Monday, December 2, 2013

Dear Family! (Jacob-Toulon)

Dear Family,

This week has been crazy and we have had so much going on that we are again here at P-day writing letters like normal. We have seen some miracles. As mission were are in the process of accomplishing our goals for baptisms before Christmas. We have been having several miracles that happened because of that . One was that we got back in touch with Christian! We have been texting him spiritual thoughts and words of encouragment and then one night he just responded ok you can come over tomorrow morning!! So awesome. So we went over, and he told that he is done listening to the "dumb problems" that his family has and just make his own decisions! He also said that he read every spiritual thought that we sent and has still been reading and hasn't smoked at all!!! He is so amazing. He said he missed church and wanted to know if it would be ok to come... we had to think a lot about that one... he is coming next week because he had stuff yesterday. 

Thanksgiving was a little excessive I would say and never thought I could come closer to dying from eating. I will send the pictures. Basically what we ended up doing is that for district meeting we all gathered together and brought a dish and then ate it. So Elder Blythe being adventurous decided that we could do the turkeys... the only problem was that we couldn't find any turkeys, so we got chickens. Then we had to bring them from Toulon to Cannes and then prepare them there. So Thursday morning we got to the gare and found out the trains were late... so 2 and a half hours later we got on our train to Cannes and then got there just in time for lunch rather than around 9.. That was fun but it turned out fine. We ended up having two chickens with lots of stuffing, another thing of stuffing made by Cannes, three different pies (pumkin, cinnamon, and apple crisp.) So yummy. We also had some good old mashed potatoes and and rolls. We ate well, had a great district meeting and then I went on an exchange with Elder Miner in Cannes, where we ended up going to a member,s house who is American and ate ANOTHER Thanksgiving meal about 4 hours later, except this time there was 4 times the food and 4 non-members!!! So awesome, but I did almost become like Foie Gras.... (which apparently comes from the technique of force feeding poultry).

Then I came home and we went to ward Choeur (choir) practice. There were again 4 non-member and so we got to sing church songs and share the gospel at the same time. The only problem was that because we are in France and there are not tons of people... there only 12 people (Amazing it evened out so each part had 3 people) and that meant that I became one of the 3 basses... Thank goodness the other two were good singers so I had someone to follow. It ws a good experience but it was also kind of  a real choir so my voice hurt at the end... 

Then we woke up early Saturday morning and went running for the second time this transfer! (Elder Blythe had a boost of motivation from nowhere so we did it!!) That was so awesome and I felt so good afterwards. We then went out and taught 4 lessons that afternoon and night and also ate at one of our member's house to start the fast! It was very traditional, tomatoes and shredded carrots to start it off (I have really come to love tomatoes with a good vinegar sauce...) and then a potato casserole and then peaches and Speculoos cookies for dessert! So healthy but so good!! (also funny because there was no meat) 

Then Sunday and Bruno and his son Ryad came to church. They are so awesome and came all on their own! We have been teaching them for about 3 months now and I have literally seen the change in him. He has this huge desire to stop smoking and is down to about 2 a day but committed to stop completely. Bruno just sucks up church and the members already love him. We already had several members come to us and say "if that man needs anything, just let me know. It is so great and they are really helping him to feel comfortable! This week we showed him the apps on his ipad and Iphone so he was bring up scriptures during gospel principles with his phone this week and he is super intrigued by Doctrine and Covenants.

Well I love you!!!

Elder Pettingill

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