|Elder Burgoyne -- the trio|
Arch by Chantilly Stables (Chantilly is a pretty town by the way. It was cool because the castle and park was very big, very very big, you could have walked around forever)
Hey family!! :D love you! How are you guys doing?! How is Hawaii, is
it beautiful? Sunny down there? Did you get any fresh pineapple like
old times, Dad?
Me, I'm doing well. Thought I would just tell you a little bit about
my week, so I'll do that. In a nutshell, we saw Chantilly castle last
Monday; we made brownies and ate with the Joly Sr. Family; Elder
Burgoyne did his tablet safety course; we had our first district
meeting on Wednesday, our district has changed a lot. It was one of
the most inspired district trainings I've had in a long time, it was
really straight-up about what we needed to hear and it was refreshing.
We taught Elizabeth briefly, did less-active finding with the bishop,
then Frere Hitoto with Bishop as well; we taught Karine, a cool older
Catholic couple, the Gambarts; Bro. And Sis. Trouillet, less-actives;
got E. Burgoyne his first kebab (:D it was good); taught Chantal; did
service for Sister Joly Sr. And her mom who is not a member; and we
had church! And Sunday, today, we saw a couple cool miracles in
following the Spirit a little bit, the Lord blessed us with several
more appointments than we had before, people called us back and stuff,
it was cool, and He provided us with a nice experience contacting and
porting a bit. This week, I enjoyed a spirit of a bit more focus on my
mission, and on preparation for our lessons. So it was a good week. :)
By the way, what have you guys done in Hawaii? Did you go to any
amusement parks or to Polynesian Cultural Center? What did you eat?
Who enjoyed what? Tell me all about it! That's such a big vacation,
that's so cool.
Okay, so to back up a little bit, my district changed quite a bit,
these are the guys who left: Elder Kaonohi has been sent to Nantes,
he's training out there in my dream ville; Elder Cisneros is way up
north to Cherbourg; Elder Libby is dead. In Utah. Haha. Speaking of
which, mom, have you met his mom or anything? Seems like you were
going to meet him or his family or something. Haha you don't have to
but that'd be fun, I thought. He's a fun kid, I'm sure his mom is too.
Anyways, now it's me and Elder Burgoyne in Compiegne, Elder Sutherland
and Elder Asato (new in district, but mentioned him before, he's the
guy who reminds me of Kogan) in Auxerre; Elder Trotter and Elder
Oldham (new to district, district leader) in Troyes. So there you go,
three left, three new guys in. That's a lot of change for just a
little 6-man district! :) haha
We had a fairly intense lesson with Chantal, talking about suffering
in life, trying to make sense of it, and that kind of thing. We were
well prepared compared to other recent times when we've gone over, so
that was good. We wre able to share a couple points, with Francois,
that helped her a little I think. She's learning more patience and
becoming used to the fact that she won't learn everything at once.
She's doing well. :) proud of her.
Elizabeth was really sad when we taught her, she was sitting on a
bench by the train station of Noyon, where she lives. We talked to her
a little bit, just tried to comfort her, and we hope things are going
We talked to the bishop in the car on our little Wednesday Bishop
Adventure Day and he gave us a little tip on building friendships with
members: whenever they give you food in a container to take home,
never return the container empty. Always put a few cookies or brownies
or something back in it. Write them a card, you know. It helps them
know they care. So that's good. We've taken that to heart and we're
putting it into practice. Several lives have already been blessed by
Mom's brownie recipe. :) haha Chantal even said they were really good
and that her old boss really liked them too. That was fun.
You know, we had a couple good finding moments this week. Our district
leader, Elder Oldham (I really like him by the way, he's spot-on) has
been pushing finding new amis. We didn't find any this week, but we
were still able to set appointments for next week with a couple people
we hadn't seen in a while, and we still had some good finding
We even had this crazy contact with this teenager or 20s dude--I swear
this guy was high--and we contact him by the side of a road, by a
pretty big sidewalk for bikes in Compiegne--and right away, he's like,
"Do you have time to talk about our Lord?" And I'm like, "Yeah, for
sure!" Haha. Duh that's what I'm doing. He's like, "Do you know about
our Lord *something something I don't understand* (don't worry not a
swear word) " I'm like, "yeaaahh.. What?" He's like, "oh good, you
mean you've heard about Raptor Jesus who lives in space and who eats
people?" *nodding with his head towards the street. i was just like
,,"what? No." Haha. So he's like, "well, I think you can keep going
then, sirs." I'm like, "Whatever man. You have a good day." Haha. And
then he crosses the street and lets out this "WHOOO!" We're just like,
what the heck just happened. So there you go, you meet some nice funny
crazy people sometimes. One of the biggest skills for missionaries to
have is to take funny or weird stuff and just go with it, laugh at it.
Haha that guy was so weird. Whatever man hahaha
Elder Burgoyne's training is going well. We honestly haven't had much
time for 12 week studies this week because we've often had service or
lessons or other things like that to get to. When you consider that
Sundays, Pdays, and District Meeting days all eliminate the extra
study hours, you don't have many days left over afterwards haha. He
really is so gifted though. He's such a chill guy. Very little
actually bothers him. He doesn't really let my stressful moments get
to him. He's just a good little guy. Sweet heart, good testimony,
always knows what to say. And he's already so good at expressing his
ideas in French. In short, he's a perfect blue for an imperfect
trainer. :D haha. We get along so well, too. It's been such a relief
so see how well we get along. I've tried to just embrace who he is,
just accept him, and we've had fun, you know, we really have! Haha
we've had some fun jokes and stories, talking about what makes an
attractive girl, that kind of stuff. It's just real chill in general.
So I'd say he's adjusting very well. He's already, as a newborn
blue,, more obedient than me, has his head on straight, knows it's
important to teach, and work, but knows he still needs to be a
person, so he's just about perfect for me. Has got it all figured out
haha. I just need to step back so he can participate more in
lessons and finding activities because he's always got good things to
Anyways, that''s pretty much our week in a nut-shell. I've also been
reading out loud Spanish and French a little bit. That's kind of
Also in church today, me, Elder Burgoyne, and Frere Joly Sr. Like
carried everybody. The whole bishopric was gone on vacation, so Frere
Joly conducted the entire three hours as the senior high priest, I
played piano for sacrament and Sunday School, Elder Burgoyne SPOKE in
sacrament meeting (yes, only has been 10 days since he got here haha
he did a heck of a job), I gave the whole freaking lesson in the third
hour. It was just comical. We did like everything.
Don't love the French vacation attitude, like, "I''m leaving for three
weeks and won't work and won't be at church. Sorry bye." Haha just
not cool. Whatever. People are still great I just don't like their
vacation philosophy here..
Okay that's about all. Love you guys! Hope you''re doing well!!!
Talk to ya soon.
P.S... Mom, today, a cool little thought came to me today during
sacrament meeting. I wrote it down because I thought it was sacred. It
was, if I want to be a good, sweet husband to my sweet future wife, I
should treat my mother like a queen too. So that was a sweet thought
to have. Love you mom.
Love you too dad.
I don't want to die with my music still in me. So I'm going to finish
strong, I'll keep working hard. It wouldn't mean the same to me if I
Got to see a cool miracle today: going door to door, we rang the
doorbell of one house, a little girl and little boy answered, both
cute, maybe 11 and 6, respectively, and we smiled at them, and they
smiled back, and the looked so happy, they looked so happy to see us.
I talked to the mom afterward, she said nicely that they weren't
interested, and it's all right, that was all, we went on our way, a
pretty normal experience to the untrained eye. But that really stuck
out to me. Even as I was smiling and turning away, I noticed that the
daughter or son was still smiling and looking happily at me, and I
think they had maybe felt the spirit we had, or the happiness we had.
And I hoped it left an impression on them. Sometimes we don't know how
far it goes, you know, a little card, a smile to someone in a hard,
grey day, a laugh to brighten someone's morning. The fact we treat
people, in a Christlike manner, is almost as important, if not more
important, than what we actually say or how many lessons or people we
teach. People need to see that, it needs to make an impression on
them. A positive one. They ought to say to themselves, shortly after
talking to us, or even after seeing us, "Wow. I don't know why, but
they just had this angelic countenance. I wonder why they smiled so
well like that, or why they laughed so freely. I wonder what makes
them happy. What am I missing?" Because that's what makes people open
to talking to us after. We were able to kindly guide a guy on his bike
toward the center of town shortly before this. You never know the full
impact a Christlike-lived mission can have on people. I like to think
hundreds or thousands will appreciate, without words but in their
minds, the works and smiles and words we've said, in our two short
little years, that we will never know or appreciate or even remember
in our mortal lives. These are our little personal ministries, like
Christ had His, only we are just following Him. But still, this is our
time to really minister to the people and give our best to them. Even
if they often reject us, we still love them anyway. That's the
attitude we ought to have.
There you go. Love you guys. Some thoughts for the week. Bye!
Thanks so much for your emails, loved them!
So this week, we were able to enjoy a lot of member meal appointments with Elder Libby's depart. We ate at probably another two or three members' houses just to tell him goodbye. Then, with the arrival of Elder Burgoyne, we had a ward mission leader meeting Wednesday, then dinner with the bishop and his family that night. We then taught Karine the next day. We did some weekly planning. And saturday and Sunday we worked like fools. :D it was awesome. We've talked to so many people in the last few days I don't even know if I could remember them all. But it's been great. We've had a couple cool miracles and honestly, like Elder Burgoyne pointed out, people have actually been nice or at least decently polite for the most part with him around. Made me appreciate people more, count my blessings. And today we were able to see Chantilly Castle, a pretty well-known and fancy castle, really more like a palace, 45 minutes southeast of Compiegne. And that's our week.
When we taught Karine, we went away really feeling happy about it. Normally, I go out of those rendez-vous feeling pretty meh, you know, feeling like I could have been more bold, or wishing she would be more willing, but that time went well. We were able to establish something important: her biggest obstacle in reading the Book of Mormon is simply desire. She doesn't like to read normally, and she has even less motivation to read this because it's hard, old language and stuff. So that was great. We decided we would take several rendez-vous in the future to read the Book of Mormon with her. We're going to call her sometimes and read over the phone with her. We're really hoping this added exposure to the book will help her feel the Spirit and accept the truths we're teaching her. She is a really nice person. It was good to just kind of relax a little bit more wth her this time, kind of laugh a bit more, and see how that helped her be more relaxed as well. I guess sometimes I can be too stressed or robotic.
Yesterday, at church, an old missionary came! His name was Elder Tarbet. He just finished his mission last Thursday, and he and his parents were doing a little tour of France. They made a rule to eat three pastries a day haha. It was fun to see him, since I'd kind of known him a little bit, and since his last comopanion was my MTC comp, Elder Johnson. Members made a lunch to welcome them all, and invited us, so we got to eat a nice lunch. It was fun.
Today, we saw the castle, it was super cool!!! You would have loved it, Mom, Dad, Malia, Grace, Hyrum, Gabe! It was awesome. So historical. This one was very lavishly decorated, it wasn't just empty, you konw, they still had lots of furniture and most of all, a bunch of PAINTINGS. Holy cow those were everywhere!!! Okay I am sending you a few picutres. I bought a couple souvenirs for you guys for when I get back.
Also--you guys asked about my blue, how he's doing! Well--he's doing pretty great i think! I have definitely been impressed with how well he held up with the hours of walking around and contacting the last couple days. He has a very obedient outlook, which I like. Haha I've noticed I've become less straight-laced over the months of my mission, since Nantes. Which I needed. But it's good to have a good, obedient comp who's starting out. He's a good influence for sure. He's also very patient and takes things as they come. I can kind of tend to get firey and angry inside when people are rude with us, it's good to have someone who's just really nice and chill.
Okay that's enough about me! Loved your guys' updates. Happy your week wasn't as crazy as you thought, Dad! THanks for your compliments, I appreciate it a lot. That's really nice of you to say, Dad, thanks! :) happy to hear all is well in the ward over there. So weird that Jasmine is back. Sounds good! I'm happy to tell you lots of stories. I bought you a little fleur-de-lis tie today at the castle, it's pretty classy-looking and it just had your style so I hope you like it. :) love ya dad! Hope you're having a great flight right now, or I assume that's where you are.
Hey Mom! Love ya! :D don't say sorry, go enjoy yourselves. Haha I'm bummed sure but you don't need to say sorry, it's a great fun little trip go have fun. Wow that sounds pretty brutal, broken A/C! You guys must be on the plane right now. Hey, you were at Mom's Retreat--Cedar Jones wrote me about that and said she was there, she said she helps with her mom's class and that this year she was a participant, did you see her there by chance?
Holy cow, you are SO busy!! I can't believe how busy you are! Haha I'm coming home pretty soon, are you going to have time for me?! I mean your classes are great and all but please don't miss coming to the airport because you're teaching something! I mean I know you'll be there, that's not what I mean, but I hope we'll have time to hang out still! I'm happy for ya though that you've had so much business and success in teaching. Sounds great, sounds like you helped lots of people and enjoyed it. You know what, yeah, Elder Burgoyne is a good kid, really like him, he's got a good sense of humor and he's a good-hearted kid. One thing I've been kind of struggling with is that he doesn't talk too much unless I try and get some talk out of him, but then again, I'm sure I'll fix that in no time, I think he'll understand before too long it's better to talk than not to. :) And it'snot that he doesn't talk. We're just working on it. But we've had some good, funny conversations already. :) it's been fun.
You know, I have no idea about Stephane's son. Thank you for thinking about him. But we've tried many times and without success to get in touch with him since the last call with Elder LIbby a week and a half ago, and to no avail. He hasn't picked up since that call. So..I hope things are okay. Thanks for fasting for him! Keep praying for him, he needs it.
Sure, maybe a shell or two or some shirt or Hawaiian music? Haha I don't know take your pick. I'm easy I'll take anything.
Okay I'll see what I can do to get you a little Eiffel tower. I've noticed, looking at pictures, how the piano is all decorated, haha that's kiind of fun! :) love you guys.
Hey, Mom, I don't really know how to say this, but this last week, I felt bad for how I've kind of put you at a distance, and I think it's time to make amends. I don't want anything bitter between you and me when I get back, and I'd be foolish to do so, so I hope you can forgive me for anything rude or hurtful that I've said against you. I think it's time to start making amends. :) love you mom. The Lord and the Spirit have kind of been working with me, my comps some too, to kind of come back closer to you. So yeah. I don't know if I've fully voiced all the concerns I've had, but it doesn't matter. You're my mom, I love you, I want to be close to you again, so is that ok with you? I'd really like that. Sorry for all this foolishness and anger. I won't let the bitterness stay. I'm ready to start over.
Love you and hope you have a great week!