Tuesday, June 2, 2015

This is the end (Jacob-Limoges)

Well I guess this will be the last real update that you will get from Elder Pettingill Sr. This week went by extremely quickly and we had a ton of miracles as well. On Tuesday we headed to Bordeaux to go get ipads. That was super fun. I didn't get one so I got to enjoy the smiling faces of all the other missionaries. It is funny because as a normal person I think that iPads are not as cool as these missionaries thought. It was like Christmas and Easter combined. It was fun to have two zones all in the church building trying to do a training and configuration of the ipads. I didnt have much to do so I wandered around and studied and talked to the assistants. It was very fun and by now I think everyone has calmed down and realized that the ipads are a means not an end and just like we would never sit looking at a really shiny garden tool for hours, we dont need to look at our wonderful tools for no reason either. We have found it to be pretty useful however. We have only been able to use the study tools for the moment such as gospel library but apparently some time later they will integrate the planning tools and online proselyting as well, although I am sure that I will be able to integrate much faster than they will ;) 

Other than that we have obviously been working with Julien a lot to keep him moving forward with the Gospel! On Saturday we went to Conference de Pieu (Stake..) and Julien came to that. There was a regional 70 Elder Boutoille and President Roney. It was a wonderful two days and Julien enjoyed it very much! Elder Boutoille shared what I imagine will be shared or was shared in your stake conference about sacrament meeting. He shared some wonderful insights by general authorities and by others about the importance of the sabbath day and the sacrament. I feel blessed to have a family that taught me how to keep the sabbath day holy.

One last cool miracle was going out one morning as we were just talking to people and we were having a fun time and talked to this really cool lady who was really ready. She lost her father a couple weeks ago and has been coming back to Christ. It is amazing how Heavenly Father prepares people to hear His Gospel. I love it. I have been so grateful to be able to be a missionary for the last two years seeing how Heavenly Father has put his hand into the lives of individuals and touched them little by little. We often say that Satan is not urgent and will work us little by little, but I think that Heavenly Father is not urgent either and in the end it will be his hand that will win. I know that He leads His Church through living prophets. I know that the perspective of the Plan of Salvation can give us the necessary motivation and desire to push forward steadfast in Christ, showing little steps of faith, changing our lives to be like his. I am grateful for his Atonement that strengthens us and has strengthened me to be able to always make the right choice. I am grateful for the transforming, enabling, and comforting powers that come through the Holy Ghost. On Sunday night before heading back in I felt so much desire to just talk with people. We walked over to the road and stopped a lady. After 5 minutes she began to cry as she told us of her recently deceased husband. I am so grateful for the hope we were able to share. 

Je vous aime tous! (I love you all!)
à tres bientôt!! (see you very soon!!)
Elder Jacob Pettingill 

Societe de Secours is Relief Society, referring to the fact that he has only sisters in his district

Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 4 (Jacob-Limoges)

Well this week was great!! We had many fun experiences! We had the baptism of Julien and that went really well. He was on a spiritual high all weekend. He got hit super hard during the confirmation and at the end he couldn't even get up. He was like a really loopy man who just got his wisdom teeth out. But he was feeling great. Then we had a picnic today with him and Jean Mairie (a member) to connect Julien even more with the members. 

I am so grateful to be a missionary. I know that this gospel brings us Joy. As much as the world may tell us au contraire (to the contrary) if we live this gospel we will be on a spiritual high all the time. I loved the words shared by Bishop Leroy on Sunday as he referenced Elder Utchdorfs talk "Sleeping through the Restoration". He cited several things that can cause us to fall into a slumber spiritually. It is super important to not fall into the trap so that we are never held back in our progression. 

I am grateful for our Saviour who put his life on the line for us. I am grateful for the peace that we can feel when we go before him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit ready to change and be changed. I love the Book of Mormon. I love Preach my Gospel and hope I can continue to live it because I choose to do so.

I love you all,

Elder Pettingill

About the pictures:

That is an open basketball practice for the CSP basketball team here in Limoges. They are supposedly the best team in the euro league and the basketball player is Trent Playsted who played for BYU in college and then also played in the NBA for a couple years. We go visit him about once a week since he can't always come to church and doesnt speak french.

Also there is the cathedral that I got a picture from the train going home from Bordeaux, and then we went on a picnic with a member and Julien today so that was really fun in Aixe sur Vienne with  the beautiful red bricked chapel. That was great. Julien and the member are basically the same, and I think it was a key moment for Julien. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 3 (Jacob-Limoges)

Hey I hope everything is going well over there! Over here we are truly having a blast with missionary work! 

Julien is really doing well and will have his baptismal interview here in about 40 minutes. That is very exciting. We taught him about temples this week and it gave all of us a larger perspective. I was better able to understand our relationship with God. I realized that if I am a Father here, SEALED to a Mother here and we are worthy of Going to the Celestial kingdom, then we will be celestial parents there. It is cool in French because Heavenly Father is Pere Celeste. So if I am a Pere in the Celestial kingdom then I am a Pere Celeste. But if we aren't sealed then we are just a Celeste.... 

Either way Sunday was wonderful and we had lots of people come here me give a talk which went well. Vincent, Elena, Marie and Mareeva (Tahitians that we were teaching when I got here) and of course Julien was there too. The talk went great and I talked all about the miracles I have seen in my mission. I talked specifically about how much I have see Heavenly Father's hand in my life. It is so much fun giving talks! I spoke for about 20 minutes because one of the members didn't think he was going to be able to give his. So it was great. In the end he did give his talk and the last speaker went about 10 minutes past but luckily Elder Robards and I had made cookies for all the members so they were sparked by that!!!

Either way I love you all!!

Thanks so much for all you do!

Elder Pettingill
Birthday presents--ready for BYU
Cookies for ward members

Enjoying the sunshine
birthday lunch with the Perigueux Elders

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 2 (Jacob-Limoges)

Well this week flew by once again! We had many different things but obviously the most important have been helping some of our amis move foward! Obviously HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Julien is doing very well. He figured out a date and he is going to tell us later on at our rdv tonight so we will let you know. The Brive elders should be coming up this week to teach them (we have this thing where we have baptismal buddies and so before someone can be baptized we need to teach with our buddies first (Brive is our buddy). Then hopefully we can have the baptismal interview later on after that! Please pray that he will have a desire to receive the Priesthood!! He is doesn't think he is worthy of it or something.

Zone training was good. We talked all about iPads (which should be here in the next couple of weeks) and how missionaries can use them wisely and with a purpose. We expounded upon the fact that 1) When you turn on the ipad (or any device)  it is like literally going into a different place!! Interesting to think that you can literally leave the presence of your companion just by switching a button. Very important. 2) There are many safeguards to technological devices. One that I really liked was focusing on your purpose. There are many tools in life that are there to help up progress and advance our goals. Ipads in missionary work are essentially just an extension of the arm that is there to help us more effectively help others to come unto Christ. I thought about how this might also apply back at home and how we all have goals in life. The goals either come from us (like new year's resolutions) or they may come from the outside (like for example the celestial kingdom, that goal comes from going to church) but either way if we always center our actions around our goals then we can only be more effective in achieving them! So it is important to have goals and it is important to use the tools we have (ipads) to get there.

The craziest experience this week (that I told you last night) was going to sleep over in the ZLs apartment. We got there at night and all started to get settled in. We thought everything was going to go well. Well we headed to bed and started the long night. It was very hot inside and it turns out that all the beds in the other room had bedbugs (we didn't realize until about 30 minutes after going to bed) and there were a lot of mosquitoes. Well after a long night, at like two in the morning Elder Thompson was done with being eaten alive and jumped up and threw everything off and washed his upper body off. It was very nice to be able to get up at 6 and get out of there and go for a run!

Either way je vous aime tous (I love you all)!

Avec mucho amor,

Elder Pettingill
Mother's Day skype with our family in California, Elder Pettingill in France, and Katie in Idaho
The train stopped in Angouleme this time instead of Perigueux