Monday, July 27, 2015


The Elders taking a lunch break
Saying goodbye to Elder Fritz
Elder Acheson and new companion Elder Dominic Douglas
Week 6 in Mont De Marsan

This was the last week for this transfer. Elder Fritz is going home, and I will stay here in the Mont and get Elder Douglas.

To start off the week, on Monday we went around the town and went to a mall to go shop for some gifts for Elder Fritz’s family. That was pretty much it for that day...

Tuesday: we went to go see the Ukrainian family to talk to them. We taught them some more French. They are super fun to be with. It's good I think for them to have us come talk and give them spiritual thoughts.
The cute Ukrainian children

After that little lesson, we went to see Marie Claude. We went to a small park to teach her. We sang a song, and we just talked about some things that she learned in her studies. She's really trying to learn more about the gospel. I’m super impressed with her!

After our lesson, Elder Fritz and I went to visit the Longis. We were only able to see the father. He said that he got his son baptized into another church. We know that family likes to have us there and talk with them, but we aren't sure about how serious they are in our church. We plan to still work with them.

Wednesday: Jean Louis picked us up early, and we went and did service for him. We drove in his car, and drove all around his small town dropping off letters to people's mailboxes. There were a lot of small roads in the middle of the forest. So we went off roading a lot to find those houses.

After some time we went to Jean Louis's house to stack wood. We stacked a lot of wood. I'm proud to say though, that my family has more wood than Jean Louis to burn in our fireplace back home in Utah.

Once we finished our work, we ate raclettes. This is SUPER French food. You roast meat on top of a grill, and then you have little trays to melt cheese under the grill. Once the meat is cooked, you take a boiled potato and place the meat on top, and dump the melted cheese on that. It was SO good!

We then taught Jean Louis and Dominique about temples. Then we transitioned into the Word of wisdom. We explained that we aren't supposed to drink alcohol, coffee, smoke, or use things that are addicting. Many people ask the Mormons why we have this "rule". To me, I know that these things are bad, one, because you can get addicted. Two, you waste money. And third, you lose the presence of the Holy Ghost. It's hard for a small voice of guidance to stay with when you are doing things harmful to your body.

Jean Louis and Dominique took the lesson very well. They said they have a small problem with coffee. They said that they will try to stop drinking coffee. I'm very proud of them!

After the lesson, they gave us the leftovers of the meat, and some fresh cucumbers from the garden.

We came home after and studied. Then went to get the Elders from Bayonne from the gare, because we had district meeting the next day.

Thursday: we had district meeting at the church. We talked about things we can do to become better missionaries.

Once we finished, I did a little exchange with Elder Cueva. We walked to centreville, and since we didn't have lunch yet, we got a kebab.

Then we went to see the Ukrainians. They weren't there, so we called and found that they were walking from the supermarket. So we went and met them walking with all their food.

We pushed the strollers filled with food, and talked to the parents. It was good practice for being a dad, pushing a stroller filled with food isn't the easiest thing in the world.

We had to get the visiting elders to the train so we only talked for a few minutes.

We walked to the Gare, and dropped the Elders off. Then Elder Fritz and I took care of some things he needed to do before going back to America.

Friday: we got our transfer calls. I am getting Elder Douglas who's coming from Dijion. That's the highest ville in the mission, and he's coming all the way across the country to little Mont de Marsan!:)

Elder Fritz is going home...

So we packed a lot on Friday. We also taught Marie Claude in the parkagain. We continued to go over things she studied.

We couldn't talk too long, because there was a lot of packing.

After 10:00 there was a lot of lightning, so we sat outside on our balcony watching the storm. We then went to bed at 10:30.

Saturday: we did more packing, and studies. We then went to Marie Claude’s apartment with a member to dedicate it. When you dedicate a home, you bless it to have the spirit, and be a place of safety and peace. It was sweet of Marie Claude to ask the member to dedicate it
for her.

After that, we had to leave. There is a big party where the town shuts
down for a few days next week. (Editor’s note: we think the celebration is for Bastille Day, France’s equivalent of the 4th of July) A pre-celebration market was going on. We had to walk past all the stalls to get across town. This party is
going to be wild, so the city is boarding up all the windows and fencing the sides of bridges for protection.

Elder Fritz and I went and got another kebab and ate it in the park. Then came home and finished packing.

Like the night before, there was lighting, so when he finished packing, we watched it.

Sunday: we had church and we taught the Plan of Salvation to Jean Louis, Dominique, and Marie Claude.

Elder Fritz took pictures with the members to say goodbye. We then hurried to the gare to get on a train to Bordeaux!

We arrived in Bordeaux and then said goodbye. I saw Elder Thompson and
said goodbye to him too!
Elder Acheson with his 2nd companion Elder Thompson

Then I went with the Zone Leaders Elder Huntsman and Kirkpatrick. We went to the church to do numbers, and then came to their apartment.

Monday: so far we went to the Gare to help missionaries get their luggage on the trains. Now we are in Mcdonalds in Bordeaux!

It's been a fast transfer! It's sad to say goodbye to Elder Fritz. He's going home and starting real life! I get to stay and continue the work here with Elder Douglas!

Everyone, I love you, the church is true, this is Christ’s work. I wish you all a good week, and encourage my brother to go on more dates! (Love you Chase!)

Love Elder Acheson!


This week was super busy! It was great to have so many things. I found out that my stake president at my home stake in Provo will be the first Temple President of the New Provo City Center Temple! That is super cool! 
Allen and Nancy Ostergaard
Anyway, our busy week started Tuesday. We did some service for our golden couple’s son. Jean Louis's son is a farmer and needed help at his farm, so Elder Fritz and I went to do some farming! We put soil around plants and were on our knees for a few hours. We then took a lot of hay and spread it around all the plants. That took a few hours.

We then went to Jean Louis house to have lunch with him and Dominique. We taught them about families and talked about the proclamation to the world, the church's view on the family. They were touched, and we asked the couple if they would want to be baptized once they know that is church was true. Jean Louis said he can see himself getting baptized in 10 years, because he says he has a lot of things to fix. We know he will get baptized sooner. Dominique said the same, once she knows, she will. It was a great day for us!

After we were dropped off, we went and talked to Marie Claude. We started to go over the lessons again to fortify her testimony. We sat on the ledge of a wall in a small alley in centreville. 

Then we went and talked with the Ukrainian family. They weren't home, so we walked out to find them. We saw them walking on the street with a lot of bags of food. We rushed to help them.

 Once we got the food inside, We started to teach them some French. Then we went home.

Wednesday: we were super sore from all the gardening the day before! So it was hard to walk! 
We went back to the Ukrainian family to teach them some more French, and we helped them get used to the city. Then we had to go home to change into service clothes. We took a bus to a member’s home to do some more gardening. After that we helped put a wheel on a car, then ate. We did some family history with the husband because he is a missionary for genealogy. Then he drove us home! 

Thursday: we went back to the farm to do service for the son again. We did the same thing for a few hours. We talked to the son about the organization of the church, prophets and the apostles. He seemed interested. He never went to church or had an interest in it, so hopefully we sparked him! After the service the son gave us a bag of vegetables. 

We then had lunch with Jean Louis and Dominique. We talked about prayer, and invited Jean Louis to pray, he said he wasn't ready yet, but after more talking, he prayed. It was a really good first prayer! He was thankful for a lot of things, and he felt touched by the spirit after. I'm really impressed by Jean Louis, he is already in Alma 36. It's his 5th week with the Book of Mormon... Incredible! 

He dropped us off again, and then we went to the Ukrainian family. We gave them the vegetables we got from service because they needed them more than we do. We then went over some colors in French and answered some French questions. The kids started to cry, so we decided to leave, and go home. 

Friday: super cool day! Our branch president picked us up early in the morning, and we drove to get a less active member, and then we went to Pau to meet up with the other missionaries. We all them drove to Lourdes. That is the Catholic center of the world for miracles. Everyone does pilgrimages there to see the cathedral. There are events of miracle healing there, and the water there is said to be holy and healing. 

We drove though and entered the Pyrénées mountains. We drove to a huge house, or to be fancy, château. Our branch president knows the owner, and we got a private tour. We sat on the balcony in the back garden with a fantastic view of the Pyrénées. It felt like being in Sound of Music with the mountains in the background! 

After a breakfast, we walked all around inside and saw all the history behind it. 

The owner of the house has a few other houses in Belgium and the Cote D'Azure. He is the owner of some big stores. It was cool to meet the man!
We all took pictures together, and then left to go farther up the mountains.

We all got out and hiked. We walked across the high mountains and went to a lake. The elders and I then hiked straight up the mountain and went to a higher lake. It was crystal clear, and I wanted to swim so bad, but missionaries aren’t allowed to.

We hiked back down and then we all got in the car and went home! 

Super tired at the end of the day. Sunburnt too! But it was a once in a lifetime experience. Nothing better than hiking near the border of Spain in beautiful mountains after a tour of a mansion. 

Saturday: we took a train to Bordeaux to go to zone conference with President Brown. He is a super spiritual guy. He gave us all hugs, and we listened to him and his wife talk. 

After lunch, we had interviews, and then after that, the Assistants to the president asked us to go out and talk to the first person we saw. So Elder Fritz and I stopped a guy on his phone. We talked about the family booklet. I gave him a Proclamation to the Family, and we got his name and number. We walked past the church and showed it to him. He also lives right next to it! So perfect for the elders that serve there! 

After the conference, we went to HFC (Editor’s note:  HFC is ‘Halal Fried Chicken’ think KFC, only prepared as prescribed by Muslim dietary laws). We got some great chicken wraps. We then waited for the bus. We waited and realized that it wasn't going to pass us. So we walked to a different bus stop. 

We then got to the gare to get our train. But all the trains were late, and our train was canceled. So we had to go to the zone leaders apartment with the Pau elders. 

So we went with Elder Kirkpatrick and Huntsman to Talence. 

We then all slept on the floor because there were so many elders. 

Sunday: we woke up and went to the Lormont Ward for church. Sorry for dropping all these weird names of cities! All these cities are pretty much Bordeaux. 

We had church there, but felt bad about not being in Mont de Marsan.  The Ukrainian family had no one to translate for them, and no one to teach the Amis class. 

After church we went back to the apartment and we ate all the food in the apartment. We had a weird mix of couscous and pasta, with sauce, and it was really weird! 

After we ate, we then took a train back to Mont de Marsan. It feels really good to be back!

This is Elder Fritz’s last week on the mission! Hope he dies in style!:) I love you all! 

I hope my brother finds a fiancé soon! I wish you the best from Mont de Marsan! Have a great week!

Love Elder Acheson

Monday, July 6, 2015


Hello everyone! 

This week was very very hot. Everyday I was soaking in sweat. The hottest it got was 41 degrees Celsius. That's about 105 F. The humidity is very heavy here. My big brother Chase is also home from his mission! It feels weird to be the only Acheson member now on a mission. 

This week I will start off on Tuesday. We had an exchange with the missionaries from the city of Bayonne. I was with Elder Cueva from Spain, and we walked a lot in the hot sun to try and find some new people to teach. It was burning hot, so it was hard to work.
We spent most of the day in the 105F heat. While we were walking, we talked to an atheist on the street. We talked about the family. I testified how I know the family is eternal. It was easy to talk because this guy could speak great English. He was very kind, but wasn't interested to know more.
Notice how sweaty we all are!
We eventually met up with Elder Fritz and the other Bayonne elder to teach Marie Claude. We talked about prayer, and that went great. It was fun for Marie Claude to meet more missionaries. 

After that lesson, Elder Cueva and I walked to the Ukrainian family. We did a small lesson to teach French. We want to help them learn French so they can function here. Elder Cueva speaks like 5 different languages, and knows a little Ukrainian, so it was easy to teach them some French.

We did that for an hour, and then we had to leave for home. 

Wednesday: we said goodbye to the Bayonne elders, and said hello to the Zone Leaders. They were here to interview Marie Claude for the baptism. Before we went to the interview, I went porting with Elder Kirkpatrick. He is a really cool guy! I learned a lot of great things in just an hour of porting with him. 

We then walked to the church and had the interview. She passed! We then walked the Zone Leaders to the Gare. Elder Kirkpatrick and I wanted a drink, so we ran in the hot sun to get enough time to buy a drink. The store we went into didn't have drinks, so we ran for nothing. 

We dropped them off, and then Elder Fritz and I went back to the church to finalize some information. That was about all that day!

Thursday: we had service with Jean Louis, so we woke up and got picked up. We then stacked wood for an hour or two. We helped out some neighbor friends of Jean Louis. We then started to cut some wood. On my 3rd swing of the axe, I broke the handle. So no more cutting wood for the day...

We went inside and had lunch. We ate this weird salty jelly with a hard boiled egg inside. Then we had some cooked deer. It was an interesting meal. 

We didn't get a chance to teach after because we had to hurry home and change to get picked up by the branch president to teach an ami. 

We taught our ami, Gladness, with Frere Moulis. We talked about prayer, reading, and church attendance. All three of those things are important to have the spirit with you. With those three things, you can get so much inspiration from God! 

After we finished, we then walked to Marie Claude's house to get information for her baptism.  

Friday: we had to end studies early so we could walk an hour to a park to teach Florence.  We talked about prayer, church, and scriptures like the day before. She is reading, but doesn't have the desire to come to church yet. She is also busy on Sundays. 

We then had to get some food for the baptism the next day, so we walked to Carrefour. After that we got lunch at McDonald's. We got a Speculoos Mcflurry. It was super good! It is made of the great Speculoos cookies here in France.

After lunch, we came home, and went to a meeting with our DMB, Hoppy (that's his name), and Frere Moulis at the church. We talked about the things for the baptism, and then mission work.

Then we went and taught some French to the Ukrainian family. We taught them some easy stuff they could use to get better at French. They are picking things up quickly! 

Then we went upstairs and taught our friends the Longies. We talked with the dad. We talked about the Book of Mormon, and just answered some questions. It wasn't a long lesson.

Saturday: we went to Pau with Frere Moulis and Marie Claude to her baptism.

The baptism was great! Marie Claude burned some incense in the bathroom so the church smelled funky. But it went great. 

It was great to see her make a convent with God, and see her change! 

We ate food after, and then everybody left.

We slept during the drive back to Mont de Marsan and then get dropped off at home. 
Happy 20th birthday Elder Fritz
Then we studied, and ate some pasta sent from America! It was also Elder Fritz's birthday! July 4th! 

Sunday: church was almost normal! I translated for the Ukrainian kids during primary. That was fun! Then I helped teach how to say church words in French! 

Marie Claude was confirmed a member during church, and then elder Fritz and I bore our testimonies for Fast Sunday. 

We got a ride home, and we studied, and then we went and taught the Longie family again. We talked to the mom who speaks better English, and answered their questions on the Book of Mormon. 

It was a pretty decent Sunday! 

That's about it for the week! We have interviews with our new president, President Brown, this Saturday! We have a busy busy week! Service 3 times, and then a hike with a less active! Should be great! 

I love you all! 

Love Elder Race Acheson