Family and friends, tis I, Elder Hall, coming to you from France where the work is going great and we had 2 baptisms this week! Now before you get excited, they were not our baptisms, but we are really good friends with the two who were baptized so that was very fun! We are still working hard on the baptismal front, and maybe one day... Haha This week was one of exchange for me, so I didn't get to see our amis really at all, and I missed my own sector and companion, but it was a good week quand-meme!
To start off, I want to tell you about a taco place here in Lyon called MasterTacos, because I had it twice this week. It is an amazing place that makes delicious burrito things, and the employees all know and love missionaries because every 6 weeks when new missionaries get to Lyon, all of them and their trainers go to eat. Also Lyon missionaries go there regularly, and this week they actually catered Zone Conference! I'll tell you a little bit about zone conference later, but I'm getting to the point here. This is just one example of businesses that missionaries frequent where the owners and employees know the missionaries well. Recently, President Brown has received revelation for the missionaries to start doing "business contacting". At all these places where we go, instead of just getting stuff and leaving, we are now talking to the workers, and building a relationship. It's hard because we aren't allowed to just go start proselytizing (I'm not quite sure if that's a word) in a private
business, but a lot of the small business owners here in France are working while we are working too, and so the only opportunity they would have to hear the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the
Restoration is if we talk to them in their shops! And the cool thing is, this is working! We have an ami named Michelle who owns a bag shop by our house. He's Chinese but has lived here for a while. We always have a lesson planned so if we are ever walking by and there's no customers in there we can go talk to him. He is super knowledgeable about the gospel because he's been taught for a couple years already, but it's amazing to feel the spirit that can come into an empty shop when the gospel is being taught.
So Zone Conference was so cool! The theme was "Take Aim" and we were taught about how to better plan and use the tools that have been given to us as missionaries to make us successful! As part of the theme, President Brown (who is an avid hunter) took us all outside, loaded his longbow and shot an empty soda bottle that was thrown into the air! It was so cool! I have the coolest mission president ever! But not to be outdone, Soeur Brown later on in the conference, as part of her message took us all outside, gave us little nerf guns and we played an awesome game of Attack, Defend, Surrender. One thing I really got out of conference was that prayerful planning proceeds perfection. This is important because Jesus Christ commands us all to be perfect (which is a pretty lofty goal) but Soeur Brown always says that he only wants us to become perfect in what we are called to do, it's our end goal, what we are always working towards. And so as missionaries, when we prayerfully pray and exercise our faith in planning for our amis, we will be blessed to magnify our callings, and that's one step closer to perfection! So what a great take-away!
our zone at zone conference (I'm always awkward no matter what I do)
Chrystelle came to church this week! She told us some of the hard stuff going on in her life and we know so firmly that the gospel is the one thing that can help her and her family. But she doesn't smoke, drink coffee, and she doesn't even like to bise! She is progressing but there is still a lot of work to be done. I know that with the help of God all things are possible. That's what I rely on 😊.
So back to the baptism, I actually got to sing with my companion and the sister missionaries in our ward and it was a great experience. We sang "Seigneur mon Dieu" which is the French version of How Great Thou Art. The Spirit was so strong after the baptism and then we got to sing and it hit me. I know this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and nothing can make me doubt that. I have a testimony of His atonement, it changes us. It can help us every day if we let it. Sometimes that means giving up our pride, but it will always be worth it. Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and I have that reaffirmed to me every time I testify of the Restoration. The Book of Mormon is true and everyone needs to read it! It's true in English, it's true in French, it's true in Spanish, it's true! I love Christ with everything in me, and I love the people (especially the ones who are nice). I also love all of you! Have a great week! I allez-vous you to read the Book of Mormon this week, and then set some goals for how you can be a missionary this week! You will see blessings!
I'm sorry this email wasn't the funniest, but I learned a lot this week and it's made me better! If you have any complaints, bring them up to the Big Man upstairs 😉