Monday, July 25, 2016

Pics: various


Leaf heart


Chinese recent converts from Lyon were on vacation in Toulouse today!

The goddess Minerva watching over Toulouse (the roof she's hovering
over is the same one you see out the window on the right)

Chinese buffet (yes I spoke Chinese with the people working there)

Pics & a movie

Playing with a dog

Under the bridge (pretty nice place)

St. Lizier (right next to St. Girons)

Old missionary clothes

Drinking apple cider on my birthday :D

Pics: Various sights

Four fat sausages frying in a pan

The instructions said to grill them, and we don't have a grill

Capitole Elders' balcony

Practically raw Basque-style burgers

Oh hello symbol of French religiosity

Hill fort thing

St. Girons centre ville

Pics: European Cup, Companions, & Trains

Looking for some French supporters during the European Cup? Better flag these guys down... HAHAHA

Elder McKenzie (in his first transfer, hehe) sleeping on the train to Bordeaux

Elder Bleak, one of my bestest collègues. He goes home in a week :'(

Bordeaux Gare, complete with woman leading the armies of Gondor

Congratulations to one and all :)

Dear Mom and Dad, Happy Golden Silver Anniversary!!

Sure ain't every day that a couple is married (for time and all eternity) on the 25th of the month for 25 years and running! 我爱你们!

Speaking of fun occasions, the Office Elders called me this morning for my birthday, and it freaked me and Elder Peron out because any day now some Elder will be getting called as the new Assistant... so yeah, don't worry I don't think I'm the new AP. If I am, you'll find out next week. The office elders and office senior couples all sang Happy Birthday to me, it was super sparky and awesome :)

Elder Peron likes catching lizards whenever he sees them, and the other day he caught a little one at the bus stop. It was opening its mouth to eat us, so I let it bite a leaf and then we very gently played tug-of-war.

As for my actual birthday my family, we always had the tradition that on a kid's birthday they didn't have to do any household chores. So what did we do for my birthday in France? The France Lyon Mission Declutter Olympic Games of course! We spent a while in the apartment cleaning up all the old clothes missionaries have left behind and throwing away random other old junk. It was actually kind of fun, I got to try on all the funny old stuff that missionaries wisely left behind :) for example, the destroyed shoes of Elder Walters! He was (practically) my first district leader for the whole time I was in St. Genis and he finished his mission here in Toulouse Concorde.

This morning we were in a Monoprix (French grocery store) and they were playing the Nutcracker over the speakers 0.o normally the music is modern pop or rock or stuff, but today was special. It was cool :)

What else what else... we went to St. Girons! We have a cool Tahitian member who lives there so we went to visit him and did yardwork and played with a dog next to a river.

Many pictures and things to come, sorry I've been slacking a tad in that department.

Spiritual thought! Accept your faults, and the faults of others, and the Lord will accept you! In church I heard something I really liked, which was that if you don't judge people, you love them. It's true! We wonder as missionaries how to love everybody the way Christ did, but really if you can just get past the outward appearance or their less-than-Christlike upbringing, you'll see them for who they really are: a child of God! :D everyone is one, so everyone should be thought of and treated like one. That is all :)

Love you!!

Elder Jensen

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pardon my lateness

Yesterday we were helping some members move (actually the sister and brother-in-law of a dude I knew in St. Genis way back when) and it took longer than we thought, so that's why we're writing emails today. But a bunch of stuff has happened since then!

First of all, Happy Birthday Dad!! Sorry it's a little late coming, but here it is anyway :)

Second of all, I got to see the inside of the Capitole Elders' apartment and it's super cool. There were Chinese things and it made me happy. On Tuesday night, Elder Peron and I slept over at their place and got up at 4:15 amto get ready and catch our 6:11 am train to Zone Conference... Bordeaux :) I finally made it out west! However, we ended up being late to the conference because only two of the six people in our little band of travelers had been to Bordeaux before, and it was only once. Therefore, we got lost and couldn't find the chapel until almost half an hour after the conference started. Whoops.

I got to see Elder Bleak at the conference! He's been in Lormont for the past four transfers and will be going home in less than two weeks :'( However, it comes full circle because, if the records we've received are correct, the next Chinese Elder to arrive in our mission reported to the MTC on the same day as the conference! :D

We were sad to hear about the attack that happened in Nice. To our knowledge no missionaries or members were hurt, which is nice to know especially for those who know the members and missionaries down there (for example my last collègue Elder Zhu). More on this later...

On Saturday we had Samedi Sportif, which is when we try to get young adults (or anyone who wants) and our amis to come play basketball, soccer, volleyball, anything to help newcomers make friends. Not many people showed up, but we talked to some people at church on Sunday who said they would come next week. After that we got lunch at a burger place that didn't cook the meat all the way through (i.e. practically didn't cook it) because apparently you don't need to. Who knew.

This Friday is my birthday! Super crazy to remember that my 19th birthday was in the MTC and we celebrated with chips and salsa and Q-tips spelling out "Happy Birthday" on the ground. Here I am about to celebrate my 20th birthday (finally a legal adult in Japan) and I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm sure it'll be the best birthday ever though :)

* * * * * * * * * * * little thought today is a little more about the attack in Nice. With the relatively recent events in Paris, Brussels, and now Nice, it's easy to see how opposed Satan is to this work. A lot of people here and around the world question, "If God is so loving, why does he allow this kind of thing to happen?" I can't help but think that the devil himself is trying to take the French people as far away from God as possible so that next year, when the Paris temple is dedicated, practically no one will enter in. I want to promise you all that IT WON'T WORK! Allow me to share this scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants, section 76, verse 3:

"His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand."

Have a great week :)


Monday, July 11, 2016

Pics & Videos: various

Garrett didn't send any commentary on these pictures, but they look nice!  There are two videos at the bottom...

Truc Eagle

About that title: on the way to the church to do emails, we saw a bunch of kids doing some sort of science fair or exposition or something. They were riding these crazy contraptions, basically bikes and wheelchairs with a bunch of junk attached, like really ghetto parade floats. One of the kids had named his float "Truc Eagle," which basically just means "Eagle Thing." It was funny :)

I have very little time, but a lot to say! First off, what the heck is happening with the Olympics? I have heard absolutely ZERO things about it, and in my head they should be happening like this week. The one indication I have that they still exist is that several days ago, I saw a dude on the bus wearing a "Rio 2016" lanyard. That's it :( Someone fill me in please!

Second: France lost the European Cup...? We heard a bunch of honking last night which usually means France won the match, but this morning we got a text from one of the young adults saying we'd lost. Still, made it to the finals, a lot better than usual! [?]

We had a great district meeting and then finding day in Montauban last week. Elder Smith (our zone leader from Texas) and I cooked up a bunch of crêpes for lunch, t'was super delish.

Thursday was unusual: we spent the morning doing service at the house of some Protestant people who are friends with a super awesome family in the ward. We ate a ton of pizza and discussed our beliefs, it was cool. After that we went and saw another family in the area who was super excited to watch the match that night. We went straight from there to the store where we got ultra-freshly squeezed orange juice, and from there to another family's house way out in the countryside for dinner. It was suuuuuper peaceful and awesome out there. Always have a house with a big yard :)

Friday was unusual as well: We went to Pau! I had to do my legality since I've passed my year mark, and we had a great adventure. I would love to tell you more about it, but I have no time left, so sorry :( Until next week, suffice it to say that there was a castle, a giant rat, and a City of Miracles (not Pau).

For my spiritual thought, I'd like to share a little bit of what I shared in my talk that I gave in sacrament meeting yesterday! It went pretty well I think. The lesson I shared is this: if you have the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, don't wait! Use it! Share it! Enjoy it! I shared my experience of leaving the MTC to come to France and how I lost my bottle of Perrier because I had forgotten to drink it and then I accidentally tried to send it through airport security. In the same way, we can forget how wonderful this gospel is and take it for granted, but when Christ comes in His glory, we don't want to be judged as slothful and unwise servants and be cast out! That would be sad. Live the Gospel TODAY!

Love y'all :)

Jensen Chōrō

Monday, July 4, 2016

July the 4th be with y'all 🇺🇸🎆💥🏈🎇💵🇺🇸

Hey y'all! We had a good week, with pas mal de miracles :)

Miracle number one: we were at the church doing something on the computer, and the phone rang in the bishop's office next door. No one else was there, so we decided to answer it just in case it was important. The woman on the other end wanted to talk to the bishop, but since he was out of town we took her number and volunteered to help. We figured right off the bat that she was a less-active that no one had heard from in a while. A couple days later, we went by her place to see if we could help her with anything. We went with a member who noticed faster than we did that she was using some religious terminology a little different than we normally use in the church, about bishops and baptism and marriage and stuff. As it turns out, this lady had never even heard of our church! She was 100% Catholic and just called the first "bishop" she saw in the phone book. Fortunately, the member with us had served his mission in Italy and knew the Catholic church really well thanks to that, so he was able to explain how our Church is different more effectively than we could. This woman is going through a tough patch in her life right now, so we were able to give her some comfort and she even came to church the next day! One of our awesome members really took her under her wing, we hardly saw her for the whole three hours :) missionary work works waaaayyy better with members!

Miracle number two: Elder Peron was calling random people out of the phone on Saturday to invite them to church. He had taken a little break and then had barely picked up the phone again when he saw a potential ami listed there. He had the impression to call him directly (not send a message or anything), so without a second thought he did. Voilà the conversation (although it was in French):

Dude: Allo?
Elder: Bonjour, it's the missionaries! How are you?
Dude: Very good! How are you?
Elder: Doing great! We were just wondering if you'd like to come to church with us tomorrow?
Dude: Sure! Where is it?
Elder: (gives church address)
Dude: And what time?
Elder: 2:00.
Dude: Great, I'll be there!
Elder: Cool, see you tomorrow!
Dude: See you tomorrow, bye!

Miracle number three: we had just left our apartment to go to church when a car pulls up next to us and the woman inside calls out: "Hey les Mormons! Les Mormons!" Normally that's a red flag for someone rather unpleasant, but we turned around anyway to see what she wanted. She asked if we were, in fact, the Mormons, and then asked: "Where's your church? I haven't been in a long time and I'd really like my 15-year-old daughter to start attending." Needless to say, we promptly gave her the address and our phone number.

"For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened; and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name." (Doctrine & Covenants 35:8)

Elder Jensen

Pics: Food, Maps, and Flags

This is for Courtney :)

What our mission used to be...

What our mission is now...

Just had to throw this in.... since it's July 4th today.

Pics: French countryside & Mac-Do drive thru

French countryside - it's beautiful!

Mac-Do drive-thru in a member's décapotable (convertible) :D

Leave Hawai'i for over a year and this is what happens...