Monday, July 28, 2014

Food, Teaching, Rain, Teaching, Golf, and Teaching

Once again, kind of short on time. The schedule so far with Elder Lloyd is pretty fast paced. But I like it, we have lots of fun and do some good work. :)

Since I last wrote, we got rained on really hard, went golfing, ate with some members, spoke a lot of French, Elder Lloyd got pooped on by a seagull, I spent a long time looking for shoes and not buying any, and somewhere in between all of that we taught a few people. ;) Okay, okay, we were pretty much focused on the teaching part. :)

Tuesday was a pretty full day between our lesson with Thierry at the church, meeting up with and going to pass by some old amis with Frère Moulis, and our Soirée Familiale at the church. Nothing super exciting, but it's always a spiritual experience working with Frère Moulis.

Wednesday started off with our usual morning run and studies and then District Meeting! Always a fun time, a good to just see and talk to other missionaries. We started our exchange with the Elders of Brest right after, and I was with Elder Karl this time. Just like last time, it was a pretty unique exchange. That guy just attracts weird stuff, I swear. :) I won't go into too many of the details, but it was just a really fun time, and we were able to find someone on the street to teach, who actually called us over to talk!

Caught in a Heavy Rain Without an Umbrella
Thursday we finished up the exchange and ended up going on the continual hunt for old amis and getting caught in a nice big storm. We got soaked through in about 5 minutes, mais ce n'était pas grave (but it did not matter), it was super hot that day anyway. :) It was getting up to about 95° this week, with the usual 90% humidity going on. PRETTY hot...

Friday we ended up having a rendez-vous where we helped a family kind of rearrange some furniture and then taught their daughter (who's not baptized) the guitar a little bit (Elder Lloyd plays really well) and gave her a little spiritual thought too. We feel like there's a lot of potential with her. Then after that we had another meeting with Frère Moulis where we went and taught Chantal, which went really well. He definitely can teach pretty well, Frère Moulis. After we finished up our visit, he invited us over for dinner (which his wife didn't expect, but she was really cool about it). They have a little girl living there, their niece, who is fluent in English and French at age 10. So crazy! Talking to her was super weird. And kind of makes one jealous...

Saturday, we visited the Brazilian family again and the mom gave us pedicures. Yep.

Sunday was a really good day at church, but really long and complicated to explain and I don't have that much time. The highlight for me was after church when this 91 year old sister in our ward from Boulogne-sur-Mer (yep, like the one I went to when I was living in Calais) showed me a letter written to her by Peggy Smith, a descendant of Hyrum Smith! That was super cool, and spiritual to read. After all the craziness of church finished up (it's hard to explain how crazy church is as a missionary), we ended up heading out to visit Sabrina for a little bit, and her son who hasn't been baptized. We're definitely gonna be working more there. :)

Golfing in France
Today we were invited to go to the driving range with Frère Moulis, and he took us out to KFC after (which I like better here in France, surprisingly enough). Super fun but, Dad, we've gotta go to the driving range when I get back because I'm TERRIBLE. Putting though, Mom, all those years of mini-golf paid off. :) Anyway, I probably need to get going...

Thanks for the support guys and all the love from home!

Elder Bigler

All in all, crazy week, but becoming kind of a normal one with Elder Lloyd. :) We sweated a ton this week, and are probably going to sweat some more this one. 

More Rain and Golf

Elder Lloyd Trying to Escape from the Rain

Adam Lining Up the Putt

Monday, July 21, 2014

"It was just a super awesome day"

Adam Relaxing by the Waters of Lorient

So, here I am, back again, typing up another summary of my week. Sometimes it feels like the weeks are just dreams and that I really come here everyday to type them up. It all happens so fast!

Well, I got you guys up to the point of Wednesday, so I'll start on Thursday, which was super awesome! We had decided to do some "passbacks" as we call them and go visit some old amis who we thought had a lot of potential. We started out here in Lorient, with a woman named Suzanne, who is actually a member, but kind of trying to be Catholic at the same time. It's a tricky situation. We went to her family's apartment, not knowing if they'd be there or not, but they were! She opened the door and immediately invited us in, offering us a glass of water (it was a REALLY hot day). Right after she said "Actually, we're about to eat lunch, do you want to eat with us?" to which we replied YES. Her whole family, her, her husband, her two daughters, and her sister, joined us and just kept giving us more and more food. Eventually, we finished, and she asked us if we wanted to share a scripture. We had a prayer and started sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon and Bible. After a couple minutes she told us that she wanted her sister (who had left the room) to join us. We then started teaching her, who had never met with the missionaries before. Super cool little experience for us, and we're going to keep teaching her little by little too. After that, we went to another old ami's house and she was busy, but gave us water anyway. Then we went to ANOTHER old ami's house and she let us in too! It was just a super awesome day. By the time all that ended, it was pretty much the end of the day, and we hadn't even been back to the apartment once. Whew.

Friday, kind of the same thing, but with less heat and less people letting us in. Still a really good, hard work filled day. And we spoke French together pretty much all day, Elder Lloyd and I.

Saturday we went back to one of the amis that we visited on Thursday, Chantal, and had a nice long talk with her about baptism and why she hadn't been baptised yet. We even asked her to be baptized right then, but she didn't quite feel ready. We'll keep trying though. :)
The Canal in Lorient

Sunday was, obviously, church. I had been asked to give a talk two weeks in advance, but I kind of forgot about it and ended up trying to prepare it the night before (some things never change huh?). That didn't really work out, so I wrote down some notes in about a half hour right before church. And, thanks to the blessings of being a missionary and the gift of tongues, I was able to give a ten minute talk! It was really cool for me, mostly just cause that's something that I wouldn't have been able to do before my mission, even in English. I helped me to see how much I've grown, something I don't really notice very often. After all of that, we finished up the day with some basic contacting and porting.

Kind of a basic week overall, and a pretty busy one too! Tons of fun with Elder Lloyd, and lots of hard work. We've been waking up everyday and going running, eating a well balanced diet, and just living it up while still being obedient missionaries. It's the life. :)

Have a good week everyone! Try to learn some cool chinese stuff while you have the chance!

Elder Bigler
The Sunset View from the Apartment

Frenchism: When you're in a place such as a doctor's office waiting room, it's common courtesy to greet and say goodbye to everyone who comes in or leaves.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday is Monday This Week

Elder Bigler and Elder Lloyd
Hey family!

So, first things first, sorry that it's got a little crazy on Monday, and we were in Rennes and then Brest yesterday. So, I'm gonna have to keep this one pretty short.

The reason I wasn't able to email on Monday was because some members invited us on a hike which ended up taking much longer than we had anticipated. It was super fun though! That's where a lot of the pictures this week came from.

Beyond that, we had a pretty crazy week, but a pretty fun one too. :) Elder Lloyd, my new collègue, is from the East Coast, kind of just all over. As you can see from the photos, yep, he's black. And just tons of fun! He likes talking to people like no one I've ever met before, and we just have gotten along really well right from the start. We had a really good week of work, finding and teaching. He has his own unique way of doing things, but it works for him and I'm going to learn a lot with him. He gets along really well with people, specifically the members, and we've already been setting new things up with them.

Adam, Elder Lloyd, and the Brest Elders including
AF High Elder Stucki
Just to quickly share a story, our fist night together we were out contacting and hadn't had much success. We thought it would be a good idea to say a prayer. We saw a bench a little ways off and thought we'd sit there to say it, when a woman came walking towards us from the other direction. We said "well...we should probably talk to her and then pray." So, we did. But, sometimes, maybe the fact that we're willing to pray for God's help brings blessings. Because, this woman, named Anne, ended up sitting down with us on that bench and telling us all about how she had been to our church before and how she loved the "spirit" she felt there (interesting choice of words Anne... :) ). We taught her a little about the Plan of Salvation and left her with a prayer. Like I said, sometimes our heart just has to be in the right place for God to bless us. :)

The photo of us four missionaries is us with the Brest Elders earlier today. Elder Stucki, the one in the middle, is our new district leader and from dear ol' AF high! We even were in the same French class way back then. :) We had some good times talking about American Fork.

Well, I'd better get going. Sorry it's so short this week, I'll get some good stuff next time. :)

Love you all!

Additional Photos of Lorient and Hiking

Hiking Scenery

Adam Found a Store for His Mom
"I Am a Princess!"

A MINI Cooper and a Mini MINI Cooper
with Elder Lloyd

Fishing Prohibited
Do you think the bird can read?

Monday, July 7, 2014

New Mission President and Transfer Changes Again


Another good week here in Lorient! Pretty busy, a little rainy, and, as we just learned, the last one with Elder Humphrey.

P-day finished up in the usual way, although this time we got stuck at the church trying to figure out the new and glitchy referral system...kind of a pain, but it'll be useful someday...

Tuesday and Wednesday kind of happened really fast and blurred together. The usual lesson with Thierry, the ward Soirée Familiale, and a couple hours wandering through a forest path trying to find one of our referrals made up our Tuesday. Wednesday was pretty chill until the evening. We had a lesson with our Malagash amis again, finally, and it went well, nothing too special. At the end, we offered to give a blessing to Victor (who had surgery a week or so before) and it was really cool. Right after the blessing, Victor mostly just looked tired (but appreciative) but Estelline looked truly touched. In one of those really tender but really awkward moments right as we were leaving, she bise'd both of us and started trying to give us money. We aren't allowed to accept money from people, nor do we want to. But when she looked at us and said "no, I want you to, this is from my heart" well, we just didn't know what to say. She gave us the money and sent us off. Don't worry, we're gonna do something good with it, we haven't quite decided yet. Such a sweet, sweet lady who really reminds me of Nana (Grandma Craynor). And a really sweet moment with her. On the way home (we decided to walk), we actually came across her daughter and talked for a few minutes, found a couple young people who talked to us, and a guy across the street complimented me on my tie and said he had the same one. A pretty good little series of events to end the night on. :)

Thursday was our big day back out in Angers with Président et Sœur Babin!

First Zone Conference with New President and Sister Babin - Can you find Adam?

First thing he did when speaking to us was ask if we were hot and have us all (Elders at least) take our suit jackets off. That was a good way to start things off. :) He speaks really good English, having served a mission in Utah and everything, and being a businessman. The only rule he changed (so far) was that lapel pins aren't allowed anymore, but that's not really anything big. I watched him as he was putting his plaque back onto his suit jacket afterwards and couldn't help but smile as it took him five or so tries to do it. :) One of those things that comes with time I guess. But, he's definitely ready to be our mission president. He'll do really good things for us.  
That evening we went to visit the family Habrant, which was lots of fun. Their daughter is less active, and we got to talk with her a lot. She's really making efforts to come back to church with the sœurs. She speaks English too, which made it that much easier to talk.

Friday and Saturday were pretty stormy, and I seem to have left my umbrella in Calais, so with weekly planning and everything, we decided to take some time to work out of the area book and call a ton of people and just organize it a little bit. We have records of people the missionaries used to see that go all the way back to 2004. That's a long time. So we're trying to work on cleaning that up a little bit. I also got my package from Grandma that day (it took it 8 days to get to me) and ate about half of the tootsie rolls she put in there, which was a lot. :) Still no sign of the package you guys sent though, it probably just fell out of the plane on the way here. :) 

Sunday was relatively normal except that the Habrants invited us over to eat with them again after church! I guess they really liked us on Thursday. :) They said that they felt bad that the Elders just had to go back to their apartment and eat alone on Sunday when Sunday is supposed to be a day where we can be with our families. They're so nice. :) They made waffles for lunch and we had a really good time with them. We finished up the evening by walking back out to pass by Michelle, the lady who's father had just died, and ended up finding Michel (a man) along the way there and teaching him on a bench for a little! He seems pretty open, but he actually lives in Paris, so we'll probably be passing him over there. We ended up finding Michelle a little later on and just leaving her our number (cause we totally spaced that last time; missionaries are not perfect) and checking in. She's still open to having us, she was just pretty busy with her kids. 

So, there's the week! Kind of a regular one but still a good one! And like I said, I found out today that Elder Humphrey is leaving, heading to Orléans (the old one, not the new one, if you get my joke.....) and I'll be getting Elder Lloyd, who is literally trading with Elder Humphrey. I've met him before, and he's a super fun, crazy guy, in the best way. I'll let you know more about him next week. Elder Stucki from American Fork is going to be my district leader. And Elder Evans and Elder Alexander are serving together up in Dunkerque! Kind of some crazy stuff, but it'll all be good. :)

So, there you go. :) Have a good week!
Elder Bigler

Frenchism: Parking on the sidewalks is totally legal, as long as at least one wheel is still on the road.

Some Random Photos Sent by Adam

Soaking up the Atmosphere of Lorient

For Behold the Field.......

The Circus is in Town

Canal in Angers (We Think)

Train Station at Le Mans - Home of the 24 Hours Race

When the Bird Hits the Car - End of the Road