A Great Week in Montpellier and Perpignan — Welcome President and Sister Brown!

Bonjour a Tous!

That was a good week but a strange week. 🙂

It was a really good week! I had the opportunity to learn a lot. It was a weird week because I feel like I wasn’t in Perpignan or I wasn’t with my companion…

On Monday night, our Zone leaders came down. On Tuesday morning, we left to go up to Montpellier and I was able to work up there for an afternoon and see some of my old friends. That was a really cool experience because I do really miss those people up in Montpellier.

I was sitting on the tram with my zone leader, and one of my old friends stepped onto the tram and her jaw dropped when she saw me followed by her running up to me.  It was super cool… We shared a really good conversation and then she told me that she had not been to church for about two months. 😦 Although, she is not a member of the church, when I was in Montpellier, she was coming consistently every week for 3 months. What she said next took me by surprise! She said she needed to start going back to Church again and took the fact that she saw me as a sign that it was time for her to reconnect with God. 🙂

When she got off the train at the next stop I saw my old ami K!!!!  She was waiting for a different tram and I freaked out and ran to the door and beckoned her to come in.  It was so cool to see her! She had actually just finished a rdv with the missionaries. 🙂 She is doing very well in her life and I am so happy to know her! She rode the tram with us until we got off and it was super awesome to just catch up! It feels like just yesterday, that I left Montpellier, but at the same time it seems like it has been sooooooo long! It has already been three months!

I stayed in Montpellier that evening because the next morning was a zone conference where we got to meet our new president of the mission, President Scott D. Brown and his wife. We all went to the chapel that morning and we finally got to meet him! He and his wife are AMAZING!  They are some of the most loving people that I have ever met. I have already started to love them so much. They are definitely different than the Roney’s,  but that is what the Lord needs for this mission now. I am so thankful to have seen the contrast between these amazing people.

We all had interviews with him to meet him and discuss what we are doing in our areas and it was just an amazing moment. He is very inspired and knows what we need in our lives. 🙂 This is going to be a great year ahead in the France Lyon mission. 🙂

Thursday was a pretty difficult day here, we had three rendezvous’s that were scheduled and looks like they would all be very good. But then out of nowhere, they all canceled on us in the morning… Ok, new plan …. Let’s just try to work with people on the street or to try to work with members who may need a helping hand.  There’s one member that we went and visited who lives in a little town just north of Perpignan. He is the master of crepes.  Originally, he was supposed to come with us to teaching appointment but because the teaching appt. was canceled, we asked him if he would teach us to make crepes. 🙂 Yum!! He spent the next little while showing us how to make crepes and then we had some crepes with him and passed a bit of the afternoon talking to him and trying to help him work through some problems he was having.

Something I have learned while on my mission, is how our members are perceived to investigators and friends. Many times members fail to realize that we are not a perfect people. We do not always think about some the little details in our speech and actions that can be off-putting to friends as we exhibit a better than you attitude – we are not perfect.  We all come to church to become better, to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and to be happy in the fellowship of other Saints on the same path. We need to learn to forgive and to forget because the Lord forgives us all and he has never ending mercy and grace towards us.  We should practice that within the walls of this church.

In the last general conference, someone shared a quote from Nelson Mandela.  There are some people who have called him a saint and his response to this title was “I am not a saint, unless of course a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.” We are called the Latter Day Saints because that is what we do. We continue to try.  It is very important that as we continue to try, we allow the others around us to try as well. If we do not allow others to try, in the way that we ourselves try, then in my opinion we are hypocrites. The church is like a big hospital, we are all sick and we all need help, we should be part of the help for the others and for ourselves. As we work together, collectively, we can all be lifted up and be made better. 🙂

Friday was a Great Day. We had a lesson with one of our Amis who originally had a baptismal date set for my birthday. However, had to go to the north for work. Then this week he found out that he did not have to travel to the north anymore.  So guess what that means!!! He will home for the month of July. 🙂 🙂 🙂 We extended an invitation for him to get baptized in a couple of weeks… OK — so you have to imagine me doing the HAPPY  MISSIONARY DANCE here!! He accepted. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’m super happy with his decision he has made and each visit can see a lot of progress. It is amazing to see how much closer he is to his Savior!

Saturday was my 19th birthday. 🙂 I had a super good day which was extra special because a package arrived from home!  I also got a card from my family. We were able to go to a Chinese buffet for lunch, which is one of my favorite foods. 🙂  We went with two of the members here who are very cool as well as the Sister missionaries. It was very nice and very good! I was able to share my favorite scripture with them and tell them why I was here on my mission. 🙂 The spirit was very strong and it was a wonderful way to end my birthday lunch. 🙂

It is my Birthday box from Home!!
It is my Birthday box from Home!!

We spent the afternoon with J and L painting their apartment. 🙂 I really enjoyed doing service for them. All in All it was a really great birthday!

Afterward, one of the members took us shopping, because well I am still not moving as fast due to my ankle being sprained.  He brought us to do our grocery shopping at one of the big stores.   Everything is less expensive there, so I was even able to get mussels.  He said “that is when he decided then he knew I needed something”. He was super impressed that I even knew how to cook mussels and he knew that there was something would really enjoy. For my birthday, he gave me the best present on EARTH that is appropriate for a missionary. A COOK BOOK! It is the top 100 favorite meals of French people!  Another benefit is — it is all in French. 🙂 🙂 A great way to learn new French words.

I love you all so much! Have a great day and week. I will talk (blog) you next week!

Also, next week is transfer week! It is Crazy that it has gone by so fast! I don’t know if I will stay in Perpignan or leave :/ — Hoping I can stay for our scheduled Baptism!  We will find out next week!

Ville de Carrasonne
Families are Forever Street Display
Families are Forever Street Display

Je vous aime!
Elder Peterson


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