Monday-pday. Played soccer, napped a little, not much to report on.
Tuesday-service for Sister R, two tombez-vous, and English class. We had six people there this week! It's growing.
Wednesday-we saw E, and then we saw a lady who we passed to Bastia a while ago. She moved for a few months to Bastia, and now she is back in Nice. Her name is Mme. G, she's really nice. She's pretty sick and old, but she loves the Book of Mormon and wants to come to church. After that, we went to the Riquier neighborhood to visit the Ms, a less-active family we ran into last week. We talked about the temple, and they have a really desire to go again. They have been less-active for 10 years, but we think they can be reactivated. Right after talking to them, we bought some patisseries from a boulangerie right across from the Riquier train station. The lady working there was super croyante, and really interested in talking again. We'll be buying more pastries soon I guess! They were pretty bad honestly, but the lady is great so whatever. We went right to the church afterwards for RCM & ward council. We split the equipes, and I taught a Chinese amie with Elder Zhu. We watched the restoration video in Chinese. Really funny actually, watching American actors dubbed over in Chinese!
Thursday-we went to Cagnes-sir-Mer and saw Sr. B, a sister who is married to a non-member. It's been a while since she's been visited, and she really appreciated the visit. We talked about eternal marriage with her and her husband, K. He's not really interested but he was very respectful. After that, we went back up to the church to teach D with Frere C. D didn't read or pray, and just spent the whole time questioning the doctrine. Frere C answered questions really well, but D just isn't ready yet I think. Afterwards, we went to La Turbie, a small town right above Monaco. On the way there, we met two Americans from Arizona! They were really cool. They knew who we were, and they had lots of questions for us. At the end of the 45 minute bus ride, we gave them a Book of Mormon in English, and they were touched, even if they were not religious. We met Frere O in La Turbie, and he took us to his house in St. Martin-de-Peille, a super small village in the mountains. The Os have a beautiful home, and a swimming pool that looked really nice haha. They have a great view of the Italian border as well, they live only 10 km away from Italy. We had dinner and invited them to invite friends to our ward missionary activity on the 30th. We're gonna have a dance, last time it worked really well! The Os are Australian, but have lived all over, because Fr. O works for the UN. They don't speak French, so they are pretty quiet at church. But at home, in their own environment, they are super cool! It was great to get to know them and build a member-missionary relationship. Fr. O told us funny mission stories, and his oldest daughter loves Harry Potter and LOTR so we had some commonalities.
Friday-transfer calls. I'm leaving Nice. Big bummer, since Nice is the best sector in the mission. I don't care what anybody else says. But, I'm going to Lyon finally! I'll be in the Ecully ward, the Orange County of Lyon so to speak. I'll be with a good friend, Elder Burri. He served in Carcassonne so that's awesome! We'll be the leaders for the Ecully zone, the biggest zone in the mission. Having lots of missionaries close by will be super fun! At church, we'll have 12 full time missionaries in the ward, including the mission nurse, an office senior couple, and President and Sister Brown. So it's bound to be lots of fun! We played a prank on St Raph Friday morning as well! The Nice elders were in St. Raphael for transfer calls. Elder Zhu changed my phone's name to "E Assistant 1" on St Raph's phone, and I called them and impersonated the assistants. They freaked out when I gave them their fake transfer call! Then I called them a minute later and told them who it was, and they were relieved. They bought it hook, line and sinker. It was pretty funny, they got a good laugh out of it. It was Elder Sweet's first transfer call haha. After calls, we visited a sick member in a clinic, and packed, bought some stuff for the sisters apartment because Nice is getting sisters next transfer. A pretty crazy and busy day.
Saturday-we played basketball with two potentials, and Elder Sauro and I actually won! My hook shot was working well and we are a lot taller than the other guys so we scraped out a win haha. We showed them the church building and talked about religion and whatnot. We have another basketball appointment next week with them. We finished cleaning the other apartment, packing, saying goodbye, and for dinner, M took us out to eat at Don Carlo, a great pizza place. It's fantastic. It was fun eating pizza and hanging out with M, he's so cool. An ideal RM. we shared a message about patience and gratitude from Hebrews 12 with him. I'm gonna miss him a lot!
Sunday-the last day. Sigh. Church went well, despite us inviting everyone to church and nobody coming. I said goodbye to everyone, took lots of pictures, and we ate lunch with the ward. After some contacting, and putting in numbers, we had dinner at K's house one last time. It was super bitter-sweet. I'm gonna miss K so dang much. Maybe the best human being I have ever met. I seriously don't think he has a weakness. It's incredible. He gave me a goodbye gift, which was really touching. We shared a message about the priesthood and its power. He'll be receiving the Melchizedek priesthood in a few weeks after stake conference! I have never met a recent convert who is so converted. It's nuts. I finished packing, ready to leave at 7 the next morning. I'll go to Marseille, then Montpellier, then up to Lyon. An 8 hour trip.
What I learned:
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings." I read this somewhere in a talk this week, and I really appreciated the poem. I guess this is where that book comes from. Indeed, how often do we see people figuratively "blame the stars" and fail to ascertain the true source of failure. No selfish post hoc justification can resolve the problem. This goes along well with another quote I found this week: "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." -Booker T. Washington. Here in Nice, we have worked hard but have faced great opposition. I know that it wasn't for nothing, that we were still successful in fulfilling our calling!
(free) Advice I have:
"And Peter Went Out and Wept Bitterly," by President Hinckley. A great talk about Peter's conversion and how it relates to us. "Put on the Whole Armor of God," by President Tanner, April 1979 Gen Conf. President Tanner speaks persuasively about the necessity of keeping the armor of God on at all times! Really great talk.
Well, that's all for this beast-of-an-email. I love you all! Thanks for listening. God bless you.
Love, Elder MacArthur
|Ben and his next companion Elder Burri in Ecully|
|Ben, former BYU basketball player Brandon Davies and Elder Suaro in Nice. Brother Davis plays professionally for a team in Monaco.|
|Elder Suaro and Ben|