Okay, so this week was basically crazy town. To start it off, last Friday, at about 6:00pm we received a call from Président Roney saying that Soeur Lewis would be leaving for Scotland at 5:00am the next morning. LIKE WHAT???? So, we cancelled our appointments, ran home, and freaked out a lot and packed a little and then freaked out some more. The next morning, the office Elders came and picked her up at five in the morning, and she was gone. I feel like this is mission life. Things just happen. Really fast. And then you look back and you’re like, “What just happened?” So. It’s just Soeur Stevens and I now! But we’re still happy. We like each other. Don’t worry.
The next day, we had TWO mangez-vous (eating appointments), one for lunch with the Pascauds (an older couple in the ward) and one for dinner with a recent convert named Nicole. This is weird. This never happens. We’re lucky to be fed once every other week, so the fact that we had two on the same day was strange. French people like to make you eat A LOT. And just when you think you’re done, the next course comes out. There’s the salad, the tomatoes and mozerella, the main course, the fruit, the yogurt, and the dessert. With bread in between each. So you just walk out of these meals and you can practically roll yourself home. AND WE HAD TWO IN ONE DAY. This sounds really bratty. We were, of course, so happy to have two mangez vous, and so happy to have had the chance to spend the time with some really cool people, but we were so full, we thought we were going to throw up if we had to eat more.
The next day, we had ANOTHER MANGEZ VOUS with a lady in the ward who is technically less active, because she can’t come to church because she just had a surgery. The food was, of course amazing. And we were still SO FULL. We had our second English class that night, and we learned the verb “avoir” to have, and words about the family. (i.e. “I have sisters”)
Thursday, we had a district meeting AND François’ baptismal interview. François was SO nervous. We told him it was nothing to be nervous about, but he was like TOTALLY frantic. LOL. But, of course it went well and we were able to get the baptismal recommendation forms filled out.
Thursday night, Soeur Stevens and I took an hour and a half train ride north of Lyon to a small ville called Chalon-sur-Saône for exchanges. We spent the night there, and Friday morning, Soeur Stevens and one of the Chalon soeurs went to Lyon, and I stayed with Soeur Packard in Chalon for the day. It’s the cutest little classical French town. The day I was there, there was a huge marché (market) in the town square. TONS of fresh fruit and veggies. It was so fun! Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to do much work, because we had to catch a train back to Lyon at 5:00pm. The exchange was nice, but I was glad to be back home in Lyon with Soeur Stevens. You know I struggle when I get out of my routine. BUT DON’T WORRY. Right when I got home, Soeur Stevens and I headed over the the Anderson’s (the American family) for dinner and we had pizza truck pizza. So basically, all in my life was made right.
Saturday, we saw a few of our amis. First we saw Georgette and her fiancé Phillipe Baptiste. We showed them the short Joseph Smith movie and they were SO touched. Georgette started to cry and she said that she was really committed to the church and wanted to get baptized. She is currently praying about October 13th as her day:) We also saw Ernest, who is progressing fairly well. He comes to church every week, but we still are working on him reading the Book of Mormon.
We saw Joy, our favorite less active, and are working with her a lot. She’s the greatest! We also saw Jean and Michel, these two friends, and their lesson was crazy town. It ended with the two of them getting in a screaming fight with Michel’s wife about who Mormon was. So, we ran away… It was kind of the worst.
Then came Sunday. The day of François’ baptism. We were so happy when we woke up in the morning. We took five hours picking out our clothes and everything because we were so excited. But it all started to go downhill when we missed our bus. There aren’t very many buses on Sundays, so we realized we’d have to walk. Five miles. To church. In the rain. We got to church an hour late, looking like drowned rats. It was the worst. Then, we walk into the church kitchen to find that NOT ONE PERSON BROUGHT FOOD FOR FRANCOIS’ BAPTISM. This is a big deal, because with every baptism, there is usually a huge buffet afterwards. That’s how the ward shows their support. So, we sent out the normal email the Wednesday before about bringing food, and not one person brought anything. And, of course, we began to TOTALLY FREAK OUT. We knew that François would be so so so disappointed. And we just wanted him to have the best day ever. There was, unfortunately, nothing we could do, because EVERYTHING is closed on Sundays in France, so even if we wanted to break the Sabbath for the good of François’ baptism, we couldn’t have. So we prayed. A LOT. We sat with François and Ernest and Georgette (and another random guy who comes to our English class) during Sacrament Meeting, and we were worrying and freaking out the whole time. Afterwards, we walked back to the kitchen to make a plan, and THERE WAS FOOD EVERYWHERE. Where it all came from, I still have no clue. It was the biggest miracle that ever happened in my whole life. And so, everything was okay. And François was thrilled. The service was beautiful, and tons of people stayed. Soeur Stevens and I sang him his favorite hymn, “Je sais qu’il vit, mon redempteur” (I know that my Reedemer lives). And he was just thrilled with his life. And Soeur Stevens and I were thrilled with our lives. Even though we looked gross in our pictures cause we walked five miles in the rain. Uphill. It was basically the greatest day of my life. François is the greatest.
Pictures are so awkward when your ami is a man and so you have to stand half a foot away from him.
Sometimes we are really thrilled with our lives.
These are my friends now. François and Frère Kodo.
We were so glad the Saint Etienne Soeurs (Soeur Bowman and Soeur Moderzitski) got to come to François’ baptism!!!