Monday, June 15, 2015

Fake Alcohol and Mixed Emotions

Elder Cameron Johnson and Karine

So! What a week! Things this week in Albi were sick. Elder Steadman and I are having a lot of fun and doing some good work.

We went and saw Eda two times this week. The first time was to have her meet Elder Steadman (whom she calls "Steve" because Steadman is just too hard for her). She fed us a nice simple meal of a salad and some cold cut meats and baguette. She invited us over Wednesday because it was actually the day that marked a year since the death of her husband. She was a little sad but doing very well considering. I talked with her sister on the phone (who is a member in the UK) and she thanked us for taking care of her sister and teaching her. She said that she has been praying for a long time that her sister would join the church. That was cool to hear.

We went back Saturday to do some garden work for Eda because with all of the rain that we have been having her garden was invaded by weeds. We put two good hours of work in and got most of the important stuff weeded. The trick was finding the good plants and not tearing them out. After our work, she tried to pay us again and I told her that she cannot pay us! Ha ha! She said "Fine, I'm going to give it to the church then!" Hahaha!  I told her that would be good :)  She fed us a really good meal.  She even cracked out some foie gras (which is normally eaten at Christmas or really special events). AND some fake alcoholic drink. She said she wanted us to try it because she thought it was good.. It wasn't my favorite but it was different. If anything, if alcoholic drinks taste like what we drank... I'm not missing out on anything. It was just pretty funny though because she was insistent that we try it. And of course we took photos.

The FAKE stuff

Elder Steadman 

Brigitte is doing alright. She is facing so much opposition in her life. She is being faithful though... but my goodness. I have seen the hand and work of God during my mission but conversely I have seen the work of the devil too. He is throwing everything he can at Brigitte right now. Her daughters are doing some pretty stupid stuff and it is really sad.

But Brigitte says it is become more natural for her to pray when bad things happen to her. She is sad and tired of all of the opposition but she has gained a better perspective and she knows that her "afflictions are but a small moment". I'm so thankful she is choosing to trust the Lord and not giving up. Pray for her! She is a trooper.

We went and visited Ambre, a less active with a non-member husband and three adorable kids. She is a HILARIOUS person. She gives all of the missionaries nicknames. Mine is "Elder Mexican" and Elder Steadman's is "Elder Spiderman". I see so much potential in her. She wants to come back to church but there is stuff she has to change that is going to be hard. Her husband is really nice too, and open to listen to the gospel. She loves to make fun of us when we don't understand what she says... but she talks super fast and mumbles on purpose. This week we went over and ate dinner with them. They made some good pizza and salad. Whenever her kids do something annoying or weird she just looks up in the sky and says: "Je voulais un hamster..." I wanted a hamster... hahaha. Goodness. She says she is going to try to come to church this next week. We shall see.

Ambre Children

Tomorrow we are traveling to Bordeaux to say goodbye to President and Sister Roney. It kills me they are leaving. To be honest, I feel like a big part of my mission is dying with them leaving. They are such good people. I never even remotely expected to be so attached to my mission president. I truly love them. I'm so grateful to have had their influence in my life. They have taught me so much! Goodness. So much mushy lovey stuff but seriously! 

But I know that it is what needs to happen. President has been talking about it a lot about how mission presidents are called at specific times for specific reasons. I'm sure I will love the Browns and that they are what the mission needs. But I'm not saying it is going to be easy at first.

This week we had stake conference and their  was a re-transmission in Albi.... I had to set it up and it stinking stressed the crap out of me because I couldn't get it to work and we had like 30 minutes until before it started. I started getting super frustrated and then just said a little prayer in my heart and things got sorted out. Thank goodness. Unfortunately, the cable they sent it wasn't long enough to move the TV anywhere so we had to watch it in the office of the Branch President.  Which is super tiny. Both fortunately and unfortunately, 13 people showed up and we all fit inside.  Four of those people were missionaries  and four others were Anglophone visitors and the other five are one family in the branch. It is pretty funny and small. I think most of the members actually went to Toulouse for the conference. The Bernardis fed everyone after the conference. Very kind of them :)
That is it for this week!  I love you so much!

Stake Conference in the very small office. 

Gros bisous
Elder Johnson

PS- Cool tender mercy! I called a less active that we visit in Castres from time to time and someone else answers the phone, one of her friends. and I recognize her voice and I say... Karine? AND IT WAS HER! She was a recent convert when I served in Bordeaux. I talked to her a lot because she had questions about Africans in the church and the priesthood. It was soooo cool to see her again! Super funny.

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