Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 9 "Month 3!"

Haha, okay now that I figured out how to change the computer settings back to english I can type a letter, so here we go! 
    This one's going to be shorter, so I'll just highlight on some of the good parts of the week, and then share a spiritual thought too.

Selfie in front of apartment
So to start off the week, we had some african food at a member family's house.  I loved the food, and they had a son who just finished his mission in Africa.  There is a real aura of happiness about people who have completed their mission, and I hope to reach that one day eventually.  For now I just have to keep waking up every day and doing the work.  The next day we did some service, where we went over to a member's house and cleared junk out of an old shed.  I really enjoy service because I don't have the pressure of wondering who to contact on the street or how to speak the language as much, It's just work work work and keep going, which I can do.  The only problem came when, after we drove to the dump to toss the old stuff,  I picked up a big bag of garbage and tossed it in the dumpster, only to find a French man yelling at me and I didn't know what he was saying.  My companion told me I had thrown the bag of trash into a wood only with my lengthy arms I reached in and with some difficulty pulled it back out.  It's a little nerve-racking to be yelled at in a language that's not your own.

Braderie, which is basically the biggest on-street garage sale in the world
   So I have been thinking a lot this week about the spirit and how I feel impressions.  These feelings are different for everyone, and I am so glad I came on a mission because although I don't understand the spirit completely I know I'm going to discover much about how these feelings work with me out here.  This week and thus far on my mission, I've felt overwhelmed oftentimes with finding people, especially contacting on the street, because I am nervous of having an awkward conversation, or just not knowing what to say.  Despite my feelings of nervousness the Lord has definitely found a way to work through me.

Elder Johnson and I eating MUSSELS!!
   We had some pretty great miracles this week.  Friday, the entire mission combined to have a finding day, where we determined to find, with the Lyon mission, 1000 new people to teach.  As I was thinking about and trying to follow the spirit that day, I was trying to do a lot of little things.  Say hi to more people on the street, have small talk with people in the metro.  My ultimate goal was to contact but I was improving in small little ways and I felt good about that.  As the day moved on, we met a ward member to go visit a less-active member at a foyer, or a homeless shelter area.  As we waited for our friend to come out, we had three people come up to us at the shelter and ask questions about the church.  In my french I knew I was able to explain a little bit about our church's beliefs, although the comprehension for me is really going to take some time.  By the time we left the foyer, we had taught three lessons, and had two people who wanted to meet again. 
   Another way I saw the lord work through me this week was at the Braderie, which is basically the biggest on-street garage sale in the world.  Haha, was totally crazy; people came from all over europe to sell their odds and ends on the street, so the city was packed, and the metro was even more packed.  My trainer Elder Johnson had the idea to set up a stand to tell people about the church and hand out book of mormons, so on saturday we did just that! In total, we ended up giving out (as a district) probably 20-25 Books of Mormon.  There were some really great people who came up and talked to us, and I got more opportunities to explain our beliefs in a way where I felt the Lord was really directing. 
    As I write this email, I have a better perspective on how awesome missionary work is.   Day by day it's hard and at first, confusing too, but the Lord finds ways to work through us if we wake up, keep our heads up, and go at it!

Panoramic with another set of Elders in our apartment

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