Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 1 (Jacob-Limoges)

Well this week was obviously an interesting one; we were already off by one day but had a great time getting to know the city! It is amazing to be back in the heart of France because everyone here is so french!! The best part is being back in the part of France where it is a challenge to talk to people. Often we say that in the south everyone very easy and open to talk, but you can only create a relationship that is skin deep. Here everyone is like a coconut! Sometimes you feel like you have "smash them with a hammer" in order to open them up (but I guess it is even harder as missionaries because of the misconceived ideas about us and why we are here makes people more like a rock than a coconut!) But it has been awesome because the nice thing about the people here is that as soon as you have opened them up they are just the nicest and most loving people ever! Its becomes a game to see who can break the coconut open first! I love the gospel so much and I love the people here so much! They are all just so awesome!! 

The nice thing is that we already have some wonderful people with whom we are working! We have a great tahitian family that is so cool! The mother is Marie with her daughter Mareva and son Ocean. Awesome family! Mareva is really into the gospel and has been activily participating in Young womens. She has a huge test right now so she has been pretty busy preparing, but Friday night we made a cheescake (speculoos crust and so GOOD!!!!) and brought it over and had a great night! 

We are also working with the Jewish (what a coincidence) husband of a member that is doing really well! Ever since Elder Steinbock got here he has been more engaged in the gospel than ever. He has been coming to church for the last many years, but apparently never really got attached to the Gospel! We had the most amazing lesson ever on Saturday! Essentially I learned that Elder Steinbock is an amazing teacher! He taught perfectly to Jacque's needs and asked amazing questions!! I felt like a bleu (new missionary) during the lesson because basically Elder Steinbock took the lead and just taught so well! Obviously we did it in English or otherwise it may not have been the same! 

In any case, the funnest part of the week was giving my presenting testimony in the ward yesterday.. Essentially the Bishop called saturday and told me that the High Councilman was no longer coming and that Sister Jacobson and I now had a good 15 minutes each to present.. When Sunday rolled around it turned out that the other speaker had also canceled and so now it was just Sr Jacobson and I that were speaking. When the sacrament ended we had about 40 minutes. Luckily the bishoped called an audible and had all the youth (all 3 of them) come up and talk about the activity that had happened on Saturday in Bordeaux. They took up a good 5 minutes and then Sr Jacobson gave a 5 minute presentation, so we sung an intermediary hymn and then I went, stretching on for about 15 minutes and then Bishop organized (from the stand while I was speaking) 3 testimonies. In the end it all turned out well but I am glad I was able to get all of the up front details out of the way from the pulpit so now everyone knows me really well! At the end of church we had a ward meal so that was a great warm welcome!! I also got a very warm welcome yesterday at church from all the friends of Stephanie Christensen and Sister Murdock as well!

I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am so grateful for the opportunity and blessing of being in Limoges! It is so wonderful! I love the Lord and am so grateful that I can feel the love that our Heavenly Father has for me everyday! I know that if we want to feel the spirit, all we need to do it get on our knees and pray. Anytime we do something that the savior taught or did we are going to feel the spirit and the blessings that come will be peace and joy! I am so grateful for everytime I get rejected by someone on the bus or on the road because I get a chance to be different and love more!!
Matt 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Je vous aime tous! (I love you all!)

à trés bientôt!!! (until very soon!!!)
Elder Pettingill
With Elder Thompson

with Elder Steinbock

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