Manosque… the work begins

Hello, a Tous! 

Wow, It has been a whole week?!? That is crazy! 

This was a good week, it has been interesting work here in Manosque.

The reason that I say interesting is that there have been some stories and gossip going around and it has made a large hole in the branch, for lack of better words. 😦 😦 It is sad because the missionaries assigned here apparently had no idea.

I do not know why, but for some reason, people trust me with sensitive information.  Whenever I go visit people they just start telling me everything. 🙂 🙂  My companion is sitting there like…. “What…..?” It is not his fault that he was unaware of these things, he has only for one transfer (6 weeks) before me. 

Normally, the work of the missionaries is not to really help fix the branch, however these are special circumstances, as this has been brewing in the branch for almost a year and it is now an impediment to the work. It is hard to bring Amis in as they expect to find a place where they are loved and accepted only to experience an environment that is not exactly in agreement with the teachings that we have been sharing with them.  Anyway, it makes it difficult.

However, what is great about us being here and knowing about the situation is because we were not involved and come from other areas, we are neutral sources that can make a difference.

Now that we know, we can start the healing process. We have started and now it is time to Press Forward, Onward and Upward!

Our work this week has been focused on these things, and luckily the mission is also taking a turn to work more with the members to accomplish the goals of integration.  For Europe this means 1)bring a friend 2)become spiritually and temporally self-reliant  3) prepare an ancestor for the temple. 

I know that as we work with the members to accomplish these goals it will bless us as a mission and bless the members for their work.

To start helping the healing process for the Branch we are going to start a game night with members as a branch activity hosted by the missionaries every Friday evening. We need to have activities here so the members can actually connect and communicate with one another and that will help tremendously.  The other benefit of this game night is to provide  a “non-threatening” place to bring friends so that the members can accomplish their goal of bringing a friend.

We feel as if there will be some amazing blessings that come from these small and simple  things. 

We are also trying to see a lot of the less active members here.  A number of people have left the branch because of these misunderstood comments and stories. We will work to help them and we have already seen some blessings and progression in this aspect.  We went and played some card games and foosball with FOUR of the less actives and it went very well! Like I said before, because people seem to trust me, they opened up and so now we can help them. 🙂 

It all reminds me of the 12 step Program, the first step is admitting that you have a problem! As we pass this step we can now progress and I am so thankful for that. 

I know the Lord loves his children and I see that he cares about them here in Manosque. 

What has been made clearer every day is a knowledge that I am here for a reason and every minute it seems to become more, clear  why I am here. I have served in areas where there have been problems in the past and I have served in a small branch, in the Presidency thus I am aware of church regulations which is beneficial . I have just been realizing that the Lord prepared me for this calling and I am so happy for that, I know that as long as I work hard, I can make positive changes and I can help these people feel love for one another.

As they will all come closer together they will all grow closer to their Heavenly Father and I know it’s true, the Lord loves these people. 

Along with goal for helping the members with their three goals, we are also taking it upon ourselves as a mission to accomplish another goal.  Every Sunday we now have 1 hour of genealogy! It’s incredible what I have been able to help members find already!

It’s a great work and I am happy to be able to work in this amazing work for my family on the other side of the veil. 

I am very happy! 

Getting here a couple of weeks ago I was thinking “well this is small and there isn’t that much going on. We will see if it’s boring.” Now I know…..nope! There is so much to do! 🙂 🙂

I love you all! Have a great week and a great Fourth of July! 

Today we are going to Aix to have P-Day with the other missionnaires to Celebrate this incredible day of American Independence. 🙂  

Elder Peterson,

La mission Française de Lyon.
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