Monday, November 24, 2014

week two in France

So this week I got to go on exchanges and we did all sorts of fun stuffs! One of the highlights was Friday! We just got off exchanges and hopped in the millers car (the millers are the lucky adult missionaries that are stuck in our zone :) we drove for 2.5 hours to visit this country side Irish couple that only speak English(thank goodness). They live on the outskirts of French civilization kinda close to the border of Switzerland. We visit this couple once a month and give them a quick little check up! The wife is a member but he is not. He Only reads philosophy and economics books and is just one of the smartest people ever. Note: he ONLY watches rugby. For some reason that's popular here?
The first hour that we spent with them we just listened to the husband talk about different philosophers. It was great! every time he would talk about a new philosopher he would tell us "have you hear of so and so? he really is one of the more popular philosophers on such and such subject". when we finally dove into talking about the gospel we asked some questions like "what do you think the purpose of religion is?" or "where do you think we will go after this life?" and each time he would respond with something like "oh, well so and so philosopher said about this..." and just go off on a crazy, almost too deep philosophical question. After what seemed to be 5 or so of these questions the millers and us sort of gave up. We left him with a short thought about christ and his love for us all and ended with a quick prayer. 
I realized that this poor man was so deeply rooted in the philosophies of men that he couldn't see the joy that came from our message. It honestly broke my heart. 

Saturday. The zone started this thing where once a week a companionship can ask for the whole zone to pray for them about ANYTHING! So we asked the zone, for this last Saturday, to pray that we will have 3 Miracle lessons. A Miracle lesson is a lesson taught on the street to someone or someone's that you just stopped on the street. Up until Saturday I had only been apart of 2 such lessons.

We had a rendez vous with some guy named dave on a street corner at 9:30 in the morning. (usually with me being a new missionary I have extra language study and this thing called 12 weeks, its just extra study for the first 12 weeks of your mission) so we usually can't get out of the apartment until like 1 in the afternoon. But Dave wanted to see us at 9:30. So we wait at this street corner until 10. No dave. So we thought we would talk to people on our way back. The second couple we talked to on our way back just loved hearing us! Infact we gave them the restoration lesson and a BOOK OF MORMON!  That is the best way to start your day! 
Later that day we had an appointment with Deacons, this crazy member in the ward. (he blasted a hole in his Apartment into his storage space to make a "new room". He lives in an apartment complex, He was about 3 inches away from making a new door into his neighbors apartment) Anyways, we got to his place and knocked, nothing. Called him, his phone didn't ring. Sunday we found out he took a surprise trip to the south of Lyon without telling anyone. So we hopped on the bus and headed back to our apartment as I still had Language study to do that day. We got off a stop early however in hopes of talking to a couple people before we got home. 
We were walking through this local park when we hear yelling. We looked over and about 4 skinny French men without shirts were throwing beer at each other. They were pretty far away so we didn't pay them any mind. Until we heard them yelling "MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH! THE CHURCH THE CHURCH THE CHURCH! IT IS THE MORMONS!" I remember looking over Elder Perry's shoulder and seeing this white, drunk out of his mind, Frenchie with a foehawk sprinting at us with his beer bottle. "not again" Elder Perry says we sort of kinda really started running after Elder Perry said that. Off to the side of the park is a garden. It has little hills of flower beds and big trees that make it feel like you are in a movie. It has statues and a cute pond in the middle of it. We ran into the garden and briskly walked over to the far side of it. While catching our breath we see someone summit the top of a small hill. Our drunk friend found us. He stands up and yells "mumble mumble drunk person talk MORMON CHURCH" he leans forward and starts running down this hill towards us. On his third or forth step trips on his own foot and goes face first into a bunch of flowers. He doesn't get up after that! "well, we don't want to go back through the garden, even if our Frenchie Friends are there" Elder Perry says. So we go out the back side of this garden and sitting on the back side of a wood bench are these two Ladies. Probably 20-22 and Elder Perry says "OH! I bet they want to hear about the gospel!"
Elder Perry complimented them on their scarfs and we started talking. long lesson short we gave them the first lesson and they took a book of Mormon! Unfortunately they lived in a different city but hopefully the missionaries in the other city call them and get lessons going! The best part was in the middle of the prayer (yes, we prayed with them) I heard this paper crunching and kinda opened an eye and looked up to see one of the girls rolling a Joint. In my head I heard Ben Clifford saying "really? Really? You chose to do that Now!?" anyways, one more reason to love French people.
After we finished our lesson with the two ladies we took a little back alleyway(it wasn't dark yet, just a path through some apartments that wasnt taken very much) that Perry said he had never been on, about halfway down these two HUGE black guys turn the corner (there aren't alot of black people here but the ones that are here usually play on the city rugby teams). Dripping in gold, piercings, and walking with black man swagger down this path, we get about ten feet away and one of them says "AY its the mormons! Elder Perry, remember me? Its Elvis!" Turns out one of them was an investigator about 2 months ago and Perry taught him and everything, we have no idea what happened to him, he got lost during two transfers ago! We set up a date and plan on meeting him next week!
So we get about ten steps out of the alley way and run into this Islamic fellow and he just LOVED the church! we gave him a lesson and a book of mormon and now we are going to give him another lesson this week! Three Miracle lessons in a day. The power of prayer is SOO COOL! I love the miracles that happen when we all pray together! 
I pray for all of you that are back at home! 
Love Elder Keller

A woman, I think from Church, gave them all of this food.  Grant seemed pretty excited about it.  I had put a package of instant potatoes in the box Troy mailed from Brussels last week.  Grant said he got it and they already ate the potatoes and all the candy with peanut butter in it.

They all think this shirt is funny because biche is deer in French. Below is Grant with Elder Schettler, they went on splits last week together.  Elder Schettler went out 6 weeks before Grant.  Too bad it's so blurry.

This is a Catholic Cathedral in Chalon.  Grant said that there are about 30,000 Catholics in Chalon.  And he sent this picture of Elder Perry with the guitar he bought in France for Morgan.

I'm guessing that this is how missionaries send emoticons...

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