Sunday, April 29, 2012

Reading The Book of Mormon in a Chapel

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Salut la famille Thomas!
Things are still cold and super wet here in Lille. And once again I went a week without purchasing a rain coat. Oops. But today it is fairly sunny and a little warmer! Booya! 

You asked what Bisou means. Bisou means kiss in French haha. I can’t believe that I haven’t told you guys about bisou's yet! Everyone in France bise's people. That means when they say hello instead of a hug or handshake like in the states they kiss each others cheeks like you’ve prolly seen in a movie or something. It’s really funny. Everyone does it but we aren’t allowed to. Which makes some people mad. Because it’s like if someone said hello to you in the states and you didn’t say anything back. Oh well. I have had a lot of people try to bisou me. Haha!
So this last week was a little rough. I’ve hit a bit of a bump with my comp. I’m not sure what it is but there’s a tension there sometimes and other times life is normal. Oh well. He's kind of a punk sometimes... haha. But, I think it was just hard because the work is frustrating at times. We got fruged several times this week. Which is never fun. Our rdv (rendezvous) with Phillipe the talker was moved all over and is now set for tomorrow.  The other rdv. with Phillipe2 was bad. He brought a friend who we now realize was most likely a TJ (Jehovah witness). He bible bashed with us and we had a 2 hour rdv with them. Phillipe is actually interested I think. But the other guy was just trying to tear us apart. He was either a TJ or a priest. That will be the 3rd priest that I have met that was the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. It’s ridiculous that a 50 year old man feels like he needs to tear down 20 year olds. The funny part is that we destroyed him. And we don’t even speak French. Silly guy, trying to mess with us. It ticked me off so bad. But hopefully our next rdv with phillie2 will not be the same. Our rdv with Lima was cancelled and she is busy this next week too. I know she needs the gospel and that’s why all of this stuff is happening. Antoine couldn’t meet either. He is the one with the dreads. But the other elders in V D'asq had a baptism and we got our Ami Martiul from the ivory coast to come to it! It was the best baptism that I have been to. He liked it too. So hopefully that helps him. And Lassy texted us this week apologizing a ton for not being able to meet with us. He has been busy with school and exams but he promised he wanted to meet when that was done. So grateful for the blessings that we receive in the midst of trials. We always receive blessings. But sometimes they come in different ways. 
   This last week I went on exchanges with the elders from Dunkerque. That is about as north as you can get in our area. It is a little fishing town that when the weather is clear you can see England. It was really cool there. I have missed the beach so much! It was really cool to see another city too. I spent two nights there and got to see the town a bit. The first night it was pouring rain but we went porting still. We prolly went through 40 doors with half being slammed in our face and none of them wanting to listen. Oh yeah! So fun. But then we decided to knock a couple more before we left and we ran into this one lady who was pretty rude. She told us that religion caused all of the bad in the world and that she was too angry to have religion in her life. But I kept pushing her and testifying of the things I knew and of the Book of Mormon. Then, something amazing happened. She literally had a change of heart right in front of our eyes. She broke down crying and said she knew she was lost and was too prideful to admit it. She took the book and said that she really would read it and knew that she needed it in her life. That was so cool. Hopefully all goes well with her there!

This last Wednesday we had Zone Training and interviews with President Posnanski. It was super awesome! We had a training by the Zone Leaders and then by President. Then we all had our interviews with him. So we just had to hang around the church waiting for our turn. During the training with President he called on me to share an experience that I had written him about. We write a letter to him each Pday through email where we can say whatever. I shared an experience we had:  we didn’t know where to go contacting at the time and so we prayed to know where to go. After we prayed I suggested an area and we went there and met a cool guy and got his number. While I was explaining my experience with all of the missionaries in French I got to the part where we got his number. And in French it is just Numero de telephone. But there is another way that you can say phone number in slang. It is just "06" or "zero six in french. And I have never said it out loud before but for some reason that just came out. Haha! And everyone thought it was super funny and so did President. He was dying laughing and then he was like "Elder Thomas” vous parlez comme vous etes de le "93"!" The 93 or neuf trois is the area in Paris that is the super ghetto (haha) where the bad gangs are. Basically he said Oh Elder Thomas you speak like you are from the ghetto! Hahahaha. It was super funny. 
              He joked with me about it the rest of the day. The interview with him was super good. First thing he said when I got in his office was that I looked really good and thinner than before. That,made me feel super good. haha! We talked and he said he had heard a lot of good things about me and thinks I’m a great missionary and he also said how excellent my French was! So grateful for that!  Haha. 
     Also, this last week we did something monumental. I had McDonalds for my first time in France... I prolly already told you about it huh? But they have an item called "Le Mcbaguette" hahahaha. Super funny. It is a cheeseburger on a baguette.  It wasn’t very good haha. I also sent home a package on Saturday. So look out for it!  I was able to watch the videos you sent me last week too. They were so great!  Hilarious.
France is starting to get crazy too because it is election time. Yesterday was the vote to narrow down the candidates to two. It is now Nicholas Sarchozy and Francois Hollande. The funny thing is that before, in the top ten candidates running there was a woman running and she is communist. That means she was popular enough to have a legit chance of winning. If that doesn’t tell you how crazy France is then I don’t know what can. We have two more weeks of this transfer. This week,and then one more. We transfer on the 8th or something. I really am hoping to stay in Lille for another transfer. I really think that I will too. But I will definitely have a new comp. One of is going. Also, my french has gotten a ton better this last week! I am so thankful for the ability that I have to speak and understand right now. I have full responsibility of the cell phone right now too. So, making and taking calls in French has helped a ton. You asked about the water here. Haha, the water is good. Only a couple dead bugs. We have enough food too. And I’m feeling good. Not sure about the enough sleep part but I’m good haha. Thanks :)
        I love you guys and miss you so much! Maybe I will get to talk to you a little bit later in the day. Hope you guys have a great week! It sounds like you all are doing so well! Its awesome how blessed we are. I love you guys so much! Have fun and remember to pray :) Our Heavenly father is always there and loves us so much.

Love Taylor

Saturday, April 14, 2012

There was this Jaguar photo shoot going on surrounded by all these models and body guards. But, we were in suits so we just walked up and blended in. haha!

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Good morning!          4-9-12

 Easter was pretty good. Different than normal though. We went to church. We were supposed to have an amis there but he didn’t show up. Oh well. After church we went home and were starving because it was fast Sunday haha. Here we start our fast on Saturday after lunch and then eat after church. We had a burrito fete! haha. That just means we ate burritos. Kind of wierd on Easter. Then we had a rendezvous with a Chinese student here. He was a referral from another area so we had never met him. We ended up standing at the metro station for an hour because he went to the wrong stop. We had a great lesson with him though. His name is Peng Fei. He is 24 years old and already has a Masters and is almost done with his second!  Crazy smart. Then we came back home and set up a big couch with our mattresses in our room haha. And we watched the movie 17 miracles. It is so good. You need to go out and get it and watch it soon!
Hopefully we can find something to do today haha. All week we have been planning to go bowling. But today is a holiday. So there is nobody in the streets and everything is basically closed. We can’t even do our shopping today. France is crazy about holidays and vacations. But I’m sure we will find something to do. 
This morning we had a lesson with a man from Africa. It went really well. He already has faith. But now he said he will find out if the Book of Mormon is right. I finished the BofM again this last week! It is so amazing. I was also reading in the New Testament. I found a really cool set of scriptures that I wrote down and hung on my wall. I think it is John 14:12-21. I hope that’s right. Anyway, I am doing well as always. France is so awesome. I can’t let myself forget where I am! Whenever the work gets tough, which is a lot, we take a break and get some yummy food or just go into a cool store or take some pictures. It is so cool. I have no doubt in my mind about this gospel. It is really the truth. If I didn’t know for 100 percent that it was true I wouldn’t sacrifice so much for it. Everyone needs it in their lives.

I love you guys so much! I love the package and letters. Thank you again! I think about you guys all of the time. And I started writing down a list of things I want to do together when I get home. Love you and miss you! Talk to you soon and maybe later today since France looks dead today. Haha! Love you!

Elder Thomas