Whew! We made it through our first Branch Conference. As the Branch President this was a big deal for Ed. We went on visits with a member of the Stake Presidency. We did two visits and they were both very uplifting Ed spoke in church and we had lessons from the Stake leaders and meetings.
And, of course, we had food - tons of it. We had a Branch Lunch afterwards. Check out this menu. We had buttered chicken, rice, spaghetti, pot au feu (stew), salad, quiche, fish, bread, cheese, desserts, fruit, herbal tea, drinks, juice and chips. And, of course, we had lots of great conversation and fun. In answer to the question asked in the title of this post, Ed had the buttered chicken first because Lynn made it and then the quiche. So, clearly, the chicken came first.
Ed had the opportunity to talk to a teacher who teaches in Calais (He's also the first counsellor in our Stake Presidency in Lille. As a side note he's from St. Omer where Dustin served when he was in France. It was his first area. At the time there were only 4 members there and now there are about 40 active members. So you see there is hope on the horizon for Charleville-Mézières.) It is hard to believe how different things work here in France. Teachers are hired by the government, not by the school or school district. They can indicate a preference for where they would like to teach but are actually assigned by the government based on their standing on a government assessment. They do not have any sports team in secondary or elementary. They teach 16 hours a week but can teach more to earn more money. They need to earn more money. They make about half as much as Canadian teachers. Ed was glad to have taught where he did and where he felt valued for what he did.
Missionary work, of course, moved forward this week. We looked up some of the missing members from our Branch list. This involves driving all over creation and seeing if these members live at the address that we have on our records. We also contacted people whose phone numbers we got from our Zone Leaders and from a church missionary referral centre. These are people who met missionaries in other parts of the world but live in our area. We also contacted our investigator friend and told her about our Branch Conference and meal. She is great! She thanked us and volunteered to bring something. And, of course, we went to St. Quentin for our weekly district meeting. We had a lesson, a practice teaching session and a great meal. We have three other missionary teams in our district and everyone brings something to contribute to the meal.
We also have been busy getting our new missionary apartment ready. We bought some additional stuff. We did some measuring and figuring, as well. On Thursday two Elders from the Mission Home came up with a van load of furniture for the apartment which we hauled all the way up three flights of steep French spiral stairs. We put it all together.
After it was all together we went to get a few things that weren't purchased that they will need. We have a list of what is needed from the Mission Home. It was great having these Elders here, We had them over for lunch and enjoyed the day with them. We still need to buy a stove and some shower supplies.
|Elder Edmunds putting the desks together.|
|Elder Bates on Bunk Bed duty|
We got a picture of Jack and his cub car this week too. It's a great design. Great job Tyler and Jack.
|Here is one happy guy! Great design Jack. Good job Tyler and Jack.|
|Can you believe I bought these Tulips and Roses for just 2€ each. Great deal and beautiful!|
|How can you beat a chocolate Sanglier?|
|This is a specialty of the Ardennes "Blue Chocolate"|
|It seriously was "incroyable!" Mousse, nougat, chocolat, mmmmm!|
|Elder Jouffray in his new Sanglier hat.|
We are now into March. It is hard to believe that we have been here for four months already. Time is going by quickly because we are busy and enjoying what we are doing.
Signing off for now!
Au revoir de la France,
Lyndi-lou and Eddie, too