Monday, March 31, 2014

Vous allez bien?!

Bonjour a tous! This week hasn't been your typical week for a missionary! But it was still awesome! 

Cityscape of Lyon

So! Let's start with some pretty exciting stuff! 

So! Lyon currently has three wards. Villeurbanne, Ecully, and Gerland. Around April 13th the Ecully ward is going to split-which means there will be four wards in Lyon. To make a new ward they are redoing all of the ward boundaries and stuff so we are going to lose some members and gain some members. Anyway, I bring this up because I think that they might not add another equip to Lyon but take a couple from other wards. This is purely speculation but there are already close to 20 missionaries in Lyon--8 in Gerland ward alone. So we shall see what happens!

Vieux Lyon

I'm just super excited to hear that the Ecully ward is going to split. It goes to show how the church is growing in France. Not at a super rapid pace, but we are making some great headway! 

Well I don't know what it was about this week, maybe the weather? But two days in a row we saw someone using the bathroom in public. I was just beginning to think that I couldn't be surprised, as my eyes have beheld some pretty weird things here in the land of Pastries and Cheese. I guess you gotta go when you gotta go. 

So, on Sunday we were supposed to spring our clocks forward and we thought our phone would do it automatically because it was on "daylight savings mode" so we went to bed expecting to wake up an hour earlier than usual. However, we assumed wrong and were about 45 minutes late to church… Fortunately the other 2/3rds of the ward also forgot! Bahaha. We showed up and there was hardly anyone there... so that made us feel better. I think it is funny to see that people are the same everywhere. 

Best dessert ever!

Apparently the word for lightning and a well-known pastry is the same: Éclair. So a member was telling us a story and I feel like I am understanding, but then I hear "Then the plane got hit by an éclair."  Elder Du Pre started laughing because he saw me get confused so he asked, "Was the éclair vanilla or chocolate that hit the plane?" Hahaha... After using some context clues I figured it out... bahaha Silly French language.

This week we did a TON of service. There is a family in our ward right now that is struggling a bit so with the help of another member we rendered service. While the family was out of town we finished painting inside their house and did yard work. To be honest, when we first started I didn't have the best attitude about it. I felt like we weren't doing true missionary work.

But this last Sunday, she got up and bore her testimony with tears of gratitude in her eyes thanking whoever worked on her house. In that moment I was reminded of the fact that I am a repetitive of Jesus Christ and with that calling, I am expected to do the things that He would do if He were here. Yeah, maybe we weren't contacting or teaching lessons but we were lending a hand and I am sure that we did what the Lord would have done. 

Geneva Zone Conference was awesommmmme! We woke up at around 5 so we could make our train and then we were off! We found all of the other missionaries on the train and ate crêpes together. (Our zone leaders are super nice... they made us the crêpes!) After eating crepes and talking for about two hours we arrived and Geneva and went straight to the chapel. 

Soeur Vidal and myself 
(she was in my first district and is going home)

For those of you that don't know... water fountains don't exist in France. I remember the first week I walked into the church and was super thirsty. I searched and found there to be no water fountain in the whole building. I bring this up because there is a water fountain in the Geneva chapel! Fun fact. 

Me, Elder Schneider *(my dad aka trainer) and my brother

After composing myself from my pure shock of seeing a water fountain and drinking from it, we went into the chapel and had the BEST Zone Conference I have ever been to. The spirit was blatantly present. We had a 70 at the conference with us. His name is Elder Lund and he is a great friends with President Roney. 

I probably have never learned so much in such a short time. President Roney gave us a really cool analogy.

Wind is a powerful thing. It can do many good things. You can fly a kite with it, generate power, and sail a boat. It can also do terrible things. It can do things ranging from messing up your hair to destroying homes and lives. 

The interesting thing about wind is that you can only prove its existence by seeing its effects. You can feel it, and see its hand in things both good and bad but you can't visually prove wind without looking at what it can do. 

It is the exact same thing with the gospels. I say gospels because there are two. There is the gospel of God and the gospel of the devil. There is no logical proof as to if the gospel of God is true or if the devil even exists but we can see their influence and existence in the things around us. 

I have seen the good that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings into the lives of others and myself. I am genuinely happy. I am content in the knowledge that Christ lives and will redeem me of my sins as long as I ask Him. Conversely I have seen the effects of living under the gospel of the devil, the absence of lasting happiness and an emptiness in the lives of those people. 

The only way people can come to the knowledge that the gospel is the absolute truth is by living it. 

Our amis are doing very well! Annick is doing all right but she wasn't able to come to church this week so we are a little worried. I think that she will be fine though. She has her big sister who has the Holy Ghost now so things should turn out. :)

We weren't able to teach a ton this week so I don't have a ton to say about our amis other than they are doing alright! We are really starting to find more people to teach! :D Which is always good. 

I have been studying Jesus the Christ, which has to be the most profound book ever written. Talmage was a very inspired man. 

I have found that the more I study the Savior the more I love Him. Each day my love for Him grows. The sacrifice He made for me becomes a little more real, His love and conciseness of me is a little more realized, and His willingness to help me is more understood. 

Jesus is surely the Christ and if we believe in His name, we will be saved when the time comes to meet God. 

That is it for this week! I love y'all bunches! The gospel is SO true. I bear personal witness of its truth. I have seen it change lives. And I promise you all that no matter what your level of faith is, Christ recognizes that and will help you nurture it. 

Je vous aime
Elder Johnson

Elder Zenger and Elder Du Pre

For your amusement, I will list what people think I am here: 
Basically all of south America
Native American
Other Arab places
French decent 

They guess everywhere but were I actually am from!