This Was A Great Week in the South of France….

Bonjour!!!

This was a really good week for us here!

It is always interesting during the first week with a new companion getting to see how to work together and how the other person teaches. It has been a great experience! I have been in this same situation, about 5 times now, getting new companions! This time has been among the best! I have been having a blast this week learning to work together.

Elder Bryce and Elder Peterson
Elder Bryce and Elder Peterson

I already feel like Elder Bryce and I are really good friends and that really shows in our work. We have seen so many miracles in our work this week. For instance,  the other day we had some time planned to do some street contacting and we had just started to speak to this man who was walking with his son. He comes from Morocco, and only spoke a little bit of French. It was taking us a while to have the conversation. He knew the word for God and love and family, so we were able to have a really good conversation. 🙂  He then said something that almost every Muslim says to us, which was that they do not believe that Jesus was the son of God. Well, when he tried to tell me that in broken French I was able to finish his sentence. 🙂 🙂 We had a good laugh and it was OK. We had a great time.  That is when the miracle came, as we were in the middle of the conversation with him, a woman walked up to us and asks us to write down the name of her son… OK!!! — We have learned not to question these odd happenings. 🙂 She explains that she is actually a member that is inactive but that her son is in need of the church and then she just runs off…. 🙂 🙂 It was amazing! We were not expecting to receive a referral like that,  but we will take it!

There is some sad news this week from here. 😦  We had 2 Amis with baptismal dates in the next 3 weeks that just told us that they could not do it until August/September…  This means that we are going to have to work reallllllly hard this transfer, if we want to find people ready to take that step in the next 5 weeks. Like it’s not a huge deal, but I really care for these people and now it will have to take a little longer, However, the good part of the situation is that they will probably be better prepared for the covenant of baptism. 🙂

This week has been full of setting goals preparing for a really good transfer.  While the other part of this last week was spent preparing my companion by meeting all of our Amis  — (I typed this by speaking into my iPad and it said, “meeting all of our enemies.” :)) and just getting to know the members better.  He had to meet everyone properly including our DMP and the Bishop. 🙂

One of the days that was really interesting is when we went up to a little town and try to find one of the old investigators that live there. It was supposed to be family that speaks Spanish. When we got there and the man only spoke Spanish and no French or English… so we called the wife of the bishop who is from chile and had her set up a return RDV for this next week. 🙂 The members here are so great! There are a lot of Spanish people in Perpignan because we are soooooo  close to Spain. In fact the city of Barcelona is only 2 hours from here by car.  The Bishop usually asks to have at least one missionary in the area who speaks Spanish, but this transfer was not possible. We are all French speakers, but with the awesome members we have some people to teach with us… Or teach for us. 🙂 🙂  We have begun to make a little list with Spanish phrases to say during the RDV’s. 🙂  I have learned that Spanish is pretty close to French that by knowing French I can understand a lot of different things, like when we knocked on this man’s door and he said that we are missionary’s from God and I understood. 🙂

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The other day we went back up to Vernet les Bains a little town in the middle of the mountains to see our ami J. It was really good. 🙂 We taught about the importance of tithing and fasting and it was a beautiful lesson that really helped us all feel closer to our Heavenly Father.  We all felt the spirit very strongly. The blessings that come to us from paying tithing are amazing, the windows of heaven pour out blessings that are indescribable. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to help build the kingdom of God here on earth. I just need to humble myself so that I can give more to those who are in need.

Saturday we played soccer again like normal and it was super fun. Every time I play soccer I still feel myself getting better. Although, I am still American I am improvin.  However, now I have a companion  who is really good at soccer and he just makes me look worse. 🙂  But I will forgive him!

After the soccer we shared a spiritual thought about one of the shortest scriptures in the Book of Mormon.  “My father dwelt in a tent” which is about Lehi, the father of Nephi.  As we thought about that scripture a lot and asked ourselves.. Why did he take the time to engrave that into the golden plates… It seemed a little ridiculous, but then at thinking of the sacrifices that he had made.  Although he was a prophet of the Lord, he left behind all of his riches to follow the Lord and thinking of his life in a tent in the wilderness must have been a trial for him.  He had trust in the Lord, and that trust  ended up blessing both he and his family.  We need to sometimes remember that these worldly things are not so important.  We can consecrate our time and energy into the work of God we will find a stronger and lasting joy in doing these things. Giving all and forgetting the big things just to commit ourselves more fully to the Lord.  As an example, as a missionary right now I have minimal worldly goods.  I live in an apartment that has been provided for me furnished with the bare minimum of furniture. I walk everywhere I go and I have a very limited budget for food each month — regardless, I am so happy! I can focus all my time on the work and I have never been more happy.

I know that it is easy for me to say right now and I am not asking you all to give up everything you have, but taking some time to take your mind of worldly things now and then and turning towards a more important work is a beautiful thing. 🙂

This weekend was Stake conference in Toulouse  and it was broadcasted to the chapel here so we really were able to enjoy some amazing talks and become spiritually edified over the corse of the two sessions, also our mission president spoke which was great!

This week we are going to Aix en Provence for a goodbye conference. 😦  President and Sister Roney are nearing the end of their mission and will be returning home to Utah.  Our new Mission President, President and Sister Brown arrive on the 8th of July!

I love you all so much! Passez une bonne semaine!
Que dieu soit avec vous, je sais que il est la pour nous et il veut nous bénir.

Au revoir!
Élder Peterson

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