Hello Everyone! Good week, but as usual let's get started with the questions: Yes it is all good to have a guitar. There are several other missionaries that have them, as you saw, mine was not too expensive, just another accoustic nylon string (of course I am not going to buy an electric ha ha) yeah, the idea was to have something else to do on P-days and to implement it into contacting. There is a homeless guy here who has a guitar, he started talking to us, and the guitar came up, and we mentioned that we know how to play (elder Arrington plays guitar as well, he is really good) he had us play a little bit for him, and in just 10 or so minutes, there was a little more than 10 to 20 people around us. Pretty fun, so we figured it could be an option. I don't let it become a distraction because I really do not remember how to play much of what I did before. I only play it during meal time and P-days, and I have been figuring out the chords to the hymns. So far I have about four or five written out. I think It could be good. But yeah, I am being good, don't worry ha ha.
We got our new fridge and it is wonderful. Really makes the rest of the place look a little bit better. Our old fridge even when it worked only cooled things a little... not very well, but this new one keeps everything nice and ... fridged. Also, the office Elders are officially looking for a new appartement for us because we have a mold problem, and the sink is made of cardboard, and we live across from a bar. That is really all the info I have on that so far, but it is exciting. I'm sure I'll have more to tell you about that next week.
Yes I am eating well. I am working on my six-pack now. No more drinks other than water, and no more kebabs, and only 80 carbs a day. I am going to be so hot when I come back, just you wait ha ha.
By the way mother, I have a delicious recepie you can try, and see if you like it. A member fed it to us and I love it, though she didn't have any specific mesturements so you'll just have to eye it and see what looks good. So you boil some asperagus, as the full stocks, then when it is almost cooked, you throw in a bunch of sliced strawberries for the last couple minutes. Drain it, and add a healthy ammount of creme fraiche (I think you'll just have to use sour cream) and olive oil (or butter, but more sour cream then butter and oil) Cover the pot and let the heat from the asperagus melt the stuff into a nice liquidy tasty thing;.. and then eat it. I thought it was incredible. Hopefully you can try it.
There are lots of dogs here, but not as many bichons Lots of cats too. Everyone seems to have a governement funded poopsie.
There are lots and lots of muslims here in Avignon. Lots of French cities in the south have lots of Muslims though. There was actually a thing that happened recently where some american put up a video that offended the muslims, you probably know more about it than I do, but president has told us to avoid muslim areas even more, and actually the past few days we have been coming home right when the sun goes down because it was some muslim holiday, and we didn't want any trouble. Not too much seemes different, a few groups of mulslim kids swore at us and whatnot. That has happened before, but it seemed to happen more. Anyway, I think things are calming down.
Monday: I got a suitcoat for 60 something euros, because my american ones are like wearing tents, it looks good, it is just plain black. At the end of the Day we met Tony who talked to us a bit. He is really nice but not too interested in converting. He is reading the book of mormon though, so that is cool.
Tuesday: Helped Dawn, the English Cat lady. Did our grocery shopping because we got our new fridge that morning. Had a rdv with Sylvain our new ward mission leader, he wants to do some big things with the branch, and we are starting by visiting every active family in the branch to change the mindset of the members from (if the missionaries find someone we will see if we can help" to "How can I share the gospel with my friends and then get the missionaries to help me" Anyway, it should be fun.
Wednesday: Dawn needed some other help, so we fixed something for 20 minutes or so, then we went to Villeneuve and ported, then English class
Thursday: District meeting, lots of fun really good as usual. Went home and then to Villeneuve again to finish the little coin we were doing, then just some pass backs in Avignon
Friday: Weekly planning, then I must have eaten something funny because I was throwing up all day and feeling horrible. I think it was this tuna bread stuff a member made us because that was the only thing that only I ate, and Elder Arrington didn't get sick.
Saturday: Big miracle day, we randomly got a call from someone saying they would like ot be taught by us, so we happily accepted and fixed a rdv for today (we actually had the rendez-vous and it went really well. He is a jehova's witness, but very nice and he wasn't just there to bible bash) Then we gave cookies to a member family because it was two of the members birthdays this week. One of the kids told us he has a friend he would like to introduce to us so we can teach him. Awesome, I love it when that happens, which has never happened before... to me. Then we got a new ami Muhamed, he is muslim, but also willing to listen and read the Book of Mormon. Good day
Sunday: Fun at church. After we taught Quansah's children with some fun object lessons. They liked it, and they love coming to church. They also want to be baptised, but the mother is not OK with it, so that complicates things, but they are both really cute and awesome! then we did all of Elder Arrington's studies and such, and hid from the muslims.
Today we also got a random call from someone wanting to come to our English class, so that was really cool. We'll see where that goes. Also we are going to see Prince again today, our new ami from ghana. Things are picking up here again. Honestly Avignon doesn't have the greatest reputation. It is a cool city, but people are such downers here, they just criticize everything. I usually respond to that by saying" did you know that there is an awesome castle wall around the city and a huge palace in the middle of town. Then they say "well that is kinda cool I guess". There haven't been any baptisms here for a couple years, but we have had four in the last six months, and all of the recent converts are still active and solid. I really like Avignon, I wouldn't mind staying another transfer (this one ends in four weeks) Especially if we have a groovy new apartement that would help. There are a lot of good members here, and good things are in store. We just have to keep up the positive energy!
Basically what I was talking about by saying we need to change how the french think of themselves... I was more thinking of missionary work. There is a poisonus idea that the work just doen't progress here like it does elswhere. That is true, but that doesn't mean it can't change. I have seen the weekly baptism totals go up from about two or three a week to five six and seven a week, even getting over ten sometimes. That seemes pretty darn good, and It can still go up. There are tons of scriptures (DandC 4 for example) that says that the field is already white and ready to harvest. I have yet to find a scripture that says the field is white, but France... I don't know, it's pretty tough there. I know miracles come with exact obedience and hard work, but also smart work. Elder Arrington and I have found 4 new amis, and at least 3 others that will be new amis this week (normally) I am not saying this to brag by any means, but just to say that there are people ready to hear our message.
I love my mission, I love the French people, even if they act kinda funny sometimes. I am really really really tired, but somehow with lots of prayer I get up and go to work. I love you all too, I hope you have a wonderful week. Random subject change, I need a converter thingamajig that I can put my SD card into so I can plug it into a USB port. I'll look for one today. If I find one, I'll send some pictures next week. I know it has been a while.
Lastly HAPPY BIRTHDAY JJ I love you so much and I pray for you everyday (you too parents... and monte... and even Max... and Bruce and Robin) Remember enjoy the little moments and the now. Don't be oblivious to the future, but be happy now, life it a lot better that way. I am also working on a package full of goodies to send to you guys, but it will probably still be a few weeks because I keep forgetting and I am still not totally sure what to put into it.
Ok I hope you like this email, it was a long one. Love you again bye!