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

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 1 (Jacob-Limoges)

Well this was a wonderful start of the transfer. Obviously the most time consuming event of the transfer was blues conference. The train ride went by fast as I threw myself into the scriptures and some great talks to pass the time! We showed up Thursday night and went to a place called Master Tacos. very yummy. Friday we had a great conference. It was the exact same presentation given at my own blues conference almost 2 years ago and at the blues conference that I attended with Elder Frost a year ago. It is amazing how the same words and presentation can mean so much just with a change of scenery and a different perspective. This time I felt like the conference was really for our amis more than for me while in the past I felt it was more for me. I love the quote by Joseph Smith "This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed." (Preach my gospel ch 4)

I can't remember if I told you but Julian got a really strong answer that the Book of Mormon is true and so he has been really progressing!! He came to church yesterday and is make lots of progress. He told us the other day that he wants to move the baptism to next week (May 14th which is a Thursday) so we are really trying to make sure he is ready for that and that he will be completely ready. 

Another wonderful moment this week was teaching Eric. We got there Tuesday morning to teach him at the church. We invited the Young Men's president to come teach with us and he decided to bring along the deacon's quorum president (and the only other young man in the ward!) Well we were trying to teach Eric and the lesson was going pretty well; we were teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and so it wasn't too complicated. But about 10 minutes in the problem was that the Eric and Matthew (13) started to get a little wiggly and man I had a huge vision into the eyes of 1) my many many primary and young men's teachers and 2) possibly my future callings. I was not very prepared but we tried to be as creative as we could to get Eric to concentrate. In the end I came out with much more sympathy for the many leaders in the church!

We also had a great lesson with a wonderful couple, Vincent and Gaelle. Vincent is a bus driver and they have two kids. They are both not sure what exists. They have been friends with the missionaries for a while now and that has been very fun but on Wednesday we sat down and taught them all about Faith and the Plan of Salvation! Gaelle wants to believe so bad and she loves her kids so much! We left them with the plan of salvation brochure and will hopefully be able to see them this week. They are great examples of the good that can come naturally from people even if they are "believing". They have such great standards and try so hard to make their house a place where love can be!

I am so grateful for this gospel! I love the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for our agency and the many things we can do because of it. I know that doing nothing does not make us happy but using our freewill to do many good things and fillings our lives with engagements. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be happy!

I love you all and am excited to talk to you next week,

Elder Pettingill
Limoges District before transfers
Blues Conference
There's that familiar goofy face!