Monday, June 16, 2014

It's Great to Be a Missionary!


The Only Bicycle Adam Gets to Sit on During His Mission
Let me just start off by saying that it's great to be a missionary. :) I want everyone back home to be sure that I'm happy out here and love what I'm doing. There's nothing quite as rewarding as simply bringing a smile to someone's face as you talk about eternal families, the blessings that faith has brought them, the wonderful yet often doubted fact that God still speaks to us, or simply joking about your American accent.

I wanted to include my testimony of missionary work in my letter this week. So far, my mission has taught me dedication, hard work, a little about how to speak French, a lot about how to speak by the Spirit, and how to have joy. Happiness, to me, doesn't come from other people, from things, or from money. It's really something that comes from within, from one's relationship with God.

Without getting too rambly here, what I'm really trying to say is, when I go out on the street and talk to people for hours and teach them and laugh with them, I feel happy. And when I go out on the street and try to talk to people and get rejected for hours, I feel happy. Not because I like having people wag their finger in my face, but because I know that I am fulfilling my duty and responsibility to the Lord.

So now for my normal stuff. :) The rest of P-day last week involved one of those "I'm gonna take a 15 minute nap" and waking up three hours later sort of situations. I definitely have not lost my ability to nap. :) But it was okay, we woke up and still had plenty of time to go get our groceries and all that before 6.

Tuesday was district meeting, where we were in charge of the dessert, so I whipped out like 20 crêpes for our district, which all got eaten. :) Afterwards, we were on exchanges with the zone leaders. I was with Elder Turley, from Tremonton, who is a pretty sweet dude. (He plays the saxophone too, so it's kind of a given.) We had a pretty chill day. One of our goals for the exchange was to do 2 acts of service, one of which got fulfilled when we helped a very old lady who we contacted. She was sort of just hanging out next to the buildings we were walking by, clutching a pink alarm clock in her hand. When we contacted her, she would have none of whatever we were trying to tell her, but she trusted us enough to hold out this little alarm clock and tell us to fix it. :) So, we turned the battery for her and it started ticking! 1 act of service down. Later on, we helped a member at the chapel set up chairs for an activity that evening. Simple, simple acts of service, but service none the less. :)

Wednesday evening we were able to go see our Malagasy friends again. We were planning on inviting them to church and re-explaining the Book of Mormon. But, as the mom asked us about baptism, the entire lesson turned into an explanation and invitation to baptism. It got a little bit heated as we got the usual point of "I've already been baptized once, I don't need to be baptized again" but, through the Spirit, we were able to guide the lesson and testify simply and from our hearts. It was a powerful moment for me because, not only was I explaining things that I had never really tried to explain in French before but I was doing it in clear and bold terms. In the end, they didn't quite accept the baptismal date, but the mom said at the end that she knows it's true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. So, we'll see how things go in our lesson with them tonight. :)

Thursday was a classic finding day, and nothing too exciting happened. Friday, about the same, with some weekly planning thrown in there, which we did outside on one of our three balconies.

Saturday was really warm, not quite hot yet, and we had our DMP meeting. In the evening there was a big concert going on at the stadium right by our apartment, The Biggest Rock Group in the World they called it. 1215 musicians making up a giant, and really loud rock band. We walked over to the stadium to check it out (that's pretty much where the whole city was anyway) and that's where that little video came from. It was super cool, from what we could tell, and something that they do every 2 years, so I'll have to come back so I can see it for real. :)

Sunday was pretty relaxed. As I sat myself down for the Sacrament Meeting, I decided to sit by this elderly couple in the back corner. The woman (or do we say wife? It's the same word for the two in French and I've been mixing them up lately) looked kind of familiar. Turned out they were from the ward of Angers (an-jay). I said "Oh, we have a conference there this Thursday!" "Oh, so you'll see my daughter!" "I will..." "Yes, Veronique! Or, Sœur Poznanski." It was Sœur Poznanski's parents! I got to talk to them for a few minutes, you can really see where she learned to be so genuinely nice with people, her parents are great.

Other than that, I got a little quote from church that I kind of liked. It was our DMP, Frère Plante qui l'a dit. "Les hommes, nous nous croyons forts, et c'est là où nous sommes faibles." Ça veut dire, "As men, we think ourselves strong, and it's there that we are weak." It was a nice little concise statement that I liked because well, it's true. :)

Anyway, there's my week in a pretty big nutshell. :)

I hope you guys have another good week this week, enjoying sleeping in before marching band kicks in. It looks like you had a pretty good Father's day Dad. :) I really appreciate all that you've done for me in my life. I realize it more and more as I grow up. Thanks for everything!

And thanks for everything the rest of you guys do. :) It means a lot to read your letters every week and to hear about what's going on at home. Keep having fun!

Elder Bigler

The idea of "air-conditioning" doesn't seem to have quite made it to France, or Europe for that matter. We just get to be hot all summer. :)

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