Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SURPRISE - E-mail Tuesday! Je rest en Lyon

Alright! Sorry you didn't get this email on Monday but that is because I had to help out in the train station with all of the missionaries traveling to their new areas. My new companion was scheduled to come in at around 9:55 PM but his train was two hours late, so I didn't get to see him until today (Tuesday). But anyway...

I'm staying in Lyon for another transfer! So, I have at least another six weeks in Lyon but I have received a new companion! His name is Elder Dupre. All I know about him is that he is super tall and American. Elder Schneider got transferred back to Switzerland. I am sad to see him go but it will be good for him. It is super weird to change companions but I know good things are going to come to pass! Sorry to build up the suspense! I was only able to do thirty minutes of email yesterday. 

So! This week has been really crazy and really good! 

Généalogie ACTIVITÉ 
This week we had another genealogy activity which wasn't as successful as the first but it was still fun. It was really rainy and cold so the people weren't nearly as nice as usual. We contacted SO many people. Sometimes as people are walking towards you they catch you in sight and quickly change to the other side of the street. Smooth, very smooth. 

After being rejected so hard and nearly getting spit on by a nice man I was having a hard time being positive about the activity. I went up to people expecting to be rejected, which isn't a good thing to do! But as I realized this I really tried to be optimistic. I told myself, the next person I contact is going to say yes, I know it. 

So, I walk up to this guy about my age (I really don’t like to contact teenagers because they are mean) but I did it anyway and when I did I found out that he was from Georgia! He told me that he was in France for studies and that he wasn't overly interested in religion but that he felt like he had been wandering in life. 

I need to stop being surprised that good things happen when I trust the Lord but it still surprises me! Ha ha. I went out of my way to contact someone that I would not normally contact and he just happened to be American and from Georgia of all places. It is a testament to me that the Lord puts us in the right places at the right time. 

Our amis are doing very well. Gwenael comes to almost every single Young Adult activity and has really been integrated into the social aspect of the church. He is on vacation this week BUT he is coming back on Thursday just to have a rendezvous with us, which is pretty darn incredible. He has been prepared. 

We are also teaching Annick and Rachelle who are sisters. They are from Cote d'Ivoire and invited us over to eat with them this week! It will be interesting to see what we are going to eat. I'm thinking they said fish and bananas so nothing as crazy as the African tree maggots. ;) Although, bananas are hard for me. 

It is funny when we teaching them because every single time we have gone over, they have brought at least one more person than the last time. When we taught last we had four to teach. If they invite anymore we won't fit. Ha ha ha. Anyway, there was something really funny that happened when we were teaching them. So, we invited to them to prepare for baptism and Annick (she always has questions and has lots of commentary--which is good) was dominating the conversation and while she was talking Rachelle raised her hand and said "Hellloooo! Excuse me! I've never been baptized!" I laughed so hard.  She was worried that we were going to forget about her and not let her be baptized. Too funny. Such genuine people.

This past week we had a super cool district meeting about how important it is to love. President Roney at the last Zone Conference told us something to the affect of "The Plan of Salvation cannot work without love." And it really is so true. Love is CRUCIAL in the plan of God and in missionary work. 

We discussed how every sin stems from a lack of love one way or another, and how every sin can be prevented by loving more. When we lack love for God, we do things contrary to His will. When we lack love for others, we do things that could harm them or cause them problems. When we lack love for ourselves, we submit ourselves to things that are dangerous to our spiritual health. 

The scriptures actually talk about this and I love sharing scriptures! The scripture says:

"And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity preventeth a multitude of sins."
 1 Peter 4:8

I have seen how important it is to love, as the Savoir did. I can promise that as we love more, we appreciate those around us more, we are happier, and you feel a peace that can only be God sent. 

One way to love people more is to put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand how they see the world and how the Savior sees them. When we can recognize that each person sees the world differently than ourselves, it becomes much easier to love :)

Something extremely ironic about the French language and people is that there is no translation for the word "awkward". I talked to Elder Schneider about this and he told me it was because as a French person "your whole life is awkward."

There are lots of awkward moments, people, situations, and places but there is not a single word the French language that has the same connotation as "awkward" which is almost always perfect to use! 

Anyway! :) That is it for this week! I love you all! Oh, by the way my address is actually

53 Professeur Rochaix
F-69003 Lyon 

I haven't moved but all of my mail goes to the other elders' apartment for some reason. 

ANYWAY! I love you all lots! Sorry to make you think I was transferred! ;) 
Je vous aime!
Avec amour,
Elder Johnson

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