Events I experienced:
Monday was pretty legit. We gave Frère Mic a blessing, then went to the castle! It was raining, and not many tourists there, very tranquille. We went to a boulangerie after and got mille feuilles and baguettes. The guy who owns the shop loves us, and he gave us 2 free croissants! What a bro. Then we got on a train to go to Marseille for our zone conference in Aix en Provence!
Tuesday we had zone conference! It was really great. Best day ever! Some notes:
- There are so many people sustaining us! For every soldier on the battle field, there are hundreds of people supporting them. The heavenly hosts are on our side, they are pulling for us, and Jesus is pulling with us!
- The baptisms we are blessed with are EVERYONE'S baptisms.
- Taking Aim at Prayerful Planning -poor planning precedes a blowup -prayerful planning precedes perfection -our back-up plans are our tackles that protect our blindsides, so that tombez-vous (rendezvous that fell through) don't wreck us!
- Have specific plans, back-ups, and use the planner so the next day is as focused as possible -plan business contacts, role play them, go in with a plan!
Thursday was really cool. We gave away 2 Books of Mormon! Both were given through business contacting. We went to contact a clothing store, but the lady we talked to last time didn't remember us, so we left. Right as we left the store, we saw a lady on the road, we contacted her, and we taught a street lesson right there! We gave her a BoM, and we set up a RV for Sunday after Stake Conference in Toulouse. Later in the day, we contacted SOS Music, we know D (the shop owner) pretty well. We finally got him asking about what we do, and one thing led to another, and we gave him a Book of Mormon too! He didn't want to fix a RV for us to teach him/explain the book, but we'll get him next time haha.
Friday was an adventure day! We went to Limoux, a town full of unusual people. We saw a lot of weird stuff. We had a rendezvous with a less-active member named S. He's really cool, our lesson went really well. We invited him to stake conference, and hopefully we'll see him there!
Saturday was really fun. We did studies, then made a lot of area book calls, then got on a train to Toulouse! We had stake conference, then went to the Concorde Elder's apartment for the night. We had a bunch of pasta and candy and talked a lot, it was a great time. It was a little cramped with 10 missionaries, but at made it all the more fun! En plus, I picked up some sweet stuff! 3 pairs of proselyting shoes, and some basketball shoes! And a belt. And socks (mine are...suffering). And a scarf. And an exchange bag. And a few ties. Dead piles are the best.
Sunday was awesome! We had Stake Conference in Toulouse, it was awesome! Lots of jeune filles and jeune garçons. It was cool to see a lot of people my age, besides missionaries haha. When we got back, we had a lesson with a new ami, Iri! She read 1st Néphi (the book) in 3 days. She is incredible. She accepted everything we said, and she is really excited to meet with us encore next week! Iris was baptized Catholic in a while ago, she comes from Taiwan where there is little religion. She looooves Mary, so it might be hard to address the fact that we don't worship her haha. We have high hopes for her!
Lessons I learned:
"Therefore, fear not, little aflock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail." ~D&C 6:34 I really love this scripture! It is so succinct. It is so true! When we are on the old ship Zion, as Elder Ballard has taught us, we cannot fail (as long as we stay in the ship!)
Soeur Povar, my first mission nurse, taught me this a while ago:
To be happy, you need...
Something to do: Moroni 9:6
Something to hope for: Moroni 7:41
Someone to love: Moroni 10:32
It is not always a guarantee that one can find this in day-to-day life, but we can always find this in giving service. We love the Lord and those we serve as we give service. We hope for a better world, we hope for their happiness as we serve. And here is always plenty to do, plenty of service that is needed in this world. As a missionary, there is never a lack of these things. No wonder missionaries are so happy!
(free) Advice I have:
Advice from James E. Faust, in his talk "Acting for Ourselves and Not Being Acted Upon," in the October 1995 General Conference: "Many of you worry about your future. I think every conscientious young man does. But you do not realize what opportunities lie ahead of you. After a lifetime of dealing with human affairs, I am persuaded that your future will be beyond your dreams if you observe the following:
1) Do not live on the edge.
2) Avoid not only evil, but even the appearance of evil.
3) Follow the counsel of Lehi to act for yourselves and not be acted upon.
4) Seek first the kingdom of God and receive the great promise that all else will be added upon you.
5) Follow the counsel of Church leaders."
James E. Faust is a great example for all of us, and I love his advice here. Actively seeking the kingdom of God by obedience to the Prophet's council will ensure our future!
Awesome. Perfect love casteth out all fear. Remember that. AWESOME!
I love you all, thanks for all the support! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder MacArthur
|Zone Conference in Aix-enProvance|
|Ben with "dead pile" coat & scarf|
|Ben with Elder Duffy & previous companion Elder Hansen|
|Ben with Elders Stutz, Barnes & Richmond|
|Ben & some of the Transfer 109 crew|
|Ben with Elder Stutz and two of his former companions|