Monday, March 3, 2014

Across the Sidewalk

You know you're in France when...

Monochrome monochrome monochrome. French people wear lots of grays and blacks, but if they wear color, they go all out. We're talking whole monochrome outfits of purple, orange, blue, pink, you name it. This week I talked to a lady wearing four different shades of plum, saw a girl wearing neon green pants and a light neon green scarf (who knew there were so many types of neon greens), saw another woman all bedecked in beige/brown, and saw our young adult friend in a mint green sweater, olive green teeshirt, and forest green pants. It's classy. Try it.

Another great French ritual is the table clearing. We all sit around the table for dinner and someone brings each person a plate and utensils. We eat (usually the mom serves everyone at the table, and we wait until she has served everyone before we start eating). Then, after, someone (the dad or the teenager) goes from one person to the next, collecting their plates. He scrapes all the remnants of dinner onto one plate, then stacks all the plates, gathers all the silverware, and carries the stack back to the kitchen. This table clearing ritual ("debarassing la table") is fascinating to me. I can't remember what we do in the States, but I'm pretty sure it's not the French way. I like it here.

Stories about people:

Last Pday we went to the park (it's our favorite place). We played frisbee, ate some food, ran around like hooligans, and finished it all off with a jumproping competition. (Soeur Hutchins and I challenged our district to a jumproping competition at the end of the transfer.) So we've been out every morning training for it. And the elders have been like "Meh, we kinda tried. In our apartment. It's hard." We thought we had it in the bag. We jumped pretty decently. Then Elder Schneider and Elder Johnson are like, "Well, I guess we'll try." And then out of nowhere they SCHOOL us. I think Elder Johnson did 13 crossovers in a row without messing up. Apparently they'd been training every single morning. Hahaha, win. WIN. These are things that bring us joy.

While we were in the park we met a really nice Chinese couple. He spoke a little French, she spoke a little English, so we had a very broken conversation. They both said they were feeling a little lost in life and were looking for direction, and hence would like to learn about Jesus Christ. The girl was going back to China the next day (so we got her contact info), but the guy lives in Lyon, so we started meeting with him. He knows nothing about God. We explained who God was (kinda like Alma and Ammon do with the Great Spirit--God is a force, the power behind all things, etc. He could understand that.). He asked, "How can I know God?" (That kind of question more or less knocks a missionary off their chair, it's so beautiful.) He was like, "Wait, God exists? Can I find that out too? How?" He wants to feel closer to God, and we told him we can help him with that. He was like, "How much does it cost?" (Again, we about fell off our chairs with how real his intent was.) We taught him that praying is a way to feel close to God, taught him hox to pray, and invited him to start praying every morning and every night. And then at the end of our little lesson, we asked if it would be alright to finish with a prayer. We kneeled, and I was about to say the prayer, when he said, "Can I do it?" (Again, fall-off-chairs moment, except for we were already kneeling on the floor so...) He prayed. It was the first time he'd ever prayed. He starts, "Uh...Bonsoir Dieu..." We get to see the most pure sincere moments here.

Our next lesson with him, we introduced the Book of Mormon. It's a book of scriptures that helps us get to know God better. He read the title page (in Chinese) and we asked what he'd understood: "God exists. His Son saves us. This book explains that to us so we can believe too." He was so excited to start reading it.

Oh yes, and I got transferred! I've been in Gerland (Lyon) for 5 transfers now and I pretty much knew that I would be leaving after this transfer. Soeur Hutchins and I just laugh way too much to be together for long. We're creating a black hole of joy. :) So the day has finally come for me to leave Gerland. I'm moving (drumroll please) to Ecully! 

(laughing to myself, because this means absolutely nothing to you, but it's actually hilarious.)

Let me explain: Ecully is still Lyon. It's just a different ward. The only one I haven't served in here in Lyon. Sister Luthi and I are going to create a new sister training leader equipe there, so it's a bit more manageable for the sister training leaders. We'll have 7 equipes of sisters in our little group now instead of 11. It's going to make a huge difference. 

So in short, I've packed all my bags, and in approximately 30 minutes I'm going to take them all from my apartment in Gerland, down the metro escalator, take one metro line three stops away, and voila, fifteen minutes later I'm in my new secteur. 

It's essentially like living in Highland and getting transferred to Alpine.

But I love Lyon and I'm excited to change my approach to missionary work a little this next transfer. Last transfer we tried to do a lot of activities. This next transfer I'm going to spend as much time as possible knocking on doors and visiting people who were once taught. I want to be with people more.

I love you all! I'm getting deeper and deeper in this missionary thing. I might not come home. 



                                                                 OUR DISTRICT LOVE


1 comment:

  1. Oh gosh.. the story about the Chinese man wanting to learn more.. Made me cry!! You're doing amazing things! :) Miss you!!