trop grave.

Also my cooking skills are coming along, I don't get much chance to practice because all my companions/Elder Tomlinson are better at it than I am, but I did make a ton of fried rice that was pretty good :) 炒饭很棒。That was for a fun activity we did at the church to help our Chinese amis get integrated with some French JAs (jeunes adultes, French for YSA).

As far as amis go, things are well. We asked our tallest engagée (who has had nearly all the lessons) if she'd like to move her date up and she replied "not at all," but she's still on track for the end of May, so no worries. We have a baptism planned for this Saturday too, so pray that that works out! Baptism is so awesome! We helped our amie getting baptized this week translate her testimony into French and English, it's cool to be able to see the miracles she's experienced during her journey of investigating the Church.

For my spiritual thought, I have a quote that I read recently. It's a little long, but super good:

"Can any of us literally eat bread and think it stone? Or look at a fish and think it a serpent? Or hold an egg and feel a scorpion’s sting? I suppose it is possible for us to experience such illusions, but it would be our perception and not the thing itself that is distorted.
God, not being a product of man’s thinking, is not limited by man’s perception of him, and his ways are not defined by man’s perception of them. We are blessed to live in a time when he has told us how to better know him and his ways if we want to do so. We may taste cold stone or feel the scorpion’s sting in unanswered prayer; or, by trusting his love and learning to perceive his blessings, we may eat bread and fish and eggs, and grow."

God answers prayers, that is certain. Converted members of this church know for certain that God lives, and they know that no earthly knowledge could have allowed them to learn that. No matter what anyone says, truth cannot be changed. We have the truth, which is why I'm out here talking to complete strangers who become fast friends, because we want them to know the truth the same way we do.

If you're not sure if God lives, if this is His church, if the Book of Mormon is true, or if Thomas S. Monson is a prophet who has authority from Jesus Christ himself, go study it. Then think about it. Ask yourself if it could really be true and what that would mean for you personally. Then find a quiet, private place and pray to your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ to know if it's true, and He will let you know. Maybe a voice, maybe just a feeling, maybe some other subtle sign, but He will show you. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that that's true!

Elder Garrett Jensen

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