Actually Easter is today here in France! It is always on a Monday here which I thought was interesting. I asked someone in a park the other day and he told me it is because we live in France…. which means that if its on Monday we get a 3 day weekend!!!! 🙂 Seriously, people here can be kind of insensitive, but at least he is honest! However, afterward I learned that —
Easter in France is deeply rooted in the Catholic traditions (predominant religion in France) It is a Christian holiday that finalises the Easter Week. In the church, the weeks that lead up to Easter are known as Lent. They are effectively 40 days of prayer, fasting and abstinence, although the fast is rarely a full fast and tends to involve reducing the sizes of meals and limiting meats.
From Easter Sunday onwards, the fast is broken. In France, the main meal for Easter Sunday is lamb, in reference to Jesus Christ being described in the Bible as the ‘lamb of God’. The classic French meal for Easter consists of roasting a leg of lamb and serving it with green beans and potatoes. Easter Monday is usually a day of relaxation and family time. Eating is very important to the French on this day and children often are invited to help select the menu of the day but food left from Easter Sunday is usually also on the table in the form of Navarin (French lamb stew) or les brochettes d’agneau (skewered lamb). Jour Férié– remains a popular celebration amongst French people, calling for family gatherings and an entertaining Egg Hunt.
The French Easter Day called “Paques” is one of children’s favorite holidays of the year! From ringing bells to chocolates and sweets, Sunday and Monday Easter public holidays are probably the second most magical – and gourmet – holidays in France after Christmas.
Given the French culture and history, Pâques has been one of the most important public holidays in France. Actually, both Christians and nonbelievers commemorate Jesus Christ’s resurrection (more or less religiously), especially as the Easter Monday – Lundi de Pâques – is a national bank holiday. Easter three-day weekend is indeed the opportunity to spend time with family and enjoy some delicious French food.
In every village or town in France you can hear the well-known bells ringing out on Easter Day all over the country to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. According to the tradition, children are told that the bells come back from Rome and to deliver their eggs on Easter morning. The trick consists in hiding all pretty chocolate eggs, rabbits or hens in the garden while the kids are staring up to catch a sight of the so-called returning bells!
Every year, pastry makers and chocolatiers (chocolate makers) create modern mouth-watering eggs and rabbits. Some of these treats look so much like works of art that French people like to stroll along the streets and admire pâtisseries windows – a real pleasure for the eyes.
Although, the original religious roots of the Easter day tending to vanish, the French Fete de Paquesis now given almost as much magic as Christmas feasts
So lesson learned, I guess I should not jump to conclusions as it was more likely my language skills that confused my interpretation… Uh Oh!
This week has been very good! It actually feels like it has been a long time since I wrote any emails! However, in reality it was just 1 week ago. I hope you are all doing well in your lives and wish that you are all happy and keeping positive! I know that early spring can be gray and rainy back home, so keep your chin up and smile! Dieu soit avec toi.
Actually here we are already well into spring! Most of the trees budding and some almost have full leaves! The flowers are filling gardens and fields throughout the region. I am very happy to be spending this time here! The Lord has truly blessed me! The city is so alive and beautiful and we have so much sun!
Guess what, I am already getting a tan line from my CTR ring. 🙂 Not to brag but I just want you to know that I have been enjoying my time here. 🙂
Ce était une très bonne semaine! (This was a great Week!)
On Wednesday we went to a members house to eat with her and the other missionaries! It was amazing 🙂 Soeur C is a great cook and she made us this chicken in a red sauce over rice. She also prepared a very nice ripe cheese plate which was great! Gotta love that camembert! Then to finish the meal she made a delicious custard! It was super great time! We always like to go visit Soeur C! We shared a message about being a light, always, and about being there for those around you always even if they are not appreciative of your kindness. We should stand and be a light so that others around us can see and look at us like a beacon of hope.
That evening we went and taught the English class which went very well! I now usually have 10-12 students on Wednesday and 8 on Saturday. I really enjoy the opportunity to help these people learn. 🙂 Additionally when I help them they help me! I know that as I give the service in the form of these english classes, the students will be able to feel my love for them and want to learn more about the gospel.
Thursday was amazing! We had Zone Conefrence with our mission president followed by interviews with him! It was a really great time! We spoke about trusting in the Lord and how it is somthing that will bring us through our missions better than anything else! Every time I dont talk to the person next to me on the tram because I feel that it would be awkward, I am showing a lack of Trust! The Lord sent me here on a mission and he is preparing people for me to meet and help, and share his Gospel with. All that I need to do is to trust him and do his will always. He is my Father in Heaven and he loves me more than I could ever imagine! I know I can trust him, yet everyday I do so many things that show a lack of trust. So that is what I am really working on is trusting in the Lord and his ways. I know that if I do that it will work out for my good in the end!
That evening we had a RDV with E our Chinese ami. She wanted me to show her how to make soup. I made broccoli potato cheese soup with her at the church and we had shared another really good lesson about prayer and our DMP (missionary leader for the Ward) was able to help us a lot in during the RDV by testifying in the power of prayers and how we always need to continually try to become more comfortable talking with our Heavenly Father!
Saturday Morning —
As usual we went and played soccer! It was super fun! I am improving so much playing with all these Europeans! They are all so so so good. 🙂 Every week I get better and better, which makes me very happy! It is great exercise and we get to share our message. This week we ended the soccer time with a really great message about the atonement of Christ especially for the Easter weekend. We share that he did so much for us and expressed our thankfulness for the moments we have to remember him.
Then it was off to English class followed that evening by the First session of Conference! IT WAS AMAZING!!!!
Sunday was a day full of General Conference! It was SEROSULY the BEST Conference ever! I took so many notes that I will be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks as I do not have time to write them here! However, one of the messages that I really liked was a story shared about someone who was offended by another member. They were told afterward by a leader that the “Chruch is a Hospital and we are all sick, we are here to get better and to improve but none of us are perfect”
That is what I have for you this week! I Love you all!