Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving in France and It's Already December!

This is our Thanksgiving Food Table!
Thanksgiving in Rouen!
Bonjour!  I hope you have all had a great week and been able to eat lots of turkey, good food, do lots of Black Friday shopping and get ready for the best time of the year....Christmas!  We've had a great week here in Rouen and with an exchange and Thanksgiving it flew by.  It's crazy that it's December already. There are still tons of leaves on the trees and they are just starting to fall off.

This week started with some contacting.  On Tuesday we met two awesome woman, Richmond and Hairietta.  They were super interested and loved the Book of Mormon when we showed them it.  We are teaching them and their families tomorrow morning at the church and I can't wait.  We took off for our exchange after that.  It was in Mantes again and was on Tuesday and Wednesday so our whole district was in one apartment.  (Six of us)  I was with Elder Guymon this time and he's awesome.  He's been out about 18 months.  We ended up missing our train so that gave us a little more time to get to know each other better.  We did some porting and then turned around and took a train back to Rouen.

We were given a food assignment for Thanksgiving, which was meat and potatoes, so we were looking for ta whole turkey.  We went to quite a few boucherie's (meat markets) and a grocery store.  When we asked for whole turkeys they looked at us like we were crazy.  Finally, we found a place that would order them for Christmas but they cost 75 euros, so we decided that turkey wasn't going to happen.  We started looking for a ham, but the same problem, honey hams don't exist and whole hams were about 70 euros.  So, no ham either.  Finally, we found some "bone in" pieces of pork for about 20 euros and decided we would make a glaze.  So on Thursday morning we started cooking.  We got the meat going, made the glaze, peeled a ton of potatoes and even had an apartment inspection by 10:30 a.m.  We left the apartment with large pots of potatoes, gravy, meat and hot pads and took off for the metro.  To say the least we got some weird looks but one person did say, "Happy Thanksgiving and Bon Appetit!"  We made it to the church, had our district meeting and then had a wonderful feast.  There were 14 of us there.  We had 2 tables of food and it was so delicious and fun to all be together.  We played games and ate until 6:00 p.m.  After we had the church cleaned up, we walked out and all the Christmas lights had been turned on and the Christkindle Markt was open in front of the Cathedral.  Every street in Rouen has tons of Christmas lights, crepes, and chestnut stands are all over.  It will be a great place to be for Christmas!  We finished the night by visiting a member and giving a spiritual thought and contacting on the way back.  It was a great day!

Friday we had a great lesson with Orion and a member went with us.  Tarolin shared his conversion story and his testimony.  The spirit was really strong as we talked about Faith, Repentance and Baptism.  We asked if she'd be baptized on the 21st of December.  She said she wasn't ready but she'd pray about it to see if it was right.  Tarolin asked if we could stop by a friend who lived close by.  We did and gave her a Book of Mormon and will try to see her again this week.  We would love to teach her and her family.  We had our weekly planning and turned our door and windows, that lead out to the balcony, into a giant white board.  We listed all of our amis and marked when we taught them and the progress they are making.  It was awesome to the the progress we have made in the 5 weeks we have been together.  We had PEC with the branch and then called it a day.

Saturday and Sunday were great!  We had set seven rendez vous (untypical) but only 2 happened. (typical) We taught a young man that we met a month ago, Christonvie, and he really loved the restoration.  He accepted a soft baptismal invite.  That means after he prays and knows it's true he will be baptized...sweet! Later that night we taught Michael and his husband, Franck, yes you read that right.  It was different but turned out pretty good and we'll be going back this week.  Some of the highlights of this lesson were, a Dalmation, who was jumping all over us, a tortoise cage in the living room and a a bird that started flying laps around us and than landed on my freaked me out to say the least!  Church on Sunday was great and I'm loving the branch here.  There are 50 members that come every week and I've finally got most of their names down.  Luckily, you can always say, "Frere or Souer" if you need to.  Last night we had DMB and our branch mission leader talked about one of amis that the sisters are teaching.  She is about 85 and not really progressing but he said something that I really loved.  It's not just success if an ami makes it to baptism but you need to remember the work you're doing will have an eternal impact.  By bearing testimony to these people you are preparing them to receive the gospel.
Our White Board
Some of the meat & potatoes we fixed!
Our Senior Couple - Bro. & Sis. Piepgrass
Our Thanksgiving Pies!

The Souers and me!
 If not now then in the spirit world.  All this from bearing your testimony.  It was awesome and we are so lucky to have him work with us!

Overall, it was an awesome week.  The work is progressing and our amis are amazing and being prepared to accept the gospel.  Acceptance might come now or later but the testimony and spirit they feel will always stay with them.  Thanks for all of your love and prayers.  I love and miss you all and still can't believe it's December.  Have a great week!

Elder Player

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