France Paris Mission 2014-2016

Week 100

Since Elder Jorgensen didn’t send an e-mail this week, I (Mom) will just post the e-mail his companion sent to his family (thanks Elder Anderson).

Well the sun decided to make this week a hot one for us, it has been beautiful recently but this past week was very hot and humid. Even our district leader who is Tahitian was complaining about how hot it was. Good old Tahiti doesn't have this beautiful Belgian humidity, reminds me of being back home. That didn't stop us from doing a ton of work though, we were able to do a lot this week and I really am happy with how it turned out. We have a family we are teaching and every time we go to do service they take another step in their process. The first time afterwards they began to pray everyday. The second time we cleaned their windows and window sills and they started reading everyday, and after Saturday we helped clean doors they agreed to come to church this next Sunday. It is awesome to see how the lord softens hearts and works wonders among his children. We also needed to go to Chaleroi, the area next to us, twice for exchanges as our district leader has been sick and at the hospital off and on these past few weeks. He does not like hospitals at all so the fact he went in the first place was amazing, now they keep scheduling stuff and doing things that don't help so he has been getting pretty fed up with it all. Charleroi is not the nicest of places so you get interesting looks from people more than normal when walks around in a white shirt and tie, luckily I had the Tahitian with me all day so nobody tried to do anything, the other two stayed on the nicer part of town all day haha.

Today we were up in Brussels playing soccer with our district and the zone leaders, that was fun and a little impromptu tournament started when some other guys showed up and asked to play with us, so we had four teams changing in and out and it was fun. We had been playing for over an hour before hand then we had that so we are all pretty tired now. We also had some cool people who we got to meet, one was a woman who is a Syrian refugee and has been here for about three years now, she really liked that we believed in a prophet today and has asked us to come over on Saturday to talk more. However this week we also had to drop some of the lesser progressing Amis as well so it was a week of ups and of some downs. This was a cool week at church in that the priesthood lesson and the sacrament meeting talks were all on family councils. The bishop got up and told the ward the idea came at a family home evening we had with his family when we shared the message about family councils given by elder Ballard in last Aprils conference. He loved what we said and decided to do one that week, and he had an awesome experience and has suddenly decided the whole ward needs to make sure we are home teaching and doing family councils. I thought it was cool cause I remember that morning Jorgensen asked me what we should talk about me I had no idea, but Elder Ballard came and talked to us at the MTC so I looked up what his last talk was and I really liked what it had to say. So we went ahead and based our message off that talk and it is great to see that the message really helped the family but now also may help the ward. Sometimes we are instruments in the lords hand even without knowing what will come of our use. I love you all and until next time

Elder Anderson

Week 99 - Final Zone Conference and Thoughts on Prayer

So on Tuesday we had a lesson with Cri-Cri and Donovan a mom and 17 year old son we've been teaching the last couple weeks. She has a ton of health problems and they're a little interesting, but super kind.  We taught about the Book of Mormon because we had watched the restoration video the last time. Donovan was super interested and he started reading the intro and asking questions before the end of the appointment. He finished by saying," I hate reading but I'm excited to start this book" :)
Wednesday we had Zone Conference and boy was it something. I was the only person dying in our zone so everyone made a big deal about it and kept making jokes about me dying. I hate the question, "What does it feel like to be dead?" 😡. But those young bucks don't know better yet, so I can't be mad ;) haha It was super cool during President's training at the end of the conference. He was talking about searching the scriptures not just reading and about praying and fasting A LOT.  He used the first part of Alma 17. And at the end of his training just as a little side note he talked about how we can become the kind of servants that merit the approbation "Well done, thou good and faithful servant". Then he added, while looking at me, "and the Lord will be pleased with the service you have given Him". I felt the Spirit like a fire inside me when he said that, and it was just what I needed as I neared the end of my service.
We had a dinner appointment 4 nights this week! I don't know what got into the members but I like it :) haha
I've been reflecting a lot this week on prayer and how great a blessing it is to be able to talk to our Father in heaven, the creator of the universe about anything and everything that is important to us.  A quick story to illustrate this.  Friday we get a call from the Bishop asking us to take the first five minutes after the sacrament and give the ward a specific challenge about missionary work to give the ward a little boost. Well we sat and were thinking about it all day Friday and Saturday, but we couldn't think of anything that felt appropriate.  It's like 8 o'clock Saturday night and we're eating dinner and just pondering over our problem. Anderson goes to make himself something to eat and I just start praying and begging for some help. After I finished my prayer I remembered that a few days earlier Anderson shared a quote during comp study from the end of chapter 1 of preach my gospel where there is a list of quotes on missionary work by prophets. So I go back there and find this one by Harold B Lee, "Missionary work is but home teaching to those who are not now members of the Church, and home teaching is nothing more or less than missionary work to Church members”. Then I received the inspiration to challenge each home and visiting teacher to provide an act of service for each person/family they visit during the next 40 days(which leads right up to conference). So we plan out our little talk and when we ask Bishop before church if he approved of our challenge he responded, "That is inspired! I love it!" Apparently there have been some problems with home/visiting teaching so the Bishop was really happy with that challenge. In short, prayer works....really well! :)



Week 98 --- Sorry Y'all this'll be a quick one ;)

So I just want to share an experience we had this week. You remember Elisabeth, the young Congolese mom we started teaching? Well we saw her twice this week.  Tuesday we shared the Joseph Smith story kind of briefly because her sister was there making a ruckus and at the end we didn't feel like she really got anything from it. So, we asked her to read the page in the brochure about the first vision and pray and ask God if it was true. We come back Thursday and just out of habit ask if she had prayed about it. She got really quiet and said she did.... But didn't say anything else. So we asked what happened and she told us she felt something really powerful. It was so powerful she got super scared and ran to check all the windows haha :) We talked about that feeling and she told us how she always feels something similar whenever we come and she really likes it. We testified that the Holy Ghost will always be there to testify of truth and then we helped her realize that all the other times in her life when she sincerely prayed to God she felt the same type of feelings. It was no joke the most spiritual atmosphere I've been in during a lesson. One could almost feel the spirit the way you feel the humidity. We introduced the Book of Mormon to her and she promised to read it while she was on vacation this week and then she's coming to church as soon as she gets back. This one is definitely a tender mercy of the Lord.

We'll be having my very last Zone Conference this week. Which means my dying testimony...... I'm actually pretty nervous. 😵

Love you all, have a great week! 

Week 97 --- The Beginning of the End . . .

This week we started teaching two families from the Congo (More Africans!!!!) :) One of them was super dope. Christian grew up in France and while he was in Switzerland for studies he met with the missionaries quite a bit, but he lost contact and his Book of Mormon was burned in an apartment fire. So when he saw us he was totally down to meet again. Now he has 7 kids!! Ages 22 to 2..... We had a really good first lesson and we'll be seeing him again tomorrow!

We did some more service for Amis and members. We taught Allal over at Ruben and Keilani's. Afterward while we were waiting for our train Allal saw Anderson playing with a deck of cards so he pulled out a deck and gave it to me. I looked at the cards that night and all the face cards had very detailed pictures of ladies that uhhh....well let's just say those cards are in the bottom of our trash can ;) haha  Next Lesson: #lawofchastity 

We had a training this week from our stake president talking about the challenges and issues of the work in Belgium. It was super powerful! 

It's so weird everyone keeps talking about me dying.... Most of my good friends are home.... But I'm super excited about these last few weeks! Things are going really well (we had at least one appointment planned every day this week!)

Love you all!

Week 96 ---Six More Weeks

So just a quick update about what's been going on these last two weeks.

We had this pretty cool experience where we were out contacting in this town about 20 minutes from Namur thinking it was a decent sized town..... Well in about 2 hours of contacting we had talked to about 6 people.... It was pretty dead. So we were on our way back to the station and we see this middle-aged guy carrying a really heavy looking bag. Well Anderson contacts him like normal meanwhile I notice that the bag is filled with beer.....great..... But we talked a little bit and he thought it was weird that we were here in this tiny town to talk about Jesus, so we offered to help him carry his bag back home (seriously it was heavy for me and Anderson and we are big guys). We talk as we walk back and Hugues is catholic but not too practicing and he just recently moved here from Brussels. So we get to his house finally and he says that to thank us the least he can do is listen to our message. We talked briefly about Joseph Smith's story and testified. When we asked if he thought it'd be possible to have prophets on the earth today he said, "Definitely. You two came all the way over here for two years, so you must know it's true." We prayed with him and after the prayer he had tears in his eyes and he said he felt lighter and happier than he has in a long time. Then he invited us to come over and eat dinner and share more of our message after he got back from vacation, so we'll be seeing him this coming week!!
We catered a wedding....

Haha So what happened is that Ruben the RM in our ward got married and they wanted to have a reception at the church for all the members. The bishop accordingly volunteered us to help set up. We were thinking that meant tables, chairs, maybe some decorations, you know normal stuff. So we show up at like 9 the morning of the reception with sister Chung (our WML's wife who also happens to be a chef at a Chinese restaurant), frere Chung and Claudine. We're wearing our service clothes (for like the twentieth time this transfer I feel like) and we set up tables, decorations, and serving dishes and then we eat lunch that they brought for all of us. Then sis Chung says,"Ok now let's get to work!" I'm really confused and before I know it I'm making hors d'oeuvres (which is a French term but the French say apperatif instead, weird huh?) and preparing giant hot dishes for all the food she has. By the time we finish it's like 30 minutes before people are going to start showing up, so sis Chung gives a crash course on serving food at a buffet line! I guess we're staying for the whole thing! We finally get out of there and home by 9:30 just feeling super confused as to what had just happened.... But we got some dope candid pics of the couple before the reception ;)

Then we had finding days in our DL's area and here in Namur. They both went super well! We got quite a few new investigators and potentials and I got the chance to work with my good friend Elder Nord a ton the two days. (Don't remember if I mentioned but Elder Nord is like my best friend in the mission and we were in the same district in Dunkerque and now he's in the district here)  We held our district meeting on our finding day, and because getting to our church takes too long we had it in our apartment!! That was really weird having the 8 of us in here for a meeting haha :)
We found out transfers for my last transfer! I'll be staying here in Namur...and so will Elder Anderson!! We are both confused (because when I die that will have been 4 transfers here for him) but really excited. He's a great guy! Also Elder Larsen (who was in my district in Le Havre and another one of my great friends) is coming up to Brussels to be our ZL! It'll be super dope! Also two of the elders in our district will be training so we'll have a district with two people staring their missions and me....the guy who's got one foot in the grave (according to Elder Anderson haha)

I'm super excited to start this final push to the end. It still weirds me out thinking that I'll be home in six weeks, but all good things have an end....except the gospel, the family, God's love for us, the power of the Atonement....ok well not all good things have ends, but you know what I mean ;) haha
Also a quick shoutout to my stud of a little brother! Keaton leaves this Wednesday for the MTC and then off to Mendoza, Argentina he goes.  I'm super proud of him and his desire to serve the Lord. May we all remember who we serve and try with all our souls to follow His perfect example.
Love you guys!