France Paris Mission 2014-2016

E-Mail from Elder and Sister Fitt

November 30, 2014

Hi. Sister Fitt and I are serving as couple missionaries in the France Paris Mission and have the privilege of serving in La Rochelle with your son.

We wanted you to know that he is an amazing missionary! His language is way beyond where one would think it would be at this time in his mission. He is enthusiastic, hard working and obedient. His enthusiasm is infectious and he loves his mission. The members of the ward here loved him immediately.

Thank you for supporting him as he serves the Lord here in La Rochelle (for the time being). He will have a huge impact on his mission and will even become a more amazing missionary as his mission continues. You are justified in being very proud of him. He's doing a great job!  And, we love him!

Elder and Sister Fitt

Week 9

Just a note from Elder Jorgensen's mom:  There are approximately 274 missionaries in the France Paris Mission.
I just want to say that the cutest thing ever is a little kid speaking French! Yesterday was the Primary Program in our ward, and all of the kids were sooo funny and cute. When they sang I love to see the temple, the Spirit was felt so powerfully!
Anyway, last week I forgot to talk about Church so here we go. I LOVE our ward! We have a great mix between young and old people, and everyone is warm and welcoming. The old guys here are just funny old men. Some of the things we talk about in priesthood and gospel doctrine class just cracks me up. Also, every week at least one of the members brings us a box of food. Like this past Sunday we had apples, candy bars, pasta, sausage, milk, and eggs. It's so awesome! Oh and speaking of Church, my trainer volunteered me to give a 10-15 minute talk on Dec. I've already started writing it all out so I can practice the French before then! Haha

So this past Thursday we traveled  to Paris for a conference with the entire mission (which has never been done before). Elder Cook of the Twelve came with his wife and the Area President of Western Europe and his wife to talk with our mission. Even cooler than that, he wanted to shake the hand of every missionary here, so I shook Elder Cook's hand! By the way, he's 74! He looks more like 65ish. Anyway it was such an amazing experience and I learned so much.
Tomorrow we have exchanges for the first time with our district leader and his companion which will be super fun. Wednesday we're having our first meal with a member. His family lives about 45 minutes away from La Rochelle (where our apartment and the Church is) so he's going to pick us up, then we'll take a train back (we ride trains a lot btw). Then Thursday is our weekly district meeting in a town about 2 hours away (which is why we ride trains a lot). It also just happens to be our district's Thanksgiving meal! The Fitt's (senior missionary couple) are cooking turkey and stuffing and then each companionship is bringing a side/dessert. Elder Godfrey and I got lucky because we just have to bring drinks!

Anyway, as far as the work goes, we continue to see miracles almost daily. It's a lot of hard work and rejection, but it's so worth it and I love it so much. BTW I've been doing a lot of studying in "Jesus the Christ" by Talmage. I encourage all of you to try utilize it. You can learn so much about the Savior! (a little warning the first bit is a little dry)
I have to write my President Babin now, so I'll close this email with this thought: "You will find great joy if you give your whole heart to the Savior" -- Sister Babin

Love you all!

Elder Bronson Jorgensen

Missionaries in the Paris France Mission gather to hear Elder Quentin L. Cook speak during November 2014 visit to the Church's Europe Area. (IRI)

Week 8 --- Bonjour! I'm in France finally!

My first area is the city of La Rochelle right on the western coast of France. I absolutely love it here. It's beautiful, the people are super friendly (mostly), and we've already seen miracles.

Mon papa (my dad/trainer) is Elder Godfrey from Kaysville, Utah. He's been out for 16 months, and is amazing. We're getting along so well and I couldn't be happier about our companionship. 

I'm going to apologize right off the bat, there aren't any pictures. I had to put my camera in my checked luggage because it uses normal batteries, and I've been too busy/exhausted to take pictures here in La Rochelle.

Anyway, Tuesday and Wednesday in Paris were awesome on our train ride from the airport to the chapel in Paris where we were meeting we had our first experience contacting and then we did street contacting in Paris after lunch. It was intimidating! Although, I really enjoyed it. Wednesday evening Elder Godfrey and I took off for La Rochelle (3 hour train ride that actually took us outside of our mission for a bit), and we were picked up by Elder and Soeur Fitt, the senior missionaries in La Rochelle. 

So here in La Rochelle it's just me, mon collegue, and the Fitt's. Our area is about the same size as Saint George and the surrounding little cities. We don't have a car so we do A LOT of walking and for the outskirts we take the bus. If you want you can google street view La Rochelle and see where I'm working each day.

Right after we got here, we ate a little something and then we went porting (door to door tracting). We got a ton of no's but there was one African lady, Muriel, and her young son, Leo, who let us in to pray with them. She was so friendly and seemed very interested in our church, so we're going to pass by again this week. Then there were a lot more no's... :)

Thursday we taught a lesson to un ami de L'eglise (investigators are called friends of the church) named Raphael. It was a little awkward for me because of the language, but still fun. Then we did a ton of street/park contacting and porting.

Friday we had taught a Brazilian lady named Macilene and her niece Izzy. We taught them about our life on earth and the Atonement. They are such wonderful people, and incredibly nice. Also, we had our weekly planning session and one of our goals was to work on a Christ-like attribute each week, so for the rest of that week it was patience. We also had some goals for the transfer, one of which was to appreciate the weird, strange, and funny experiences we'd have, and to just have fun. Well, the Lord gives you what you ask for... We taught another lesson to a man that was street contacted, and it turns out he didn't want to learn the gospel very much. He wanted to sit and tell us why he didn't like Islam and problems he had with other churches, so we just had to leave. Then that evening when we were porting it just started to pour and neither of us had umbrellas and I didn't have a jacket, just my light sweater. And to top it off nobody would talk with us. But when we were in the elevator going up to our apartment, we looked at each other and we remembered what our goals were, and we both just started laughing! It was hilarious! 

Saturday it continued to rain (apparently winters in France are just rainy all the time), but I was blessed to find a wind/rain jacket that one of the former missionaries left and it fits perfectly and looks great, as well as an umbrella. That evening we were porting in some batiments (apartment buildings) about 40 minutes from our apartment and 2 people let us in to pray with them. Now let me put this into perspective, a good week porting here is if you get let in once, and we got let in 3 times! Anyway one of the people we prayed with was an older gentleman named Lelong who used to be a helicopter mechanic in the army. At first, he just wanted to talk to us, and explained that he couldn't believe in anything he couldn't see or feel, but after I bore my testimony of prayer (en francais) he agreed to pray with us. Elder Godfrey asked me to offer the prayer. As I was praying I felt prompted to ask God to let us know if He was real and if He was there. After we finished the prayer he was on the verge of tears. Unfortunately, he hurried and changed the topic (probably because he was scared of what he had just felt). He, in the words of Elder Godfrey, felt the Spirit hardcore. Thankfully, he said we could pass by tomorrow and talk with him again.

The Lord really is with us in this work and there are wonderful people here in France that have been prepared for the gospel. 

I love all of you so much!

Elder Jorgensen  

Pictures . . . the first 24 hours

Week 7 --- Elder Jorgensen's Arrival in France

To the Family of Elder Jorgensen:

Sister Babin and I were delighted to welcome your son , Elder Bronson Cox Jorgensen , into the France Paris Mission on 11 Nov 2014. He and his MTC companions were enthusiastic and all arrived in good health.  He spent his first day eating some good food, visiting with me, contacting non-members in the heart of Paris, and sharing testimonies.  We enjoyed his spirit.
The next morning, after a mission orientation, Elder Jorgensen left for his first assignment to work in the LaRochelle 2 Area with Elder Godfrey, who will be his trainer.  Their apartment address is:
15 ave Jean Guitton
La Rochelle, 17 17000
Any packages or letters you would like to send will reach your missionary at this address.
We feel very privileged to work with your  son .  We also realize the responsibility we share with you to help him continue to grow spiritually as he faithfully performs his duties.  May the Lord inspire us all to sustain him in this challenging and exciting assignment.  We hope you will join Sister Babin and me in praying each day for your son , his companion, investigators, and all of us serving in the France Paris Mission.
A positive, supportive letter from home every week does wonders to sustain a missionary’s morale.  Proverbs 25:25 states:  As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. If you have any questions, or if we can assist you in any way, please contact us at our office (001-331-3480-0483) or home (001-331-3976-8402).

Frédéric Jean Babin
President, France Paris Mission

Dear Families of our Missionaries,
I am pleased to be able to send you this little E-mail to announce to you the creation of the Facebook of the Paris France Mission Babin.
We hope to be able to place photos of the events that take place here in the mission every 15 days so that we might share with you the Spirit that animates our mission.  Your comments are welcome, but we hope you understand we will not be able to respond to each one individually because of time.
We are very grateful for the support that you give through your prayers and the E-mails for your children. It is very precious.
Some amazing things are happening in this mission thanks to the faith, the perseverance and the desire of our missionaries to better fulfill the reason why they are here on mission. They are continually putting amazing efforts into raising the bar and to see the fruits of their labors.
We are very grateful for these chosen youth who have been place in our care and we assure you that we are doing all that we can to make sure they are taken care of. We love and care for them dearly.
We invite you to join our group, so that you might be able to participate in the great moments unfolding in each photo. Here is the name : “France Paris Mission Babin”
Sister Babin

As you know, the missionaries cherish the letters and packages that they receive from their families and we are well aware of the time, effort and sometimes even sacrifices that these packages are for you.
To be sure they arrive in a timely manner and in the best conditions, please follow these recommendations:

1 - Make sure your shipment is properly stamped and paid for.
2 - Verify that the address of the sender and the recipient are written legibly. Write clearly:
Les Missionnaires
Elder … or Sister …
3 - On the customs declaration write:  Missionary Personal Supplies
4 - Do not forget to write the country of destination and of origin.
5 - Make sure your package is securely packed.
6 - Never send cash by post. It is prohibited under French law.
7 - Remember that the bigger the package, the greater the risk of it being damaged.
8 - Send the package to the address of the apartment of your missionary and not to the mission office. Packages sent to the mission office will not be forwarded to the missionaries by mail.
9 – Don’t send packages within the 15 days before a transfer. Transfers are every 6 weeks. Ask your missionary to keep you informed of transfer dates.
10 - Remember to send Christmas, Easter, and birthday packages at least 3 weeks early.

11 - If you can, it would be very nice to include in your package something for your  missionary's  son companion. In fact, some of our missionaries receive no support or packages from their loved ones and this could be a support for them, as well as very beneficial to their relationship with their companion.

Week 6

6 Days!!!! We got our travel plans on Halloween, so here's what's up:
Monday morning (Nov 10th) at 11:30 we leave the MTC and go to the Salt Lake Airport where our direct flight to Paris leaves at 5:30, and we'll arrive in the early afternoon. 

This past week has been pretty cool. Elder Williams and I have both been in class, and have begun teaching again. Our lessons were a little rough because we haven't taught together in almost two weeks. In the last one (yesterday) I didn't feel like I had the Spirit at all which was really weird because I have never felt closer to God than I do right now, but there was a reason. Elder Williams was having some doubts in his testimony and I was feeling a little insecure in my abilities, and our teacher/investigator could definitely feel like something was off and so we had a little vent session where I learned of the struggles Elder Williams was facing. That night our other teacher gave all of us some personal/companionship time to really talk with the Lord and receive personal revelation. So, we took some time individually and together praying intently to feel and know that God was here with us, that He loved us, and that we would have His support. I received a resounding answer in the affirmative of all three, and most of my personal prayers were in behalf of Elder Williams. He still hasn't had the answer he's been looking for, but we are trying.

Today has been amazing! Early morning session at the Temple and as always the peace and joy I feel there is indescribable, and then we just got back from a BYU Devotional that the MTC was invited to by Elder David F. Evans of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Wow! He spoke of tenacity in doing what was right and setting goals in life that are in harmony with the Gospel, and help you progress to the ultimate goal of eternal life in the presence of God. Because it was a BYU Devotional there was a lot mentioned about family and marriage, and he mentioned the talk in this last general conference by Tad R. Callister where he (Brother Callister) learned the importance of praying to find a good spouse. Also, he mentioned a quote by President Monson that goes something like this,"To those who have not yet entered the temple, or to those that have been, but do not currently hold a temple recommend, the greatest and most important goal in your life is to obtain a temple recommend and receive the blessings of the temple. Do whatever is necessary to become worthy to enter the House of the Lord. Change your life so that you can worthily maintain a temple recommend." (That was from memory, so it isn't exactly accurate. I suggest looking up that talk and studying it for yourself) I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ that this counsel from our beloved prophet is true. The temple will bless your life and the lives of all those you love more than anything else in this world.

As I have been praying more than I ever have in my life these past few weeks, I have realized why I'm really here. This mission isn't about me at all. I have been humbled to the point of tears, and have begun to see people the way our Heavenly Father sees them. All I want to do is allow everyone I meet to have the opportunity to feel the love and experience the blessings that my Heavenly Father has given me.

I love each of you so much and I feel your support, love, and prayers. Thank you.

Elder Jorgensen

Week 5

Well, I'm just going to get right to it...I went to the ER on Friday because my eyes were bleeding. Turns out that was the part I didn't need to worry about. I had been sick all week, and apparently it turned into bronchitis. I have antibiotics and what not, so it's not a big deal. So back to the cool part, between the membrane and sclera (white part of the eye) there are blood vessels, and if you cough too hard, or something like that you can burst them from pressure. Well Friday morning at 2:44 a.m.  I couldn't breathe because of the huge amount of phlegm in my throat, so I spent the next 2 hours coughing, spitting, sneezing, vomiting, gagging -- pretty much anything you can do with your face -- and I still didn't get it all up. Later that afternoon, I had another little attack, but not nearly as severe, but this time it burst blood vessels in both eyes. It didn't hurt, but it looked more than a little disturbing. My companion and the other elders in my district were at class, and I was in the residence hall with another sick elder who was completely out, so I just sat and waited until class was over at 8:15. As soon as they got back my companion and I decided we should go to the ER because the clinic was closed. So a security guard drove us to the ER at like 8:30.  It was sooo nice to be out of the MTC and see the real world! We even got to see two super cute babies at the ER. Anyway, "the bleeding, while ugly, is harmless" (from my discharge papers). So for the next couple weeks I'll have pools of blood in my eyes, and they can even change colors (They're already starting to look a little yellow). 

This morning the district that was here when we arrived left. It was weird saying goodbye to all of those wonderful elders because I grew really close to a couple of them while we were sharing our "sick days," but it's good that they're finally starting their service. We had 8 missionaries leave today, and tomorrow we'll be receiving 19. So we'll have a lot of newbies! But it'll be awesome to see how overwhelmed and stressed we were when we got here :) haha

Not much else has happened this week because I have pretty much just stayed in the residence hall, so this'll be it for this week.

I love you all so much!!

Elder Jorgensen

I almost forgot! Elder Durant took the missionary game back old school and was preaching in his Moses garb (sheets and blankets). That was an interesting night...

Also, here are some pics of my eye... Enjoy! :)

Elder Jorgensen

Week 4

A lot has happened this past week! My companion, Elder Williams has been sick the entire week and so all of the Elders in my district have been taking shifts staying with him, so we don't miss too much class time. It's still really hard though because we should have taught 6 lessons this week, but we were only able to teach one together, and then I taught one during a companion exchange.

On Saturday morning at like 4:00 am Elder Williams vomited and so we were cleaning up and we had to call security to bring some cleaner stuff...that was fun ;) On the bright side, the cleaner smelled really bad, so we asked for a fan, thinking we would get a little desk fan...well we didn't. (picture will be attached) This thing is amazing! It's really loud, but these past few nights I've gotten the best sleep...go figure!

Anyway on to more missionary related stuff, on Sunday I was assigned to be the new district leader and will be for the rest of our stay here. It was completely out of the blue and then after 2 hrs of meetings and lunch I had to teach a district meeting about the Atonement. It went surprisingly well! The Spirit was very present as we discussed, and shared testimony of the power of the Atonement in our lives.

That night Chad Lewis (Ex NFL player) came and spoke to us about his mission and how we should "let our lights shine". It was probably my favorite devotional so far! It was also very cool because there was an Elder from Scotland who performed a special musical number (it was very beautiful) and guess who happened to be his accompanist? Andressa Johanson, Ali's sister! She was so wonderful, and it was nice to see a familiar face.

Speaking of familiar faces, this past Wednesday Elders Andrew Luke and Nathan Jones arrived and they're companions going to the same mission! Also, I ran into Sister Hannah Schone and was able to chat with her for a bit. To top it off, I've talked to Elder Jaden Ahquin a few times! So at this very moment three members of PVHS 2014 student council are here in the MTC.

As far as le francais goes, I'm progressing very quickly! I am getting better just talking to people, but where the progress is most evident is in the teaching. One of our "investigators" that Sister Kofoed plays is named Tania and she didn't have any beliefs about God, and she's been a tough investigator for all of the companionships because she won't pray because it's weird and difficult for her. But in the very first lesson Elder Williams and I taught her the Spirit was helping me so much with the language and was testifying to her so strongly that (after a couple invitations and a promise to help her) she closed that lesson with her first prayer. Afterward when Sister Kofoed walked back in to the room she just looked at me and said, "Holy Cow!" That was kind of difficult for one of the companionships of Sisters because they had taught her three times, and she wouldn't pray. But I know it wasn't me, it was the Holy Ghost, and I'm so thankful for the calling that I have as a missionary because it allows me to have a connection with the Spirit that can't be rivaled. 

I love being a missionary, and I can't wait to get out in the field! I'm halfway done here at the MTC, and I couldn't be more excited about finally arriving in the mission field and beginning to work.

I love you all so much!

Elder Jorgensen

P.S. In the picture (from left to right): Elder George, Norfolk County, England; Elder Durant, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Elder Williams, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and me.

Week 3 --- Bonjour!!

This week has been really long. 12 hours of class a day is exhausting, but each day is getting better as I pick up the language. French is coming along fairly well, not as fast as I would like, but it's coming. 

Elder Williams and I continued teaching Quentin this week, and then Friday we found out that he is an instructor here at the MTC. His real name is Brother Kellett. He served in the France, Paris Mission where he met his wife, another missionary, and now they both teach at the MTC. Now he teaches one of our district's 4 hour class blocks each day. He is TRES COOL! (that is an actual French phrase haha)

Now we will be teaching him and Sister Kofoed, our other instructor, a couple times each week.

Sunday nights are my favorite (other than P-days!) because we have an awesome devotional followed by a chance to just chill and watch a Church movie. This week we had D. Greg Droubay (Media director for the missionary department) he talked to us about the different things his department does to help us find people to teach, like: pass-along cards,, "Because of Him" Easter event, "It was Mom" and He also showed us a sneak peek of the Christmas event and advertising they'll be releasing in December. I can't tell you about it, but it is going to be AMAZING!!

I love Christmas! So does my district, yesterday we had some time after teaching and we all just sang all of the Christmas hymns en francais. It was a blast!

Anyway back to Sunday, after the devotional my district decided to go watch "The Testaments" a church movie (probably from the 90's) about Christ's ministry in the Holy Land and His visit to the Americas. I almost completely lost it. The Holy Ghost was so present during that movie, and I could feel our Savior's love embracing me as I watched Him minister to the people in the Americas.

I know that Jesus is the Christ. His love for us exceeds our comprehension. Pray frequently to gain this witness for yourself and to feel His love. I promise you that as you do you can find peace in this life and joy beyond imagination.

Also, I LOVE singing in the MTC choir! Our director is hilarious and teaches us so much about our service and the gospel. Tonight we'll be singing an arrangement of "We Are All Enlisted" for the devotional. It's just so powerful!

Last thing before I have to go, if you want to write to me or letters are the best option because I only have an hour to read and respond to all of the emails on P-day. With letters I can write a response during the week and just type it up on P-day.

Anyway, I love you all and thank you for your support and prayers! The gospel est vrai!

Elder Jorgensen

Week 2 --- first letter (e-mail) home

Thanks so much to everyone for all the wonderful comments and Mom I know Sophie is adorable! 

This first week at the MTC has been overwhelming to say the least! Haha! You just get thrust into the thick of things the first day, and you spend a lot of your time in class. One of the hardest things is that your teacher ONLY speaks en francais! I've been able to understand most of it, but speaking it has been a little difficult. Although compared to how it was on the first day, I've become a lot better. We have already taught two lessons to an "investigator" named Quentin (pronounced Conton). We (my companion Elder Williams from Tulsa, OK and I) taught him how to pray and about the Restoration and Book of Mormon....all in French. It was very difficult, and we stumbled a lot, but we were able to get the point across. 

Elder Williams and I started out kind of awkwardly (he doesn't talk much) but we've slowly become closer and he's been a great companion. Our district leader, Elder George, is from Norfolk County, England. He's probably really annoyed with all of our questions and stereotypical jokes, but he deals with it. I really like him a lot.

Our Zone is made up of French speaking missionaries going to Paris, Lyon, Montreal, Washington DC, as well as a few Haitian Creole(simplified French with African influences) speakers going to Florida. Our Zone Leader, Elder Deakins, and his collegue, Elder Gunter, are some of the funniest guys ever and they have been extremely helpful.

General Conference was this weekend and I must say, the Spirit we all felt was beyond amazing, and a TON of personal revelation was received. We also had a devotional Sunday night with Vai Sikahema, a Stake President from Philadelphia, who knows the MTC President really well. He told us to write home with one thought that really stuck out to us as we listened, so here it is: No matter how long it's been since you were fully active in the Church and no matter what you've done, you can ALWAYS come back to FULL fellowship and be completely converted to the Lord.

Also on Sunday, (yes our days are VERY long and VERY packed) we watched a devotional given by Elder Bednar at the MTC a few years ago called "Character of Christ." It was the most powerful thing I have ever seen or heard! I would tell you about it, but I want all of you to go watch yourselves, it will change your life.

Today, we went and did the 6:00 session at the Provo Temple. It was so wonderful to be back in such a holy place, and it was exactly what was needed at the end of this long week. But I must say, I love P-Day! I even got to take a nap after the endowment session! C'evait tres marveilleuse! 

I have to say I don't like Belgium.... We had to go and get some tests done so they would let us into the country. We got our blood drawn, and now I have to go produce a stool sample and bag it up for the MTC clinic.... This will be awkward...

Anyways because of that I have to go, but I love you all so much and I know beyond any doubt that what I'm doing is the best thing for me and the rest of my life. L'eglise est vrai!

Love Elder Jorgensen.

P.S. pictures will be coming next week (I forgot my camera at the residence hall on the other side of campus)
P.P.S. Thanks Grandma for the letter, and thank you Sarah and Dusty for the card and picture. It made my day!

See you in 2 years

September 28, 2014 --- Missionary Farewell and Open House

September 30, 2014 --- Set Apart by President Bangerter

 October 1, 2014 --- He's gone . . . see you in 2 years.

May 15, 2014 --- Mission Call Has Arrived

Mission Boundary Map