France Paris Mission 2014-2016

Week 72 --- What a Glorious Week!

After Bronson sent this group e-mail, he sent me another quick e-mail letting me know he is being transferred to Evry (a suburb of Paris) instead of Mulhouse.

I just found out because a bleu got reassigned to a stateside mission, I'll be filling his place in Γ‰vry (near Paris) and I won't be in a threesome... (A lot of missionaries call it that actually;))

Tuesday 9 Feb-- Today we had our last district meeting of the transfer. It was super fun as usual (pics will be sent separately) and then we took the train back with the Sisters (they wanted to take funny selfies, so you'll get some of those too). But the coolest thing was our appointment this afternoon with the Noel's. We talked about church and they said they really liked it and they wanted to come again. Then we told them our goal in meeting with them wasn't to just answer all their questions and teach our doctrines, they can come to church and look on for that. Our goal is to see them sealed as a family in the temple, and as missionaries we help them get through the first step, baptism. We asked them if that was something they would like to do, and they both said that would be something they could see themselves doing. We then shared the Mormon Message "Waiting on Our Road to Damascus" by President Uchtdorf. Go watch it ;) Brice is very similar to the man featured in the video, and his wife turned and grinned at him whenever the man spoke and Brice was like "I guess I'm not the only one like that haha". (I'm pretty sure I saw the beginnings of a tear come to this manly guy ;) ). We testified that if they made the commitment to the Lord they wouldn't regret it, and then committed them to read the Book of Mormon TOGETHER every night and pray as a family every night. Then Paul started crying and being fussy (he's been sick for the past couple weeks), I felt impressed to ask his mom (this is the third time I've seen her and I've NEVER done this before) if she would like us to give him a priesthood blessing. She was really excited and said yes. So with Brice holding Paul we gave him a blessing. He was freaking out the entire time because he didn't feel good and we had our hands on him. I promised that he would be healed in a couple of days, and right before I finished the words "be calm" came out of my mouth. As soon as I finished he was perfectly calm, happy, and took the Book of Mormon from his mom and started looking at the pictures and repeating the names HIS PARENTS told him, Joseph, Jesus, Moroni. :) It was a powerful experience.
Wednesday 10 Feb-- Today we got the coolest text from the Noel's...
Good evening,
Emilie and I have decided to only frequent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints...
We no longer want to resist the Holy Ghost and that which is obvious of this choice: Christ.
We said how happy we were and then he responded:
It was the engagement of my wife that kept me from progressing... Goes to show how truly important the family is ;)
We are now praying to fix a date for our double baptism.
Thank you
We both just freaked out!!! We couldn't believe it!
Thursday we got another text....
Good evening,
Just for your information after prayers, introspection, and long discussions, we have made a DEFINITIVE decision about the baptism...
The turd left us hanging like that, so we asked what the decision was :) haha
We have decided that we will be baptized together Saturday May 14th. We are in agreement with the beliefs of the church and want to live from now on as Christians. We don't want to wait any more "on the road to Damascus" ;)
And like I said: this decision is DEFINITIVE.
He then asked if we would baptize them.....My heart dropped and I had to say the saddest thing ever "Unfortunately I'll be leaving this Wednesday". That night as Rollins and I talked I realized how much I truly love this family, and I felt like they were the reason I was called to France.
Thursday we also ate lunch with Sister Lefebvre and Brother PaporΓ©. She made three different types of mousse for dessert after a large was lunch....haha but it was SOOO good!
Saturday we had the baptism for Joshua Passavant. It was a super spiritual meeting and we were asked to stand in the circle for his confirmation. I have pictures of us cleaning and testing the font the day before ;) haha that was fun.
Sunday the Noel's were at church and we had great talks. I had to give my parting testimony (which was super sad because I absolutely love this branch so much, it's probably my favorite so far) because....I'm going to Mulhouse which is right next to Germany. It's a ward there with 140 members.....I'm so scared! I don't know how to act in a big ward! Haha. Also, I'm going to be in a trio for at least six weeks with Elders Bennett and Moore.....that'll be super weird!

(Monday the 15th) we took some time out of P-Day to go say goodbye to the Noel's . We told them that after about 6 weeks the missionaries are going to run out of things to teach them, and that they'll be ready for baptism earlier than they think. Haha! Then I said goodbye. I barely got out the, "I love you so much" before the tears started coming. Emilie was crying too and Brice was trying to be manly so he kept them in haha, but all of us felt the Spirit so strongly I can't even explain how beautiful the moment was. I jokingly told Brice that I loved him even though he made me cry multiple times(that part wasn't the joke) which Emilie thought was hilarious :)

I'm truly going to miss all the people here in Le Havre and in my district here. These last three transfers will be hard to beat ;)

Much loves to all!

Elder Bronson Jorgensen


Emilie, Paul, Brice and I.  I love this family so much!!  Paul loves showing off his toys ;) haha

After climbing the 190 stairs up to Sister Lefebvre's house . . . yes we counted . . .

View from the top!

Yes that's my DL with his tongue out in the last one . . . Haha :)
Also I promise Sister Poznanski is more intelligent than her upside number suggests ;)

We don't know what Sister Spencer was doing with her hair ...#crazybutcool

What happens when I actually decide to cook . . . Double Burgers!!!

Our celebratory pic after the texts from the Noel's ;) haha

Week 71 --- The Balm in Gilead

So this week was a ton better than last week. Tuesday we had a finding day in Le Havre. After our district meeting here, all 5 companionship so stayed here until like 6:00 and just contacted like crazy. We got 3 new investigators and a lot of potentials. I worked with Elder Larsen and Elder George. So funny story, my last week as DL when I was calling the sisters they asked if they could do anything to help me out. Jokingly, I said bring me tacos at district meeting...well today Sister Poznanski shows up with a taco kit for me...

Later that night ;) haha!

Thursday---So during our district meeting on Tuesday we get a text from Brice Noel. (Remember the guy that definitively dropped us?) He said that we probably think he's a crazy person, or at least very indecisive, but he AND HIS WIFE have been feeling the impression that they need to come to our church at least once! We testified that it was Heavenly Father speaking through the Holy Ghost and set an appointment to show them both the church and answer some questions they had about tithing. So today they show up and we show them around. They were both incredibly impressed at how beautiful, simple and practical the building was, but most importantly when we showed the baptismal font they were impressed by the fact that it was below the ground (to help with the symbolism of the death and burial) and they seemed excited as we explained how we baptize. Then we sat down and talked about tithing because he had asked if a man needed to pay the full ten percent in order to receive the Aaronic priesthood (which means he's thinking about his life as a member ;) ). We explained that to be baptized everyone needed to commit to pay a full tithe, and then testified of the blessings that come from obedience to that law. We left them with the pamphlet on tithing and fast offerings, and they said (without our encouraging) they would pray about that and the restoration! We got a text later this week saying that they completely understand and accept the doctrine of tithing! Later Thursday we went to dinner with our branch mission leader at the home of a less active we visit. That was pretty fun as well.

Sunday--- They all came to sacrament meeting! Brice, his wife Emilie and their son Paul were there for our fast and testimony meeting. They said they really liked it, and they said they wanted to meet with us on Tuesday as a family! The Lord really tried my faith these last couple weeks, but He more than made up for it. This is such a beautiful family and I'm sure they will be baptized in the next few months.

Sorry this wasn't very long, but I want to leave you with my testimony. I testify that our Heavenly Father knows and loves us perfectly, and because of that He gives us trials and tests that are always for our benefit. I know my Savior because of my struggles, and I know that through our own individual trials we can all come to know our Savior if we will but search for Him. There is a Balm in Gilead, and He provides the sweetest, purest, and most lasting comfort and healing imaginable. As one of His authorized representatives I bear you this witness. He lives. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Week 70 - Ups...downs...and all-arounds....yet somehow I'm still standing.

I don't really know how to explain all that's happened the last 3 weeks other than what I said in the subject line. It's been the most challenging time of my mission by far.

Jan 12th today we had an exchange in Rouen with Elders Larsen and George. It was pretty sick because it started out with us doing service for their Bishop and Samuel Babin (from the I'm a Mormon video "I'm a Mormon, Frenchman, and a Trilingual Family Father" the translation isn't as funny as what he actually says btw) who also is President Babin's little brother (President Babin is playing tennis with him in the video haha!). We helped them transport some huge dressers but it was super easy because they had hydraulic jacks, so we didn't have to wreck our backs haha! It was really fun because the bishop in Rouen is the son of a family I knew well in La Rochelle so we chitchatted a bit about them and what not. That evening while George and I were out searching for some less-actives it started to pour....guess who didn't have an umbrella or jacket and was wearing the suit he needed for a conference with the Europe Area President....This guy😎 haha. I was completely drenched from head to foot.  Literally my feet were soaked because there are holes in the bottom of my shoes (I'm pretty sure that Ecco said their shoes would last my full mission....well 2 pairs have gotten me through 2/3 of my mission.... Maybe I'm wearing them wrong haha!) There was nobody out on the streets and we were in a residential so to help keep our spirits up George and I sang hymns with all the gusto and enthusiasm we could muster (which was a whole lot more than I thought we could!) In the end we had a pretty good time :)

Jan 13th Today we were in Paris for a special conference with Elder Patrick Kearon of the Seventy who is the president of the Europe Area. The Spirit was present even before he entered the chapel; during the prelude music I was on the verge of tears. Then he came in and the excitement kicked up about 20 notches! Haha. He had us all sit down and then said he and his wife would like to shake all of our hands. As it was m turn to go up he asked where I was from and I said St. George, but then he asked what stake I was from and my mind went blank. I got this dumb look on my face and all I could think of was "Le pieu de Paris" haha! After about 3 seconds I finally remembered, told him, then got out of there as fast as I couldπŸ˜‚. During the conference President Kearon talked to us about our mission culture, what it means to be truly happy doing missionary work, receiving chastisement from the Lord and changing accordingly, the blessings of a good morning routine and the importance of the "numbers" in missionary work. Then he shared his conversion story about how it took him two years to be baptized, and how one companionship focused on "his number" even though everyone including the mission president said to give up on him. He's been a member for the last 28 years, and now has served in many callings that have allowed him to help others, especially his current calling. It was extremely powerful.

Jan 20th Got the news that Grandpa had a stroke, and then that night I got a call from President Babin informing me of Grandpa's death. It still doesn't feel totally real. I spent some time on my knees and in the scriptures and I just knew that Grandpa had lived the life he was supposed to, and now he was at "rest". I say that because I know he's working just as hard on that side of the veil as he did on this side :)  I also called up Elder Libby because his grandpa passed away from cancer while we were together. He let me vent a little, made me laugh because he's the weirdest kid I know, and made me feel a lot better. He told me a story that made me die laughing, so I'll share it with you. So there's this BIG Hawaiian elder in our mission who LOVES hugging people, and when he hugs you it's a bear hug with a lift haha.

So, the Kearon conference was two days because they couldn't get both halves of the mission in the building, and the second day was when this elder was there. After the conference right before lunch this elder goes up to talk to President Kearon (and President Kearon is a fun, humorous, loving guy) and then he gives him a hug complete with the lift. When he puts President Kearon down a serious look comes on PK's face and he says (with his intense British accent) "Don't you ever pick up a general authority again." and then he walks away. This elder just about faints from fear! Haha I was on the floor laughing from that, 'twas too good!

Jan 24th. In order to convey the significance of what happened today I must give an overview of how the work has been going the past month...πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ‘ŽπŸΌπŸ‘ŽπŸΌπŸ‘ŽπŸΌ....and that despite us working as well as we could, being as obedient as possible, and still nothing. With that done, I can proceed. The only bright spot for us was with Brice he had committed to come to church for all three hours with his entire family, read the BoM everyday, and focus only the simple doctrines of the gospel. Today after church we get a text which essentially said, "there are too many basic beliefs of your church which neither I nor nor my pastor can find in the bible or feel comfortable about. I have decided definitively to stop investigating with you. I respect you and you are always welcome in my home, but I'll be staying in my own church." After reading that I felt like I got hit by a truck. And to top it all off, my depression started coming back in full force and hasn't left me yet. There's probably some correlation there. I literally got to the point that I was going to tell President that I should go home.

Jan 26th We were in Paris today so I could pick up my second year legality card. It went super fast and so we had a couple hours in Paris before our train, so we visited the temple site (it's moving along so fast it's incredible) and the Eiffel Tower because Rollins  hadn't seen it yet. It was pretty fun. There are some pics ;)

Jan 27th Back in Paris for our district meeting and interviews with President. I told him all about what was going on and even mentioned going home, and in a kind, but still serious way said, "Elder Jorgensen you are doing too much good for the missionaries around you.  You aren't going home." It was a definite help. We talked for a good 15 minutes and even though I'm not completely back to normal I'm doing much better.

Jan 31st Today at church we had Lionel come for 2 hours and the branch meal afterward. He really liked it and said he'd for sure come again next week. That's a miracle considering we had to repeat not only the sacrament prayers but the hymn three times (a member who is kind of mentally handicapped played the sacrament hymn rather than me, and he had practiced it way too slow and couldn't adjust. Yes I play the organ every week, melody only, but still ;) ). Then we had a sick branch council and the members asked us for our input on a lot of important subjects which was way cool.


​Description of Photos:
​Me in front of the temple
Us at the Eiffel Tower
Elder Rollins when I make him call people πŸ˜
Us watching The District for Rollins' training. Popcorn and hot
chocolate are a must ;) (we had to do our studies at night right
before bed. We do NOT study in hoodies and shorts all the time haha)