Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This was a busy week as usual.  Every day we spend most of the morning doing personal and companion study, planning and Lynn does language.  It seems that we are always on the go which is what you want when you are on a mission.  

Sunday was great.  We had 10 people at Sacrament Meeting!  Afterwards we were invited to our new friends, the Oliviers, for snacks.  We had such a nice afternoon with them.
Guillaume and Marine
They had this incredible bread oven in their kitchen.
One of many cool little areas outside of their home
Guillaume and his Mom
We started out with a busy Monday.  We did house work, cleaning  laundry, etc. We had to make the main dish for our weekly meeting with the young missionaries.  We made a Mexican dish called Lomitas.  It's kind of like enchiladas.  Lynn was the main cook and I was the assistant.  I was also the gopher, heading to the store whenever we needed anything.  

On Tuesday we headed to our meeting in St. Quentin, about a two hour drive.  The meeting was great.  We had a lesson and set some goals.  We chose to finish up our member's list by looking up names in the phonebook.  We also decided to spend at least 3 hours a day speaking French to each other so that Lynn could work on her French.  I am pleased to say that we reported success on both of these goals by Sunday.  Our meal went very well.  Everyone loved the dish we brought.  We also had bread and cheese, pop and ice cream floats.  We continue to be impressed with the missionaries in our district.  We love them all and love what they do for the Church in their areas.  On the way home we chose to drive on secondary highways because it so much more interesting and scenic.  Lynn kept track of how many villages we drove through.  Amazingly, we went through about 35 French villages just on the 2 hour drive home.

Our amazing St. Quentin District; Elder Karl our esteemed leader from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his companion, Elder Smith from Boise, Idaho, Soeur Castillo Escobar from Toronto, and Sister Clark from Logan, Utah, Elder Tidwell from Kaysville, Utah and Elder Roth from Chino Hills, California.
On New Year's Eve day I had a Branch presidency meeting with my counsellor.  We accomplished a lot and then he came over to our place  so Lynn could help him sew a pillow case filled with flax seeds that became a bed warmer when it was heated up.

We had a quiet New Year's Eve.  Lynn and I watched a movie and had some appetisers.  It was quite nice.

On January 1 we were invited to lunch at Laurent and Isabelle Biver's house.  We had an amazing meal.  It was typically French.  We started with appetisers (asparagus, squash, artichokes, carrots, lettuce, eggs...)  and apéritifs (non alcoholic of course).  We then had the main meal of potée (sausages, cabbages, potatoes, greens, turnips...).  We had bread and cheese and desserts to top it off.  
Great Food, Great Company
These guys really enjoyed the warmth by the fire!
Beautiful manger scene.  Laurent hand crafted the stable piece by piece.
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We went for a walk around the village and finished the afternoon off by playing Rummikub.  The hosts had home court advantage as they won both games.  We did all of this in a country setting, in a 145 year old house while sitting around a stone fireplace and a Christmas tree with candles.  The company was great.  It was so amazing!  We have become great friends.
On our walk we saw the Lavoir (The place where laundry was done)
You can see the shelves where they used to put their baskets.
I love this place.
This was the original outdoor laundry facility.  The animals would come to drink at the trough along the wall.

Elder Wilson, Laurent, and Isabelle
On Thursday we were on the road again.  We had to do an apartment inspection in Luxembourg and purchase some mattresses for the Metz elders.  Imagine my surprise when we got to the Metz Elders' apartment to find that they were literally just around the corner from where I lived as a young boy before we moved into military housing.  We could see my old apartment from their window.  We went over there for pictures.  We rang the bell and found out my old landlady still lived there but was not at home.  She is now 94 years old.  I left my number with her caregiver so that she could call me.  I was very overwhelmed.
So this is outside the Elders apartment.  Ed lived in the apartments on the left just after the large apartment building.
Rue Pierre Perrat. The Front of the Apartments.  It's the white ones on the right that bow out beautifully.
4 Pierre Perrat
So third floor just above the front door was their apartment.
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We stayed the night in Nancy.  In the morning we got up and went to Place Stanislas, the main square.  We visited an art museum which was amazing.  We saw paintings and sculptures from all eras, many of which had a religious theme depicting the Catholic heritage of France.  It was awesome.
Gorgeous marble staircase in the Museum
Georgio Vasari 1558 He knew and was influenced by Michelangelo
Giampietrino (in the DaVinci circle) early 1500's  I just love this painting.
My favorite (Lynn) by Philippe de Champaigne "La Charité" between 1635-1638
Oh man another favorite by Émily Friant "La Toussaint" 1888
  I just love bicycles and old buildings so had to take some more.
Jeanne (Joan) of Arc
For those who speak/understand French! What an amazing Woman!

On the way home we stopped at Ikea to buy some stuff for the young missionaries and dropped some off in Luxembourg.  The traffic was terrible.  It took us an hour and a half more to get home than it should have. We think it was because lots of people were travelling home after the Christmas holiday season.  It was also incredibly rainy, dark and foggy which didn't help.

Church this morning was great.  It was our first fast and testimony meeting because we were at a stake meeting last month.  The testimonies were incredible.  We are very fortunate to be in a Branch with such faithful members of the Church.  The spirit is always very strong at our meetings and we love it and our Branch members.  It's interesting.  You go on a mission to serve and help others and yet we are the ones who have been enriched beyond belief.  The Lord continues to bless us daily.

Aurevoir from La France.
Lyndi-lou and Eddie too.

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