Friday, October 30, 2015



Wow! What a super fast week! I don't even know where to start! This week has included getting a new ami, and setting a baptism date with him, driving over to Switzerland to meet the General Relief Society President and a member of the Seventy. 

Also Imagine Dragons is also playing in the concert hall just down the street from our apartment tonight! So hopefully they’ll  play music loud.

Alright now get to the details. We called a guy who contacted the missionaries in the mall a  few days ago.  He was referred to us.  So we met him on Tuesday. His name is Gabriel and he moved here from Toulouse. He was born in Nigeria and speaks mostly English. He's 20 and is so cool!:) 

We met him near his apartment and we went inside and talked with him. He knew the missionaries in Toulouse, and had a Book of Mormon. He knew a lot of basics of the gospel.  So we were able to jump into his needs. 

Basically he wants to have good influences, and has a desire to be baptized. So we have decided to be his best friends! 

So that's Gabriel! Super awesome guy.

For this week: 

Tuesday: we dropped a dryer to some sisters in Lyon. That took up the whole morning. One sister knows my cousin John Passey from Utah really well, and the other sister is from Scotland. So I had her pronounce my name correctly. 

Turns out the dryer didn’t work, so we didn’t really know what to do... We have no others to give...:/

Later that day we had the first meeting with Gabriel. (See beginning of the letter)

Wednesday: we went and picked up around 12 tires from one of the office couples. We then drove to Geneva to drop them off at the Mission Mansion.  (Swiss mission home) 
Then we went to Ikea to eat lunch. We were to meet a senior couple there to help them get a bed.

We then followed them home and set up the bed for them. 

Elder and Sister Austin then gave us cans of root beer! It's been 10 months since I had real root beer! 

We then went to a Kebab truck they recommended. It is my favorite one so far! The owner is 24 years old  and speaks great English! 

I call it the “Ghost” Kebab because no one knows of it. 

We then drove home because it was late.

Thursday: we had zone training. So we drove to the church. We got a cool trifold pamphlet for our Amis to teach the path towards being worthy to go to the temple. It's only in English right now, so it's kinda hard to use. We then talked about how to teach simply! Always a good thing to practice...We had breakfast for lunch, and then we had to leave to go meet up with Gabriel at the Institute building. 

We met up and taught him the plan of salvation. We were talking, and he stopped and said he had an off topic question. He asked what would happen if his dad dies without being baptized.

So we stopped plan of salvation and cut straight to the temple. We pulled out the trifold temple pamphlet, and we taught him about baptisms for the dead. He said he wants to do that, so we put his name on the pamphlet, and set his baptism date for the 21st of November!:) 

We ended there, and then we played some ping pong. He never lost a game. He's too good! 

But that was a great day! I think we were the first companionship in the mission to use the trifold pamphlet to get a baptism date and goal towards the temple! We only got the thing a few hours earlier! 

Friday: we went up to Lausanne which is an hour north of Geneva. We had to set up beds for the zone leaders and move a fridge. I drove there from Lyon. Driving through the canyons with all the changing trees in the fall is so beautiful! 

The two Swiss Zones had a special conference with a member of the Elder David P. Homer of the Quorum of the Seventy, and Relief Society General President Linda K. Burton

We drove to the Lausanne chapel to get some keys from a few companionships so we could set up the requested items. All the general authorities and missionaries there were at tables eating. When elder Steadman and I walked in wearing our hoodies, shorts, and colorful socks, everyone stopped and stared. Then we saw our friends and went up and talked to them. 

President Brown was there and pulled us to the side. He said he wanted us to stay, and said we were in our uniform because we were fulfilling our calling :) Mission work in shorts, I like it! 

We told president about Gabriel and how he wants to go to the temple and be baptized. President was super happy! It was great to show him we do other stuff besides driving and moving things ;) 

We were then introduced to Sister Burton and her husband. It was weird to meet them formally in informal clothes wearing only my two hoodies and shorts. It was really funny and cool! 

We had some food, talked with old friends, and even saw my MTC companion Elder Tomlinson! It's been 7 months since I last saw him! 

We all then went into the chapel to have the conference. Elder Steadman and I sat in the very back of the chapel, we didn't want to bring any more attention to ourselves. Everyone was in suits, and we were in the back sitting comfortable in our gym clothes. 

President got up and made his opening remarks. He then asked Elder Steadman and I to come up and tell our experience with Gabriel with the General Authorities and the missionaries. Kinda scary and embarrassing to speak in casual clothes, especially in front of the relief society president! 

After the conference we had to head back to Geneva Zone leaders to set up the bunk beds. After that, we got another ghost kebab!

We then drove back to Lausanne to sleep at the other Zone Leaders apartment. 

Saturday: we replaced he fridge the ZLs, and then we had to drive to Geneva and set up drawers for the Austin Couple. That took all afternoon. We had more root beer and brownies! It's my first time being around senior couples! I love it! We are the grandkids during their mission. 

We had to drive home quickly after to go meet up with Gabriel and show him the church. We picked up Elders Hansen and Sorenson who were in Lyon for Stake conference the next day. So we all went and met Gabriel at the church. It was locked and we didn't know the code. So we stood outside and did a small lesson on prayer. 

We all testified on how prayer is something we can always do. How we can get help from it. Gabriel took it great! He is such a cool guy! He says he loves to be with us because he feels good about it! I know he is feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost. We all left, and the Grenoble elders came home with us. 

Sunday: us four missionaries went and met up with Gabriel and we went to a convention center in Lyon to have stake conference. We found spots up front, and listened. It was all in French. Sister brown spoke and that was in English. It was translated by President. Then Elder Homer the Seventy member back in Lausanne was there and spoke in english. He talked about Christ, and Gabriel was listening to every word. 

After the conference we brought Gabriel to meet President Brown, and he talked to Gabriel about how he knows we are teaching the truth. Gabriel agreed and said he felt it was true. 

We then introduced him to Elder Homer, and the stake president who is in our ward actually! Also to other missionaries, and anyone else who was cool. Gabriel plays basketball, so we introduced him to Elder Haws who will play for BYU when he comes home. 

So for Gabriel's first time at a church meeting in Lyon, he met the mission president, stake president, and even a member of the seventy. That is almost sounds like Utah!  Sister brown wants him over to play ping pong, so hopefully we can do that soon! 

We went home, and said goodbye to Gabriel. Elder Hansen and Sorenson were with us again, so we made a nice Sunday meal. Homemade pizza, with homemade pizza dough! With cheesy potato soup :) It turned out great! 

After dinner, we said goodbye to the other elders, and elder Steadman and I took the metro to the church. We met Gabriel there and we showed him around. We then sat down and went over the restoration. 

We summarized it, because he knows it pretty well. But we focused on the Book of Mormon. He said he read after the stake conference, and we just encouraged him to keep reading and praying! 

We finished, and went home. All in all, it was a great week! Lots of traveling, and teaching!

Well, as you can see from our new engagĂ© Gabriel, the spirit works fast, and can touch the heart of anyone! 

Seek the spirit out! Because you will find it! 

I love you all, and I know Christ is real, and he helps even the missionaries who drive over the country in hoodies, gym shorts and colorful socks.

Love Elder Acheson! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Elders Boynton, Taylor, Acheson and Steadman

Hello everyone! This week has gone by so fast! It has also been the busiest as well!

This week has involved seeing several missionaries, moving many appliances, visiting many cities, sleeping in and furnishing a historic church building, and driving many kilometers. This week alone we managed to drive 2235 Kilometers. That is 1388 miles. That is the same distance as driving to Disneyland and back from Salt Lake. Or driving from Salt Lake to Chicago.

This is what our week included.

Tuesday: Elder Steadman and I went shopping. Since we have a car we went to our favorite store in Ecully. That's near the other chapel. Ecully is where President Brown lives.

We returned and ate our food, and then we went to the Mission Office. Since it was Tuesday we saw all the new missionaries. We started to help the office elders unload the suitcases of the missionaries into the office. Once we did that, Elder Steadman and I went with Elder Boynton who's one of the office elders, to the Lyon Airport to pick up luggage that was late arriving because of a layover.

We went through security and got 4 trolleys filled with luggage. We then returned to the office and unpacked all that into the office as well.

Up to that point, it was later In the day. So we went with all the missionaries that were training to a pizza place near the Lyon Gare.

After that we then returned home. Since I haven't been in France for a year, I am able to drive here, so I did some paper work, and watched some safety videos on driving. There was a video also about how to drive in France. Let me tell you, it is nothing like the states. In France there pretty much isn't anyone who stays in lines, parks correctly, or even cares about how they drive... Stressful.

Wednesday: we left in the morning to go to the garage to get some desks. We have to drive half an hour to get to the other apartment. We had to use the elevator many times to get our things out. We then took those desks to Limoges. Limoges is the sector just north of my starting sector of Perigeux. It took about 6 hours to drive there. We dropped off the desk and spend a few minuets with the elders there. It's said to be the nicest apartment in the mission. I agree... It's huge and super pretty!

We had to leave quickly because we needed to drive home.

I drove most the way home. While driving home it started to snow a little. I guess it's that time of the year!

It's so beautiful to drive through the country side. On a train you just cut through mountains and valleys. But in a car you pass villages and see so many wonderful sights!

That night we met up with the elders of Grenoble and went to Master Tacos back in Lyon. That's this fantastic burrito place.

Then they spent the night with us. We have a small apartment so it was hard to fit them in.

Thursday: we went back to our garage to get more desks and chairs. We then drove an 1 1/2 hours south of Lyon to Valance. We dropped off the desks and talked with the elders there. One of the elders is Elder Burri who came with us into the mission. He was at the church just next door for the open house. The chapel is brand new, so we went to go check it out. It has a projector under the pulpit that shows video on the back wall, a white board that rises out of the wooden pulpit at the side so people can write things for classes, and even all the sound system is Bose Audio System. Nice!

We then had to leave and head to Grenoble which is an hour north of Valance. We had to go steal a desk from the elders there. After that we kicked it to high gear and booked it for Limoges again. That was a 7 hour drive this time.

We got in to Limoges and went to sleep...

Friday: we helped unpack the desk from the car, and then we drove back to Lyon. We ate a quick lunch and then went and met up with the office elders. Elder Taylor and Boynton. We then drove to Geneva Switzerland. The drive there was beautiful! It was my first time leaving France since I arrived here in February!

We had a special assignment to help close two missionary apartments, and move the companionships around. We were then to place the two sister companionships into the Old Geneva Mission Home. It's pretty safe to say that these sisters are living in the nicest domicile for missionaries in the whole church...

They are not living in a house. They are living in a villa... I think the whole property is two acres? The yard wraps around the house in two sections!

They will be sharing the villa with the UN representatives for the church in Geneva. So that's pretty awesome! An former member of the Quorum of the Seventy was there working out details of the renovations.

We got a lot of the sisters stuff and beds, and we dropped them off at the Villa, and then we met up with the church reps. That were going to give us the key to the Mission Home. Since it was already 9:30 we had to stay there. So us 4 elders broke the 3 year streak of no missionaries sleeping in the old mission home. Sadly it wasn't furnished, so we slept on the ground.

Saturday: we spent the whole day driving to the different apartments cleaning out everything and placing it in the cars.

The elders left me and Elder Steadman to finish setting up the bunk bed and desks at the Villa. We then had the occasion to take some pretty pictures of the property.

We all then went to Ikea to eat. It's been years since eating there!  It was delicious!

After that, we went and helped take all the things from the Geneva Elders apartment and moved it into the empty sisters apartment.

By this time it was 8:30 and we had to head home. We made it home in about 4 hours.

Sunday: we had church at 1:30 so it was nice and tranquil. We were told during the week that one of us had to give a talk on Sunday. This was Wednesday I think? But since I didn't even have time to unpack this entire week, we didn't have time to prepare. But we went to the institute that morning and I wrote my talk on the importance of having the spirit in mission work.

I'm in the Confluence Ward now, and it's awesome. There are Lots of people, which is My favorite thing! There are five other missionaries in this Ward too. This is a big change from what I'm used to. We even took the metro to get to Church!

It was a good sacrament meeting! It was all about mission work. This Ward is said to be fully functioning. I'm so happy to be in this sector and to see that happen. There was a new elder that gave a talk and Elder Sweeney from the office gave a talk. His wife was in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with my aunts! And then I gave a talk. In my talk I used the story of Jean Louis to describe how it was the spirit that converted him. We as missionaries didn't really do anything. We just allowed he spirit to do its job!

There was a great and happy spirit at church today. One man got set apart as a member of the church! I met him before he was baptized last Monday. His baptism was Friday, but we were in Geneva so we couldn't go. I had the chance to talk to him after.

Once we finished, we went home, and I unpacked, and we had a good pause from the crazy week. Later that night we called a potential and we set up a meeting on Tuesday. Hopefully it works out!

It seems like a lot happened! This is a really busy equip! Sometime soon we have to take a desk to the Geneva Zone leaders, so hopefully we can find time to do that this week.

Well, I love you all!

Have a fantastic week!

-Love Elder Race Acheson

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Hello friends and family!

This is the start of a new transfer, and I have moved from Mont-De-Marsan. I am happy to have a fresh start, but sad to say goodbye to my friends.

I am looking forward to this next transfer, because I am serving with my best friend in the mission,  Elder Steadman! We were in the MTC together, and we played four square all he time, and just had a ball...literally!

Not only will we be together, but we are somewhat office elders! We are the Apartment Closing Team. Also known as the "Dream Team"... The plan is to drive all around the mission doing random tasks and moving things. There are less apartments to close this transfer, so we hopefully will get to do some proselyting.

I think we might go to Geneva this week? If so, I'm super excited!

We are in the Confluence Sector which is a portion of Lyon. This is my first big city! I'm excited to serve in the capitol city of the Mission!

Now, to the even bigger news! We had a baptism! This is my first baptism where I did the ordinance. Elder Douglas was also in the water to help out with supporting Jean Louis in and out the water. I think it was cool to have both missionaries help with the baptism. Jean Louis was great! He's such a joker too! Even to the minute he stepped into the water. He said " I hope it's ok that my pants get wet!" I think he was less nervous then me!

Everything was great! Standing in the water and saying the baptismal prayer, and having Jean Louis come out as a new man was a memory I won't forget.

Now to backtrack on the week.

The first couple days were spent cleaning and doing small tasks needed to be done. I am starting to regain my strength from being sick for nearly a month. It feels great to be active again and do what missionaries do.

On Thursday the Pau elders came so Elder Smith, the district leader,  could  interview Jean Louis before the baptism. We also stacked wood and did some yard work. Then we ate the our classic French lunch! The appetizer, main course, bread throughout the meal, and finished with cheese.

Always great to eat there!

The interview was great and Jean Louis then he dropped us off so the elders could take a train home.

The next day on Friday, Elder Douglas and I took a train to go to Pau for a small exchange. We were on the train when we got our transfer calls. When I got my call I was stunned. That was my dream call! It was funny because Elder Steadman and I were joking last week that I would come to Lyon and be with him. Then we said that it wouldn't happen. Ha. Ha. Ha.... It did!:)

Well we got to Pau, and we did our little exchange. I was with Elder Carlson,and we taught a recent convert and his girlfriend. We talked about conference. She said that she believed that that this church was the true church! So that's pretty awesome!

Later that night we played basketball with the youth.

A happy and healthy looking Elder Acheson with his new companion, Elder Steadman on the the left

The next day was the baptized!

Well I'm now in Lyon! I love you all!

Love Elder Acheson!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Monday October 5, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Hey everyone! Just to let you all know, I am feeling so much better! Thank you so much for the prayers on my behalf!  It's been about 20 days since I started feeling sick with pneumonia.  Most of those days were spent in the apartment sick in bed. I lost over 15 pounds.  It's been hard, but with the help from the Savior it all worked out and I am doing better and gaining strength each day.

This last week still was pretty simple. We had district meeting in Pau. We had a big sleepover with the zone leaders and Pau elders. In the meeting we focused on things we love about the mission. At that moment, there weren't too many things I could name. But now, there are lots of things I love about the mission!  I LOVE my mission.  I never realized how important your health is in relationship to your attitude.

After the meeting, we ate soup in a bread bowl. We came home, and spent the rest of the week in the apartment healing some more.

Saturday, we went to the church to watch LDS General Conference in the small clerk’s office. It was great to watch conference. Here in the mission field, it is like Christmas! I loved being able to see my two aunts, who sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

So this week is the last week of the transfer! I guess time goes fast when you're sick! So we will try and be productive and do some work this week. We have the baptism of Jean Louis this Saturday! So things are still going good here! 

Love you all! Thanks for the prayers! 

-Love Elder Acheson