|After Albi District Meeting|
Hello family and friends. This week was really good. Lots of exchanges and interesting things and it cooled off and rained which has been so stinking awesome!
L'échange avec l'équipe chinoise
So, something cool about Toulouse is that it is a university city with tons of students! A lot of these students are from China. So there is an equip of elders that are Chinese speaking, Elder Leon and Elder Zhu. They are in the Albi district so we did exchanges with them and it was so much fun. I've become so much better at racial profiling (especially with Asians).
Our first exchange was on Tuesday. I went to Toulouse with Elder Leon (who is not Chinese nor does he have an Asian ancestors. He is from Canada and he is Columbian). We looked for honest people to contact and they were all super, super nice. There wasn't one that was mean. And almost all of them gave us their numbers. It is interesting to see how the mission in China is closed but you have tons of Chinese here who are interested.
Contacting was really funny because I don't speak any Chinese, aside from hello and thank you. All of he contacts would start in French and then after we affirmed they were indeed Chinese the conversation would bounce in between French, Chinese and English. Most of the time I could tell what was happening or at least very vaguely.
My favorite was when they would ask me a question and I'd just sit there and feel like I was a bleu missionary again. It helped me realize how huge of a miracle it is that I can even speak French.
Our second exchange with them was on Saturday. We blitz Toulouse so both equips stayed. I was with Elder Zhu this time. He is from main land China. He just got into the mission a few weeks ago so he is still really bleu. He is soooo funny. We were walking by some people and I said "bonjour" and no one said it back to me. He looks and me and says,"You're doing it wrong! Watch". Cultural note: French people are very quiet in public. They don't speak loud. If there are any Americans on a bus, you can always hear them before you see them. Anyway back to the story... We are coming up on this super old French woman that would typically never say hi back to you when Elder Zhu jumps almost directly in front of her waving his hand and says pretty loud with his Chinese accent "BONJEW!" She jumps back clutching her chest and then says "bonjour!?!" Hahaha. "That's how you do it Elder Johnson. The Chinese way!" I laughed so hard. It was too funny.
To end the exchange we ate at Hot Pot. Best Chinese food ever. You have two pots of bowling broth in front of you and you order a bunch of raw ingredients and then throw them all in at once and then fish them out with your chopsticks when they are done cooking. It was so good. I ate so much.
Conducting the music...
I feel the need to publicly apologize to my mother for all of the times when she was leading the music and the family would try to get her to laugh... Because once you start laughing up there it is all over. Everyone sees you laughing and you know you shouldn't be laughing so naturally you laugh harder. Then other people see and start laughing.
Well... Julia wasn't at church this week and I had to lead the music again and during one of the songs a certain member starting singing so loud. Like opera loud but really off key. At first I was containing myself but then I looked at the other elders and they were starting to chuckle. I looked away and got myself under control when I look to the row where the member is sitting and the kid next to her is singing but suddenly stops and with a face of disgust and confusion looks over at the member and closes his hymn book. And that was where it all ended. I couldn't control myself. I tried so hard not to laugh but then all of the members started noticing and started to laugh too. Except for the member who is singing super loud because they are very focused. Finally the song finishes and I'm so sweaty from laughing and being embarrassed.
So mom... I understand you a little more now. Hahaha
Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. I love you all. We were on exchanges during my birthday and Elder Leon mentioned that it was my birthday but not before the actual dinner appointment. And then they stinking brought out a cake and candles! I was so sparked. It was super thoughtful of them. I've never been more surprised about my birthday than in that moment.
Miracle de la Semaine
We found a new amie that came to church! Rewind to three months ago. Elder Ottesen contacted a woman named Elisabeth on exchange. She said she was interested visiting the church but every time we invited her she was busy and whatnot when finally we gave up inviting her. Then, this week we invited her and she said she would come... And she did! She has been looking for a church that practices what is being preached. She has been so prepared to meet us. It is awesome. She is super awesome.
After sacrament she started crying and she said she felt really happy but weird. #feelingthespirit. We gave her a blessing and the spirit was so strong. I can't wait to see her this week!
All we have to do is work hard and trust the Lord. He prepares people and sends them our way. I love Him. We just always have to remember that His ways aren't always our ways.
I love you! Que dieu vous bénisse