France Paris Mission 2014-2016

Week 18 - Glory in the work of the Lord (the good, the bad, and the awkward of it)

Well this week has...happened...

So overall it's been kind of disappointing when you look at the numbers we had this week, but you can always find the good things in the midst of trials.

A little suivi (follow up) for you. The rendez-vous that we had with Anselem didn't go through and we have lost contact with him again unfortunately. We had to decide to let him go (for now) and focus on more solid people. We had a rendez-vous with Elsa this week that she didn't show up for, and we were pretty worried. Luckily, we got in touch with her later, and she was obligated to go out of town for work very quickly, but she'll be back in about two weeks. Also, the Fitt's aren't moving! After looking into all the logistics of moving them and getting us a car in La Rochelle, as well as considering the fact that they only have a couple more months left on their mission, President Babin decided it wasn't the right thing to do.

Cool story for you. We were out knocking doors one night and it was FREEZING!!! We weren't having any success and we had about 15 minutes before we needed to head home. But we decided to knock on just a couple more houses before we started back. The first one that answered was a lady about 45ish with two teenage boys. We asked if we could pray with her and she said no with some excuses (the house was a mess, not really interested in religion, don't have a lot of time). But she was still super nice to us. Then she asked us if we were cold, and we just looked at each other then said, "Ya..." so she invited us in to warm up and have some juice. We just started talking to her about who we are, her life a little bit (she spent some time in Florida and really likes the U.S.), and just had a conversation for like 10 minutes. Then we asked her again if before we left we could leave her with a prayer, and since we were already in there she said sure. So we prayed for her, her sons, and her home. Afterward she just looked so happy almost on the point of tears. (She had gone through a divorce recently, moved, was working a ton, and trying to do everything for her sons by herself). We weren't sure if she felt something like an impression, or if she was just super glad to hear somebody pray for her, but she was happy. Then when we were leaving she said, "You come back anytime you want to talk, warm up again, etc." It was a great way to end what had been a pretty rough day.

Now for the awkward part. This stuff happened to Elder Godfrey this week, so I will just copy his account of it... 

"soooo here comes the awkward story of the week.  So it was Thursday night and we were coming home from knocking on some doors.  We were in the bus and I was sitting there minding my own business and just kinda looking around.  Behind me and to the right of me was a young girl of about 18 or 19 years old.  I was kinda just thinking and looking around and I glanced at her once and didn't really think anything of it.  Then to my astonishment she gets up and I thought she was just getting off of the bus but then she sat down behind me and shocked me saying "you have a funny way of looking at people"  being shocked and not knowing what to say blurted out the first thing that came to my mind "maybe" not being used to a young cute girl (that smelt really good) hitting on me.  So being my awkward self i just kinda shrugged it off but then she said "I find it funny it's nothing bad"  at this moment I was just praying that I could get off the bus because I did not know what to say or do.  I think it was the most awkward moment of my life.  Needless to say dating after the mission might be a struggle."

While this was happening I was sitting one seat in front of him just laughing. It was too good! 

Then two days later, we were out knocking on doors in the afternoon. Right next to the neighborhood was a big field. We ducked behind some trees at the edge of the field to...relieve ourselves... before we began working. We then went to work after knocking on two doors a car pulls up next to where we were and a man walks up to us and says " I'm a member of the gendarmerie (national police sort of deal). What were you doing back in that field?" Apparently two guys dressed in black jackets sneaking into fields is suspicious... We just felt so awkward, and Elder Godfrey said, "J'ai fait du peepee..." (I went pee) in just about the most embarrassed and confused tone I've ever heard. Then the guy started ranting about something while he walked back to his car.

We are an awkward couple missionaries...

I'm going to end with a spiritual thought courtesy of President Babin. " 'Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.' (Gordon B. Hinckley) It is interesting to note that the prophet says  'cultivate an attitude of happiness', as NĂ©phi says in 2 Nephi 5:27 : And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness. Happiness is not a gift it is the result of our will to be happy."

I promise you we can be happy as disciples of Christ if we follow the direction we receive from the scriptures, modern prophets, and the Holy Ghost.

Love you all,
Elder Jorgensen

Week 17 ---- Not much to say...Not much time...

Thanks for all the emails, cards, letters I have gotten. I really appreciate it!

This week we were able to teach Elsa the Plan of Salvation and again just an awesome lesson. She is going to be baptized. It may take some time for her to figure out the faith part of all of this and to feel that she has received an answer, but she's going to get there.

Last Monday we went to Saintes. Too cool! (Pictures to follow) Tuesday we were in Paris all day doing my legality...not cool... I had to undress twice, pee in a cup, stand around for like 5 hours in between all of the tests, paperwork, and other stuff. All of that was after getting up at 5 am to catch a train. Then we didn't get home until like 9:40.... not cool...

Sorry this email is so short, but TONS to do, lots of emails to write, etc., etc. ( Missionary life ;) )

Love you all
Elder Jorgensen

These are at an old Roman Colosseum and inside of an old Catholic crypt in Saintes

Week 16 Weirdest...Week...Ever

So I have to be super quick because we're going to a cool ville called Saintes with the Fitt's to do some sight-seeing.

First three days...nothing at all! No lessons, nada. Wednesday night we had a dinner rendez-vous with Romana and Miley (Less active and non member rugby players). We thought it would be at their house, but no, it was at an asian buffet. If that wasn't weird enough they brought three of their buddies with them. Let's just say there wasn't anything spiritual about that evening. We weren't even able to give a spiritual thought. We felt HORRIBLE after! It's not fun to "hang out with the boys" as a missionary. Then we asked Miley if he would like to start the lessons with us and he said no. Also that night we heard about the first shooting that happened in Paris. It was just devastatingly sad. 

The next day we had an amazing rendez-vous with a super cool lady named Elsa. A couple days prior she had called us and said she had gotten a card from some missionaries a couple months ago and she wanted to learn more! We taught her the Restoration and it went really well. She actually has friends from Utah (some of which are members) and lately in her life she's been searching for a church that had truth. She had tried the Catholic, some Protestant, but hadn't found what she was looking for (until now! haha). And we set up another meeting and she said she would come to church. After that we had to go to the train station to pick up tickets for tonight and tomorrow (I have to go into Paris to do my first year legality stuff). While there someone misplaced a package in the station and with what was going on they cleared out the building to check it (it wasn't a bomb). we were walking out of the building Anselem rode up on his bike literally right in front of us on his way to work! He apologized that he had been kind of flaky, and we set up an appointment for this week! 

This Sunday was ward conference and it was AWESOME! Had some of the coolest lessons and talks and had a little meal thing after. Romana and Miley showed up to church again which was super surprising, but still cool! Then we got the saddest news ever... the stake president called Elder Fitt to be a branch president in another ville because the old branch president just quit and the rest of the branch has kind of disintegrated. So the Fitt's will be leaving La Rochelle sometime soon. It's really hard because they're like another set of parents for me and Elder Godfrey. But the Lord knows what He's doing and it's all for the best.

Got to run! Love you all!
Elder Jorgensen

Week 15 --- Blackout Year

So a term in the mission, "Blackout Year" now applies to me. For the entire year of 2015 my life will be solely dedicated to serving the Lord. It's pretty exciting! We spent New Year's Eve with the Fitts and had just the most amazing time! (Partly because Sister Fitt makes the most amazing French Onion soup you will ever have!!!) So ya it was pretty fun just to rest up for a couple days (We got the evening of the 31st and the 1st off because most of the people we would be contacting in the street would be drunk! haha)

A little bit of bad news before all of the good news. Anselem, the ami that we had a baptismal date fixed with, kind of dropped off the face of the earth. We haven't made any contact with him in like 2 weeks, and so we're a little confused as to what is going on. But we're still hoping to get in touch with him!

Now the good news! This transfer our zone has a goal to have 10 baptisms by the end of the transfer, so each companionship needs one. And we didn't have a date fixed yet and this was the last week to get one or you wouldn't have time to teach everything. So on Saturday we set a goal to invite everyone we taught to be baptized and fix a date... And we got one!!! His name is Emmanuel he's from Cameroon and he speaks english as his native tongue :) He met with the missionaries a couple years ago and still reads from the book of mormon occasionally. We met him porting just kind of randomly (but not really because he needed us to talk to him). Anyway he accepted the baptismal invite because he feels like he's strayed away from God the past couple years and he wants to do God's will for him!

Also, Brother Forbes (a rugby player from New Zealand who is on the team in La Rochelle) brought two of his teammates to church yesterday. One of them is a less-active member from New Zealand who served a mission in Australia and the other is a non-member from Australia that has family that are members. They are roommates, and they said we could come over and talk with them. We are so excited because they both already felt super comfortable at church and are incredibly kind, open, and fun. There hasn't been much else because we also had district meeting and exchanges in Nantes at the beginning of the week. 

I have to go, but I love you all. Remember the Lord in all that you do. Offer up prayers of fervent thanks for all of the blessings you receive, and also pray for the opportunity to be a blessing in the life of someone else. Also, remember the words of Elder Wirthlin, "Come what may and love it." Challenges will come but remember the promise of the Lord that all that is unfair in this life will be made up far beyond what we could ever expect.

Elder Jorgensen