Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Tuesday June 9, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, I am leaving Vitrolles and going to Mont-de-Marson. It was a very hot transfer here in the south!

I will catch all of you up on my last week of the transfer. 
The location of Mont de Marsan, France

On Monday we had an evening with the  Bishop and his family. We went over the family booklet and we shared stories about our families. They took it very well. We even got a name of a person we could talk to about the booklet. After the lesson we ate with them, and then got a ride home. 

Tuesday: we went to Martigues and went around trying to find less active members of the church. It was very hard to find one of the members because the map was out of date. We ended up walking  on a big road and we contacted a lady and we talked to her about the church. She was familiar with our faith, but she didn't really know that much, so we corrected her on some of her misconceptions. 

After that little lesson, we continued to try and find this less active. We went down a small road and got lost in a lot of apartment buildings. We decided to search another day, because we had to go meet up with our recent convert Julie. 

So we took a bus back to Centreville and met up with Julie. She even brought us water and cookies. They were sorely needed. It was super hot that day. 

After we saw Julie we went to the park to sit down and make a paper for the ward council. While Elder Arts was doing that, I sat next to a man on a bench and started talking to him. He was from Pakistan, and I talked to him in English because he didn't speak French. I told him a little about our message on the family. 

He was Muslim, so it was hard to get him interested in a rendez-vous. But at least he new a little more about the church! After that we caught the bus back to vitrolles. We went to the church to go to the council meeting. Before it started, I was talking to one of the older sister members, and we started talking about my last name. A British man told me that Acheson is a Scottish translation to "Son of the Sword". So when I told her that, the translation was "Fils de L'épée". We had the council, and when we left , the same member said "Thanks for all you do fils de L'épée!"

After we got home, I did potential investigator calls for the first time! Some people were very kind, and others just hung up... Sorry... 

Wednesday: we had district meeting in Marseille. So Elder Arts and I made it to Marseille and waited in the metro for all the other elders to show up. We made a lot of Crepes for the meal after. 

When we started the meeting I was asked to bare my testimony of the Savior. 

I told an analogy that I saw a while ago. I said, " I picture myself walking next to Jesus was on a pathway. The pathway leads to eternal life. But while going along the path, there are side paths that lead away from eternal life. On these side paths you would have distractions and other things that distract you from the end goal. I know that I'm not perfect, and there have been times where I have left the side of the Savior to go down some of these paths. Every time, I reach a point and decide I want to turn back. I get scared to think that Christ has left me and continued farther down the path to eternal life without me. But EVERY SINGLE TIME, I find Jesus Christ standing at the exact same spot where I left him. He always then says to me, "There you are! I have been waiting for you this whole time! Now, are you ready to continue forward?"

I know that Christ loves us, and that he died for all of us. All we have to do is continue down the path with him. When we get side tracked, he will wait for us, and when we repent, we can then move forward again.  This is the unique message of our church. Jesus Christ will never leave our side. 

For the District meeting, we talked about iPads and how to use them.  Then we are the crepes and left for the Gare. I went to Avignon with Elder Lietchy for an exchange. 

We went from Marseille straight to the village of Orange. We went there to go see a family with a less active son. We played Uno and the ate some really good Tuna spread on bread. We then showed a few Bible Videos about Christ. We want to try and build the faith of Christ so the people who are less active will see the importance of coming to church. 

After the dinner, we took a train back to Avignon. We then settled for the night. 

Thursday: we went on another train to a small beautiful ville. We went there to do some service for a less active member. There was a river running through the the whole town. It was very hot, and the water looked very refreshing. There were lots of cool little waterfalls throughout all the ville as well. 
We walked along the river until we got to the members home. They live in a castle like house, it was pretty cool!

We changed out of our church clothes and into our service clothes. We then helped put up a bed. We had to screw it together and try to fix some of the broken pieces.  It made me feel like I was back in my old job before the mission. It took a while. It took the whole afternoon. We all then had to hurry back to the Gare to make the train. Elder Liectchy and I then took another train to Vitrolles to finish the exchange. 

I met up with Elder Arts, and then we made it home and then we got ready for the night. 

Friday: we went running for exercise that morning, and then we started studies. President Roney then called us for the Transfer Calls. He said I was going to Mont-de-Marsan with Elder Fritz. I will be killing him. ( I will be his last companion on the mission). I packed a little bit after that, and then we went to send our reimbursements to the office. The. We went to the church to look up the addresses of less active members. 

The youth came into the church for seminary, and I dropped the sad news to them that I was being transferred.

After we left, I packed a little more and got ready for bed. 

Saturday: we went to Martigues for the last day of work. Before we went, I began my fast. The first Sunday of the new month is called Fast Sunday. You go 2 meals without food or water, and you pray to have special blessings given to you. For example, I fasted so that I could learn French better, and be a better missionary. 

We went to Martigues and walked all over. It was very hot and sweaty. We went to some apartment complexes to try and find less actives. The problem was that all the names in the doors were wrong. So those members must have moved. 

We then searched harder for the less active that we tried to pass last time. We found his apartment, and we were able to go inside and talk with him and his family. We showed the family booklet and talked about it for a bit. We then prayed and tried to catch her bus back to vitrolles.

We missed the bus by s few minutes, so we went to the park to try and find an ami who is always there. We found her and sat next to her. I am trying harder to talk by myself, so Elder Arts sat there quietly. There was a 21 year old guy next to the lady, so I talked to him too. I told him I was 19, and he put out his hand, and we did the "Bro Hand Clasp" that men do. Instant bonding is what you could call it. 

He had to leave after a few minuets of talking.  So I continued to talk to the lady. I asked her if we could come by another day with a member and talk to her more about our message. She said sure! (I think...) 

We had to leave and catch our bus. So we said goodbye, and we walked for the last time, to the bus stop. 

We got home, and then I packed a little more, and we went to bed. 

Sunday: it was my last day at church. I said hello to the members who came in early. Then we had classes. I went with our ami Francesco and Raph. (The Italian speaker) and we taught about the Plan of Salvation. We talked about the things that happen after this life. We talked about how you can live in the presence of our Heavenly Father if you try to do the best you can to be like Jesus Christ.  

It went great. After the lesson, we had Sacrament Meeting. Since it was fast Sunday, people gave their testimonies. I was asked then to give mine. I thanked them all for their work' and their kindness to me. I couldn't really speak... But after church, I took some photos with the members. Then we did Ward choir. It was great . We sang "A child's Prayer". 

We then returned home and I finished packing.

Monday: we went to Marseille, and waited at the gare. I got a bunch of grease all over my shirt! I don't even know how. 

We rode trains all day, and I met up with my new companion Elder Fritz. He is from Ogden,Utah, and he dies at the end of this transfer! 

We got off the train in a little city called Agen, and took a bus to Mont-de-Marsan. 

We got to the apartment. Our apartment is known as a very very nice apartment. I have my own room to change in, and have all my things! There is AC, and we live pretty much in a forest. 

Here in Mond-de-Marsan, it is a lot like Washington State! It is super green and feels great! It can get hot, but who cares. 

I love you all, and look forward to writing you all next week!

I love you all!

Love, Elder Race Acheson

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