Monday, March 16, 2015

When Plan A turns into Plan Z

My District with each of us
holding the number of transfers
we've been out!
Bonjour a tous.  This week has been absolutely crazy and than on top of that it's transfers this week.  I'll be staying in Amiens and Elder Barber will be leaving.  That totally surprised me.  My new companion will be Elder Beck from American Fork, Utah.  I'm excited to served with Elder Beck and I know that he's a great missionary.  I'm sad to see Elder Barber go.  He will be serving in Bretagne in the city of Vannes.  (There is a beach there...yipee!)

So, what is the plan?  According to the dictionary a plan is: a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something; an intention or decision about what one is going to do; to decide on and make arrangements in advance; design or make a plan of (something to be built).  So now we know what a plan is and as missionaries that is one thing we do a lot...make plans!  Nightly planning, weekly planning, and many other times we are planning.  This week none of our plans went as planned!   We received a phone call on Tuesday night from President Babin informing Elder Barber his father had passed away.  In the next 24 hours, after much prayer, Elder Barber decided it would be best to go home for the funeral service.  He felt like he needed to speak at it.  The problem was the funeral was on Friday and now it was late Wednesday afternoon and there were authorizations needed, an 11 hour flight, and getting to Paris to catch the plane which made it all seem near impossible.  With prayer and a continuous confirmation that it was what he needed to do we put it in the Lord's hands.  Everything worked out, but with a few hiccups. On Thursday morning when the authorizations came through he had already missed the direct flight to Salt Lake.  His mom who works for Delta found another way for him to get home.  The Piepgrass couple, who was doing renovations on our apartment, took us to the Gare but the train was not there and the next train would be too late to make his flight.  Elder Barber called the Piepgrass' and asked for other ideas and within 5 minutes they were back and drove us the hour and half to the airport.  We are so grateful to them because without their help it would not have been possible.  We got to the airport, checked him in and and he was off.  I was alone at the airport, which was weird, but in just a short while I was picked up by some missionaries and they dropped me off at the new mission office.  I spent the next 4 days and saw a different side of missionary work...especially during transfer preparations and moving into the new office the day before.

I worked with the office Elders, the Assistants and spent time with the Office couples, who are awesome. I unpacked boxes of supplies, did exchanges with quite a few missionaries and during one of the exchanges I even taught a Chinese lesson.  (I felt like a bleu/greenie all over again - not understanding anything)  I did learn to say "Hello" in Chinese pretty good!  Haha  I got to be a member for a lesson with the AP's, go to dinner with one of the couples and had a cool experience with a woman, Maria de Grace while we were contacting. When we talked to her she said she was staying Catholic and that was that!  We were walking in the same direction as her and at a cross walk Elder Lam asked, "So, do you live around here?"  It was like she had forgotten she didn't want to speak with us because over the next 20 minutes we had an awesome lesson with her and prayed with her.  She gave us her phone number so that we can give her an Easter message in the next week or two.  Super cool experience!

Yesterday, since I was in Versailles, I had a few minutes and was able to see the Chateau de Versailles.  I also saw members from Rouen that were there for Stake Conference and it was awesome to see them for the first time in about a year.  It got me so excited to go back and see them all again.   Then it was time to pick up Elder Barber from the airport.  We caught our train back to Amiens and made it home and oh, how nice it was to be home last night.  I can't wait to see the members tonight at FHE.

Elder Barber is doing great too.  He said the funeral went great and he knew that was where he needed to be.  So even though our week went differently than we planned it was still a great week and brought us closer to the Lord.  Sometimes life takes unexpected turns but whether from plan A to B or even to Plan Z, remember it is up to you to decide what to make of it.  I saw Elder Barber make the best of this week and he was a great example to me.

I hope you all have a great week.  Our week will be busy with transfers, mission council, and branch conference so I'm sure it will fly by.  I love all of you so much and hope that you know that!  Till next week...

Elder Player

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