Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday the 14th!

So this week totally flew by! Like, super busy 24/7 but nothing too crazy... We took "the Chunk" (our giant van that we use on transfer days) in to get repaired, I wrote a bunch of letters to tax agencies (Nothing feels more official then getting to sign documents and use an official France Lyon Mission stamp. Class.) and called a whole bunch of missionaries and assorted utilities people, which was chill. Oh, then yesterday we got invited to eat at a member's house with the other missionaries in our ward, which was awesome! As office elders, we don't really get to work a lot with members outside of church on Sunday, so I've really been missing it. We had an awesome fall-appropriate dinner with potatoes and veggies and a homemade pumpkin pie!
In other news, it's October! I realize we're already halfway through, but it didn't really hit me til today. Elder Walton and I got to go check out a couple small parks by the office for p-day today, and all the leaves were red and orange and it was so great! Plus it's not hot outside anymore! 
Okay, that's about all I've got. Just want to make sure y'all know that this gospel is true! It's really hard to live sometimes, and never easy to apply, but it's always worth it! So excited to keep serving the Lord! Et je suis infiniment reconnaissant pour notre Sauveur! Grâce à Lui, tout est possible! La vie aprés la mort, le repentir, et les familles eternelle! C'est magnifique!

Je vous aime!
Elder Suisse

Elder Mustard, one of the office couple elders. Love this guy.

Our washing machine broke! Funny story actually - we realized yesterday that it was October, Friday the 13th, and we were like "wow, nothing bad happened all day!" and then all of the sudden we hear this huge banging noise from the kitchen, and it turns out the washing machine's messed up, so that was what we worked on for most of p-day today haha.

The headset is probably my favorite part of being an office elder.

Cloudy shot with some buildings that look cool, but that I haven't seen up close yet.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Conference and good weather!

Salut !
This week was great! The office is starting to finally feel normal! Sorry if this email is all over the place, it's been super chaotic, but I'll try and remember everything!
Tuesday was the missionary leadership conference! All the leaders, from Geneva to Bordeaux, came in, and it was such a party! Most of them slept in our apartment, which was fun until we had to figure out the shower situation. The conference was so awesome! President gave a killer presentation, and then we played life sized hungry hippos, which Soeur Brown managed to relate to the gospel (; super fun conference
Thursday was district meeting, which was also a blast. I got to meet a bunch of the missionaries there for the first time, and I got to hang out with some old friends! Elder Lutu is my new district leader, so that was fun.
Then today was our pday! Coolest one so far! We went to the Confluence, where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet, and took a ton of pictures, then went to the museum right there. All in all a crazy, but super fun week.
One of my favorite conference talks was from Elder Donald L. Hallstrom about miracles. I've been trying to really notice the everyday occurrences this week as they truly are - miracles. What a difference it's made! So grateful for my family and friends, who I love with all my heart. So happy to be here in France, and I'm so thankful for my Savior.
Thanks for all the support! Je vous aime!
Gros bisous !
Elder Suisse

Me and Elder Thomas at MLC! He's the new district leader in Saint Etienne, so we got to hang out!
All the office Elders still in the mission
The Confluence museum!
Le Confluence ! Perfect weather, so beautiful!
Me and Elder Walton
"Only Lyon" sign

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Office Week 1!

Salut !
Such a crazy week! Sorry I didn't do this yesterday, we had some stuff come up and I didn't have time (apparently pretty normal in the office, yikes...). Anywho, this week was awesome, I'll try and sum it up!
Monday: All the departing missionaries came into the office. We helped them get all their stuff ready for them to go home, then we got to go with them to dinner and a final testimony meeting at President's house. They slept at our apartment and we stayed up til 11 pm packing their stuff into the van. 
Tuesday: Woke up at 3:30 am to get them all to the airport. Stayed there til 9 am, when the last one left, ran home, showered, and came back to the airport to meet President, Sister Brown and the assistants to pick up the new bleus! So cool to be able to see them come in with new suits and shoes and smiles! I got to meet Soeur Thorn as well! She was in the MTC with me, went home due to injury, but is now back out! So exciting! Monday was super trunky with all the departing missionaries, but Tuesday made up for it! We ate dinner and were at President's again, then the new elders slept at our place. 
Wednesday: Bleus conference! They got their trainers and most of them headed out!
Thursday: We helped the remaining Bleus get some legal work done and head home.
Friday: All the bleus from the previous transfer came in to get their legality done as well. Spent most of the day running between the office and the préfecture.
Saturday: Elder Walton was sick, so we got to the office later, then had to find some Bleus who had taken the wrong train and ended up in Bordeaux. Hence why I'm emailing today (; then we had an office conference watching potluck with the office seniors!
Et voilà ! It's busy, but super fun! And conference was so good! We watch the morning sessions live (in the evening for us) and the others when we have extra time.
I loved the talk by Elder Holland about God's expectations for us. Exactly what I needed. I know I for one need to avoid "toxic perfectionism". God knows we're not perfect, but He sees our potential! And He loves us despite our flaws! So grateful for Him and for my family and for this gospel! Love you guys! Thanks for the support!
Je vous aime et vous souhaite une bonne semaine !
Elder Suisse

Elder Walton, Elder Stahl (my office trainer) and myself
Our office conference party!
Soeur Thorn back in France!
Us going to the airport at 4 am
The departing heros

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Salut !
So this week was crazy! Lots of fun stuff, but probably the biggest news is that I'm in the office now! In Lyon! President Brown called me last Saturday, a week before transfers and asked me to come in Wednesday. Sunday was hard because I had leave all the members after only five weeks, mais voilà. I came in Wednesday, and went straight to the apartment to unpack. I'm with Elder Walton (who I served in Lausanne with!) and Elder Stahl. I'm taking over from Elder Stahl, so he'll be training me for the next few days, before he finishes his mission on Monday. He's from Switzerland, so we make lots of jokes about the Suisse Elder getting replaced by Elder Suisse (;
Sadly that means I won't be doing normal proselyting for probably the next four transfers (six months...). But I get to help welcome and pick up all the new incoming missionaries, as well as see off all the departing ones. Besides that, I'm in charge with Elder Mustard of apartments for the mission (finding new ones, closing the old, moving) and taking care of the cars. Elder Walton does finances, and we both do tablets and transfer madness. Originally I felt pretty down about not being in the field for another six months, but I'm really excited to see how it works out. 
Thursday was weird! I haven't been in the office elder apartment since I came into the mission (it's where all the incoming elders sleep their first night in France). We had an office planning meeting with the office couples, the APs and President and Sister Brown, where we planned out next week's craziness, as well as how we'll be doing our conferences and stuff. 
Friday was transfers, so we bought tickets to get missionaries to all of their new areas! I did not appreciate how much work goes into getting 161 missionaries across France and Switzerland to their respective villes. Got it all done though! Elder Stahl also trained me on a lot of things. I learned a lot of legal vocab... 
Our pday in the office is on Saturdays, so today was super chill. We went to Ikea to buy some stuff for the apartment, got lunch and just hung out. 
That was basically my week. Big change, but hopefully it works out. I definitely don't feel smart or able enough to take care of everything I need to do here, but I'm starting to realize that my capabilities will be enough if I rely on the Lord to take care of me. Guess we'll see how it goes! Next week should be insane with all the coming and departing missionaries! 
Cool miracle from Wednesday! I got into the Lyon gare by myself with all my suitcases, and my new comps were nowhere to be seen. So I wandered for a bit, trying to find the main exit, and I started feeling lost, when someone behind me was like "Elder Suisse!" It was none other than Nathan Gaillard (son of the Gaillard family in Dijon)! So he helped me with my bags til I found elders Walton and Stahl. Dieu est grand ! 

Je vous aime ! 
Gros bisous ! 

Elder Suisse 

No pics this week, sorry... 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bonjour à tous !

Sorry again for the delay, didn't have wifi to send this yesterday! 

Bonjour à tous !
This week was pretty normal, but awesome. It's finally been cooling off! I got to wear a jacket a couple of times! 
We got to make a few passbacks with the Klemasz couple and met some really cool people! We blessed a couple houses and had some really interesting conversations. There was one really old couple who we talked to for a while. They were both chair bound, but so awesome! They'd been members for forty years and married for almost seventy. They told stories about their conversions and their kids and it was so adorable! Like, fast-forward 65 years and I want to be like them. Really good stuff - I love passbacks to people like that. 
We had a really great district meeting about finding new people to teach. President set a goal for us to find 1620 new amis before Thanksgiving, so we're excited to see miracles as we start working towards this new goal. 
Church was fun too - none of our amis ended up showing up, but we had a lot of less actives appear out of nowhere, which was nice.
Our pday this Monday was a blast! We went to an outer ville near the sea with the Klemasz couple and their daughter and it was so fun! Nice lunch, ice cream, then we stopped by one of those fish spa things? Because why not! It was the first time we'd had time to really do anything fun for pday, so we really appreciated that.
That's about it this week, sorry for the short email!
Love you tons! Gros bisous !
Elder Suisse

The beach! It was cold, so no one was there, so we thought we'd grab a pic on the wall
Our awesome lunch
So pics of Sete, a city in our area
Us with fish on our feet. Gotta try it. Really weird.
Little Romanian kids stole our plaques

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Miracles here in Béziers!

Salut !
First off, sorry this email is late, it's been a crazy week, and due to construction at the church, they've taken out our only available wifi (we're at the Klemasz apartment rn), but hopefully that'll be fixed soon!

This week was so good! I'll try not to forget anything!

Thursday we visited a bunch of people in a town called Narbonne (like a 30 minute train ride from Béziers). Nobody was home until the last one, when this little old lady named Marie Claire Posadas answered the door. We talked for a minute at the doorstep but couldn't come inside because it was just her, and we were about to leave, when Frère Charron and his wife (two active members in Béziers) just showed up and we could enter! We just so happened to visit this lady at the same time, and ended up having an awesome, super spiritual rendezvous,  and Soeur Posadas decided to come the following Sunday! 

We also had a sweet lesson with la famille Matei (I think I've mentioned them in past emails). We talked about how to recognize the spirit, and how to feel it more in our lives, and it was so awesome! They're recent converts and don't speak awesome French, so it was such a tender experience to just simplify and have a heart to heart with such a great family. 

Friday and Saturday we had our exchange in Perpignan, which went well until Elder Shirley got sick and ended up having to stay home all day. Other than that it was fun though (;

Saturday night, while waiting in the station at like 9 for our train back to Béziers, which was late, I got a call from the first counselor in the branch presidency asking if I could speak the next morning at church. Then we ended up teaching gospel principles and priesthood because the people who were supposed to forgot or didn't show up. It turned out okay, but it did make me miss my big home ward.  #BranchLife

Pday, our plan was to go out and find something cool to do in Béziers, cuz we hadn't had the chance to do that yet, but then we got some fun news. The zone leaders in Montpellier called the night before saying they were coming and that we were having an exchange Monday evening and Tuesday. Then we got calls from the Geneva and Bordeaux zone leaders saying they're coming in for their legality. So we ended up cleaning all pday so we could fit eight elders in our tiny apartment. But it ended up being super fun to see everyone. 

I had an awesome exchange with Elder Terrell. We saw miracles right from the start. We ran into a member who told us she's (finally) decided she wants to have her 9 year old daughter baptized and that the date is set for October 15th and asked if we could start lessons Friday! We'd been trying to get that moving for forever! Then Elder Shirley and Elder Patton had a rendezvous with our ami Durrand and engaged him to baptism, set for October 28st!

I'd honestly been feeling really down about how slowly the work has been progressing, but I definitely realized this week that God knows what needs to happen and when. Béziers hasn't had an investigator with a set baptismal date since the beginning of summer, but as soon as we were humble and gave in to God's will, He stepped in. We fasted last week as a mission to be able to find those who are ready to progress and God is really providing. Really cool miracles :)

In other news, Elder Klemasz got permission from the stake president to do what he needs to do to train the branch on how to do missionary work, so hopefully that goes well too!

Other fun stuff this week:
-In between mad cleaning sessions on pday, Elder Shirley taught me how to play the guitar. I can officially play like four or five really simple songs and I feel like a boss. 
-In cleaning the apartment, I found a pot of chili in the corner that had been there for at least three months
-I've been practicing my crêpe making technique, and I no longer burn them! 

Okay, that's all I've got. All in all a really cool, spiritual experience filled week. I'm so grateful for this gospel and for the chance I have to serve the people I love here in France. So excited to see what God has planned for this next week! Love you all!
Je vous aime! Gros bisous !
Elder Suisse

Not allowed to stay out late, but due to a delayed train, I got to take some cool night pictures
Us with our wonderful couple Klemasz 
In cleaning the apartment, we found copies of the book of Mormon in 27 languages! How cool is that?! 
Narbonne, so cool ! Super windy day, hence the crazy hair. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Eight Months!

Salut mes petits choux !
This week was so good! Not as many lessons as I would have liked, but I got to do some awesome exchanges, and we had a killer zone conference! The church is true y'all!
Tuesday and Wednesday, Elder Shirley had to take care of his legality all the way in Gex with an elder from Toulouse, so I got to do an exchange with the Elder's companion! His name was Elder Wagner, and he was from Logan Utah! So we're pretty much best friends. Mind-blowing realization - he graduated in 2017! I feel so old! But yeah, it was a blast. We got to do a lesson over video call with an ami in Montpellier, which was awesome! I'm starting to develop such a testimony of technology and the miracles God gives us to further His work!
On Thursday we hopped on a train and headed all the way to Toulouse for our interviews with President and zone conference the next day. It was so nice to meet so many new faces (our zone conference consisted of Toulouse, Bordeaux and Montpellier zones)! First conference out of Dijon! We slept in an apartment with 21 other elders. Straight chaos, but nice to see everyone. 
Zone Conference was so good! President talked about Facebook, and testified of the miracles that it can bring. Lots of really good stuff! Probably my favorite thought though came from Sister Brown. I've been having trouble this trouble seeing progress here in Béziers. Our amis, and the work in general, are just not progressing as fast as I know they could be, and it's been kind of frustrating. But Soeur Brown bore a powerful testimony on perseverance, and talked about how, as long as we are trying our hardest, regardless of whether or not we are seeing progress in our amis, we are succeeding. God doesn't put us where we are solely for our investigators. She bore testimony and asked that, when we feel like we're not touching lives, we remember how much we've touched hers. I couldn't agree more. I'm really starting to realize that there are no such things as coincidences! If we don't notice change in our amis, we need to realize how many other lives we could be impacting, not to mention the change that could be happening within ourselves.
Friday and Saturday we had an exchange with the Perpignan elders. I got to visit some awesome less active members, and had some really cool spiritual experiences. It amazes me how much we as missionaries are able to love their people. I felt such a connection to these people who I'd never met in my life. 
Then on Sunday we had an awesome fast and testimony meeting. We got to join in with the whole mission in fasting and prayer for the people here in France. Such a cool experience! 
Anywho, I think that's everything! 
This gospel isn't always easy to live, but holy cow is it worth it!
Je vous aime énormément !
Elder Suisse

Trees wearing socks. I found them very amusing.
Our tri-zone conférence !