Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

French Hodgepodge

Sunday, February 8, 2015

This week we had the opportunity to visit a less active member of our Branch who in my opinion is the quintessential Frenchman.  He is always a pleasure to visit because he is always very welcoming when we come.  He loves to talk and he is always giving us advice. Although he is baptised into our church he is very much a product of his Catholic upbringing.  He has a reverence for the Pope and for the Saviour as can be seen from the crucifixes and pictures in his apartment.  He is very kind and considerate and always has a drink and a snack when we visit.  He is also always giving us advice on where to shop, what to do and what food to eat.  We appreciate his concern and his advice.  He has lent us videos and music and gifted us a CD of accordion music.  His father was an accomplished accordionist.

I want to mention few peculiarities that we have noticed in France.  After Christmas in Canada we have Boxing Week sales.  In France they have about 6 weeks of sales starting in January.  This week is the last week of theses sales.  Things start off at 20% off and continue until they are 70% off by this week.  Not all things go to 70% but lots do.  As a result the stores are packed.  It is very interesting.  

Coming home from church this morning we noticed how quiet it was.  Stores are not open on Sunday here.  Sunday is a day for families and friends.  It is quite nice, actually.  Church bells ring like crazy but clearly people do not attend church here like they used to do.  

French drivers are quite interesting, as well.  They do not drive fast because they are quite strict here about speeding.  They are, however, not very patient and use their horns a lot.  They are very skilful at parking.  Parking is a big problem here.  There are more cars than parking spaces.  When a parking spot opens up French drivers are quite aggressive and they can parallel park into the smallest of spaces.  Sometimes it seems like there is only two inches to spare in the front and the back of a car.  As you walk by and notice this phenomenon all you can do is shake your head and wonder how they got in there.
Our car is this Opel Meriva with suicide doors.  It's a great little car.
Our stake is organising a trip to the temple in February.  We are assigned to attend the London temple.  This is about a seven hour drive from Charleville-Mézières.  Because of the distance the stake will go for a whole week about four times a year.  The temple trip will be from February 23 to 27.  Three members of our Branch are going.  Lynn and I plan to do so at a later date.  The distances and the commitment to attend speaks to the faith and loyalty of our members.  We feel that on a weekly basis.

On Wednesday of this week we got a call from Metz from two American sisters who are the nieces of a lady from Metz who passed away recently.  She was not a member of our church but one of the nieces was.  After contacting the missionaries in Metz they contacted us because we are opening up a new apartment for some young missionaries coming to Charleville-Mézières.  They had a bunch of furniture to give away.  We were able to go to Metz and bring back a car load.  We also stored some additional stuff in Metz.  We were so fortunate.
Solar Panels in Belgium

Drove through 3 countries today an this sign showing the German influence

Elder Libby and Elder Quist lending a helping hand 
At church we have recently changed our schedule to allow us to meet in the morning for a half hour before our regular meetings.  During this time we practice hymns, have a Branch Council meeting, work on missionary work and provide time for our Relief Society to meet as sisters.  We have done this to accommodate people who have to travel far to church.  This allows us to meet on Sunday without having to drive in for additional meetings during the week.  This week was the first time the Relief Society met.  Of course, they brought breakfast along which was a great benefit for Laurent and I who were having a Presidency meeting.  It was so great.  I think I am going to like this new schedule.

Lynn has devised a system whereby we can formalise our contact with our family.  She has prepared a sheet with everyone's name on it - children, grandchildren, parents.  She has a little post it beside each name and when we contact them we move it to the other side of the paper.  The goal is to contact everyone twice each month by phone, e-mail, skype or Facebook.  I think it's a great idea and a great way of including our family in our mission.  We have made motto - "No one left behind.  We are all in this together."
Amy sent us this video of Great Grandpa standing on 2 dozen raw eggs. This is so like him. Even went the extra mile and got perfect shoes for the activity.   Funny.
Just a great view from our bedroom window with a pink sky - a rarity here in the winter.
Well that's all I have for this week.

So, it's aurevoir de la France.
Lyndi-lou and Eddie, too.     

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