Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 87 "LOTS of Miracles"

March 7, 2016
Les Pain au Chocolats et des Croissants

Isn't it interesting how all the good things of a week seem to stick out when you look back? Of course the mission's hard - I couldn't feel happiness without my struggles, but those struggles, in hindsight, help me to see the good.
Beautiful Sunrise 

Friday was consecration day, probably the best day of my mission. Right now we set aside one day of the week committed solely to finding new Amis, and we did this Friday.   At first the day didn't look promising; gloomy, cold, dark rain at the outset, and some people like Elder Trotter, just don't work well with bad weather. So there we were, a whole day ahead of us to find new Amis and nothing on our schedule but 'finding day'.  I felt pretty good about it, though.  The Sisters, Jones and Mattson from Murrieta CA, planned out the day because we work as a district, and we went to get the schedule from them in the morning.  The morning contacting session was not so productive, Elder Trotter was feeling really sick so he sat down on a bench for awhile while I tried to contact people. 
After lunch things went better, the sun came out, and we all headed to St. Thibault to do some porting (knocking on doors) and we saw the Bishop on the bus going there.  Coincidence because the Sisters had called him to plan which streets we should all go to, and we got to do a huddle on the street with him before separating.  I saw one street that the sisters had marked and felt like we should go there, so we did.  We met three people who opened their doors and let us teach them. One lady, upon seeing us, said, "Oh you're here, finally! I've been waiting for you to come by...But it's been so long since you came by last, why is that?" She then invites us into her home and has us meet her son and her dog. "So we haven't been over here before, how do you know us?"  "You're the Jehovah's witnesses, right?" "No, not really"  She let us explain a little bit about The Church, and woah she talked a lot, but hey, she wanted us to come back again!
Cool nature pic I took in the morning while contacting

All this time me and Elder Trotter were in a competition against the other companionships in the district.  The Sisters created a checklist of things to do during the day with a reward at the end for the winner (i.e. Talk to someone in a car 15pts, Say the word yellow in a conversation 5pts, have a lesson and fix a return apt. 20pts), Elder Trotter and I made up our minds to win and crush everyone else, haha, so we actually had lots of fun contacting and porting, and I felt more happy and motivated to contact than ever before! We were actually enjoying contacting together.  At the end of the day we got 425 points, had taught four lessons, and successfully crushed the other companionships (the Sisters came in 2nd with 120), thus winning the competition and the attached prize which was kebabs on the Sisters.

That was a super solid day.

Beautiful Sunset
Eating then playing the paper game with the Gao Family
For the rest of the week it's kind of a blur but I'll try.
We went to St. Merri to set up for Zone Conference for some other zones, meaning I didn't go to zone conference to listen to President. We went to prepare all the food grabbing 80 croissants and pain-au-chocolats and reheating 25 pounds of pancakes, eggs, and hashbrowns.  Pretty fun!
Thursday night we met the coolest guy.  He was coming home from work and he was so excited to meet us, he said
"I respect you guys so much for your service as missionaries, tell me your message!"
Woooah, we don't get asked that by all the French people.
Saturday we visited a Chinese family.  Following advice of another member, we played shared a short spiritual message on family, then played a game.  God called me here for a reason because I thought of that paper game, Mom and Dad, that we play with the family, where you can't say the word then you act it out. They laughed so hard, the game ended in the Mom trying to mime out the word Christmas, and no one could understand what she was trying to do. 

Chinese Food

  It snowed an inch in 30 minutes this week! Need I say more? I love snow! We ate amazing food at the Festal's house, the dessert was a giant bucket of yogurt with patisserie chocolate and sugar. Trotter and I are still getting up on time, except for Friday, all three of our alarms didn't go off. We taught the E. Family with a member and it was kind of crazy, I thought the lesson was pretty mediocre, and Mr. E. Keeps telling us the same thing that everybody has their own religion and as long as we're helping others it's all good. Uggh.

I LOVE SNOW!!!  Snowfall after 30 minutes

K. an ami who I've worked with since I got here (5 months ago), started our lesson with the words,
"Okay, I have a little concern; I want to get baptized, but I don't know how it all works, could you explain that to me?"
(Calm down Elder Jones, don't freak out). I was like Buddy the elf when he heard Santa was coming to town. So you could say I feel pretty happy.  I can't wait for him to keep progressing, there has been such a change in this man, there's so much more light in his eyes, literally.  This gospel is real.  IT'S REAL.  Even though we all have our doubts, it's real. So we will set a baptismal date with him tomorrow. 

Can I say again how much I love the mission.  I'm sitting here just watching the crazy things that we experience, crazy-good things, and I'm like woah how on earth are these things happening. Like, what on earth just happened?
Trotter and I went contacting and found new Amis and enjoyed it! We are teaching some people who want to get baptized. We are really slogging through this third transfer, but hey we're seeing amazing things in the meantime.
I thank god every day for it.

Elder Jones
PS. Tell Miles Congrats on his mission call to Milan Italy!!!

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Food I made. Honey glazed chicken w potatos

 I love My New Cookbook

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