Monday, August 26, 2013

Toulon Week 4 Off to first exchanges!

Hello Family!

I don't have a lot of time today because our apartment didn't have very good timing today... We planned well last night but then this morning things just went awry slightly and everything went late or got pushed back a little later. We went to the mountain right bordering Toulon and is actually more like in the middle of the city. I got all the SD cards this week so I was able to take lots of pictures! The other elders in our apartment went and checked the mail this week at the old apartment and so they picked up like 5 letters and the package for me so that was nice. The view was awesome on the mountain and we could see all of Toulon and the ocean. SO pretty and you will hopefully get the pics this week. I also got the padded envelopes so I can send those. Thanks so much for that and the SD cards! You are so thoughtful!

Another reason I am pressed for time is that I am going on my first exchange today!!! In about 13 minutes I get to run to the train station and go to Cannes and to an exchange with Elder Martinez!! From the MTC! (Elder Martinez is from Spain and was in his MTC District and room.) Our mission has started this thing where before an Ami (investigator) can be baptized they need to be taught by another companionship (or an arrangment of the two companionships) that is assigned to you. Since we have Andre preparing for baptism, Elder Frandsen and Elder Moeller (Elder Martinez's companion) are going to teach them tomorrow night! So basically me and Elder Martinez (two bleus--French for greenies) are going to be together and train each other for a day.... Haha well see how it goes but I know the Lord will bless us in our inexperience!!
Cannes, France
As far as our Amis go... We have Andre! He is so crazy amazing and probably has the most faith I have ever seen in my life. He is a for sure baptism. He had a date for this Saturday but he really didn't feel like he was ready and we agreed that it would be okay to push it back a couple weeks.

We have Marie also. She fed us this week and is the friend Andre invited. She is also full faith and is so spiritually sensitive! She cried after the movie when we showed her the Restoration film and has a date for baptism on the 28 of Septembre.

Then now we have a FAMILY!!! They are so amazing! We found them yesterday, offered to give some service and ended up teaching the 1ere lecon in their living room!! They are such a nice family that has had a lot of hardship and I know the message of the Atonement and the Gospel is going to bring so much peace and happiness into their lives!! Plus they live really close to the church which will be amazing because they won't have a "it's too far" problem!!! :) We are going back on Wednesday to teach them!!

Other things that a passé cette semaine (happened this week) include I tried three new cheeses! Gorgonzola, another one that had spices in it and wasn't too bad, and this other one that was nasty that the other companionship bought... Also Elder Frandsen bought some Rouqefort (or something) today and apparently it's really strong... so I am excited but I am starting to enjoy the cheeses! I also had more Camembert and it was a lot better the second time!! Other than that...I got my first number while contacting on my own the other day!!! Usually Elder Frandsen writes them down when we are contacting but I got one!!! So awesome and I am going to call her tomorrow!

Also they use the "On" (it or one) form for everything here!!!!! So dumb because all they taught me was the "nous" (we) form and so I have been learning that :) (He is referring to the verb conjugation.  Instead of saying "We are going to Nice"  or  "I am going to Nice," they will often say "One is going to Nice." What we consider formal (thou, one) is considered intimate and casual in French.)

Well I am just so grateful for the wonderful message of the Gospel and love you all too! 

A la prochaine!! (Until next time!!)

 Elder Pettingill

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Semaine 3!! (Toulon Week 3)

Well this week has gone by fast. It has been a very awesome week and I am not sure I even remember who I was last week.

First off I did get one letter that was sent and it was the one written at the pool so that had the right address. I am sorry about the other stuff and hope that it all works out.

My address for Toulon is:

Le Clos Fleuri Bat. 5
58 Ave. Auguste Berthon
83000 Toulon France

Hopefully there are no other problems :)

I haven't gotten a bag yet because Elder Frandsen has been letting me use his old one for the time being.  We were going to look for one in the next couple weeks. 

Second of all, my Ward here in Toulon is probably the best, most supportive nice ward anyone could ever ask for! There is so much of a desire to share the gospel here and all the members are involved in some way! It is a pretty big ward and it is the only here in Toulon. The sad thing is that more that half the ward is inactive and there used to be two wards. It is great for us because we always have inactives to pass and bring back! 

The jet lag was seriously not even problem and I was able to adjust really well because I just stayed up the whole day that I got here and dropped when I fell in bed. 

Missionary life is awesome! It can be very tiring sometimes, and sometimes you feel like you have contacted your last person, but it is so amazing! The Savior's Atonement just comes alive in your life when you have to say another prayer to work just one more hour or finish strong for the day with 5 minutes left. The French is coming! I am starting to understand a lot more and have been really trying to focus on what people say all the time so I can be that much better!

We have had two trainings in the last week where we went to Nice which was so awesome!! I felt like I learned so much each time! We had interviews with the President (along with yesterday's zone conference) which was also very good!

 Nice Zone with President and Sister Roney and their two youngest boys

We also went to Aix-en-Provence last Tuesday for Elder Frandsen's legality so that was pretty cool too! Unfortunately I left my SD card in the computer last week so I couldn't take any photos so that is a bummer. The bright side is I still have my camera!

Elder Pettingill and Elder Frandsen

As far as our Amis go.. We have two right now with a baptismal date. The first one Guilene was the miracles lady we had last week. The only problem is that she hasn't called us back since that night but I know that she is going to call back sometime if not while I am here then later because Heavenly Father is definitely preparing her and has been preparing her. Our ami is named Andre. He is so AMAZING TOO! He came to his friend in the church and asked to come, which he did and we taught afterward. Then this week we taught him and committed him for baptism on the 31st of August! He said yes and has been meeting with us almost daily with his friend at church. He was having a difficult time with his life and we offered to give him a blessing, he accepted and after he said he felt something really just make him feel good and he didn't know what. We had the opportunity to bear testimony of God's love for us and of the Holy Ghost. We taught him the Word of Wisdom another day and he hasn't had a cup of coffee since (and he excitedly tells us how he is doing everytime we meet!). The best part is that he has already started to share the Gospel with his friends and gave us two contacts and brought one of them to church, this super nice lady name dMarie who is so ready!! She said she loved Relief Society (and all the principles we teach :) ) and she was making comments in Sunday School!!!  We are going to go teach her on Jeudi (Thursday) which is so exciting! 

I have really just come to love the people of France even with their weird things, like the thousands of Arabs who ride down the street on their motorscooter things doing wheelies for miles!! (I am not kidding and see several every day) or that I have had several people start rolling a cigarette in front of us while we are contacting them (It's funny because a lot of people do that instead of buying them pre-rolled), or that I have almost seen someone die already (This was again the Arabian people so maybe the real French people aren't the ones that are so weird...) 

One other experience worth noting was last night after getting back from Nice we were invited over to a members house for FHE and we had a real French dinner. It was my first member meal and it was a very traumatic experience (in a good way). It was crazy because they started the meal off with a full table and I thought, "Wow I guess they don't do the 7 course meals anymore!" Well I ate what I thought was the main course (which consisted of a salad of tomatoes and green beans, bread, a rice peas and tuna dish and other small things like shrimp, asparagus, and what not. There was so much it would be hard not to think it was the main course.) Well I ate a couple servings of that (I learned that I love green beans and tomatoes!) and felt pretty good. Of course every time my plate was empty it would be filled again by Frere (Brother) Sassi, our host and a ward missionary. Well little did I know that there were still three more other courses!! One of them was a meatball/hot dog like meat spaghetti and dessert was more like three courses in itself. There was a layered thing that was sooooo goood!! It was a big tart/pie thing that had several layers with a chocolate filling in one and a vanilla filling in the other layer. In French its called something like a thousand layer tart or something because the crust is flaky. But then they also gave us a huge slice of this super good chocolate cake with a side of ice cream (I did the wrong thing and ask which flavor of ice cream was better and they gave me both....) The cake was definitely better than the Costco chocolate cake. Well by the end of it I was going to explode and had a hard time walking home. Not to mention that Frere Sassi gave us like 3 bags worth of leftovers (And not all of it were left overs! He even gave us unopened boxes of cookies.. Basically we don't even need groceries for the next week...) 

Mille-Feuille (what Jacob called a thousand layer tart) which literally means thousand leaves.   

I feel very blessed to be here in France and have really grown in my testimony of the Gospel and power of the Atonement to make us better every second of every day. Je sais que si nous ouvrons nos bouches et partager l'Evangile Dieu nous aidera avec l'Esprit. J'ai ressenti le pouvoir du don de langue beaucoup, et spécialement quand j'ai demandé.  Mais c'est plus importante être une example de Jesus en nos actions. (I know that if we open our mouths and share the Gospel, God will help us with the Spirit. I feel the power of the gift of tongues a lot, and especially when I ask. But it is most important to be an example of Jesus by what we do.)

à la prochaine! (until next time!)

Elder Pettingill


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Toulon Week 2 letter received in the mail

Dear Family!

Well this is day 3 in France.  I am absolutely loving it and made it here safely.  The last few days have been very cool but humbling at times.  The plane ride was awesome but long and I got some sleep on the plane.  We lost a couple of missionaries in London and a lot of luggage, but thankfully all is well now and I didn't lose anything.  President Roney met us at the station and we ate and went off to the mission office.  We then saw the Bastille in the middle of Lyon and it was so pretty and it was huge.  You can see all of Lyon from there, it was so amazing! Also I saw and heard a man playing the accordion (he drew a picture of an accordion). So cool! Classic France moment! Later we played some Jeopardy about French stuff and I learned some cool stuff.

We have been using the Metro so much and it is awesome! It is a new experience for sure and I have loved it!

I got my companion and new area but I won't tell you until later.  Just kidding.  His name is Elder Frandsen.  He is awesome and I can tell he is going to be a great missionary.  We are going to Toulon and opening a new equipe (companionship) in the area.  I am so excited and we are going to work so hard!

I don't have much time so I love you and will tell you more later!

Love you so much!

Elder Pettingill

Note from Khristine: The address on the return envelope of this letter is completely different than the one the mission office gave us.  I emailed to ask about it today, and Sister Clark told me the mission elders recorded the address incorrectly, and the one Jacob gave us is correct.  I am including the correct address below.  I apologize if anyone already mailed something to the wrong address.  We feel your pain as we already mailed three things, including a package from Amazon francais. ; )

Elder Jacob Pettingill
Les missionnaires
Le Clos Fleuri Bat. 5
58 avenue Auguste Berthon
83000 Toulon

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 1 in France Mission home and first few days in Toulon


First of all they were right when they said it is hard to type on a french keyboard!! Everything is so weird!!

There is so much to tell and so little time!

I had a great flight and arrived in time! There should be a letter coming that I wrote at the office! President Rony is so awesome and I had a good talk with his wife who is so nice!  We spent all of mardi, mecredi, jeudi (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) in Lyon and then left on Friday! There was a lot of confusion and so we got changes in our plans.

Like you heard my companion is Elder Frandsen and he is just awesome! He is super obedient and also he is an amazing cook and I have definitely been fed well over the last few days in the food area! and we have already begun to see a lot of success! We have a really nice apartment and it is apparently one of the nicest apartments in the mission and has AC which is uncommon in Europe I hear! It is nice because we are in TOULON! Which is pretty hot! The trip here on the train (TGV) was very exciting and we got to see a lot of the pretty countryside of France! 

Today we went shopping and it was super fun!! We got some fresh baguettes and some briquette cheese (I think that is what it is called) and it was so good!!!!!!!!!!! Also yes the yogurt is better here. 

The French is coming along and  I am not really having too hard of a time. It is hard understanding sometimes but then I just look at Elder Frandsen and he helps me out!

I love the church members in France!!! They are literally so nice and are super helpful!!!! We had a leçon with an older sister in the ward and a man named Frère Tonguy came twenty minutes by bus just to make it possible for us to see her!! He was a little hesitant on the phone but said he would come. When we saw him he had a bad knee and was using a crutch!! Amazing dedication and I feel so blessed to be with such a great ward!!

Sunday with the members was also great and my companion and I got up and introduced ourselves which was cool! Then we got to teach a man who asked to come to church and we committed him to baptism!! 

I guess you can see that we are seeing a lot of miracles right now and it is true. It feels like almost everyone we have been talking to has been prepared by the Lord in some way or another! One last miracle that we saw was that we had set the goal to have two new engagés by the end of the week and last night we were walking around and had kind of forgotten. It was about 19h00 (7 pm) and we were walking in the park and contacted this lady named Guilène and she was interested to come to church and we asked if she had anytime for us to teach a leçon quickly and she said yes!! So we taught her right there and oh man she was prepared so well!!!!! We taught the leçon and engaged her for baptême and she said yes!!! 

The Lord is so merciful and blesses us so much when we are obedient and have a desire to do what is right! I have strengthened so much and am just so grateful that the Lord is allowing me to see these miracles!

I love being in France and it is so pretty but I know that what is way more important are all the wonderful people God has been preparing here to hear his Gospel!

I love you all so much!!

à la prochaine semaine! (until next week)

Elder Pettingill

Saying goodbye to Elder Nelson and three random pictures taken in France

Friday, August 9, 2013

New companion and first assigned area!

Brother and Sister Pettingill.,

Your son Elder Pettingill has been assigned to the city of Toulon and his companion is Elder Frandsen.  They will be opening a new area and will be living at:
Le Perroquet, Apt. #678
293 Rue Henri Poincarè La Rode
83000 Toulon

You need to know that Elder Pettingill is one of the most dedicated Elders I have ever seen!  We went with them this morning to check in with the city and he literally spoke to every person he saw!! He was the only one.  He even stopped to help a woman who was struggling with a heavy load.  His companion Elder Frandsen is one of the mission's hardest working Elders as well. 

The France Lyon mission is lucky to have your son here.
I am attaching some pictures from this week.

Sister Clark
Mission Secretary

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Safely arrived!!

Dear Parents,

I am happy to let you know your missionary arrived safely in Lyon today. President and Sister Roney met the missionaries at the airport and brought them to the Mission Office. They had an interview with President Roney and the Office Elders and Elder Clark explained missionary finances and their visas. Tonight they will have dinner at the Pizza Pino and dessert at President and Sister Roney's home. Tomorrow they will meet their companion/trainer and then have training with President Roney and the Assistants to the President. After taking care of their legal residency issues on Friday morning they will board a train with their companion to travel to their first area. I will send you their address and companion's name tomorrow. I am attaching a picture of your missionary with President and Sister Roney and one of the whole group.

Thank you for sending us such a fine missionary.

Sister Clark, Mission Secretary
France Lyon Mission

Saturday, August 3, 2013

MTC Week 6 Saturday!

Bonjour Dad!

Today is Saturday and we got the chance to email for just a little bit before we head to France. I do not have much time because it is not actually my P-day but I thought I would just send a quick message. I hear that I will have a chance to email sometime Monday when I get there so I will send something real then!
I guess all I have to say is that I have loved my experience at the MTC! It has been so much fun! It has been hard at times because you have the distractions of dozens of other missionaries at every corner which can be hard and I think that is the one thing I am excited about most!
To Mom: Thanks so much for the two packages and I got the second one yesterday and about 8 elders started to taking the melatonin last night so there is a lot of thanks from the two districts.
I love you all and I can't wait to talk to you on Monday! I bought a minute card with 500 minutes so we will have lots of time
avec amour,
Elder Pettingill