So here goes this week's letter...
These past two weeks have been ROUGH!! We've taught 10 total lessons in two weeks and our goals (which were very realistic) had us teaching 30 lessons. We just have not been having very much success. Thankfully, neither of us are getting discouraged, and we both feel that there are miracles coming very soon.
Something cool happened yesterday in our companionship study. While a missionary is a "bleu" (first two transfers) there is a study program the Church has developed to assist in the training. Yesterday we were supposed to watch video segments from "The District 1" about working with members and ward leaders. As we were doing this we both were in awe at how amazing missionary work can and should be when the members and the missionaries work together. In our ward there has kind of been an attitude of, "the missionaries do their thing and the members do theirs." We get along wonderfully with our ward and they really do love us here, but our efforts are frankly being wasted because we aren't working together. So, Elder Godfrey and I are taking the initiative and are setting up meetings with the Bishop and DMP (ward mission leader in french) so we can change the attitude of the ward and really start hastening the work here in La Rochelle. Want to hear something crazy? In our ward boundaries there are 174 less active households (one or more person) and 100 potential priesthood holders! We have SO much work to do here with the members, and if we really start working together to bring back these brothers and sisters and then get them involved in member missionary work as well the results will be incredible! So I have a commitment to extend to all of you (because us missionaries love commitments), start sharing the gospel! It doesn't have to be something crazy or huge, just share little things. Especially during the season of Christmas (I'll tell you how in a little bit) it's super easy to share the gospel. Also, talk to your ward/stake missionaries and your ward mission leader. Let them know you want to help, open up your homes to teach investigators that the missionaries have. Then start finding people to teach yourself! Use Preach My Gospel, The District videos, and other missionary resources. They are AMAZING! Not only will you learn how to do missionary work, but there are quotes, experiences, and easy to understand doctrine and principles that will strengthen your testimony and help you to more closely follow the Savior.
I said I was going to talk about Christmas, so here I go. First of all I hope all of you saw yesterday on Youtube that the Church took over all the advertisements, and presented the "He is the Gift" initiative (the Church has said that it was probably seen by like 200 million people). If you haven't watched the video yet, WATCH IT! It's amazing! And here's the cool part, it is so easy to share that video with your friends or coworkers, and it doesn't have to be awkward at all.
Anyway here in France, we have an awesome initiative we're doing along with "He is the Gift." Elder Andersen of the Twelve was a mission president in Bordeaux about 25ish years ago, and he wrote a book (in French) about a super cool Christmas experience he had, and gave the France missions permission to distribute copies of the books to members and investigators as a way to invite their friends to learn about the church. So yesterday we gave each member a copy with the engagement to share it with someone by the 24th and then report the experiences at church during our "missionary moment" at the beginning of priesthood and relief society. Elder G and I are super excited about the miracles we will see.
I have some good news for you all...I started taking pictures! I also have some bad news for you all...I'm a blond and forgot my camera! So next week for sure you will have some pictures.
So this week Elder G had to go up to the north of France to pick up his second year legality card, soafter our district meeting (which is two hours away) we took a train to Paris (another two hours) where we had an hour layover before hour next train to Arras (another hour). Then after we picked up his card we reversed the trip, but this time it was a 3 hour layover in Paris. But it wasn't horrible because we got to go to this cool hipster cafe where you can get a panini that's the size of a baguette, a drink, and a nutella crepe for 4,50 euro which is a steal! Plus it tasted amazing. Then we went to the Eiffel Tower, so I could get a picture in front of it for Madi Robison because she wanted one, and I just had to do that for one of my favorite Primary kids. So that's a little testament to the fact that Heavenly Father loves Primary kids because as missionaries here we are rushing everywhere and we NEVER have time like that in Paris between trains. I would also like to add that those two days were really tough because we couldn't really do any missionary work. The worst feeling ever is being a missionary that isn't able to work. Although, I'm very glad that the Lord has blessed me with that desire to serve and do His work.
Well I have to write President Babin, so I'll leave you with my love and testimony that in this glorious day the work of the Lord is hastening, and as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we all have the responsibility to share these glad tidings of great joy.