Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 1! Again! (Jacob-Toulon)

Well we're at the start of a new transfer which is sooo AWESOME! I can tell that it is going to be a really miraculeuse mutation (miraculous transfer) and I know I am going to learn so much from my new companion Elder..... Haha I'll tell you later.

To start off I will tell you about what happened to some of the Elders I served with. First. Elder Sanchez. He was in the apartement and is from New Jersey and transferred to Annmasse (or something.) He will be "polishing" Elder Erramousspe (whoever is your second companion polishes you after your trainer gets all the rough edges I guess..), who is the same "age" (how long we have been out) as me. Elder Karras also got transferred to Toulouse and is "polishing" Elder Martinez! (who was in my district at the MTC).  Elder Frandsen is going to be staying here in Toulon in the 4 man apartment and will be polishing his "first-born" (THAT'S ME!!). And I am going to stop using all this faddish language so I can receive more blessings :) So yeah we are now the only equipe (team) of Elders in Toulon in apparently one of the nicest apartments in the mission. We also received an equipe of sisters yesterdays and spent the whole day yesterday moving them into their new apartement, with the office elders who came down to buy all the new furniture from IKEA :) Our day yesterday was soooo busy but I was soooo happy doing all that hard work!

I am really excited to still be with Elder Frandsen and in Toulon. We are going to have a lot of success this transfer, I just know it. Not to mention we are now going to start teaching a lot of the old equipes' investigators including a man who has already said he will doing anything he can to be baptized. The Lord is really blessing us already and we have already made many many appointements for this week! Yesterday we had a Family Home Evening at Frere Sassi's house with Andre and Marie and it was so good because the members were able to give amazing testimonies. Also a small little miracle that literally just happened was that hier (yesterday), Frere Sassi's mom was there and is not a member but has children that are all over. (For example Frere Sassi is LDS and his brother is a Jehovah's Witness.) So she was telling us all last night that she doesn't want to join any but that she is believing in God. So just like 5 minutes ago, Frere Sassi called Elder Frandsen and asked if we could come over today and give a lecon to his mom because she said that she felt really happy yesterday and wanted us to come back!!! So awesome! She is really old and Frere Sassi said that she probably won't be able to read the Book of Mormon and that she could probably pass away anytime. So I guess our job is to prepare here for the missionaries on the other side!!! So awesome!

I have been thinking a lot about the commitments that we have been giving our investigators and how when they keep them, I feel sooooo happy and could just jump around for a while, and when they don't keep them I feel so sad because I know that we give them these things to make them happy. It has really made me think about how it is the same for Heavenly Father. He has given us these things (the scriptures, prayer, the Ten Commandments, the other commandments, For the Strength of Youth, etc...) to make us happy. He really only cares about us being happy and I think these are the things that he has figured are what will bring us the most joy in this life. And then I thought about how when we do these things, He probably is so happy and when we don't He is probably sooooo sad. It just gave me some perspective on life and how right now I am doing all these things but what happens after the mission when I am not completely focused on the work. Will I read my scriptures every day and actually learn something like I am expecting my investigators?

This week has been amazing with loads more miracles than I can't probably share right now so I guess I will leave them for after the mission :) We did have a district meeting in St. Raphael this week and it was so awesome! Our district leader, Elder Dean, and I get along really well and he actually lived in Fairfield! St. Raphael is no longer in our district so we won't be going there any more. This Friday will be Bleu Conference (conference for new missionaries which they call blues or 'bleu' in French) and I get to go because it you go your 1st and 2nd transfer. So that will be cool and I will probably meet Sœur Pettingill's companion so I can get the update on her :)

Well I love you all and hope everything is going well there in the good old U.S. (Funny because one of the members wore a USA neck thing yesterday at Frere Sassi's). I am so so grateful for all the letters that I have received and hopefully I can start tackling some of those next week. (We didn't get to do much yesterday because we were helping move the Sœurs in.)

I am also so grateful for Christ's sacrifice both in the Gardin and on the Cross. It is really such an amazing message we are sharing that people can come and feel His love and feel the peace of repentance. That is really what drives me to open my mouth when it doesn't like opening and walking when all I really want to do is eat another croissant.

I love you all!

Elder Pettingill

(I left in the funky spelling errors to show that he is mixing his English and French a lot!  Like apartement-apartment, Jardin-Garden.)

Below are some pictures he sent this week.  He gave no commentary but I assume they are the view of his apartment and some interesting things. Also, they took a ride and then hike up the mountains to see the views of Toulon.  The blonde is his companion, Elder Frandsen.  

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