Monday, August 25, 2014

Wild Week to Nancy!

The Angulo family in Paris
There are the best!
Bonjour mes amis.  I hope you are all doing great!  This week has been one of the busiest weeks in my mission and full of so many "firsts".  I'll try to share the highlights...

My last Monday in Paris we went to the Champs Elysees and walked all around and just took it all in and then the craziness began.  For the next 36 hours time was filled with "goodbyes", dinner with the Angulo Family and saying goodbye to our new investigators, Mery and her family.  I know that they will get baptized down the road.  On Tuesday the packing began.  I can honestly say that packing is my least favorite thing to to but I succeeded and, with my three bags, Wednesday morning left the apartment.  One of the wheels on the big bag was smoking and being destroyed so I pulled over outside the RER and pulled a lot of stuff out and packed another bag.  Yes, this meant I had four bags...Crazy!  The good news is that all four bags, and me, made the long journey to Nancy and the bags are all still fully functional!

I took my first TGV train to Nancy, which is a train that goes about 300km/h, and made it there in about an hour and a half.  Elder Ursua, a missionary I met in the MTC,  is serving in Nancy too,.  When we arrived our companions hurried and grabbed all of our bags off the train and we were off to the races.  It's crazy how fast everything can change.  Within a few minutes we were at our apartment, on the 12th floor overlooking Nancy, had lunch and were off to our first couple of rendez-vous.  That's how the week continued.  We have taught a lot of amis that are awesome.  

Wednesday night we were able to go and give a blessing to a member in the ward.  There I met Marie-Line was was baptized on Saturday.  She is so legit.  Marie-Line was a referral from one of the ward members and so that just goes to show you how efficient help from the members is. At her baptism her daughter, sister and husband were all there.  I know they felt the spirit and hopefully will be more open to hear our message.

The next awesome family is the Pierrel family. They were found porting a few months ago. After the first lesson, Melissa the 24 year old daughter, had read almost everything on Mormon. org,  knew all the commandments and was ready to live them.  She participates with the ward in weekly FHE, Book of Mormon classes and, to say the least, is awesome.  Her family has been able to see how the gospel has helped her and so we teach them a few times a week.

On Friday we went back to Paris for Mission Council.  It was super cool.  President and Soeur Babin gave us some training and the assistants helped give us the theme and areas we really want to work on this transfer.  It was a great meeting full of the spirit and the Babins are such great leaders.  We made it home at about 7 pm and went out contacting.  I was able to see a little bit more of Nancy and man, this place is gorgeous.

*Our church here is huge and super nice.  It is being renovated and has a full size gym.  On Saturday we were able to do ,"Samedi Sports/Saturday Sports", where we played soccer with some members and amis.
*Four of our amis came to Marie-Lines baptism on Saturday and then to church yesterday, which is always awesome.
*This week we are off to Strasbourg for a meeting and then exchanges on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  I get to go on exchange with Elder Johnson in Colmar.
*My new companion, Elder Gram is from Danemark but has lived in Frankfurt, Germany for the last 17 years.  He is an awesome missionary and I know we'll get some great work done here together.

Have a great week and thanks for all your love and support.  Till next week...

Love...Elder Player

Mission Council with Elder Cramer and
Soeur Hunsaker

Saturday Sports

Marie-Lines Baptism
New Companion Elder Gram

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nogent to Nancy

Les Tuilleries

Cover Photo for "Preach My Gospel"

District Meeting with our number of

Elder Mahlieu is going home!
Bonjour!  I hope you have all had as good a week as I had!  It was full of so many miracles and it was great being surrounded by people who are the amazing!  I feel so lucky to have met them during my mission.  I found out on Saturday that I will be leaving to go to Nancy, France.  It is about 300 km east of Paris and is a big city. There will be 6 missionaries there - 4 Elders and 2 Sisters.  I've heard so many good things about it and how pretty it is.  My companion is Elder Gram from Germany who speaks four or five different languages.  This should be an awesome transfer.

Last Monday after emails we took off and went and saw Place de la Concorde, Les Tuilleries, Laduree - famous for their pastries, and then finished up by going to the opera.  It was an awesome P-Day to say the least.  Laduree invented the Macaroon and I got a pistachio macaroon with creme, pistachios, strawberries and raspberries and man was it delicious.  I had to have another one so I got a little caramel macaroon.  I'll let the pictures do the talking!
Elder Kusseling - Our Ward Mission Leader
He Chose the Pose!
Jackie's friends from Tahiti
Laduree Macaroon...worth every euro!

Tuesday we had our last district meeting before transfers.  We did a picture with  each of us holding a card showing how many transfers we have been here.  We even took one with us in our African Boubous holding Elder Mahlieu since he is going home :(

After district meeting we went contacting by the gare and the last person we contacted was Mery!  We talked to her and got her contact information and set up a rendez-vous for Thursday.  After a long spell of "not interested", "too busy", "going out of town", the Lord blessed us big time!  On Thursday we showed up and Mery was there with her 14 year old son, Gabi, her 12 year old nephew, John, who lives with them, and one of  Gabi's friends.  We had an awesome lesson and at the end John asked if we could come back everyday.  Mery said, "Not everyday but how about Saturday?"  On Saturday we arrived and her husband was there and interested to hear too.  We taught the rest of the restoration and it went so good and the spirit was so strong.  John asked again when we could back and the parents said next Saturday so they could both be there.  John thought that was too long so they made it work out and we are going back tomorrow night to teach them again.  Such an awesome family and we're super excited to teach them the gospel!

This week we worked with our recent converts and less actives.  They are all progressing so well.  We were able to have some cool experiences.  Joe and Alberto are doing awesome and Frere Malasse is working hard to get back to the temple and is working on his family search!

We met with members and their friends and on Saturday we had an awesome lesson with Jackie's friend from Tahiti.  We taught him and his wife the restoration and they want to hear more.  Rai, the husband, said when he had read the Book of Mormon, that Jackie gave him, he really felt something.  We went to the Angulos and were able to teach their son's girlfriend and give her a Book of Mormon.  She said she'd read and talk to us again.  We helped with a move of one of our members and then spent the night talking with our ward mission leader.  We went and made visits and met a less active that we were able to have a spiritual thought with.  He asked for us to keep on visiting him.

That's all I have time to share but it was a great week and I'll be sad to leave all these awesome people who I've come to love so much.  

Wednesday morning the craziness begins.  I'll be off on a train to Nancy, meet my companion and then we'll be off to the races.  I hope you all have a great week and always remember how much I love you all.

Here's my new address:
Les Missionnaries
Elder Chase Player
B.P. 614d 13/15, Blvd. Joffre
54000 Nancy

If you have a minute and can drop me line I would LOVE to hear from you!
Love...Elder Player

Monday, August 11, 2014

Chateau's and men who follow us home!

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis!  I hope all is well with you.  We have had another great week here in Nogent!  Even with vacances/vacations we've been able to meet some really cool people and have some great lessons.  We had another exchange and a super zone conference with President and Soeur Babin. Here's the week in review...

Last week after emails we headed for the gare to catch our train and see the Chateau de Fontainebleau but we missed the train by 2 minutes.  C'est la vie (such is life) and had to wait 30 minutes for the next train.  We wandered around the gare and found a boulangerie that was open and got some sandwiches and caught our train.  After a short 45 minute ride and a short bus ride we arrived at Fontainebleau!  Man, was it cool!  It was my first real chateau that I was able to walk around in.  I'd get lost if I lived in a place like that but it was cool!  We walked around for a few hours and then got some mango sorbet by the lake, took some pictures and then went back to the train.  I took a nap on the way home and when we got back in Paris we went back to work.  It was a great P-Day!

Tuesday morning I had an exchange with Elder Ruttan, who is from Canada, and we had a great day.  The things planned fell through so we went porting, contacting, did passbys and taught the Vasile Family.  We had good success.  While we were waiting for the bus to come a guy next to us turned and said I think you've contacted me before.  Sure enough when he said his name I could recall him.  He said, "You have my number...come see me this week!"  It was cool to have him reach out to us.  He remembered what he had read in the brochure we had given him.  We met another guy, Anderson, and were able to teach a great lesson on the street to him and give him a Book of Mormon.  He's being taught by the elders in Orleans now, so that was awesome!

This week we really tried to work with members and part member families.  One experience we had was really great.  One family we have been trying to get in contact with for the 4 months I have been here finally ANSWERED and said to come over on Wednesday.  On Wednesday we arrived and her husband, who's not a member, let us in and we were able to talk to the family and get to know them better.  The wife is so ready for her family to be active and I think her husband is ready too.  We made a plan that after they get back from vacation in September we'll see them a few times a week and help her two boys, who hold the priesthood, set good goals and make some good habits.  Their mom would love them to have good examples and prepare to go on missions so she wants us to re-teach them all the lessons.  We are super excited about that!

Another crazy experience was after we went and taught a recent convert we walked outside and it was pouring rain.  We "booked" it to the bus station and then realized we were on the wrong side so we ran to the other side.  A man saw my name tag and said,"Jesus" and I said "Oui"  Then Elder Meng run up a few seconds later and he said, "Oh!  Two of you for Jesus!"  We started talking to him and telling him we were missionaries when the bus came.  He got on with us and said, "I'll come along!"  So he tagged along and when we got to our bus stop we kept talking.  At the end point we had to retake the bus back and he said, "I'll come again!"  By the time we got to our bus stop we had given him a Book of Mormon and had a little lesson and a prayer with him.  He wanted to keep talking and learn more so he came with us on the metro till we transferred to another metro.  We were starting to think he was going to come home with us.  We talked to him for a good hour and hope he'll read the book and come to church!

On Friday we had our first Zone Conference with President and Soeur Babin.  Man, it was awesome!  The whole focus was on Consecration and how we can take what is good in us and make us into the best we can be.  The spirit was so strong.  At the start President had a question and answer time and we could ask whatever we wanted.  iPads came up and we found out that between September and December we will get iPads for our mission.  President Babin is cool and really wants us to use our strengths.  After Zone Conference one of the couples gave a training in French.  He has 2 PHD's in French and taught for 22 years. It was so good and President Babin is trying to get a new language study thing going for us all.  It would be great to have scriptures, French music, Preach my Gospel open to us for language study so that we can really improve our French and become great speakers.  I'm so excited to see what happens in the coming months.  This coming weekend we will find out about transfers and that's always exciting to see if I'm staying or going.


*Had a super cool lesson with a guy, Yannic, and then met his friend when they rescued us from being stuck in the rain.  They gave us a ride home and his friend Joel had a lesson yesterday with the missionaries where he lives.
*Started teaching a 16 year old, Jean, who live in New Jersey for 5 years.  He speaks great English and we had some fun Franglais lessons!
*Yesterday we got to go to the Allanics and eat Waffles and talk with their family...always super fun!
*Romain is doing good and we had a lesson with him on Wednesday, answering his questions about baptism.
*Found another chateau in our area and ported some of the houses by it and ate some delicious pastries.
*Cooked a chicken with potatoes to end weekly planning!

That's about it.  I hope you know how much I love all of you and I'm so grateful for your support.  Today we are off to the Palais Royal, La Place de Le Concorde and L'adoret patisserie.  Maybe the Opera House if there is time.  I've got to make sure if I get transfered I saw all the big things here.  Have a great week!

Love...Elder Player

Chateau Fontainebleau

Elder Davis, Elder Gutelius and me

A chateau in our area...
Anybody home?

Sorbets and Castles

The chapel at Fontainebleau

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rain, Pastries & Romain

Lake we contacted at!

Riding the metro!

District Meeting at the Mission Home!
Bonjour tout le monde.  I hope you had a great week!   It's been an awesome week here and I have so much to tell you.  After emails we are off the to Chateau Fontainbleu for some sightseeing so I've got to be fast!

After 14 months I made it to the mission home for the first time.  It's awesome!  The area, Le Vesinet, is so nice and the mission home is great.  Since our interviews were at the house, the zone leaders got permission for us to do our District meeting in the mission home living room.  It was super nice and I was happy when President and Soeur Babin made quick hello's but didn't sit in on the meeting.  We all had our interviews after and since it wasn't a Zone Conference we didn't have time constraints and so we were able to have nice, long interviews.  President and Soeur Babin are awesome and have all my confidence and trust.  I'm excited for our first Zone Conference with them this coming Friday.  After district meeting and interviews we decided we wanted to go to a Chinese Buffet for lunch but they were closed so we had KFC!  After lunch Elder Powelson and I went on exchanges.

I went to Paris Lilas and had an awesome exchange.  Elder Powelson is cool and a great teacher.  We were able to contact and teach 3 lessons on the road.  One lady was hesitant at first but as we testified the spirit softened her heart and we were able to teach the restoration and the Book of Mormon.  At the end we asked if we could pray for her and she said yes.  As we prayed we asked that she'd be blessed with happiness and the ability to find peace in her life with the Book of Mormon.  After the prayer she told us that she and her husband had recently separated and she was really searching for happiness and was going to go home and read right away!  She has a son, who already believes, and I can't wait for them to go back and teach them both.

We also taught ttheir recent convert, Cedric.  He is so cool and 22.  If I could have friends like him I'd move back to France after my mission.  He contacted the church and was "golden."  He works for a well known patisserie in Paris and sometimes brings pastries home but hadn't this time.  He asked us what our favorite pastries were and went and got us each one.  I now have two new favorite pastries...Paris-Brest and delicious and I highly recommend them!

After exchanges we were able to teach Romain two times.  He has a good heart and a desire to change. The lesson on Saturday focused on why we are here on earth, repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and baptism. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted.  It was an awesome lesson.  I'm so grateful for the people that the Lord prepares to receive his gospel.

We gave service to a member in our ward who was moving and then helped Soeur Blateron paint and sand her windows.  She fed us a great meal as well.  We were able to see Victor who had watched the restoration video and loved it.  He is really interested and wants to know more.  We gave him material in Portuguese and he was excited to read.  Hopefully, after they get back from vacation he'll be able to come to church.

Highlights from the week...
*Peach Schweppes Ice Cream Floats...YUM!
*Vasile family...taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and it went good!
*Contacted at a cool lake, taught a few lessons, watched remote control speed boat racing and people canoeing!
*Ate with the Kusseling family and spoke in English.  It was the most unnatural thought we've given in a long time.
*Had thunderstorms every night and still forgot to take our umbrellas and ended up soaking wet...DUH!

This week we have Zone Conference, an exchange and some good lessons planned.  It should be a great week!  Hope you have a good one too.  Thanks for your love and support!

Elder Player

Chateau de Vincennes

This is a kebap...Yum!

Paris thunderstorm!

Pastry night!