Monday, April 28, 2014

A Nail from the Nose of an 89 Year Old! Slick Trick!

Wow!  What a week it's been here.  I hope you've had a great week too.  We have continued to be blessed by the Lord and have had some cool experiences.  We have also had some interesting moments, as the Title suggests, that I will never forget!

Last Monday we went to the Champs Elysees to do some shopping.  (More like looking but it was still fun) We made our way out of the metro tunnel and found ourselves next to the Arc de Triomphe with the Eiffel Tower in the background.  I love Paris!  There is something about this place that is like no other place I've been.  We made our way to the street and found some super cool things in lots of different stores.  Next we made our way to La Defense to a mall there.  Pretty sure there is more shopping centers here than anywhere else around the world!  While shopping we met two people who contacted us instead of the other way around.  The first was a Parisian girl who wanted to know the difference between the Mormons and the Catholics.  (She's catholic)  The second was a man named Henri (an employee of the store) who asked if we believed in Jesus.  We said yes and then he walked off but a few minutes later he came up and asked where our church was and asked to meet with us another time.  So cool!  We ate Chipotle burritos that were delicious but expensive.  Oh well!

As the week continued we were able to continue to see some amazing moments that I will try to sum up:
...Sebastian and Cedre:  We found their teaching record and it had been over a year since the missionaries had seen them and there really wasn't a reason why so we called them up and set up an appointment.  After rain, hail and getting lost we finally made it to their apartment and had an awesome lesson.  His wife, Cedre, is a member who isn't active.  They have two kids, 6 and 2, who are super cool.  As we were teaching about faith we asked them, "How can you develop faith?"  Cedre responded and said, "Sebastian, what do we do every night?"  We found out that they read the Book of Mormon together and pray together every night. Sebastian continued and said, "I know it's important because every time we stop reading or praying things don't go as smooth.  Last week I realized that I hadn't read for a long time and been taught by the missionaries and I wanted to call, but didn't.  You called the next day!"  Amazing to see how the Lord works and how people are prepared.  We taught them later in the week about repentance and we will be fasting with him next week that his boss will let him change his work schedule so they can come to church.  We know that the Lord can soften hearts if you pray,  fast and have a desire.

As the week continued we seemed to be running to catch trains.  Tuesday night we had 3 minutes to go from the metro 6 levels below ground to one level above ground to catch the train.  We booked it and made it.  Thursday morning we need to catch the train from Troyes back to Paris.  We were the last people on board before the doors closed.  Whew!  We'll try to work on that for the next rain.  We had an exchange in Toryes and I was with Elder Watts who is from Orange County, California.  We had a few rendez-vous and an awesome day.  One experience was with a kid named Bryan Curtis.  We were going to a rendez-vous with a less active family but when we arrived the family wasn't there.  Elder Watts suggested that we pass by our other amis who live close by.  We walked over and the mother ran out and told us to go in but that she had to go get her son because something had happened to him.  We went into the house and waited.  Shortly she came in carrying him in her arms.  He's 10 and was curled up in a ball because of intense pain and couldn't walk.  She told us she couldn't meet right then and needed to call the doctor.  We asked if we could give him a blessing first.  We were kneeling  on the floor as we gave him a priesthood blessing.  After he started to stretch his legs and within 5 minutes he was up walking and ready to play with his friends.  I really can't express my feelings except that I know the priesthood power is real and can help and heal in moments of need.  We must always be ready and worthy to use it. It was so amazing!  His friend and 12 year old brother were watching and after asked, "What did you just do?"  We explained over the next hour and had such a cool lesson with the kids and the morther.  For me it is another testimony builder that the Lord knows where we need to be and makes it possible to be there.
Bryan Curtis in back
This is the boy we gave a blessing to.

The last thing I want to share is about a man names Jean Paranton.  We had a rendez-vous set up for the night but they weren't there.  We decided that we'd go porting in a building next door.  We started on the 15th floor and at the second door opened.  It was a young family who let us in and we had a prayer with them.  As we continued we came to the 13th floor and ported door number 334.  An old French man answered and we gave our introduction and he said he'd like us to pray with him.  We entered and started to talk to him.  He said he loved Americans and has so much respect for us and that he had met a lot of our soldiers during the war.  He had medals, guns and all sorts of art and bronze lining the walls.  As we continued to talk to him he asked if we wanted to see something he learned to do in training.  "Of course!" we responded.  He went over to a drawer and found a huge nail 6 or 7 inches long and then came over and started to inhale it.  He inserted the nail all the way into his nose!  We kept looking at each other like what is happening right now.  Next he came over and said pull it out.  I looked at Elder Alexander and he pulled the nail out of the Jean's head.  Oh wait, did I mention he's 89 years old.  There was no blood or brain matter on the nail for which we were grateful.  As we continued to talk we learned that his children no longer talk to him and he lives with his animals.  He even read to us the letter he wrote for his kids to read when he dies.  It was full of wisdom.  This man was involved in the first artificial heart transplant in France and has done many other things in his life.  He's lonely and was so grateful to have someone to talk to and wanted us to tell everyone we met the "crazy French man" but than said he loves all of his family a lot.  He talked about how we have to live each day to its fullest and learn from each mistake.  It was awesome and we'll be giving him a visit again this week to see if we can do his shopping or help with anything else.

Awesome Easter activity with the ward here in Nogent
Got to see the coolest French house ever which was surrounded by rolling hills of yellow flowers
Continued to teach Oxcene and Jumite and their kids...they are so cool!
Met an awesome family who knows members that I know in Brussels

It was an awesome week and it so different to serve in Paris.  This week we have zone conference and then our last interviews with President Poznanski.  Thanks so much for your love, prayers and support.  Till next week!

Love...Elder Player
Cool house in France

Colza Fields

Double Rainbow over our apartment!

Waiting for the Elders to pick us up in Troyes

This is after running for the train...
we're pooped!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a wonderful week! He's such a great missionary! I love the stories, especially about giving the blessing. I'm so glad he's getting to spend time in Paris.