So Tuesday was my last day with Steve Carrel (Elder Jenness), it was a pretty good day. An older couple in the ward took us out to a Chinese buffet. This was my third Chinese buffet in France!! I think I like them better in France. I ate four plates of food plus two bowls of ice cream and one plate of dessert. Oddly, I didn't feel terrible after eating all that food.
Wednesday, we went in to Paris to drop off Elder Jenness and to receive my new companion. My new comp is an Elder Davis from Seattle Washington (or Warshington, if you're a true Washington-ite). He was fast tracked in the MTC, so he's only been on his mission for 2 weeks longer than I have. He is in his 13th transfer, I'm in my 12th. Elder Davis is pretty cool, a little loud at times, but basically, he and I have a lot in common. It's been rather odd. Also, he sings decently, which is great! Actually, he and I and the youth in the ward here will be singing une Cantique de Noël this Sunday!
Thursday, we had three rendez-vous set up. We'll, we got frudged by all of them. Crazy right? Well the last RDV that was scheduled was at 6 at night. After waiting a bit, and not being able to get ahold of the potential ami (Kouassi), we assumed he wasn't coming. We were supposed to meet right next to one of the tram stops. Well, I heard someone singing and playing guitar, so I made my way towards that. Elder Davis asked me "So, we've been frudged, what do you want to do?" and I replied "We're going to wait until after this song, then I'm going to ask if I can play a song." The person finished her song and I asked, and she let me play a couple of songs. After which we talked to her, found out her name is Sarah and she is 18, and that she speaks english pretty well, then invited her to come to our ward's Christmas party on Saturday. She asked if she could have the lyrics to the last song I played (the one that Jantzen wrote), I said I would write them out and give them to her.
About an hour and a half later, we received a call from our potential ami named Kouassi telling us he would be at that tram stop in about 20 minutes, so we went back there and met him and taught him and his friend, Colbert. We talked to them a little about why we're here (How to Begin Teaching, PMG Ch. 10) and ended up talking about prayer. At the end we set up a return rendez-vous with them. That was pretty cool. :)
Saturday, we spent the day at the church first with Ward Council, then with helping the ward set up for the Christmas party. The Christmas party was a blast and very successful and very effective au niveau de l'oeuvre missionnaire (in terms of missionary work? Sorry, I don't remember how to say that in english). The primary children did two different "sketch"'s (skits), the primary girls did the parable of the 10 virgins, the boys did a sketch about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's when they gave up their weapons of war. After that, we all ate.
Before we started to serve ourselves, Sarah showed up with her little, 10 year old sister! Cool right? We made sure to introduce her to many of the young women and other members. She asked me why I chose to join this church and I started to talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon, then handed off the conversation to a member sitting right next to her. He then explained what the Book of Mormon was and we gave her one. Then about half an hour after she came, an old man showed up. His name is André. He received an invitation from a member and decided to come. He loved it so much that he decided to come to church the next day!
I am very thankful for members who really are welcoming and loving to new people that come.
Elder Davis and I used the Christmas party to talk to as many members as possible to get to know them better. I feel a lot closer to the ward now and feel like they trust us more now that they know us better. Also, I had no troubles being myself! As a missionary, we tend to feel like "I'm a missionary, I have to be a missionary and can't be who I really am." But that is not true. It's something that district leaders have told me before that I've been working on, and finally I felt at ease being me. I held to missionary standards, of course, but I was me, instead of being shy, I was able to go out of my way and talk like I was talking to my best friends. It's really great to see how the spirit can really comfort you when you make good decisions and you work on your weaknesses.
Sunday, I was asked to confirm Albertina (the person that was baptized last week) a member of the church. It was my first confirmation that I've ever done. It went well, and I didn't mess up. :)
After church, I had the lyrics of Jantzen's song with me and a couple of the young women in the ward asked me to play it and sing it, so I did, since it is a rather uplifting song. When I looked up after playing it, all of the young adults, young men and young women, and even the sister missionaries, and a couple primary age kids were all standing around the piano. Then I asked if they wanted to all sing a song together, so we started to sing christmas hymns together. The lady in the ward that leads the music heard us singing and decided that we were going to all do a music number the following sunday, as stated earlier. :)
I find it truly amazing how much music can really bring in the spirit. I love music, I love spreading the gospel, even more so by music. It's been my dream to use music to help others during my mission. I'm very thankful for all the opportunities that the Lord has accorded me during my mission thusfar to use music.
I love you all, have a great week! :)
-Elder B. Stanton Wilson
P.s. About the drum set, I was kinda bummed, but just as long as you don't sell the bell kit. :) The cymbals are worth more than the drum kit is, by the way. Ha, but I think selling the kit is a good idea. Maybe when I'm rich I'll buy an electric kit myself. ;) Remember when I used to always talk about when I'll be rich? haha