Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 78 "Meilleurs Vœux 2016"

January 4, 2016
Elder Trotter and I in front of our apartment in Bussy St. Georges (Torcy Area)

If you ever come to serve in Torcy, come prepared with an empty stomach and a good attitude because so much good happens here and the food ain't half of it.                                  
Every day of this week we went to a member or investigator's and get fed. Am I in Tahiti or am I just dreaming? Though the food was, of course, wonderful and filling, I loved really getting to know the members and the investigators better by paying them a visit.  
Here's a quick rundown:  
Sister Gao makes wonderful chinese fool and we taught her son about the Book of Mormon with pictures...he loved it. 
The Fieschi's happen to know my former Bishop Brett Hopkins.  Elder Trotter and Errol, the son about our age found a link that makes them pretty much best friends...they're both longboarders.  
The Kalmels Family, as directors of communications for the Church in France, taught us the best way to address the building of the Paris temple. 
Our DMP brother Massela and his wife are big video game fans, and well they really do a good job at helping the six missionaries here in Torcy.  
We played the Headband game and ate KFC at the Collin's home a place that's been blessed with the influence of American Christmas spirit. 
Sister Marie Sol opens her home each time we go to teach D, a nine year old whose parents asked us to teach's a bit of a complicated situation but we're thankful for Marie Sol and all her hard work to help us teach! 
The Defranchi's, some of the kindest and most intelligent people I know, both speaking in Chinese to each other, with the husband speaking to us in French while the wife speaks to us in English!
I painted this for the stake new year's activity. 

        We spent lots of time at the member's homes, and things only got better with the ward party.  With a 1920's to 40's theme I got the commission to paint a boat, and it turned out pretty nice.  They also asked me to open up the dance on New Year's Eve by playing some Jazz piano; I had only one song under my belt but everyone loved it so I felt accomplished.  We arrived home shortly after and played card games till the new year, and toasted some orange soda to our full mission year gone and our partial year to come.  I am grateful for the progress Heavenly Father has helped me make this year.  Before my mission I feel like the smallest decisions made me fret and worry, now I worry less and focus my energy on improving.  I realize that as the year continues my circumstance has fluctuated many times, from horrible to seemingly perfect, and through all of those different circumstances I feel my ability to act calmly has grown a lot. In a poem I love by Rudyard Kipling he says to "meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same".
        Let me give a quick rundown of our Amis.  D is progressing, he's the 9 year old with the brain of a 17 year old. He may be baptized in the coming months.  We explained baptism to J and he says he would like to, but we will have to explain and teach very slowly and surely before he can be baptized.  The E Family continues to add to our teaching group, we taught the father for the first time this weekend. He doubts the validity of the Book of Mormon, but seemed very intrigued with our personal experiences in listening to answers from the spirit.
        Things continue well here.  I'm having fun with Elder Trotter.  We're  trying to work through our differences and make things work, and that  takes time but Heavenly Father knows what he's doing. I love you all!
Meilleurs Vœux 2016

Elder Jones
Here is my new watch I bought today.

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