Monday, November 11, 2013

Rouen, Rain, and Pastries!

Bonjour!  I hope you've all had a good week.  It's been another great week here in Rouen.  We've had a lot of awesome experiences.  Today is Armistice Day and so everything in France is closed.  Luckily, we found a little place to do emails that's close and was open.

Tuesday we had district meeting.  On week 2 it is a zone training with the Zone Leaders and AP's so they came up and talked to us.  It was all about having members be involved in missionary work and about being bold!  In Moroni 8:16 we learn what it means to be bold - to speak with perfect love for people and casteth out fear.  I know for me it can often be scary to contact someone or to follow a prompting but when you think about everything Christ has done for us out of love it makes you want to go forth with love for the people we teach -  knowing the blessings that can come from this gospel.  It was a great district meeting and our district, which is 6 Elders, will be awesome.  Later we had an appointment with a member.  We left a spiritual message and asked if there was anything we could do  for him.  He asked if we could give him a blessing to be guided on how to be a better missionary.  We asked who he wanted to give the blessing and he asked me.  I said yes.  Seriously, I have never had an experience like this before.  During the blessing I felt so much love for this man who I had just met earlier that week.  I could feel the love that Christ has for all of us.  It was a miracle that the blessing was coming out in French too!  I think one of the biggest things I've learned so far is that no matter what you do, no matter where you are, we are all God's children and he loves us!  To me that is amazing and gives me so much comfort.  He is always there for us and I know that if we pray and ask for something he will always give us an answer!

Wednesday we had a funny experience while contacting.  We met a man who said, "You won't find any success at this house but then're the mormons?"  We replied, "Yes".  He announced that he had seen us on "South Park" and was so excited to finally meet mormons in France at his house!  He asked if there was anywhere we needed to go and when we said the other side of the mountain he said he would give us a ride.  He was super nice and loved asking us questions.  He took a card to give to his friend and drove off.  We finished the night contacting and had dinner with a member family, the Fontaines.  It was super good!  On our way home we contacted two men.  They both asked  many questions.  So, Elder Cramer talked to one and I talked to the other.  I asked him if he liked to read...he said yes.  I asked if he liked history...he said yes and then I said, "I have the perfect book for you and pulled out the Book of Mormon. He said, "I've read that!"  Shocked I replied, "You've read the Livre de Mormon?"  He then told me that he had found a copy in the garbage can at the metro station about 4 years ago and read a lot of it and liked it! WOW!  So, we got his information and hope to talk to him more this week.  It's another example of a seed being planted years ago and hopefully seeing it bear fruit now.

Thursday and Friday we had lots of rain.  This is a normal daily occurrence.  I now have a nice large meter wide umbrella that keeps me nice and dry.  Elder Cramer has one too and we look pretty official when walking in the rain.  Thursday we gave service and did wallpaper again.  The women, who is less active, said she's coming to church next week.  She can see that people care and are good to her.  She has a son 8 years old too.  I had my first two pastries in Rouen and all I can say is "delicious!"  Pain au Chocolat aux mandes is one of the most delicious things I have ever had.  I highly recommend to all of you to try one.  It won't be the same in America but still good.  We had our Branch Counsel and Missionary Counsel meetings.  This branch is so excited and involved in missionary's amazing!

Saturday we did a ton of contacting.  We taught a few lessons on the street and even talked to a professor of theology, who is a lawyer and a Muslim....interesting to say the least.  Orion invited us to Marie-Orlande's 8th birthday party.  So, of course we went and a had a great time talking to Orion, the children and even talked with a lot of the people there and got some awesome contacts.  we are hoping to set a baptismal date this week.  I can't wait!  We met a Jehovah's Witness, who didn't want to argue, and he invited us to come back. That doesn't happen every day.

Sunday was great.  I'm finally understanding most of the French that is spoken here.  The people speak faster and different than they did in Belgium.  We finished the day with 4.5 hours of street contacting and met some cool people.  We taught on the street and gave out several Book of Mormons too.  With all of the contacting last week we've got an awesome week set up this week.  I'm sure we'll find more people who are prepared to receive the gospel!

Rouen is more beautiful every day.  I'm super lucky to get to serve here in an amazing place, with great members and so much potential for growth.  I hope you all have a great week and know that I miss you all! Thanks for all of your prayers and support.  I know the Lord hears them and blesses all the missionaries so thank you again!

Love...Elder Player
It's fall on the Seine River
Marie-Orlande making a birthday wish!

Looking at the fair across the
Seine River - which runs through the city
Rainy days with our new

Huge cathedral by our church

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