Events I experienced:
Monday was solid. Because of Easter, we had to walk the hour to church and back for emails, so that was fun. We had a good FHE and dinner at Frere Vil's house, our ami J-L was able to come so that was cool. Frere Vil made burritos. Nothing like real burritos. If French people offer to make you burritos, say no. Just say no. I still get sick when eating chili due to a chili dog incident a few months ago, so that made things worse.
Tuesday was great! We saw Elo, and our amie San. Her boyfriend was there! The key? Fix RDVs a few hours before coming, and show up unannounced. We invited Ped to be baptized 3 times, he said "maybe, I'll think about it" all three times. We'll get him soon. They're coming to general conference, so that always helps! Hopefully they understand ok, they speak Portuguese better than French. Our RDV with M fell through (he was working) so we contacted, had dinner, then ported. Talked to a lady who was super paranoid, thought that Brive was the most dangerous place in the world. She was convinced her neighbors were spying on her so she whispered the whole time.
Wednesday! Incredible. We had nachos. Real nachos. Frere Ben made them with Fran, and it was amazing. And what's more, he gave us root beer. A&W root beer. Maybe y'all in the USA don't understand how amazing that is. In France, that's a big hairy deal. Finding that stuff is more rare than anything. I'm serious, actually. Not even joking here. Voilà. Then we taught Sar! Did we invite her to be baptized? Heck yes. Did she accept? Heck yes!! Awesome. Hopefully 2 baptisms this transfer. The retab went flawlessly, really natural and she didn't feel uncomfortable at all. Perfect. Then we contacted for a while, taught SD, and met Nes to read the BoM. We read Mosiah 5 and he loved it! Then the Stake President picked us up and we had dinner chez lui. Chicken curry. Fabulous. And he gave me the best present ever...Skippy Superchunk peanut butter. Again, maybe Americans are saying "psshhhh big deal," but in France, big deal. If you can even find it (good luck) you'll be paying an arm and 2 legs. President Brignard said "I don't like crunchy, so here ya go." His American relatives were just visiting, and thank goodness. They brought the Skippy for him, and now it is in my stomach. Ahh. So blessed. I almost fainted I was so happy.
Thursday was good. We contacted, passed old amis, potentials, you name it. Helped Elo do some genealogy, read the Book of Mormon with her and Mil. Then it started to rain hard. Got completely soaked. Went to M's house. Got called a false church. Had an amicable discussion, but realized that there was nothing more to discuss. We're dropping him, which is too bad, cuz he's a great guy! But he's not ready, he loves being Catholic. He's super practicing (really rare believe me) and can't believe that we don't pray to Mary. Oh well.Maybe later!
Friday...lessons learned. RDV with J-L fell through, so I consoled myself by buying a chorizo baguette. Get to the caisse to pay and...no wallet. Freak out, take the bus, not on the bus, get back to the gare, not there, wait for other bus, and...it's there! Wedged between the seat and the wall next to the window. That could have been really tricky replacing things, being outside of the United States. Truly, there is a God, and He is a God of Miracles. Had I not prayed, I'm not sure I would have found it. Prayer saves many things: lives, relationships, shaky lessons, the outcome of golf shots, all other sports events, even wallets. Then we saw Nes, and afterwards gave a blessing to sister F. Then we got picked up by Frere Coj to teach his wife who's getting baptized in September. It went really well! We talked about the temple and gave her the Mon Parcours pamphlet to help her track her progress. Then she fed us. Well. Very well. Yum.
Saturday! A good day. Helped the Hubs with getting wood, taught San, and had general conference.
Sunday! Awesome. Cool note: my old mission president Blake Roney was called to be an area 70! Go P-Rones. And more general conference. Jean-Luc came! He loved it. He also gave us a lot of food. A lot. And he gave me magnetic foot insoles. For my shoes. More on that next week...
Lessons I learned:
Hebrews 11 explains faith: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (v. 1,6) A faithful disciple is the biggest joy of God's heart.
Alma 37:6 teaches "that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." Small prayers make all the difference. 5 minutes of the Book of Mormon each day can change our entire heart. A smile might just get you a date with that one girl-a ring might get you a wife. Ok maybe not just like that but you get the point. I have gotten many free pastries here just by complimenting more than anyone else that day. Delightification, baby. It works.
(free) Advice I have:
"Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon" by President Benson, Oct. 1988 Gen Conf. What it's all about for missionaries! A great talk that is even more relevant today. EVEN MORE RELEVANT. Seriously. Please read this talk and evaluate your personal efforts to flood the earth with this book.
Thanks for listening, all you that follow my life on a week to week basis. What commitment. Love you all! Have a good week!
Love, Elder MacArthur
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