France Paris Mission 2014-2016

Week 35 --- Follow the promptings of the Spirit...No matter what they are.

What a great week!!!!

Tuesday we had our "branch day" all the members that could come met at the church and we cleaned together, had our branch council meeting (which included almost all the members there haha) and then ate a big lunch together. Perks of being a missionary: nobody let's you bring your own food :) Elder Alvarez and I showed up a little early and so I started messing around on the piano which I do whenever we have spare time at the chapel. I've been trying to learn the melodies to a couple hymns just for fun. Well, the relief society president who is also the pianist heard me and so she asked me to play for her on Sunday because she would be gone. Now obviously, I couldn't say no, so I said I could probably do the melodies. I got the list of the songs and seriously every spare second we had I was practicing for that. I had to use both hands to do the melody, but it turned out halfway decent. Note to parents: make your kids learn piano! If they serve outside of the US they WILL need it :) 

Friday, we went and ate at the relief society president's home. Her husband used to be in the branch presidency and high council. They are just a super solid family! Anyway, they've got some money, and so we had a huge meal in their super fancy house. I'm talking amazing steaks, classy looking twice baked potatoes, four different kinds of cheeses, and eclairs for dessert. Did I mention we were there for lunch?! :) Anyway super cool. He was in different community choirs for years, so he and I talked about music a ton and sang some of his old songs together. Apparently I'm a real Dunkerquois (person from dunkerque) because I belted the city anthem with him haha!  But the coolest thing about this lunch was our spiritual thought. Like I said, this family is incredibly solid, and so we were having trouble thinking of something that we could share with them that would really help. I spent the morning flipping through the topical guide trying to find SOMETHING to share with them. On the bus ride over to their house we were still trying to figure it out. All of a sudden, I thought about fasting, but it was gone in another second. When it came time to share the spiritual thought I found myself talking about fasting even though I thought I was going to talk about pondering the scriptures. I turned to a scripture I remembered about fasting and started a discussion. It turns out the hardest thing they deal with is fasting. She works at home for troubled kids and she cooks and eats with the kids, so fasting is hard because the kids ask why she doesn't eat and legally she can't talk about church. And his body doesn't handle skipping meals well. They try to do it the best they can, but when they do it's always just because they have to. I was completely led by the Spirit and gave them encouragement, tips, and promised them miracles. It was a really spiritual experience, and they were so grateful for it.

Now I'll finish up with my funny experience of the week.

There is a couple (Olivier and Virginie) that we are teaching who had a baptismal date, and a lot of potential, but right before I got here they dropped off the face of the earth. We hadn't made contact in weeks. But, this week we were on our way home for dinner and the thought popped into my head, "Go get a Kebab" (delicious Arab mystery meat sandwich). But I didn't want to spend the money, and we were tired and just wanted to get home, but the thought wouldn't leave. So I told Elder Alvarez we were going to get off at a different stop and go get a kebab. Right as we get off the bus guess who walks in front of us? Olivier! He was super happy to see us and we set up an appointment right there. Spiritual promptings come in all kinds of ways, and you never know what blessings will come from following them. Oh and the kebab tasted amazing by the way! :)

Love you all!

Elder Jorgensen

Week 34 --- I No Longer Like Happy Meals . . .

So this week was pretty good. Yesterday we ate at a member's house. He is a really nice old guy named Jean-Paul, but he's not all there. Anyway this is the meal "he" made for us (I had to cook pretty much everything or else it would have burned): a pork chop cooked in a stick of melted butter without seasoning, about a pound each of frozen french fries cooked in oil that I think he leaves in the pot after each time he makes them, and a small can of peas and carrots. Afterward I felt like I was going to have a heart-attack, and I'm pretty sure my cholesterol level doubled. But he loves the missionaries and it was nice spending time with him while he showed us all of his photo albums of past missionaries.

We also taught this potential investigator that was found about a month ago. Her name is Myriam. She is a young mom and she really loves God and wants her kids to grow up with religion in their lives. 

So this week we had exchanges with our district leader. His name is Elder Gaule and he's from London. Super cool guy! So all four of us were eating dinner together and Elder Guale suggested we do a food challenge. The challenge was eat an entire happy meal (burger fries drink and dessert) in the shortest amount of time possible. Elder Guale (who eats like a freaking shark!) finished it all in 1min 9sec. I was second at 1min 30sec and Elder Nord (Elder Guale's companion) finished in 1min 54sec. Elder Alvarez just sat and laughed at us :) That was probably the second most disgusting meal I've had in France, right behind Jean-Paul's :) haha

Love you!
Elder Jorgensen

Week 33 --- Sick:(

So this week was pretty uneventful. I was really sick all week, so we weren't able to do much work. I was able to give my talk in Sacrament meeting, and it went really well. The Spirit was strongly felt, by myself, and I'm pretty sure many others. It was scary though because when we started the first hour the only people there were the branch president, his wife, and us! haha. Eventually five other members showed up, but for the first hour it was pretty awkward...

Anyway sorry, I don't have any more to say. Next week you'll get a nice long email :)

Elder Jorgensen

Week 32 --- Dunkerque!!

So I'm here in Dunkerque now! My area is SOOOO tiny. It's significantly smaller than St. George. I'm with Elder Alvarez from Guatemala. He's a convert of about a year and a half. It's been interesting so far because he doesn't speak a lot of English, and his French isn't the greatest either, but we're working on both of those. :) The branch here in Dunkerque has about 18 members that come regularly. It is the weirdest feeling being in Priesthood and not even filling up a little room, but there is a lot of faith in these members. Oh and I get to give a talk next Sunday because it's the missionary's turn. I'll be speaking every 4 or 5 weeks for the next couple transfers. It's really exciting here though because the week before I got here they baptized someone and yesterday I stood in the circle and confirmed him. His name is Mike and he's a 19 year old pro soccer player from Haiti. So the story for this week was quite an adventure. When I got here we had just received a media referral that hadn't been checked out yet. So Elder Alvarez and I go to check it out. We took a bus as far as it went towards the city this person lived in (about 30 minutes) then we have to walk for legitimately an hour and 15 minutes on a road through the middle of fields. We passed maybe 4 houses. finally get to the town where this guy lives, and... he moved :( but it was an interesting trip though. (The walk back felt a lot longer haha)

Love you all! 

Elder Jorgensen

View from my apartment

Last photo with Elder and Sister Fitt

Up close photo of safflower fields from our "adventure".