Hello family and friends! I have a lot of thing to tell you! I'll start with the conference in Lyon :)
So! Friday of last week we got on a bus in Toulouse and headed towards Lyon with ALL of the other missionaries in the Toulouse and Montpellier Zones. It was about a six-hour ride. It went by really fast though because we just all talked about funny stories and read scriptures and talks from the Area Seventy that was coming.
We got into Lyon around 7PM and went to the Ecully chapel, and literally the entire mission was there. All 240ish missionaries. It was insane seeing so many missionaries. There were so many that I had never even seen before mostly because I have stayed on the south west side of the mission. But anyway, the office had bought all of the missionaries pizzas. They bought a crazy amount of pizza. There was a mountain of boxes afterwards the size of a car.
The actual conference took place on Saturday. And I was pleasantly surprised at how spiritual it was. I went in with the idea that I was going to just hear about all of the rules and the "nuts and bolts" of having iPads. But it was very uplifting! Elder Nielson (he spoke in this last general conference about his sister) came and showed us the view from "40,000 feet." as he said.
The church is introducing technology with iPads to missionaries for a number of reasons. They see that the work is going to explode because most people know that going from door to door and talking to people on the street is becoming less and less effective. Already one cool point.
The church also wants missionaries to develop good social media habits for when they are home and the way the iPads are formatted, we still have a ton of freedom so we will have to learn how to use them correctly and effectively.
The conference was also super, super cool because I got to see all of my old companions! (All of them that aren't home). It was like a giant family reunion. Every time a bus pulled up to the church it was like Christmas. It was also super weird because the sisters from my group are going home this week and I'm here in Lyon with them all. It is a really weird feeling to see them going home. Frankly, it is hard for me to believe!
When President shook my hand for the conference he said "Good morning Stabby..." And then when he said goodbye, he told me I needed to keep my iPad in my back right pocket... just to be safe. Lol. I just imagine him lying in bed at night thinking about what he could say and then just laughing. He is too funny. I really love him. He only has 8 weeks left on his mission and it makes me super sad to think I'm not going to finish with him. I never imagined my mission president being someone who has influenced me so much.
As for visiting members I got to visit the Famille Bonnamy! It was sick to see them again. I really like them. They had us over for some juice and a tarte citron. We talked for about an hour and a half and just caught up. They asked me how much time I had left and they were shocked that I only had six months. Time passes fast!
Cool tender mercy... We are waiting in the metro station for the next car when I'm looking around and I see this woman that looks super familiar. I keep looking and I realize it is Annick! HA! I run up to her and she is like, “ WHAT?! IT IS YOU! JOHNSON!” hahaha It was so awesome. She was really happy to see me, as I was happy to see her. She is doing better but she hasn't been going to church. Rachelle is still going to church though, which is awesome. After seeing her, I felt overwhelmed with how much God loves us and gives us little experiences like that. What are the chances of visiting a city of two and half million people for a couple of days and I am going to come across someone that I know? God is so awesome :)
In the end we didn't even get iPads yet! The mission has received the cases but not the iPads. President has named the conference we had,”The iPad Case Conference.” lol. I imagine in the next month we will have them. It will be weird but after being at that conference, I see how much it can advance the work. I'm very excited.
So... I'm actually still in Lyon right now.... because I'm training AGAIN! I guess I messed up so terribly they decided to give me a second chance. I'm excited and nervous to train again. I'm sure it will be a great learning experience. I'll be here in Lyon until Wednesday if all goes as planned. I am pretty sad to see Elder Ottesen leave Albi, he has been a great companion. But we will see each other at BYU. Anyway!
|Saying goodbye to Elder Ottesen|
That is about it for this week. I love you all so much. Every time I think about you all, I just work harder. Thank you for your support and above all, your prayers (especially because the bleu will be the one driving the car).
Je vous aime tous!