Hello from your office missionary! It's been a crazy week, a lot of stuff has happened and I'll try to fit it all in, and if not, I will see my family on Sunday so it's okay. I think I've mentioned this before and you'll probably know it by the title of this email, but we are problem solvers here. We solved a lot this week, including the old lady dilemma, a terrible grève, and the day that shut down the office. I'll get to all of those. Then we'll talk a little about our great Swiss adventure! We have a lot to get to so let's get started!
Disclaimer: we prayed during all of these problems and so all the credit goes to our loving Heavenly Father who lets us learn, but grants us tender mercies. 😊
First, the old lady dilemma: one day Elder Lythgoe and I were driving to an old apartment to clean it out so we can get rid of it. Here, to separate the bus lanes from the car lanes, they have quite large cement barriers. Well, there was a car right next to us that accidentally ended up on one of those barriers, and when we saw it was an old lady inside, we decided we should probably stop and see if we could help her. So we pulled over and ran across the street, and took a look. One tire was not even on the ground, and the car was stuck there. So we tried to push, and not even I, who am comparable to Thor, could get her car off of the barrier. Then a couple other guys stopped and tried to help but still no budging (but they did compliment me on my bulging muscles). So we talked to her and told her that her car wasn't budging and called a tow to come and then just left her. We did, however get her number so we will see if that takes us anywhere. PROBLEM SOLVED!
Next, I think I told you about the strikes here in France. They are called grèves. There was one this past Tuesday, which was also a zone conference at Bordeaux, and for those of you that don't know, missionaries rely heavily on trains as transportation, and grèvers rely heavily on trains as something to strike against. So we were awakened at 6 am by some missionaries who had no way of getting to zone conference. We rushed into the office and started looking up train times as a wave of calls from stranded missionaries all over hit us in the face. We worked for a good 2 1/2 hours and finally got everyone on some kind of public transport heading in that general direction. There were people on trains, buses, members cars, it was like rat race haha. PROBLEM SOLVED!
Now about the day that shut down the office. We came back from running an errand right before all the senior couples went home one Wednesday night and they said the phones weren't working, which is a problem (and we need to solve problems). So I thought I was trained on this and went back to reboot the phone box by unplugging it and plugging it back in. The phones didn't start working, but something did happen... The next morning when we came in, the senior couples were all in a panic because the Internet was down, the phones weren't working and a guy was cleaning the carpets. That means that any missionary or company that needed to get a hold of us couldn't, and we had no way of doing any work online anyway, so everyone went home except us, Elder Sweeney and Elder Walker and the carpet cleaner (he was just hanging out during all of this). Elder Sweeney and I walked to the closest Orange store but they couldn't help us, so I found their number on a receipt and called. Basically I was on and off of hold with them for the next 2 hours, and finally got a RDV scheduled when someone could come take a look at it. In the mean time we did all we could do with little home offices. It was a glorious sight when the worker came in on our glistening carpet to fix it all. Turned out the box didn't reset properly after the shut down so now I know all the right cables to plug into what. PROBLEM... created, but SOLVED!
The best part about this week was the fact that we got to go to Switzerland Friday and Saturday with the moving equipe and help them out with a bunch of stuff. I've always wanted to go into Swiss so it was a dream come true. It was so pretty! There are a bunch of fields of yellow flowers in bloom and it is exactly how I pictured Switzerland to be. We went up to Lausanne and took some missionaries to IKEA to get some new furniture, then cleared out a load of old, broken stuff. There was one point where we passed through a carnival, and I learned that in French, cotton candy is called "beard of papa". We went to Martigny which is this absolutely beautiful village nestled in the Alpes, and we delivered some beds. When we finally rolled into a Geneva equipes apartment to sleep, I couldn't believe how calm and quiet it was outside. Literally all you could hear was the sound of cow bells. The next day we went to deliver a couch to some sisters, we cleared out a garage in another apartment, and then went up to Yverdon to do some things. It was kind of like an exchange because I got to drive with Elder Wilson almost the whole time. He is so funny, and really tall. We had a lot of fun eating too much Swiss candy and trying to find reception to contact our lost companions haha. I drove a lot, we had a ton of fun and it was amazing to be in Switzerland finally!
This all helped to testify to me again that our Heavenly Father loves us so much. He created this world for us to learn and grow, and He loves us enough to let us struggle sometimes (whether it's with work, family, illness, shutting down your mission office on accident). It is a love that none of us quite understand, but that all of us can feel. I testify that He is there, that He sent His son to save us and to bring us back home. It's a marvelous work and a wonder.
I love you all! Happy birthday Jansen and Isaiah (you old farts)! 😉
see you all on Sunday!
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