Martigny, France

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Je veux me faire baptiser aussi!"

Bonjour tout le monde !
This week was so exciting! We're currently driving from Geneva to Lyon, so apologies if this is a little scattered. 
Elder Wilkinson is the coolest! We get along great and he laughs at all my jokes, so that's nice. He has to drive now that he's here, and he's definitely never driven on the right side of the road before, nor has he driven a manual, and also the roads here are tiny and wavy and steep, so that's been exciting - we only almost died a few times when he hit the brake thinking it was the clutch. This transfer will be great! 
Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty chill - we got lost in a sketchy part of Sion, which was pretty exciting, and then I made the greatest omelettes - definitely à highlight of my week. 
Thursday was so fun! The Lausanne elders came into Martigny to do the baptismal interviews for two of our amis, and it was a blast! 
Saturday was crazy! We did some service and had fondu with some members in the morning, then we got a call from the Hill Cumorah visitors center - apparently they'd received a call that a 79 year old sister had been in a skiing accident and was in the Sion hospital and needed a visit. It just so happened that we were driving past the hospital right that second, so we were able to stop in and give her a blessing, then we took her the sacrament on Sunday and set her up with members. Turns out she's a math teacher in Sudan, but is originally American, and has lived everywhere from Mongolia to Berlin to Latvia. Bref, it was super fun to get to know her and a big miracle! 
Sunday was incredible! We had an awesome time at church - five of our Amis showed up! Then we had a great lesson with one of them - Carine - and a member family and talked about the plan of Salvation and the spirit was so strong! Then to top it all off, Aurélien and Abygaël were baptized! I'm realizing now that I probably haven't talked a lot about them. They're 10 and 9 years old, respectively, and they're from a part member family, and they're the coolest kids ever! The program went great, and it was so cool to see them make such a big and good decision. Awesome day! 
Then today we visited Château Chillon on lac Leman (look it up, it's awesome) and I love Switzerland! 
Anyways, this week was so good, and this next week should be fun too (and super busy). Funny highlight - there was this little kid making noise during the baptism and at one point he was yelling "Je veux me faire baptiser aussi"- "I want to be baptised too!" 
Anyways, I'm loving the work and I'm having fun. 
Merci et je vous aime ! 
Elder Suisse 

Lac Leman in Lausanne, from the window of Château Chillon
We (I) accidentally threw away the parking ticket, and elder Wilkinson was awesome enough to dig through la poubelle to find it
Our omelettes
The baptism ! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Bonjour !
Yesterday was transfer day, which is why I'm writing this today. Elder Maxwell left to Poitiers, and I received Elder Wilkinson (another British elder - cheerio!). 
This week was full of goodbye meals from members and tons of miracles! We've been seeing so many blessings lately - our teaching pool has grown so much, and it's been awesome! One thing I've really learned is that it's our job to work hard, and God provides blessings - but we don't choose what form those blessings will come in! Case and point, we've been working hard all week and hadn't really been seeing a lot of success from our actions. Then on Sunday one of the young women came to church with a friend who was interested in the church. We taught her and she loved it! She's progressing and has been loving every lesson. We saw miracles, even though they weren't directly related to all the work we'd put in this week. 
Anywho, sorry I don't have a lot of time today! But I'm loving the work and I'm so grateful for all the miracles we've seen this week and the everyday miracles that surround us! And I'm so excited for this transfer - my last in Switzerland before I have to head back to France - let's make it good!

Bonne semaine ! 
Elder Suisse 

The UN as we drove past
We visited CERN before we left Geneva and it was so cool! They wouldn't let the public see the particle accelerator itself, but it was still awesome
Elder Wilkinson and I in standstill traffic (what better time to take a picture?)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Miracles and Springtime!


Okay, this week was the greatest! Like, so many cool things! First off, it's warm again! We got tons of snow last Tuesday and it was bitter cold, but then we walked out of the apartment yesterday and it was all gone and the sun was shining and it was beautiful! I don't want to jinx us, but we're hoping that means winter's ending?

Okay, so Tuesday was zone conference and wow, so good! It was all about the Book of Mormon and how we can better apply it to our lives and the lives of our investigators and members, and it was just such a blast! They had all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders take popular Book of Mormon stories and do something fun with them, and it turned out great! One elder played Samuel the Lamanite and stood on the stage and preached repentance to us while we threw balls at him, and I got asked to play Nephi and berate Laman and Lemuel (my ZLs) while 6.5 foot, Tahitian Elder Tehahe played God and narrated in his booming voice. It was such a great conference, and I learned a lot about helping our amis really understand what they read. 

Friday we had a "Ping pong and pancakes" activity at the chapel. Our pancakes were actually crepes, and almost everybody ditched at the last second, but it ended up being super fun! One of our awesome amis showed up and we had a great time, and my crepes were pretty fantastic if I do say so myself (;

Saturday was so cooool! So many things happened, but my favorite was a rendezvous we had with a new ami named Andrew. We had passed him previously, and he was busy, and we weren't feeling so positive about how our rendezvous was going to go. We showed up, he let us in, we started teaching and he got so excited! He pulled out a notebook and started asking so many questions. He loved the Book of Mormon, and kept marking all the verses I'd work into the lesson. At the end we invited him to be baptized and after we talked about it for a bit, he pulled out his planner and wrote down the date and was like "well, we'd better start meeting regularly then," and we just about died! My favorite part of the lesson was when we were talking about the pre-mortal life and told him that we'd lived with God, who we called Heavenly Father, being the Father of our spirits. He went quiet and then said that his whole life he'd called God "Dad" when he prayed and never knew why, but that he understood why now. It was such a tender moment!
Sunday we had another cool miracle. Two of our amis ended up not coming to church, and we were pretty bummed out about it, but then all of the sudden, in walks an ami that we had lost contact with a week earlier! He had walked, taken a bus, then a train, then walked another twenty minutes to come to church! We were so excited, and had a great lesson with him. 

This week was a great reminder that God's in charge! We'd been having a tough time, but it was cool to be reminded that we never know when things will turn up - we just have to stay positive and keep living how we know we should. Anywho, I'm loving my mission, and I'm so grateful for the chance we have to serve!

Merci et bonne semaine!
Elder Suisse

The view from one of our member's houses because I love these mountains!
Geneva/Lausanne zone conference, with a giant wooden Book of Mormon

Monday, February 26, 2018

II fait froid!!!

So this week was so so cold and exhausting, but we saw so many miracles!! 
It's been between 0 and -10 degrees Celsius all week, so needless to say I got some great use out of all my winter gear. We also had a lot of rendezvous fall through, which was disappointing, but we're hanging in there!
Tuesday we had the coolest rendezvous with a less-active family in our branch. The mom is American, the dad is Swiss and they have a young adult daughter, and none of them have come to church for a while, the dad hasn't for years. Anywho, we went and had an excellent meal, played a game, then shared a thought on the Book of Mormon. Elder Maxwell and I bore really simple testimonies, and the Spirit was so strong! It was honestly one of the best rendezvous I've ever had!
Wednesday and Friday we had exchanges with the Renens and Fribourg Elders, which was awesome as usual, but also exhausting. We had plenty of lessons planned with our wonderful amis and members, and all but one were canceled last minute, so we did get some good contacting in and found some sweet new investigators. I also managed to not get frostbite, for which I'm grateful.
Thursday was district meeting! I felt like I at least could use a message on what success really means as a missionary and on focusing on progress and not on disappointments, and it went super well - I love my district! I found a video of myself bearing my testimony in French from my first week so I shared that, then closed with my testimony now, and it honestly made me tear up to see and feel how much of a change Heavenly Father has made in me during my mission. 
Sunday was a roller-coaster! One of our amis had promised to come to church, so we waited for forty-five minutes for him at the train station, but he didn't show. So we were super disappointed and went back to the chapel. I was feeling pretty down, and Elder Maxwell nudged me and was like "look who just walked in!" I turned around and it was the family we'd seen on Tuesday! They'd come to church, and loved it! Then they invited us over again for this week! It was a huge reminder that God's in charge and that we're here for a reason!
Then today we had just about the coolest pday ever! We decided to just go out and adventure all day, so we climbed up to the medieval castle by our house and took a bunch of pictures. Then drove up into the Alps and just hiked around for a bit. It was so peaceful and calm and snowy and awesome! After that we passed some roman ruins on the way home, which was also cool. Honestly, this place is a dream! I love my secteur and the work! 
Last thought! We started teaching the ten-year old son and also the daughter of one of our less-active families, because they haven't been, but would like to be baptized, and we had the coolest lesson on Sunday! We sat on the floor and taught the plan of salvation, and had them draw out all the steps, then invited them to teach it to their family that week for family home evening. They were shy, but so accepting and trusting, and they learned so quickly! It hit me just how many attributes children share with our Savior. So this week I'm going to strive to incorporate some of those characteristics into my life - patience, virtue, hope. I'm so grateful for this gospel and for our Savior from Whom it stems. It was a tough week but I'm loving life!

Elder Suisse

Martigny and a bit of the fort we visited today
I couldn't resist
Us having fun with the panorama function on the phone
More mountains!
A random Colosseum we found!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Road trips and geneology!

What a week!! Lots of miracles and plenty of disappointments, but we're still standing here in good ol' Martigny!
Tuesday and Wednesday - We drove all the way down to Béziers, to work on my legal papers, so I can stay another year in France. It ended up being like twelve hours of driving, but we made it there and back safely! We got to visit with the Klemasz couple and even got to see a couple of my favorite members from when I was there - super fun trip, but wow I'm tired of driving!
Thursday was our exchange in Lausanne. Elder Sorensen and I got to teach a handful of lessons, and every one of them was so cool! Really cool miracle - we taught this one Columbian family who didn't really speak French. We brought a Spanish speaking member, and the majority of the lesson was this family and our member speaking back and forth in rapid Spanish. I learned some Spanish in high school, but I've definitely lost the vast majority (all of it. I've lost all of it.) since then. But I was able to understand 99% of what they said! Even Elder Sorensen, who'd never learned Spanish, was able to follow pretty well. Towards the end of the lesson we looked at each other, and Elder Sorensen invited the couple to be baptized, and they said yes! What a cool experience - the Spirit was so strong! We walked out and the member told us "everything you shared during the lesson fit perfectly with what we were talking about" Anywho, it was way cool and the gift of tongues is real!
Friday we had an awesome rendezvous with a young convert to the church. We met with him to help with his family history, and it was a really cool lesson! He'd never really looked into it before, but he was able to input his grandparents' information and will be able to take their names to the temple in the next couple months! 
Sunday was our branch conference. We'd invited and had been planning on six of our amis attending church that week, and were so excited for them to hear the talks and all of that. Sadly, the night before and morning of, all of them canceled and we ended up with no amis at church. We were pretty disappointed. But then the stake president got up and gave this awesome talk on avoiding discouragement and depression, and it was honestly exactly what we needed. 
All in all a pretty crazy week - it feels like our trip to Béziers was forever ago. I'm loving it here though, and I'm excited to see what this week brings!
One thought from the stake president - he asked us to imagine that it was the Savior up at the pulpit giving the talk. Would we feel even an ounce of discouragement or depression? Of course not! Hopefully we'd feel an urge to improve and serve, but negative feelings like depression are just not how God operates - He instills hope! Elder Holland talked about how Christ's command to be perfect can seem intimidating, but as soon as we understand that God is happy with our best, even if we're flawed, and that He'll be there every step of the way, it becomes a lot less daunting. Anywho, I love God and I love this work, even when it's hard!

Je vous aime! Bonne semaine à tous!
Elder Suisse

Lac Lèman from our car window
Us, the Béziers elders and the Klemasz couple at an Indian restaurant
The (very overcast) Mediterranean!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hard work and good times


So this week was super busy and a ton of fun! First off, Martigny is the single most beautiful place on this planet! Mountains and green and snow and vineyards, and it's just straight-up awesome! But yeah, I'll try to remember everything that happened this week!

Monday and Tuesday we took a trip down to Lyon for MLC, which went super well. I realized that I really don't miss the big city, and I'm so grateful for my ville! We talked about family history and ate a ton of heart-shaped french toast for Valentines Day haha

Wednesday the Fribourg Elders came down for an exchange, which went really well! We had a great lesson with our ami, and then ate "brisolet", a Swiss traditional meal, with la famille Donnet-Monnay - literally just chestnuts roasted over an open fire. So good!

Thursday was district meeting, and I think it went super well! We talked about genealogy and how it applies to missionary work, as well as how to be lovingly BOLD this Valentines Day with our amis, in order to help them progress!

Friday was another exchange, with the Renens Elders - highlight: we helped our DMP destroy this summer home in the Alps (he remodels homes for a living and needed help with some heavy lifting), and the view was amazing!

Sunday was really nice - I love love love my branch! We ate with an American couple who own a hiking/adventure business here and it was super cool to learn about everything there is to do here. Also to hear some American English! And they made us buffalo steaks, so that was pretty great too.

Today we mostly just went shopping and ran errands, but on a whim we visited this castle on a mountain that we'd been meaning to check out, which was cold but very cool.

One thing I've really realized this week is that peace is so much more readily available than we realize! I've so appreciated the scenery and people here in Switzerland - nothing better for de-stressing - but nothing settles minds like the assurance we have that everything will be okay. Bad days end, anxiety is only temporary, and God is always there, even on cloudy days. We just have to try our hardest not to forget it!

Merci pour votre amour, je vous aime tous! And Happy Valentines Day!!

Elder Suisse

Lots of pictures this week:
Me trying to look regal at a castle, but actually I'm freezing
District meeting! I can't believe I'm holding a 9 - gotta enjoy the mission while I'm still here!
Sometimes I just get weirded out that my name's everywhere here
Exchange with the Renens Elders 
I can't get enough of these mountains!
Frere Donnet-Monnay making brisolet

Monday, February 5, 2018


Okay, so this week was totally crazy! I'll try to sum it all up as best I can!
I got transferred to Martigny, in Switzerland. Crazy train ride on Monday, but we made it safely!
Martigny is the most beautiful place ever! Huge mountains, lots of snow, beautiful sunsets, the works! I love love love it here!
My companion is Elder Maxwell. He's in his fourth transfer and he's British, and super cool!
The branch is pretty small here, but the people are literally the greatest! We've eaten at a couple of houses, and they're so supportive and positive about the work! Sunday I was able to meet all of them, and it honestly feels like home!
We've been working with quite a few nonmember families this week! Sadly, most of our rendezvous were cancelled last minute, but I feel very positive about this transfer, and I'm so excited to see more miracles!

In summary, I'm so happy to be here, I love the branch, the ville and my companion. The Alps are incredible (legit, they're right outside our windows, and every morning I'm like "It's so beautiful here," and Elder Maxwell just laughs at me because I say it every day), and I'm feeling great!

Souvenez-vous que nous avons un Père Celeste que nous aime infinement, et que tout est possible à ceux qui croirent! 
Je vous aime tous!

Elder Suisse

We visited a member who lived at a ski resort, and it was literally so beautiful!
A very picturesque chapel in Sion, a ville in our secteur
The view from our apartment (it has since snowed)