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

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 16th 2013 Perpignan

Hello everyone, this is Elder Crossman.  As usual, let's get to the questions:

There were a few amis at church.  Romaric, the nephew of our elder's quorem president, who is really interested, and super cool.  he wants to start a choir in our church.  Anyway, I could see him getting baptised in a transfer or two.  Then there was Audrey the girl from New Caledonia.  She is great too, and should be getting baptised as soon as she figures out her marriage to Josué.
then there was the Mother of Dylan who was really friendly.  Normally she seems rather upset and ignores us, but today she was smiling and talked to us.  i think it is because she has a new boyfriend.  Be bon bref.

Yes I am happy.  I am very happy.

The american party was a big success, more in the day to day;

Usually we get to bed on time.  By usually I mean there are a few exceptions.  I remember when I was ZL in Lyon, we went to bed once at 11h45 because we were doing stuff with the blues.  And then there was our fun day trip to Bordeaux where we got home at about 4h30 in the morning.  That made me tired.

Monday:  We did all the normal stuff, and then we took a bus out to this big mall and looked around.  I bought Elder Swenson McDonald's for his birthday.  Then he bought himself a pair of shoes, and I bought myself some shoes because they were the only ones in my size, and they were on sale for 20 euros, a steal! They look really good, and look a bit like cowboy boots, but in a shoe shape.  You'll see.

Tuesday: uhh.... did stuff.  As it is the new transfer, I don't have my planner, and If I don't have that all the days blur together.

Wednesday, Thursday:  Contacting, porting, raté vous, I went on an exchange to bordeaux and we had a good time. I gave a baptismal interview, I would have passed him, but there were some complications, and we needed to get the permission from one of the senior couples to pass him, so we did, and he did pass, and he got baptised yesterday, that's great news.  Other great news.  hocine, a guy Elder Gruber and I Started teaching in Lyon got baptised!  I am super excited to hear about that!  He is going to be the next stake president!

Friday:  We got calls as to what is happening.  i'll tell you at the end.  then we did contacting.

Saturday we had the activity that me, Edler Swenson, and a couple members all did a few songs on guitar and sang;  It was a big success. There were about Thrity people there, and 8 or so were less actives or amis!  I showed everyone how to make cookies.  they super loved the cookies, couldn't get enough of them.  And we had burgurs to top off the american-ness.  A fun activity.

Sunday:  Church went well.  Then we went and saw Audrey and fr Bourdichoux.  They both gave me presents... why?  Because I was leaving the next day!  So we had good rdvs, I'll show you what they gave me in a few weeks.  they are super nice.   

The rest of our time was spent packing and cleaning the apartment for the new two elders.  That's right two.  So Me and elder Swenson left.  He went to Montpellier, and I followed him.  I am going to perpignan, but I am currently in Montpellier, because we'll have a new apartment, and we don't have the keys yet.  Perpignan only had sisters in it throughout my whole mission, and Elder Castillo and I will be opening an elder Equipe;  Elder Castillo is from Salt Lake, he has mexican origins, but his family is pretty american. he speaks spanish, but has forgotten most of it.  I hear there are a lot of spanish speakers in perpgnan, since it is right next to spain and the méditerranée!  I wrote president in spanish last week... I wonder if this has anything to do about that.  Well;  I am about out of time;; 

I shoudl be in Perpignan by the end of the week;  I am going there tomorrow to get things sorted out and have the sisters there show us around.  it should be fun.  I'll commute to work for this week.  Like we did in Bienne.  Another fun fact;  Elder Castillo was Elder Cooper's comp in the MTC.  yeah!  

I love you very much.  Keep reading together.  Don't go inactive, people are never more happy after they go inactive ha ha.  Keep the faith.  Stay safe, and all that good stuff;  See you next week!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Angouleme 11 September 9th

Hello everyone.  So the little time counter says that I have thirty minutes left.  So let's hope that I can fit all of this in, because I don't want to invest in more time until I know where I will be for next transfer.
Questions:  P'day.  last p day seemed good. Super short though;  We really didn't do anything fun, but We will do something today because it is Elder Swenson's birthday.
We have a new ami this week, and he came to church!  more in the day to day
I did get the letter from the primary class.  I'll try to get the response in as well.
Monday:  we were on the computers for a while I was looking at the BYU website and we were watching church videos.  That is why I don't have the full hour and a half today.  Then we wrote letters and explored this one shop that was closed my whole time here, but just opened again.  It is super small and really expensive and has nothing in my size.
Tuesday:  We passed a less active who wasn't there.  Then set a rdv with another one.  Then we ported.
Wednesday:  Saw Fr. Bordichoux, he is doing the same, still sad, but things went better for him this week, he got a call from a member of the branch and that cheered him up.
Then the Jeffries came to inspect our apartment.  After they inspected it they took us out to eat at a place called le poivre Rouge.  It wasn't anything to write home about... but I am doing it anyway.  I had what I thought would be the filet of salmon, but they used really weird french words that I didn't understand that must have meant one tiny piece  of salmon in fettuccine Alfredo because that's what I got.  But after I had a tarte chocolate au noix de coco, which was really good.  The Jeffries will be finishing their mission the end of this month.  They are from Draper, so I am sure that I'll see them for some reunion or something. 
Thursday:  District meeting.  The people told me it went pretty well. So I guess so.  It was one of the first district meetings where I actually felt prepared going into it, so that always helps.  Then we saw Samuel Célène and their three kids.  They were fun.  They are difficult to teach though, they like to talk about n'importe quoi.  Anyway then we went home.

Friday:  We got ratéd twice, and we dropped one of the amis who ratéd us (remi).  Then we ate with the Family Mazaleyrat and had FHE with them.  They are a good family;  the parents are very caring about their children.  Anyway that was pretty much all other than contacting.
Saturday:  We took a train to cognac, and wouldn't you know they were having a theater festival, unfortunately it ended yesterday, but it was fun to see a couple seconds of that, but we mostly just talked to a bunch of people with not much success.  Maybe it was just because of the festival, but Cognac seems to be much more lively than Angouleme, and it is about 2:3 the size.
Sunday:  Church, I gave a talk on vivre par la foi... living by faith.  People said I did well, but I think they would have told me that no matter how well it went.  There were five less actives at church,and two amis.  One was the nephew of our elders quorum pres who we taught and he is really cool.  We gave him a Book and all that.  So he said he hopes to see us again and come to chruch again, so I hope that works.  Branch council after church. that is refreshing to see that the members are doing things and are aware of the things going on.  Then we ate and got ratéd, but no problem because we found this really nice lady who told us to come back next Saturday. Though on first impressions  I think it will be hard to get her to agree to be baptized and all that.  She is very believing and seems pretty fixed in her ways.  But who knows miracles happen every day!
Today we started our studies early to finish early so that we could have more time for fun, so we are just about finished with emails and shopping and all the devoirs and it is only 12:45, where normally we finish around... 2 so we have an hour more...
We'll see what happens for next transfer.  I don't feel like things are going to stay the same.  That something is going to change.  But just me saying that probably means that I am staying with Elder Swenson which wouldn't be bad.  I like the Elder  he is really funny we have a good time together.  This week we will have a branch activity, Elder Swenson and I are preforming on Guitar and then teaching everyone how to make cookies and eating hamburgers and fries.  An American night!  Fun fun fun.  It is always a party here in Angouleme. 

Well I only have a few minutes left, I need to print off a few things and report numbers to president so I gotta go. I'll see you next week at the start of my last transfer.  That is odd.  It seems unreal to me.  it hasn't hit me which is good. I feel that I will just be here for ever and ever.  I know you wouldn't be too excited about that.  I love the missionary life, but I am also excited for the future.  Luckily I have figured out just what is most important here.  Hopefully I don't forget it when I get back. 
PS do you have any news about Jeff?  Is he married yet?  Also... I forgot my question. ha ha Love you keep the faith do good things.  Read your scriptures every day personally and in family, even just for a few minutes.  I'd like to go skiing with JJ, hopefully I'll be able to make a few monies to go with him.  Where does he go..; well I am also sending this to JJ.  JJ where do you go?!  Have a good week.  It is colder here by the way. The past couple days I have worn my coat.  This week it will be about 20... that's Celsius, you have to do the conversion ah ah.  Love... LOVE

Monday, September 2, 2013

Angouleme 10

Hello everyone!  Did you realize that I'll be home next month?  That is a weird thought now isn't it?  sure it is the beginning of this month, and I come home right at the end of next, but still.  i had a bit of a freak out crisis this morning  ha ha.  Don"t worry, I am not getting trunky, but it is not a secret that I don't have too much time left.  So how are you doing?
The amis are doing well.  We got a new one!  more in the day to day.

I have not looked at classes yet, I was planning on doing that after I write you.  I have been thinking a lot about a major and such, and while I have not made a solid decision, I think yo uare right mother, and even if I want to get into video and such, majoring in that would not be the most critical thing.  You might be happy to know that I want to sign up for a computer science program to see what I think about that.  Ever since I talked to that member who said that you can get a well paying job litterally anywhere you want, it seems a little more attractive.
Day to day:
Monday:  We took a long time shopping for food and watching videos on the computer.  Then we slept and played guitar, ha ha, I know we are just a couple of crazy kids.  We've been looking for things to do, but there are not even places to go hiking or whatnot, the city of angouleme is just surrounded by endless flat farmland, so it is pretty in it's own way, but... it isn't hiking type landscape.  Then in the evening we talked to Fernando, his wife was there who was able to translate a bit.  She is really nice.  Hopefully things are going well between them.  That could be great to start teaching his wife, then she could translate for him at church and then they could have a happy eternal family together.
Tuesday:  Talked to Fr; Bordichoux and ported, Gave a little thank you card to Seiko and Audré (the people from new caledonia)  Then we ported the night away
Wed:  Saw Fr; Petit, it has been a while since we've seen him. He was a little embarrased to have a lesson with us because he had other family over, but we were sneaky and taught our lesson we had planned just in our conversation mu ha ha ha!  Then we saw Fernando again and taught him the rest of the plan of salvation.  He usually can figure out what we are saying, and with the brochures in spanish and my little knowledge of spanish, and for sure the spirit, we are able to have a good lesson with him.  But it is much slower than when Elder Sohou was here.
Then we got ratéd, and the member who came with us offered to buy us dinner. That was very nice of him.
Thursday:  had our meeting with the ward mission leader, then got ratéd again and made other thank you cards for other members and gave them out while contacting, and that evening.  we went to Bordeaux to pick up Elder fletcher for our exchange.  Elder Swenson went to Bordeaux and I was in Angouleme with Elder Fletcher, who is from texas, and has the most steriotypical texas accent that you have ever heard.  It was great!

Friday:  Got ratéd, then we helped this crazy woman get to the hospital (did I explane thta last time?  if not ;.. it is a long story)  So we took the bus with her to the psych hospital, and then we taught her.  Or rather we tried to teach her, and she kept talking over us telling us how much she was thankful and how she was nice.  Then when we were leaving she said "ok,on fait la bise?" which means she wanted to do the cheek kisses that french people do here.  We started to explain that we couldn't but then she grabbed me and Elder Fletcher and didn't Bise us but really smacked a kiss on both of us... oops ha ha.  I don't think we'll see her again.  Afterwards, we got into a conversation with a JW and saw a cross-dresser in the road, so I would say that it was a pretty successful exchange haha.  We switched back friday night.  I really need to piggyback our exchanges off the district meetings or something, because so much time is taken in travel.
Saturday:  We had no rdvs plannede so we had thought of going to a place called La Rochefaucauld.  there were no busses during vacation time.  So we thought we would go to cognac, but the next train wasn't until 7 in the evening, so that was a no go.  So we just took the city bus to this little farm village called Mornac.  There was absolutley nothing there and it took us a long time to get there.  But when we got on the bus to come home, Bruno (one of our first amis here) got on the bus.  he was visiting his mother who lived out here.  He isn't doing to well, but he still doesn't think that our message can help him.  It is too bad, but I still think that we were supposed to meet him there.

Sunday:  Church was fun.  I believe this was the first Sunday that I didn't do something for the sacrament.  Our ami was in Toulouse, so We didn't have a class, but it was fun to be taught instead of teach something.  then we saw this guy Paulin whom we had talked to sunday passé.  he is cool and comes from TOGO.  He doesn't seem golden like baptise me tomorrow, but he is humble and loves god, so we have hopes for him.
Unfortunatly the family canceled the rdv with us during the week.  Hopefully we'll be able to see them again this week.  I am sorry if my letters have been depressing.  I am not depressed, It would be fun to do our next exchange in Bordeaux, so that we could go Monday and see the city a bit.  I'll think about that. I don't hate Angouleme.  It isn't an easy city, but it has its up points.  Like it has lots of well preserved old stuff, like the Marie... what is that in English... where the leader of the city does his work.  anyway it is a big old castle, and the memebers here are really sympa. 

Elder Swenson is funny .  he comes from Pleasant Grove Utah, and has been on his mission for eight months.  he really likes to skateboard and play guitar and do misisonary work.  I love yo uall very much.  I pray for you daily.  Stay groovy and have a good life.  I don't know what is up, but the computer has not been recognizing my sd card recently, That is why <i have not been able to send pictures recently.  I tried again and it isn't working.  can you wait until... next month Oh, that is bizzarre.  Stay strong.  Elder fletcher as well served in Utah for three weeks because he had some visa trouble.  He worked in our mission, and worked in Sandy and Draper a lot.  If you continue west on 123rd south, until you get to like 900 west, that's where he lived.  So that was fun to hear.  He said people are a lot nicer here in France than they were in Utah.  That surprised me, but then again I guess everyone that isn't a member there knows the church and has already formed their opinion on it.  I personally dont' know why anyone wouldn't join or go inactive.  it is really the greatest thing.  I am very greatful for my mission.  I really feel 100% converted, and i am not oging to turn my back on God.  I probably will have hard times... rather I will have hard times, but I have just had too many experiences, many of them on my misison, that I cannot deny the divinity of this church and the reality of the restoration.  Then again anyone can loose thier testimony if they don't take care of it.  That's why you need to feed your spirit (2nephi 32)  So eat up!  Love you.  Talk to you next week and see you next month. HHAAAHHAHAHHA!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Angouleme 9

Hello everyone.  That is really sad to hear about max.  It sounds like he went fairly quietly.  It is too bad, because I was really thinking that he would still be alive when I came back.  Well, I am sure he is with grandma again and has large fields to peep in. 
I suppose you want to know where I am and what happened to me and all that.  Well I am Still in Angouleme.  My new colleague, the third for this transfer is Elder Swenson.  I only figured out Friday that he would be coming.  He came Saturday night.  And Elder Sohou left Sunday morning.  He didn't even get to go to church to say goodbye, so that was a bit of a bummer but, things are good and we are still having miracles.

We Spent the whole day with Sebastien pretty much... he is very tiring haha.  Really it is like being with a two year old all day.  He is a good kid, but really just needs to calm down.  We saw a church and walked around  Then had an FHE with Seiko and his fiancée Audré.  They are super cool, and Audré just needs to be baptized but she isn't "converted enough" to be baptized as she says.
Tuesday:  Contacted a young chap in the morning (about 25 years old.  I don't know why I said young chap) and he actually let us come to his place to teach him.  His name is Rémy and he was just a bit drunk when we met him... In his apartment there were champagne bottles, beer cans and other alcohol everywhere, and he was playing some Satan music when we got there.  Luckily he turned the music off.  It was honestly a little scary at first, but he is nice.  and we just talked about Rien et de tout.  then we had a lesson with another new ami Marie-adèle.  She has mental issues. i don't think we can really help her much, she needs some therapy.  We did agree to take her to the doctor's this week, so we'll see her again there, but after I really don't know what we can do.
Wednesday:  Had a FHE with A few members.  It was fun, we read president Monson's discours in the general conference about obedience with the story of him playing with matches.  It went well.  Then we taught Fernando the plan of salvation.  His daughter is really cute.  She kept handing me this big ball; and all of her other toys.
Thursday:  I went on exchange witht he Zone leaders and I went to Bordeaux.  It was interesting to be back in a big city doing work.  It isn't as big as Lyon for sure, but still I have confirmed my theory that Bordeaux is the biggest little town.  I don't think I saw a building taller than three stories, but it simply never ends.  I think right when you leave Bordeaux, you are just about to Angouleme, or at least that's how it feels.We taught this cool student, and then had this Young adult meeting in the nicest young adult center that I have ever seen.  I slept in their apartment with the assistants because we were having zone conference the next day. I got bit by lots of spiders or mosquitos.

Friday:  Zone conference.;  It was good. We talked about inviting people as our purpose.  We are here to invite people to partake of the cake that is the atonement, not shove it in their face.  It was also interview tours.  This was my last interview with president before my dying one where he tells me to get married.  It was really good and spiritual.  I asked him about BYU and he said that the system changed about a month ago where I have to "get everything worked out" and then he gives me the ecclesiastical endorsement whatever that means.  So he officially gave me permission to take time of BYU's website to figure out what I need to do.  So that will be fun
That evening, we had an awesome experience with a family of five.  The couple is great, the husband if from Martinique and the wife is French but lived in New Caledonia most of her life.  They are super nice and invited us over again this week to eat with them.  They could be really golden but it was a little difficult to teach them because the kids were really loud.  Then we taught a less active family who didn't come to church though they said they would.
Saturday:  Saw Rémy again.  he has a really really bad alcohol problem.  So much so that I think he could be physically in danger with the amount he drinks.  We had a sort of testimony meeting, and we fixed another rdv, hopefully to throw out all of his booze.  Then we did weekly planning since we didn't do it last week because of exchanges.  Then we picked up Elder Swenson and saw Fr; Bordichoux.

Sunday:  Elder Sohou had to change his tickets at the gare in the morning.  We did that and we saw him off.  A member took us to church about 10 min late.  It was really good and spiritual.  We had two amis there and Five less actives!  we were quite nombreux. 
Today looks like it will be another tranquil Pday.  Honestly we haven't planned anything, so we will probably sleep... I didn't get a lot this week for some reason, so that sounds pretty good.  With Elder Sohou I felt like I had all the time in the world, but now that he is gone, I'm the old one again.  Don't worry I am still working hard, but I am tired.  I am glad we had some good success this week.  I have probably told you before that the mission is definitely the hardest thing I have done so far.  Particularly when people have problems and they look at you to help them, and you feel as though you have no experience and can't relate to them at all (speaking of Rémy)  Thats when you just need to really rely on the Lord, because I cannot understand these people.  They have had it pretty hard, normally because of their bad choices, and buff, it is fatiguing ha ha.

I don't get why so many people think they can go without God... it is real ... not easier, but so much more doable when you have him working with you.  I love the Lord!  PS, do you realize that you will only get 8 more emails from me?  weird huh?  Love you so much have a great day!  and week!

Angouleme 8

Hello everyone, and welcome to the next installment of Elder Crossman's life in France.  I'll be your host elder crossman, let's start with the questions:
Yes Elder Sohou is going to school in Versailles specifically.  Something cool is that he will be going with the son of one of the members here, so that is interesting.
I have no idea what is going to happen to me when he leaves. I really don't I'll just tell you where I am next week.  Normally Elder Sohou will go home Monday the 26th, so he will probably leave Sunday afternoon or super early Monday morning.
Yes we have a new ami, more in the day to day:
Fernando is cool still.  He isn't really doing anything we ask him, except for coming to church.  he wants to read, but he wants to do it with his wife, and his wife is solid athé (athiest) so she doesn't really want to. We need to get him to want to read on his own.
I still have the robe, and it is still blue.
I use a bag that I bought here from fnac, the French version of Best buy.  It is really good, you'll see it soon enough.  I have a question for you, who took the cologne?
So for the return trip, here are the opinions of me and Elder Sohou.  Don't skip paris, we are so close, you have to go.  Plus Elder Sohou says if he can he'll show us all the best places and we can even stay at his place if he has a place and if it is big enough ha ha. 

Also he and I suggest renting a car.  That way we can enjoy the country side and stop whenever we want and see all the little castles and things on the way.  I imagine in the end it woudl be cheaper anyway, and with the trains, you really have to just stay in the city, and In europe... there isn't a ton of stuff to do in the city except see things and go to restauraunts, and you've seen everything after a day or two, and you don't have so much money to eat out all day every day.  I mean there is pleanty to do, but just a car would be more gooder.  Can you drive stick? Ha ha, no they should have automatics that they give to the tourists.
  Maybe, depending on how long we will be there, it would be easier to travel by train from paris to Lyon, ... even just rely on public transportation in paris (unless we want to go outside of paris) and then rent a car in Lyon.  Those are my two cents.
Monday:  We went out to eat at a chinese buffet!  It was pretty good, then we went window shopping, and took pictures of the ville, and slept.  Then we called some peopel and contacted.
Tuesday:  Saw Fr. Bordichoux who is doing well, then Another member, and a less active, and then the second cousellor of the branch presidency and contacted inbetween.  The second councellor gave us ice cream!

Wednesday:  Saw Fernando, then contacted
Thursday:  Zone training in Bordeaux, that was fun, then porting
Friday:  Had Lunch with the family Mendardin, and Sebastien who is sitting right next to me actually.  Then we did planning and saw some people.
Saturday:  Had a few ratés from people who we met during the week.  Then we taught a lesson to a homeless guy named Bob who was really sympa, and then taught English class to this guy named Ben. 
Sunday:  Super good day at church.  There were two amis there One was the fiancée of a new member who moved in from New Calidonia.  His fiancée is super golden, she has been taught by the missionaries already alot in New Calidonia, She already talks like a memeber.  So yeah, we have high hopes for her.  We are doing an FHE with them later today.  There was also the mother of a less active who came who we have been trying to teach, but doesn't seem too interested.  And three less actives came back! 
The rest of the day was spent contacting, and at Fr. Bordichoux's to fix his tv ha ha missionary AV guys.
So it was a pretty good week.  We are happy.  Elder Sohou says he wants to work so hard his last week that he can't carry his suitcases back.  So we'll do that.  love you much.  Keep the faith, do good, take luck!  I'll talk to you next week.
And so we conclude this episode.  Tune in next week to find what will happen to Elder Crossman when his college leaves.  This and more next week!

Angouleme 7

Hi y'all.  So this week was different.  but let's get to the questions and yeah eay.
Fernando is doing very well.  It is really good Elder Sohou speaks spanish, because this whole time we thought that he was an ami, but it turns out he was already baptised.  He has been less active for a long time now, and I mean so long that he doesn't really know what the book of mormon is.  So we are going to keep teaching him like an ami, but unfortunatley the numbers will go to less actives and not lessons with amis.  We get less commission for it, but I guess it is still a good thing.  NO I am kidding!  Of course it is great that he is coming back to church.  He really wants to learn and know whether the church is right or if it is the Catholic church.  So we are working with that.  He came to church yesterday and really liked it.

Elder Sohou is great, it is interesting being with a real french person.  I have been collegues with several french speakers, but all tahitian, and Mainland french poeple have a totally different culture.  It is cool and refreshing to speak in French 24:7 again.

No new amis this week. We spent most of it in the apartment, I'll explain that in the day to day.
No I didn't speak in CHurch, but I did get an assignment for a talk the 8th of September, so that will be fun.
Elder sohou is doing good in getting me to exercize really hard.  I have been excercizing, but with elder sohou, we have been really sweating quoi.  Yes I am eating fresh and french, Elder sohou is pretty much a professional chef, really it isn't fair, we do exactly the same thing, yet his is so much better than mine.  It is just because he is french.
Yes Angouleme is really a carbon copy of avignon. I mix the two up all the time.  And EVERYONE is gone for the month of Agust.  The only difference is that avignon was full of tourists, and Angouleme... there are a few English people because apparently it is really cheap for them to come here, but other than that Angouleme is pretty much a ghost town.  It is a little sad honestly.  In the big mall here in centre ville there are 20 ish spots for stores and about 7 are empty,  It is just interesting it is like living in real poverty.  When you leave angouleme, ca va that's where all the rich people live, but really no one works here, to find work you have to go to bordeaux or Poitier at least.  There are even a number of people here who take that cheap flight to London to work there.  So all we have left here is high school kids and old poeple.  We talked to a 95 year old woman the other day on a walk... she didn't look in great shape.
Friday:  We saw fernando, then we then we did lots of porting
Saturday:  Lots of contacting
Sunday:  Church was great, there were three less actives (including fernando) who came. We were able to talk with fernando, and then ported the night out.  I am sort of understanding spanish.  Elder sohou has been teaching me more.
Well it was a slower day.  It was interesting.   I am still motivated and am not getting trunky.  Thanks for answering my question during the week.  Thanks for all you do,  love you much.  See you next week!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Anguoleme 6

Hello everyone, this is Elder Crossman speaking From the expencive internet place here in Angouleme, next to me is my college... Elder Cooper!  That is right, for only the second time in my mission, I am staying with the same  collegue in the same place.  There will be something dfferent still however. For three weeks, we will have a third missionary in our equipe.  His name is Elder Sohou who is originally from africa, but lives in Paris normally.  he is a french speaker, but speaks english really well, and spanish.  He is going home half way through the transfer for school, so that is why he will only be  here for three weeks.  He is also coming here so that we can baptise this spanish speaker Fernando.  he is currently in Yverdon though, so it is quite a trip, and he will be here tomorrow morning.
Yes we listen to music, Not too often, but I still listen to the cds you sent me, and the mission CD that the president made for us.
When we come back to france, I want to go to church in St Etienne, and Yverdon are my two top choices 1St Etienne, 2 Yverdon, 3 Avignon, 4 Lyon voila
Yes I am district leader, I lead the district meetings, take numbers and just make sure our district is doing well and what they are supposedto.
We have not eaten with our hick neighboors again since the last time. They have gotten a new dog, bringing the total of animals up to 2 large dogs and 3 cats and a Three month old baby all in less than 200 sq feet... yeah.  Their new dog en plus is a german shepherd that was nice the first day, but now he barks and growls at us every time.  Once we were leaving and he came barking at us and I was sure he was going to bite me, but then the owners came and called him away.  it is really not fun, but they should be moving in a few weeks, so problem solved.
Monday:  oops, new transfer, and I don't have my old planner.  It really feels just like another pday, not like a new transfer.  Though I think that this one is going to go by super fast because there is Elder Sohou going back halfrway through, blues conference is next week in Lyon, so we have that big trip to make, but we are taking a plane so that is better than 8 hours of train.
Travis has 9 weeks left on his mission. That means he'll be home three weeks before me, That is odd, I wonder how that works out since he left a week after me but oh well. 

I was able to talk to our stake president tdoay, that is a long story that I'll explain in just a minute, but It was fun. It was only for a couple seconds, but he was with President Roney and I was calling him, so President passed the phone. 
The reason I was calling President is because Elder Cooper went to the hospital today.  Nothing serious Dont worry.  But he had been complaining of Chest pains and unusually high stress.  We went to the doctor and they said that it is normal and that he had probably been in the sun too long, they suggested just taking it easy, drinkin lots of water, and staying out of the sun for long period s of time.  I hope he gets feeling 100percent soon, but like I said it doesn't seem to be anything too serious.
Well Time is running low.  I love you all very much.  12 weeks left... sometimes that seems like a lot, others like I'll be done in a few minutes.  In any case I love my mission I am really so much better for doing it and I am so thankful for all that I have learned and how my testimony has been strengthened.  Love you much talk to you next week BYe!

Anguoleme 5

So questions.

Yes we have Pday, Angouleme is just a small city and there isn't much for people to do who don't drink or smoke or watch tv or go to movies, or play video games.  There is stuff to see like old churches and stuff, but we are walking around that all day every day so... I do like Angouleme, it is just more tranquil that Lyon or other places.

yes we have a chapel in Angouleme, it isn't very big, but it is it's own building with a sign and everything.  A really big yard too.

we did get one new ami this week and a couple cool things, I'll tell you more about it in the day to day

Church was good as well, no talks either.

I did not get a suit, there was stuff in my size in Bordeaux, but everything was really picked through, and very few matching suits and pants because in France they sell all the coats in one place and all the pants in another and you have to find the match, so with the size and matching and price and something I liked, There wasn't anything.  I did get some really good looking pointy french shoes though for really cheap.  30 eruos.  I'll keep them looking nice to wear to church at home and everyone will think I'm weird because they are really trendy here, and it isn't something that you can find in the states.  I like them.

I think we are just over 250 missionaries in the mission.  I think it is supposed to cap around 270 ish. 

No the bishop didn't correct the person, at least not in public nor to my knowledge.

I have heard stories of apostasy from other missionaries, not from any of the members.  There was apparently someone trying to start polygamy again... all that fun stuff, but I really don't know the details.

So day to day

Monday:  Took a train to Bordeaux and bought my shoes and then ... that's it ha ha.

Tuesday:  Exchange in Bordeaux, wow, that is the biggest little city I have ever been to.  There are no buildings taller than three stories or so, but it just goes on and on and on and there is no end oto it.  Lots of talking to people, we taught a really gay guy who is the lead singer in his evangelist church band.  Then We took the train back ot Angouleme.

Wednesday:  Went to a little commune called L'isle D'Espagnac which is ... a little town, nothing super interesting malheuresement.  Then we saw Sr; Yodé who is a less active, and her brother was there who isn't a member who is super interested.  We gave him a book of mormon, and he really wants to know more, but he is going to be gone for two and a half weeks GRR, but still that will be cool in the future to see.

Thursday:  District meeting in Bordeaux again.  It went well apparently.  We got a little off track, but I was told people liked it, so fun.  Then we met this guy Fernando who comes from Peru and is way nice and knows the church, we gave him a BOM in spanish and tried to teach him, but he really speaks mostly spanish, and a little french.  I was able to communicate a tiny bit, but we'll need to rely on videos and brochures to teach him.  he was our new ami.  Then we ported into this awesome french family of five who wants to learn more!  We fixed a rdv with them for the next day, but he forgot he had work, so we moved it to tomorrow, so we have lots of hope for that and are hoping that that goes well.

Friday:  Taught Frere menardin with fr humblot for his home teaching.  Then we saw this less active Fr Corga who really opened up to us and really wants to change hi life, he asked us to give him a blessing and he was crying by the end.  Really it was a cool cool powerful moment on my mission.

Saturday:  Well we were going to go to a place called la rochefaucald, but when we got to the gare to buy our tickets, all the trains had been delayed indefinitely... so we went to the busses, and they didn't have the times posted for when the bus was going to leave, so I called the little number thing..; and they are not open on weekends.  So we took that to mean that we weren't supposed to go to la rocefoaucoalded wherever.  We went back to the apartment to organize the papers and teaching records, because they are still in disorder... we have been working on it, but we finally finished it, and we found the fiche of an old ami who we had met last week who told us he was a member, apparently he isn't because he isn't on the ward list and the teaching record said he had never been baptized.  We passed his address and we were able to fix a rdv with him as well.  theat was cool. 

Sunday:  Chuch was good, then we studied and contacted, nothing too big. 

I do feel like things are picking up a little bit here.  I has been less hot because there were some really huge storms the past couple nights.  Huge winds and lots of lighting and thunder. It woke us up and tore down some trees and did some damage.  Monte would have been really scared.

What else?  Our neighbors invited us to dinner Saturday night.  They were out of cheese so we brought some and they used the whole bag... what was for dinner? Pasta and cheese ha ha.  It was still nice.  They got a new cat and a new dog bringing the total to three cats and two dogs.. big dogs, and a 2 month old child.  In less than 100 sq meters.  They are kinda hicks, and they have really foul language, but we prayed with them and invited them to church.. they were not too interested in that.

Did I mention that there is another one of our neighbors who buys us food?  Not enough so that we don't have to shop, but she is very nice old lady, and we get her the ads for the store when we go shopping.  Pretty good deal.  TI is weird being friends with your neighbors, I have hardly seen any of my other neighbors in other cities.

Well I love you all very much.  I need to wrap this up if you want pictures.  The gospel is true.  I'm glad you had a good week.  This is the last week of the transfer, easily the fastest transfer of my mission.  I predict that I am going somewhere else and Elder Cooper is staying.  For some reason.  I feel like I have one more ville in me before I die, and I'd like to spend two in my last ville.  Anyway.  Much love I'll talk to you next week.  Have a great week stay safe!

Anguoleme 4

Hello everyone, you are just a little inquisitive bunch this week aren't you?  Ha ha no it's good.  So we better get to the questions if you  want me to finish them all. Don't worry we are in the expencive place because once again our little cheap mexican internet café is down.  I think we will just switch to this one.  I am frustrated with the other.  We bought enough internet time for today and next week, but that other place we paied the same price for enough time to cover us for the whole transfer... but you get what you pay for I guess.
Yes I got the packages and the two cards thank you very much!  I am really greatful for it.  I would say the favorite would be the salsa, I just got to have my morning fix of eggs and salsa, so thank you.  Did you know here, they sell a bottle of salsa that is about less than an eigth of what you sent me, and it costs 5 euros, but that is france.  It is ok, bottled water is only 10 cents for a two liters, so you get back money for some things.
I'll tell you what I did for my Bday in the day to day;
Yes hopefully there will be two new amis later today, but maybe not, we'll see if he can still do the rdv, he said he would tell us in the next 15 min or so.
No talks given in church, so I got to enjoy the lessons, but there was branch council and I did some stuff for that, more in the day to day;
Elder Cooper is doing well and feeling good and is working harder than me, so he is great!
Zone conf was fun, this last tuesday.  Blues conference is a missionaries second transfer, so We'd have to stay together for next transfer to go to blues conference together.  although, I am on 14 transfers and 13 collegues, so by my record it is not too likely we'll go together.
Yes we are being obedient.  Why you be asking me that?  I be a good missionary =P
I am eating fresh, eggs salsa and bacon every mornin, my favorite, and then usually rice or a pasta dish for lunch, and then cheese, and tomato with vinager for dinner or if I am more hungry a sandwich with lots of tomatoes and lettuce.  The tomatoes are stinking good here, you can almost eat them plain!  Our neighbor Joelle gave us a watermelon the other day that was very good and juicy.  I remember in Avignon I was in the land of melon, but they are not bad here.

I have not got a suit yet.  Angouleme does not sell things in my size.  I wear a size 52 pant (in european sizes) and they go up to 48 or sometimes 50, and a 47 shoe and the max everywhere is 45.  So we are doing an exchange with the bordeaux elders, so I am trying to get there a little earlier today so that I can look for something there for today
Why do you say I has long sideburns?  I cut them last week.
Bordeaux is a much bigger city so it is normally a little more hopping for the missionaries.  There are two wards and Five pairs of missionaries there I believe. 
I have a little nouvelle on Elder Bell.  He is living in Nîme apparently and working or going to school or both in Montpellier.  That is all I have on him.
Yes Porting is door to door. we usuall look at the map, and see where there is a cluster of less actives and we go pass them and then port the doors by them.  I usually like to knock on individual houses compared to apartment buildings, because you actually have to have a job and be sane to afford a house.  i notice (except for lyon because it is really expencive there)  The active members almost always live in houses or the really nice new apartment buildings, and the less actives live in the cheap government cement block housing.  Blessings for living according to true principles? 
No street boarding here yet.  There really isn't a very crowded place to do it, except for the main shopping road, but people don't like to be bothered there.  I don't think I have ever found someone interested on that road, and I have talked to a good number of them.
We are working with some of the members, the average age of the members here is about 70 so we are doing what we can.  There is a younger family that we had dinner with this week who is really willing to and is doing misionary work, so hopefully we'll keep following up with that and we might see some fruit from it.  looking at the branch numbers here.  There are about 150 members, and around 25 of them are active.  So there is pleanty of work to do with the less actives here.  I think that is where we will continue to put the accent is finding through the less actives.
Elder Cooper has made noticable improvements on his french in the past four weeks, he is progressing really well. he is still learning for sure, but I am impressed.  we are trying to speak french outside and utahnese inside, but it is more like english and french when we remember.  it is hard with two americans to speak french all the time.
Monday:  I didn't write down what we did, emails took a while, we called some people.. did we get a kebab,?  I don't think so.  then we ported by the church in passing an old ami who wasn't interested.

Tuesday:  zone conference took all day, and then we talked to people at night.  It was really good.  Just a review thing for what we have learned the past few zone confrences.  It was good. Our goal is to have fifty baptisms in the month of July.  we are at 15 ish now, but we do have about 40 people who have a baptismal date for this coming week.  We keep praying for it.
Wednesday:  Saw Fr Bordichoux I played my guitar for him which he loved.  He complained much less and the spirit was there, so I'd say that it was a success.  Then we did studies and went to Magnac and Touvre to talk to people not too much happened, but it was pretty.
Thursday:  Went to cognac for the day passed a really less active lady who wasn't happy to see us, and found a family of four who wants to be taught, and we ran into this lady who had requested the missionaries over the internet, but hasn't been answering her phone.  That was a really a big miracle, so hopefully she'll start answering.  Her mother recently died and she wants to know where she went.

Friday:  Did a service project for a less active that we thought lived just outside of angouleme. Turns out she lives at ... Courtras which is almost an hour away to the south.  We fixed her gardin and such, it was a good change of pace, but it took a long time.  We got back to the apt around 3, ate a little, studied, and went to this member family's place for dinner and a lesson.  Great barbequed merguese (a sausage thing) and grilled pork with grilled tomatoes and a carrot celery salad thing.  Quite a good impersonation of an american barbeque, but it was still pretty french.  Oh yeah, that was my birthday.  not a bad way to spend it.  I got the package tuesday or wednesday.
Saturday:  Did our weekly planning because friday we were doing service all day.  Then we Contacted some poeple around angouleme. Saw this 90 year old guy and his wife.  He is named alex nixon, and his wife is the sister of one of our members.  They were very nice and gave us something to drink although they are perfectly happy to stay catholique.

Sunday:  Good day at church.  We have a member Sr Clenet who does the sunday school and she is a really really good teacher.  I have never been so interested during sunday school as I have been with her.  She has a lot of energy too in her little 4 foot nothing body.  ... she is really short.  Then we  had conseil de branche where I told about the people we are working with and asked what there was we could do all that good stuff.  The second councilor of the stake was there, he is really on top of things making sure that the meeting time is actually being put to good use.  I hear in Bordeaux with the stake president they take a half hour for ward council, but they get everything done that they need to.  Vite fait bien fait quoi. 
Well that rdv just got canceld for later... as you may have realized we didn't have any lessons with amis last week.  It was a little rough but I am satified with our work.  We are doing what we are supposed to, some times the going is just a little bit harder.  I am still happy..; and sweating, except for when I come to do emails here.  it was 39 yesterday or 105, so it is hot hot hot in angouleme.  I have not been sleeping well because of the heat either, so that has made things a little rough too, but ca va.  We talked to 500 people this week, which is pretty good for this little village.  We have some other rdvs for this week, so I hope that they go through.  I love the Lord!

I feel like this email is pretty lenghty.  I hope you like it.  i'll try to send off some photos too.  There might be a couple repeats, because I forget which ones I already sent.  I love you all so much and miss you.  I thought about monte this past sunday.  give him a kiss for me!  and max... you can just pet him for me.  Stay groovy!  ciao

Angouleme 3

Hello family and others, thanks for the emails. Lots of questions, so let's get into it: 
No new amis this week, we really didn't see anyone ha ha, we are in the process of finding new amis
We went through toutouse, because there are no direct trains from Lyon to Bordeaux, only Lyon Toulouse Bordeaux etc.  Then Angouleme isn't the biggest city so naturally there are no direct trains from Lyon to Angouleme.  However it would have been quite a bit faster to go from Lyon to paris to Angouleme.  Instead of 9 hours of trian, it would have been about 4 or 5.  But we can't be leaving our mission now can we.
No I have not found a suit yet.  I was looking, but today is more the day that I will look for one.  They just changed the rules for suits, you can wear lighter colored suits now.  I'll forward you the email if you don't believe me.  ha ha So I might look into a lighter gray suit. 
Church was well. I gave a talk, and no one died, so that is good.  More in the day to day:
This week we didn't contact a whole lot because Elder Cooper had some stomach problems, and yeah, we only talked to 255 or something like that.  My last week in Lyon we talked to 1020 people in case you were wondering, but there are not as many people here as there are in Lyon.
No eggs thrown at me this week thankfully.  We only got yelled at a couple times from pepoles cars.  Nearly all the time it is the muslims, but sometimes no.
I yes I bore my testimony for fast sunday.  So three weeks in Angouleme, and I have talked three times in sacrament meeting. ha ha fun.
Yes I would love to help shoot for trek.  That will be awesome.  Do we get to stay in a hotel or rough it with the others (I would rather stay in a hotel)
There are a decent number of British people here, but it is mostly french people.  Not many muslims either unless you go to the more ghetto areas, but in the main part of the city it isn't bad.
Monday:  We got guitar strings because one of mine broke and we spent most of the day in the apartment cleaning and sleeping and saring at the wall.  Things like that.

Tuesday:  Exchange with the zone leaders.  I was with Elder Dicou here in Anglouleme.  Elder Cooper went to Bordeaux with Elder Call. Yes the elder Call I served with in Avignon.  Elder Dicou started his mission here, so he called some people and we were able to see a less active fr;  Mangou.  Very synical man, but he has so much potential.  Then Fr.  Bordichoux who complained even though some good things have been happening to him recently.  Victor who was baptised here almost a year ago, he is really cool and has a great testimony. he talks like one of those revival baptist preachers, only he says true doctrines and such.  Then we passsed this less active Yodé (so close to yoda I know!) that was someone who elder Bell baptised while he was here.  You remember Elder Bell? We fixed a rdv with her for this week.  Then I took a train to BOrdeaux to pick up elder Cooper, and took it back to angouleme with him that night.  Both trains were an hour and 20 mins late.  ... almost five hours in a train... long time.

Wednesday:  Saw Fr: Petit with a member Fr: Humblot, then we ported this place called Fléac which has some pretty houses. Lots of nice people but none of them interested.  That night I took a train back to bordeaux for our exchange with the other elders there.  I took Elder stanford back to Angouleme with me, and Elder Cooper was in Bordeaux.  We could have probably planned it better so that there were less trains, but things didn't work out that well.  Our train was again almost an hour late getting there and 20 mins late getting back. ay
Thursday:  Elder stanford and I did lots of calls the night before to try and get rdvs but no luck.  We passes several less actives, and we did have a rdv where the person didn't show up, so it was porting and contacting, but it was good to get to know elder stanford, He is a good dedicated missionary from alberta canada.  Then we took the train to bordeaux (30 min late) and then contacted in bordeaux until the other eleders came and we finished the exchange (the train coming home was only 5 min late, they are gettting better)
Friday:  Weekly planning, and we had lunch at the family Menardin's house. They are a nice older couple. The wife is french, the husband is from gwadaloupe.  We ate a simple salad with rice and chicken in a currey sauce and a fruit cocktail for dessert. It was good, and there was lots and lots of food.  Then Elder Cooper was not feeling well at all.  (it wasn't the food because he already was not feeling good that morning) so we stayed the rest of the night inside I believe.
Saturday:  Elder cooper was going to the bathroom every hour, so we spent the day inside, we did get out at night and went to the church to talk to people on the way and so Elder cooper could practice piano for church. 

Sunday:  good day at church.  Fr: Mangou came to church, but he made it clear that it was just because the missionary who baptised him was visiting.  The bikman family was the old missionary and his wife who were visiting. he was branch president here in 2007.  From Rigby Idaho if you are curious.  anyway I gave my talk about the first vision. I won't tell you too much about it because I am planning on using a lot of it, or parts anyway for my homecoming talk.  No I am not already writing it, but I thought it would be fun to share what I did for the homecoming talk.  The members said I did a good job and they were impressed with my french.  I twisted it so I basically just talked about the gospel of jesus christ, which is what Prez roney told us to do, so he would be proud of me.  After church, We all had a meal together, very good it was a potluck, so lots of everything.    Then we passed this refferal we had gotten.  A man from argentina, we were able to talk to him.  he said he was reading the book of mormon. I was right on his desk too in the open, so it looked like that. he said he liked it, and that he woudl call us if he had any questions.  So now he is falling into our trap, he'll want to be baptised pretty soon right.  Good way to end the night.
So I am excited for this week.  We have zone confrerence tomorow, and that is always fun.  It is strange because I have this one, another, and the next I'll give my dying testimony.  Ug so weird;  The time really is going by so fast.  I have been saying this to Elder Cooper, it is strange becuause I really don't remember anything before my mission.  It feels like I have just always been a missionary and they injected som vague memories of parents and a brother right after I was manufactured in the salt lake city factory.  Yet it has really passed by fast.  I still have a good chunk of time left, but I see the end coming up and... i have a lot of mixed feelings.  Mostly excitement, but it will be very hard to go.  I have been living every day to it's all ... mostly.  In any case I feel very satisfied with my mission, and I think I'll be ready to go home when the time comes... I'm sure I'll vent to you a lot about this when I get back. Well Love you all with all my heart.  Don't get too hot.  drink lots of water and make sure you pet monte at least twice a day... max once every other day, unless he is dying.  See you next time.