Events I experienced:
Monday was great, as always! We taught a less-active member named S, then did regular pday stuff. Then we decided to keep it tranquille and just hang out by the river. A good number of "down by the river" jokes were made haha, oh well. We got to watch the ducks in the river and read History of the Church. Then we got back for FHE at the church. We gave a lesson on temples, then for our activity we painted a few temples! It was a very fun time.
Tuesday, we went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders, I was with elder Perry in Montpellier. It was a lot of fun! We had lots of good lessons, saw some recent converts, less-actives, and "went around doing good." It was super super fun. Elder Perry is an amazing guy and I learn a ton from him every time I talk with him.
Wednesday was so good! I got back to Carcassonne with Elder Bleak, and we stayed in for...about 6 hours. Elder Bleak felt super terrible, so I got to update the area book, make our ENTIRE calls list, set up rendezvous for our exchange tomorrow, clean dishes, do our laundry, read 2 hours of scriptures, and then I just prayed for the rest of the time because I figured why not?! Super cool!! We then went to see C, a less-active, and let's just say that he knows what to do but just...doesn't do it. Elder Bleak was a little fed up, and at the end, he said, "C, as messengers of the Prophet and his Apostles, and as representatives of Jesus Christ, we invite you to repent." Hahaha we went Biblical on him. It was totally the right move though, C just looked down and said "I know..." man I hope he figures it out!
Thursday was super fun! We went on another exchange, this time with the Perpignan equipe, I was in Carcassonne with Elder Duncan. Elder Duncan has been out 5 weeks. Haha I was the senior companion for the day! Super super fun stuff. Two greenies on an exchange haha it was the best! We saw lots of cool miracles. We started off with a few uneventful hours of contacting. Then we had lunch, and that's where the miracles started. I figured out how to use a rice cooker all on my own! I AM SO PROUD. The good kind of pride haha. I consider that miracle #1.
Then we saw J. We read in the Book of Mormon together, 1st Néphi chap. 18. J has been struggling to get over the "how-did-they-get-to-America-on-such-a-primitive-boat" question. But apparently she saw a documentary talking about how Vikings landed in South America 900 years before Christ. Whether this is factual or not, I don't care, because now she believes it is possible for Néphi to have built a boat to sail to The Americas! We read the whole chapter and she understood eveything! She said "the compass stopped working because they were wicked and lost faith, right?" I thought to myself, "I couldn't have planted a better answer in your brain myself!!" So cool! She is understanding a lot more and listening a lot more as well!! She said her life had calmed a lot and she has started to quit smoking again and has started praying again! She said she was worried about her baptism date because she didn't feel ready, she said she wants to be 100% ready. What a boss. That was the best lesson I have ever had with J. And you know what? I had fasted for her the day before. IT WORKS. Miracle #2. After 2 other rendezvous, we had a visit with M, a ward member. We shared Mosiah 2:17 and I love his thought on service towards others: "When I serve others, I feel a peace, I gain a treasure that the Satan cannot steal from me." That was amazing. It blew my mind, it was an epiphany. Miracle #3.
As we went back home, we saw one of our amis, T! He has busy playing on the Carcassonne rugby team and he hasn't responded to our texts and calls, but we saw him on the street!! He came up and said hello, chatted for a bit, then told us to call him on Wednesday. I asked him if he would come to church on Sunday and he hesitantly said he would try, then I invited him again and he said he would! He was lost, but then he was found haha. Miracle #4. An incredible exchange and a wonderful day! Exchanges ALWAYS bring miracles. FACT.
Friday was pretty slow, we got back from Perpignan at 1, had our ward missionary meeting, then weekly planned, English class, and that was it. Frère V made us fondue Bourgogne! You take a raw piece of meat and dip it in this super hot oil stuff and it cooks really quick! It was the best thing ever, super delicious. Anything else? Hmmmm we saw a shirtless French man on the street. Oh wait never mind, we see that a million times every day.
Saturday, we didn't do a whole lot. We had a few rendezvous fall through, we had another unsuccessful Samedi Sportif. We met a potential ami that Elder Bleak contacted on the street on our last exchange! She is super super cool! Her name is H, she is from Tunisia and she's super super nice. She was REALLY friendly and gave us...interesting smiles...so hopefully she's interested in the gospel, not us haha. For the rest of the rainy day, we filled out less-active sheets to use in our work with the Ward Council. That took forever with the 3 area books we have from old missionaries here, but we got all the papers done!
Sunday was good! We got to go to church with 2 of our amis! It was really good. Then we had a rendezvous with a less-active and her friends, then another rendezvous with J-C! Our Ward mission leader (DMP), Frère V, was with us for all of church, and both rendezvous...we got to spend the entire day with him haha. It was incredible haha.
Lessons I learned:
- I have read a lot of general conference talks lately about "becoming," some great ones are "Sanctify Yourselves," "The Challenge To Become," and "The Tugs And Pulls Of The World" from the October 2000 General Conference. The message is clear: what we do is not as important as who we are; who we are will define what we do. Of course we cannot just do whatever, because what we do is important! But if we seek to improve who we are rather than our actions alone, we will get a lot more done. Our mortal life is about attaining a state of being, not achieving a list of actions.
- "Aimer" and "Aider" are French verbs meaning "to love" and "to help." I find it interesting that these two verbs are identical except for one letter. When we really love someone, we want to do all that we can to help and serve them.
- If we value things of the world, we give Satan a way to take it from us! But if we lay up treasures in heaven, if we seek after the things of God, Satan can never take them from us.
(free) Advice I have
- "The reason charity never fails...is that charity, “the pure love of Christ,” is not an act but a condition or state of being...Charity is something one becomes." -Dallin H. Oaks
- "The validation of our worth really comes from knowing who we are, not solely from what we do...by paying more attention to what we are rather than exclusively to what we do, our public and our private persons will be the same--the man or the woman of Christ." -Neal A. Maxwell
- Consider what is most important in life! Ask yourself what is most important: is it the world, or is it heaven? Is it stuff, or is it love, service, knowledge, happiness? Does your life reflect the answer?
Love, Elder MacArthur
No new pictures this week so here is one from the mission blog
|Ben's travel group arrives in Lyon and is greeted by Pres & Sister Roney|