Monday, March 30, 2015

"It Feels Like Warm Water is Running Into My Heart"

Hey guys!

So, it was a pretty crazy week this week, and one that is going to be a little hard to sum up, but I'll try to give you the highlights. :)

Enjoying the Beach
First off, I was thankfully able to get my BYU schedule more or less crammed together, which was a huge blessing, and honestly, kind of a miracle! I really had no idea what I was doing, but in the end it all worked out super smoothly. So, thanks so much for all the help from your end getting that worked out, especially Dad, I know you did a ton of stuff for it. It's still a little crazy to think that after all this time (it was just over three years ago now that I was denied for the first time) I'll finally be going there this fall. It's a little daunting, but it's still a while away, and a while after the mission even, so I'll worry about it later. 

Tuesday consisted of a lot of calling, since we're trying to contact every one of our old amis and potential amis to see who's still interested. It's kind of slow moving work, but it really helps us get things going. In the afternoon we had a rendezvous with one of the people we had called, the family Kapenda. It was a little tricky to teach much at all with the five little kids running around, but we got by and we have another rendezvous set up for this evening.

Wednesday was District Meeting, and I was in charge of giving the little training that we do, and I was super stressed out about it, mostly cause I was just worried if what I had prepared would take up enough time and be useful to the other missionaries, but in the end it worked out really well. I had the idea to share the story of Joffrey from the Elder Evans days, right out of my journal. That experience really brought the Spirit and really helped it all work out. Later that afternoon, we had an appointment with a woman named Ulika, who was having a hard time understanding why we don't pray to the Virgin Mary, and, honestly, we were having a hard time explaining it. It's tricky when things doctrinal points come down to someone's opinion of how it should be. Hopefully we'll be able to see her again and give a more thorough answer... then that evening we went to the YSA activity for the ward, where they always play ping-pong and make pancakes, which was fun and a good chance to get to know some of the members a little better.

Thursday was super complicated. We had a service project in the morning, about an hour away from where we live, and about 45 minutes there, we learn that it's cancelled. But we're still invited over for lunch, so, we go the 45 minutes back home, study the scriptures for an hour, and then head right back all the way there...but it was a good lunch with Frère Miranda, from Portugal. The tofu was a little interesting, but other than that, it was super good and SUPER filling. I think my stomach has stretched to at least twice its original size on the mission.

Friday was a really simple day overall, with DMP meeting in the evening, which took up a chunck of time, but it was good. Nothing major happened that day.

Saturday was exchanges with Elder Sumsion! That was a super busy day, so I'll just skip to the end to talk about the good stuff. We had a rendezvous, in english, with one of his equipe's amis, named Andy. They've been really working with him to get him to feel the spirit and to get an answer to his prayers, so we had planned on talking about that. But as the lesson started, we both felt like we should talk about the spirit instead. Unfortunately, neither of us had brought any english pamphlets or scriptures or anything (we got a little behind earlier in the day and weren't able to stop back in at the apartment to grab anything). So, Elder Sumsion pulled out his english Preach My Gospel, and we taught right out of that, from the Gift of the Holy Ghost section. It turned out to actually be a very powerful lesson, and we ended up talking about how God can answer prayers and sharing different experiences of how God had answered our prayers. After a particular story that I shared Andy said "It feels like warm water is running into my that what you're talking about?" Oh man, we were so excited! The Spirit was so strong you could almost touch it, and we testified to him about how important that feeling was and how it was something he could have with him always through baptism and confirmation. It was a beautiful, sacred experience that I got to live on our exchange. Afterwards, Andy and actually took us to a chinese buffet and ended up paying for us, to thank us for all that we do for him. He's such a solid guy.

Nothing super major happened Sunday. Just a lot of classic Bretagne rain, and lots and lots of running to buses (they don't come often at all on Sunday, so we couldn't really afford to miss them). I think I ended up doing more physical exercise yesterday than a normal day thanks to all of that. But it had to be done so that we could fit everything in. My French really feels like it's just picked right back up this last week in Rennes. It's like I can kind of feel it all coming back from what I lost in Luxembourg. It's nice to know that it wasn't lost for good. :)

And today we went to the fortress/castle at Saint Malo, which was tons of fun! I'll have to maybe tell all the sotries of today later, because they were pretty good, but I just don't have any more time! I hope you enjoy the pictures though! I got just a little wet taking some of them (my feet are still wet as I type...). Anyway, I hope you guys have a great week and I'll talk to you soon!

Elder Bigler

Photos of Saint Malo

The Long Dry Walk to Saint Malo
Batman Guarding the Fortress of Saint Malo
The Hard Way Into the Castle

Saint Malo Entrance
Scenic Shot of Adam at Saint Malo

Sometime When You Explore
You Get Your Feet Wet
Shout Out to Mom

Scanning the Horizon
Elder Kelley, Elder Sumsion, Elder Blais, and Adam
Not sure of the actual order of appearance.

The Beach Front Fortress Wall
The Only Way Back to Dry Land
Was a Wet Foot Bridge

And it was a wet walk back

Batman and His "Mussels"

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