Monday, July 20, 2015

Fin (The End)

Well, it's finally here. Tomorrow is my last day in Rennes, and then I'll spend a day in Paris, then I'll spend a really long day (32 hours, thanks to the time change) on a plane and with you guys. :)

The difference it makes to shine a shoe
It's been a really good last week here in Rennes. We kind of struggled to find much time to really work, with a bunch of other random things coming up. We visited a lot of members, and had lots of good experiences with them. We worked a lot with them as well, and we able to teach a lot of people in the streets this week thanks to their powerful testimonies. We saw Milan on Saturday, and she STILL hasn't read the Book of Mormon at all. She just seems really stressed with the baby and everything. We're going to be officially passing her to the Soeurs tomorrow, and hopefully that will help her. It was hard at times, physically, and mentally, but in the end, I feel satisfied with this last full week of missionary work. 

I don't really have much to say except that I'm really excited to see you guys! The end of a mission is about as stressful as the beginning. I'm getting a lot of the same nervous type feelings, and a lot of the excited ones as well. It really feels like the mission has become my life, that all of my friends are from here and that all I really know is here, so the idea of going home is a bit scary. I don't know if I remember how to be "normal" anymore. But in some ways, maybe that's good. I think I've changed quite a bit, and it would be a shame to lose the growth that I've made here. Most of my thoughts right now are geared towards setting good goals and setting my standards so that I can maintain the person that I have become on my mission, and continue growing, cause I still have a lot of that left to do. 

My "dying wish", you could say, is that I can maintain the direction I've turned to on my mission, and that I can keep growing and learning for the rest of my life, and that the people I've met here will be changed because of the time that Heavenly Father let me spend here. The French a tough people, that's for sure. But, just like a baguette, they're delightful on the inside. I've grown to love them so much and that love has helped me to do my best for the salvation of these people. I'll always have a part of my heart here in France.

But, I'm coming home to where most of my heart still is, back with my amazing family. I've missed you guys so much, and I can't wait to be in all your arms again. T-minus 75 hours!

Une dernière fois,
(One last time),
Elder Bigler


The Tour de France passed through Rennes

Just missed the racers

The Kugler Family

The Leroy Family
Sister Leroy is the Daughter of the Kugler's
Frere Miranda's Baptism

Missionary Meal - BBQ Chicken
Made by Elder Baldwin

Monday, July 13, 2015

101 Emailations

So, I unfortunately forgot to mention it last week, but it was my 100th P-day, and thus my 100th email home. And even more unfortunately, that horrible title was the best pun I could think of...

We had a really good but crazy week this week!

So, to give a brief summary of the week, we saw Milan (although she still hasn't read out of the Book of Mormon... -_-), rebaptized an excommunicated member, got fruged a whole bunch of times, took Andy in his wheelchair all the way across the city and back in public transportation, met a woman who wants us to cast the devil out of her apartment, learned that my ancestors are actually French, and missed seeing the Tour de France by about 3 minutes.

Any of those stories would probably take up my entire remaining email time to type out. But in another 10 days or so I'll be able to tell you guys all about that. For now, I just want to talk about kind of the same thing that I told Président Babin today. Just how thankful I am for my time here in Rennes.

My whole mission, one of the things that's been the hardest for me, and that I don't really talk about much, is that I've felt like I haven't been living up to the potential that I have as a missionary. I've constantly battled feelings that I'm not working as hard I need to be, or that I'm not being as obedient as I need to be in order to have the spirit with me more strongly. And that's been pretty tough.

But during the last few transfers of mission here in Rennes, I feel like I've broken through that wall. I feel like, thanks to missionaries like Elder Blais, that I've been able to find my potential and reach it. That I've become an effective tool in the Lord's hands and that I now know what I need to do as a missionary. I've been able to see growth within myself, something I hadn't been able to see before. I've become more converted and more confident in myself and my Heavenly Father, and I feel now like am truly magnifying my calling of missionary in the best way that I can. I know how much I've grown, and how much more I can grow. Basically, I feel ready to go home because I know that I'm going the right direction, at the right speed, to continue these best two years of my life and turn them into the best three and four and five and more. I'm just so thankful that I was able to serve around the missionaries that I've met here and that God knew where to put me to help me the most. 

I could go on about all that for a while, but I'm gonna have to go again. As far as next week goes, missionary work goes on as usual, and transfer day is on Wednesday. The only difference is that this time I know where I'm getting transfered, home, but I won't be getting there on Wednesday. I'll be staying in Paris that night and catching my flight out the next morning. So, don't worry, next week will still be a normal P-day, but I think I'll be on a little earlier cause I member is giving us a tour of the cool parts of the city at the end of P-day. 

So, until next week!

Elder Bigler

And this quick email to follow up:

Ahh, sorry I forgot to do pictures! I get them all next week I promise!

But because the Blog needs at least one picture, here is one of my favorites from early in Adam's Mission while in Paris.

Personalized Graffiti

Monday, July 6, 2015

Final Zone Conference - Last Testimony

Well, once again, here I am trying to write you guys a nice letter with only 15 minutes left. No promises that it'll be any good...

We had a pretty good week overall here in Rennes. The French really love talking about weather in the first place, but with the crazy heats waves that were coming through this week, it was a big topic with almost everyone that we talked to. I don't know what 38 degrees celsius really translates to except for HOT, especially when the humidity is mixed in there. But, we made it a pretty great week anyway! (38 Degrees Celsius = 100.4 Fahrenheit.)

Monday evening was cool! Elder Kelley and Elder Faura came into town, staying the night with us for zone conference, and he and I got to do a little exchange. We went and visited Andy, the recent convert.

Adam Bearing His Dying (Final) Testimony
at Zone Conference
Tuesday was probably the day with the most action. With this being my last zone conference, I had to give my "dying testimony". They basically just have each missionary get up who's finishing their mission and give them each a few minutes to talk about what they've learned and give advice to the other missionaries there. I talked a little about obedience and how that's really the key to happiness as a missionary. It's something that I've come to really understand in my time here. Afterwards, we got our iPads! Or, I should say, iPad. Unfortunately, this past Sunday, while everyone was off to church and all that, someone broke into the mission office and stole over 100 iPads. So, currently, there are only about enough within the mission to give 1 to each companionship. So, for now, we're learning a little lesson about sharing. :) But honestly, the iPads haven't really made that much of a difference. With Facebook cancelled for the moment, we don't really do anything differently, expect maybe study a little more in depth or share videos during lessons. Anyway, after we had all the training for that, I got to take that picture with Elders Wickern, Kelley, and Jenness in it, who were all at zone conference. I think that's the highest number of companions that I've had in a photo!

Elders Wickern, Bigler, Jenness, and Kelley
Three of Adam's Companions

Later that evening, we went and taught Milan about eternal families, with Tom, who just got back from his mission a few days before that. It was a super great lesson! She was holding her baby (who, by the way, was born on my birthday!) the whole time, and the Spirit was so powerful as basically three missionaries testified to her about the blessings that she and her son will be able to see as she reads and prays about the Book of Mormon. For right now, she's struggling to find time to read it, but she'll get there eventually.

Anyway, I'm already out of time, so I'm gonna have to go. I'm sorry these letters are so short lately, I'm trying to do better, but I'll be home in just a few weeks and I can tell you all about it! Have a good week and have fun!

Elder Bigler


Selfie with the iPad at the Lake by the Missionary Apartment

Final Zone Conference - Front Row Joe

Final Testimony
Courtesy of the New iPad
(Thanks to Elder Baldwin)

Another iPad Photo of the "Dying" Testimony

This Photo Courtesy of the Mission Facebook Page
France Paris Mission Babin

iPad Panoramic View of the Lake by Adam's Apartment