September 29, 2014
So, this past week passed really well.
Monday, during our P day, we headed over to a store called Lidl to go and buy some juice...now, Lidl is like one of the cheapest stores ever...it's kind of like Ross, but for produce/food. BUT Lidl has THEE best juices ever. So on our way, our ami José saw us and stopped in his car to talk to us. Turns out he needed some help getting a website for his work online, so he asked us if we could help him. We said we could try, he ended up being able to get it up himself later though. But it was really cool to be in the right place at the right time.
Then later Monday night, we went to the Razamadraibe's house so that I'd be able to say goodbye to them, since it was a high possibility of me leaving. It was really fun. By the way, the game Cranium is very, very difficult in French. :)
Tuesday we had our last District meeting of the transfer. It was pretty good. It was mostly just a discussion on the Spirit and promptings from the spirit. We ate our lunch together afterwards, and then took some district photos. I forgot to bring my camera to emails today...so no photos for you. :/ Désolé.
Wednesday we met with the Swanepoel's at the Church in La Rochelle and taught them with Frère Forbes, who is a Rugby player for La Rochelle's team. Even though the Swanepoel's boys were screaming the whole time, Frère Forbes bore a powerful testimony on the truthfulness of the church and of Joseph Smith. It was really great. The Swanepoel's both talked about how they know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. They are definitely getting more and more ready for their baptisms.
Thursday morning, I had a rendez-vous for my second year legality in France. The RDV went really well...except, remember a year ago...the whole Afgahn thing? That came up again. Apparently I've been an Afgahn the whole past year. Bahaha!! The lady that was going through my papers and stuff was very kind and was able to change my nationality from Afgahn to American. So, I think I'll stay American for the rest of my life. :)
That evening we had a rdv with our ami Mehdi. We shared with him the First Vision and bore testimony on it. He said that what we told him really spoke to him. He also said that we are both smart and know our stuff, then he added, "It's not an intelligence from the brain, it's like...an intelligence from the heart. Like you've really reflected on this and pondered it, and that you know without a doubt it is true." That really was a cool compliment to receive. If our testimonies come off strong like that, it's not only because of us and our experiences we've lived, it's because of the spirit. The spirit was so strong during the lesson. Mehdi accepted the soft invite to baptism. He invited an invitation to come to church as well. He also had brought his guitar, because he wanted to hear me sing, and then he asked for some help on a song that he's working on. It's in english, so he asked us if he is pronouncing everything correctly. He's pretty good. He held his engagement to come on sunday. :)
Friday, we met the less active Mehdi. We were originally going to meet at his house, but 10 minutes before the RDV he asked if we could just meet at the Chapelle, which was a GENIOUS idea! It was the first time he had walked into a church in the last 5 years. That was a really big step for him. We talked with him in the Sacrement room where he expressed his feelings that he had being there. He even came to church this sunday for the first time in 5 years!! The ward was SO great at welcoming him in. :)
Saturday we went to Niort to teach Christian, then to do a Samedi Sport with Josué, one of the Razamadraibe sons. During our lesson with Christian, he called us telling us that he had a music event and we'd need to push back basketball a bit, he then invited us to come and told me to come and play a couple songs. We came and I was able to play a couple songs. (I guess this was a rather musical week...haha) Then basketball ended up falling through. Josué's friends weren't able to come and play.
Transfers, we received a rather surprising call Saturday Morning from Président Babin, guess who is going to Tours as a Zone Leader? Elder Smith and I weren't expecting that, but he'll do a great job. So, it appears that I'll be staying at least 6 months in La Rochelle. We totally thought I would be leaving, but the Lord has higher ways and still has more for me to do and learn here in La Rochelle. I'll be welcoming in Elder Godfrey, who was at the MTC with me. He's pretty chill, so I'm excited. He is a beast of an Athlete. Or at least, he was in the MTC, let's hope a year on the mission hasn't changed that. ;)
With Elder Smith parting to Tours, I've accepted a new calling as the Ward Pianist. It's not really a calling, because we're not set apart for it, but I'll be taking over for Elder Smith. We trained each other. For two transfers, he was training me to become the Pianist of the La Rochelle ward and I was training him to become Zone Leader. (that's just the joke he and I have been cracking ever since we received that call.)
I'm pretty excited for this new transfer, the news was rather surprising, but it's gonna be great. It'll be sad to say goodbye to Elder Smith, he and I have become pretty good friends over these past 12 weeks.
Don't worry for you, I'll look for you at GC. Look for Elder Tripp during the Priesthood Session!!! He's going to be in the MTC Choir!!
Also, we just recently were given a Crock Pot, so could you send me some awesome crock pot recipes that you've already tried? I'd love to use it more. Elder Smith and I make Café Rio Pork last week and it turned out SUPER! We used a recipe that I got from an Elder in the mission. (I didn't want to try the one you sent me because the Salsa in France is gross. Tastes more like a very sweet, chili-powder jelly...ha) Also, could you send me the recipe for Rolled Sugar Cookie Dough? The pillsbury recipe. :) Thanks!
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
-Elder B. Stanton Wilson
September 15, 2014
It's good to hear that most all is going well. It's too bad to hear that momma was/is sick. Reposes-toi bien maman!
Last P day we went Bowling with the Fitt's. Guess who got over 100? :) I know that's not too high, but hey, for not bowling for QUITE some time, I'd say that bowling a 104 isn't too bad. I'll send you some pictures.
Buh, this week was a different week. The Fitt's went on a Tour de France all week, so it was rather odd being in La Rochelle with out a couple missionary. By the way, when I say Tour de France, I mean appartement checks in Bretagne. They seriously went through all of Bretagne in like 5 days. Bless their souls, that's TONS of driving. They were a little wiped out from their trip.
Meanwhile, In La Rochelle, Elder Smith and I had double exchanges (meaning that both équipes work in the same secteur) Tuesday/Wednesday with the District leader and his Comp in La Rochelle. I was with the DL, Elder Nielsen, from Tremonton. The exchange went well. It's very interesting how much the plans that are made, that may seem inspired at the moment they are planned, can change so fast.
After Dinner, we were going to go somewhere to do some porting, but as we started approaching the area on the bus, I felt like we should pass by Geni (the ami that got super offended when I was with Elder Rigby). So we did. He happened to be there, invited us in to talk and to eat dinner with him and his wife. He did mention that he was still offended at "Collin" (he likes to know our first names, then he likes to call us by them. Lucky for me, he can't remember mine to save his life!!) about not being able to come in our appartement, which being interpreted means, he is still offended at the missionary rules and doesn't understand them. He was very nice though!! We shared a scripture with him, something along the lines of "come unto Christ" (the one in Moroni 10 near the end of the chapter) and invited him to church. He said he might come, it depends on his sick mother. He did not attend church this week.
Even though Geni is still offended, he did seem happy to see us. I do feel like that impression to visit him was from the Spirit. It is SO important that we follow the spirit every time he prompts us.
Wednesday, we finished the exchange and sent the Elders back off to Nantes.
Thursday we went and printed off a picture of the Paris Temple (what it is supposed to look like) to go give it to a Less Active member, who, a few weeks ago, we had promised to bring her a picture of it after she talked about her experience when she was 15 in doing baptisms for the dead at the Geneva temple. When we gave it to her, her face lit up. It was pretty cool. I hope she will soon get the desire to come back to church.
Friday we finally were able to see the Swanepoel's!!! Yay!!!!!! We got to take a train to Niort, then a bus to Fontenay, then waited a bit for Bokke to come pick us up. They fed us lunch, which was a SUPER delicious spaghetti, and a millefeuille for desert. We then shared with them Moroni 7:13 and invited them to continue to pray about the Book of Mormon. Bokke says he hasn't really received an answer yet, and that he feels like it's more of a story than some kind of biblical record, but he agreed to continue to pray about it. Georget though, she said she has recieved her answer. Before they received the BoM in their native language (Afrikaans) they had it in English. They sat down together to read it after we talked about it, they struggled for 15 minutes trying to read one page. And didn't understand any of it (now, they speak english very well, but when it comes to reading Old English, it's a little harder). Georget prayed for something for God to give her a reason to keep reading the Book of Mormon. The next RDV, we gave them Books of Mormon (or is it Book of Mormons? *insert winky face here*) in Afrikaans. Georget said that that was her answer.
Interesting information on that, we could have given them the Books of Mormon in Afrikaans before they had their experience, but when the Fitt's asked us if we should give them to the Swanepoel's, we both said, hmmm, maybe, we'll see. Then at the last minute we decided not to, for some odd reason.
We also re-fixed baptismal dates. November 2nd! We've almost finished all of the lessons with them. It's been super great to teach them!!
Friday night, Sister Rigby invited us over to eat with her and her husband Allen, who isn't a member. Allen is SUCH a hoot!! He switches accents a lot and it is hilarious. At one point, Sister Rigby was talking about all the apostles that Allen has heard in person, and she mentioned Spencer W. Kimball. Allen then said in his American accent, "I had heard he was quite the Kimball Wizard." Elder Smith and I laughed pretty hard. :) Our spiritual thought we shared was Moses 1:39.
Saturday we took a train to Niort to visit Christian. We finished the Restoration with him. His youngest son was there, so we were able to teach him with Christian. It was pretty cool.
We were supposed to have another rdv with a potential ami, but he apparently was working. So since we had time, we passed by a member that lives not far from the Gare and talked with them for a couple minutes before catching our train.
Well, that was the week! I hope you enjoy the pictures. I also included a picture that we took while we were in Niort.
Have a great week!
-Elder B. Stanton Wilson