Sunday, July 17, 2016

Vive la France

happy Bastille day! 
Hello everyone! I didn't get a chance to write yesterday, but don't worry! Here I am! :) This week was a pretty weird week emotionally for me, and to top it off there was the terrorist attack in Nice, right here in my own France, Lyon Mission. I wish I could say that it was a surprise, but it wasn't. Satan is hitting France hardcore, and it's in large part because of the temple that is near completion. On the night of the attack, President was up all night trying to get into contact with the missionaries in Nice who where fast asleep, tucked away in their bedroom. When they called him back at 6:30 that morning, after not knowing if they were okay all night, he wept. Something that is funny is that KSL reported all the missionaries were safe and accounted for before hours before that confirming phone call. They must have asked President Monson ;) The Lord looks over us and all I can say is that Heavenly Father has wept with many people this week, and I was one of them, yet in those tears and prayers, I never felt alone or abandoned, and I hope that this same feeling was all over France, I know it was among our missionaries and many others. In a world as scary as today's, there is no feeling as profound as that of a loving Father and Brother whispering "peace be unto you" and "fear not little flock", and then gathering you in. There is no peace in this world like the peace of the Plan of Salvation, and the knowledge that our trials are only a small moment, and the impact of that moment can be softened if we remember that Christ has felt is as well, and because of that, He will be there to help us hold it up if we want it. 

fun times with the senior couples
On a lighter note, I went to get my second year legality this week and when Elder Pesnell and I showed up (we are in the same group so we went together) the prefecture was being evacuated. Well thats perfect, since trying to be legal here in france is the hardest thing in the world besides choosing a dessert at a ward function. Well we looked over and lo and behold smoke was billowing out of the side of the prefecture. Great... now its on fire! In my mind I was thinking 'I don't want to be that guy but can there like, not be a fire in this building, so we can go to our rendez-vous?' Well, I guess they got it out because we got in and did our thing! Yay! haha 

We also got a feel of what it's like to be a senior couple as we celebrated with many of them the departing of some couples and welcomed a new couple in! They are from Australia and they are so cool haha We had lunch with the couples and I just sat there and listened to them and laughed so hard! Old people are hilarious! ;) Let me give you an example of the dialogue that happened at one point: 
   Sr 1: I have a member of our ward whose son's cheated her out of the inheritance from her dead husband! 
    Sr 2: Now isn't that special. 

We also celebrated the 14 Juillet (Bastille Day which is French Independance Day). We got to go toour DMP's house who is american and eat with the other missionaries in our ward, as well as the Bishop and his family. All the young people played toilet tag and football, and it was a lot of fun! We got to talk with some non members and actually have a relationship with our bishop, who's wife approached us last week and asked if we were in their ward... The French people have gone through a lot of hard things in the past century (I learned a lot about that this week), and so to be able to celebrate independance was fun! 

Through all of this, though, I had a nagging thought in my mind, a thought that kept telling me that I wasn't successful, I wasn't good enough, a thought that reminded me of all of my mistakes and shortcomings. I couldn't shake it. So I asked for a blessing one day at the office. I knew that I needed my companion, Elder Wiberg to give it to me, but asked if all of the priesthood holders, Elders Sweeney, Mahaffey and Walker, could be there too. Turns out it was my companions first blessing he'd ever given. They gave him some advice and instruction, we prayed before he gave it, but as soon as he started, a feeling of peace washed through me. Heavenly Father said exaclty what I needed to hear through him. It changed me! I am so thankful for the priesthood, that can be used even for me, a priesthood holder. The next day, I even got the opportunity to give a blessing of health to Seour Sweeney. It was wonderful to feel that power work through me, and to know that I am worthy to bear it. The priesthood is such a marvelous thing! A mission is such a marvelous thing! 

I love this country. I love the people, the food, the sights. I love the cities and the history. I love that the center of every ville is a church, even if it's not one of ours. That shows that Christ is in the blood of France. We are here, I am here, to invite others to learn more of Him and bring them closer to Him. There is no better time for that than right now. Vive la France! 

Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary 

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