Thanksgiving in Perigueux France! .... December 2, 2013
Our week was fun. We had a lot of cool things happen.
First, Thanksgiving here was a bit surreal. There was no football. But we got invited over to a Portuguese members home who invited friends and celebrated thanksgiving with us 4 American Elders. It was a lot of fun. And the food was really good. It was even cooler to have the opportunity to share a celebration like that, with people who dont normally celebrate it. It made me really realize how grateful I am for all that I have.
We went to the Branch blacklight dance this past week for 30 minutes to say hi to everyone. It was super awesome! Our branch president so cool! He is a on the side DJ and ran it all. He is also an ex-baller. We have a Samedi Sportif with him and all the young men in our ward. He goes pretty hard in the paint. (we have 15 young men!)
I'll share one cool experience from this week. Saturday evening we went out in search of a part member family that has been inactive for years. They live a good while away from us. We took a bus to a very rural area to rolling hills of typical southern France. We walked for a while down gravel roads and knocked on the door of the address. We were invited in by the 18 year old son, who we talked with and answered a lot of religious questions he had, until his mom and older brother showed up about 30 minutes later, and they invited us to stay for dinner...yes of course. The two brothers love America, so we talked about that for a while. When we left with a spiritual message, they really ate it up. You could really tell that this family was just spiritually starving. After the closing prayer, one of the brothers was in tears, and we got invited back for just before Christmas. Sister Geurin, who is the member along with her children (her husband is not, he is away in Africa on business for 3 months) was soooo happy to have us. She greeted us like she already knew us and was more than happy to feed us. The last time they've had any contact with the church was over a year ago. But they are such a wonderful family. And it was such a beautiful experience to feel the spirit together as a family, because it is always more powerful when within the bonds of family.
We also visited an old ami yesterday, who is waiting to be baptized until after the custody court case for her 5 children is finished. Literally everything is against her. The judge marked on her file that she is fol (crazy) for taking her kids to church and wanting them to be baptized. Everyone in her family is against her decision to continue learning about the Gospel. And this (the court case) has been going on for 2 years now. (Reminds me of Charles Dicken's Bleak House). She is a rock, her faith is incredible. We encouraged to keep pressing forward and reminded her that is after the black of night that the sun rises.
It is experiences like these that make my time out here so very worth it.
I love you all! I miss you!
Elder William Montgomery