Monday, October 14, 2013

Lots of teaching (Jacob Toulon)

Dear Family!

This week has been a fun one and I have really loved it. The missionary work is seriously moving forward here and we were able to teach 15 lessons this week! The members helped us with a lot of them and we had 8 of those lessons with a member!! It is amazing the difference of the lesson when there is a member present. It really helps the ami progress so well and begin to be integrated into the church at the same time!! 

We were also able to set two dates for baptism this week too which was amazing to see our amis showing faith and progressing toward making that awesome alliance with Heavenly Father. Andre was one of those and we gave him (for the second time) a date for the 30 of November! He has so much faith, and the thing that has been holding him back is just our ability to see him! The other was our voisin (neighbor) Christian who is seriously GOLDEN! He has a date for the 9th of November! He is so faithful in doing what we ask him and it really has helped him to progress quickly! He reads, prays, and comes to church! He has such a sincere desire. We had an amazing lesson on Wednesday with one of the Ward missionaries who is our same age and just got baptized a couple years ago. She was able to share her experience (after Christian made the wrong choice of asking how she came into the church) and it was literally perfect for his needs. The spirit was strong.

Our other amis include an African man and his son who's names are Bruno and Ryad (the son). They just need the faith to keep their commitments, but they are so nice and love having us come over. Then we have a mother and daughter named Sabine and Marie, who hurt her ears in an music accident at school. They have not been able to come to church because of the Marie's ears, but now she is really getting better and should be able to come to church this week! Then we have Rodolf. He has grown so much and every time we go to teach him, I think he share more faith building stories that help me than we help him. He is ready to be baptized and has already expressed his huge desire to be baptized, but he just has to wait for his divorce papers to go through (They take forever here in FRANCE!,but they should be good by the end of December and then in the water he goes. :) His "to be wife" is already a member and her son from the other marriage is not baptized so we are teaching him too. His name is Josue (Jos-way). He has a desire to be baptized (his face lit up when we showed him a picture of Elder Frandsen's baptism. The hard thing for him is that he is basically living two lives that are telling him the exact opposite thing to do. We can only see him once every two weeks because he his with his Dad every other and has school and tennis and piano! (He his a pretty talented 12 year old!) So those are our amis!! 

As far a Marie, who we were teaching with Andre, is that she said she doesn't really have a desire. She loves us as people and we are really good friends. She was also having a bad influence on Andre because of this and so we separated them and are going to teach her every once in a while. She just needs a little time, and some faith :) SO those are our amis!! They are all so amazing and really make me so happy every time I see them! The Lord has been blessing us so much here in Toulon and I hope I can continue to serve here for little bit longer!

As far as where you have served mom, I have got some good news! Elder Frandsen served there!! (in Montauban, my last area) The Von Tonder Family is still there and going strong!! Also super cool, Jean Paul in now in Aix-en-Provence, and I met him at the Stake conference last transfer!! He is married and had two or three cute daughters around Anna's age! So that is pretty cool and it is too bad we didn't have the chance to make that connection when I was there!

Other things I did this week included a Zone conference!!It was a three zone one and we went to Aix-en-Provence.

It was great, and President and Sister Rony spoke! We just focused on how sharing the Gospel doesn't have to be hard!! It is something that should be natural and also that as missionaries we should focus more on having conversations rather that just contacts. It is so important to become these peoples friend and love them, then to INVITE them to be as happy as we are. I have really been trying to work on making each contact special and loving. Sometimes it is easy to get into the attitude of contacting EVERYONE!!! and you lose focus on the fact that you are actually talking to someone. So some of the things that play into becoming better is listening, caring, INVITING, testifying, listening a little more and then just being their friend. These are a children of GOD and are sooooo important. But if we leave them with nothing else after a contact, we should at least leave them with a... card, or a friend too.

As far as things I have eaten this week. Yesterday was a goodbye repas (meal) for our old bishop (who is going on a mission to Italy with his wife). I ate this little kebab thing on a stick that had fish (maybe salmon or something, but it was a little shiny and looked like scales) and it made me decide I don't like fish... Also there was some yummy ( I taught a french guy the word Yummy yesterday during the repas) mille feuille again!! There were a ton of weird cheeses that I didn't try, but wish I had! After it was over the paroisse (ward) basically just handed us all the rest of the food, several large bags...( including a full leftover Chocolate cake....there was a lot of food...) So that was great!

Lastly, thanks for the package! I got it today and the envelope seemed to work fine! Also could you maybe send me a picture of my baptism? If we have one? And also a picture of our big van?  I am sorry I didn't send you an SD card last week and will try to start taking more pictures and videos to give you more things to see and what not :)

I love you all!!

Elder Pettingill  

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