Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy 2011 and I'm 20? Weird

Yesterday I had a 1/4 life crisis and a 1/4 mission crisis.(assuming I live to see 80 years). How did I get here? I swear I was watching matlock with mom after kindergarden like yesterday and I remember that I was holding Jens when he was like an hour old like yesterday. It has flown by!!! I also feel like I just got to the MTC like yesterday. I don't how it happened but after my crisis I realized that It has been a pretty good 20 years, I broke some bones and crashed a few many times on my longboard but I'm not dead. I'm actually just the opposite, I'm in France and I'm on the Lord's work and there is no other place I would rather be for my 20th birthday. (random side note: my mission president called me to wish me a happy birthday, he asked me how I was feeling as a 20 year old and I told him I felt like I was almost dead and old, he laughed and reassured me that I was only beginning a great year in the south of France, I like him)
This week was a little less than awesome with the work because of the Holidays, everybody was busy and not available to be taught so I'm excited to get back into the flow of normal life. We are teaching lessons but we teach alot of Members and Less Actives, I prefer to teach unbabtised people but it is still good. The Branch here has been struggling for a moment, Church used to be packed with about 75-80 people (I know that is only like the primary back in zion, but it's great here) and there is only about 35 people that are at church. There has been some conflicts with the bishop people have been offended and not to help they had some less than awesome missionaries, But none the less the members that we do have a really great! They are strong and they are enduring to the end, I really want to help turn this situation around, I don't know exactly how but I want to do it.
I really feel like I am supposed to be in Périgueux, but I'm still not sure why. I feel like I have some kind of task to do but I haven't found it. President told me "I was suprised when I learned, but the Lord wants you to serve as the senior companion and distrist leader in Périgueux", by the look on my face President knew that I was quite suprised as well and kind of laughed. It was true I really was surprised and I felt super overwelmed, but when I got to Périgueux, I just felt good. I still feel good. I'm just trying to find my mystery task.
Question Time!
How is the District Leader assignment? Great!! I taught my first district meeting and I really felt good about it.
Are you traveling regularly to work with the elders under your direction? Not yet, but this we I will be going to Bergerac
Are you teaching them how to be effective in following the Spirit and allowing the Savior to be in charge of each day? I'm trying my best, the district meeting went well and after I felt edified by the spirit by the things we discussed
Are they diligently preparing themselves as effective tools to be guided each day in building a great work and strong branch among the French people? YES
What about Elder Magnan? He is great and I've already done 2 exchanges with him, It is fun. Just like the only days in Carcassonne.
Is he doing the same for you? Yes, he teaches me something new everytime I see him and work with him
How is it different? we are more of equals, it is no longer trainer and greeny, it is missionary and missionary
How is it the same as before? we still laugh and have all the same jokes, we still wrestle at the end of the night and I still win
Do you get to "do the work" your/His way? OUR WAY
Is your Ami Simon still scheduled for baptism next week? Nope, he is struggling right now to accept the law of chastity
Have you been called upon to do interviews? yes, and It was really cool to decided that someone was ready for baptism, I can now see why the bishop and my leaders do the things they do, I have never had that experience before to be lead by the spirit in that kind of situation, so it was really really kool.
How is your language in those situations? Fine
How is Elder Heywood's language coming? Better
Are you using your French on him to help him along? yep
How far away from Carcasonne is your new location [in Utah terms]? Bear Lake to St. George give or take 50 km
From the internet pictures, the area is quite pretty. not a question but yes.
One picture is of a large cylindrical structure in the center of the city.
Have you seen it? YES
What is it and why is it on the tourist list of interesting sites? A great big beautiful cathedral that I haven't been inside yet

Is your apartment near the river that winds through the city? about 5 minutes

The branch leaders and their families. Do they invite you to their homes? Yes, 4-5 times a week
Are they willing to trust you with their friends and neighbors? not yet
Do neighbors in France interact freely and regularly with each other or do they tend to keep their distance? they are more private
Are there cafes on the downtown streets like we see in the movies featuring Paris? yes, everywhere
Is the food similar to that of Carcasonne? yeah, they eat alot of duck here, I didn't eat duck in Carcassonne
Are the Hamiltons members of your branch? yes
Why are they in France? he teaches english
Where in Utah did they come from? Orem

How about a current list of investigators -- yours and everyone else's in the entire District? Nothing really big and not enough time

How is the weather? Cold in the mornings, do able in the afternoon and cold at night. but our apartment is warm
Your mother sent long johns. YES!!!
I enjoyed the birthday song, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!
Elder Smith

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