Joyeux Noël!!!!!!!!! I can't believe Christmas is this week!!!! I'm pretty excited to spend time with members and finally open these presents!!!! And I guess talking to my family might be cool as well:) I'm going to ask you all to start sending all mail to the mission home because Christmas time is crazy for mail and transfers are in 2 weeks and it wouldn't be worth losing any mail! I look forward to them all!!
La Mission Française de Paris
Elder Tanner Libby
so tonight was a really fast night and nothing too crazy happened. We got home from emails and hurried and changed and then went and got Jean Paul and headed over to Miguel's house cause he invited us over to sing Christmas songs and have a 'Christmas Night.' It was a little weird haha but we did that and then took Jean Paul home for the night.
we got up this morning and had to get out pretty fast to make our bus out to St Omer for district meeting. We got in and headed to their church where we had a lesson given to us on faith. Faith is such an interesting topic to me. Before my mission I never realized that faith led to action. Our faith in Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father leads us to want to repent and be better. Which I find great. We then did this one thing for lunch called the St Omer Kebab Challenge....NOT a good idea haha what we do is we go and get this one kebab that they have in St Omer which honestly is the BIGGEST kebab I think I have ever seen....they were HUGE. and we just have to eat them and drink our drink under an hour haha it was disgusting...I finished in 17:24 and literally I didn't eat anything else the rest of the night. Haha! Then we went and got to the gare to catch our train home. When we got home we headed to the post office to send a few things off and then headed home to drop off all our stuff from district meeting. Jean Paul had invited a bunch of people from the branch over to his house this afternoon to sing and talk and have a cute little Christmas gathering and so we went to his house to talk and play with them for a little bit. We got there and he had a Santa hat that lit up for each of the missionaries and we all sang Christmas hymns and told our favorite memory of Christmas. I talked about going Christmas caroling with my grandma and grandpa Jolley every year and they thought that that was the coolest thing ever! That he had a huge tractor with a trailer that he pulled around! They loved it. Then we cracked out the champagne! ;) (no alcohol...no worries;) ) we then went to make our way home and I was telling Mado how I wanted to make wassil (grandma libbys famous recipe!) Now none of these frenchies know what that is! So I told her I still needed to find cinnamon sticks and allspice and she told me she had some at her place. So we went to her apartment and she gave me a ton of cinnamon sticks and some spices that she said replaced allspice and told us she was excited to try it. Then we went to our rdv we had with the less active couple we've been working with lately! We taught a brief overview of the plan of salvation tonight cause we are going to go into depth soon and so we just explained a little bit about what it really is. Then we made our way home and ran into this guy who was telling us all about how he's had dreams about such and such and how he knows that his religion is true without a doubt...haha so we listened and then left. We then printed off tickets for exchanges tomorrow and then came home and I MADE WASSIL! It was delicious!!
our day today went by pretty decently fast. We had a good one though and got some things done. This week has been a little difficult so far to be able to see our investigators and find people to teach...we've been doing a lot of contacting and finding and it's been an interesting week as far as that. We got up this morning and had studies and then went out contacting. We made our way slowly over to Dominique's house for our rdv! He'd told us last time of his problem with smoking the cigarette and so we decided this time that we needed to teach him about the word of wisdom again. So we did that and it went well! He told us that it was good now and that he'd only smoked one cigarette since he'd last told us and so I hope all is well. He told us he'd be coming to church this week so I hope to see him there as well. Then we just went contacting for a little bit and talked some new people before we made our way in for lunch. After we'd finished with that, we packed our overnight bags (which we'll come to find out was not enough...lol) and headed out for the day. We had a couple rdvs and we're going to have to head straight to the gare for our exchanges. We went out contacting and came across this guy named Chris! He was from Florida and told us he never had heard of the Mormons and that he would like to meet up again cause he believed in God and he would know more people who spoke English! Haha so we got his number and we're gonna call him up soon. Then we went and caught a bus to the Deslypper's house and we practiced for our musical number that we are going to be performing in sacrament meeting this Sunday. We are singing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! Brother Deslypper told us that he needed at least 3 hours of practice time and that after he'd be willing to bring us to the gare. So we went and practiced and sang and had a fun time with them. I was telling elder Sorensen that when we are done with this musical number, I'm gonna be sad cause we won't have any excuse to go over and hang out with the Deslypper's anymore! But it was fun. After we'd finished practicing, they took us to the gare and we caught our train out to Calais. When we got to Calais, we called the other guys and they were still out working and so me and elder Sorensen went around and worked for a little bit there and found this little park with a bunch of fun Christmas lights!! So I took some pics. OBVIOUSLY. Then we made our way in for the night and ate some dinner and played monopoly deal! It has become a tradition for exchanges haha!
so we are getting so close to Christmas! I can hardly believe it haha I am getting too excited to talk to my family! We woke up this morning and got ready and had some studies and then me and elder wells needed to plan for our day cause you know...I'm not normally in Calais and I needed to know what was going on for the day. We had a rdv fixed and had to go help the relief society sisters decorate the church for their ward Christmas party. So we planned for all of those and then made our way out to go contacting for a little bit. We walked all around and elder wells kept telling me that there was a door somewhere that we needed to knock and he didn't know where....so he was waiting for me to tell him where to go...kind of like a test maybe? Lol so we were just walking and contacting people all over. Then it came time to come home for lunch and played some monopoly deal and the we headed out to contact and make it to our rdv with a less active. We got to his house and he was this really nice old man and told me that he was less active because was too sick to leave his house, which I could see. He seemed to have a light in his eyes as we were talking about the gospel and I noticed a painting of Christ right next to his chair. He was a really nice old man! We left him with a prayer and told him he knew where to find us if he ever needed us and then bounced and headed to the church. When we got there the bishops wife was there and she was decorating all the gym for the party. She needed help hanging these ball things from the ceiling and setting up tables and so we spent the next hour and a half helping her out with that. When we got everything set up like it 'needed' to be haha! She told us thank you and then we headed on our way. We had a few passbacks to make and so we contacted our way to the houses that we were going to and sadly no one was home so we just contacted our way back to the apartment and stopped by the boulangerie on the way in and bought a few yummy treats. We got to the apartment and the other elders had the keys and so me and elder wells just had to sit outside as we waited for the other guys to get home. It got to be 20 minutes before our train left for home and elder Sorensen called and said that they had just gotten out of the rdv they were in and we wouldn't be making the train. So we talked about it and ended up deciding to stay the night in Calais again! Hence the reason why my overnight bag wasn't enough!! Haha so we had to go to the church and meet with this one less active lady and we taught her about charity and then the other elders showed up. Elder Griffith started to play the piano and let me just tell ya....I am SO mad that I don't know how to play the piano....I wish I could play so bad!! Then me and him really wanted some Coke and so we ditched the other guys and went and got some Coke and then made our way in for the night and played some monopoly deal before heading off to bed.
well today was interesting hahah we woke up and got all ready cause we had to catch a train from Calais first thing to be able to make our way into Dunkerque. We got in and got back to our apartment and I had a package from Debbie!! So I added to my stash of Christmas presents:) I was pretty happy!! We got up to our apartment and had a sticky note on it that said, 'good evening. Your bathtub is leaking and I have cut your water. -apartment building manager' so we were like uhh we went and looked and could see no water anywhere and we didn't have water in our apartment at all. So we called the mission office and the senior couple in Brussels and figured that we'd need to figure out who took care of this problem the last time it happened, cause the same thing happened just a few months before I came into Dunkerque, and then our doorbell rang and it was the apartment building manager and the people from downstairs saying that it was leaking into their apartment still....so we have no idea what was going on. The dude told us that we could turn our water on for 15 minutes at a time but that we'd need to turn it off right after until we got it fixed. So all day we were getting calls from the mission office and the senior couple and trying to find a plumber and ya...lol so after that first part this morning we went and got Jean Paul and headed out to Soeur Allaert's house and had a fun time with her. She is doing SO much better and can finally move around her house and drive her car!! So she was super happy about that. She told us that she'd been to her mom's house, which is like 3 blocks away lol, and to the pharmacy. We shared the Christmas story with her and then headed out. We went in and took lunch and turned the water on the whole time we were inside and saw no water leaking the entire time. We found one little spot where the water was dripping about 2 drips a minute under the bathtub and put a little bowl under there to catch it, but it was only dripping when we used the shower...so...? We went to a rdv we had with Jean Bernard and talked about repentance and he told us he'd been seeing a change in his life as he's been coming back slowly and trying to change his life! We the stopped by the store to buy some ingredients so I can make wassil for the branch tomorrow at the branch party and came home to check to make sure there was no water damage in the apartment again haha and there was nothing. So we went out contacting and sooner or later made it to the Deslypper's house to practice for our musical number on Sunday for one last time. They are a super fun couple! They gave us a ride home for the night and we were on the elevator when the lady from below us got on as well. We asked if we could go with her to her apartment to see the damage and when we walked in, she took us to her LIVING room....our apartments are the same layout and when she showed us where the leak was, it was in our main room, RIGHT UNDER OUR BEDS. haha that leak is not coming from our bathtub on the other side of the apartment! She seemed adamant that it was us but....we'll see. Lol then we came up and finished up with some planning and phone calls to the mission and senior couple.
like I said earlier in the email, this week has been a little rough for missionary work haha we haven't had a ton of time to do stuff and today was the exact same. We woke up this morning and were literally at the church from 9:45 til 5:45 haha we put in a good 8 hour day! It went well though. We woke up and got all our stuff ready, the wassil ingredients, our Christmas cards and headed out. We stopped by Jean Paul's house so that we could call Jorgy cause today was his birthday! So we went and did that and then headed over to the church cause we had a rdv with a member for his home teaching. We shared the First Presidency Message for the month and then we went and started branch council. It went really well today and we got lots of things done!! I'm really glad that I've had the chance to be here in Dunkerque to try and help this little branch out! We have a new family from Lille that is moving up here to Dunkerque and so I know that the Lord has a plan for this little area! After we'd finished up with branch council and stuff we headed out to eat with the rest of the members and I started making my wassil and let me tell you haha they all thought that I was some crazy kid LOL! They'd never seen it before and they had no idea what I was doing and I thought it was so funny to see all of them just trying to figure out what I was doing! The smell filled up the entire chapel and everyone was like it smells good! Haha so we ate and then got the first presidency's Christmas devotional all set up and got ready to watch that and I was just cooking my wassil in the background and then when that finished we all ate and had the little snacks and when I brought out the wassil, EVERYONE was hesitant to try it, but EVERYONE ended up loving it! Even Soeur Duez who doesn't like cinnamon! And, en plus, she even asked me to make it again when we head to their house for Christmas Eve! So that was awesome. The rest of the night was just talking with all the members and chilling with them til everyone needed to leave and by that time it was already almost 7! But we came home and dropped off all the left overs, cause there was a ton, and who always gets the leftovers??? ASK THE MISSIONARIES, THEY CAN HELP YOU! lol we then just headed out for the night to go contacting and looking at train times and ended up stopping at macdo on the way home for dinner!
today was SUCH A GOOD SUNDAY! Honestly it was just amazing haha I was so happy we had a Sunday like today. It was full of friends and laughs and good memories!! I'm going to start off by saying that I LOVE the Duez family and I LOVE the Golding family!! That's about all haha! Today after church we did this thing called l'activité des bergers, which literally translated is shepherd's activity, meaning we were going to go find some less actives and talk to them and try to find out what it was that was keeping them from coming to church and let them know we were here to help them, and so there were a few people from the stake that came and helped out with that. One of them being the Duez's son Jacques. Have any of you ever seen Meet the Robinsons?? Their son looks EXACTLY like the bad guy from the movie. TO THE T. I saw him and honestly couldn't believe it. Haha! But we had great meetings today and during sacrament meeting we performed out little musical number with the Deslypper's and it went well! I'm kind of sad it's over, but oh well! After sacrament meeting, we ate a little sandwich and then President Duez put us into teams and gave us a few names that we were to go and find and me and elder Sorensen were placed with Jacques Duez and let me tell you that it was one of the funnest afternoons I've had in a while!! We went and found some less actives as well as hung out with him and he told us some fun mission stories and we even found 2 of the less actives that we were sent to find! One of them let us in and told us a little bit about why he'd stopped coming to church and brother Duez just THREW down the hammer. It was super funny cause I've been to this guys house before, and met his girlfriend and she is not too nice so when she opened the door, she saw elder Sorensen and brother Duez and then I poked my head around the corner and she saw me and rolled her eyes and stomped her foot and screamed, YOU AGAIN?! THIS ISN'T POSSIBLE. She then just went and got the guy we wanted to see and brother Duez just talked to him and he just threw it down. He was just like are you ok with living your life like this and accepting the terrestrial kingdom? And the less active was all that's my goal haha! It was pretty crazy. His girlfriend was not very happy when we showed up and she was sitting in the background smoking her cigarettes and trying to be as loud and annoying as possible haha it was a super funny rdv. Then we made our way to some other less actives and headed back to the church. Brother Duez told me that my English fast will hopefully give my English a French accent and that will make all the girls want to marry me when I get home haha he said to me in English, trust me, it works! Lol!!!! It was a fun afternoon. We got back to the church and Jacques told us he'd come to his parents house for a little bit on Thursday to see us and then we headed home and changed and then went out to work. We went contacting and contacted this one lady who told us she'd like to know more about us cause she'd like to see if there was proof if there was a god and when we explained to her that that had to come from her she just said ok ya lets meet so I can try! Then she asked us to call her tomorrow to fix a rdv!!!! We were stoked!!! We also had a Christmas card for the Golding's and so we went and rang them, wanting to only spend 2 minutes giving them the card, but the non-member husband made us come in and made us eat a little bit of dinner with them (which is a huge miracle in itself!) so we went in and ate and laughed and talked and the whole time, the non-member and non-believing husband stayed and talked with us, AND invited us over on New Year's Eve!! It was a huge miracle. We've been told this whole time to be careful around the husband cause he didn't like the missionaries, but the past few times we've gone over have been great! I know the Lord is preparing souls for His Gospel!
So there was my week! I am so excited to be able to see and talk to my family! Christmas is just around the corner...how weird is that?! Lol well just to remind you all I am starting my English fast as soon as I hang up the phone with my family and only speaking French until Mother's Day! It's gonna be long and hard but it will be worth it! I mean after all, I'm supposed to know the French language right?? And plus there are a couple missionaries who have promised me Coke at the end if I do it!! And who knows, maybe I'll like it so much I'll end up only speaking French til the end of my mission! That could be fun!;) well I wish you all a joyeux noël:) a bientôt (see you soon)!!