Bonjour everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Pâques (Easter)! This week has been good. It is so different here than from Lyon but I think it will be a good change. I'm supposed to be here. Let's start with the branch here.
So I need to talk about the Branch. I think they could make a movie about it. It's not that they are weird but they are all SO different. It reminds me a TON of Harrison ward. A TON. It is pretty hilarious to be here and to see the similarities. Despite being an ocean away and in a different country, speaking another language, I feel at home. There is a great sense of unity and family here. They LOVE, LOVE, LOVE missionaries here.
Easter Sunday here was wonderful. We had 7 amis at church, which is a crazy high amount. That's a lot for Lyon even. The talks were really good. I love Easter because you really have a moment to reflect on what the Savior has done and what it means that He lives.
Elder Sanchez avec le pigeon pancake - Moi avec le pigeon pancake
So, we currently have two amis! One of our amis is named Zarya. She is 17 and is practically a member. A few transfers ago she was going to get baptized everything was super final. The program was made and she got her parents permission and everything but the night before her mom called the missionaries to tell them that she wanted the decision to be completely Zarya's and not have to sign anything. So we are waiting until she turns 18. Which is in June or July! But she is wonderful. She comes to church, young women’s activities and she even does seminary! She is super ready to be baptized. We just have to wait a little bit.
Our other ami is named Juan Antonio. He is Portuguese so lessons are really hard. He has been taught by the missionaries in two other cities around Bergerac but when he moved they lost contact with him. He doesn't really speak French but luckily Elder Sanchez speaks Spanish and they can understand each other. I just sit there praying that he is feeling the spirit and that Elder Sanchez can understand him. We committed him to baptism and he told us that he wants to get baptized before either of us leave, which means sometime this transfer! :) He is a very genuine and kind man. Sometimes in the lessons I understand like three words and then more often than not I usually don’t.
Something really awesome about Bergeracis that we have bikes! I love biking... even if it is in slacks and a tie. We bike a lot! Everything is pretty spread out here so if we want to see any members or visit any less actives we have a long bike trip ahead of us. The only lame thing about it is that you have to wear helmets. Which makes you stand out even more than you already do. No one wears helmets here... no one. But it's okay. I'm just happy that we have bikes.
With that said, I am going to have some sick calve muscles after the transfer is over ;)
I see a goat.
LES AUTRES CHOSES
So. Bergerac is home to a few characters. My favorite so far is this random man that rides around town on a moped in an all white racing suit. Half of the time he waves and yells nice things at us and the other half he is mean. I could probably feature one character each email...lol. I need to somehow get a picture of him.
I find that people are more willing to be mean here…haha. That might not actually be the case...because in Lyon when someone was mean you can just go to the next person, here you don't have the option.
Apparently President Roney served in Bergerac when he was a missionary... Following in his footsteps ;) haha.
So the language is coming along well. Some days I feel like "Yeah! I can speak French and understand." And then other days I feel like "wow…I don’t know any French and I have no idea what you said." It is really weird. It really depends on the person though. I like speaking to non-native speakers because they talk slow like me.
This week I have really dug into the Book of Mormon. I am almost done with Mosiah. I am always impressed with Abinadi and his fearlessness in sharing the gospel. It gives me courage to talk to people when I think about him. For me, I know that I'm not going to get killed for sharing the gospel, which is a great blessing! To think that people have given there lives to save the souls for eternity is pretty cool.
Side note: When I was in Lyon Elder Hladky shared a spiritual thought on how we should all be like Abinadi and not fear because God protects us. Anyway... after Elder Hladky shared that, Elder Schneider (in French) says "And then he got burned" which pretty much destroyed Elder Hladkys spiritual thought. haha But in all seriousness, God does protect us, and we should be as bold as Abinadi in sharing the gospel. We honestly have nothing to fear compared to him. We aren't in danger of being stoned or burned at the stake. The worst thing that can happen is that someone says no.
That is it for this week! I love you all and hope that everything is going well on the other side of the big pond. Things are well in Bergerac.
Je vous aime
Toi la, je t'aime! - You there, I love you!