Monday, February 20, 2017

As I Have Loved You

And just like that it's Monday again, and the last week of the transfer. This transfer has gone by so fast, and its gone from super cold to pretty warm nowadays! Spring is in the air and that's putting some air into my spring! Valentines Day was great, and it kind of continued throughout the week. I guess it can always be Valentine's Day if we tell the people we love that we love them, but then it just wouldn't be as fun! This week we got to go back to Lyon! I always feel like I go home when I return to Lyon, even if it's just for a little bit. Anyway, I'll stop being so vague and hop into the good stuff! 

We were traveling to Lyon for most of Valentine's Day day, so we didn't have a chance to do a lot with members, but we did sent texts to all of the missionaries in the zone with the reasons why we loved them! In Lyon, we went to the office, because we had a special night planned with the Mahaffeys! We helped out in the office for a bit, then they drove Elder Pesnell and I to a restaurant called Entrecôte for dinner (a double date haha). We talked and laughed and we planned on paying for them but then they stole the bill!! Haha but we gave them a giant goodbye and thank you card because it was the last time we'll see them here. We then spent the night with the assistants because we would be on exchange the next day. Fun fact: not only have I been with elder wade for both thanksgivings on my mission, but for both Valentine's days also! 

So the exchange was so good, I was with elder wade, which is always so fun! I love him so much, and feel so blessed to have found a friend on my mission who is so different from me yet so similar. Also, it was fun to prosélyte together in a different setting than we ever have: just us two, taking buses, contacting. We had a cool experience where we were walking down the street and there was a little girl outside with her dog, so we started talking to her and eventually Elder Wade asked if we could go inside and talk to her mom, so we did, we explained all about what we believe, and left her with a Book of Mormon and a commitment to read and pray about it! We also were able to go pass some members of Ecully ward who I love and haven't seen since I left that ward. Sr. Barachand is an older sister, and we totally surprised her, she didn't know I was coming and we spent some time talking, she offered us lunch and we caught up. She is so cute and sweet! It was an amazing day and I learned a lot from Elder Wade, just like always. 

We had a few parties this week, where we invited amis but no one came :(. They were still fun anyways! One was a Mongolian night that the English elders were doing. A member in their ward from Mongolia made a ton of delicious traditional food and we ate it, did a spiritual thought and played Loup Garous. Unfortunately, all of the Mongolian people that came spoke neither French nor English so the lesson was translated both ways by the member and I think it was good, but I'm not sure haha. We also attended the Spanish ward Valentine's fiesta and there was a lady there who elder Pesnell had contacted so we spent the night helping her integrate and it was also full of fun and food and Spanish music... haha 

Also, quick backstory before I launch into church yesterday... a man contacted us on the street this week and was like "are you the elders?" So we said yes and usually that's not a great sign because the only people that actually contact us are crazies... well... he was. He told us he had a gift for the prophet and we told him we couldn't take it because we don't know the prophet personally so he said he was coming to church on Sunday. He came, and it was ward conference and i sat by him and it was a very... interesting experience. He leaned over to whisper something in my ear every two minutes at least, but they were things like "what is the 24th letter of the alphabet?" Or "to you is the word 'mopo' a parable or a play on words?" He then asked me to be his "bra doight" which is his right arm, and a member of his trinity. Oh boy... unfortunately it didn't stop there because he came to Sunday school (we taught him alone in a different room) and priesthood, but he would go off on things like Egyptian traditions and numbers that relate to Star Wars references and the stake presidency was there and I had a big headache. Ugh... haha but eventually he left, and we had a rdv with Lorrane, our sane ami. 

She came with a lot of questions of things she'd read on the internet. We had some young members who speak English teach with us, and we answered all of her questions by explaining the Plan of Salvation and the Book of Mormon. As we taught, the spirit witnessed to me that it's all true once more, and we were able to testify that we aren't just here to convince people or try to add numbers to our church, we are here because we have felt the life changing hand of God in our lives, we have experienced His love and mercy through the Atonement of His son and we know that it's all true! She said she wanted to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know for herself. She started out with an attitude of "I'm going to prove you wrong" and it finished with a spirit of understanding. It was so cool! 

This week, I've tried to think about love, especially Christlike love. On my mission I've learned that God shows His love to all of His children. There are those that choose to see it and by consequence are happier, more grateful and more full of love themselves. There are also those who choose to ignore it, who become bitter, and angry and who rely on the world to find acceptance. And in both cases, His love is still there. It never stops. I try to love people as best as I can, sometimes it's hard (like with that crazy guy who really tested me), but most of the time it's pretty easy (like with my amazing companions, past and present, the members, amis and missionaries who I have served and who have served me), but it will always be worth it to show, and express our love. Christ commanded us to "love one another, even as I have loved you". I testify that true love, shown sincerely, can do more to help this world and the people in it than any law, holiday or TED talk ever can. :) 


Have a great week! 

Avec amour, 
Elder Hall 

Your Favorite Missionary

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