Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

From Danger to Dancing

Sunday, January 11, 2015

This has been a difficult week in France.  The whole country was put on edge with the recent attacks in Paris.  We could feel the tension across the country as people dealt with this tragedy in their own ways.  We were shocked to find out that one of the suspects lived in Charleville-Mézières where he surrendered at the police station just a half a block from where we live.  As it turned out he was not actually involved.  I really feel for the Moslems in France this week.  They, too, are suffering over the events of the week.  They are children of our Heavenly father just like us and are, therefore, our brothers and sisters.  These attacks were made by radical extremists and it is important that we do not point fingers at an entire race or religion.  

Fortunately, our fellow missionaries remained safe from harm.  Our Mission President did advise us to be cautious and at one point counselled us to remain indoors.  However we do have a senior missionary couple who live right around the corner from the Charly Hebdo offices.  When the assault took place on Wednesday this couple was just leaving their apartment building and would have walked right into the tragedy if they hadn't stop to talk to their landlord.  While they were talking they heard the shots being fired.  Thank goodness our Heavenly Father was looking out for them and all of us missionaries.  It is our hope that His spirit can provide some relief and comfort to all of those affected by this tragedy.
Francesco Soglinani's "Tobi conduit par l'ange" (1515) seems to fit those who were watched over and guarded.  
I had to add this photo that I took of the staircase in the Nancy Museum.  It is astoundingly beautiful.  
This week we were kept very busy despite the tension that was felt across France.  On Monday morning we went with a Real Estate agent to look at apartments for some young missionaries that we hope will be assigned to Charleville-Mézières in the near future.  We looked at 3 apartments and relayed our preferences to the Mission Home.  The one we prefer is very nice in an old building up 3 flights of a spiral staircase.  It is right on the edge of the river.

We had our weekly meeting with our district missionaries in St. Quentin where we had a great lesson and a great lunch.  After the meeting Lynn went to a friend's house for some one on one French.  I walked around a bit before picking her up.  At our meeting Lynn took a picture of our group and posted it on a website dedicated to families of missionaries.  We got lots of positive response as family members and friends recognised some of the missionaries.  On the way back home Lynn counted the number of villages and towns we drove through.  In a distance of 115 kilometres we passed through 40 villages, not 30 as I had guessed last week.  Some of these have interesting names like "Mon Idée" which means "My Idea".  We love seeing these little communities.
Frost and The Sunrise and Fading of the Moon in the distance. 
Ed wasn't happy about stopping for 3 minutes for me to take this photo.  I could see them through the window and they just needed a little photoshoot to boost their day.
This just doesn't do justice to the beauty of the villages off the road.  By the way, this one was too far away to count as one of the 40 we drove directly through on our way to St. Quentin.
So we passed a bakery named Laurent & Isabelle just like our friends here.  Had to take a photo just for them.
On Tuesday evening I went to a meeting with the mayor and council as they expressed their best wishes for 2015.  This was open to anyone who was involved with an organisation that is housed in Chareville-Mézières.  I was invited because I am the president of our small branch of the Church.  There were speeches and best wishes expressed as various people waxed eloquently in a political kind of way.  There were some presentations made.  Afterward there were refreshments that included mini sandwiches, pizza and drinks.  I am going to put this meeting on my "not to do list" for next year.

This week Lynn and I set a missionary goal to continue to reach out to members of our branch who have not been attending.  We looked up most of these on Facebook and left messages for some.  Our purpose is twofold.  We want to know if they are still in our branch and we hope they will end up coming back to church.  This has been quite a time consuming process but we hope it will be fruitful.

We also made our weekly visit to the senior couple that we visit who are from Pondichéry in India.  He is 95 years old and she is in her late 80's.  They are amazing people.  He was a former teacher and has lived all over, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Algeria, French Guyana and Paris.  He is fascinating to talk too.  His wife loves Lynn and spends her time talking to her while Lynn massages her hands.  They love having us visit and we love visiting them.

This week we decided to join a French folk dancing group that two of our Branch members run.  It is in  L'Échelle at the local castle.  We spent a couple of hours learning some traditional folk dances, listening to music and, of course, eating.  There were about 20 people there and we were even able to talk religion  with some of them.  They were quite interested in our church and in what we were doing in France.

In January in France the stores across the country have huge sales where everything is marked way down.  Some things are up to 70% off.  As we live right in the downtown area we spent about an hour going from store to store to see what there was.  What a jungle.  There were shoppers everywhere and huge lines at the till.  We didn't buy much but we did scout out some good bargains.
This is a picture I took just after we arrived of the shopping area just behind us. Imagine it jam packed with people out for a deal!
Well, I guess that's it for this week.  May God be with you.

Au revoir from La France,
Lyndi-lou and Eddie, too.

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