Monday, March 25, 2013

Yverdon 6

bonjour ma famille, comment ça va?  Bien J'espère.  Allons aux questions pour la semaine

La famille Morattel va bien, ils lisent le Livre de Mormon petit à petit, The husband doesn't have much of a desire honestly, he is atheist and fine being one.  The mother is really cool though.  Fabian was in Germany with his parents this week, so he was not able to have a rdv with us, but he did come to Young mens activity which I think he enjoyed.  The young men's president (Frère Rotterman) is really really cool.  He finished his mission about five years ago, less than that I think.  Anyway, we saw him and his wife yesterday evening and they seem to just be the perfect couple.  I know they are not perfect, but they seem to be pretty close.

We only went to Neuchâtel this week for our district meeting, and then I went on exchange to Bienne, and that was bien, I'll tell you more in the day to day.

Elder Ihalmo is doing ... kinda, he doesn't get along with his current collegue.  They are both good missionaries, they just have differences, and there are things on both sides that they could be doing better.  Elder Ihalmo can be pretty stubborn at times, I think the exchange helped him, however he will need to learn to change if he wants to get along with collegues.  It seems that there are patterns of people who generally don't get along with their companions, and people who do.  Fortunately I have gotten along great with all of my companions... well except one, but I'll tell you about that latter, he is no longer my comp.  Anyway, I do not think that it is luck of the draw where these people who don't get along just keep getting stuck with crummy comps.  I know that a couple of my companions have had reputations (none of them horrible by any means)  Yet I have loved all of them, and have learned a lot from all of them.  I tried to explain this to Elder Ihalmo... I wonder if any of it stuck.

So Elder Puairau thinks he is going this transfer, for some reason, I feel like I am leaving though.  Although one of us will stay because a zone leader whitewash never happens... except for that one time in Lausanne... but that was just because the new zone was created, so there were not zone leaders there before.  I don't know, I really like Yverdon, as far as villes go, it is not my favorite.  It is not very pretty, and it is known for being foggy and grey lots of the time which it is.  It has a few pretty spots... one pretty spot, and the countryside is pretty outside of the ville.  I really like the members.  Even though I have the feeling still of being the "new guy".  I hope Elder Puairau and I stay together.  I really like him, and besides, I do not know the ville too well to get us around without a map.   Well I have done that before.  I just hope if I stay and get a new companion he knows how to drive stick.  I have been learning, but I would rather trust someone else who has really knows.

Yes I saw Elder Leau at zone conference that was cool.  You'll see him on the photos I sent.

How have I seen people changed... was that the question, or people changed by knowing Christ?  Well, I would say the two biggest changes I have seen are in Eva (who was baptised in AIx) and Lisa (in St Etienne)  Both of them before, or when we started teaching them were much different after.  They are two different people.  Eva is really bubbly and friendly while Lisa is also friendly but really shy, or she was.  Anyway, Eva was "catholic" but wasn't too sure if God existed etc.  Her personality didn't really change, but her language did (she swore a lot before) and just, after her baptism, she had this light about here that people talk about.  She is really a cool person.  I need to write her a letter come to think about it. It has been a while now.  Then Lisa, totally opened up, and wants to help everyone, and yeah.  Before, she wouldn't talk to anyone at church or ... well she was just shy, but now she is happy and bright and ... I don't know how to put it into just a few words.  Needless to say they were both very spiritual and strengthening experiences to be a part of.

Monday:  Spent a long time on the computer watching Mormon messages and looking at photos Elder puairau has taken.  Hen we saw Cedric, the son of this old ami we started teaching again.  He is cool... in a mental hospital, but he seems pretty stable.  Apparently the missionaries have seen him before for the better part of two years.  But he has trouble remembering things.  We'll see how that develops.

Tuesday:  Did some online exam thing because there is a member of the 70 who is coming to our mission sometime.  Then we did some calls, I went to a rdv for a new apartment with a member while Elder Puairau was at a church meeting.  The apartment is for a team of sisters I think.  Anyway, the one I saw was spacious, kinda groovy in a very pleasant safe place, near the center city, but it was old, with creaky floors and kinda damp.  The ... Locataire I am not sure what that is in English.  The guy who live's there (voilà) said he is moving because of the noise.  Over all though it wasn't bad on the scale of missionary apartments. I am supposed to talk with the office today more about it.

Wednesday:  Saw The father of Cedric, Joseph, he is doing good and agreed to be baptized the 11th of April, he is making good progress.  He is about 70 years old, and has some disease that makes it very painful for him at his waist.  Then we saw Benjamin a less active who just got advanced to a priest the other day (so cool!)  He also gave a good talk in sacrament.  The work is doing really well with less actives here in Yverdon.  There have been about four or so that have started coming to church again.

Thursday:  District meeting in Neuchâtel. Then exchange to Bienne with Elder Ihalmo.  Lots of contacting.  However, we got permission to visit a member family who technically lives out of our mission (again we had presidential permission).  We had a delicious dinner of steak and potatoes and green beans (quite American) and then we had a good rdv with them.  They live in Zolikoffen which just so happens to be the town where the Swiss temple is.  After the rdv, the member asked if we would like him to show us the temple.  We happily accompanied him, and were able to see the temple.  It was really really beautiful, and the spirit of the place was so familiar.  It made me miss going to the temple.  It is honestly not enormous, four endowment rooms he said.  We didn't do a session (no permission to do that, and it was closed anyway)  I'll send a  picture.  Good evening.  I drove the car (it is an automatic in BIenne)

Friday:Lots of passbacks, did an activity for the young men, taught them how to shine shoes, iron, tie ties etc, then we had competitions for candy.  It went well

Sat_  lot s of contacting.  Saw Joseph, a less active younger brother of Benjamin who normally is cool and gangster and all that, but we made him cookies, so that warmed him up, and he let us in, and we were able to talk with him for about an hour.  Rally neat encore.

Sunday.  Great dimanche, A father and a son just wandered in and stayed for all the meetings.  Turns out he knows one of the members, but the member hadn't invited him, the guy just said he wanted to hear the word of God.  he loved church and we set a rdv with him for this week. 

Today we are going to see castles, and I got to go.  Je vous aime beaucoup, je vais vous envoyer les photos du temple, mais si je veux aller voir les chateaux aujourd'hui, il faut que je termine cet email.  Mais ça va ou bien!?!?  Le Français est bien different ici qu'en France.  oh, c'est chou et septante et les chose comme ça.  Je vous ferrai voir les accents differentes quand je rentre, elles sont rigolotes!  Pas Vrais? Ciao

PS, ce qui etait écrit dessus n'a pas trop de significance, c'est que moi en train de se taper un bon momment, ah alors je suis si naze!

Yverdon 5

 I did not wear green for st pat's day. I didn't even know it was st p's day until I read it in your email. It doesn't exist here.  At least I haven't seen anything particularly green or heard people talking with an Irish accent.

The shoes are good and free of holes, so I like them.  They do have a little bit of a clown feeling when I wear them, but whatever, I am thinking about getting some really classy ones this coming soldes.  Of course I am also shooting for a new suit this coming soldes (in June) ... my last of the mission! what?!? We have been trying to leave it more though and walk around ville so we can talk to people.

Yes I got the card,  When E Puairau has a hard time waking up, I open it and that gets him out of bed real quick to shut it up ha ha.

The amis are awesome.  We fixed a baptismal date with the family of the stake president that we are teaching for the 20 of avril, so if you could mention the morattels in your prayers, to add some more people praying for them.  It so cool to teach them, it is a family of four, Swiss people with jobs who are normal and not mentally unstable, it is pretty much the family I have been looking for my whole mission.  Actually it is interesting because I have been praying (about two three transfers ago back in St Etienne) to find a family of four with one of the kids baptismal age... coincidence?  Possibly, but those are... non existent on missions.  Other amis are doing good as well.  Adriana came to church the first time this transfer, even thought she has been promising to come every week since before I got here, so that was neat.  She had a good experience.

Lundi:  We walked around downtown Yverdon, all two roads, and looked at the four shops that are here, and then we saw a few less actives etc

Mardi:Taught Adriana, then saw a less active and his girl roommate. had RCM

Mercredi:  Saw Caroline the Chinese less active, she came to church the last two weeks, so that is fun.  Then we saw Joseph, and old ami who we are teaching again.  Then saw our Spanish couple who are still in a big pickle, but they are looking towards the right place and for the right reasons to help with their problems.  That rdv was really cool because our member who speaks Spanish was not able to come, so last minute we called a member who happens to speak Spanish in the same ville as the couple (they don't live in Yverdon)  This member has not been to church in years, but still he agreed to help us, and did a great job of translating and even bearing his own testimony on the book of Mormon.  He really enjoyed the teaching,  hopefully that re motivates him a bit.

Jeudi_  zone conference in Genève, really great.  I love president and zone conferences.  It was weird seeing the people who were finishing their missions (when it is your last zone conference you bear your testimony)  These were a few soeurs that I knew in the MTC (in the group just above me) who are now done with their mission... well in two weeks.  That was an odd experience seeing theme give a ``Dying`` testimony

Vendredi:  saw a bunch of members and pass backs, saw fabian the German kid who is asking more and more questions and seems to be more sincere in his search, so that is cool.  He still has the attitude of I am too cool for this, but he comes to church and seminary, so now all he needs to do is personal reading and continue personal prayer, and he is in the bag cha ching =P  Then we saw the family morattel, with the stake prez and his family... six kids and a cat make lots of noise, but thankfully the spirit penetrates through children laughing and screaming.

Samedi:  Worked on the farm.  saw Andriana again and did some other stuff.

Dimanche.  Good Sunday, it's women's week, so the relief society presidency spoke and gave really some powerful talks.  After we ate at the Wrinkler family's place, spaghetti and meatballs with champignons (what is that in English?)  it was good.  Then we had the soirée familiale (FHE) with the bishop's family and the Young adults.  and all that fun stuff.

If it seems like I did the day to day really quickly it is because I did.  I have used all my time, but I want you all to know that I love you and pray for you every day.  Have a great week.  Love you!

Yverdon 4

Hello everybody, there are lots of questions for this week, so lets cut to the chase:

No I have not heard from Elder Graham, well not directly, I must have written his email down wrong because I was not able to send him anything.  I heard he cut his foot really bad, but that was like 7 months ago, he is still on his mission.  He is also in the Congo Kinshasa mission, no Idea how to spell that.

Yes Bienne has a car, didn't I tell you? I guess not.  Elder Ihalmo hates it, ha ha.  You need to know him to think that's funny, he's just such a cute little angry Finnish guy ha ha.

Yes I got the package, thank you very much!  The pants are gorgeous, and I do fit in them believe it or not.  Sorry I said 32 before, but what I meant to write was 38x32, so you got the right size.  I could probably squeeze into a 36, but that wouldn't be very missionary looking, but very European =P 
I also enjoy the peanut butter.

Gas is really really expensive here.  Luckily,  they give us a magic card (different from our normal ones) to pay for it.  Gas is 1.93ish franks for one liter.  The conversion is about 7.73 per gallon, and that is franks, so more like 9 dollars a gallon.  How would you like to pay that?  These little potato cars get really good milage though.  We only fill up maybe once a week, we could probably go two weeks without filling up, and it costs us about 95 franks to fill the tank. 

Another fun fact about Switzerland, you have to buy special trash bags here, and to force everyone to recycle, the bags are really expensive.  We just bought a roll of 20 bags or so for 40 franks!  fun fun fun

This week is still Spanish, but I'll talk about that later in the day to day, which might be kinda short this week sorry.

Exercize is doing good, Elder Puairau and I are running every other day.  about 2km each time.  We are also eating lots of rice dishes because I mentioned that I liked rice, which made him very happy because apparently his last few collegues have not liked eating rice.  Usually we eat rice with shredded carrots, sliced peppers, onions, egg, and a little sausage or something, anyways it's really good.

Elder Puairau is the driver, but we talked to president and he doesn't really care if I drive even though I cough cough may not be legal cough.  did I tell you that I am not even legal in the country?  I mean, I am totally legal I have only been here for 50 days, and am therefore still considered a tourist.  I have 90 days, my legality didn't get renewed, and after I complained to the office a lot they finally just told me to tell people I live in France and am visiting if anyone starts asking questions.  Boy I hope no government people are reading this.  But like I said, for the moment I am legal.  There are no plans to renew my visa here either, because they figure I don't have enough time left on the mission to make it worth it.  that is a little depressing, but whatever, I am in Swiss and I am happy about it.  Especially because the past few days have been beautiful and sunny, only this week is supposed to be a little rainy.

Our car is an OPEL (drum roll please) Meriva, I'll see about sending photos of it today.

Yes I get the monthly or so letters from the stake, and also the monthly ward news letter.  I love it, because it is the only mail I get that isn't from you wonderful parents!  It reminds me of the mash episodes when Hawkeye gets the paper from his hometown and reads it to the camp.  I don't know why, but that's what I envision every time I get one.  I read it out loud of course to my colleagues as if they knew the people in our ward etc...

Am I an elder who sets rdvs on pdays?  I do not like to personally, if I don't get at least a little bit of time to sit and stare at the wall then I have headaches and tiredness the whole week.  Of course, these people are more important than my personal comfort, so if they cannot do another time other than Monday during the day, I'll go ahead and fix the rdv.

I have not been to Dijon, We went to besançon for the conference, thing and took the dijon elders back to Yverdon with us.  It is a shame, but the elders tell me even the missionaries who do not like mustard, end up enjoying the dijon mustard.

Yes it is me and elder Puairau who conduct the Zone traning meeting for three hours.  The first hour is a meeting with the district leaders, which is more only like a half hour, and then the next two hours are with the zone.  We do do practices and other things, so it is not just us talking the whole time, but still it takes a decent amount of preparation.  Normally we organize things with the Zone conference as well, but we are combining zones for this transfer with the Geneva and Lausanne zones, so I think we dodged a bullet there.

Lundi:  DId haircuts (I'll be honest, mine doesn't look the best, but hey, I don't need to impress anyone) then went to Neuchatel to play soccer, and I stayed there for an exchange

Mardi:  exchange in Neuchatel.  In the evening we switched back, and we had some meetings with the ward and stake council etc.  That evening we left for Geneva, and stayed the night with the Geneva Elders.

Mercredi:  Took the train to Lyon, then Lyon to St Etienne, we had lunch with the Elders there (Jackson (from the MTC) and Arrington( who I served with in Avignon)) It was really fun, and good to catch up on what was happening in St Etienne.  The ward and the converts are doing well for the most part, except for David, I don't know if you remember him.  Well he is having a bought of depression and is acting violently so the Elders have been told to avoid him.  It is a shame.  So I went to the Prefecture at 2h40 for my rdv, and was out by 2h50.  It was really lame they just asked me for my birth certificate and my prints, and then said I was good.  Well I am now at least legal in part of our mission.  then Because of late trains and long distances, we ended up having to stay with the Geneva elders again.

Jeudi:   Got home and saw some less actives, went to St Croix, a pretty little city on the mountain with a great view, to go see some peoples.  Then we taught Léo and Mari the spanish couple.  We brought a member with us to translate.  It was a really good rdv.  These people seem pretty lost and have nothing left, so they are trying God.  I was reminded of the verse in Alma 32 where Alma talks about how the people are blessed because they have been forced to be humble.  This is kinda like this couple.  Pretty much everything bad has happened to them.  It should be cool because if they are really sincere, we should see the biggest changes with them.  Then went to bed, first night's sleep in my own bed that week.

Vendredi:  Only real thing of note is we saw Fabian the German punk, who was pretty interested in the plan of salvation.  I find him rather funny, I am still not sure if he is really interested, but he keeps on seeing us and reading, so we keep on teaching him.

Samedi:  Lots of dinner appointments, we worked at the farm, then had raclette for lunch with them (i'll show you when I get back)  Then we had a rdv with a member family who gave us not a meal, but some good orderves.  Then we passed an ami who was actually having a BBQ at the moment, they are a Brazilian family, so of course they made us join them and we ate with them, and were able to teach all the Brazilians in Yverdon.  That was fun.  Then not long after we went to our pre scheduled eating appointment with the family Rochat, a recent convert family.  I was stuffed by the end of the day and glad that I wasn't called to Tahiti where it is like that every day.  But the food was soo good!

Dimanche: Good time at church, five amis came including a couple who just saw the church and decided to check it out.  Really a great week.  We taught FHE and then saw some other member families.  Gereat week again.

SO I need to get going, The travel agenda for this week is Geneva and Neuchatel again, it should be a good week.  I love being a missionary, Have a wonderful week, the gospel is true, and it works.  You are the best love you and thank you for the emailses!

Yverdon 3

Hello everybody, not lots of questions for this week

Our amis are doing alright.  Our biggest potential right now is a girl named Adrianna and her brother Alexandre.  They are from Brazil, but have lived in Suisse for 13ish years now.  They are really cool, and every rdv, is packed with the spirit, but then they don't keep the commitments.  Well they do read and pray, but they have yet to come to church even though every week it is yes yes, we'll come.  So hopefully things improve there.

As far as new amis, a recently reactivated member brought one of his non member friends to church who is from Argentina I think, and then the Bishop brought a family friend, a couple of Spanish origins, the Argentina girl speaks french well, but more Spanish, and the couple speaks almost no french.  However, with help from the members, and the gift of tongues, we were able to explain the book of Mormon to them, and fix a rdv for this week.  Fortunately there are lots of members who speak Spanish here.  I found a Spanish grammar book in the apartment, so ... vamanos mis amigos!

Yes we worked on the farm again.  It is a weekly Saturday morning thing.  Today, we only got to pick out stones from their fields.  I thought of the scripture in Ecclesiastes 3, there is  a time to gather stones and a time to cast stones away... interesting huh?  not really.

I have not received the package yet, I'll tell you when it gets in.  Just so you know we only have a mini fridge that is smaller than the one in the basement... somehow it works, it helps that everything in Europe is small.

There are very few cars in the mission actually.  they have been asking for more, but it doesn't look like we'll get any soon.  We have one, then the assistants, chalon, bienne, sant raf, and a couple other zone leaders.  I would say around a dozen cars.

Yes I have decided I want to go to BYU, at least for right after I get back, I personally have no idea what I need to do or when I need to ... s'inscrire (I forget the word in english) for classes, so ... if you have some time that'd be cool if you did a little research for me, so that I don't rat on school.

Yes we have a GPS, that helps a lot, because... well yeah, driving in Europe is a lot different than driving in the states, or Utah rather.

Monday, we had a few rdvs Monday, it didn't feel like a pday which made this week a little tiring.  I feel that you do need to take a little time to de-stress, at least I do.  There are some missionaries in the mission who *cough cough* purposefully set rdvs on Pday *cough*  I mean who seem to always have rdvs on Pday, personally I would go insane doing that every week...  That night, we drove to Lausanne to pick up the elders there and then went to Geneva and stayed the night with those elders.

Tuesday.  Took the train from Geneva to Lyon, had a Zone leader council, which was a lot like a zone conference, but still president... it was really really cool, probably the most powerful spiritual meeting I have ever been to.  It was weird because president talked about advice for after the mission as well, mostly stuff for how to help the mission, but . Anyway, it was really cool.  Then we did an exchange with the assistants in Lyon.  I was with Elder Arnold.  We prayed for a place to go porting while the other missionaries were in a rdv.  We found a building, and I just felt like it was going to be a good one.  We knocked on 10 doors, and we were able to teach the restoration to 8 of them.  We didn't get invited in, but we did have a lesson with them just at their door.  It was really incredible just to see so many people interested to hear more.  just a really spiritual cool day.  I love being a missionary.

took the trek back to Yverdon.  Our train was late and then got delayed en route, and so we got back at 6 ish in the evening!  normally we should have been back by 3ish.  We saw a less active (Caroline) who came to church this Sunday!  it was cool.  Then right after we quickly but effectively planned our zone training meeting for the next morning.  that is like a district meeting, but with the whole zone and three hours long.

Drove to Besançon and had the meeting.  I went really well.  We took the Dijon elders back with us for an exchange, and saw some members and Andriana, and other people.   It went well

Took the Dijon elders back to Besançon(long drive) came back and saw fabian, a newish ami who is kina a punk, but kina funny.  He said he is going to teach me German, because it is the best language.

Worked at the farm, did our weekly planning and saw some people, amis members, no rdvs, just quick conversations and trying to fix rdvs for the future.

Great day at church, I already mentioned the new people who came, it was a powerful fast and testimony meeting.  Then we has our FHE with the young adults , and dinner with the family Rottermann, Beef pasta stew thing, it was really good.

Today, we cleaned the apartment, so it is beautiful now, I love having a clean space.  Then we went to do emails. 

Lots of traveling for this week as well.  What is on the agenda?  Neuchâtel, and Saint Etienne.  Why saint etienne?  Because my papers to be legal just got in and I have to go there for a meeting so that they can make sure I'm not a criminal or some guy looking to suck off the system.  Fun stuff.  Not as much traveling as the last week, but still going to and from St Etienne will take all day, but it has to be done.  I think we did the bulk of the traveling already, for the rest of the transfer, we have a trip to geneva, Bienne, and Besançon again.

Well I loved your emails.  I hope you are all doing well, and that you know how much I love you.