Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Bonjour ma famille!!! 3-26-12
This past week has been a lot of hard work like always. A little rougher than others but all is good :) I hit 100 days out on a mission last week... That’s a lot. And this week is the end of the first transfer. Each transfer is six weeks long and at the end of each one its game on. Anyone can randomly get transferred anywhere in the mission. But I am staying here in Lille for at least this transfer with Elder Mayne. We are getting one new Elder in our appartement so that should be interesting. The whole transfer thing is fairly stressful. Especially if you really like the city that you are in! I would love to stay in Lille for a long time. The longest people usually stay is four transfers which is 6 months. There are also 16 transfers in a mission. 15 more to go! haha. I have heard that after your first transfer they just get faster and faster after that. I miss you guys so much! I got a little homesick this week but its okay.
This week in Lille was hard. People cancelled our rendezvous or didn’t answer the phone. The one rendezvous that we did have when I emailed you last was with Yves, the guy who speaks 15 languages. We taught him in the worst place possible but he wanted us to do it there, haha. We taught him in this cafe bar that was blaring rap music. But he did commit to read and pray and he told us something that I thought that I would never hear on my mission. He knows that the book of Mormon is true because the facts add up and because it makes sense that people came from Jerusalem to the Americas, haha. Hey I’ll take what I can get! We also had a rendezvous Zith Christian... I don’t know if you remember him at all from earlier but he decided that the only way that he can know if it is true is by reading the BoM. Thank you Christian! But he said he probably can’t start it until like June because he is a PhD student and super busy. I don’t know what will happen. Thursday night we went out contacting and it has been pretty warm here all week. So we went out in our white shirts only for the first time. It was so awesome! We talked with so many people and a ton knew who we were! We gave out five BoM in like two hours which is nuts haha. We also gave out over twenty pamphlets and got a bunch of numbers. The power of the white shirt... My French is getting a little better. But I am so shy to just talk to people. I get afraid of not being able to understand or of messing up. But I always do fine when I just try and speak. SO that’s what I am focusing on this week. Just putting myself out there and being bold. That is so different for me. But I know that it will work.
I got Jessica’s wedding invitation in the mail this week. It looks awesome, haha It is going to be a ton of fun for you guys to go! It sounds like you guys are doing really well. France is doing well. The streets are still dirty as ever, haha. and we are in a constant battle for what we believe in. It has really made me appreciate everything that we have. I know the church is true without a doubt. And I know that Heavenly Father looks out for us and always hears our prayers. I love you guys so much and hope that you are doing well! I miss you a ton and love you so much! Talk to you soon.
I broke down and bought a scarf... there goes my manliness :( But they all wear them and they are so stylish! And I’m wearing a pair of normal French glasses that have plain lenses in them. I went contacting looking like a goober and had one of our best nights in terms of getting numbers and stuff. And girls contacted me haha... Weird French people. I wear my scarf all the time. And apparently it is a summer one so you can wear it all year! haha.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Bonjour ma famille! Good morning from Lille, France! The contacting is just getting better and better. I’m learning how to better introduce the gospel to people and how to help them to want to learn more. We have a lesson every day this week so it should be great. Last week we finally taught Lassy. It was pretty good. We taught him about the book of Mormon and then watched the restoration video with him. Afterwards, I asked him why he met with us and what he wanted to learn or take from it. He told us that the night that we contacted him he missed his bus and could have just taken the metro. But felt like just waiting in the park and thinking for a bit. He said he started thinking about Jesus and then turned and saw us approaching him with Jesus Christ on our name tags. And he knew he needed to talk to us. So legit!
This week has been very successful. It was great. Sundays here are almost as good as back home. The ward here is so great. They are all so strong and are all looking for missionary opportunities. We had the chance to go do service with the bishop w\for a lady in the ward on Saturday. We trimmed these massive 10 foot tall hedges with a super heavy chainsaw. I definitely got my workout in! I love service. This Sunday in sacrament I translated for a Tongan family in the ward who only speaks English. It was so hard! I’m surprised that I was able to! I absolutely love being on a mission. It is the best thing in the world! I know that heavenly father is looking over me and all of our family. Thank you guys for everything! Love you so much and I’ll talk to you soon! Elder Thomas
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Bonjour ma famille! Feb 27,2012
Lille is so awesome! It is so great haha. The past week has been really good too. Hard, but good. My companion is really cool. We get along really well and i am so thankful for that. My mission pres really is a cool guy. It is going to be really good to be able to work and learn from him.
The contacting is tough. People here are either Muslim or Catholic and won’t listen. Or they just don’t believe in God. Which is tough. People can be really rude at times. But it is so rewarding when you find someone willing to listen to your message. We have only taught one lesson to someone since I’ve been here. We had two lessons set up that fell through last week. So that was hard. But I know that as we continue working hard that it will start to get better. We found this really cool man named Lassy who is from Cameroon. We are teaching him Tuesday. And we also found this really cool girl named Nina to teach too. She is 18 so that will be a little weird haha. We are walking all day. I am not sure how far we really walk each day but it is a lot.. We also use the metro to get to far away places.
A typical meal is usually pasta or rice with some kind of meat. They really like using cheese or cream sauces too. Definitely have to cut the Nutella out of the diet. That is a staple here, haha. It is like we have cute lunch every day here. Last week we made crepes while listening to French ratatouille music. Another favorite of France is this meal called a rachlet(I don’t know how to spell it) but it takes this machine that you can only buy in France. There are these little trays that slide into it. You buy this special nasty smelling cheese to put into it and melt the cheese. Then you boil potatoes and just mash them on your plate. On top of the machine there is a grill where you grill different salami meats and stuff. Then you put it together and pour the cheese on top. So good!It is getting a little warmer here. Definitely not paradise Scottsdale! But it will be so cool when it gets sunny here again. Lille is so amazing. Everyday we walk somewhere new. There are so many awesome places and I think about how cool it will be when I get to show you around! It will be so sweet. I love you guys so much. And miss you a ton. The work here is going to start getting big! I can feel it. The people in France really need this gospel in their lives. France literally is like Soddom and Gommorah... Not good. But there are a few who are looking for the truth. We definitely are protected by the lord as missionaries here. It is amazing how many people see the name Jesus Christ and are immediately rude! Crazy! But we know what we stand for and the amazing blessings that wait for us. Hope you guys are doing well and I love you so much. Have a great week! -Elder Thomas
Friday, March 9, 2012
Feb 20, 2012 First Email from France
France is absolutely amazing! I am using a french keyboard translated into french so excuse the spelling mistakes haha. \how did you know that i was in lille?? It is such a beautiful ville (city). I have heard that it is the most beautiful city in France. I am just amazed at the buildings every time that we go out. Literally France is so amazing. On our first day we slept at the Presidents house and then in the morning we went to this place called consecration hill. \there we had a view of much of Paris. And it was a place for us to dedicate ourselves to the lord. It was so cool. After that we met back at the church in Paris and two missionaries took all of the blues (greenies) and asked us if we wanted to go see Notre dame or the Eiffel tower. \we all chose the Eiffel Tower. We only had about an hour so we literally ran. And after about 35 minutes the old missionariues said we didnt have enough time. So we had to turn around and go back. At this point we had ran right past Notre Dame (literally 10 ft away) and had ran past the louvre (spelling??) and could see the tip of the Eiffel Tower over the buildings. Anyway, we ran back just in time and then we were put in a room with all the blues and all of the trainers. The president put up a picture of a city and the trainers name and then would announce where we would be going and with which trainer. So cool! You should look up Lille on a map if you haven’t already. Look up the metro stops Caullier, Republique de beaux arts, point de bois, and garre de flandres. Those are the stops that we go to a lot. After that we met our trainer and then we were told we had a train to catch at 4. So we had a couple hours to kill. So we went to the Eiffel Tower!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is literally so flipping amazing. There is nothing else like it. Then we had to run back to the church and then drag our bags literally across Paris on foot through metros, up and down stairs and to the train. That was a huge workout. But we took a bullet train! It was so sick. I heard that they can cover 800 km in like 4 hours. Idk, we went from Paris to Lille in under 2 hours. \then we met up for ward council and then went to the apartment. It actually isn’t a bad apt. Then the next day we got right to work. We are whitewashing this area which means we are opening it and starting from scratch. So we have a ton of contacting to do. Which is actually pretty fun. Just talking to random people on the streets for hours on end. In french too! We already have taught a lesson and gotten like ten numbers. I placed a book of Mormon! Which I hear is really crazy to do in 3 days. Haha. We just keep working hard. My trainer is elder Mayne. He helps me out a ton and helps push me too. It is going to be so much fun. We get along really well and are similar in our likes and personality. It should be really good. This last week was in between transfers and we actually live with two other elders which is so cool. They are Elders Godffrey and Jensen. We literally had no food in the apartment the last week. It was amazing the meals that we were able to throw together. But today was shopping day and we spent 100 euros on food in a dirt cheap store haha. So basically we have studies until 11:00 and then time to contact until like 1:30ish and then lunch then contacting till 5:30 and then work till 9:00. It’s a super long day hahaha. We sleep so well. But it is so fun. The culture here is so different than America. There are so many different cultures here. A lot of Muslim people who we can’t teach. My very first contact when we were in Paris was great. I started talking to a guy and then he just started swearing at me in french. Awesome. It is crazy how many weird people that we meet here. I have seen some super weird stuff here this far haha. And only four days in!!!!!!!!!! I miss you guys so much! France is seriously becoming my favorite place now. The buildings are so amazing here. Everyday we are just contacting out front of some crazy castle or museum or statue. They have all kinds of delicious smells.... jokes... and crazy people and its just fun. The best is when somebody is staring at my missionary tag and they think that I don’t notice. So I just walk up to them and hand it to them and ask if they have seen it before and are interested haha. So great. The patisseries here are so amazing. The first day our mission president gave us these chocolate filled pastries. I don’t even know how to describe the pastries here becasue there is nothing in the U.S. even close. When we come to France together I’m bringing you to Lille to try this pastry called a brazillian that is at a place called the red fox. SO delish. I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!! Hope you guys are doing well.