Toulouse, France


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Transfers, world cup and Bastille day!

Bonjour ! 
This week was crazy, but I find that the longer I'm here, the poorer my memory becomes, so apologies for the scattered thoughts :) 
We did a ton of service, from mowing lawns to blow-torching a fence to get the paint off - all good times. 
Thursday we had the most fantastic rendez-vous with Jot and Cassandra, a member and his girlfriend we're teaching. We talked about God's love for us and eternal families and aah, I love them so much! And I love being a missionary! 
Friday was transfer calls - the assistants called us and we got to help distribute calls to our zone, which isn't what we're used to, but it was fun to be a part of. 
Saturday we played football (we moved to 9h instead of 10h but it's still too hot) and had a sweet English class. It was also the 14th of July - Bastille day! Basically the 4th back home. We didn't get to see any fireworks, but we had a picnic with a bunch of members :) 
Sunday I said goodbye to Elder Johnson, who finished his mission... I'm sad, but he's from Logan and will be attending USU, so we'll definitely see each other when I'm home. 
Monday we sat in the gare all day long to help people through. And I received my new companion, Elder Keir! A few fun facts, he's from Scotland, is a triplet and has been a vegetarian his whole life. We've also received a third équipe of sisters in our ward, making a total of six sisters and two elder in Toulouse, which will be interesting - more updates on that later. After that we helped to pack a moving truck for one of our members. Basically yesterday was crazy, which is why I'm writing today. 
Top highlights, in no particular order:
- Our hot water was finally fixed, after five weeks of cold showers and boiling water
- I scored a goal with my head playing football on Saturday! 
- France won the world cup! We weren't allowed to leave our apartments past 17h because of all the partying and insanity - it was all very exciting. 
We had some really cool experiences this week, along with some hard times and a lot of laughs. I've been thinking a lot about how I want to improve before the end of my mission, and past it, and the list is long. But I love the scripture in Ether 12:27-
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
We've all got a lot to work on, and that's okay! Faith and a good dose of humility is what it takes to build up what was once weak. I'm so grateful for my family and for my mission and for my Savior! 

Je vous aime ! 
Elder Suisse 

Pics:
Bastille day picnic
Waiting in the gare all day with nothing to do but eat pâtisseries 




Monday, July 9, 2018

Bonjour!

Bonjour !
Ah, this week was super crazy but fun. Lots of awesome rendez-vous! 

Tuesday was district meeting! President Giraud-Carrier came with his wife and two of his kids and we had a good time getting to know them. They're so French! I love them so much and I'm excited to work with them! 

Thursday we worked on transfer recommendations for President GC, then we went chez Hopuu, one of our awesome Tahitian families. Sœur Friolo taught us how to make real Italian pizza. Mamma mia. 

Saturday we played foot, cleaned the church, had a killer English class, then another fantastic dinner with Tahitians.

Sunday we had an awesome rendezvous chez Killian, one of our amis. I'd been feeling pretty down, especially about Killian, who'd in the past been really skeptical and sarcastic during lessons, and didn't really progress. But we prayed for help (and patience) and went for it, and the lesson was great! He gave such a humble prayer, and we feel like he really progressed. After that I felt so much better! Heavenly Father might not give us what we want when we want it, but he always gives us what we need. 

Today was sweet! We asked permission from President to do a district pday in Carcassonne! We ate cassoulet (duck and beans - super southern France) and had a good time hanging out with everyone. We're on the train ride back now, I'll make sure to attach some pictures. 

Additional notes - when we were chez la famille Sono this week, they gave us these legit colorful African shirts (all the guys from Nigeria and Ghana wear them here) and they're fantastic. 
World cup update: Switzerland is out, but France is in the semi-finals! I usually don't follow soccer, but hey, when in France, fait comme les français.

Je vous aime ! 
Elder Suisse 

Pics:
Many selfies and a district photo in Carcassonne 





Monday, July 2, 2018

Il fait chaaauuud! (It's hot)

Bonjour tout le monde ! 

What a week! It's been so hot and we've been so busy and franchement I can't remember in what order everything happened this week, so please enjoy this chaotic email! 
We did a ton of yard work this week. I've declared myself le roi des mauvaises herbes - I swear I probably beat down an acre of thorns and bushes. On the bright side, I've been tanning really nicely. It doesn't extend past my missionary-approved shirt sleeves, but it's nice. 

At some point this week (Monday? Tuesday?) we had an exchange with our district leader équipe from Carcassonne - Elders Thambo and Mack. I was with Elder Thambo, who, as my avid readers will recall, was in my district back in Martigny! He's pretty much the coolest, and we had a great time. We taught one of our new amis named Endurance, which went super well. It was pretty interesting actually - we were at the Capitole building waiting for him to show up, and this old man showed up and started yelling about how God doesn't exist, then these protestant missionaries showed up and started yelling about how we're in the wrong church and need to repent, then they started yelling at each other, while Elder Thambo and I just sat there silently. Then our ami walked up, and I stood and politely dismissed the old man, who left quietly, and Elder Thambo did the same with the couple, and we sat down with our friend and had the greatest lesson. Gentle words and worthy living will always overcome commotion and the efforts of the adversary! 

Later in the week (Friday? Idk) we had an exchange with our other district leader, Elder Carman, which was also a party. 
Saturday we had an awesome rendez-vous with a new ami, and ate tons of food chez a Tahitian family in the ward. 
Today we took advantage of summer Soldes, which started this week - last one before I come home. Ugh, I realized on Sunday that I'm down to six months! Time flies! 
In other news, Président Brown is officially back in the states (so sad... Thankfully he lives in Utah though, so we'll see each other again), and President Giraud-Carrier is in charge. We haven't met him yet, but he'll be in Toulouse tomorrow morning with his family for an introductory meeting. We're excited to meet with him and his family! 
I've been really loving the scriptures lately. It's cool how the problems and thoughts of ancient prophets are so applicable to myself. My scripture of the week has been 2 Nephi 4:19-20 (and I'm adding some of my thoughts) -
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins (or my sickness or my grades or my anxiety); nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
Life is hard. But for those who believe in God, don't forget in whom you have trusted. And for those who aren't sure, I promise He's aware of you and only wants to help. We'll always have hard times and we'll always make mistakes - the key is to get up and keep trying. In the words of my dear sister Maria Dupre, for whom we did service this week, "Elle n'est pas belle, la vie ?" 

Gros bisous, 
Elder Suisse 

Pics:
A sweet chapel downtown 
Crêpes at the church for Sœur Friolo's birthday 
Me and Elder Thambo being serious
One of our many jardinage pics this week
Ice cream with the Toulouse missionaries + Perpignan Sœurs + Carcassonne elders + Jason + our recent convert Blanca and her adorable baby + a random Finnish member and her son here on vacation that we ran into





Monday, June 25, 2018

District meeting and It's so hot here!!!

Bonjour tout le monde ! 
This week was crazy hot and humid and super busy! I'll try to remember the big stuff. 
Tuesday we had our exchange in Lyon with the assistants, which went really well. Elder Romer and I taught a bunch of lessons, and I learned a lot about teaching and really loving those we serve! 
Thursday was district meeting by Elder Thambo, which was straight fire - we talked about making good impressions and how important it is to know the doctrine by heart. 
Friday was tough. Elder Johnson was super sick, so we went to the doctor's and he was dead asleep for most of the day. So I got a great study in and plenty of time to ponder, AND I cleaned the apartment, which was very necessary. It was also la fête de la musique here in France, but as I said, we were inside... Look it up though, from what we could tell from our apartment it was pretty awesome! 
Saturday was way busy. We played foot in the morning, directly followed by RCM, which was followed by English class. Then we went and got ice cream because 1) The doctor recommended it and 2) It's like 12,000 degrees here. Good day! 
Church yesterday was very enlightening and pday today was super fun. We played tennis in the morning, then the Elders from Carcassonne came in for an exchange, so we had a picnic all together and played Frisbee. Chill pday, just how I like them. 
Anyways, I'm doing really well. We've talked a lot about the Restoration of the church and the importance of scriptures! I've learned in the last year and a half that whenever I have a spiritual question or need, I can turn to the scriptures and really find answers! Prayer and scripture study, it really works!

Je vous aime ! 
Elder Suisse 

Pics:
Pday with Carcassonne and the Capitole Sœurs
District meeting! 
Me and Elder Romer with a cat we found
MLC last week




Monday, June 18, 2018

Happy Birthday David!!! We love you!


Goodbyes and ice cream!

Bonjour tout le monde, 
This week was awesome! We're in Lyon right now for an exchange tomorrow, so apologies in advance if this email is kind of short. We did a ton of service and yard work this week, as well as playing football on Saturday, so I've been rocking the farmer's tan all week. We've found some cool new amis, and have had a great time teaching them! 
We had our last MLC with Président and Sœur Brown on Friday. Elder Johnson and the rest of his group gave their departing testimonies (they go home the beginning of July), as did the Browns. I'm going to miss them so much! Thankfully they live in Utah, so I'll be able to visit. We're excited to meet Président and Sœur Giraud-Carrier, who will be coming in July 1. Ah, change is weird!
Saturday was way fun! We played foot, had a picnic with a member and got ice cream in the evening.
I'm so grateful for the chance I have to improve and to serve! I'm thankful for my wonderful family and friends, and for this beautiful earth. Most of all, I'm grateful for a loving God who supports me through good times and bad. 
Thanks for everything, je vous aime !
Elder Suisse

Pics:
Birthday ice cream at the Capitole building
Last group picture with our group and the Browns! 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Du feu et de la pluie

Bonjour mes petits choux ! 
This week was about as crazy as it gets. Big reminder that no matter what we plan, it's important to always be ready to go with the flow. 
Tuesday was intense. In the morning we did some service for an older sister in our ward. I ended up using a chainsaw to cut down a tree, but it turns out I'm really bad at that and cause a lot of friction, and the tree ended up setting on fire. Thankfully as soon as the tree was down it started pouring rain, with lightning and thunder to boot. Then on the way home we found out that the metro was canceled, due to flooding caused by the rain, so we had to wait in the rain for an hour and half with like a hundred grumpy French people for a but. Honestly though, my number one feeling was how grateful I am for busses haha. We finally got home and quickly found out that there's a problem with our water heater and we'll have only cold water for the next week. Tough day, but exciting! 
Wednesday was awesome! We had dinner with a family in the ward whose son is preparing to be baptized, so we got to teach him - I love teaching little kids! So humble and faithful! 
Thursday we had some very cool rendez-vous - one was with an old French couple called the Cuveliers, where we ate crêpes and had a sweet doctrinal discussion. Right after that we went over chez an African family - the Sonos. We ate fish soup and African corn paste and acted out the story of Abinadi and it was great! It was pretty funny to see the difference between the two families - I love them all so much! 
Saturday was insane. We played foot in the morning, then spent the rest of the day at the chapel doing service. It turns out that some hooligans swung by the church in the middle of the night and set a motorcycle on fire right up next to the building, which blew in the windows and really damaged the chapel. Anywho, we spent most of the day cleaning that up with a family and doing détective work (not really, all the evidence was pretty burned but we had a good time pretending). 
Sunday we had only one hour of church due to the damages from yesterday, but it was a very good hour! 
Today we played tennis in the morning and caught up on everything we were behind on, had an awesome rendez-vous with a new amie, then we all went and ate at a Chinese buffet!! A much appreciated pday. It's currently pouring rain so here's hoping the metro doesn't shut down again haha...
Anywho, this week was great! Kind of all over the place, but we had the chance to serve and I feel like a better person after it all, and that's what matters!
Je vous aime ! 
Elder Suisse 

Pics:
Us at the crime scene being detectives. The police said they didn't need the helmet for evidence, so we took it home and it's sitting on my desk :) 
Chinese buffeeeeeet!