Tuesday, September 29, 2015


September 27, 2015

Elder Johnson, Elder Acheson's trainer with a very sick Elder Acheson
Hello friends and family! 

Just to update you all,  since September 12th I have been sick with pneumonia.  I haven't been able to work since then.  I'm grateful for my good companion who helped me when I passed out, collapsed and needed other assistance.  A member took us the ER to get checked out.  I was so dehydrated and nauseous that I needed an IV to get hydrated.  I have been stuck in bed.  I have never been this sick before in my life.  Dear Pres. and Sister Brown, our  mission presidents check on me almost daily. They are great. 

 I am still pretty sick. I have lost about 14 pounds now! I have been in bed all week. The only thing we really did was go up to Bordeaux for zone conference. I got special permission from the mission president to skype my family. So I did that! It was weird to see them because it was a fast decision. But it was great to talk to them and show that I am alive:)

I got a blessing from President Brown, and sister brown gave me a bag filled with little treats and things to help me get better:). They are really great!

I was also able to to say a goodbye to my first trainer, Elder Cameron Johnson, who will be complete his mission at the end of this transfer.

We came home, and then saw the doctor again for a check up. She took one listen of my lungs and said that I was still sick. Yep! Still feel like it!

I don't really know how long until I'm better, but thanks for the prayers on my behalf! I love you all!

Love Elder Acheson

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Elders Acheson and Douglas taken by a former Senior Missionary to Mont de Marsan, Frank Johnston

Hello my friends and family members! I hope you are all doing great!
First I would like to wish a happy birthday to my wonderful dad David
Acheson! His birthday was on the 8th, then again to my fantastic mom
Barbara who's birthday is on the 17th! I love you both!

This week was another good week! On Tuesday we went to Jean Louis's
house to stack some wood! He has a huge amount of wood now to burn
this winter. I love doing service with Jean Louis because he makes it a
point to be tranquil. Things are always tranquil with Jean Louis.
After the wood, we ate at their house as always. For our lesson, we
focused on Dominique and asked her what we can do to help her
progress. She said not much! Just keep working with us!

She is moving at her own pace, and that is how it should be.

Wednesday we did more wood stacking, but for our member Frere Bernier.
He went into the field next to his house and picked up sticks and logs
to burn. It was not too fun because there was stinging nettle
all around.

We ate lunch and talked about what we can do as missionaries to help
improve the branch. We got some good insights and support of the

After lunch, we had to look for the key to their car because it was
lost. We all couldn't find it, so we had to call another member to
pick us up to return us to our apartment.

Mont-De-Marsan might be small, but we do have great members!

On Thursday it was zone training. So we took an early train and went
to Bordeaux. We met up with the missionaries from the other zone and
we all went to the church.

This training was about taking the distractions out of missionary work. To
help get us into the mood, the zone leaders wanted to play a game, and
asked for a volunteer. I asked what the game was, and since I spoke
first, I was the volunteer...

Elder Douglas and I went out of the room. I got blindfolded, and had
to follow the voice of Elder Douglas. While we were out of the room,
all the missionaries moved the tables and chairs and made a path for
me to follow. Everyone was shouting and trying to get me to take wrong
turns. We even had an elder playing "Pirates of the Caribbean" on the

We got through pretty fast! So that was pretty awesome!

After the training, we all went back to our sectors.

On Friday we did weekly planning and met Frere Moulis at the church.
We talked about members that were less active. Then we searched the
addresses online. We then went to the Kruckoskivy family's apartment.
We talked with them about lots of different things! They really love
to talk! And then we taught them some French. I love going over to
their house! They are one of my favorite families!

On Saturday, we went with Paul, the father of the Ukranian family, to
clean the church with the branch. It was raining a lot, and we could
only do work on the inside.

Elder Douglas and I cleaned the windows and the floors. We then tried
to install a microphone on the sacrament table, but the microphone was
broken. So we didn't finish.

After we got home, I started to feel a little achy, so we took it
slow. It's been pretty wet this week, and it may have caused the
sickness? Who knows!

On Sunday we had everything usual happen. I said the closing prayer in
sacrament meeting.  Next week, I'll be giving a talk again! Everyone's invited!

After church we had a meal together as a branch. Lots of French food! Yummy!

When we got home, I was still feeling buggy, so we still took it easy.
We want to be able to work this week!

Beside the little bug I have, this week was great!

(UPDATE FROM BARBARA ACHESON: September 15th we heard from Elder Acheson's mission president 
that he had been hospitalized for pneumonia.  Luckily, his good companion insisted that he get medical
attention.  A member of the branch took both missionaries to the local hospital where he was diagnosed
with pneumonia and we put on an IVs and got the medicine he needed to get better. President Brown gave 
us updates while our son was in the hospital.  We are so grateful for the good news that he is now home
resting and for a kind companion and a kind mission president. This is the best birthday present I could 
ask for!)

Again, happy birthday to my wonderful parents!

Happy unbirthday to everyone else! And I love you all!

-Love Elder Acheson!

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Hello everyone! This first week of the transfer was great! To summarize it all, it was a week of service! 

As you know, The Mont (Mont de Marsan) is small. We do some finding sometimes, but we are focusing on building up the branch. We are trying to help members keep in contact with the Branch. We have low visiting and home teaching in this branch, so Elder Douglas and I try to meet the members and give spiritual help. 

We have been working with a few of our members and getting in contact with their friends. That's how we got our ami, Jean Louis who's getting baptized! 

An update on Jean Louis, our engagĂ© (person being baptized). He is getting baptized on October 3rd in the city of Pau. He has asked me to baptize him as well! He has made sure that I will be there for his baptism. He said he wants me to baptize him because his first day at church was my first week here in the Mont. 

I'm very touched to know that he wants me to baptize him. It's really special for me for the fact that I was there when he first started to know about the church. I have gotten to see him progress, and taught him just about every time. I feel like he his truly my Ami! 

We will baptize him before the start of General Conference on October 3rd.

So for the things that happened this week, I will start on Tuesday. To highlight the main events, we had dinner with the Krukrovisky family. They are the Ukrainians in the congregation. It was their daughter Olga's birthday. So we came to dinner at their apartment. We had Soviet food, and ate with their neighbors. There were Russians, a kid from Serbia, the Ukrainians, we two Americans and a lady from Nigeria came later. 

While we ate the Ukrainian parents talked to their neighbors in Russian about what we as missionaries do. So we sat and smiled and played with the kids. 

The lady from Nigeria spoke English so I talked with her about the Bible and we started to teach her about our church. By now the party was ending and the other families went back to their apartments. Natalie, the mother of the Ukrainian family bore her testimony on how she felt the spirit tell her the Book of Mormon was true. 

It was great to have her help teach her neighbor. We got this lady's number and will try to contact her this week. 

Wednesday we did some more weed pulling for Soeur Radrian. She has a last name from Madagascar so it's very long, and we all just call her Radrian for short. This lady is a walking history book. She survived bombings in World War II, met Bob Marley in Paris in a shoe store, and knows any fact you want to know. And she probably has met the person or been to the place. 

We then went to the church to look up the addresses of less active members in the branch. The problem is that we can't reach them easily. We have a huge sector to work in. In a car, it would take probably 1 1/2 hours to drive across it. Same for up and down. Mont de Marsans the biggest city, so that's why we stay here, but we have people around the sector. 

On Thursday we did service for Frere Riviere. We scooped up rocks in his front yard bushes and tore out the tarp. It took a few good hours. We then ate lunch with him and his less active wife. We taught them about charity and patience. The wife listened but we need to take it slow with her. It's great that Frere Riviere is having us over.

We then went to go teach our friends the Longies. While waiting for the bus we saw a guy with a cool hat on. I asked him about his hat, and then he asked me what I was doing here. So we to,d him we do service and share our message with people who want to listen. He said he would listen. The bus came right then, so we gave him our number and we got his. He plan to see him tomorrow.

We then taught the Longies more about the Bible, then taught them French. The wife then started to teach us Arabic. She gives us some letters and it’s very hard to pronounce them. I think I'll stick to French. That's very difficult already!

On Friday we cleaned the church with Paul, the father of the Ukrainian family. Frere Moulis was at the church doing his work as President of the Branch. Once we finished cleaning, we met with him and talked about the missionary work we were doing. 

When we finished with that meeting, we had another meeting with the priesthood leaders. That lasted another hour. Then we had branch council. That was another hour. We talked about all the things we need to do in the branch.

It was a great meeting. We got a lot of things done.

On Saturday, Fr. Moulis picked Elder Douglas and me up early that morning and we went to Jean Louis's house. We went there to pick up a recliner for another member. While there, Fr. Moulis got a tour, and we sat down to talk. Jean Louis talked about his baptism, and chose me to baptize him, and we talked about the priesthood a little and answered some of his questions. 

Then we drove across our sector to drop off the chair. 

We then went to a store and got some food to eat later. We drove through the forests and went to a classic French cottage. We went to see a less active member and sat down with her and ate the food we brought.

We then did service for her. We pulled off ivy that was growing on the side of the house. 

We needed a taller ladder, so we drove to her son’s house to get it and we picked up her grandson as well to help us. 

While there the family gave us some bushels of grapes. They were really good!

We came back and ripped off the ivy. There were many spiders and bugs inside it. We had to take a hoe and scrape off the vines that were really stuck to the wall. 

We finished and took the grandson back. We then took a small tour of the countryside. We visited small villages, and even visited a village with a huge church and beautiful courtyard. 

We then returned home. It was a great day with our branch president doing service.

On Sunday, we had Jean Louis, Dominique, and even our other Ami, Gladness, come to church. That was a surprise! We taught them about how to feel the spirit. Jean Louis tried to explain to Gladness the feelings he had he first time he came to church. But he couldn't talk because it was too emotional. It is truly great to see a man converted by the spirit. 

Before church started we found that a couple from America were visiting. They served as a couple in the mission in Mont de Marsan a few years ago. So it was cool to talk with them. They come from Olympia Washington and know my cousin! Small world! 

After church we went home, and then we went to the Ukrainians apartment to give them the sacrament. They had a few kids sick so they didn't come to church. While we were there we talked and had a good time with them. We updated them about church, and then gave them the sacrament. 

We then helped the Paul the father bless his sick daughters. 

This family is one of my favorite families in the world. They have amazing kids, they are super strong in the gospel and are just fantastic. I would love to meet the missionaries who converted them!

Well, that's the summary of the week! It was pretty great! We have more things to do, and plan to help this branch the best we can! 

The spiritual summary for week is, the Spirit is real. You can feel it and learn truth from it. I have seen it happen! A man who was atheist before and then who went to a chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints couldn't speak because he was overcome by the spirit after attending and is now getting baptized because of it. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

-Love Elder Race Acheson! 


Hello everyone I hope you had a great week! And just so you all know I
am staying in the Mont with Elder Douglas!

Now to catch you all up. On Monday we did all of our
emails, we did groceries and we packed our clothes for district
meeting the next day. Nothing too special really happens on Mondays...

We then took a train that evening to the city of Bayonne. We met up with the
elders in the city of Pau and slept in the apartment of the Bayonne elders. It was
really fun to be with all of the elders in the district.

Tuesday, I got my haircut early that morning by Elder Smith, and then
we all took a bus and met up with the sisters of Pau and we went to
the church and had district meeting.

It was a cool district meeting. We talked about the challenges in our own sectors and
we all talked about how to fix them and improve our areas.

Once we finished the district meeting we walked across the street to
a pizza restaurant and we bought some pizzas that we ordered the day
before.  We ate those for lunch and we drink the Kool-Aid that my mom
sent me!

After all of that we then went back to the gare to take a train back home.

On Wednesday we did service with our investigator Jean Louis. We
brought Paul the father of Ukrainian family in the branch, and we all
worked on Jean Louis's son’s farm!

We pulled weeds out of the ground and we worked in the same patch that
Elder Fritz and I worked on last transfer. It was cool to see all the
growth that happened since the time we were last there!

After service, we took a ride back to Jean Louis's house and we
had a really good lunch!

It was really good to have Paul with us. It’s fun to have him get to
know our investigators and learn to speak French with them.

After giving service we came back home and we got cleaned up and we did
our studies that we missed that morning.

Thursday we then took a train to Pau. We then took a bus and we met
up with the elders at their apartment. Once we got there we set
all of our stuff down and we planned what we were going to do for the
exchange. I was with Elder Smith and Elder Douglas was with Elder
Carlson. Elder Smith and I went to an American restaurant with some
members. Not too bad for an exchange! We were with a lady who went to
BYU for college and is a translator for the church in French, so she
speaks perfect English, but we spoke French for lunch. The restaurant
we ate at was a really cool restaurant,.

I had a big burger and Elder Smith got some barbecue ribs.

We then took a picture with Elvis.

After lunch we went back to the apartment and then we went and taught
a recent convert’s girlfriend. We taught this man's girlfriend about
the Book of Mormon and why it is important to read it with the Bible. It
was cool to do a basic lesson again about the Book of Mormon, I
haven't done that for a bit and it was a good teaching experience for

The lady said that she will continue to read the Book of Mormon and
she will pray for a confirmation of its truthfulness.

After that we then went into centreville and we did some pass backs,
and saw some cool historical structures in the city and then we had to
go back to the apartment to meet up with the other elders to head to
their Amis house. We met up with the sisters also and we had dinner
with their Tahitian investigator we met up with the sisters also and
we had dinner with their Ami. We had some real Tahitian food that
night, we had cooked bananas, fish, raw tuna, and other Tahitian food.

After the dinner we then walked home and we all slept on the floor.

Friday, we got our transfer calls from President Brown. Elder Douglas
and I are going to stay in Mont de Marsan for the next six weeks! He
is the first companion that I will stay two transfers with, and this
is the first city that I will stay for three!

On Friday we pretty much try to make her way home on the train, and
then we went home and tried to get some studies done and other things
we needed to do.

Saturday, it was really hot! And we spent all of the morning doing
service pulling weeds for one of our elderly members of the branch.
After we did that we then went to the church and we
cleaned the church. So it was a morning full of service! After that we
went home and did some studies. After studies we did weekly planning
and then we went over to our friends the Longies and talk to him about
the Bible and French! It's fun to show the Bible videos and explain
them very simply.

After our lesson we started to learn how to speak some Arabic and they
showed us a cookbook written all In Arabic. It's a very hard language
I don't think I can learn it.

Sunday, we walked in the humidity to the church and we had a big
meeting with the relief society and priesthood body. Then Elder
Douglas and I taught Jean Louis and Dominique about prayer, we taught
them on what we should pray for and how we should do it. They took it
very well and he prayed for us at the end the lesson!

We had the sacrament after that and then we started walking home. When
other Douglas and I were walking home a lady stopped us and she asked
a man in a car next to her to talk to us, and this man asked us if we
would be interested to come see a new church that was starting in Mont
de Marsan. We decided that it was fair for us to come check out this
new church because we invite others to check out our church all the

So we got in his car and we went to centerville and we went into this
old church that they were using for the day, and it was kind of like a
Southern Christian church rock band get up. We were probably the only
people who looked like they came from France, most of the people came
from Africa. We sat down and they started playing a drum set and an
electronic keyboard and they had a couple ladies upfront start singing
and they started singing songs about Jesus and then they switched to
Jehovah and then they switched to just these random repetition songs.
Then a man came up and he started preaching about peace and started
saying that he was a prophet. During one of the songs he went around
and started blessing people and people started yelling hallelujah and
amens and a lot!! We had to stand up a lot because everyone else was standing up and it was really hot in the church, and we had not had any through the entire day, we were
thirsty, the music was really loud, and there was just a really weird
feeling in the whole room. So we didn't really feel that good.

When the church meeting ended we talked to a few of the members of the
church, and the man who claimed he was a prophet shook our hands. And then we went and talked to the man that brought us in his car and he invited us to come again we said that we might come, and we invited him to talk with us more about our church!

After that we walked home in the blistering heat, we came home and I
took a cold shower cause I was super sweaty, and then I had a huge
headache so I took some medicine and I had to lie down because I just
felt sick. I think it was just a mixture of not eating all day and
being in heat and being in a really weird situation at that church.

That's pretty much it for this whole week!  The week ended on a really
weird note, but it was a cool experience that I can share with

I'm excited to start this new transfer with Elder Douglas and
I know that it's gonna pass by very quick, it feels like we started
this transfer just last week!

I love you all! And I want to congratulate my brother Chase for
starting college today! I love you all and I hope you have a great

Love Elder Acheson!