Events I experienced:
Monday was great! Got a bad haircut, at least it was cheap. That's about it.
Tuesday was better. We visited a less-active, and we saw our new ami Mau. He's very skeptical and very Catholic, but he'll read the Book of Mormon so that'll change his mind. We also got tracted...by Jehovah's Witnesses! They didn't stick around for too long after discovering who we were. They were very nice and respectful, which isn't always the case. Then we headed up to Perigueux for an exchange!
Wednesday, I was with Elder Underwood (ancien sous-bois) and it was great! We got to teach their family of 6, and four of them are getting baptized in April! The G family is really cool. After that, we ported in the rain! It was a little miserable but anything with ancien sous-bois is fun. We got back and ate tacos (French tacos are American, ok Mexican, burritos) with Elders Little and Storti.
Thursday, I had an exchange with Elder Thangaraj! We were in Brive. It was super fun! He's a really cool guy, loves sports, soccer, we have a lot of the same interests actually. Comes from Sri Lanka, well his dad does at least. We had dinner with members at the end of the day so that was cool!
Friday was pretty good, we got to talk to Frere O'M at the end of the day about some of his non-member kids, that was instructive and helpful.
Saturday was great! We got to have Skype interviews with President Brown. He just asked me what I wanted to talk about, and I asked him to tell me a story! He told me about the first baptisms in Brive, and even had a 40-year-old picture to show me! It was really cool. I told him the apostate ex-branch president lived right next to us (literally, right next door) and his eyes lit up and he started taking notes. So I hope he comes to visit Brive soon haha! He'll at least come for the new chapel dedication in September. He used to be the Montpellier branch president back when it first opened, and he went back a week ago for Aur's baptism (who I have taught 3 times!) so that was a cool experience, he was really touched to see the ward doing so well. He also asked me about my driver's license, so that freaked me out. It was a great interview!
Sunday was good, we taught J-L after church, and we had 5 Amis at church: Sr. Coj, J-L, San, her boyfriend P, and Sh O'M. It was packed for the second hour! We went to give the sacrament to Frere Cal, and they fed us crêpes and cookies afterwards so it was a win. We engaged them to make a family mission plan!
Lessons I learned:
I learned stuff I promise. I just didn't write anything down...well here's something. We can learn just as much from great examples as bad ones. I got to see lots of different missionaries of different capacities this week and I learned that I can learn just as much from the best missionary as the worst missionary. It sounds weird, but it's true. When I was young and had comps that I idolized, they taught me how to be a missionary, I thought they taught me everything. But during rough times, I have learned patience, long-suffering, meekness, charity, and lots of other things. It's a different kind of learning, but it's equally as important. Without adversity, I would become a lopsided missionary. It takes good and bad, opposition in short, to make us whole.
(free) Advice I have:
"When Thou Art Converted" by Elder Christofferson, April 2004 Gen Conf. This talk is all about being converted to the gospel, going beyond just having a testimony. It's a fabulous talk that I recommend.
"The Light of Hope" by Sister Dwan Young, October 1986 Gen Conf. One of the best talks I have ever read by anyone. I'll be darned if this isn't one of the best talks ever. I am studying hope from PMG chapter 6, and this is a must-read for anyone studying hope! It clearly defines hope, and sister Young speaks fluently and eloquently about how we can have hope and what it allows us to become.
It was a great week. Thanks for your interest and your prayers and your love. I love you all! Until next time. Ciao ciao.
Love, Elder MacArthur
|The zone, getting hyped for Elder Christofferson...I'm proud of my work!|
|Angouleme gare, with old Comic Con ads!|
|President Brown's photo of the first Brive baptism! (Shown to Ben during his Skype interview.)|