Monday, February 23, 2015

Behold, I Will Hasten My Work in its Time

Sunrise in Amiens from our
 Bonjour tout le monde!  I hope the warm weather has made for another great week!  It's been a full week in Amiens with Stake Conference in Lille, exchanges in Arras and finding amis in Amiens.  Definately another great week!

On Monday night we had Family Home Evening with the single adults at the church.  Eleven people came which is a ton for us.  The next morning we took off for Arras and had our district meeting with our little district of 6 people and then started our exchanges.  I was with Elder Orton, who's from Salt Lake City and in his 4th transfer, and it was awesome.  The highlight was that night when we were able to go out of the city to do some porting.  At the first door nobody answered but at the second door a woman answered and Elder Orton testified of why we were there and asked if we could have a prayer with her.  She said she wasn't interested in hearing more but was touched and wished her 20 year old son would do something similar.  In the next hour we scheduled a couple of passbacks with people that said they would love to talk on another day so that was cool!

We were able to teach Simon again (we found him late last Sunday night) and he is so awesome and coming to our FHE tonight.  We taught him the Restoration and the spirit was so strong.  He said he would pray and ask to know if it's true and I know he'll receive an answer and we can't wait to see him again.

Last, but not least, was a phone call from two sisters serving in the USA.  They were calling to send a referral of someone they had been teaching via skype.  They couldn't wait for us to teach him in person.  Then we received a text from a couple at headquarters saying they had a referral for a young woman who if she found out it was true would love to be baptized.  That's pretty rare to see that in the "comments".  We called the number that was provided but there was no answer. 45 minutes later she returned the call asking who it was.  When we said the missionaries she apologized for not answering.  She said she had been skyping with the Sisters in the states who were teaching her.  We are seeing her tomorrow and we can't wait.  It's so amazing to see what's happening with technology and see the fulfillment of the revelation in D&C 88:73..."Behold, I will hasten my work in its time."  I'm so grateful to be a part of this!

*FHE and meals with Elisabeth and her two children
* Giving service by helping to clean a less active's home
*Confirming that Luis is geting baptized this coming Sunday in Nancy
*Stake Conference in Lille...We went by mini buses that the ward had rented for the weekend.  It was an hour and forty-five minute trip which is the longest I've been in a car in over 21 months.
We heard from the stake leaders and President and Sister Babin.  It was so good and I loved a talk by one of the counselors to the Stake President that talked about happiness.  He used a scripture from Acts 20:35... " I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said it is more blessed to give than to receive."  That is so true in missionary work.  We receive so much happiness from sharing the gospel with others.

This coming week we have exchanges again and then we are going to ROUEN for Elder Barber's Visa.  It'll be the first time back since I left last April so that'll be awesome.  Other than that I hope you all have a great week and know that I love you all!

Elder Player

On the river in Amiens at night

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Are You Just Buying the Oranges?

Bonjour a tous!  I hope you have had a great week, Valentines Day and now, Presidents Day! We've had a great week here in Amiens with members and amis.  We had our Zone Conference and interviews with President and Soeur Babin in Paris too.  Here's a quick review of our week with a few highlights.

This week we did a lot of contacting and were able to meet some super cool people on the road.  I think contacting is one of my favorite things to do on my mission because you never know what the end result will be and you get to meet some of the most interesting people.  I've had contacts of every kind and it never gets old.  This week we had two great contacts.  We met Han, a young student from Vietnam.  She is buddist and as we talked about prayer and how we can talk to God openly she asked if she could do this since she is not a Christian.  We explained that everyone can talk to God and we had a prayer with her on the road.  It was her first time praying and she said that she felt good and would definitely do it again. #TheSpiritTestified #ChurchIsTrue

The second person we met is Simon,  Simon is a young man and when we asked how he received answers to his question he replied, "Through the scriptures."  We explained that it is the same for us and introduced the Book of Mormon.  When he saw the word "Mormon" we could see his face twinge and so we asked if he knew about the Mormons.  Like many other people he said that he knew we lived in little villages, didn't use technology and used horses, etc. (aka the Amish People)  Thanks to a documentary here called "The Mormons" we are now confused with the Amish could be worse! (HaHa)  We explained that we are Christians and than explained more about the Book of Mormon.  He was super open and took the book saying he would read it and is coming to our FHE with the single adults tonight.

We've been able to walk around the ville and it's so beautiful downtown by the Cathedral.  We have a branch here of about 40 people and the area has lots of red brick.  My companion, Elder Barber, is from West Valley, Utah and has been out about 14 months.  He's super kind and makes me breakfast several times a week! (pancakes, french toast, omlettes)  It was his birthday this past week and he turned 21.

To finish I want to invite you all to watch or read the latest devotional for the YSA by Randall Ridd titled, "Living with Purpose, the Importance of Real Intent"  This was a large portion of our training with President Babin and it is so good.  Also, try to watch a little video called, "Focus Test"  (  Try to count how many passes the team in white makes.  DON'T KEEP READING...WATCH THE VIDEO FIRST!

How many did you get...20, 21, 22, 23 or 24?

If you got 21 you were right...but did you see the Old woman moon dance across the floor or a Ninja on the court or the team in black put on hats.  If not watch the video again and you might see more things when you aren't so focused on the white team passing the ball.  Then read "The Parable of the Oranges" (it's about 1/2 way through the talk, under the sub-heading of section 2) intent?lang=eng

I love these two examples that illustrate that often we loose the ability to see the big picture.  We can become so caught up in things that we forget why we are doing them.  If we don't "Just buy the oranges" but come to understand why we are doing what we do we will be able to stay focused on the prize and put God first in our lives.

I'm so grateful to be here in the mission field.  It's such a great place to be able to see how much more there is to life than "Just Buying the Oranges"!  I hope we can always have eternal perspective and see the big picture.  Till next week...

Elder Player

Centre Ville of Amiens

Elder Barber and me

Le Gare du Nord in Paris
It's always exciting!

The Amien's Cathedral...It's Huge

Elder Barber's Birthday Pizza!

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Week of Change...Goodbye Nancy...Hello Amiens

Goodbye L'Homels
Goodbye Guillaume
Here's the picture of our office in our new apartment!
Our little chapel in Amiens!
Bonjour!  I hope you are having a good day when you read this and that all is going well.  What a crazy week it has been here.  Saying "goodbyes" and "hellos" and all that packing!
Here's a picture of the luggage for the three of us!

The last few days in Nancy were great!  We ended P-Day at the L'Homel's home to have a last round of games and our last FHE all together.  On Tuesday we contacted most of our amis so I could say goodbye to them and then we went to Marie-Line's house to have one last lesson.  After that we went to lunch with Guillaume and Elise and then it was time to pack.  Saying goodbye was NO fun, especially when I had to stick out my hand instead of hugs. I've come to love all of them sooo much!  (I'm glad that I'll be back in May...that made it all a little easier)

Wednesday morning we went to the gare and took our train into Paris.  Then I needed to change gares to get to Amiens.  Between the two gares there are metros, plenty of stairs and of course all my luggage. I made it finally and met up with Elder Barber.  We headed out to catch our next train to Creil, a small town, and after a 45 minute trip we had to change trains with only 6 minutes to spare.  Down the stairs and then up the stairs and onto the train to make our final trip into Amiens.  An hour later we arrived and quickly dropped off my stuff at the apartment and were on our way to teach a less active member.  We did some contacting, teaching an amis named Abdelaziz and then went back to unpack, organize and settle in.

Over the next few days we saw many cool things transpire.  We were able to find 3 new amis, had five rendez-vous and teach a young student named Nathan.  Later on Saturday night we had a rendez-vous at the church at 7:00 p.m.  The bus was late so we were late by about 15 minutes.  Right as we got there and were opening the gate a man ran up and asked it the Elders were still there because he had a rendez-vous with them but was late.  Over the next hour we were able to teach the Restoration and the spirit was so strong.  He said, "You know this is the first time I've prayed in over 10 years.  I'm like the prodigal's son.  I was born in a religious family but am so far from what I once was but can't wait to tell my mother that I'm coming back and this time to know for myself it is true!"  So amazing and we can't wait to see him again this week!

The last thing I want to share happened yesterday during Priesthood meeting.  A young man, about 25, walked in and sat down with us. (There were only 8 of us so he was hard to miss)  As we went to talk to him  he was busy talking to members and everyone acted like they were longtime friends.  We discovered that it was his first time in an LDS church and he had decided to come because he'd seen it while out walking a few times!  (He'd only been here for 3 weeks)  We were able to teach him about our church and the Restoration and he was so excited and more than willing to ask for himself if it is true.  It was definitely a miracle and it's always so amazing when God gives us someone to teach who has been prepared.  He said he'd be back next week and we will see him during the week.  His name is Richardson!

What an awesome week.  Things are different than they were in Nancy but I know they'll be great and I'm excited to work with the people of Amiens.  Elder Barber is great and has been spoiling me by fixing breakfast every morning.  I'll send a picture of us next week!  Today is his 21st birthday so we are going to have a party for him tonight at our FHE.  I hope you all have a great week and that you realize how blessed we all are.  God does so much for us!  I'm especially grateful for all of you and the amazing people I've met on my mission.  Happy Valentines Day to all of you!  Till next week...

Elder Player

Monday, February 2, 2015

Amiens Here I Come!

Me and the Freard Family
District Photo with everyone holding up
the number of transfers!  You go home on 16
Bonjour a tous!  I hope you have had a great week where ever you are.  I have had a great week here and it is definitely winter.  Such a difference from last year.  It pretty much snows everyday.  On Saturday we found out about transfers...are you ready for the news?  I'm leaving Nancy after 6 months and I will be heading north to a city named Amiens.  There is a branch of about 40 members there and my new companion is Elder Barber from Salt Lake City.  (He is only my 3rd companion from Utah)  He has been out 10 transfers and I will get to meet him this Wednesday and work with him.  Amiens is about the same size as Nancy and sounds like a beautiful place and we will be combining two companionships into one. (We'll have two Elders in a four man apartment - sweet!)  I'll give you more details next week.

This last week in Nancy I was able to go and work in Epinal, a small city about an hour away on train, and work with Elder Hansen.  We had an awesome exchange.  Even though all our plans fell through we had some really cool things happen.  We met a man, Olivier, who is a young college student, believing and was so excited to hear about the Book of Mormon.  He took a copy and is excited to read it.  The Elders there will be going back to teach him this week.  After spending two days in the rain with no success it was a blessing to meet Olivier.  Elder Hansen loves Kolob so after planning I went and got a few plain t-shirts that we made into Kolob shirts.  (Sounds pretty exciting, right?)  But made for a fun exchange!

On Friday night we went to Luis' home to teach him and his family.  We had an awesome lesson but instead of brownies we used candles.  13 of them.  We taught the lesson in the dark and talked about how God gave us his light and direction by calling prophets but the prophets were killed.  Since God loved us he called another one.  (We lit the candles and blew them out quite a few times with the room going from light to dark) We talked about Christ and how he came to earth and called 12 apostles and then we lit all the candles but then like in times past, they were all killed and once again the light was lost and people were in the dark again.  Then with Joseph Smith and the first vision, little by little, the Priesthood was restored and apostles were called and once again we have the light of the gospel here on the earth.  It was really fun and the kids loved it!

After, we went and visited a less active family but they did not want to see us and told us so in many ways. On the way back to our apartment we were kind of bummed but then we had a "tender mercy" which ended the night on a high note.  We ran into Vincent, who just happened to be walking down the street when we got off the train, and we were able to teach him and pray with him.  This was an answer to our prayers because we had been trying to see him and he's always so busy.  The Lord always comes through when we ask!

This afternoon we are going to the L'Homels house to play some games and have FHE and say "goodbye". This will be a week filled with goodbyes and then new adventures in Amiens.  I'm so grateful for all the people I've met and the things I've learned here in Nancy and I'm glad I will be back in May to see them all again.  I hope you have a great week - remember that I love and miss you all.  You're in my prayers every day!  Till next week...
Elder Player

*FHE with Guillaume
*Lunch with the Freard family
*4 Baptisms in our district this week - 3 were here in Nancy with the sister missionaries and the other one with the Elders

New Address:
Les Missionnaires
Elder Chase Player
203 Boulevard Saint Quentin
80000 Amiens

Goodbye Frere Clavey

Bishop Bouchereau and his family