Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bonjour! May 21st, 2012

quoi de neuf?  Only one question from what I can remember, Yes I write in my journal, usually every other night, but I have made it a goal to write every day for my twentieth year of life which starts in less than 9 weeks just so you know.  

  Sorry I have not sent pictures, as I have said before the computers we use here seem to have problems, as in most of the time it doesn't recognize you put in the sd card.  I will send you my card eventually, I need to find my other one (it is somewhere in my suitcase which is in a high tight corner of our closet which is why I have not looked for it yet.

Monday:  Did shopping... other stuff that I don't remember, then had a soirée familiale with a member family and eva's family.  Satan is really really trying to keep us from teaching them. There were a lot of distractions, we got to thier house late, the car almost broke down, and we got home really late... like 10:30 but we taught the lesson, and it was really good!

Tuesday:  lots of panneau and porting, talked to kim, one of our recent converts, talked to Irma, another recent convert even thought we wanted to see her daughter, but that didn't happen.

Wednesday: Panneau, porting, calls, ratez-vous (that means the guy didn't show up for a lesson)

Thursday:  Réunion de district, it was really cool to see all the new elders in our district.  They are now, Elder Smedley and elder Didieuksman(from holland), Elder Adams and elder M... something, Elder Dorton (I think), and elder Duncan (he was in my district at Lyon, so it is really neat to see him again and catch up), and Elder Park and Elder Ormond the two elders you saw during our call.  After that, we had a good RDV with Inès, thought she doesn't really want to do anything, just hear the word of God...  Then Saw Pilar, she is old and cranky like always ha ha, but we love her, then taught Laurent, really good RDV who accepted a baptism date!

Friday:  Calls, Porting... Irma, wanted to see jennifer...

Saturday: one early morning RdV with what we thought was a less active, but turned out to be a gay catholic who was actually really cool.  We had a good lesson, and we will be seeing him again soon... Taught the law of Chastity because he had a question if he was sining.  Good RDV, and he actually said he was going to try to change his life because he had a dream that he had to... interesting.  After that, three ratez-vous in a row, tough, then to feel better we had dinner at the Family Farrants house. It was a lot of fun, we had "tacos" they were actualy really good for french mexican food.  Greg (M. Farrant) taught us how to play rugby because he apparently was on a professional division team for aix at one point, so that was cool.

Sunday: church was good, eva's parents and brother came... didn't have time to see us after.... lame.  Then it rained... and rained ... and rained... hard ... all day.  We had no RDVs, so we got to go porting in the rain.... the whole day... it was fine until someone got mad at us and called the police, though, if he had not have done that, then we would have stayed longer in that area, and we woudl have missed this really cool girl we got to talk to who said she would come to church next week.. Nice tender mercy, the Lord really knows when to give you one of those before you kill something haha.  

Emails is the first thing of the day today, so we will do is shopping... maybe play a nice game of monopoly.  Our whole district has had a bad week, so the Elders in Vitrolles, the other aix elders and us are going to have a nice lunch together to se fortifier on peut dire.

I love you all, stay safe.  This week was a little harder, but I am still happy and am loving it overall.  IT sounds like you had fun in california, that is great!  Too bad you will have to wait all the way to thanksgiving to go on another adventure ha ha.  Vous êtes gatez, tous lol.  see you next week!

May 28th 2012

Hello!  how are you? good good, ...  me? bin, ça va, just a little french thing pa pa, we don't say "à dieu" unless we really do not think that we will see said person again in this life.  à dieu, literally means "to god".  It is kinda cool, here everyone says à demain "to tomorrow" à plus tard "to later...", au revoir "til we see each other again" etc.

answer to your question: is it hot?  YES, I carry a little towel with me in my bag to wipe my brow as it were.I was in vitrolles again a couple days ago and geeze it was hot and humid.

Monday:  wrote letters, went bowling (bowling in france is like golfing in hawaii, you just have nothing but bad luck) saw pilar and ...a recent convert... probably Irma

Tuesday:Saw eva, did lots of contacting, picked up the Elders from Nice at the gare (train station) for zone conference (One was Elder Uluave who was in the MTC with me, it was really good to get the nouvelle from him!  

Wednesday:  Zone conference!  Really inspirational, talked about our desires and improving our contacting and following up with engagements.  President Murdoch's last zone conference, so unless I get a bleu (new missionary) this next transfer, I will not see him again. He gave a wonderful talk, he and his wife.  He talked about how he has never done anything he hasn't wanted to because he has righeous desires... at least that is what he strives for.  No advice on getting married or anything haha.  Then after conference, I went to Vitrolles on exchange again, but this time I was with Elder Smedly.  So Elder Smedly cannot drive legally, so I got to drive a stick shift for the first time in my life!  I wasn't too bad, only stalled it once... going forward, I had a hard time going in reverse for whatever reason.  But it was fun to drive again, and I want a stick shift when I get back  ha ha.

Thursday:  Day two in Vitrolles, driving and teaching a few good lessons.  I was able to go to Marseille as well, so check that off the map.  Marseille was frightening, I kinda felt like I might be shot or shanked at any moment, but we taught a really awesome sincere seaker of truth who really is an élu (elect).  Very touching lesson.  I have really learned to appreciate just how easy of a life I have had.  I am so thankful that I have not had to work to make sure that we could have our baguettes at night, that I have not had to worry about whether I will eat that day, or have a bed to sleep in... Some really humbling things here, even in a assez rich part of the world.  Cigarrettes and alcohol destroy families and happiness! I am now angry at those beer commetials with everyone drinking and having a good time... Stay away from those things, they are revêche, renfrogné, néfastes, and patibulaire!  DON'T DO DRUGS!  

Got back to beautiful Aix-en-provence that night.

Friday:   Lots of contacting, taught pilar again, a great lesson on tithing.  She is totally getting baptised soon, just needs to trust in God a little bit more!  After, we taught Eva's brother François.  He ... he is a foul mouthed teenager ha ha.  Not a bad kid, but just ... has little interest in living the gospel, but he is getting more interested since his whole family is being converted.  He is cool.

Saturday:  Got some member coordonées (contact info of their friends)! wooh! those things are precious jewels that need to be taken care of, so hopefully we will see some good fruit from that.  Then saw another member family with a less-active son. The family Chipouka, Soeur chipouka is so nice, I love their family!

Sunday:  taught evas parents again, finally!  Good lesson, lots of spirit, invited them to be baptised, and they are not opposed to it, they just said they want to know more first which makes sense.  Really M Rognon (eva's father) just needs to stop smoking...and drinking... and gambling, then they will be good!  They are making great progress though, really a testimony builder of how the gospel helps families.

Monday:  Our internet place was not open yet, so we passed a cool old French historical home that is just across the street.  It was originally built for some French duke to have love affaires, then it got turned into a normal rich person's house, then a small historical art museum that is free to jeunes 25 years old and younger (score!)  No, but it was really really pretty, I took some pictures of the outside, but they were not allowed inside.

I will send pictures soon, I'll maybe send you my sd card next week because this monday we are going to play tourists, so there should be some good pictures!  

Yes I am eating... not very well this week because of lots of member visits and zone conference, and exchanges to vitrolles, but I am still exercizing.  I have actually gained a kilo, but my waist size is smaller, so I am gaining muscle baby! ... or just fat in  different places, but i think it is muscle.

Yes, I would like to do something with movies que ce soit a director, cinematographer, actor, something else... that is the dream right now anyway, but we will see.  As I have thought about what I want to do with my life, while I am in bed before falling asleep, I really want to take a shot at doing something with film, or singing.  Or food science (that sounds a lot better to you mother, doesn't it?)  I think that would be neat and really helpful to the world.  Anyway, I love you all so much, keep things groovy! 

As far as things I need... american toothpaste, good american pens, and american beef cattle jerky! Those are really the things we should be proud of, because the french versions all stink.  Yes I did get the other SD cards, thank you!  The only meat that exists here is ham... and wierd stuff like tongue, frog legs, sheep brains, a full rabbit (really the entire rabbit, except hair), and like hooves and stuff.  I am currently in the process of trying all of them.

Wonderful awesome delicious recepie:  boil entire asparagus stems so they are very soft. For the last couple minutes you are boiling the asparagus throw in some whole or half strawberries. strain water, add shredded hard-boiled eggs, butter and sour cream for the sauce( just put the butter and the sour cream on the asparagus and let the heat from them melt it.  ENJOY! 
que la force soit avec vous tous! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Aix Transfer 2

    Hello, everyone! I missed you, how are you doing? woah, lots of questions this week.  I'll try and tackle them.

    With regards to the panneau, it really depends how often we do it.  usually no more than twice or three times a week, at two hours at a time.  Although, this week.... or maybe last week we did it for 5 hours... that was... fun, but we did get quite a few contacts.  We make the board (materials provided by the church) right now it says"FREE DISCUSSIONS IN ENGLISH WITH REAL AMERICANS" and that is all.  We wanted to try something different, and we did get a whole lot of people to talk to us, so we will see how many come to our class. Before, it said "WE HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU, ANSWER WELL, AND YOU WIN A PRIZE!", then before we have just had some questions like what brings you happiness and stuff like that with a picture of Jesus.  It really doesn't matter what it says on the board really, we mostly just have it to have an excuse to stand on the corner and talk with everyone.   Other than that our finding activities are knocking doors (I have done a faire ammount of that so far), just talking to people on your way, and pass backs which intail calling, and or passing by old amis, less actives, or people who gave us their info in the past.  I would say we do the most of pass backs.

    We are our amount of lessons have picked up, we taught 14 leçons last week which was the most that transfer.  I did the math, and I have taught around 163 leçons on my mission.  my goal is to break 1000 So that means an average of 80-90 leçons a transfer.  The closest I have come so far is 71 in a transfer, but I think I can do it.  Yeah, but it is pretty cool, we had two neat miracle amis that I will talk about later.

    No I do not feel really new anymore, I feel like I could lead a companionship if I needed to, but I would not say I am a veteran, and there are always things to improve on.

    No I have not gone to the temple since the MTC, and I will not go for the rest of my mission.  The closest temples are Madrid, Spain, and Bern, Swiss.  However both are out of our mission boundaries, and we won't go so that is too bad.  They are building a temple right next to the palace of Versailles, they have all the approvals now, and should begin construction in a few months hopefully.  That will also be out of our mission boundaries so no go there either... I will just have to go a lot when I get home to make up for it.

    Yes I got the package last Thursday.  Thank you very much, the bag works great, and the gum and soup is always appreciated.  I have a new goal to weigh 100kg by my 20th birthday (that is 220 lbs.)  Right now I am at 114kg, I think it is possible, but will really require me to be really really good with what I eat and how I use my exercise time.  

    Transfer calls were last Friday.  Elder Baret will be replaced by elder Ormond from Idaho quelque part, and a couple other changes in our district.  As for me and Elder Harris....We are both staying.  Nothing surprising there.  However, that does mean that one of us will go next transfer because almost never to two missionaries serve with each other more than 2 transfers.

    Eva's family is doing awesome.  We have not been able to teach them much, but Eva is taking care of that for us (she is great and is going to be an awesome missionary)  They are studying their scriptures together every day, praying together, they have been coming to church for 6 weeks straight, and they are hopefully going to be baptized the 2nd of Juin ... I forgot how to write that in English.. June right.That is so freaking cool.  They (meaning eva's father) still has a few soucis (like drinking and cigarettes, and tithing) but I think they are going to be great. I am so excited, that is big miracle number 1 for this week.

    Big miracle number 2:  we were porting (knocking on doors) later one night.  Around 8h40ish someone answered and let us in after we said we were missionaries and all that.  We were able to talk to her a little, share how our message can help her, and she agreed to see us again. We have since seen her, and said it would be really great to know that God has called another prophet.  We have another rdv set up for later this week. Another solid ami!

   Big miracle number 3:  At the beginning of this week we randomly got a call from a guy who said that he had talked to the missionaries in the past, but was too busy, and had the time now so he wanted to meet us.  We met him to find out that he had only seen the missionaries in the street once two years ago, and had kept the card they gave him until he called us... that is pretty amazing. We have seen him (laurent) about four times, and he says he knows already that everything we are teaching him is true. Really an incredible miracle to be a part of.

   It seems strange that I am already more than a quarter done with my mission.  Kinda sad, it is passing by way too quickly.  I am glad to say that I feel satisfied with the work that I have done so far, and I am still loving it.  It is really the best two years.  French is going well. I can almost always say what i want and understand what people are saying to me without translating it in my head which is interesting when I catch myself doing it.  I made a phone call in English the other day and it was really weird because I didn't know what to say.  I was throwing in French words and structuring sentences like the french would... kinda funny.  What else is great, is even thought I do not have a huge vocab, I can understand how people are talking that I can guess the meaning of most words.  It is really neat!

    THEY ARE MAKING AN ENDER'S GAME MOVIE!!!!! That is awesome 1 because I'll be there when it comes out and 2 I love ender's game.   Though it stinks because everyone is taking my movie ideas.  I wanted to make a hunger games movie, enders game... now the only one that isn't done is a legit book of mormon movie.  So I can still do that.

    I think that is all for this week.  I have a new planner so I can't give you a day by day thing, but I will try to do that next week.  I love you all and I am excited to see you mom and dad and maybe JJ this sunday!  Say safe, keep the faith, live, laugh, love and all that.  Je vous aime, et Dieu vous aime, ça c'est écriture, Dieu tant aime le monde, il lui donne son fils unique, pas pour les chasser, mais pour les sauver... Je sais que j'ai changé l'écriture, je ne l'ai pas mémorisé. Lâches moi les baskets! 

    PS Félicitations JJ on your Graduation. I am very proud of you! Love yah Brah!