Hello Family and Friends,
I have it a big mark in my mission. I have officially reached the 6 months until I return... It feels weird. Anyways, the last week here in Nimes was a little difficult yet productive. Elder Williams and I didn't have the chance to teach any of our Amis. They were either out of town or weren't available. So we made some goals and contacted hard for the most part of the week! It's starting to really get hot, so there's a lot of sweat and I'm not starting to get a good tan line.
Due to all the contacting we have done, I will just put the things that I found worthy of mentioning:)
So, Monday... After emails we were contacting and we saw a guy with a BYU Shirt walk by! We went up and asked him if he was a member and he said yeah and that he was on study Abroad with BYU. He said that there were lots of students in town that day, and so after we left him we started looking around. We saw a family that was waving at us, and it was one of the teachers. He said that there were lots of students around the corner. So we waved at them to come over and we talked with them. There was a good amount. About 20 students! They asked a lot of questions about the mission and it was fun to talk to Americans again.
They were hungry and asked us where they could find good food. We lead them to our favorite taco Kebab. We took lead and some of the students were talking to me when a drunk homeless guy came up to try and cause some trouble. I went up ahead and got him out of the way because none of the students spoke French. When I brought him to the side, he put his arm around me and kissed my cheek.
We got to the taco place and I translated the orders for everyone, and two of the guys were super nice and bought our meals for Elder Williams and me.
We all ate together near the Roman temple and we all took a picture. I'll make sure to attach that.
On Tuesday we met with one of the sisters in the ward. Sr. Rouzaud. She is one of the stronger members and we talked about what we could do to improve the ward. She has already talked to her friends to find people to teach, so we went onto talking about things we could do better. She said that she was starting a Self-Reliance class and we were invited. That way we can spend more time with the members. We said that we would go.
On Wednesday we met with a few members. We met with Fr. Diemahave, who lives in Centre Ville and we went over some of the things he could do to help the ward. There is a frequent problem here in Nimes and that's all the members are older, and they have already tried to share the Gospel with everyone they know. It's kind of hard to work with this situation but we really need to grow the ward.
We met with another member who is sort of less active and has a hard time finding work. His name is Axel and we talked about his conversion. He seems like he's doing fine. He talked about how the mission president back in the day came to the chapel and interviewed him, he talked about the missionaries that found and baptized him, and it was great to hear his story.
He really wants to help the ward grow and that's great. He said that he wanted to help us teach people and do things. So we will take people up on that offer.
After that we went over to the old apartment in Nimes. The Landlady is from Scotland and we had a good time talking with her. She has known the missionaries for a while but isn't interested. She's really nice though. I got to see the old apartment and I am really happy that we are in the new one...
We talked with her 35-year-old son who lives with her, and we got to talking about snowboarding and skiing.
On Thursday we went and saw a less active member who wants us to teach his friends. So we talked about what we were going to teach. We are excited because he has given us 2 of his friends and he is excited as well to teach them. We planned to go over to their house the next day.
After seeing Fr. Robert, the less active member, we went over to Fr. Prunin's. We walked with him to go pass a less active member, but she didn't answer, so we came back to his apartment and we shared our message that we are sharing with the ward. Emmanuel, Fr. Prunin's son has brought his membership records back to Nimes, so now he is a member in our ward. That's great because we need another strong member to be present and push the work forward. All 4 of us talked about things we could do to push the work. We had Interviews with President Brown the next day, so I was getting ideas for questions to ask him.
On Friday morning we went to the church to skype President. I had a great interview. He is happy with progress I'm making, and we talked about the situation of the ward. Over all it was a really good interview.
It was really hot in the afternoon and while contacting we really felt it. We went over to teach the friends of Robert, Fatima and Nicolas. They are the people that we helped move a few weeks back. Fr. Bell came with us and we taught the Restoration. They seemed open to learn more. Fatima is really open and accepted a Book of Mormon. Nicolas seems more scientific, and not really all about religion, so we will work on that.
Fatima said that she wants to come to church and we told her to come the next week, because there was going to be a conference in Montpellier.
After some hours of contacting we went to the church to attend the self-reliance class. There were a few members there, and we shared stories on being self-reliant.
On Saturday we contacted and passed pass backs all day. We eventually met up with Fr. Axel and we went to a birthday party of a 10-year-old son of a less active. The mom only speaks Spanish, so it makes It hard for her to come to church. While walking there it started to rain pretty hard. It was strange because it was burning hot in the afternoon.
We got to the birthday party and we thought it was going to be a small celebration dinner, but it turns out there were all the friends of the son, and they were running around. So we awkwardly sat and tried to speak to the mom in broken Spanish/French.
On Sunday we went to Montpellier to watch the Inter-region conference. All the stakes in Europe watched a broadcast. It was good.
We came back to Nimes and we did our planning and then went contacting. We could only contact for 5 minutes because we were going to dinner at the Bells. We contacted this Brazilian lady who was walking with her 2 kids. She said that she was interested in learning about the family and how she could be with them for Eternity! So we got her number and she said that she doesn't work, so she's free! So we will try to go to a park of something next week and teach her.
At FHE with the Bells, we were there with Gautier and Stephanie. They are couple in the ward. They are dating and turns out, Gautier proposed during the dinner! It was the first time I have seen a proposal in person. It was kind of cool, but I'm glad for them. The ward needs more babies.
Fr. Bell is really good at piano, and he played Phantom of the Opera and I sat next to him and sang with him. I tried to sing Christine's parts which are really high. I couldn't do it... I just couldn't.
Well, there's a bunch of the random things we did this week. It was productive and hot. I appreciate how hard working my companion Elder Williams is! Hopefully this week we can teach our Amis. I will keep you all up to date with what happens next week!
I love you all, and hope you enjoy the start of summer!
-Love, Elder Race Acheson