WEEK #2 IN LYON, FRANCE
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 engagé 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!