Hello. Once again it's time to write a good old letter of how the week is going. Well to be blunt I wouldn't be anywhere else in the world doing anyting else with my life, the missionary life is pretty amazing. Once again, the card on my camera has a virus but that should definitely be cleared up in two weeks for sure. While I can still take photos the current SD card I have prevents them from showing up on the computer...nasty viruses. Okay enough about viruses and time to get started talking about the week.
Oh, what a busy week. After emails last week Elder Sanchez and I went to a member family's house for dinner and a christmas-themed family home evening. That night after we left we went to knock on some doors, and no one let us in to sing but that was okay; I'm looking forward to the day when we get let into a door to sing some Christmas songs.
The 16th we went out contacting for a long time, and had an adventure going out to The Citadel. This is a giant battlement created a couple hundred years ago as a military fortress, and today it is a giant star shaped park. We walked the mile and a half perimeter and I enjoyed seeing a real french battlement, although the weather was probably below freezing! I enjoyed ending the night with dinner at another Member's house, the Jean Couple, where we ate some chicken and other yummy french food. That night we returned and prepared for the big adventure we'd undertake starting wednesday morning.
6AM, we woke up, and took a couple of trains to Epinal where Elder Sanchez had to pick up papers for legal acceptance in the country. After he finished with that we walked around Epinal a little bit, then headed back to Paris, where we stayed that night before the Mission Conference. The conference was super powerful, and I learned a lot from Sister Babin, President Babin, and Elder Texiera, the presiding area mission authority. He shared an story about Indian Elephants, and how they are trained to act calmly because of a little band put around their leg since infancy.
Initially the band restrains the baby elephant but as the elephant grows into an adult he behaves calmly whenever the band is around his leg, although he has the power to easily snap it. He compared us as missionaries to the elephants, explaining that we have incredible power if we just realize the mental barriers we put on ourselves. I loved that analogy, and made a personal goal to break one of my mental bands and talk to more people out here, and so far I feel like I have talked to more people!
Friday morning we did some service, and once again, ate at a member's house. This time it was mexican food, and I would just like to say that we have been so blessed this week to eat at so many member's homes. I love food. Saturday we had our Church Christmas party, which ended with all the missionaries singing 'Jingle Bells and Rudolph' Which was super fun, french people like English music. Sunday was filled with church, a baked chicken catastrophe for dinner, and some night-time contacting. I felt satistied with this week and my increased efforts to find people to teach the gospel to. I am also looking forward to the coming week and the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in France!
Love you all!
Elder Jamison Jones