Things I experienced:
I saw a pub (advertisement) for a jazz festival in a town called Sete in July with Roy Hargrove, Snarky Puppy and Avishai Cohen. That was cool because I love jazz and all of those artists specifically. I do miss music quite a bit. While in a grocery store called Monoprix, I heard a Get Lucky remake over the radio and I usually am not a fan of remixes especially to great songs. But this one I actually liked! I thought of my cousin David Bradford as it played haha.
While we were at a member's house, their little girl named Sarah gave me a fleur and said "for your mom"! So cute!!
We walked home one day and saw an old lady and stopped to share our umbrellas with her. As we walked, some people nearby saw us and had big smiles as they observed our small act of kindness. Random people on the street in France seldom smile, so it's always a big victory to get strangers to smile at you.
As missionaries, one of the things we do a lot of is "contacting." We go to people on the street and share messages of Jesus Christ and testify of His gospel and His love for us. One of our methods for finding people to teach is Project Elijah, something our mission president, President Roney, was inspired to bring to the mission. (He and his family leave on July 1st, so sad! We love the Roneys.) We talk about the family and ask people about their family history. People love family history in France so it's a great way to meet people. I'm grateful that my mom set such a good example for me and my family of the importance of family history work. Thanks for doing that, Mom. I'm sorry I never put enough effort into family history but I promise to be better from now on.
Our zone conference in Aix-en-Provence was fabulous. It was our last time seeing the Roneys. There were about 80 missionaries there, out of the 200 in the mission. We heard messages from President and Sister Roney, Sister Povar our mission nurse, and the Assistants to the President, Elders Nadauld and Higham. They are amazing missionaries. We sang our mission hymn for what might be the last time. It's verses 1 2 and 5 of "Angels we have heard on high," in French of course, and it's always a great feeling to sing that alongside lots of other fellow elders and sisters. Zone conference was a great inspiration, motivation, and a great opportunity to talk with other missionaries and see friends.
Our dirigeant missionaire de paroisse, or DMP, is the "ward mission leader" who works a lot with us missionaries to set up appointments with amis de l'eglise (investigators), teach lessons with us, and feed us! Our DMP is Frère Vital, a former chef and a karate master! He loves being called Jackie Chan. He owns a karate dojo and he is super great, basically. Plus he makes super good nems, or eggrolls. He is always willing to serve us and we love him so much.
Mon collegue, Elder Garside, told me a story I must share. He and his companion were teaching this young Romanian woman one time...and she confessed her love for him. She said she wanted him to be the father of her child, she wanted to wait to marry him after his mission...it was really awkward. And she totally ignored his companion Elder Lichte the entire time as well! That story made me laugh for a good 30 minutes.
Things I remarked:
There was a music festival in Carcassonne yesterday. In a big town square, loud speakers, and we saw 6 people there. You know it's bad when the DJs are the only ones dancing. I can't ever escape "Turn Down For What," not even in France.
Another note: Chocolate is really cheap in France. You can get lots of it for very little money. I bought five bars for 1€ 30 centimes and it was super tasty. So yeah. Be jealous.
Lessons I learned:
Wickedness never was happiness. (Alma 41:10) We might think that doing the wrong thing will make us happy, but it never will. Also: "They do not love that do not show their love." -Shakespeare. Very true. And finally: Being like the Savior, not matter how difficult, will always be worth it. We will always win when we try to be like Jesus. It's simple to understand, hard to accomplish, but this is always true.
(Free) Advice I have:
"God is the Gardner" by Hugh B. Brown and "Safety for the Soul" by Jeffrey R. Holland These two talks are amazing and have taught me lots and lots and lots. Highest recommendations possible on these talks.
"Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."
I love all of you! Remember that no matter what, God loves you all too. Thanks for listening and emailing me! À la prochaine!
|Ben and Elder Garside with DMP "Frere Jackie Chan"|
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