Tuesday: Rendezvous with a lady who wants to be a Buddhist monk. We had no idea going into the rdv. It was interesting. She now has a Book of Mormon and every pamphlet we had. Will she come to church? Maybe. She's really nice though. Maybe too nice. She said we are all perfect. That is the most mistaken-yet-kind-nonetheless-false compliment I have ever received.
Wednesday: District meeting in Toulon! We ate Steak-n-Shake afterwards. Expensive but good. A true yolo moment.
Thursday: District meeting in Nice! Then we taught a recent convert, L. Then we had dinner at the Tep's. They are a cool Tahitian family. They stuffed us with food. It was incredible. I gained literally gained a kilo.
Friday: Transfer calls! Elder Nadauld is getting transferred to Springville, he'll be getting a new and ever-lasting companion pretty soon. Elder Lutu is off to Geneva to drive the zone leaders around. Elder Raherimandimby stays and gets Elder Zhu, an awesome Chinese guy from mainland China. He's legit, and really good at basketball! I'm staying and getting Elder Sauro, a guy from Montreal. He was in Talence (Bordeaux) but their zone got shut down, so he's coming over here. He's really quiet, pretty reserved, very polite and hard-working. Has a Quebec accent, so lots of people don't understand him in English or French. He speaks English (very well, minus the accent) as a second language. I'm excited to get him!
Saturday: Ward picnic in a really beautiful parc ("Castel des deux Rois" for those who want Google maps pics, I forgot to take some) and then lots of packing and cleaning.
Sunday: Church, I officially took over translation of Sacrament meeting. I'd much rather translate from English to French. Going from French to English is hard, especially when the members speak quickly. Good language exercise though! Then we dropped off Elder Nadauld at the airport so he could fly solo to Lyon. I went back with D (an RM on an internship) to his place to use his computer to do numbers. We listened to MoTab, drank root beer, and had a jolly old time. He's awesome! Then we walked back to the gare where the other Elders were teaching a member's friend. (Note to members: invite your friends to meet the missionaries/do stuff with them. It leads really easily to them getting taught. We need more of this! If you're tired of the missionaries finding, teaching, and baptizing weird people, give us your friends :) Then we went back and finished packing and cleaning. What a week!
I am so excited for this new transfer. This last transfer has been a wonderful experience. Elder Nadauld has taught me so much. I've learned as much as I can. His influence on me will be long-lasting. I thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity to learn from such a strong missionary. I hope I have learned what I need to from him. I really do. I feel much more capable and comfortable about continuing on without him than I did at the start of the transfer!
Our zone is going to be even better next transfer! Elders Bouaka, Thangaraj and Moss in Ajaccio will level things out a lot. Elder Thangaraj in particular will enjoy having Elder moss there. Elders Underwood, Wilkey, and Ramsey are going to get along so well and work really hard! Elders Steadman and Loveland will continue to learn together. Elder Loosle is very excited to get Elder Hansen! They'll be a good equipe. Soeur McKeon will enjoy Soeur Vandroux, they're both pretty similar and should work well. Elder Arne seems excited for Elder Berger. Elder Zhu is awesome and will work soooo well with Elder Raherimandimby. I'm super excited for Elder Sauro, he's a really nice guy who is extremely capable and will teach me a lot! What a zone! It'll be a great time. We'll be able to accomplish much together, having been experienced at binding Satan.
As I set out to bind Satan this transfer, I thought I would end up like Nephi in 6 weeks, no problem. I thought this was some unknown art/power that I had never tried! I soon realized that it's another way to say "living the gospel of Jesus Christ." Binding Satan is enduring to the end, starting with faith and repeating the whole process. I realized how much I need to improve upon this simple yet difficult doctrine. I often got frustrated and failed to see the little steps I had taken, because I was looking for great bounds. But looking back, I realize that I did more than I thought, but not through my efforts alone. Not at all! My companion, the members, my mission leaders, and Heavenly Father pushed me and helped me when I couldn't do it alone. Much of the frustration I felt was because I was annoyed with my lack of progress. But negative feelings are never helpful. I realized that much of my frustration was actually pride, because I thought I knew better than Elder Nadauld when he corrected me, or because I didn't seek God's help. It took me a while to figure these things out, but I did improve, I promise! Not as much as I would have liked, but the gospel is the gospel of a million chances, so I'll keep trying haha. I'm grateful for this challenge, and for Elder Christofferson who inspired us to claim these blessings. I wouldn't have done it on my own volition alone.
This transfer has been full of learning. Sometimes, I would think that, because I wasn't seeing the progress I expected, I thought I was failing to learn from Elder Nadauld, or that he was failing to teach me. He's not perfect, by any means. But the more I continued to watch him, the more I started to see the good side and less of the bad. It took me the whole transfer to really appreciate him and figure out what he was teaching me. He really just taught me one thing: love the Lord, love your family, love your friends (love everybody). Love is the key. He taught me this by doing lots of different things, but I think the lesson was always the same. He loved his mission with all his heart, might, mind, and strength. I hope to follow this example.
I love you all!
Love, Elder MacArthur
|Steak-n-shake after district meeting in Toulon|