Monday, October 6, 2014

What can I say about Marseille?

Hello my dear family and friends! This week has been crazy! Full of success and lots of missionary work going on! It is pretty cool. We also got to watch General Conference, which was really cool. I loved it. 

WHAT IS GENERAL CONFERENCE?  Click to find out. 

Listen to the General Conference talks HERE to see what Elder Johnson is talking about. 

Marseille is HUGE. There is always something going on, always noise, always speed, speed  and speed! I am so surprised at the difference of culture and mentality that can be found by taking a train for six hours. Bordeaux was big but it is spread out and the people walk slow and they talk slow. It's nice and calm. Marseille everyone is just going as fast as they can. I feel like in the United States if you go over to the next state it is generally the same or their is more gradual change but here it is just like BAM! haha

The people here seem really unhappy. They are also not as friendly as the Bordelais but there are more of them so we kind of just have to sift through the people (just like in any city) to find the nice people. Marseille has metros too! Just like Lyon! You can get around really fast here despite the size of the city. They are really loud though so it is kind of hard to talk to people on them.  

I haven't really met a ton of people from the ward yet because of General Conference but the members I have met are really cool. I love members. I admire the members in France. They truly are warriors of the truth! 

We have SO MANY AMIS! It is amazing. We taught a ton this week. I will just share the coolest of them. I mean they are all cool but some are super cool.

Hinaiti- She is the girlfriend of a member who was less active. One day she asked Henry (her boyfriend) if she could talk to the missionaries of the church and ever since then she has been taught and he has been reactivated. It is really cool! They are so, so cool. She will get baptized this transfer. The only problem at the moment is that they have to get married before she gets baptized because they are living together. But they are Tahitian so they have to send papers to Tahiti and then wait for them to get back and it is a huge complicated process that is going to take about a month. But as soon as the papers are finished, she will be ready to be baptized! :D So cool.

Samuel-He is Haitian studying here in France. He was almost dropped as an ami a couple of weeks ago but then suddenly he started reading the Book of Mormon and studying and progressing a lot more. I feel like he will be baptized this transfer. He said that he would be baptized before January. He just wants to know the Book of Mormon a little bit better before he makes a decision. Pretty cool! :) 

My companion's name is Elder LaPointe! He is from Las Vegas. He is in his third transfer so he has only been out for about three months. He speaks French like a champ though. I was super impressed. He is a really good missionary. He has a French name because his dad is from Quebec but he didn't know how to speak French when he got here. I guess that it is just in his blood or something. 

I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. It is hard. There are challenges and sometimes there are things that we just don't understand why they happen. But I am so grateful for everything that I have experienced. The good and the bad. 

I more fully understand why we came to earth and why we were willing to accept the hard stuff. We knew that it would allow us to learn, and to grow. Sometimes, I get really frustrated at myself for not being able to progress as quickly as I would like but when we started watching conference this last Saturday, I really just had a moment of reflection of how much I have changed since the beginning on my mission. 

Six months ago I was in Lyon--I stuck my head into the French broadcast and could only pick up a few words. Sitting in the chapel in Marseille, I understood everything that was being said. So yeah, I can speak the language now. I can pick up more than a few words but I have grown spiritually. I compared my notes of this last conference to the one before and I was shocked at how much more focused my notes were for my amis, my mission, and my self improvement that the last time, where I just wrote down general notes. 

I don't say this to brag about myself or to get attention but I wanted to share this because I learned a powerful lesson of being patient and how little we can actually see. We may not see the progress we make from on a day to day basis, but that is no reason to become discouraged or impatient with ourselves. We need to trust the Lord and most importantly, the perfecting power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I love you. I love the Lord. I love His work.
Que Dieu soit avec vous! 

Elder Johnson 

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