Salut from St. Etienne;
This week has been very good but I have not been in St. Etienne very much! I have had a lot of exchanges with other missionaries who live in different cities.
So to start off!
Monday was good day and that evening with Elders from one of the companionships north of Lyon came to start an exchange! Their sector is huge so they are one of the few companionships with a car, so they came down and I went back with Elder Woodward to their sector, it was a great time to be in a car! I am in cars often with members but it’s not the same. 🙂 It was like having a car! Although I am not yet authorized to drive it was very nice to be in the car listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
We went up into the region of Beaujolais which is a lot of hills covered in vineyards and chateau’s. It was beautiful. I stayed the night. The next day we went around and did some contacting in the city for a little while before a rdv. There was a woman we spoke to that was really great! She is an author and a painter, and had art showcased in NYC in the 1980’s. She was a really great woman who was very open to talking. Before we finished the conversation, she had learned a few things. First off, we are not Amish. 2) We do not live in communities and 3) we are also not JW’s. 🙂 Something she had already known was that the Church has a extensive genealogical database. I always get super happy when people know about that! Yay for family history! Then moments later on the same road we spoke to an elderly woman who was having the worst week ever. She had been robbed a few days before, her daughter was in the hospital and it was the one year anniversary of the death of her husband. She was not fully “there” due to her age so she just wanted to talk. She talked AT us for about 40 minutes non stop and it helped her immensely. It was a great testimony to me of the importance of listening. Sometimes people just need an ear to talk to. She told us a lot of stories and I learned a lot about her. She had been very sad but just with the little time that we spent talking to her made a huge difference. At the end of her talking we did not say much. We just shared a couple phrases of comfort about Gods love, about how she will see her husband again soon and that God is proud of her and knows her. It was a beautiful experience. After that we drove to Lyon passing castles and vineyards along the way in this beautiful country. Then I hopped a train back to St. Etienne.
Wednesday, was a great day. It started with studies, then we celebrated the one year anniversary of Sister Verriras on her mission in France. We went to a Japanese sushi place and had a great time with the sisters and 3 of our Amis here. After that we went to a little city above St. Etienne for a rdv. We went to a park to meet with people but they never showed up! Mais ce nest pas grave. (It’s okay/not a big deal) but it was a beautiful Park with wifi. 🙂 Then we went back and had a rdv with our ami C which didn’t go too well! She had not read in a week but we took the that as a sign and we changed the plan and taught the importance of scriptures study and also prayer. She seemed to understand and it ended up a lot better! After that she began contacting us almost every day saying she had read! Then we went to have a little family home evening with one of the families here, we spoke of the importance of personal revelation in each day of our lives to be guided.
Thursday, we went Back to Lyon for district meeting, we did a lot of role pays on how we can more easily introduce the temple into every portion of missionary work it had been very interesting to work the temple into everything!!! No matter what people want to talk about I turn it to the temple. 🙂 That night I started another exchange, with the zone leaders in Lyon, we had a mangez-vous that night where we had burritos with a great family there, and they tasted like real burritos! Yay, it’s been a while. 🙂 🙂
Next morning we did studies and then went to a rdv at the institute building for the church in Lyon. Which is really in the city. We went there and the rdv was actually with a homosexual. It is the 2nd lesson, I have taught to a gay person and it was really cool. He really has been looking to strengthen his relationship with God and he loves the teachings of the church. He completely understands the churches stance on homosexual relationships. However he has been taking to steps to prepare to maybe be baptized, we taught him about…. THE TEMPLE! 🙂 I love the temple so much! It went really well and he asked some amazing questions, he was very happy to see the doctrine of the temple had been restored to the earth. He wants to visit the grounds of the Paris temple when it is finished. It is a super great goal for him as he grows closer to God and learns about his plan for his children. We had a lot of miracles that day. We had a few rdvs that had cancelled, literally we had 3 that fell through but when that happens I said to my comp, “this is the Lord preparing to give us miracles.” That was definitely fulfilled. He blessed us greatly with some amazing contacts and we were able to hand out a Book Of Mormon and get 3 phone numbers for potentials! We were very happy. That evening we had a lesson when I got back into town with M, it was ok… It started great with the plan of happiness but the member we were with, who she is dating, told us like 5 seconds before the lesson that she wanted him to stay the night… So we had to teach the importance of the law of chastity. When we talked about gods plan at the part of our life here on earth we started talking about the importance of living the commandments during our life here, notably the law of chastity. We told her that because her boyfriend was a member, he respects this law and how it is important for us and for God that we keep ourselves pure and we respect this temple that he gave us. She took it horribly, she thought we told her that we could never have
sexual relations ever in our whole lives… She said that the church was worse than a prison.. She was so mad. We tried to explain but she didn’t get it for a long while. Finally she realized it only applies outside the bonds of marriage, she was still mad. She told us that in the Catholic Church that it’s not a rule… She has no idea. 🙂 It turned out well in the end and the spirit came back. She accepted to live the law in her relationship with her member boyfriend.
I’m so sorry that I don’t have more time! We spent p-day in Lyon at a museum.
I love you all!
Enjoy the photos!