Despite popular belief and the previous polls taken, I have been transferred to Toulouse, leaving Elder Castillo in Lormont for his 5th transfer! Very exciting!! I'm currently in Toulouse already with some other elders. I'm here as a zone leader with Elder Moeller, my good buddy from St. George, UT. He was my district leader while I was in Perigueux and I really respect him and we became really tight then and have been good friends since. He's got a big reputation in the mission for being an incredible worker. There are two wards here and I will be serving in the Capitole ward. I'm really excited to be here!!!!
How very sad I was to leave Lormont. It was tough. Recounting the week will be difficult, it feels so long ago. Here are some highlights:
We spent tuesday with the Darguence family, eating lunch and sharing spiritual experiences. Fr. Darguence is the member I told you all about when I first got to Lormont, he was a bounty hunter and body guard for Charles de Gaulle. He worked for the Paris and Bordeaux police, and has tons of incredibly crazy stories, spiritual and not. He recently had his second surgery in 3 months and is now in great condition and he and his wife are preparing to go on a couples mission. I had cut my hair monday, and so it was rather short and he asked about it, then decided he liked it and asked me to cut his hair...so I cut his hair (I have a picture). He was really proud of it and showing it off at church...haha
Wednesday and Thursday we spent in Bayonne, first I was on exchange with Elder Grant, then Thursday we attended their district meeting. Elder Grant is a good missionary, one transfer younger than me in the mission, he and I actually went on an exchange when I was Nice, so it was fun to work with him again and find ways we could both improve in our service. He has come a long way from where he was, but still has plenty of work to do. Bayonne is so pretty, and although I may never serve there, its probably the prettiest city I've been to yet and I will definitely want to return to visit.
Saturday, we helped the other elders move apartments- president is trying to split up all the 4 man apts. We also passed by the Senior Fourtina's and told them goodbye. It was really sad. I'm not a dramatic person usually and its rather rare that I show a lot of emotion. Throughout my mission I've mentioned people that I had felt like I had already been friends with before even coming here, and Papi Fourtina is one of those people. He is just the man. It was tough to say goodbye.
And Sunday was crazy as all last days are crazy in any given area. Bishop Darius called me saturday night and asked me to give a talk in church, which was a perfect way to express my love and appreciation to the ward. So I gave my talk on the importance of the Book of Mormon, how vital it is to what we believe and then after the next speaker had spoken, us 4 Elders and Mam, our Malegesh ward missionary leader, sang Sweet is the Work as the intermediate hymn. It was sweet and the Spirit was strong. We then spent the afternoon with Sr. David our sweet old grandma, and then after we spent the evening with the L'hospitals, one of our favorite families. I have pictures of all these people. Dont worry. Needless to say it was fun, and I felt a lot of love. It was hard saying goodbye to the area and the people.
But now I am very excited at the prospect of serving here in Toulouse. Its a part of the mission that is unexplored for me. And I think being here will help me push myself in new ways. Work harder, be more consecrated, and change more lives. Not that the we should need a change of scenery to change who we are, but I think being here will catalyze greater change through new opportunities. Time to really dig in and push myself to new heights.
My testimony of the Atonement has grown drastically on my mission, but especially after my service in Lormont. I'm beginning to understand what it means to leave my mistakes, regrets, and weaknesses to the Lord. I'm beginning. Its something I'll keep exploring. But I know and feel already the peace and happiness that is brought by trusting the Lord and doing what He asks. That through Him we are made strong.
I love you all! Have a great week!
6, rue de Briançon No. 554
31100 Toulouse, France
|Cutting Fr. Darguence's hair|
|The train station in Bayonne|
|Big map of southern france in the Bordeaux train station|