We have had a very busy week. This week was our first visit from friends from Canada. Angela and Jesse Wilde came to visit. They had come to Paris to celebrate a special birthday for Angela. Knowing that they were coming we had arranged to spend a day together while they were here. We were delighted that they wanted to come up to Charleville to see our digs.
They came on the TGV on Thursday and arrived at 9:39 a.m. We spent the day touring around Charleville and the Ardennes. We had an awesome visit and had a lot of fun. We showed them around Charleville. We visited the church, the square, a lavoir (old fashioned laundry place), the Sedan castle and some countryside. We visited a golf course and the site of an ancient abbey. We introduced them to Kébabs for lunch. We had an amazingly fun day together. We drove them to Reims where they caught the train back to Paris. It was great to have that contact with home with some good friends.
|In our square|
|Chateau d'Elan in the French country side. I love the little truck in front.|
|Inside the tiny Chapelle St. Roger. It's what's left of a very old Monks abbey.|
On Tuesday we went to our district meeting. We drove the younger Elders and they stayed in St. Quentin for exchanges. We love these meetings. We came back by ourselves and stopped in Guise. Every week we have been driving past a large tower at the top of a hill here and have wondered what it was and had determined when we had more time to stop and take a look. Imagine our surprise when, after winding through town a bit, hidden behind a large hill we found this. It never ceases to amaze us here at the incredible history. The dungeon was built between 951-1056 and there was a castle there since the end of the 10th century. France really is to be discovered.
|This picture was taken one day as we were driving past wondering what it was.|
We also stopped at Hirson for grocery shopping on the way back. We shopped at Auchan which is close to Walmart, without the "greeters".
Things are moving along greatly in our Branch here. We had 16 people at church today. Considering in January there were a couple of weeks where we only had 3 or 4 people, that is a marked improvement. It was wonderful. In part, thanks to our teamed missionary efforts here, we had three people who haven't been to church in a while. We picked up Fiona St. Angelo from Nouzonville, a small town about 15 minutes away. What a sweetheart she is. Another one in attendance was a member who plays on the professional basketball team here in Charleville, and she brought along a friend with her. It was great. She saw the missionaries in our square yesterday and called out excitedly to them. She hadn't realised that there was a branch of the Church here. We also had 2 other visitors in addition to our regular members at church. Clara Biver's friend Ben was visiting from Liege, Belgium and Christian Carpentier, our high counsellor from Lille was also here.
Michel Dampt was called as the first Counsellor this week in our little Branch and he was sustained this morning. He will be a very nice addition in working with Ed and Laurent to keep our Branch running smoothly. We had a Branch lunch after church for the second week in a row. What a great day we all had. (Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures!)
Yesterday was an interesting day. When Ed went for his morning run he noticed that people were setting up tables and booths for selling. After our studies in the morning we went to check it out. There was a huge flea market in the downtown area around our apartment. They were selling everything. We bought a few things and lunch at a "Frite" truck. It was all great.
Our downtown area is very well used. On Friday there was a Farmers' Market there. Saturday was the Flea Market.
Today there is a large book market in the square. In addition, there is a Tour des Ardennes, a huge cycle race. Most of the streets were blocked off. We were afraid that we weren't going to be able to get home from church but we managed to squeeze home before it got too hairy.
On Saturday afternoon Ed went to visit the Dampts with the young missionaries. They live about 45 minutes from us. They needed some help with their garden. Ed and the Elders turned the soil over and weeded. They only managed to get 1/2 the garden done after working for a few hours. These sweet members were so grateful for the help. After they were done the Elders went contacting, and ended up making an appointment with a family for next week. Ed and Michel Dampt went to another nearby town to search out a member only to find out that he'd moved. But, that's part of the nature of our work here as MLS missionaries. Making sure the member lists are correct. So in that sense it was successful. Lynn stayed behind preparing part of the meal for our Branch dinner today.
|On Thursday at our Dance class Isobel gave Lynn these beautiful daffodils that she had picked in the woods. Beautiful!|
Au revoir de la France
Lyndi-lou and Eddie, too.