Sunday, December 1, 2013

Elder Crossman Has Returned

Hello everyone, this is the former Elder Crossman, now Luke Crossman.  Today I am writing exclusively to you blog audience, oh how special.

So as the title says I have come home from my mission in southern France.  It was incredible.  A life changing experience for me, and I hope that I had some part in helping change other lives as well.  I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  When I got on and saw how many hits I had gotten, I was quite surprised.  I hope that it helped you in some way or just made you smile.

I am back to work and going to school this January.  I have considered continuing this blog, in hopes of keeping it related to missionary work/spiritual things... I am still undecided, because I might also like to finish it and leave it as a memorial of sorts for my mission.  I think it could be good for people if I put the perspective of a return missionary here to give my point of view so family might understand their missionary better, or maybe random bits about France as a missionary... I just don't want this to end up like so many American television programs where you keep churning out content until the creativity bucket has really gone dry, the whole thing crashes, and you end up leaving with a little disappointment. 

Things to ponder on.  For now, I would like to say again that Jesus is the Christ, our savior and redeemer, the very son of God.  His church has been restored again to us through modern day prophets.  If you are not a member of my faith, and you wish to learn more, here are a couple handy websites:

May God bless you and keep you.  La France est un beau pays ou des miracles se passent tous les jours.  Good bye and Good night!

Here is a photo of me in normal human clothing... I just thought photos make everything more entertaining.

Coming Home October 28, 2013

Hi everyone, so I am in the office in Lyon.  I got on a train at 7H20 in the morning.  And now I'm here.  President is doing interviews. I have not had mine yet.  We have had a cool group discussion about things to do going home.  I won't go into details here, secret combinations and such.  So  I am in a weird... state right now.  i am not too focused.  I feel a lot like I did at the beginning of my mission.  Well.  I don't think I'll be able to call from dallas, but I'll be there don't worry.
I love you very much... we might have beef stroganof for dinner, sister Roney asked for my favorite plate, and I said that.  I figured I can't  get mexican.  Well see you later... tomorrow.  Love you!

Perpignan October 21, 2013

Hello everyone to this last episode of Elder Crossman on mission.  next week we will have the special closing ceremonies, but it will not be a normal email due to time restraints.  However the host and its crew would like to ask the audience to send in their letters for next week.  They will still be appreciated.  So yeah, I wouldn't mind if you sent me a quick email to let me know you will not forget me at the airport, or will move last minute and not tell me ha ha.

 so Let's go to the questions.

No I have not written the primary.  i have got quite a few people to write while I'm here, and the time is not slowing down.  
I didn't get what you meant by do I get a burner or a phone... I don't get a phone for the trip home, I just have to hope that you are there by 7 50 or whenever the plane comes in.  

So I don't know when I'll be going into the mission home, but it will be by train.  Probably early Monday morning.  I figure I won't have much time do m'amuser in Lyon.  

I never went to pick people up at the airport, but I did take the plane to Bordeaux when I was zone leader in Lyon.  So I have been to the lyon airport before.  It is cool and futuristic looking, but it is very small.  Instead of going ton teh jetwayss you just walk onto the runway and get on the plane directly.  The bordeaux airport is even smaller.  a plywood box with a long runway basically.  The flights here are really cheap though, so I guess you can't complain.  I think Lyon to BOrdeaux costs about 30 euros with easy jet.  

For registering.  I think France is only 7 hours ahead of you.  Maybe I'm wrong.  but nonetheless.  I will more than likely be on a train or at a train station at 7 or 8.  It is about 7 hours of train to Lyon from here, so I probably won't even be in Lyon until the afternoon.  Could you get JJ to do it?  and to practice beforehand so he knows where to go?

David is doing great.  he got the aaronic priesthood yesterday, and is excited to do some home teaching.  He really is shining... and has a new suit and a place to live now.  Though apparently he isn't a very good truck driver, so hopefully he gets better or finds a new job.

Gedemias won't be baptised this weekend sadly.  he still will be eventually, but we just were not able to see him..; rather he wasn't able to see us this week, so we have too much to teach him in too little time.  

Our other amis are doing well.  Daniel and his wife Alicia are progressing little by little.  Yesterday we set another rdv with a spanish family that we talked with in the road, and another with a young student kid, so things are going well.

Yes I have a good ammount of money still

Yes send me an email

What robe?

So I forgot my planner, so I cannot really give you a day to day sory.  But we did go to carcassonne this thursday for district meeting.  That is a super pretty ville.  After district meeting, I gave a baptismal interview for a guy who pâssed and was baptised last saturday and confirmed yesterday.  That was fun.  I was planning on doing another interview, but that didn't work out, so we ended up in carcassonne with two hours til our train and nothing to do.  We decided to go contacting around la cité.  A huge cathedral where they filmed the original Robin Hood.  it is stunning, and I think it is the biggest castle in our mission, if not all of France.  We also popped inside for a second, and we were able to talk with two families from south america, a family from Romania, and an australian couple... still doing missionary work, just in cool places.

Then this Saturday We had a soirée talent.  I played Guitar for my last hurah, people said I did good even though I messed up on one of the verses on a poor wayfaring man of grief. There were some other funny and good acts too.  We had 20 non members there, and we fixed a rdv with a couple of them.

Anything else that happened of note?  we played football (soccer) with some amis and young adults saturday morning, yes that's approuved, if you are smart about it.  I scored three goals, and one of the amis there accepted to come to church and came! voilà

There are quite a few sick people in our district, and apparently it is true for the mission as well since I just recieved my prompt for district meeting this week and it is about physical emotional and spiritual health.  it is an oddly practical theme. Normally, it is something more like... Opening your mouths or consecrating yourself or something like that.  

Well i still don't feel like I'm going home.  I know I have my ticket, and I know I will leave, but it just feels like I'll be here foreve.  I really think it is the Lord blessing me because I am not getting trunky.  

I'll see you in .;. eight days now.  toodles, tell monte that I love him and that I still havn't forgotten that I promised him a steak.  I love you all as well.  Read your scriptures every day, and go to chruch every week.  I am getting a little tired or hearing less actives excuses for not coming to chruch, because "people don't care about me" or "I'm tired and busy" or "I can pray at my home" or "everyone who goes to church is a hypocrite"  I hope I can keep things simple in my life and remember that God has asked me to be at church every week even if I don't see why all the time.  when you do things for the right reasons, and you have the spirit with you, all your problems seem so small, and even the big ones don't matter in the long run.  i realize I am not talking from lots of experience, and that I am in a sort of missioniary spirit steroid thing, but it is so simple.  Recherchez d'abord le royaume de Dieu et le reste vous sera donné.  God's rules are simple and he always makes good on his promises.  My very very favorite scripture that I have read and quoted a lot on my mission is Jean 14: 21-27

Si quelqu'un m'aime, il gardera ma parole, et mon père l'aimera; nous viendrons à lui, et nous ferons notre demeure chez-lui. ... Je vous laisse la paix, je vous donne ma paix.  Je ne vous donne pas comme le monde donne.  Que votre cœur ne se trouble point, et ne s'alarme point. 

In keeping the commandments, we have the paix du seigneur with nous... us.   But it is not peace as the world gives (essentially finantial security and superflu) .  just do what is right and let the consequence follow.  I just wish I could make other people understand this... and I really hope that I don't forget it.  I know if I do what I shoudl than I won't, but I shoudl be wary.  

Anyway there is my discous et mon temoignage que je vous laisse avec toute mon amour, et mille corbeilles de bisous.  Je vous verrai la semaine prochaine, c'est fou pas vrai?

CIAO!  Guerra Missionario! 

Perpignan October 14, 2013

Hey;  Thank you for telling me you know what to do for classes.  It would be super cool to get that schedule that I wanted.  So we will go to teh questions:
David is gereat.  i confirmed him,a nd he brough yet another friend to church.  We fixed a rdv with the guy too. 
Yes I recieved answers to conference.  in fact just as the music was going for the first session I jotted down a few questions I had, and within the first two or three talks, I had answers to them.  These people are really inspired and know what they are talking about. 
Let's see any other questions??? Well for the front seat of zone conference, It is not reserved for dying missionaries, but I thought you would appreciate it, so I took a seat in front. On the left of the row behind me is  Elder Cueva and eElder Castillo. 
Yes, so I will possibly only mail you once more, and then I'll do instant messaging apres.  I have seen before dying missionaries use the computer in the office to write their families, but there is only one comp, and lots of missionaries, so I will try and write a little something, but It probably won't be the full blown day by day.  I'll give you theat the next evening.  Unless I fall asleep which is highly possible.
What happened this week?  Tell us Elder.

Thanks Elder, well this week has been magical and full of success, if you look at the graphic, we can see the seven day forecast.

Monday:  we taught Gedemias, one of David's friends who is super golden.  We fixed the 25 october as his baptism.  He said Mas pronto when we asked him (sooner), but he'll just have to wait til then because we need time to teach him everything ha ha.    After that lesson, we went to a place called Colliour, a beach town about 40 mins from here on Bus.  ti is a super pretty beach town on the mediterranian. We took pictures, saw the little church on the little island that is famous, and explored the little pretty roads.  Gorgeous, it looks just like those paintings of France, the light is perfect, old castles on the sea... Fun fun... there were also two naked people on the naked beach section... odd, unfortunatley you had to walk past the naked people to get to the tourist part. ay yay ya y this apostate world.  Then that evening we took the train to Montpellier for our zone conference.  It is a combines zoine conference, so we had it in Aix-en-Provence!  Remember that place?  So since it is kina far, we went to montpellier the day before and stayed in the elder's apt.
Tuesday:  Zone conference.  Lots of fun.  Inspirational.  I was the only one in my dying group there, so I was the only one who bore my testimony.  President made a joke about me as well, he asked me a question saying I should know the answer because I was the oldest missionary there.  Good fun.  What was great is that Elder Call, Arrington, Frandson, Gruber, Swenson, Castillo and Cueva were there.  Seven of my collegues!  That usually never happens.  Afterwards I scrambled to get them all together to take a pickure.  Then that evening we got to montpellier.  Talked to some people, and went to bed.
Wednesday:  Took the train back to Perpignan, there were train strikes, so instead of going to Perpignan directly like our ticket said, we had to take a train to Narbonne and wait for two hours for a connecting train to go to Perpignan.  It was a little annoying, but Soeur Receveur's mother had sent her the seminary general conference Jepoardy, so we played that.  It si more fun as a missionary.  We got back finally, taught a less active Bruno.  Then saw an old slightly crazy member, and then had dinner with a partially active family who live in an enormous house.  Possibly one of the nicest houses I have been to on my missin... for dinner we had... Domino's, they were not home all day and didn't have time to cook, but we had been craving pizza earlier, so we were happy.
Thursday:  Had a couple raté-vous, then Taught Raul a guy we had contacted on the street.  he is nice... on drugs or something, but nice.  Then we did calles and tried to pass less actives etc

Friday:  planning, saw our friends Judicaël and Lilian... they are both dropped.  They just aren't progressing/ we think that one of them is ligitimatly crazy.  Then we taught english class and had the baptism of the sister's amis, Alain and Catherine.  It was a really good service.  I made tiramissou which when the sisters said the elders made it, everyone was surprised because it was good.
Saturday:  Had the William's couple from Toulouse over to inspect our apt.  It was good they brought us some needed materials like cleaning supplies, bath mat, etc.  Then we gave blessings to a couple less active sisters  and taught them.  And had a great lesson/ dinner with Daniel and his Wife (a couple from south america)  and Croque Monsieurs, the best I have ever had.  The lesson was all in spanish, and I was able to say a few sentences, but mostly the other two elders talked and translated for me.
Sunday:  Curch.  David Alain and Catherine were all confirmed.  The ward was super happy.  Then we fixed lots and lots of rdvs for this coming week, and ate athe family Meunier's house.  She is from Vietnam and made us some vietnamise food mixed with French stuff.  It ended up being super super good.  Lots of salt and spicy but amazing!  Then we did lots of contacting, calls, and such.
So voilà.  I was just thinking that I really only have two weeks left.  I feel as though I have not been here very long.  Meaning my mission total.  Though I think back to the MTC and that feels like ages ago. It is interesting.  Tiem is a weird thing.  I am really excited to see you.Dont forget Sunday at midnight, so actually monday the 28th, but midnight between Sunday and Monday to register for my classes.  I will do a suivi with you after to make sure you have kept your engagements.

How many people ended up coming to presthood session?

Je vous aime tellement.  Vous me manquez beaucoup, et j'attends notre rencontre avec impatience.  Soyez sage et restez fidèles.  Ne vous égarez point du bon chemin, il n'y a pas de choses toutes nouvelles à la réunion de la prêtrise, et tous les discours sortent dans le magazine alors je ne comprends pas pourquoi ces femmes veulent la regarder...  Bin Bref, encore nous disons notre au revoir.  Que Dieu soit avec vous ce jour et pour toujours.  BYE

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Perpignan October 7th, 2013

The amis are doing well, and I did send the letter to the primary class.

Monday: We went to a big cathedral, and then looked around the centerville.  And then we visited the big castle in the middle of the city.  It was lots of fun, not super interesting honestly, just lots of empty stone rooms, but still it was fun. Then we slept and did some porting.

Tuesday:  Got our stove fixed so thta it works now.  Then we passed some less actives and got a call from president Roney.  He told us that we would be recieving a new collegue.  Elder Cueva from Spain.  He is here because he already speaks french pretty well, so he did two weeks at the MTC.  Then we cleaned the baptismal font.

Wednesday;  Saw David who is awesome and was so ready for his baptism, then we picked up Elder Cueva from the Gare and did some map work and had our RCM, missionary meeting that evening.

Thursday;  DId contacting, some map work in the apartment' that means putting up all the members on a map of the city so we know where they are  Then we went to a little village and saw the family Faucheux, and Veyrier who were super nice.

Friday:  Weekly planning, I did the baptism interviews for the amis of the sisters Alain and Catherine, they are so cute and excited for their baptisms... I passed them.  Then we taught english class.  and after the baptism of David went super well.  There were lots of people who came.  Elder Castillo and I both talked.  David brought one of his friends Gedimias who said to elder Cueva that he was going to be the next one baptised.  so great!  

Saturday:  a guy came to refix our oven.. we think it should work now ha ha. Then we did some contacting and had general conference at 6 in the evening we saw saturday morning session.  David and Gedimias came.

SUnday:  Conference extravaganza.  Priesthood session was from 11 to 1 in the after noon?.  Then members ate with us at the church in between. Chilli con carne and yellow rice.  Simple but super good.  THen the next session saturday afternoon started at 2h00  then Elder Cueva taught Daniel and his wife (other amis who came) in spanish with a few members while Elder Castillo and I went to teach another person Omar at the University.  They both went well.  They are really cool people.  Then our last session of conference Sunday morning we started at 6H00;  We were able to set up other rdvs with all the amis who came and some less active who showed up.  It was so inspiring nad I recieved lots of answers to my questions.  

I am listening to sunday afternoon right now as i write you.  Later today we are going to see Gedimias and get him a date for baptism, then we are going to a place called Coulier which is a big cathedral on the beach of the mediterranian I hear it is super pretty.  I would love to send photos, but I think that thing you gave me, the usb adaptor has fried.  It hasn't worked in any of the computers I ahve tried the past few times.  I'll show you in three weeks.  Can you believe it three weeks!

I am excited to see you, but don't worry we are busy enought  that I don't have time to get trunky.  I love you very much.  Hope you are happy and healthy.  KEep the faith.  Study the scriptures every day, also as a family!  I'll see you in a bit.  Do you realize you'll only get two more emails from me?  Does that seem weird? ha ha.  Love you lots

Monday, September 30, 2013

Perpignan September 30th, 2013

Hello everyone, so the internet café is closing in  11 minutes exceptionally today.... so I gotta rush. 
The apartment is getting furnished.  We now have a fridge, stove, washer and dryer.  But the stove needs a special plug that a member should be taking us to get today.  , so we have still been using the gas one the past few days.  We have most everything now, still no hot water.  I fill a bucket with water heated from the stove... it works, but it takes all the refreshing out of the shower.  The mission normally has the funds to get us all we need, but 1 there are new elders in the office, so they are panicking, 2 they have like 20 aparments to furnish, and 3 they have a monthly budget, and so they can't afford at the moment to get us things like a microwave or shower curtain.  So we are increasing what we have little by little.  By the time I leave we might have all the bare essentials, but we are surviving.
Yes I have my passport

Chocolate chip cookies, and they like them because they don't exist here. Pastries are the norm, the grass is always greener right...
 The talent show, and everything before my mission frachement seems like a different life.  I vaguely remember three people that were in my house all the time..; I think it was you guys h aha.  No, but really, I do feel like I don't remember a lot of home ha ha.
The soeurs have thier general meeting Saturday night, it is diffused at the church. 

The furniture is from Ikea
I might come back with a lot less stuff then I went out with... i have already consolidated my things into one suitcase to get here to perpignan.
I am learning Spanish from Elder Nicholas Castillo, and I didn't really speak it before, but i learned a tiny bit from the Mexicans at rock creek pizza.
The amis are going great.  There is a new couple we should see today, and hopefully some other new ones.  David is getting baptized this Friday, and we are all super excited for that.
this week was good.

I have no time left. I'll see if I can write more latter, but just so you know I am well and healthy.  Stay safe and choose the right.  Love you bye!

Perpignan September 23rd, 2013

So let's get right to it.

My guitar playing is doing fine.  i would not say that I have gotten any better.  I can't really look up anything new to play except for figuring out the hymns which I have figured out a lot of them.  I would say that I am about the same as before.  so voila

It would be fun to do another American night, but the 18 October here there will be a talent show, and the members signed me up for that, so I'll get another chance to perform on my french tour.

Yes French people love American cookies.  that is because they just can't seem to get it right.  There is no such thing as mixes or pilsbury so we make them from scratch.  

We had the activity just in the chapelle.

They provided everything to eat.  They call hamburgers here steak haché which is the same thing, and normally it is 5 euros for 10 of them, so not cheap, but not rediculous.  They eat steak haché fairly often, but they don't make it into a burger so much, usually they break it up, or serve it as a "steak" or something like that.

We write the mission president every week just to give him an update, say how we are doing and say any miracles etc. so that will be good.

If you could take this paragraph out of the blog version that would be nice, thank you.  So as far as number of baptisms I have participated in.  Including Hocine, that makes 20.  I feel super blessed to have had so much success.  There are still many missionaries who go their whole mission and only "baptise" one or zero people.  Obviously it was no stroke a genius on my part, and it wasn't me alone.  I just kept my hopes up, worked hard, and lots of other missionaries worked hard, and members too, and angels, and God, and people just happened to say yes ha ha.  it is interesting, because for most everyone who was baptised, they were all pretty golden and basically members already.  I guess that fait partie of how the wicked will get more wicked and the righteouse will get more righteous.  I want to make that part of my homecoming talk, I just need to find a way so that it doesn't come off as boasting .  Je ne veux pas me vanter.

This week was really unique.  So en gros, we stayed in Montpellier until thursday evening.  today we had a memeber give us a stove and a fridge, and I left my sac in his car, so I can't give you a great day to day, but I'll try

Tuesday:  We went to Perpignan actually.  Did our studies in Montpellier and the ZLs got us trains to get down there for the day.  The sisters met us and showed us the church and where things are found.  We then Spent the rest of our time there calling people and going through the area book.  The trip is Two hours, so it took a big chunk out of our day. Especially since the train going back was an hour late. We did get our phone though and area book which are essential.

Wednesday:  We did service with the Montpellier elders (Edler Pilstick and Swenson) at this old lady's house that has lots and lots and lots of cats.  I wish I had taken a picture, because it was really just as bad as you can get.  The apartment smelled terrible and there was hair and cat pee everywhere!  we counted 26 at least, and she said that she had two who fell off the balcony and haven't come back yet ha ha.  Wow.  Then she fed us... something I have never had before, I forget what she called it, but it was canned carrots and green beans in mayo... it was worse than it sounds, because it was really more mayo with some canned carrots and green beans, and then some microwave chicken patty things... with cat hair everywhere... I am glad we have the promise that we can't be poisoned, because I don't know what would have happened sinon.  Then we did member sparking with the Guitar in Montpellier.

Thursday.  We did some guitar contacting, and tried to sing to people..; they weren't too fond of the idea (the french), Then we ate with another missionary equipe in the city  Elder Yang (who was in my apt in Lyon) and Elder Taylor. It was fun to catch up with them.  That night some trainers and their new missionaries were coming through to their prospective villes, and we got the keys then and organized everything.  to get on the next train to perpignan.  We got into our apartment about 9 in the evening.

Friday:  Wow, the apartment is huge!  Three bedrooms, a huge living room, a huge kitchen and a bath and toilet thing... and it is empty.  When we got there, all there was were two mattresses, and a few boxes with our desks in them.  We spent the better part of the day putting together the essentials, the kitchen table and the desks.  The place smells kina bad too.  it smells like stagnant water and ... sulfur or something.  We though it was coming from the pipe where the washer should  be hooked up.  So we just poured a few glasses of water down it, and it helped, so we just do that when it starts stinking up.  And we had our first dinner appointment with the DMP.  It was a party ha ha.  him (he is like 24) his wife, the sisters, us, his two cousins, two of his wife's cousins, and a couple other JAs from the ward.  We had raclette.  it was lots of fun.  But certain people were teasing the Dmp because certain missionaries have not seen him for a long time... and he didn't like that.  and the people involved apologized, and I think it is good. at least I hope.  The last thing we need is drama with the members especially with our DMP (Ward mission leader)

Saturday.  We set up a book shelf and our beds, took a freezing shower because our hot water is turned off.  and such.  we did some calls contacting, and had another dinner appointment with a member family, the Benedetti.  They are super nice and we had a good meal of Gratin a potato meat dish thing with a tomato salad.  They worked it out of us that we didn't have food, or a fridge or a stove or anything, so they started getting us hooked up, and lent us their iron and microwave. They are so nice.  Earlier that day we also taught David who is an awesome Spanish guy who doesn't speak a ton of french, but he is learning.  We fixed a date or re fixed rather for the 5 October to be baptized.  The other missionaries had already taught him almost everything, and he seems pretty golden and ready.  Then we taught a guy Judacaël who comes to church and is in his own words 80 Percent mormon.  He is just afraid of commitment and won't accept to be baptised yet, but he is so close.

Sunday:  Great day at church. We were about 80 so that changes from barely 30 in angouleme.  The ward is great and awesome.  David came and brought a Spanish friend.  We are going to hopefully see both of them the next week... this one.  then we had dinner at the Bishop's house.  The bishop is super young here too, like 30 I think.  He is really cool, and happy to have elders in Perpignan apparently it has been three or four years since there were elders here.

Today like I said another member lent us a stove and fridge, so we need to go buy food to fill it. We have been eating apples and cereal basically when we weren't eating chez les members.  so it will be nice to actually make some real food.  The sisters gave us that, so that's why we were eating it.. well a member bought it for us and the sisters gave it to us.

I like perpignan a lot.  It looks like saint george.  There are palm trees and mountains.  We are about a 30 min bus ride from the sea, so we'll do that one of these days if not today.  Then yeah.  I am happy.  It is really warm here.  So many Spanish people!  Elder Castillo me apprenda el liguna, y ... ca commence h aha.
Have a good week.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JJ I remembered it, but I couldn't get to you until today.  I hope it was a good one.  Stay sage.  Keep smiling and rocking and rolling. Don't go too crazy though.  I know the church is true and that God is looking out for us.  See you next week.

Con amor;
Elder Crossman