France Paris Mission 2014-2016

Week 26 --- The Albanian Affair...

This week has been tough, but great. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to see Ambroise because he was out of town. I'm kind of worried about him because last time we asked he hadn't been reading the Book of Mormon, and he promised he would. Also, we had a rendez-vous with Sandrine, but we got fruged (she wasn't there). We've tried passing by other times and we haven't been able to see her. 

Those are the rough things, now on to the great things!

A while back we met a guy on the street and prayed with him, and he said he'd be interested to meet with us again. So we saw him this week. His name is Albert and it turns out that he works for the Catholic church and is very involved in everything. Honestly, I was super confused as to why he wanted to meet with us, and then he mentioned that when we prayed with him, he felt something really different, but really good, and he wanted to know why he felt like that with us. He's working a lot now planning for Easter and all that, but after Easter he really wants to meet with us again and find out more. 

We also found a new ami this week named Anique. She had met with the missionaries about 25 years ago, so when we knocked on her door she was really excited to let us in (apparently back then she was meeting with the missionaries because she thought one of them was really cute and she loved the US haha!). We prayed with her and then came back again during the week to share with her why we were there, and some of the blessings of the gospel. In fact, we have another rendez-vous with her in about 2 hours to teach the restoration!

Now it's time for another crazy story from the life of Elders Jorgensen and Smith:

So, back story. Last week we got a referral from the sister missionaries in Poitiers (which is outside of our mission) of just a name and a number. His name was Cezar Martini. So we call Cezar up and try to talk to him, only problem is that he speaks just a tiny tiny bit of French and an even tinier bit of English, so he gets someone who can help translate for him. She says that he wants to come and talk with us, so we set up a rendez-vous for this past Thursday. Thursday rolls around and we're sitting at the church having been fruged by another rendez-vous (and the less active member, Mehdi, who was supposed to teach with us). Then in walks a young man, his wife, their 3 month old baby and some other lady. Needless to say Elder Smith and I were super excited to teach a family! He introduces himself as Cezar Martini, and says he wants to talk. We go and sit down in one of the class rooms and start talking in this weird french/english mix (franglais). We come to find out that he his wife and his sister-in-law want to work for the church as missionaries like us in exchange for a place to sleep at the chapel until we can find them a house in La Rochelle. We were shocked! We tried to explain that we don't help with things like that and that we were there to teach the gospel. Cezar tells us that if we don't help them they will be on the street tonight because they don't have any money. We tried to figure out why they left their house in Poitiers, and so he told us their story(all of this through google translate). They are Albanian and a while back he and his wife decided to get married. Unfortunately, her father was against it and wanted her to marry someone else. We got the impression that her dad was a pretty bad guy, maybe mob boss. So Cezar fled Albania with his new bride and found government housing and a job in Poitiers. Things were going well until about 3 weeks ago. He was walking near his house and some guy shouts to him, in Albanian, "Are you Cezar Martini?" and then he kept seeing this guy in his neighborhood. At this point Cezar is freaked out thinking that his father-in-law found them, so when he meets the missionaries somehow he got the impression that they could help him, and he decides they'll move to La Rochelle to find safety. Now we're hearing all this and we're freaked out because we have no idea what we can do to help them, and our Bishop isn't responding and the Fitts are out of town. But we thought of Mehdi (less active who fruged us) because he runs an organization that helps people in need find housing. We called him and he said he would be right there. Now that's a miracle in itself because he usually NEVER answers his phone. While we're waiting for him we pulled up in albanian and were showing them videos and stuff (we're always on the job!). He gets there and tries to figure out their situation, and calls his contacts trying to find something, but there is nothing available for them because they have a home in the department(kind of like a state) and they were told that morning by the person helping them with legality NOT to go to La Rochelle until they had a solution. So we found a train that was going back to Poitiers that night and Mehdi found them a ride to the station, and we are hoping they didn't get asked for a ticket because they just hopped on because they didn't have any money. And now Mehdi is helping them to find a house here in La Rochelle. All of this happened over the course of like 4 and 1/2 hours.... Our brains were just fried!

Love you all, and I hope next week I'll have more spiritual stories and less crazy ones ;)
Elder Jorgensen

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